30 September, 2012

Burnt

Another quarter-end weekend is in the books. And though the nonsense will drag on for another month, as far as weekends go, it's done. Not sure if this is number 39 or 40? It's what I sometimes think about when I consider becoming a supervisor. My supervisor is never part of the process, but I know wherever I go, I won't be so fortunate. And it's a little daunting to think of doing this for much longer. It's part socially-conscious in our use of so much paper; the other part is just being burned out by it. The only challenge is physical (increasingly); mentally the process is more and more simplified and less and less rewarding.

Changing gears. Today, I am feeling more at peace with the state of things on a personal level. Maybe I am just so exhausted that I don't care this particular moment, but I know that the people who matter to me, and mattered to me, aren't throwing mental darts at the thought of me. I know it shouldn't make a difference, but it's important to me to maintain as much beauty and positive from my relationships as possible, even if the romantic aspect has passed. I am heart-warmed at the effort, and I sincerely believe it's genuine. I can feel it. It means a lot. There's so much beauty there, and someone will be blessed when they meet her.

Running amuck and causing more chaos than manageable is my empathy. I am flooded with a lot of good and bad, and suddenly realized that my work wife is feeding into my emotions. That was completely unexpected. Her energy is sometimes volatile and scattered, and it's palpable. It's adding to my struggle to separate myself emotionally from my recently severed friendship. I can only describe it as a live wire (i.e. my severed friendship) down in the middle of a road, and it can be easily avoided if careful and mindful. But suddenly it's begins to pour and the street pools with water (i.e. work wife's chaotic emotions), and suddenly the entire street is electrified and no place is safe. It's not her fault. I am studying some meditation techniques that might help. It's funny to me how some people are completely silent to me despite a personal connection. It's stupid, but it's similar to the relationship between Sookie and Bill.

The one thing I am pushing, repressing, choking for dear life are the thoughts about the holidays. It was brought up recently in conversation, and I remembered how Tracy and Ralph opened their home and hearts to me. I immediately felt sick, because that too is gone. What a weird year it's been. That's not true - it's another year with rebirth, death, failure, success, love, love loss. It's life. I guess when you are in a relationship for awhile, those fluctuations are different; you are a voyeur to them. I imagine, with this blog and my random 'likes' and posts on Facebook, someone else is my voyeur now. It can't possibly be a beautiful image, but I can change that, right? Making myself healthy is much more important than the appearance of healthy. It's where I will start. It's important to note, and understand, not everyone is going to like who you are. They may even be vocal about it, and spit as if a cobra. That's how they choose to react and respond, and I simply choose to walk away from that. If how I feel, or what I want to share incites such behavior, then that person was the wrong person to share anything with.

Going to unwind until I get tired enough to sleep. Take care...

Listening to: White Ring - "Black Earth That Made Me"

26 September, 2012

Who Are You?

It's been extremely busy at work; no suprise, it's the end of the month and the end of the quarter. I expect later than usual nights, a long Friday, and working all weekend. It's absolutely fine, I am a boy without plans or people to share them with, so I might as well make some money, right? My attitude is one of malaise, not really concerned about anything, not dwelling on anything, just being and doing. I was quite content with that. So, I was probably in the wrong for upsetting that atmosphere with inappropriate words like, "good morning", and "how are you today". Foolish, quite foolish.

Somehow...(?), I purcahsed a free lecture on how I had no place dating when I have financial responsibilities to attend to, and that I was quite misguided in thinking that any single mom would be interested in me because I was a man with debt. If I was even attracted to a woman who measures love and emotion with a decimal point and a routing number, who the fuck are you to tell me how to live my life? That "debt" you keep referring to as mine is only mine because I was respectful enough and cared about you enough to assume it. It seemed at the time, heartless to say, "I supported you, the artist, for 10 years and you never had to work but now you can have some of this debt WE accumulated." It didn't seem to matter then that we were struggling, and if it did, there was no measure on anyone's part but my own to curb it. You never batted an eyeleash about your treatments, your art supplies, your socializing needs. Not even the hundreds of dollars it's cost to mail your belongings. I haven't asked for anything in return, but I guess I hoped for as much as respect as I have given you to pursue the life you want, to be where you want, and with whom, and more importantly how we got here. I never once criticized you for the choices you made or how much hurt you put me through. So this new found reverence you've placed upon money, it's all yours. I have zero interest in living a life where value isn't an emotion it's a commodity. You don't get to bully this situation anymore, and if you want it gone, show me the $10000 necessary to make it disappear and I will evaporate right along with it. You provide no solutions or insight, just complaints and decisions about how I should live my life. Your future is on hold because of money? Well, I can only say I am sorry about the choices you've made for yourself, but I am not responsible for those decisions. That is the bed within which you chose to lie.

As it is that I apparently have such dominion over your life because I pay the bills, it seems like bad practice to be pissing me off, yeah? And if perhaps I find myself attracted to a single mom, maybe she is smart enough to decide whether or not she can be attracted to me?

24 September, 2012

Lunch

I have almost no time to write, and no cohesive thoughts, but I feel compelled to write. There are always these small reminders. Today's: I was notified of a supervisor position very likely opening up in New Orleans. Wow. There's a few hundred stories that immediately flooded my thoughts. The position hasn't been posted, so there's still time to ponder it. They may very well absord the branch into one of the larger ones in Texas, which would leave me in New Orleans with no job, so it's not black and white. The facilities along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts have proven to be a liability every Summer/Fall for the past 5 years, so it's only a matter of time before they all moved inland.

The cool weather this morning had me pause for a second. Wanted badly to call in and spend hours walking around Greenwood. That thought came from nowhere, so I considered that fact carefully and decided to go to work. There's plenty of cool mornings coming, but that first one after Summer is usually the sweetest...where every second and experience is memorable and savored. I hope it's a beautiful day for anyone not shut up indoors today, you are in my thoughts.

23 September, 2012

Vacuous

It shouldn't feel that way; it really shouldn't, but it's company is suffocating. Severing that connection with someone who for all intents and purposes is your reflection of both good and bad doesn't take courage, it takes being sick of yourself. There's really nothing to say, it was necessary for both of us to say goodbye. It's not been that simple with so much invested, but I hope the best for both of us wherever the paths take us.

Friday, it was so relaxing and nice. Natural. It's rare to find such simplicity and somehow manage a lovely evening, but for me personally, it's the most comfortable I've been in awhile. I am not erecting palaces and penning great novels, it's just refreshing to feel welcomed by someone else.

There's something I haven't really discussed with but one other person and not in any kind of depth with anyone. It's a nagging dischord in my efforts to find balance, direction, and solace with myself, my surroundings, and my quiet evenings. California has let it be known to me personally that they are still interested in me working for them and that there may be an opening very soon. I really didn't bat an eyelash this time when they asked... save one. And I am keeping that to myself this time. In an effort to not put carts before horses - I have banished all carts. The comment has been made so many times, "do something for you", or "do what's best for Ron". I think I did that. I maybe made the wrong choice for the wrong reasons, but I am pretty sure that was me deciding to give up a promotion and stay in Orlando last year. What would be easier for me is if people would just be completely open with me. I will and always will choose people over promotion, I am not driven by being a corporate success or money, I am driven by things that feel, have depth, and have a soul. But no one wants that burden or responsibility of keeping someone based on emotion or feelings. I don't know - it's a hard one. It takes vulnerability. I don't know what's going to happen - but should I isolate myself from meeting someone or having feelings about someone because I might be going away? Even if I should, I am not wired with that functionality.

So, yeah, California. So much going on there, but the idea of being alone is so scary. In conjunction with banning carts, I decided to begin rearranging. What went from an art room to a waiting room is now going to be my music room. No, I won't be able to listen to music in there because my neighbor hates it, but I can quietly store all I want. Haven't decided if I am going to relocate the vinyl and cassettes, but I am happy with the results so far. I am going to bust out some of my stored posters... Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, and some Motley Crue as well. I am reclaiming the room - it's been someone else's since I moved here. Fuck that - it's mine now. And Birthday's of course.

I am still a little incapacitated, but nothing like the week. It's swollen and tender, but it's functional. Saturday and Sunday - kind of empty. That's where the redecorating came from. I need to overcome this. I had a good night Friday - that should fill me with something wonderful that carries me to the next good evening. The problem is, I rely on that company. If I am not sharing a moment with someone, it has no value, and that is the thought process I need to fix. I can't be living in California and not content with being alone - I will go effing nuts. So, it's a work in progress.

Well, the words aren't really cohesive tonight but I wanted to write regardless. I'm considering a Haloeween V.4 - but then I question why? Who will I be sharing it with? Oh, Halloween, why do you forsake me? Lol.

Listening: Ela Orleans - "Something Higher"

19 September, 2012

Did I Do It Right?

Another odd week to put into the books. I've been wanting to write, but honestly, I have been and still am at a loss to articulate these thoughts. The standards are there: still missing H; more than a little disappointed at how my Halloween will take shape; and haunted by the seemingly inescapable reminders of something that was profoundly heart-warming; and of course insomnia. But I really should try to discuss matters beyond that, sort of force it out; all scattered like if necessary.

I think I will start with last Wednesday. I decided I was going to see Faun Fables. It was cheap enough, unique enough, and I thought unlikely to repeat, so GO! Fully intent on going alone, something for me to enjoy (or not) and not have to necessarily share at all. Really, just a moment that was mine; kind of a baby step in trying to convince myself that doing something on my own was completely okay and no one was going to chase me through the streets of Orlando with pitchforks and burning lumber. Alas, my need for escape was not allowed to be just mine, and that revelation came guilt-wrapped. Fine... let's try for a different baby step. "A. - this relationship is inbalanced to such freakish levels that Carnegie would have created a side show to exhibit it. You need to distance yourself from me and make the choices you are ignoring because nothing is ever going to change until you intervene in your own life. I am in a state of decay; incapable of supporting both our weights anymore." It was a conversation that would have perhaps utterly ruined the entire evening had it not been for Ashley Dudukovich. She got onstage as opener for Faun Fables and it was almost as if she had a book of lyrics penned in the blood from my hemorrhaging heart. She didn't fix anything, she did however distinctly touch upon me the idea that as fragile as we are, we can manage such beauty. And I knew from her words, she was not immune to hurt, pain, and being on the verge of collapse - yet this brave soul stood before all 20 of us and wore that pain and presented it's wound with such sincerity and beauty. It wasn't ugly to me; I wasn't a voyeur to her shattered happiness; her willingness to be vulnerable was inspiring.

Inspiration can lead you down a dark path. Thursday. Basically had to hit and run Karen's show at Sip. Did not want to have to do that, but after the difficult night prior, I was not ready to embrace all of Halo, or put on that brave, "I'm ok" face. But I took inspiration from a friend and I decided to share my core, honest feelings with the people in my life: friends, peers, bosses. Quite a mixed result, but I learned that so few people want to know the truth good or bad. There's a reason that "ignorance is bliss" is a phrase that presses upon the lips to this day.

The rest of my weekend was one of those weekends that gnaw at me uncomfortably. Save for Bethy offering me escape and friendship - I may have said it was a complete loss. Piecing together the puzzle of enjoying alone time... I can't even find the edge pieces. I know I want amazing friendships in my life, because as a child and a teenager, I was never allowed the luxury of building those foundations with others. I know it's why I have such a hard time connecting with others, and why I foolishly and inherently trust others. I try much too hard to cement those relationships and often they are received as me looking for something more. Partly that's true, but it's more the idea of having someone to share with, explore with, have adventures with. When you boil it down to it's wrecked roots, I want someone to play with. I am exhausted by my sadness and my loneliness, it's not just since May left - it's as far back as I can remember. It's you telling me after not seeing me for 2 weeks, "no, I didn't miss you, it was nice to have some space". It's coming home after school and finding a garage full of boxes.

My weekend of nothing was necessary anyway. I filled it with documentaries about strange tiles, mothman, henry darger and an 80's movie called "Night Of The Comets". Friday, I wrecked my back at work and I did not start to feel good until Sunday evening. Monday - scorched earth at best. Severed lines with A., opened up to a friend and that went utterly wrong, and spent the evening prying apart the mysteries of another friend which I have surrounded her in. Again, she was a light on an otherwise 'lost at sea' kind of day.

Tuesday - the utterly confused friend turned into rather annoyed friend. Neat. Blew out my knee, spent too many hours in a hospital, arrived home to find a book I ordered months ago and had hoped to be sharing with H., and then looked at my stairs as if I would never again know what lay beyond them besides the cat that watched me labour painfully upon them.

I just don't know. Everything seems so fucking crazy. I am manufacturing crazy in my life, why?!? I need and want it to stop and to do so, I need to quiet this voice that says life isn't of value without someone sharing it with you. I know I don't want to be alone forever, but I need to know and believe that it's okay to be alone right now. H. did it for years. Bethy does it, S. does it. And all are people that I respect and admire wholly, in part because of that. It's a great mystery to me, like they've unraveled some ancient riddle. I want it too.

Listening To: James Iha - "Look To The Sky"

13 September, 2012

Haloeween V.3

Okay, the final installment. I do like this one best, because it is so mixed and offers some indie selections. I am addicted to the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy track, but my favorite is the Sneaker Pimps choice. Something about it... mellow and infectious. Also included my favorite Oingo Boingo track. I still laugh when I think about that night Maisy and I discovered The Shaggs! The link will remain active until Halloween. Enjoy!


Download Haloeween V.3
01. Surfin' Spooks - Ghastly Ones
02. I Go To Bed With The Undead - The Meteors
03. No One Lives Forever - Oingo Boingo
04. Funeral Song - Sleater Kinney
05. Small Town Witch - Sneaker Pimps
06. Attack Of The Ghost Riders - The Raveonettes
07. Swamp Witch - Jim Stafford
08. Zombie Riot - Batmobile
09. Dracula's Wedding - Outkast
10. Spooky madness - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
11. Monster Mash - The Misfits
12. Evil - Nerve Agents
13. Zombie Stomp - Ozzy Osbourne
14. See You In Hell - Grim Reaper
15. She's A Zombie Now - The Meteors
16. The Halloween Dance - Reverend Horton Heat
17. Devil's Dance Floor - Flogging Molly
18. Vampire Ska - Horny Toad
19. Halloween - AFI
20. Rotting Vampire Eyeballs - Tsunami Bomb
21. Night Of The Vampire - Roky Erickson
22. Zombie Crush - Groovie Ghoulies
23. Halloween Night - Gypsy & Queen
24. It's Halloween - The Shaggs

11 September, 2012

Haloeween V.2

Here's, "Haloeween V. 2". Again, a mixture of some obvious choices and some rather obscure pieces. I was never able to identify the artist on Ghostbusters, but it is in the vein of Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. Addictive comes in the form of My Girlfriend Is A Vampire and the Penis Flytrap selections. Again, I will keep the link active until Halloween. Enjoy!


Download Haloeween V.2
01. Werewolf - Southern Culture On The Skids
02. The Creature From The Black Lagoon - Dave Edmunds
03. Ghostbusters - ?
04. Emotional Vampire - Butt Trumpet
05. Village Of The Damned - Penis Flytrap
06. Tonight - SSQ
07. Dead Man's Party (Techno Mix) - Oingo Boingo
08. Haunted House Of Rock - Whodini
09. Ghost Town - The Specials
10. Is It Scary? - Michael Jackson
11. I Walked With A Zombie - R.E.M.
12. My Girlfriend Is A Vampire - Planet Smashers
13. Surfin' Dead - The Cramps
14. Cemetery Girl - Penis Flytrap
15. Monsters - The Cruxshadows
16. Vampire - Bif Naked
17. Monsters - Pushmonkey
18. Horror Movie - Lords Of Acid
19. Haunted House - Jumpin' Gene Simmons
20. Furry Happy Monsters - R.E.M. with Sesame Street Monsters

10 September, 2012

Haloeween V.1

One of the things on my mind a lot this past week has been Halloween. It's been kind of killing me that I won't be sharing it with somebody that I know absolutely loves the holiday and "goes a bit overboard with the decorating". I was secretly so excited about it that I was fantasizing. Anyway, I don't know what will happen, where I'll be or what I'll be doing, but for a number of years I was making Halloween compilations dubbed, "Haloeween". I am ready to retire these and share them one final time in this format. They are not perfect, and some of the selections are predictible. I warn you ahead of time, Go Go To The Graveyard and Vampire Girl are utterly addictive. I will leave this link active until Halloween...


Download Haloeween V1
01. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) - Concrete Blonde
02. This Is Halloween - Danny Elfman
03. Halloween - Siouxsie And The Banshees
04. Burn The Flames - Roky Erickson
05. Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood - 45 Grave
06. Go Go To The Graveyard - Deadlines
07. Pet Semetary - Ramones
08. Black Magic - T.S.O.L.
09. Over At The Frankenstein Place - Rocky Horror Picture Show
10. (Everyday Is) Halloween - Ministry
11. Monster (In My Pants) - B-52s
12. Halloween - Aqua
13. The Witch - Rosetta Stone
14. The Mummy - The Slackers
15. Little Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs
16. Cemetery - Headstones
17. Vampire Girl - Groovie Ghoulies
18. Vampire Love - The Misfits
19. Zombie - Cranberries
20. The Phantom of the Opera - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

09 September, 2012

Without Sleep

My body is absolutely exhausted. A several mile walk full of resolve and stimulation didn't bring about a wealth of rest. A heartfelt and open discussion that offered me a lot of insight and strength purchased minutes, not hours with a dream world. Copious amounts of liquor did manage to put a strangle hold on my motivation but refused to hold the door to anything resembling sleep. Bloodletting, drinking, resolution, 120 Minutes with or without Matt Pinfield, coping with my memories of you - all of it has brought me no closer to this one perfect thing that at this point my mind has exiled to an unknown land and left me with no clues. Insomnia is a vicious cycle, because at the very moment you offer thoughts that suggest something is wrong, you've resigned your mind and body to a fateful contract from which the fine print is endless. You managed to successfully outwit yourself from perhaps ever sleeping normally again. Imagine if we could apply that delicate and simple power to other things in our life, like love, adoration, trust, friendship. Since I am in this losing battle, I have grown quite content to lay all of my struggles at the feet of this unrelenting foe. It's because of you (insomnia), that I cannot accept heartbreak and believe I will heal and one day find someone to share my passions with. It's your fault that the majority of my friendships have been shred to just tethers. It's your fault that people no longer recognize me and frankly aren't a whole lot fond of this other person. It's your fault that a razorblade offers as much solace as lunch with a friend.

There's a lot of things that happen when a person sleeps. They heal; they write into their subconscious that day's experiences and processes them either in dreams or rationale; and they learn. I sort of feel like a car with an electrical problem... I am driven around but never get turned off for fear that I may not restart. So, I refuel at great risk of fire; I sit idle at lights overheating and polluting the people around me; and when I do finally get home where the greatest opportunity exists for me to restart, I sit in the driveway getting cold, and leaving others to question my reliability and not trusting me like they once did. A bond has been broken.

Like I alluded to, sleep is a scapegoat. I have these problems because I have created or manifested them. And in all honesty, I am feeling better than I did a week ago, and especially two weeks ago. A very strong conversation with someone helped me to realize that what I am putting out into this world is not the beauty I am capable of, and unless I want it to return in my life, I need to send it out. This decayed and unhealthy person I am becoming is only manifesting and drawing more of the same. When I sat and reflected on this later that day, I realized how frighteningly true those comments were. As my mood and patience and trust slipped away from me into darkness, all of my relationships slid right along with it, and worse, those relationships repaid me in spades. I also realized how amazing the people are that I am lucky enough to have in my life. They are so varied and I am blessed. I have learned so much and will learn so much from all of them. I am slowly becoming my own person again and I have made some costly mistakes that didn't just hurt me. I have to accept it, because I am going to make them. It was a lot easier when I didn't exist and all of me was a shadow of someone else and I allowed that, I was comfortable there. Let me do this, let me support this, and I will invest all of my resources, energy and time into making you something so wonderful, we can share that. It's a devastating reality when that becomes a source of resentment and anger and irreparably damaged and you are left as a ghost.

As I said, I am so blessed to have met the people I have. No, I don't think I will find someone again that I can have a YouTube date with and it be the perfect night. I don't think I will necessarily find someone I can sit and watch Akira Kurosawa movies with and marvel at the beauty and sincerity of those films. I might not be lucky enough to find someone that is willing to just get in the car and go get lost with me and have a day's adventure of quirky, laughing, music, and mischief. I am not likely to meet someone that has the resources to order fresh lilacs for my birthday. It doesn't mean love can't exist in my life, these things are moments that built love and there will be others equally magnificent I am sure. I am rich with these experiences, and they will always be special to me and I will always love the people I shared them with. One thing is certain, until I can find a path to being happy on my own, and self-confident and have a sense of self-worth, no one else will see it in me either.

07 September, 2012

Diane Arbus

I have been on a bit of a Diane Arbus kick lately, and thankfully the Orlando Public Library system has my medicine; hell, they even leave it on my doorstep. My exposure to Arbus came in the form of "Fur" with Robert Downey Jr. and Nicole Kidman, and I have been curious about her work since. My exploration into her body of work revealed an artist that found beauty in the taboo; on the fringe; and where most refused to look. More importantly, she found beauty in the every day; the dirty, the untouched, unglamoured reality of living and being true to one's passions, interests and desires. I know there's been claims that Arbus was exloitative, and early embodiment of current individuals such as Harmony Korine. If that is the comparison, then the problem isn't the artist, it's the one offering the critique, because just like Korine, Arbus wished to strip away those taboos by forcing you to look; and using her notoriety to encourage the glance. The reality is, years spent photographing for fashion magazines was not her idea of beauty; it was not real and had no soul; but a drug-adled, broken-spirited model on the verge of collapse or a war hero nearly crippled by the weight of his choices were characters full of life, and begged for Arbus' lens. Not to mock, but to offer truth. Her name alone gave her access to the most powerful people in the Western World, and she embraced their cracks in the same light as she would the pride of a 75 year-old nudist.

Mia Farrow

Arts Critic John Gruen

Female Impersonators, Club 82, New York City, 1962

Which one is the real one?

Max Maxwell Landar, Uncle Sam

Tiny Tim has never been so handsome...

Little Rechard

Winston Churchill

Mrs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at his wake

03 September, 2012

Audra - "Everything Chamges"

Let me preface this post by saying this is not as much a review as it is a chunk out of my life. I could never have anticipated the events that preceded "Everything Changes" or the emotions that would follow. So, please forgive if this review bleeds into personal depths.

"Everything Chamges" is Audra's finest release, without question. The fact that it is independently released, and steers clear of the familiar (or expected) shows the band emerging and rebirthing. Audra was never a "goth rock" band, but their connections with the Rozz Williams community, their tribute song to Rozz, their infamous show with Gitane Demone, and of course the comparisons of Bret Helm's vocals to that of Peter Murphy sort of locked the band into a scene that while loved, was not one they coveted. Anyone blessed enough to hear their material prior to their self-titled Projekt release knows that Audra has more in common with Jane's Addiction than Bauhaus, but in all honesty, they wouldn't shy away from either accusation. The three members of Audra, Bret Helm, Bart Helm and J. DeWolfe encompass such diverse musical interests, and present themselves with such mastery of their craft, that trying to compare Audra as a whole to anyone is fruitless. It's a line you can draw from Gram Parsons to Venom... but I challenge you to pinpoint any single note and say, "See, there, that's so and so!" Audra is wholly an original band that is not relegated to any one sound or genre.

I was fortunate enough to see Audra perform live at Convergence 14 in Tampa, Florida. They offered a preview of what would become "Everything Changes" and they truly rocked the hell out of the Tampa Convention Center and blew away all other acts that night. Fuck, even a "techno-viking" wannabe was enamored with them and shred the dance floor. The much more important event that took place that night was the bond I made with Bart, Bret, and Greg Gibbs. It is one that transcended that night in Tampa, and has become a part of my life. I couldn't have prayed for a nicer group of people, or a more fun adventure in S & M, body builders, and corny jokes. And I learned how to tell what side the gas cap is on without getting out of the car. It has and always will be etched upon my memories, and had I known what was to come, I likely would have grasped a lot more tightly to that moment.

It's eerie how profound the songs on "Everything Changes" would become, and still are. It's a powerfully, and personally written collection of songs complemented by an emotional and driving musical arrangement. There isn't a track on the album that doesn't illicit for me some memory; flashes of the show; flashes of words exchanged; flashes of smiles. The disc opens with 100 Years, a driving track that soars and makes the limbs move. A song about being true to yourself; trusting yourself in spite of the walls that crash in around you. It's a powerful opener and set's the stage for the songs that follow.

The title track, continues you on the path of wisdom and "Everything Changes" sort of takes shape as a concept album. You realize that this truly is a transition for the band; shedding the cloaks of expectation; transgressing into who they want to be musically. It's a difficult and painful journey, and this album paints such a brilliant and precise portrait of that landscape that the immediate response is to draw parallels to your own adventure through life. It is a personal album, not only for the band, but for the listener.
What's Meant To Be continues that conflict of stay the course or give in and be someone else. Bret's vocals have never been so inviting. Musically, it's a brilliant blend of electronics, subtle keyboards, and amazing drums/percussion. It fills you with hope, gives you some assurance that life is what you make it.

Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms offers vocals on I Just Can't Let Go, and this is a song that is most evident of Audra at their best. Passionate vocals, a wall of guitars and driving drums. It's a chilling song, and it builds and builds and then the backing vocals come in, and it's simply brilliant.

Jason And The Doors is that track from every Audra album that you know is somehow influenced by some bizarre night or some unexpected event that is an inside joke amongst the members. Opening with vocals and piano, slowly accompanied by percussion and then a beautiful and subtle song evolves with slide guitar.

Forceful, frenzied and decadent is Ocean. The underlying electronics fill this song with anticpation, while you are propelled to move to the rhythmic assault of bass and drums. Definitely a club favorite!

Life On This Planet is in my opinion a total departure for Audra. They will likely smack me for this comparison, but upon hearing it the first time, musically I would compare it to something from "Anti-Christ Superstar", it is bombastic, and seethes with a sinister beauty. "Bret, are you inviting me to take a bite of the apple...?"

My favorite track from "Everything Changes" is Syd Barrett. Audra absolutely captures the madcap musician perfectly, I believe he would be honored by this presentation. The opening notes are intoxicating, and J. DeWolfe's percussion is so precise and a perfect blend between subtle and driven. The echoed vocals give way to Bret Helm spitting his affirmations of being okay. Bart Helm's guitar wails as if exorcising the insanity. There isn't a more appropriate close to this story.

I unfortunately can't listen to "Everything Changes" as much as I would like to, it's simply too personal, another scar, however brilliantly colored, on my heart. It's a tremendous album and Audra's finest. It's a special journey and if you find yourself at a crossroads in your life, this could perhaps be your closest companion.

"Everything Changes" is available thru Audra's Website: Audra's Official Website

02 September, 2012

Demise and Births of Months

I read the posts; and somehow I managed some optimism; because a Blue Moon was going to be lucky? Seems I did not make that mailing list. As my sleep progressed to ruin, so did the relationships in my life. Perhaps I was foolish in opening a door in which there could be communication. I want there to be. I'm deluded in thinking that it's simple, or we want the same things. That's just not going to happen. Need to deal with it, I don't have a choice. The comment of "moving forward", I don't even know what that looks like in my life, but I absolutely am envious of it.

Obviously, my unwillingness to deal with anyone's drama this week set fire to several fuses, and I have repeatedly found myself on the receiving end of guilt trips, hostility and apathy. Oddly enough, those friends that never ask a thing of me, have no expectations of me, lauded me and praised me. I don't know what to make of that? Am I keeping bad company? I don't ever ask for anything; expect anything... but I guess that isn't true... I don't expect to be treated like shit by these people. I go thru pains to not upset people's lives, but I don't seem to receive the same consideration. At the very moment I begin to convince myself that everything is okay, and I can deal with this - something else comes along; a text, an email, a call, or a post that puts me right back to hurt. Each and every time that happens, I immediately break out into a sweat and get nauseous... seriously, what is this? Can I have a mutual relationship with someone where we can spend time together, romantic or not, that is just healthy, real, and beneficial for us both? I don't think it fucking exists.

It is so ironic to me that I emerged from a marriage that was crippled by broken communication and developed a healthy respect for it, and I fall into a pattern of involving myself into the lives of people struggling to do just that. I have been through more hurt since the beginning of the year, than I have since I was a teenager. I deserve this somehow, because it is what I am offered. If I was meant for something else, I would have it. It's only made worse by the promise of something amazing. So, I revert back to what I know... hurting myself to escape the hurt of others. Thankfully with the hipster culture we have here in Orlando, I fit right in with my summer sweaters.

I am not bitching, and I am not singling anyone or anything out. Truth is, I am a broken machine by my own creation. Probably for longer than I realize. My life's analogy would be Old Testament and New Testament, along with the Lost Gospels. No one to blame but myself, and at some point I need to figure out why, and what to do to change my patterns. I am so frightened by love and relationships right now; even more frightened by myself in those circumstances. Not sure what step two is when I am still dazed by step one.