Archive for April, 2010


Prizes all sizes and vacation stays

April 19, 2010

I finally got off my ass and saw Mr. Russia for the first time outside of the many shows we’ve played together.  Watching Mr. Russia on-stage at the Beat Kitchen Saturday made me realize I was looking at more than the band and hearing more than the music.  I saw them all and thought, these are my comrades and this is our battle cry.

I met Mr. Ivan Russia himself at the first show we ever played together at the Tonic Room in January of 2007.  By the time MR’s cover of “Boys Keep Swinging” filled the room, I knew that this band had something extra up their sleeve beyond their bass/drums/vocals set-up would initially expose.  I didn’t get the chance to talk with Ivan that night, but I remembered his swagger and jacket (hahaha, it’s true though.  It was a sweet jacket).  I then started seeing this guy everywhere I would go.  The Man Man show, seeing their name in print, and ending up at the Double Door together; Ivan and Mr. Russia were all over the place.  Those damn red MR stickers are still everywhere!  I finally got a chance to talk to Ivan that night at the Double Door and we’ve been ‘comrades’ ever since.  He hooked Camera up with a place to practice when we were in an ultimate bind (and we’re still there.  Carrol St. hooligans unite!), allowed us the opportunity to cover Radiohead’s Idioteque, and always has dependable advice, both on and off the court.

So, needless to say, my critical feelers were on full alert getting to go and watch Mr. Russia in full concentration for the first time.  I’ve loved MR’s output of recorded material, but the live show is usually where my concentration goes while processing a band in full.  The second they started playing a smile came across my face: Of course I loved Mr. Russia!  I had known that all along, but actually getting to take in their performance without having to worry about my own was focusing.  The set opened big and the show stayed loud and large until the band broke things down to a whisper with the title track off of their EP Training for the Gameshow Host.  This was my absolute favorite moment of the night, the week, and month.  Ivan’s talent’s and natural showmanship came into full view, the band steamily slunk back and the Mr. Russia show suddenly became an event, a happening, and the only place to be on earth at that moment.


“I am the negotiator…”

April 16, 2010

Always with the Wild Beasts.  The album Two Dancers is the only thing in the world that consistently makes sense to me.  All in all, I’ve had a pretty rough go of it in the past two or so weeks.

Things that must pass did, and while I sat as an involved outsider in the events surrounding my own life, I couldn’t help but become interested in them.  So it goes… The rubbish around me spilled forth into my knowing like the belongings of a young person tightly stuffed into a closet covering up a messy room. The past days have seen shock and grandeur, moments of anxiety, and the most intense emotional negotiations one could imagine.  I am more aware of the wisdom in my choices, though it certainly wasn’t any kind of fate that guided my hand in making them.  Making the right decisions in life is a mixture of providence, research, and luck.  I am well aware of that and I certainly bow to all three.  I make the right choices because they are the right choices to make.  Every emotion is a governing factor and paying credence to all of them at once is the hard part.  Some are to be taken more seriously than others, those being the positive emotions.  They are the ones that are really going to help.  In the end, the worst decisions are going to be made out of leaning too heavily on pessimism.  This is how I am able to walk through the fire without getting burnt, though it doesn’t mean that it’s every comfortable.

While I can handle things in my own way, a talent for explanation doesn’t mean that its simple.   The things in my life that went awry had very little to do with me, yet I was thrust into the middle.  Not that I fought it much.  Once in the center, I had clean my way out.  I couldn’t leave the mess as I had found it, mine or not.   One clear path alone wouldn’t do it either; I had to decontaminate as much of it as I was allowed.  There are some things that couldn’t be put away though.  Never again will they be the same nor is there a normal for them to go back to.  Maybe that’s the shame of it.  Growing older seems like life should focus on building, not destroying.  At least I’m still young enough not to know for sure.

Veering towards guarded optimism, the events that sunk few elevated many.  While an invisible loss will always be felt, it is the gain of trust and respect for those who are truly golden that remains my focus.  Those who were great have become majestic.  Those who were dubious have disappeared.  Happenstance played no part in their positioning.  It was the fruit of their choices and I am ever respectful of that, however optimistic or pessimistic their process was.

Things that had to pass did and I feel like an exhausted version of tidy.  Maybe exhausted is the wrong term.  There is a sense of exorcism permeating my world.  I didn’t know I needed to purge, but apparently I did and I feel better for it.

This is an elongated process of therapy and I will take every little morsel of thought and try to make it solid in hopes I can get to an instance before it again becomes a situation.