Falling Away

I got banned from FB. For the fourth time, actually. A three day suspension. In a way, I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened more often, or more pointedly, because of how often I engage with it. At this stage, I would certainly shut me down if I used my own website this often.

Every time, it has been for the most boring reason. This time, I commented the phrase, “Americans are fucking weird,” on a post. There was no ability to appeal; my account was shut down for three days, and I had to think long and hard about why I might want to return.

I’ve had a problem with Social Media for a while. I made an album about it. I just feel this need to keep in touch, and I really try to do it. But apparently my relationship with it is not quite right. There’s something wrong when I seem to want to break the rules of a platform constantly, and more importantly, I don’t feel right about how much energy I put into it, anyway.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to change the way I use FB, and all social media, for that matter. Something doesn’t feel right about the relationship I’ve developed, and I need to find new ways to interact with everyone in a way that is sustainable, and healthy. You may have noticed I finally decided to make this site Ad Free. I’m hoping to do that on all my sites, soon. I’d like these places to be about the content I make, and not about other garbage.

As time moves on, I will try to reduce my relationship with FB (and all social media) tremendously. My hope is to keep it for music, and even then, largely for communication. I like making art, and keeping in touch with my friends. But the psychic cost of using FB the way I was using it needs to come to an end. I don’t need that in my life. I need to remove myself from the picture, as best I can.

I can share more stories of reasons I got banned. They are all boring stories, and they illustrate how FB is becoming less interesting, and more uniformly gross and arbitrary. I loose large number of friends daily, who no longer post there, and I wonder why I keep doing so, myself.

I’m looking forward to the reclaimed time. But more importantly, I’m looking forward to new ways that we will keep in touch.

I’ve been experimenting with my “reactions” here on FB, hoping to add a little more ooomph to my interactions. Mostly, this has taken the form of using the “Love” reaction more than just the “Like.”

I’m not sure why; it just started to happen, and as it was happening, I was thinking, “yes, a like is not enough for some of these, and I do mean it more emphatically than a simple thumbs up, so…” But I’m not entirely sure what motivated it. I just started feeling like the people I interact with needed more, and that I want to be a source of not just liking cool things, but loving them.

I’m not sure if it’s working, or if it has any impact. But with hindsight, it feels important. Perhaps I just want you all to know that my bitter facade is full of an aching heart who wants to know I’m thinking of you.

Maybe I should just come over and say it in person?

The Mr. Rogers of Driving

Yesterday I got into a car and drove, by myself, for the first time in my life. After years of being scared of driving, I’m now a licensed driver.

I’m not sure the full impact has hit me. I didn’t drive anywhere particularly strange, and I’m not good at it yet. But I can do it, no one honks at me, and I get there eventually. So, that’s the important part, right?

There’s a part of me that wishes I was having some sort of Springsteen-esque epiphany about how my loins and my wanderlust were somehow hopelessly entwined and I needed a hemi in New Jersey to sort that out. But it is hard to muster that feeling when you’re looking for parking and missing your turns constantly.

Errands hardly capture the teenage ego-unleashed-in-four-wheeled-fury! There is certainly more Mr. Roger’s in my driving style than there is Blues Brothers, and while I appreciate the incredible opportunities driving will now afford me, another part of me sees that 99 times out of 100 I’ll be making emergency runs to the store for coffee than I will be exploring my freedom as I search to, “ride eternal, shiny and chrome.”

And this is part of the problem: I’m not a car guy. I never was. My entire relationship with cars is from popular culture, and as I drive I can’t help but feel like Xander in, “The Zeppo,” where, in a desperate search for identity, he posits the notion that, well, maybe he’s a car guy? (Later, of course, he is not really seen driving again in the show.)

Not that I need to be a car guy to drive. But I can already predict the dollar signs in the eyes of any mechanic I visit, as they can tell within moments that I spent my time troubleshooting radio gear and arguing about Slint records rather than learning about car engines.

Nevertheless, I did get a twinge of excitement the moment I decided to add an unscheduled stop to my errands. The idea of being alone, without anyone knowing where I was, to go about my day and to see where I wind up and to be able to just go without any holdups. That does sound a little appealing.

I have spent my whole life as a passenger. Dependent on public transportation for commuting, and walking for everything else. Travel is hard, going out is not exactly easy, and I’m always the one who needs to spend far more time planning the trip because I need to make arrangements. My wife… has been tolerant, for someone who has done all of the driving for almost a decade. I know she is going to be excited to never need to pick me up from a show at 2 AM again as long as we are married.

Just the idea that I don’t have to ever beg for a ride home again is mentally exciting in a way that “autonomy” doesn’t fully capture. What does the future hold? Who can say?

So, I’m trying to be practical, yet positive, about what this really means.

And: I’m ready to drive!

I’m not sure I’m ready for a 12-Hour epic road trip at the end of which we all play a show and party all night.

But I am totally ready to meet up and offer you a ride, this time.

Because I probably owe you, and I really want to see where you’ll take me.

Available now (and in the Merchanbox): Pussification. Mini-Mutations has a track on this compilation of music all inspired by cats. I’m very excited to have a track on a No Part of It release, and this one has a slew of incredible artists on it. (Thanks Arvo Zylo.) Having two tracks come out on two different comps during this tour – where I self released a number of things, as well – has been incredibly rewarding. You can pick up a copy of this comp at tonight’s show!

 

Doing last minute prep for this show tonight. I’m not gonna lie; this tour has been an incredible experience, and it has all been building to this show, on such an excellent day, too! Buddy Runyan is kicking things off, then Mini-MutationsMark Hosler, and a closing set by Monster Planet. This will be THE party to attend tonight, and you will not want to miss this show. I assume I’ll see you there?

https://www.facebook.com/events/375681649627261/

Now we offer the most ubiquitous piece of music merch that every band must have: buttons! Known as both pinbacks or badges depending on your favorite regionalism, these are locally made by Button Arcade. There are five different mutations to choose from, and they look beautiful on the accessory of your choice, and not just grandpa’s jacket. At $2 these are the quintessential way to signal to the world that you have already been mutated.

To complement our show Friday, which was heavy with my interview with Wobbly. We didn’t get time to play selections of his music, strangely. So, this mini-mutation features music from Wobbly’s career, focusing on stuff we mentioned during the interview. And: stay tuned to the very end, for a short sample of his as-yet-unreleased new record, Monitress. Happy Sunday.

Raw Wobbly (#79a)

When the crypt goes creak,
And the tombstones quake.
Spooks come out for a swinging wake.
Happy haunts materialize,
And begin to vocalize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.
Now don’t close your eyes,
And don’t try to hide.
Or a silly spook may sit by your side.
Shrouded in a daft disguise,
They pretend to terrorize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.
As the moon climbs high o’er the dead oak tree,
Spooks arrive for the midnight spree.
Creepy creeps with eerie eyes,
Start to shriek and harmonize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.
When you hear the knell of a requiem bell,
Weird glows gleam where spirits dwell.
Restless bones etherialize,
Rise as spooks of every size.
If you would like to join our jamboree,
There’s a simple rule that’s compulsory. Mortals pay a token fee.
Rest in peace, the haunting’s free.
So hurry back, we would like your company.

“Gerald Roslie posed on September 26, 1968, casually leaning on his Vox Continental electronic organ. He was wearing a Nehru-styled jacket with brocade trim, coordinating brocade slacks, black ankle boots and a scorpion medallion. Billed as the “Gerry Roslie Riot,” in September of 1968 he was appearing nightly and on Saturday nights in the newly remodeled Mod Room in Scotty’s, 29 Tacoma Avenue North. Roslie had been a member of the local rock group, the Sonics, for a number of years in the early ’60s. Although the Sonics played classic songs by Little Richard and Chuck Berry, they were better known for originals “Strychnine,” “Witch,” and “Psycho,” performed at ear-shattering levels. Roslie was the lead singer and keyboardist for several of their biggest hits.”