Category Archives: rock and motherfucking roll

Ramble On, or "Awkward As Can Possibly Be – That’s Me!"

The clicking underneath the opening of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” sets my mind reeling into Flashback Alley.

I remember the first time I had the record, Houses Of The Holy, in my hands. Twelve inches of a new world for me to explore. The eerie cover art, with a naked prepubescent girl standing on some rocks that are jutting out of somewhere I’d never seen or been to before – it reminded me of those old books about Irish folklore and Faeries my little sister and I had as kids, the paintings and illustrations inside becoming Nightmare Fuel for the long-off-in-the-distance hallucinations of my Drug Years.

I was probably fourteen years old or so. Music was just beginning to grab me by the balls, right around the same time hormones started to play with my mind and cause me to notice girls and their breasts and the way that they smell when you lean in real close to them. Girls and Rock And Motherfucking Roll, a conflagration inside of my belly.

Never-ending fire, with no need to stoke it.

I had just started experimenting with drugs around this time as well – nothing too heavy yet, just smoking marijuana pilfered from an older brother of a friend. He would sneak enough for us to roll a joint out of his brother’s sack, and we’d get high before baseball practice.

Those were always the days where I felt like I could hit a ball seven hundred feet. The spinning of the ball as it was released during batting practice slowed to a crawl, being able to read the laces and see the ball connect with the aluminum bat in my hands, watching it rocket off of it as I pulled the orb into the stratosphere that was left field.

Endless Summer.

I was about to start High School then. I wasn’t necessarily a popular kid in Middle School – I was far too awkward for that. As smart as I was, I was very shy and gangly. I had just lost a bunch of weight during the winter due to a terrible bout with pneumonia. I had my Bar Mitzvah late – I mostly did it out of respect and love for my mother and her family – being Jewish was something I understood and had already come to terms with, but wasn’t necessarily high on my list of identifying characteristics. Maybe if we had stayed in Brooklyn I would have thought differently, but being Jewish in Phoenix was just a target on my back, especially in regard to the awkwardness and grief I caught from all of my classmates – it was as if I were some kind of alien dropped into their world.

But, being Jewish was how my mother and her family identified, and I wasn’t about to upset them in any way. My mother asked me if it was something I wanted to do, and I saw in her eyes in that moment that she was subliminally suggesting that it was something that I should do, so I agreed.

I went through all of the training necessary to learn enough Hebrew to pull off a Bar Mitzvah in less than six months’ time, memorizing and practicing all of the singing from a cassette tape made for me by our Temple’s cantor every morning before school, when my mother said my mind was “fresh.” I would stand in my bedroom, slowly pulling clothes onto my weary and hormone-infused body, singing along with these tapes. My sister, who always identified with my father’s Catholicism, would walk past my bedroom door, shaking her head and making faces at me because of the terrible nature of my singing voice.

There was something magical about hormones and a foreign language coupled with the rapid succession of time and a need to complete a task.

ANYWAYS…

Around the week before my Bar Mitzvah, I became really ill, coming down with a terrible bout with the aforementioned pneumonia. My lungs were full of fluid and phlegm, my body ached and was hot to the touch. Thankfully, every single older Jewish woman from my mother’s family had made the pilgrimage to Phoenix to witness my “coming of age,” so I had plenty of matronly love being spent in my direction – each one of them having some magical cure-all to take away my illness.

My mother’s grandmother was the eldest in the posse, so I latched on to her advice, being the smart and very attuned to the nuance of respecting one’s elders type of cat that I already was. Her methods were simple and old school – flush it all out with lots of hot tea with lemon and honey, and eat as much grapefruit as humanly possible.

We burned that poison out of my body.

Not only did I remove the poisonous pneumonia from my body, but I somehow managed to slim myself down a bit – which was good, because even though I was constantly active – playing basketball daily, baseball year round, and riding a skateboard everywhere I wanted to go – I was just a lump of a kid. As lumpy as could be. Not portly, but just this husky mess of a boy.

Being Jewish got me my first date, too.

My mother had started sending me off to these Youth Group dances and stuff like that. I was always awkward and self-conscious around people I didn’t know, but my mother would tell me over and over again – “Seany, just act like you’ve been there before – that’s how you learn – stop being afraid already.” The Temple we belonged to was a new one, so it really didn’t have a Youth Group as of yet, but my mother was able to find out where she could send me to get acclimated to being around other kids that were supposed to be like me.

I was sent to a dance at a Temple in Scottsdale, full of kids from all over Phoenix. I would go to the dances at my school, but they were always an exercise in me improving my avoidance skill set, as opposed to me actually being brave and asking girls to dance. Dancing has never been anything I was drawn to – it’s just not in my box of tools. I have plenty of rhythm, and I can sit behind a drum kit and break out the funk to let loose an entire room of jump-stepping, but dancing? Not gonna happen, my friends.

Sadly, this has continued into my Adult Life – I never dance. I danced with The Wife at our wedding for one song(Nick Drake‘s “Northern Sky“), and then once more at another wedding we attended, when she forced me to do it by putting the juju on me and telling me it was “bad luck” for the newlyweds if I didn’t comply.

ANYWAYS…

I only knew a few of the kids at this dance, from my own Temple’s incredibly archaic and terrible Sunday School classes that I had been expelled from for being out of line and telling the instructor that she was an asshole for telling me my Iron Maiden shirt was inappropriate to wear to a Temple. I milled around near the walls, like any scene out of a teen movie from the 80s – just skittering and sputtering my way through the motions of being there. The music they were playing was horrible and not like any of the Rock And Motherfucking Roll I was used to pumping into my system of my own accord. No Thin Lizzy. No Iron Maiden. No Kiss. No Aerosmith. No Sex Pistols or The Damned, for sure.

I found a side door after a while, and I snuck outside to smoke a cigarette.

I was standing over by a column next to some bushes, cupping my smoke in my hand near my side when a girl came over to me to see what I was up to.

“Are you smoking?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh my God, can I have a drag?”

“Sure.”

I watched her as she took the cigarette and put it to her lips. The way she dragged on it told me she wasn’t really a smoker, and her black nail polish told me she wasn’t like the rest of the girls inside. Her dress was nice. She had pretty hair – black, with a little wave to it that hung over half of her face. Her eyes were blue, and she smelled like flowers.

“I’m Hailey. You should come inside and dance with me.”

“I’m Sean. I – ummm – I don’t really dance, Hailey.”

“Will you dance with me if I get them to play a good slow song?”

“Sure. But only if you get them to play a Led Zeppelin song. I bet they don’t even have any. That’s all I really listen to.”

She took my hand at that point. No girl had ever held my hand before. I was trying so hard to look and be cool. I didn’t want her to know that I was terrified. I mean – how the fuck was I supposed to react to some girl who just randomly came outside, caught me smoking at a Jewish Youth Group dance, and is now holding my retarded hand? And now this beautiful girl, Hailey, is dragging me back inside of the big room where the dance is going on. The kids that I know are all looking over at me. One kid, Don, nods at me like he’s giving me his approval in some way.

Hailey and I are standing in front of the disc jockey now. She’s asking him, over the din of some terrible J. Geils Band jam, if he has any Led Zeppelin. The disc jockey keeps on cupping his ear to hear her voice, so she reaches over and grabs him by his skinny tie and pulls him in close and shouts into his ear –

“You need to play ‘Stairway To Heaven’ so I can dance with this boy!”

The disc jockey looks over at me, smirking. Motherfucker.

I cannot hear what happens between them next, because he puts on “My Sharona,” and the sea of awkward Jewish teens is churning to the sound of The Knack like the world is about to end, the room a whirling dervish of hormones and lunacy. I want to disappear underneath his table, to crawl under the banner that says DISC JOCKEY ENTERTAINMENT and hide there until everyone else has been picked up by their parents. I could do it – I could totally hide there for hours and hours without anyone knowing I was there.

“Okay kids, we’re going to slow it down a bit now. This next one is a special request – from Hailey to Sean. You kids behave now.”

Fuck.

Hailey is dragging me out into the middle of the area where all the kids are dancing. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing. She takes my hands and places them where she wants them – one on the small of her back, and she gingerly raises up her ass so that my hand is resting right at the top of it, while she takes my other hand and wraps it around her and into the back of her neck. She squeezes her way into me, even though she is roughly the same height as I am, and puts her head into the crook of my neck where it meets with my shoulder. I can smell how clean her hair is. I can feel her body through my own, every nerve ending inside of me on fire.

It feels as though the song lasts for hours. Just the two of us, slowly swaying there in space, our bodies communicating with one another as if nobody else in the world were alive but us.

Hailey chooses this very moment to softly put her lips on the side of my neck, kissing me gently and kindly. I have no idea if she can feel how much I am shaking. I know I am shaking. Violently. But she takes my face in her hand and turns me to face her, opening her mouth slightly as if to say something, but then kisses me full-on.

Thanks, Mom.

After the dance has ended, all of the kids are milling about the parking lot, saying their good-byes and see-you-laters to one another as they search out parental units amongst the fleet of cars. Hailey is dragging me through the lot, hands stuck together like Siamese Twins. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see my mother standing next to her car, watching me cut my way through the masses of kids, being dragged by a beautiful girl. She’s smirking at me.

Hailey introduces me to her mother in a blur. I am polite – my mother trained me well. I don’t really know how to make small-talk at this point in my life – I’m only fourteen years old and have just had my first real kiss, so my mind is all aflutter and in a different world altogether. Hailey’s mother looks just like her, only older.

My own mother has made her way over to Hailey’s mother, and the two of them are doing the introducing one’s self game that mothers must do when their children become intertwined. Hailey is taking to me, but none of it sounds like English, all I can do is stare at her mouth as she forms words that slip and slide in front of me. She’s still holding onto my hand, even in front of our mothers.

Hailey kisses me on the cheek as our mothers say good-bye to one another, some plan set in motion for us to spend some time together in the future, but I’m in no way understanding any of these dynamics. She shoves a piece of paper into my shirt pocket and gets into the car with her mother – not once unlocking her eyes from staring at me.

“Were you smoking, Sean? I asked you not to let any of these people see you smoking. I don’t want people to think you’re a hooligan.”

I smoke with my mother in the car on the ride home, as she asks me how I met such a nice and beautiful girl. I’m just watching the inside of the car filling with smoke, the way the street lights work their way through the little clouds, illuminating them and the spaces around them.

“She came outside and caught me smoking, actually. I had never seen or met her before.”

The next weekend, Hailey and I went to the movies. Her Uncle was our chaperone. She and I spent a little bit of time on the phone during the preceding week, but I wasn’t very good at talking to girls yet, so I didn’t have much to say to her. I just listened as she talked about school, her friends, her little brother – but I didn‘t retain much of it. All I could think about was the way her body felt next to mine, the way her hair smelled, the softness of her lips on my neck – I was smitten, but had no idea how to talk about any of it.

Her Uncle was in his mid-twenties. We met up at the mall near her house across town. I was an idiot, so I was wearing black parachute pants and some bizarre shirt that looks like a knock-off version of the jacket MJ rocked in the “Thriller“ video. She still had on black nail polish. Her Uncle was wearing a Ramones-like leather jacket, had a face full of stubble, and was holding a paper cup of coffee. Hailey greeted me with a warm hug and quick kiss, which her Uncle immediately made a face about. He asked me if my parents were cool with us seeing an R-rated movie, and I laughed and told him it was no big deal.

He went and purchased us tickets to see “The Breakfast Club,” while Hailey and I sat on a bench in front of the theaters, her hand already fused into the palm of my own.

When her Uncle turned around to walk back over to where we were sitting, I noticed he was wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt.

“Hailey tells me you love rock and roll?”

“Yeah. I kinda want to be a guitar player. I love Led Zeppelin and stuff like that. It’s all I really listen to. Well, and I like some punk, but most of my friends think that stuff is too noisy and loud.”

He gives me an odd look, and then chuckles something to himself about the way I am dressed – something about “nice pants, loser.” Hailey is asking him if he needs to sit near us in the movie, if her mother gave him instruction to keep us separated. Again he starts to laugh.

“I’m supposed to sit right next to the two of you. That’s what a chaperone does. Maybe if you two little lovebirds didn’t make it so obvious to your mothers that your hormones were insane, I wouldn’t have to be here at all. They don’t trust the two of you alone. I’m blaming Mr. Rock and Roll here for that one.”

I’m not too sure what he means by that, so I just play along and laugh with the two of them. Shit man, this is my first date, and already someone is making fun of me? If I was terrified at the dance, that feeling is nothing compared to how stupid and weird I feel right now.

In the theater, her Uncle decides to sit on my right, while Hailey is sitting on my left – Monkey in the Middle. As the previews are starting, Hailey leans into me and kisses me on the mouth. Her Uncle reaches down with his left hand and grabs hold of my right knee with enough force to pop it loose from its mooring to the rest of my leg, muttering into my ear with violence in his voice – “None of that shit today, Mr. Rock and Roll – you understand me?”

I suffer through most of the movie with an aching and throbbing hard-on that I try and cover up with Hailey’s jacket. She has her hand on my left leg, and has been whispering into my ear throughout much of the movie. None of what she says makes as much of an impression as the process of her whispering does – each rush of air into my ear causing more pain in my lap, more desire to kiss her. Her Uncle, who I now realize is as stoned as can be, has eaten not only his popcorn, but also mine. He is now drinking my soda, and every now and then he grabs my knee to reinforce the edict he had previously laid down for me about “that shit.”

After the move ends, we wander around the mall for a bit, Hailey’s Uncle keeping a distance of a good ten paces behind us, watching our every move. He keeps on making these sounds whenever we sink into one another while we walk, sounds that remind me of the promise of violence, the way he crushed my knee and my libido in one simple motion.

Outside of the mall now, my mother has come to pick me up. Hailey and I embrace, and defiantly, we kiss good-bye. I felt a little bit more empowered with my mother being in the vicinity – as if her Uncle couldn’t lay a finger on me in front of her. Hailey feels warm and sweet. I ask her if I can see her again, and she lights up and smiles, nodding her head quickly, and then giving me another kiss to ram the agreement home.

I tried to call her a couple of days later, only to have her Uncle answer the phone. I asked him if I could speak to her, and he immediately started laughing into the phone in a very sinister and terrible way.

“She’s not allowed to talk to you, Mr. Rock and Roll. I told her mother how grabby and kissy you were. She doesn’t want her daughter hanging around with some doper who just wants to get his rocks off. Go buy a guitar and get your rocks off on your own, punk.”

I never saw her again.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under dumbassery, i used to be stupid, jealous insecurities, rock and motherfucking roll, who is sean?

Touch Me, I’m Sick.

I’ve been far under the weather for the better part of a week now, and it is quite tiresome. This is some nasty flu-ish bug. Not only do my sinuses feel like there are rabid weasels trying to eat their way out of my skull, but I am constantly fatigued – I slept off and on for over 18 hours yesterday.

Hell, I even took the day off of work on Thursday, thinking a day of nothing but sleep would do me some good. But this motherfucker is still lingering.


I’ve been loading up on Emergen-C three times a day, and I have drank my weight in NyQuil the last few nights(which always lends to bad-ass dreams of an almost opiate-like nature). My right ear, as it is wont to do when I am ill, is completely out of commission – everything sounds like it is underwater, and I have no balance due to my lack of an equilibrium.


All of this, while the talking heads on the news are talking about Snowmageddon hitting NYC tonight. AWESOME.

ANYWAYS…

As someone who loves Chuck Palahniuk’s early works(specifically his initial run of stories – Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke, & Survivor), I hate to say it, but I was totally let down by the movie version of Choke. Even after reading interviews with Palahniuk where he says he dug the film, I still feel a little cheated. I know, I am an asshole.


Maybe this is a bigger issue with me than I want to believe.

I get this way about a lot of shit. Like – what the fuck happened to Chris Cornell? Motherfucker used to have the best pipes in rock and motherfucking roll. Soundgarden was a beast of a band, with even that last lumbering effort, Down On The Upside having a lasting impression on my musical mind. The riffs. The melodies. It was still a damn fine album – no motherfucking Badmotorfinger, but really, what could ever top that?

And then Cornell goes on to front the remnants of Rage Against The Machine, under the poorly chosen moniker of Audioslave? Goddamn. Someone shoot me in the dick already. Audioslave was some terrible shit, man. It was like listening to two cats fucking outside a window(this coming from someone who has a HUGE soft spot for not only cats, but also both of the bands fused together to make Audioslave).


And then, after the Audioslave debacle is finally buried when RATM gets back together to play some shows during our election season(as if they wouldn’t!), Cornell goes out and does the unfuckingthinkable, and records a song for a fucking James Bond film? That’s akin to telling all of your former fans that you’ve cut your sac open and fed what was left of your testicles to a neighbor’s dementia-suffering grandmother. Let’s see…Bond film songs…Tina Turner. Duran Duran. Shirley Bassey. a-Ha. Paul McCartney & Wings. Sheena “My Vaginal Walls Are Coated In Glucose” Easton. Madonna.

Chris Cornell – lounge singer. And then he records an album with…

…wait for it…

Timbaland.

This is the same Chris Cornell who would fucking storm stages across the globe, screeching his heart out about how we all need to “Face Pollution”, or how he was “gonna break out of my rusty cage and run”. I am sure that Kim Thayil, Soundgarden’s irrevocably amazing guitar slinger(and the guy who once said – “I love dropped D tuning because it makes my guitar sound like dragon’s breath”) is sitting in his basement, polishing bullets with Cornell’s likeness engraved in the tips. No Soundgarden reunion, but you’ll record an album with motherfucking Timbaland?


FUCKING HELL, MAN.

Back to how this ties in somehow to me not digging Choke as a film…

It just didn’t have the right greasy feel to it. And by greasy, I mean lewd. Sure – Sam Rockwell wasn’t necessarily a bad choice to play a sex-addicted social miscreant who may or may not have been a product of the Vatican getting involved with infertility treatment. And Anjelica Huston was fantastic as his institutionalized nutcase of a mother. Actually – I had no real issues with the casting at all. Nor did I have any issues with the performances.


I guess I am just a dick. I just did not feel the movie the way I had hoped to. And this happens a lot – because we all end up developing these deeply personal relationships with characters and ideas set before us in “art” – you know? I went into viewing the film with the hope that it would be as entertaining as the book, which is something I always warn others about. And in this case, I was an idiot who let my guard down and hoped for a much more fleshed out version of my own inner version of Choke.


Lesson re-learned.

This still does not let you off the hook, Chris Cornell.

2 Comments

Filed under dumbassery, rock and motherfucking roll, sean likes to curse and use italics

Spiral Out

This is a reposting of something I first wrote on 05.13.06.

Some friends and I have started up a new music site – What Gets Heard? – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. Basically, the site is all about the power music has to change us. To impact us. To enlighten us. We’d love for people to write guest posts about records that changed their lives. Because that’s really what the site is all about – sharing with people the glory of the music we hear buried deep in our heads/hearts. The records that changed our perception of what music is/was/could be. The records that inspired us to unleash whatever we hold inside of us. The records that kill us, even after not hearing them for ten years. If you’re interested, just drop me an e-mail…

There are sometimes these flashing and brilliant moments in my life where all kinds of elements come together and blow the doors off of my mind. When these moments happen I am more than likely going to be moved not only emotionally – but also psychologically and spiritually. I try very hard not to question them, and just flow along with whatever knowledge or insight can be gained, because I have learned that questioning the why is not always appropriate.

Sometimes you just have to roll with whatever comes your way.

These moments almost always have something to do with some kind of artistic endeavor of some sort. Seeing a movie, devouring a book, or even a viewing a painting can open the door just enough to let the light in. But more often than not, it’s music that flips the latch and the door swings wide and true. I’m of the opinion that music is the preternatural grease for my squeaky wheel, and without it I’d surely be locked away in the bughouse(some of you may feel as though I already should be, but that’s neither here nor there) Music is the mile marker, the accelerant, the trigger, and the cure. Music makes everything just go

Show me someone who doesn’t have an internal soundtrack that plays right alongside their collected memories, and I’ll probably shit twice and die right on the spot. It’s beyond my realm of understanding to think that music doesn’t play a monumental role in everyone’s lives. All of my own memories have songs that are synched up with the movie in my head. Each and every moment of my life has a song for it; some sad, some beautiful, some inspiring(no, not “Gonna Fly Now” or “Chariots Of Fire” – don’t be retarded), and some downright perfect. Most of the people in my life have their own theme songs that I associate with them, and those songs cue up when I think about them, or the moment they come into my view(it’s actually quite entertaining to live inside my mind sometimes). Certain situations and feelings that come over me have their own distinct soundtrack as well. I’m not sure(and I don’t really care) if this happens to anyone else. I know this happens to me, and I am okay with the fact that I might be the only person on the planet who is this mentally ill. I’d also be okay with it if everyone had these same things happen inside their own heads as well. I’m not such a scumbag that I’d want to keep all of this good shit to myself, or I wouldn’t be writing about it, now would I?

Like I said – pretty much everything has it’s own song attached to it.

Okay, I sort of covered the music angle for now(it’ll all make more sense as I continue to ramble – I hope).

Now, when I say that sometimes things just click and shift into place, I’m saying that there are times when everything is flowing properly. All distractions fade away, and the din that all of the rigamarole and day-to-day bullshit creates goes hush. These are those magical moments when you can look up at the sky in the deep inky night, and understand your time and place. When everything that is weighing you down goes as silent as it possibly can, and the only thing you can do is see and know the beauty and the simplicity of everything around you – from the sweet and musty smells of Autumn to the shimmer of any given body of water under the light of the moon and stars. Everything you take for granted on any other given day or any other passing moment, becomes mystifyingly beautiful.

I’m talking about a momentary glancing blow of innocence. But – that momentary innocence has some kind of gnosis attached to it, because you wouldn’t be able to see the beauty without being able to understand or recognize the beauty. How do you know that the way the light hits the water is attractive to you? When did you decide that laying in the grass and reading a book on a cool Autumn day was something you enjoy? I don’t know if we even make these decisions. Part of me thinks these are things that are just programmed into our subconscious mind, and we recognize them as pleasing before we even realize we’re in the midst of enjoying them. Mind you, I’m also the same guy who had a three hour debate with someone because I do not believe we’ve actually been to the moon, so I might be a little off. Regardless, this is my site, so I can write about my own stance on things. If I say this is how I feel, then this is how I feel, you know? I can tell you that from my experiences in this little life of mine, I have come to these conclusions.

Can you just imagine how ridiculous I’d be if I had taken hallucinogens?

Another thing about music, and it’s power over us meatsicles:

Music always manages to move something. If you take the time to look through our collective history, music has been a catalyst for many different things throughout our time as a dominant species. And it’s not just about the combination of notes that might invoke a pleasing reaction from within – there’s some metaphysical magic at play as well. Rhythm, cadence, tempo, and tone have been used in rituals as far back as our bloodlines can reach. Music is always present in a church, because music helps people to relax, and ultimately feel comfortable, and it’s pretty evident that once we’re comfortable, we’re easier to deal with. In my opinion, a Catholic mass in Latin could probably move just about anyone if they went into it with an open mind, as could being a part of a service on Yom Kippur. Those are just religion-based examples. We used to chant over our dying loved ones, before we had the blips and bleeps of modern medicine to take away that warmth. Mantras are timed to coincide with a heartbeat, and the tone that is used while chanting(not to mention the ringing of the bells) is used to help align our conscious mind with certain sections of our subconscious mind – to relax. Every mother, irrespective of race, creed, or religious background, will sing to their children. Even when they cannot carry a tune.

We have always used music as a Tool.

Obviously, a truly powerful song recently unlocked itself to me, and in turn unlocked a door in my mind. The funny part is, the song in question had always been a song that I loved, even before it truly revealed itself to me. Now that it has, the fucker is stuck in my brain, and it’s setting down roots. Big, Sequoia-type roots. The song in question moves me in so many different ways(the changing and haunting melodies, the shifting time signatures, the chord progressions, the lyrical content, the bombast – and the utter fucking humility) that I find it impossible to dissect what it has done for to me. I’m actually at a loss for words. I’ve been sitting here, with every intention of just writing about this one song, and instead all of this other stuff is rushing right out of my head and into this document file, which will end up on this server. All of my thoughts seem like they are swirling around above my head, giggling and taunting me…”You see? It’s not so fucking easy to be the guy who thinks he can just kick some science on one singular song, is it, Mr. Writer Guy?

I hate it when my own mind taunts me.

The song feels like my life. Everyone knows that I am not like other people, and that I look at my entire life like it’s some spiritual/metaphysical journey. Not everyone knows how far I’ve gone to ensure that it is exactly that. I’ve studied things that other people wouldn’t even be able to define. I’ve purposely put myself into situations that have tested all of my boundaries – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. I have been relentless for over a decade now, in my quest for finding an acceptable level of understanding. It has always been this way, but it really became an earnest quest when my mother passed away in ’96. I opened myself up wide and deep, and made myself available to all that may come. Any bit of knowledge and wisdom I could find – I devoured and tried to assimilate into myself. I accepted the fact that I was a spiritual infant, and that everything I felt as if I had known was false. I granted myself clemency for my past misdeeds and misfortune, and I tried very diligently to forgive myself for all of it. I try to take every moment and every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Each day is a gift, and every second of every hour is precious and viable. People talk about being “born again” all the time, even though it’s usually in reference to someone becoming an Evangelical Sheeple. This song makes me feel that way, and that is precisely why I am probably coming off as if I am preaching about something. I’m just excited that I have been lucky and blessed enough to have something like this happen to me. An Auditory Epiphany, if you will.

This song takes me from birth, all the way to the end. This song is almost a complete encapsulation of my spiritual journey. This song freaks me the fuck on out, each and every time I listen to it. This song has so many metaphysical messages within it, that there are tiny parts of my mind that feel as though there are hidden secret triggers that are being tripped – as if the gentlemen who created it knew what the fuck they were doing. The movie that rolls along in my head when I listen to this song is peaceful, beautiful, and filled with a cool blue light(I sometimes see sound as colors – I’m sure I am not the only one who does this). This song feels like it is a gift, made just for me.

And that, is a beautiful feeling.

The payoff:

Leave a comment

Filed under nuggets of infinite wisdom, recycled posts from literati messiah, rock and motherfucking roll, who is sean?

"Nihilism Is Best Done By Professionals."

Trade Secrets:

Personally, I think I do my best writing either very late at night, or way too early in the morning. There’s something magical about the small hours – like my mind connects the dots in a much more cohesive way, blocking out all the other shit that seems to never stop getting caught in the spokes. The nutty spiritualist in me attributes this to the fact that 85% of the world is sleeping, freeing up my subconscious mind from the cluttering and clamoring of everyone else’s thoughts.

Music is a very helpful tool for me to get shit done. If I am working on something heavily emotional, like a piece about my past/family/horrorshow childhood – something cinematic and atmospheric like Mogwai*, Grails, or even Followed By Ghosts(these amazingly talented kids from the middle of Iowa – you might want to check them out if you’re into this kind of music) works really well. The lack of lyrical content helps me to focus, and to get the movie rolling in my head, which is ultimately what writing is about for me – releasing the movies stuck in my head.

*A quite lengthy live video of Mogwai, performing Christmas Steps – which turns into a monster @ roughly 3:49 in. This is what it sounds like inside my head, FYI.

ANYWAYS…

Earlier this week, we lost a music pioneer.

Ron Asheton of The Stooges was found dead in his home of an apparent heart attack – he was 60 years old.

Let me go ahead and break this down for y’all, Rock and Motherfucking Roll History 101 style – nobody ever put it down like The Stooges did. Ron Asheton did more with three primal chords and a fat-back beat than anyone in rock and roll ever had. The Stooges in their prime? Shit, son. They were an unstoppable force. Raw, visceral, full of furious bludgeoning beauty. The were, in my humblest of humble opinions, The Heavyweight Champions. People ask me all the time – “Sean, what album can you NOT live without? Like, if you had only one record to listen to for the rest of your life, what would that fucker be?”

I never hesitate at all. Fun House. Hands fucking down.

The proof is in the pudding:

I don’t think I have ever made a mixtape for anyone(unless it was a girl I was trying to woo) that did not start off with TV Eye. This song completely destroys all comers. Iggy’s blood-curdling opening scream. Ron’s fucking snaking and twisting riffing. Thunderous drums. Plodding bass lines, pushing air. Proto-punk in it’s infancy.

You see, you wouldn’t even have punk without The Stooges or Ron Asheton. I’m not trying to blaspheme on the MC5, neither – they are just as, if not even more important on the political tip. Both bands brought the fucking ruckus, stirring up the pot later rekindled by the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Ramones, The Clash, etc.

I’ll never forget the emotional/chemical reaction Ron’s guitar playing created in me. Irrespective of anything else, it allowed the movie in my head to roll in a magically free-form and careless manner. Ron’s playing inspired me to let a little more of the animal out whenever I picked up my guitar. He will be missed.

Don’t let me be the only one to preach to y’all about how amazing Ron was – his friends are speaking up, too:

Iggy Pop.

Mike Watt.

Go out and buy Fun House. Set your headphones to stun, and let it take you over. As if you even have a choice…

Rest In Peace, Ron. Thanks for The Riffage.

Leave a comment

Filed under nuggets of infinite wisdom, rock and motherfucking roll, who is sean?

Let My People Go.

Dear Unbutu,

The Wife and I had a great time down on the Carolina Shore – our good good friends Jamie & Demian got hitched, and we made some new friends while we were there. The Wife did a fucking amazing job of making the already stunningly beautiful Miss Jamie even more stunningly beautiful, and Demian looked as handsome as can be in his seersucker suit. The weekend was flat-out gorgeous, and I am still in a sloppy sugar coma from all of that Southern Hospitality. I mean, c’mon – just look at the view we had:

There was a gang of tomfoolery going on over the course of the weekend, which of course tickled me to no end. I’m pretty damn sure that everyone I met had a sense of humor, since nobody hauled off and punched me in the chops for the shit that rolled off my tongue (and those of us in the know, well, we all know how easily that can happen!). It’s always a precarious situation for me, being in a social setting with people I have no clue about – it can be hit or miss as far as how I will behave and/or misbehave. The Wife seemed to be pretty proud of me, even commenting at one point – “You’re getting along with other boys!”

A young fella who goes by the name of Tad, made the mistake of making a passing comment about his former love affair with Jam Bands, which allowed me the freedom to unleash my relentless torrent of streaming hatred for the genre and it’s fans. He was a good sport, since every fucking time he opened his mouth I made him pay dearly by referencing his love for The Colonel. I think I might keep him as a friend, even though he lives in North Carolina, and kept on threatening to get me something called a “leather beard”. He didn’t even call out to warn me that I almost ran over a cop with his car, and I have a revoked license – which is a great way to start off a new friendship.

I met another fine gentleman, who refers to himself in semi-third person as Mike Kelly – which I found eerily similar to me referring to myself in the semi-Messianic third person as Fat Jesus. This cat is wicked smaht, and has a habit of dressing like a French Sailor because he felt like it was appropriate to do so, since he was already at the beach. Mr. Kelly and I seem to have quite a bit in common, which was a nice and welcome surprise – especially since I had no idea there were other people on the planet who take as much joy as I do in fucking with mouthbreathers. There was an incident where some oddball had me cornered, talking my motherfucking head off at one of the three hundred and nine pre-wedding parties of doom, and he commented about Mike Kelly looking a little bit like Buddy Holly. I couldn’t help myself, and set the rest of the evening’s lunacy in motion with one sentence:

You should go tell him that.

The rest of the festivites were a blur of Aquarium Rescue Unit/Phish/Jerry Garcia/Dirty Hippie jokes, coupled with Mike Kelly shaking his fist at me for sending “Trey” (the name Mike Kelly decided to call Mouthbreather Jones to throw him off for the rest of the weekend) into his personal space. Good times*.

*I’m pretty sure I was the only Jew in the entire state of North Carolina.

Getting home, on the other hand, was an absolute fucking nightmare of epic proportions.

Yes, your humble narrator wrote that review. And yes, your humble narrator has bombed The Interwebs with it. I am quite sure I have dropped it on every single travel site I can find, because I am a loud-mouthed Jew bastard from New York City. I have nothing left to say about the subject, and I am quite sure that The Wife and I will be flying First Class from now on, since this kind of shit doesn’t seem to happen to High Rollers.

MOVING ALONG NOW…

Things of interest:

1) The Championship Window for the Phoenix Suns seems to be closed, sadly. That being said, this is as brilliant a eulogy as you will ever read.

2) Rival Schools is going to tour and quite possibly release a new album. This makes me very happy on many levels, because Walter Schreifels is a bad mofo, and has yet to release ANYTHING that I didn’t like. Well, other than the fact that he ghostwrote the entire CIV album, and no matter how much I love me some NYHC, that album was not good.

3) Nick Cave has the creepiest ‘stache. Ever.

4) The New York Rangers have heart. A lot of it, actually. Jagr has manned-the-fuck-up in the playoffs, and if they can pull off another upset tomorrow in Pittsburgh, I’d have to say they have a shot at overtaking the Penguins.

5) My dog is fucking rad.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH:

Leave a comment

Filed under "whatever happened to...", dumbassery, husbandly duties, nuggets of infinite wisdom, rock and motherfucking roll, sean likes to curse and use italics, separated at birth?, sports, the wife, tomfoolery

Where I’m Coming From…


Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.

Allen Ginsberg, America (1956)

When you get people who say to you that you had an effect on their lives, you realise it was worth it all.”

Joe Strummer

Have no fear of perfection. You will never reach it.”

Salvador Dali


I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.

Nick Drake, Northern Sky(from the album Bryter Layter 1970)


“Mediocrity is like a spot on your shirt, it never comes off.”

Haruki Murakami


Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”

Jack Kerouac

Making mistakes can be very instructive, and it can be a lot of fun if you have the right mindset.

J. Robbins, Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Michael Jordan

No amount of money is worth losing control of our music.”

Ian MacKaye, Minor Threat/Fugazi

People want to think they’re outside the norm, but in reality everyone is inside this pink balloon. Clusters of radicals are still part of society. All you do is influence the trends of the norms. You can just change where the balloon stands, you can’t change what’s in it.”

Bob Mould – Husker Du


Every little memory has a song…”

Ted Leo, The Lost Brigade (Living With The Living – 2007)


Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”

Miles Davis

We realized that we had to get beyond the beat, beyond the key – into playing pure sound. As the expression – pure sound has a feeling; when you get into the sound as opposed to any progression of notes, you get a pure emotional reaction. You get a more intense emotional equivalent, more intense, and more pure. You realize that music has emotional equivalents; in other words, how it affects your body, and when you get into pure sound, you’re beyond, and progression – it’s emotion itself.”

Brother Wayne Kramer, The Motor City Five (MC5)


I never even thought about whether or not they understand what I’m doing . . . the emotional reaction is all that matters as long as there’s some feeling of communication, it isn’t necessary that it be understood.”

John Coltrane

We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds… Cause there are so many sleeping people.

Jimi Hendrix

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Bruce Lee

Leave a comment

Filed under nuggets of infinite wisdom, rock and motherfucking roll, sports, who is sean?

DEATH MACHINE, INFEST MY CORPSE TO BE

Have you ever had to clean your way through a pile of dishes so nasty, that the entire time you’re working on them you find yourself fighting back not only your gag reflex and/or vomit – but tears?

THIS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING A FAIR REPRESENTATION OF LAST NIGHT’S BATTLE.

Back story:

The Wife and I are very busy people. Like – we both have these things called “a job”, wherein people rely on us to do something in order for us to GET PAID. I know this is an alien concept to a lot of you knuckleheads, but after a long day of me surfing the space we call “cyber” hunting around for clues as to whateverthefuck happened to this man:

– I get good and tired, you know? And The Wife? She spends her day being a therapist with scissors, trimming/cutting and coloring the hair of all of the mentally unbalanced and emotionally decimated women who’ve moved to The City in hopes that Sex In The City was really a super-secret hidden beacon sent out just for them.

Basically – we ended up with a pile of dishes that made me feel as though this l’il fella was living in our sink:

YOU BET YOUR BIPPY I WAS SCARED.

Being the trooper that I am wont to be from time to time, I went into this battle prepared – Slayer’s REIGN IN BLOOD set to stun on the trusty I-Pod, a burning Marlboro Menthol Light dangling precariously from my lips.

(Although, in hindsight, I sure do wish I had me a pair o’ these on)

The first task was finding out why the sink itself seemed to be a breeding ground for little gnat-like things that were flying around my head. I tried to organize my assault by taking all of the silverware and putting them into a soap and hot water-filled glass (The Wife has been known to hide a shiv or two underneath a not-so-threatening looking bowl to see if my blood is actually red or not). I then took the skillet that was sitting on top of the stove, and scraped the remnants of a taco experiment into the trashcan*.

MMMM…MEATY GOODNESS.

After I’d set the SKILLET FROM HELL back on the stove top to soak (totally full of the hottest and soapiest water), I started to tackle the mound of “dishes” that were remaining in the sink. I started off small – can’t go too big from the start, or you’ll end up blowing out a wrist(See: EXHIBIT A) – I knocked out all of the little dishes and bowls. They were nothing more than a minor nuisance for me, as the larger dishes seemed to have some substance on them that had adhered itself so strongly that the aforementioned substance was impervious to my determined and Slayer-fueled dish washing skill set.

(EXHIBIT A)

Being the overall BAD MOTHERFUCKER that I is – that pile of evil dishes got knocked the fuck on out. It took me the better part of an hour, but I wasn’t going to give up until the job was done. Sweat running off of my semi-bald pate, I surveyed my now clean and less funky (Sorry, Zombie Bootsy) kitchen with pride – hell, I even scrubbed out the empty sink with some kind of scouring product that made my head all looseygoosey.

FINAL SCORE – SEAN 1, DISHES 0.

*Oddly – at the moment I was taking care of the SKILLET FROM HELL, Tom Araya was screaming about an EPIDEMIC in my inner ear. Lyrical Snippets For Your Amusement included the following:

Breeding fast in poverty
Infectious driving dormant seed
Inside your carcass start to mate
Left in charge to dominate
Waiting to unfold
Raging uncontrolled
Adapt a potency
Death machine, infest my corpse to be

Unyielding kings of agony
Test your body chemistry
Pulmonary overthrow
Possession of your inner throne
Invasions quickly override, malicious domineering strike
Flood your veins commit slow death
Deteriorate your makers met

Perpetual demise
On a fast decline
Killing tendency
Epidemic, permanent disease

Incapacitate, fall into your fate
Pain results in screams, bleed internally
Years will pass before it can be cured

Yeah, it was yet another one of those magical moments when the definition of kismet was not lost on me. But having that epiphany come from Slayer?

Priceless.

Leave a comment

Filed under "whatever happened to...", dirt creeps me the fuck on out, husbandly duties, laziness, rock and motherfucking roll, the wife