Beef & Pie Trailers
Today I was over at Shawn Sahm’s house with Kevin Russell and Keith Langford filming a video for a song called Old School Austin Groove. It appeared in the movie Crazy Carl and His Man-Boobs. The movie and the video were directed by Mike Woolf. The Crazy Carl movie is a documentary about an Austin eccentric. However, it uses his story as a jumping off point to tell the history of the counter culture movie of the last few decades. If you are at all interested in this city it is definitely worth checking out. I saw it at its premier at Esther’s Follies and was really taken aback by it. I have been living here now for a number of years and there was so much I didn’t know about the city in the movie. And besides, who can turn down a movie that features man-boobs?
The Shinyribs band is hitting the road for the next couple days. We will be in East Texas. You can get the details at:
Shinyribs Tour Schedule
One of the books I’m picking my way through is Henry Rollins’s Get in the Van. The book is a tour journal of his time in Black Flag. In between a very realistic depiction of life on the road he expresses his inner thoughts. Many times these thoughts border on insanity from the constant exhaustion he faces. He is not only touring with Black Flag, but often going on spoken word tours in between those tours. They also have no money and are often touring under horrible conditions. Anyway, I read a couple pages with my morning coffee and what follows are a few excerpts that I took from about a five page portion of the book. This section actually takes place between all of the constant work when he is finally at home living in a shed. Yes between tours at this point he lives in a shed. He seems particularly adrift when he is not working. As insane as his schedule is, he seems to feel even more lost when he is not working. I recently put up a post about how there was a certain poetry to insanity. I also have a dark sense of humor and found a certain parts of what follows to be great. As my brother commented, “He’s got a real sweet mind.”
No one would understand that I see jungle on Prospect Street. Always jungle. Napalm falling through the polluted sunset. A village up ahead. People have been poisoned. Something was stolen from them in the night.
I wonder if there are people who destroy themselves without anyone else around to see them do it? Of course there are. People who cry alone. People who sit in silence with the lights off, silently burning. Not seeking seeking attention, but falling apart on their own. These people are heroes to me. Someone with enough stuff in them to take and not seek attention. I’m not saying that waving one’s arms for help is bad or weak. I’m sure there are thousands holed up in hot or freezing apartments, tool sheds, basements, just simmering. Ready to explode or cave in. Pressing their eyes to the keyhole. Scratching a clear space on a dirty window to have a look outside. Going to work. Waiters, dishwashers, grinding through shifts, punching out. Walking to a fast food place for dinner then going home. Living in a custom tailored hell.
I saw a couple of beer commercials. Fuck, they must have a lot of idiots watching. They make a drunk slob look cool. Why can’t they have Hitler ads? Ads with mushroom clouds going up with people riding motorcycles and drinking beers. That sounds nice and gross, just as gross as the ones on the box today.
The DNA in his semen could automatically code with any animal he put it into. Didn’t matter what he mated with, it would bear his children. He built an army of beasts, half-human, half-whatever. He lead them into the city. They put on clothes and blended in. No one seemed to notice until the moon was full.
I have Kevin Russell to partially thank for this bit of wisdom I acquired today: When you are searching for a place to eat on Sunday in the Bible Belt, and all the local establishments are closed due to church, sometimes the Godless consumerism of corporate chain restaurants works in your favor.
A great deal of the time I spend on the road I am miserable. I am an introvert by nature, and being around people, on other people’s schedule all day, wears me out. However, I view happiness as being overrated. I’m not complaining despite what it may sound like in the first few sentences. I have gone on every tour I have been asked to and will continue to do so. Whenever I look back on a tour I am glad that I went. I feel that I have expanded my horizons and accomplished something. I have met new people, and seen new places, and at the very least provided people with a few hours of escape from the daily grind.
Life is often suffering and struggle. Despite the pretty pictures that lie, has climbing a mountain ever been easy? Yet, except for maybe the few and the dead, I bet anyone that has climbed one is glad that they did.
We are surrounded by images in modern society that tell us how happy we’re going to be if we only do a certain thing. Buy this deodorant, get laid, finally be happy. Go get a McDowell burger, be satiated, finally be happy. Buy a fancy car, impress your friends, finally be happy. Although many of these things may bring about happiness, it is only in a transient sense. Pretty soon you are stuck with yourself and right back to the problems you faced.
Love and friendship and being kind to people and doing good deeds and creating things that last and taking chances and experiencing life: These are the only kinds of things that will bring fulfillment. Anyone that tells you different is selling you snake oil.
I know like I sound like I am giving advice. Christ, for some reason that bothers me. Go out and find out for yourself. Don’t take my word for it. Some things you can only figure out for yourself.
Tomorrow I am going on tour with Shinyribs. You can check out the dates at:
This is a tour of the South which is leading up to our appearance at Albino Skunk Music Festival. I’ve heard that this is a great festival and I’m looking forward to playing it. I stole the blog title from the hilariously named biography of James Maker. I always feel a little bit like I’m stroking myself off when I promote my own shit. One of my favorite singles of recent years is Maker’s Born That Way:
Rain permeates the air
Like a shit mist
Headed to Oklahoma
That some confuse with a state
The Indian Tribes were marginalized there
(That’s a euphemism)
And replaced with the Pick-up Truck Tribe
If that’s progress
Then I am a Yeti
Much of life is perspective
I have heard many jokes
At Amarillo’s expense
But Amarillo feels like Paris in the ’20s
Once you have spent time in Oklahoma
I have a friend who spent time
In Uganda and Afghanistan
She said, “Afghanistan made Uganda
Look like the future.”
You get the idea
Yet there are good people here
As there are everywhere
If life teaches one anything
It is that stereotypes and assumptions
Will one day make you look the fool
I suppose someone might want to string me up
For writing these words
A stupid end to a meaningless life
Have at it
Are we having fun yet?
I thought the above article was an interesting read. It’s by Dana Gould, in the wake of Robin Williams, and it is about why comics are so self-destructive.
I’m between tours right now and am a little upside down. I’ve been trying to think of topics to write about, but my focus is lacking. Tomorrow the Shinyribs band heads on a three day run that starts Little Rock, Arkansas. You can get details at http://www.shinyribs.org
I’ll also be performing my first solo show at Strange Brew in Austin, Texas on September 21st at 4pm. More details to be announced soon!
In the future when all’s well…