Sunday, September 30, 2018

Raytracer - Simulated interaction

What do you say about a band that has more than two songs about anime?
I wind up here asking myself a lot of questions, but it isn't that I need an answer--I just believe in the power of asking.  So what do you say about purpose, intention, and agony--these are the milky cascade of swirling colors and light that swim in their own solution to produce an optimistic defeat that frames the music of this young local band.  Formed in rag tag style of so many Memphis made groups, Raytracer has found a purpose and vision of communicating deep grief and profound longing in a disarmingly upbeat and frenzied fashion.

Raytracer demands of you, contests with your solitude, answers all questions to say that it's important to love, that you are allowed to be afraid of loss.  I never want to lose this feeling, that pushing of sound and solitude that penetrates deeply into the great fear of being alone.  I want to sing along forever, remembering those times when the words told me I was thought of, remembered, immortalized (if only for seconds.)  Enjoy, and reflect.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shame Finger – Ladies of the Night

Sometimes I sit around at Murphy’s and just stare at the Antenna sign on the wall. I wonder what it must have been like to live in a time when getting a punk group to roll through Memphis was just a matter of having an open night at one of the most renown clubs in the South.  Things changed, for the worse, for a long time.
Thanks to the efforts of Memphis Punk Promotions, tons of dedicated bands, and of course the musicians and fans themselves, more clubs are offering a place for punk rockers to lay down the law without fear of no turn out or getting screwed by shady owners.  Notably, P & H and Murphy’s are front runners for hosting out of towner acts that inspire Memphians to keep the legend alive in a place that’s usually been less than friendly to a struggling scene.
We come here today to celebrate one of these local traditions, a new comer on old grounds.  Already they’ve cut a very deep and dark path through the mean streets by bringing mosh back to house shows and sequined dresses back to savage rock and roll.
Go on, give it a go.  This Shame Finger is for you, dirty listener.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Our Own Cadence at Murphy's:

Our Own Cadence.
They have had more than one incarnation, as so many bands in Memphis can say.  Check out the blog later for a video interview with one of Memphis' oldest punk quartets.

Alone in a Room:

Sometimes, I listen to Arma Secreta and feel sad inside.
I’ve never been good at letting go; I’ve never been okay with seeing something I love disappear.  Music inspires loyalty in the listener—we identify with it in profound and meaningful ways because we become part of its mythos.  Music, by itself, can be an incredible thing.  But without a listener, it exists only for its own sake.  With a listener, it casts a longer shadow.  The sake of it becomes big.
So what happens when the listener is still loyal, but the music is gone?  Sure, the CD still spins.  But the band is no more.  The shows cease.  When you share it with others, they ask “Who are these guys?  When was this recorded?”  The answers can make you feel like the only person in a very empty room.
Let’s think to ourselves instead, how am I not alone?  In what ways am I more than one?  I want to watch a video and remember, really remember, the way it felt when you all were beside me, fists in the air, grinning like mad men.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Glorious Abhor at Murphy's:

Who is Glorious Abhor? Why not hear the answer from the mouth of madness itself? Intro by Josh Stevens...

Just another band coming from a smaller town with bigger plans set in mind. Attempts at taking over the world that fall short, jumping from one sinking ship to another, adding perspective and clearer collective conscience towards pursuing the unattainable american dream. Lost souls, rebels without applause and never settling for less than the best. Unfettered, determined, persistent and humbled. Realizing we all share space on this spinning rock and we're just trying to etch our names into the ether. You meet someone for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It's always been about connection and reciprocity, getting out what you put in. It's not what give life but gives meaning. That's our goal.

Watch Glorious Abhor's first performance here:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seven Degrees of Separation:

Is this the best font to use when writing about Memphis?

Everybody is from somewhere.  Some place, some time, some town, some generation, some scene.  These parts and pieces and places coalesce into an image.  The image ebbs, fades, the corners of it grow blackened with fire and time.  Memphis is just like any other place, except it isn't.  No place is like any other place, and to sit and describe and discuss it marginalizes the perspective of those living elements that comprise it.  I have long imagined blank pages of paper slowly being filled with markers of my experience, calligraphic conceptualizations of times and places that sink into the mind and remain, tributes to the gravity of growth and loss and general angst.  And as the pen scribbles the places change. Suddenly memory is nothing but a parody of the actual moment.  The essence is lost.  The symbol that seeks to represent in turn destroys that upon which its existence is dependent.

So why use words?

You can be born just about anywhere and still be "from" Memphis.  No matter how long it took you to wind up here, chances are the second you step into city boundaries, you'll be changed forever.  You can't walk far without hearing the pulse of it, feeling the oppressive weight of its imagination and its sorrow.  The pigment of the city is derived from powdered pain, crushed up by rage, and soaked in gasoline.  It paints a tale of love and hate, friendship and trust, blind luck and song.  On a Sunday morning, you can walk past any corner and see a house of God, the walls bursting with echoes of gospel legacy.  On any given afternoon, you can find yourself wandering the dirty brick Beale, bustling with tourists and biker gangs, everyone vibrating with the ache and dance of the blues.

It's the loss that brings us together.  If you don't know someone who is in a band, chances are you aren't asking the right questions.  More than likely, your musician friends have a musician friend who has a musician friend who knows someone in Saliva, a band that you can't reference in most crowds without hearing an audible groan and someone immediately saying, "Hey remember that time when..."

The pact that we make without realizing it is that we'll never give up the struggle to get out, even though being in is what makes us truly remarkable.  So many leave only to return like they'd never left.  It isn't failure that marks their faces but resolution to just go for it all over again.  It's an amnesia of artistic glory.  And there is nothing you can do to stop it, like you would ever want to in the first place.

I'm so fucking sick of losing CDs I can never buy again.  If the musical immortality we all look forward to is a peeling bumper sticker in the bathroom of the Hi Tone, then I say fuck that.  People die, bands die, and everyone forgets, except on those rare nights when we huddle around a fire pit, smoking cigarettes and drinking bad beers and talking about the good old times.  And that's all well and good, but can you blame me for needing a little more?  I expect to try and make that happen, because I can't handle missing you all anymore.  If you dare to live, then I want to help you live on.  If you are brave enough to put your sound and your sorrow out there for all the hear and hurt, then you deserve a gravestone that won't crumble when it's over.

So here it is.

Enjoy it, you bloody bastards.