Welcome to a Darker Figure #69!
There is a joke to be made, but I am not the kind of person who makes it, but if you are you can fill it in. It is 630 in the morning and it is way too early to be up on a day off, but I had a weird dream about fighting off an attacker who was shooting up a school and that has me a little shaken up - not like panic, but more slow burn terror. Which seems to be the course of things these days. It feels like a lot more has happened in the last 6 months than any year that I remember, but maybe now I am just paying attention?
I had a conversation yesterday for a special project where the person said that every song that they have written was an incantation to take them to a higher place, and that it has worked every time. I asked them if it they meant that creating it was the ritual, or was the completed product, going out into the world, being taken in by others more important and he said yes to both. I don't practice occult/witchy/religious things myself, but I do find them interesting. The key for me in this was the intent. This person intended to put something out into the world that they believed lifted them up in a way and wanted to share with others. Sounds pretty simple, right? I feel like every few months we, collectively as society, have this conversation of "well, they're just playing a character (as a musician) on stage, and they're actually a pretty cool guy," and it always ends the same way. People apologizing for fascism and hate they think is just part of the show. Old news now, but all music is political and a message is important to someone whether you want it to be or not. As an artist, and a person, you have responsibility and beliefs that you are communicating. If you think this isn't true you are acting blindly or in bad faith, which is worse. Go with intent, even if it just to create something ridiculous that people will laugh at - because we need to laugh too!
The show that I produced last Sunday was super fun! There were a lot of people that I had not seen out before and that was really awesome. The bands were all great people and they all put on a great show. Really happy about it. Neybuu was very fun to watch, she has a way of making weird beats and tribal stuff that seems to connect with people. I was telling someone that I think she would do well opening for iVardensphere, for obvious reasons, but also because they both play in many genres at once. Pleasure Curses is just a fun band. Period. Their show is high energy and gets you moving. It is very funky, and catchy, but when you see it live you just get sucked in. I would see them again any time. Technophobia were awesome as well, the show as interesting to watch and good quality! We interviewed them in my car after the show. That episode will be out Monday on the Talking to Ghosts website and iTunes/Stitcher/etc.
On Saturday, I did a live dark ambient thing for Volt Divers. It was my first time doing something like that live - something completely from scratch, without a real rhythm section to hide behind, and something with live looping. It went well! I was pretty uncomfortable with it, to be honest, but I think that is a good thing. People said they liked it. You can check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/product-pdx/sky-symbol-ritual-live-at-volt-divers-61017
Still reading Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti, it is still very good! I also picked up Bitch Planet, which I have been sleeping on, from a co-worker who didn't like it. I have been meaning to get into it, but didn't have the space in my comic buying schedule. So many good things!
We have a The Blood of Others Open Practice for the next two Mondays at The Lovecraft from 8pm-10pm. Stop buy! The bar is open like normal, we will just be fucking around trying to get Sophie ready for the Seattle show on 7/7/17. It is free. Just stop by :)
After that we are on the road to Terminus Festival in Calgary! I finalized some of the details last night and am starting to get really excited.
Thanks for reading!
Welcome to a Darker Figure #69!
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. :)