State of the Blog Address: Summer’s End and New Beginnings

Happy Monday and good morning!

I want to first give credit to the featured image.  The featured image is the album art for

summers end

Featured Image for those on mobile

the band “Summer’s End” self titled debut album.  They’re a metalcore punk band and a link to the full album on youtube can be found here (it’s pretty fucking hardcore so far) Summer’s End (Full Album) and if you like them you can purchase their full album here.

Okay folks, apologies and thank yous are first in order.   First I want to apologise for not being able to write a proper post since I left the UK in June.  I wasn’t able to post because I broke my laptop whilst in England long ago and I didn’t want to buy a new one before coming home because of how annoying it can be to travel internationally, especially coming into America, and I have already moaned about the technical difficulties I had once I got it however this post is not for moaning, so quit it (I yell at myself sometimes, I have to keep me in line).

Thank yous are the second part of this introduction and as they maybe brief that makes them no less heart felt.  First I want to thank all of you who kept checking back and reading my archived posts over the last few months. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even check my stats until yesterday because I was so anxious about how dead it would be but when I finally did check them I was really fucking surprised to have found consistent traffic the last few months and that’s all because of readers like you.  Another giant thank you goes out to my friend Lucian who fixed my computer when I was at “rage quit” level of frustration.

rage quit

I have a laptop but this is pretty accurate. Source

Okay so now on to the main presentation: I’m gonna be pretty much rapid firing from the hip on this post because I have a lot of territory to cover in the next 654 words or so (1).  First I want to say that I really loved my time in the UK and that even thinking about it now, leaving to come come was one of the most difficult decisions I have made in the last few years(2) however now that I’ve been back for a few months and working and generally building a life, I feel as if I have made the correct decision.  The traveling home was much better than the traveling to the UK(3), thankfully, however the transition was much more difficult but a story for another time when I have much less interesting things lined up.

One thing that I’ve found more interesting to think about than juxtaposing my experiences between settling in the UK and settling in the US again was how the face of my consciousness seems to have changed (for the better, mind, or so I believe) with a set of unforseen moments.  The week before leaving the UK, my ex partner contacts me out closureof the blue after almost 2 years of complete silence (the break up left one hell of an emotional hangover(3)) looking to meet up if/when I got back.  This kinda rocked my world because I accepted that this was one of those things in life where you don’t quite get closure so just buck up.  The meeting was interesting.  We got lunch and caught up but ultimately I got what I wanted all along: a little bit of closure (enough anyway).

This loose end tied up coupled with my new found confidence of being an international traveler and having an adult job and a place with no fucking roommates(5) for the first time since my first apartment almost 10 years ago now, I went on a fucking dating tear. I had plans to download and use several dating apps and make a summer article series reviewing said dating apps and I got as far as using about 5 of them for about a month before I met by happenstance someone really special.

I got up early one Saturday morning to try and get to my parents house to fix my computer (needed a working computer handy) but I feel asleep on the train whilst reading and woke up way on the East side and needed to ride back (I live on the south side, my parents live on the west side).  Coming back I switch trains at Forest Park and I am floored by this beautiful woman sitting at the front of the car.  First thing I noticed, even before the numerous facial piercings, was the headscarf she was wearing (a black and grey number) which got me excited because I pretty frequently wear a head scarf as well and works as a good conversation starter.  However I’m not ready for action jack, not at this point.  So I sit across the hall and try to start reading but I’m distracted because out of my peripheral vision I can see the striking woman like staring at me (well I assumed, she was wearing big bug eye sunglasses so I couldn’t really see exactly where she was looking).  And she kept staring.  And kept staring.  After what felt like a few hours of heart pounding mounting social pressure, I got the strength up to turn to talk to her because she’s literally staring at me (I was gonna say something stupid like “Wanna picture? hahaha”) but when I turn and look I realise she’s not quite looking at me.  I look up: the fucking metro train map was above my seat she wasn’t looking at me she was looking at the map.

thought

Story of my actual life.

I couldn’t let this surge of adrenaline go to waste though, I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy.  So I ask her: Where are you going?  She tells me she’s trying to get to the north side which immediately sets off a chain of thoughts (not about the north side of st louis you racist fuck) about how to get her there because we just boarded the blue line going south.  So I tried to explain “well you’re going to take this train for one stop, get off, get on another train going back one stop, then get on another train going west but make sure it’s red this time…” I believe her eyes glazed over before this point but I didn’t notice until that moment which prompted me to say the next thing which changed the trajectory of the entire day: “Know what? I don’t have much going on today, I’ll ride the trains with you until you get on the one going home.”  That was one of the best decisions I’ve made this summer because now its been about a month since I met her and I can’t entirely express how positive of an effect she’s had on my psyche but it’s been a good month so far.

Now that I’ve cleared my plate of personal interests I want to devote the remaining few hundred words to what I have planed for the rest of the year:

  • cannon comics – I’ve been laying plans to introduce a storyline to the adventures of Fin and Louie with a big surprise story arc to end the year so stay tuned. 
  • comic book – I am planning to release an Offbeat On-point Comic Book: Year 1 which will contain all the comics from the previous year, digitally redrawn and pictures of original hand drawn drafts plus previously unreleased comics  
  • interviews – I have some very exciting interviews lined up with a local fire dancer, I am still in talks with Talon from Talon’s tree house (you can check out the preview promo here), and more
  • tenative scheduling – with my new 40+ hr/wk work schedule and specifically being September (birthday month is always a stressful time of year not to mention September is my month for sneezing) I am not able to guarantee a 4 day a week posting schedule at this moment however my goal is to get back to at least 3 days a week (I may drop Rewind Wednesday column in favour of a podcast but I still need to do more research about what music I can play and if I need permissions etc and in fact if you have a podcast or otherwise are an expert on the legality of playing music that I may not own but have access to please write me – see contact page
  • infinite jest – I have finally finished the book for the second time and do feel like I have something intelligible to say about the book and I feel like I have a few perspectives to offer on the book that I have yet to see in my research however because it’s such a widely written about book yet also one which a vast majority of people who start it never finish it, I do realise that writings about the tome sized book is very deep in niche territory but because of these two things I will try to do something different and fun deviating from a normal book review or analysis, no promises on when it will come out but if there is appreciable interest in further writings about Infinite Jest or other DFW books I will continue on   
  • merch – I’m in talks with some suppliers to make coasters, stickers, and t-shirts but beyond that I have no more info
  • contests – I mentioned before (read more here) about doing poetry/flash fiction/fan art contests however I did kinda drop the ball because I mentioned it at a time just before moving home and that is my fault.  Now that I’m back on the grind and much closer to getting some merch, I will start having prizes for contests and monthly give-a-ways. 

In short, thank you so very much my loyal readers for sticking with me through the last few months.  It really means a lot to me for real.

Stay tuned because there’s some good stuff coming down the lines and also don’t forget to check back next Friday 22nd September for the annual birthday comic special! (P.S. If you’re a REALLY big fan, find me on social media and send me birthday wishes on the 23rd of September)

 

See you soon,

Fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. I try to keep my posts 1000 or less words not counting footnotes.
  2. You can read about my decision to not stay in the UK and come back to St Louis here.
  3. Link to my post about leaving America.
  4. Link to a particularly heavy piece I wrote July 2016 on the subject.  I won’t blame you for not reading, it was not one of my strongest pieces.
  5. My view on roommates: convenient at best.
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The Anti-bodies Release New Single, “The Mist” (Punk Rock)

Happy Wednesday!

anti-bodies

Album art is one of my big attractions to punk-rock and this is tops.

A few months ago Izzy from The Anti-bodies facebook added me, and he has a STRIKING resemblance to a friend I had lost contact with ages ago. (1)  So naturally I accepted the invitation immediately and started messaging, so embarrassingly, this Izzy guy things like “MATT FOX! How did you find me?! You fucking legend, where the hell have you been all these years? Last I heard from you, you were in the Amazon collecting rare spiders and planning a trip to Madagascar.” (2)

Dude doesn’t message back for a while.  Like days.  Maybe a week. However, I am not deterred because that would be pretty typical of Matt Fox.  Dude has never been…reliably reachable.  I send more messages about what I’ve been up to for the last 10 years or so (hoboing, traveling, loving and breaking my own heart, getting back into school, studying in England, etc.)  Still no reply.  Few more days pass.

Finally, Izzy is like, “I’m not sure if you’re who I think am…”.  If it wasn’t for Izzy being in a kick-ass punk band, I would very likely have unfriended him out of embarrassment. However we kept talking and I communicated the reasons for my confusion and then I got around to listening to their music and it’s fucking great.

The Anti-bodies describe themselves as follows:

We play punk rock songs about life, love, the undead, beings from outerspace and secret laboratory experiments gone wrong.

-The Anti-bodies bandcamp bio

 

They’re basically everything I love about punk rock: weird/slightly gross cartoon-style album art, songs named after classic horror films, songs themed around cosmic and

existential horrors, and a female lead singer (as I’ve mentioned in one of my articles about my favourite band, The Creepshow “Women singer voices tend to fit better in my ear than men’s, though that is not to say I don’t like male singers, it’s just my preference.”).

 

 

 

 

They just released a new single, “The Mist,” which is excellent and is downloadable for $1 USD.

You can find more of their music at their bandcamp page.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Matt Fox is one of those types who no matter what he is doing with his life, no matter how wild or crazy, would not entirely surprise me.  “New York? In a punk rock band? Never seen you play an instrument but I can buy it.”
  2. “Fin Louie” is a nom de plume and the same one I use for my facebook.  However Matt Fox is one of those wild cards who would find you if he wanted to and he wouldn’t tell you how just insisting it was magic or something.
  3. These are all things Matt Fox has done/did.  Dude was wild.  I have stories about the guy involving things like “The Secret Pie Pact” and “Anarchy Dodge ball”.  He was…something else.  Matt Fox: if you’re reading this, for fuck’s sake get in touch.

The Changing Times Are Asking for a Soundtrack (hobo-blues/anarchy-punk)

Happy Wednesday!

 

“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.”

George Santayana

 

All this saber rattlin’ and climate changin’ crap in the news lately makes me feel like we’re in this weird story where tensions are rising at home with fighting in the streets of Berkeley and abroad with North Korea. The entire time my heart is fucking breaking. 

I want to believe in the American peoples’ ability to make well informed decisions and to have important conversations which frequently include conflicting opinions without resorting to name calling and violence.  My country is breaking my heart, but it’s okay, because it’s my fault for giving my heart to my home.  broken heart quote

This is where punk rock comes in and makes everything okay, even if for a few minutes at a time.     

Lately I’ve been working my way through Pat the Rabbit Schneeweis’s musical career after finding Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains while looking for punk songs featuring harmonica.

So far I’ve listened to the hobo-blues/anarchy-punk album “Love Songs for the Apocalypse” by Johnny Hobo and the Freight trains and “Burn the Earth! Leave it Behind!” by his next band Wingnut Dishwashers Union.  

Johnny Hobo is more punk/ska with harmonica and horns and a rough-around-the-edges voice that is so dirty and beautiful.  Wingnut is more rock and punk with more electric guitar and an accordion I cannot get enough of.  

I plan to move through the rest of his career.  I will likely post more about some of his other work. I’m currently listening to Ramshackle Glory – Die the Nightmare.

Anyway, I’m trying out a new format for music.  I’m making a public playlist on the offbeat onpoint youtube channel.  I may try and make a SoundCloud playlist too, time and availability permitting, but that will be for future posts.

Here’s a link to “The Changing Times Are Asking for a Soundtrack” Playlist.  

And as usual, some of my favourite lyrics from each song.

Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains present:

Love Songs for the Apocalypse

 

New Mexico Song

And in my dreams, I am dirty broke, beautiful, and free

My hands clenched in a fist, and my face in a smile, after hitching too many miles

hitch hiking

We aren’t revolutionaries, but we are the revolution

And sometimes I think that the whole movement is just me and you

And that maybe we’d all be better off if that were true

Because then at least we’d know where we stand

 

Church Hymn for the Condemned

But I’d take the beauty of chaos over ugly perfectionDevilset

I’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed every day since 1987

Nothing scares me as much as the fact that I don’t give a shit for redemption

But that’s OK cause if that’s where Falwell goes

Then I don’t even want any part of heave

 

Acid Song

Well if I found God anywhere, it would be by the tracks

Face down in a box car, forty in both hands

And when I find God there, we’ll just sit and roll some top

Cause he’ll be just as confused as anyone else on this rock

 

I took two tabs of acid yesterday afternoon

And I woke up this morning with a torn pair of shoes

And found I’d ruined my life and everyone else’s too

I guess this is what my teachers warned me drugs would do

Election Song

I can’t believe that bastard

Won this morning

It’s the kind of night for

FUCKING 40’S!!!

nov-2016

My face when Trump was declared the next president of the United States.

 

Today’s the dawn of the draft

And tomorrow we’re shipped off to Iraq

Or else we’re cutting off a toe

Praying that we don’t have to go

 

Harmony Parking Lot Song

This one’s for every drug problem that got stopped in its tracks

By a trip to rehab

I’ll miss railing pills with you in the park

This one’s for every friend who decided not to drop out

And stay at their mom’s house

I’ll miss you on the street corner when it starts to get dark

 

Here’s to our lives being meaningless

And how beautiful it is because freedom doesn’t have a purpose

 

Untitled

Tonight I burn my bookshelf to be free

Because even a rebel tradition is slavery

 

Today a stampede killed Superman

And Apollo and Dionysus both got hanged

Today the revolution laughed and spit in my face

But all-expenses-paid Dada will take its place

 

Wingnut Dishwashers Union Present:

Burn the Earth! Leave it Behind!

 

Proudhon in Manhattan

And tonight, when I dream it will be

That the junkies spent all the drug money onanarchy

Community gardens and collective housing

And the punk kids who moved in the ghetto

Have started meeting their neighbors besides the angry ones

With the yards, that their friends and their dogs have been puking and shitting on

And the anarchists have started

Filling potholes, collecting garbage

To prove we don’t need governments to do these things

 

Fuck Shit Up!

I don’t believe in cops, bosses, or politicians

Some call that anarchism. I call it

Having a fucking heart that beats!

 

I do believe in freedom and never giving up

Call my methods madness or call it a bluff

I do what I got to

To be able to breathe!

And If you quit your job well, you can do a little breathing with me

 

A punk rock song won’t ever change the world

But I can tell you about a couple that changed me

 

Urine Speaks Louder than Words

But will somebody say

Is this resistance or a costume party

Either way I think black with bandanas is a boring theme

masks

I don’t gotta tell you

Crackers are great with amnesia

When they wanna forget something like

Centuries of racism

 

They say look at the man on center stage

And pay no attention

While millions get locked in a cage

Riots break out in Oakland

 

Jesus Does the Dishes

We’re kids building models of a world that we might wanna live in

And sorting feelings in our stomach–is this liberation or starvation?

But have we made it anywhere at all if the dishes are never done?

If we can’t live without dishwashers, how could we live without cops?

And so you’re asking me, who does the dishes after the revolution?

Well, we do our own dishes now, we’ll do our own dishes then

And it’s always the ones who don’t who ask that fucking question

 

Well I don’t believe in God, but I’m also not an Atheist

You know the universe is chaos, but chaos picks favorites

And lately I’ve been thinking about how I love Jesus

Because Jesus was a dirty homeless hippie peace activist

And he said, “Drop out and find God” to anybody who would listen

While turning water into space bags with lowlifes and anarchists

 

My Idea of Fun

I swear i’ll run away from every home I ever have

So i’ll build a new house in every town i pass

Maybe then I won’t always feel lost and trapped

When I was growing up, i was the smartest Kid i knew

Maybe that was just because I didn’t know that many kids

All I know is now I feel the opposite

Like if you don’t want to work, then that becomes your job

There’s a lot of overtime, there’s not many days off

I hope you know that I’m not trying to complain

rab-punk-diet

RAB Radio #37: Turn On- Tune In- Drop Out (Source: Ribbon Around a Bomb)

Come back next week! I’ll be interviewing Dr. Frankenstein, a horror punk band!

The Creepshow On Tour (tour info)

Happy Wednesday!

One of my FAVOURITE bands is playing in St Louis this Sunday at the Fubar (tickets on sale here, seriously cheap, 16-18$).  I would love to see them there, but I know some of you live there and should go out to support them.

I love this band so much.  I’ve written about them previously but I really felt like once just isn’t enough for such a kick-ass band.  In a fit of “fan”-tastic (hahah bad jokes) inspiration, I came up with a possible set list to showcase the excellence you will experience if you do decide to go:

The Opening:

I like this song and music video.  It was a tough pick between this and “See you in Hell for the opening.

I was thinking something like I Am a Creature of the Night followed up by Sinners and Saints would be cool.

The Midshow:

I love this song.  This is one of my all time favourites because of the harmonica solo at 2m10s (seriously gave me chills the first time I heard this song).

Then get the energy back up with Failing Grade and something funny like Zombies Ate her Brains.

 

Closer:

Love this song and it’d be nice to see live but can we take a second and appreciate those BOUNCY curls on Kendra “Twisted” at 56s?! And while we’re at it, can we just take a moment to admire the amount of hair win going on in this video? Those spikes on Kristian “The Reverend”? And how about that sick ‘stache on Sean “Sickboy”? And Sandro “Blood”‘s slick 3/4 comb? SO. MUCH. HAIR. WIN.

Then towards the end of the show, it might be kinda funny to kill the lights like the set’s over and make the crowd wait for a moment…and a moment longer…and maybe one more minute just when it starts to get a little uncomfortable then play the “beep….beep…beeb…”ing of the EKG machine in the intro for See you in Hell and give ’em HELL!  However that’s too high energy to leave them on, there’ll be riots in the streets people will be like “YEA THAT WAS SO GOOD NOW I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY!!!!! RAWWRRR!!!!” and St Louis is already a riot prone city, like that time in 1991 when Axl Rose dove into a crowd of his fans and started throwing punches because a fan was taking pictures of “his” concert. Yea we St Louisians don’t fuck around.

So it’d be cool to wrap it up with a punk rock classic Pet Sematary originally by the Ramones and based on the book by Stephen King, of the same name.

 

I hope you go and see The Creepshow this Sunday in St Louis or anywhere near you.  Here’s a listing of their tour stops:

creep-show-tour-dates

And to my delight, The Creepshow is coming to Leeds 10th August!!! Check for more locations close to you!!