drafts. so many fucking drafts. all in my head.
In murphy, nc until my birthday. first full band US tour of the year starts june 12th. excited. tired. drying out again. reading bagombo snuff box by vonnegut. oh yeah, i got my vonnegut tattoo. awhile ago. the last drawing from breakfast of champions. writing letters again. in the process of writing a very difficult one, actually.
getting ready to descend down the slope of my 20’s. something brighter is waiting for me out there. or down there, i should say. love you. bye.
Tron Swanson. Hollywood, CA.
i toiled away.
i lost my good name
somewhere back there
my heart shines
with rusty edges.
i’m an island
in the very open waters
once a day i imagined
as a wave.
it was peace.
that peace was fearful.
i lost my good name
somewhere back there.
beaming with pride
i am a new island.
most of its inhabitants now gone
they look back from a distance
and remember how it was.
all the food gone bad
all the water gone dirty.
all the trees and ground
have lost their sweet shades.
i lost my good name
somewhere back there.
Whatever they are, whatever it is…it’s hungry for the earth and it always wins.
Back on American soil. Good to be back, though my head and my heart are always in two different places. Well, they’re in multiple places, chest and body included. Not so much unstuck in time, but unstuck in everything. I’m happily drowning in new and old friends and people, new and old places, new ideas and plans for the future.
I’ve been trading writing back and forth with a dear friend. She’s keeping me on my toes. I’m actually writing poems again. It’s weird. Everything is weird. Weird is always necessary. So everything is good. I’ve got pen pals to keep up with this year.
We’ve got a new record to write. I’ve handfuls of new tunes based on aspects of my life still sort of untouched as well as characters and ideas from the mind of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Lots of tunes about people losing their minds, the perils of creativity and being able to find that reason and will to get up and live the best life possible, while facing the abyss. So it goes. On and on it goes.
I’m being told left and right that the songs are too sad. I think it’s simply because of the voice I’ve been using to write them. It’s funny. My friends think I’m pretty sad sometimes even when I’m not. With some of these songs, notably the Vonnegut songs, I’m just getting into (a) character. I’ve been singing really quietly with sort of a broken bird voice. An accidental Ryan Adams voice. That’s only because I’m quietly singing to myself, trying to piece these songs together. In my head the voice is much more loud and powerful and sometimes gritty. Some of these songs are actually quite positive in their little corners. Little crawl spaces of hope and positivity.
Reconnecting with my family on each side. Finding some closure and some weird answers and stories about my mother and father. Planning to see my estranged sister (on my mother’s side) in of all places, Mexico, Missouri. Hi ho.
Found out my oldest brother on my father’s side moved to Colorado with his wife. The rest of the family remains in Texas. Haven’t found yet whether or not their matriarch survived the cancer they found in her underarm about twelve years ago.
I’ve got a few family members talking to one another again. I feel like I’ve started something good. Something necessary.
Everyone in the family’s telling me mom would have been proud.
March is dedicated to writing out and perfecting our new Harmed Brothers record. April sees us in the Northeast, probably. The rest of the spring and summer is Harmed Family Roadshow time. Numerous festivals. So many faces I’m dying to see but can’t yet. So many times to be had. So many skies to appreciate. So many skirts swaying like curtains in the breeze. So many good friends to sing and drink with.
Also aiming not to drink as much.
So much family to reclaim.
So much adventure.
So much to let go and let in.
So it goes.
its a funny thing
“you blessed us all
we’ll miss you, babe.”
it could be a funny thing.
Gladys, or The Sun Don’t Rise and Set On The Corner Grocery.
God asked me once in a dream
What will you take with you
when its time?
Time for what?
I will take the last breaths of my parents
and a harmonica.
I will take the memory
For they were some of the best.
baptized in her memory
like gold midday morning glow
that cures hangovers
that’s too many things.
in North Carolina
awash in a midday glow
at 1:35am in december.
I thought of harmonicas
big hair and blue eyes
I thought of God
of all the distance
love and I
even on our way home.
The next episode of “Glee” will feature a mashup of this Mumford & Sons song and that The Lumineers song and that Philip Philips song.
I’m really fucking sick of Mumford & Sons. There’s always a split second where I like them. And then it’s fucking gone.
Area Man Panics After Accidentally ‘Liking’ 381 Of His Ex-Girlfriend’s Facebook Photos: Full Report
I am an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. I am pooped.
brilliant. if only.
Gierle, Lille, Belgium
It’s about a dime after 7 in the morning. Sun hasn’t come out yet. It appears to be snowing. I took this last day to sleep probably the most I have in months.
Belgium has really taken a liking to The Harmed Brothers. The other night we played in a tiny 200 year old bar, played 3 encores, and the audience shushed one another during the quieter songs to actually listen to what we have to say. To say the least, they truly appreciate what we traveled over thousands of miles over the Atlantic to present.
Flying high over the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the night is an eerie experience. I appreciate the free drinks and Delta on Demand.
Yes, I fucking watched three episodes of Louie at 30,000 feet…thank you very much.
I fell of the train from Brussels to Tielen, trying to get my luggage off as quickly as possible. Not too much damage. Cut my index knuckle. It was honestly something out of “Planes, Trains And Automobiles.”
I’ve been dubbed the Mexican John Candy. Juan Candy.
Wandered through the Red Light District while walking around Antwerpen the other day. No, I didn’t do anything, if that’s what you’re thinking. Besides I didn’t have any money. Hehe. Anyway, it was a unique sight for these awkward American eyes. Girls standing in every window either looking very happy or bored to shit with their lives. I found it kind of funny and surreal.
Duvel is a Belgian beer. I implore you. Please. Don’t take it lightly. It will beat the ever loving shit out of you if you’re not careful. This goes for most Belgian beers. The lightest beer is Stella Artois and DeKonnick. I’m sticking with those. Duvel is like the finest strongest Belgian malt liquor. Except its not malt liquor. It’s friggin’ beer.
I Coyote Ugly’d on a bar called the Youth Club, licked their plastic alligator mascot, fell asleep on the toilet of the women’s restroom and fell multiple times on the literally hard streets of Gierle.
These people do not fuck around.
My day has consisted of sleep, orange juice, bread, water, hope and optimism.
So far, my schedule has gone as follows. I’ve been sleeping from noon till whenever we have to leave for the venue. Play the gig, leave and I just talk to all my friends back home in the past.
(ok, it’s getting personal here.)
Thinking a lot about my past (per usual), my family. My relationships. How I need to become a better adult, and learn to maintain better adult relationships. How to let things and people and memories go for my own sake and the sake of others.
Accepting love is sickening. It’s a beautiful thing, but it turns my stomach. Only because you realize all the people you hurt every day. There are people here in my life that want to keep me alive for several decades, and I can’t even wrap my around the idea of that.
I recited a dream to my friend tonight. An old dream. At least the end of it.
The end starts with me opening a door to see my family still alive and well in our old trailer in Pico. I’m shocked silent, to the point of tears, but they don’t seem to notice. There they are. Dad, Mom, Grandma and Grandpa.
The old cast. The original cast of which I am now the surviving member. Three deaths and one case of dementia.*
Grandma* asks me to go and buy some milk. I venture outside to discover the zombie apocalypse. I run. I get eaten alive. The dream blacks out and I then awake.
I’ve thought a great deal here about the family. My new one. The one I grew into. The family I was accepted into, and how difficult it can be to accept love when you’re hung up on things you lost years back. Things you feel you weren’t supposed to lose for a long time.
It doesn’t fix itself overnight.
I told Donnie the other day. “Look, I’m always going to happy. But I’m also always going to be a little sad. I’ve accepted that.”
Which reminds me of something Marc Maron once said to a heckler in the audience. “Listen. It’s not always about the funny. Sometimes it’s about the sad.”
My point is that right now, besides this wonderful band and this already insanely busy year, my life consists of realizing that I’ve been wasting the love of a lot of people because I can’t get over some loss or multiple losses that I can’t control. Losses that in actuality, in a positive way made the odd creature you see or read before you.
I always say I think if I grew up a stable person, I’d think I wouldn’t be worth much.
I used to sing, “If the road to heaven ain’t hell, that what’s heaven?”
I think about the person I’ve hurt. The way I’ve so poorly handled things with her. About how long things will take to mend. About the promises I made long ago. How and where my choices will lead me now. The choices I’ve made are the choices I’ve made and will live with.
This part of my life. 25 and now over the “twenty hill,” descending into my thirties. Thirties sound so wonderful these days.
It’s all just starting over. Starting over can never be too bad. I mean I’m sure it’s a tortuous and awkward process that breaks you and shames you, but you’ve got to come out of it somehow.Right? It has to mold and shape us into something new and hopefully better. Right? I’d hope. I don’t know. Adulthood isn’t my thing.
This year just may be the year that changes everything. Even if the changes are small stepping stones. So much is changing.
The Harmed Brothers step into a Nashville, TN studio after we get home to record our third album. Full band. Fuller sound. It’s going to be an amazing project.
Some of our new songs are stronger than they’ve ever been.
Songwriting is coming back to me, harder and more personal than ever. I love it.
We are sharing the Muddy Roots festival lineup with not only so many dear friends…
Larry & His Flask, The Calamity Cubes!, McDougall, Possessed By Paul James, Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy, but fucking Black Flag.
We make our way into the deep Northeast sometime this year. Portland, Maine. We have a 500 dollar European tour supporter there whom we promised a private show.
Something in me knows I will have to quit my reckless, rowdy ways someday. It may need to be soon. All of these things. Family, music, the band, art, people, relationships, love, acceptance, letting go. They’re all way too important to keep on the way I have been.
Too many old Belgian ladies have been hitting on me. Like really old and really drunk with the voices of ashtrays. They do not give a fuck. Hah. One literally referred to me as a beautiful man. My existence is pretty funny.
Our tour driver/soundman/European Positive Vibe Tech Glen is one of our and my new best friends. Good man to have on board the Harmed Family Roadshow.
God, I need to talk to Marc Maron one day soon. WTF, Cat Ranch, I’m coming for ya. :)
The sun is up. It is snowing in Gierle and it is gorgeous.
Homer for life.
…in my mind I just say fuck James Cameron, because he’s entirely too successful, ground-breaking and also incredibly mediocre. ‘Let’s put a half a billion dollars into technology to placate the morons into thinking that everything’s okay.’ How about send about 250 million dollars to Haiti? How about that? There’s a three dimensional problem with real people in a real broken tree-house.WTF podcast with Marc Maron - Episode 44 - Feb 4, 2010. (via terrafurma)