Posts tagged show
A Darker Figure #73: Sophie's first show with The Blood of Others

Yes, I'm taking over the newsletter this week. Last Friday I played my first show with The Blood of Others. I was on bass keys. I had been practicing regularly with the guys and on my own for a while because I had never done anything like that before and I anticipated that I would be super scared to be on stage and I wanted to get as many things as possible under control beforehand, because everybody knows that there are many unknown factors once you’re on stage and it could all go to shit so fast and so if at least I knew my parts very well, that meant I could keep that in mind to reassure myself that it was going to work out. Well damn, that was a crazy sentence.

I also wanted to be able to just enjoy myself and rock out and have fun, and watch Michael be his sexy self on stage, and I was able to do all of those things. We all had a great time! This is what we look like when we’re having fun:

Photo by Nate Bennett

Photo by Nate Bennett

It was an awesome and kind of surreal experience. Surreal because I am so used to watching the show from the other side and being so excited to just be there and see it happen. It occurred to me in the midst of it that this time I was helping it happen and it felt exhilarating, incongruous, and a bit ridiculous. On top of that, Wes made me laugh in the middle of it and now there is a picture of me with a big smile while everybody else looks super serious because they know The Blood of Others is no laughing matter. Take a look:

Photo by Cybermind Photography

Photo by Cybermind Photography

Now everybody is going to think I find the extinction of nature hilarious. Look at that noob over there giggling over the death of our forests. She must think it’s too dark and no one can see her. I for sure always know how to make a good impression. But to my defense, it didn’t help to look at one of the backing videos of a deer sassily walking around like he owns the block. I guess that’s part of the point Michael is trying to make with his lyrics:  well, that deer does in fact own the place and you’d better get the fuck out of his way. That deer is not joking. That deer will sass you out of the room in no time with his dope neck moves.

The rest of the show was awesome! Marck from UNCRSD was great; it was my first time seeing him live after seeing him around for a while. And James from Jihad put on a really good show too. He is also a really nice guy and I ended up doing merch for him as well (I usually do merch for The Blood of Others). There was a guy who kept coming back to the merch table and was very excited about all the bands and asked a lot of questions and bought a lot of stuff, so that was cool.

I was wondering if I would have any pictures of the show and it turns out there are plenty, so thanks to all the people who took those! I was talking to Wes before the show about how I’d like to have pictures to show my family (nerd!), and he had this idea of getting a disposable camera and giving it to someone in the audience. I think one of the Missing Witness guys took care of that, and we are looking forward to seeing what the photos look like. Wes said he got some of his favorite pictures of his own show a while ago when he used a disposable camera. Wes knows what’s up.

The feedback for our show was really good, and I am happy about that. A few people told me that I did well and that was nice. I didn’t talk to many people because I am just awkward and I’m not sure what to say. If you feel like I’m weird, you’re onto something, but it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, it’s mostly social awkwardness, which I’m sure many people relate to. In a weird way it’s easier on stage because I know what I’m doing and I don’t have to come up with stuff to say. I used to drink a little bit in social settings (mostly because I used to hang around alcoholics and wasn’t sure yet of what I wanted to do with myself) and of course that helped, but I decided a few years ago that it really wasn’t what I wanted for myself and that I would rather be honest with myself and others even if that meant it was going to be - sometimes - painfully awkward.

It used to be way worse, to where just being in a room with other people would make me nervous and self-conscious, so for me to be able to be on a stage now is huge. It also helps to be surrounded by really good people, some of whom have this crazy ability to make conversation effortlessly. I was talking with Michael about this the other day, about how it surprises me that he still defines himself as somewhat socially awkward, while I feel like he is so good at talking to people now (even if he says he wasn’t in the past). I think it’s interesting how we are sometimes stuck in seeing ourselves the way we used to be while people around us can see a completely different thing because they notice the change more than we do.

Now for the special “Silly Sophie” minute of the week: a few days ago, I was outside the Lovecraft Bar here in Portland and people were having a conversation about the movie Robocop (which I’ve never seen). When I heard, “you know, Robocop, that movie where a cop becomes a robot…,” my mind was totally blown because I never realized that Robocop actually meant “Robot-cop” so I had one of those dumb moments when I was like “Oooooh, that’s why he’s called Robocop…It makes so much sense!” I didn’t say anything then because I didn’t feel like it but I just wrote here that I wanted to be honest, so here goes. This was my dumb moment of the week. But to be fair, the movie was part of an era when I was in France and didn’t speak English, so I didn’t know what “cop” meant, and they didn’t translate the title in France (sometimes they do, and it’s either terrible or somewhat cooler, like “The Teeth of the Sea” for “Jaws”). So to me, Robocop was just a random name, really he could have been called anything, and that’s how it remained in my psyche even though I now know what a cop is. That made me wonder how many French people who actually saw the movie in French and don’t speak English still don’t know that the name is super intentional. Now I feel extra smart and I’m patting myself on the back.
You should comment on this newsletter and share your dumb moment of the week with us. I know you’ve had one. Then we can all feel super smart together.

To stay on the topic of honesty, I'll leave you with what Jonathan Safran Foer said yesterday at the reading I went to (this is the gist of it): "Sometimes people tell me, 'I liked your book a lot but I wish there was less [insert whatever here] in it,' and I tell them, 'Sure, there could be, for instance, less swearing in my book, and I don't think the book would be any less of a good book without it; I don't think the book wouldn't be as good if it were, say, more charming, but I do think it would be less honest, and that's why these things needed to be in there."

Next week Michael should be back to writing his own newsletter, so you can look forward to that. Thanks for having me!



Tonight: Pharmakon at High Water Mark. Should be interesting!

7.18.17: Screening of Phantasmagoria at the Lovecraft

7.28.17 to 7.30.17: Terminus Festival!! The Blood of Others is opening the festival so you'd better show up early.

A Darker Figure #68: "Nothingness carries being in its heart"

Welcome to A Darker Figure Newsletter #68! 

Some quick business up front: 
This Saturday! I will be doing a Sky Symbol Rituals set in Portland at The Lovecraft Bar as part of the always amazing Volt Divers night. I am either second from the start or second from the last, I can never tell with these events. 
This Sunday! I will be at the Lovecraft hosting some really great bands: Technophobia, Pleasure Curses, and Neybuu with live video work by Cari Gummer. It is going to be super fun and I am looking forward to it. If you are in Portland it is $5 and will be over by 1030... so... you should definitely come out. 
- We will be having two The Blood of Others "open practices" at The Lovecraft Bar on Monday 6/19 and Monday 6/26 from 8ish to 10ish. We will be running through the new 40 minute set with Sophie on bass keys! It is free, and open like normal, we'll just be going through the songs a few times. So come out and enjoy! 
Mr. Kitty and The Rain Within are coming on the same night as Adult. and Sextile... I am not sure which one I will make it to (probably the Adult. show only because I saw both Mr. Kitty and The Rain Within fairly recently, and will be seeing them again at Terminus in July.) Both shows have had some great feedback from the internet so far, so you should try to make it out! 


I am trudging my way through Being and Nothingness. It is a very complicated book that I am pretty invested in because a lot of it has to do with the philosophy that I tend to agree with the most. Here are some thoughts from page 1-56: 

(Talking about destruction and existence:)
"In the absence of this witness, there is being before as after the storm - that is all. If a cyclone can bring about the death of certain living beings, this death will be destruction only if it is experienced as such." (p. 38) 

It is equally important and difficult for me to remember that just because you don't perceive something as being a destruction - like the palm oil industry, which is pretty quietly destroying a shit ton of the environment and enslaving people, but still ends up in a lot of commercial vegan products that are sold on the premise (at least to me) that this is the least-shitty version of this chocolate bar that will also taste like you remember it tasting and not like barkdust (here is a good one with no palm oil) - and just because you don't know what destruction looks like because it is hidden on the outskirts of all the terrible things that effect a certain kind of politics - i.e. it is hard to keep track of all of the otherworldly agonies that are occurring in places like Syria when something like The Comey Testimony is Grade A drama television in real life and will directly (or almost directly) impact the country that I live in. It is hard to keep track. I talked the other week about how our neighborhood was on lockdown because someone had a gun and was waving it around, which was literally close to home, and about how I had to quickly unfollow the Portland Police Twitter account because it was a scary, scary reminder of how often things go wrong all around you and how easy it is to just stay inside and watch Netflix. 

I have remind myself, too, that listening is the best form of learning and that it is important to listen/read a lot of different perspectives on an issue. And that destruction at a distance exists before and after it occurs, but not while it is occurring because I am not there to witness it with my own inputs (emotional, physical, psychological, etc.) 

Sartre, in the next section, goes on to lay out Heidegger's understand of reality which is fairly complicated but basically ends with "humans create being and reality." We collectively create reality. We each have our own realities that are consistently overlapping in an outward spiral to create an understanding of the greater "world." It is people that create law, and government, and conflict, and weapons, and racial tension, and sexual discrimination, and wages, and living, etc, etc, forever. So when someone posits, usually innocently, that something is just the way it is or that boys will be boys or that that is just how men talk in the locker room to each other they are knowingly (but maybe not consciously) excusing themselves from the responsibility of personal action and reality. 

Just be cool to each other and know that everything you do and say is not only directly your responsibility, but also may be a destruction to someone else - no matter your intention. 


I also started reading Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti this week during some long days at work and it is just as delightfully written as you would expect. She had a weird life and is pretty straightforward about it in this book. I am still on early childhood-teen-post school times, but you already get the feeling that thing are going to get pretty nuts for her, in a good way (and sometimes a bad way.) I definitely suggest picking it up if you are into Throbbing Gristle, or performance art in general. 

That is all! Have a good weekend. Read more. :)