Sunday, March 17, 2019

2019: March 17th

Friday March 15th was the three-year anniversary of Tom's death. This year it blind-sided me, and I'm ashamed to admit I didn't even realize it until the morning of the 16th, when K reminded me. Tom - wow. When I stop to consider it, I can still feel his loss like it's a wound that's only scabbed over. You know, the kind you bump against the inside of your dresser drawer that sticks, and it opens and gushes blood and pain for a few hours. That's exactly what contemplating my 'former life' is like, in regards to Tom (and Tom alone). You'd think with the number of friends I've lost in my life - an inordinate amount by most people's standards - death would come a bit easier. And I guess it kind of does. But when the loss is someone you see everyday, that you live with, it's different. And Tom stuck with me through the worst time of my life, and what's more, made it clear he understood and wanted to help me persevere. That's pretty insane, if you ask me. The bond we had was unlike any I've had with a cat before or after, and I am definitely a cat lover. Anyway, Tom, I miss you. I'll be raising a pint in your honor later tonight. In the meantime, this one's for you, my friend:

If you want to see the best goddamn coverage of SXSW, click over to Heaven is an Incubator's page and feast your eyes on the meat and potatoes of the yearly fest. You can find coverage on a ton of sites, but not like this. Tommy goes out of his way every year to burrow in deep and really find the stuff that matters, not just the stuff everyone already wants to read about. In years past he usually posts about bands that seep up throughout the subsequent years into taking the spotlight, and I'd wager this year is no different. Also, he's started a 'daily jam' posting schedule that I absolutely adore. Link to Heaven Is An Incubator HERE.

Friday night, K and I saw Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats at the Wiltern. WOW! Seriously these guys blew me right the hell away. I mean, I knew they'd be good, but this was another level. All business, no nonsense, Uncle Acid easily goes into the category of 'Best bands I've seen live.' Tight performance, heavy as hell, and awash in Occult/psychedelic imagery, I still can't stop thinking about how great their set was. And as much as I dig their albums, none of them do the band's sound full justice. Neither does this video, from youtube Chicanochrist, but it gives you a sense of their visual presence:

Uncle Acid's Wasteland album might not have made it into my top ten of 2018, but I love it and couldn't wait to see it live. Especially because I had no idea what to expect. I'd never seen what the members of the band look like, and especially with Kevin Starrs' unique voice, I harbored a strange, almost B-movie idea of the face attached to the voice. This ambiguity is a rarity these days, and as much as it is partially of my own design, I feel like it's also part of the band's mythos. So when faced with having the curtain pulled back by seeing them live, I had to embrace the idea of giving that ambiguity up.

But you know what? It didn't happen.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats took the stage under darkness, with a video image and an elongated version of the loud speaker announcement that begins Wasteland playing over the speakers. From there they ripped directly into album opener I See Through You, then proceeded to plow through song after song, hoping from Wasteland to Bloodlust to The Night Creeper, no acknowledgement of the crowd until after six or seven songs, when the man I'm assuming was Kevin Starrs simply asked how we were doing. Of course, he didn't wait for a reply before kicking into Crystal Spiders from the band's recently re-released demo, Vol. 1.

The reason I can only assume our addresser was Kevin Starrs is because A) he was standing in the middle, and B) he was playing guitar and singing into a microphone. However - and maybe this is simply my self-imposed ignorance of the members of the band, which, as you can no doubt tell from above I prefer - but stage left was another man playing a guitar and singing into a microphone. The music was played so flawless, executed in such a concise manner, that you couldn't tell who was singing or playing what. And other than one subsequent brevity to the crowd, there was no speaking in-between songs. The performance was all about the music and the aesthetic, that's it. So in my mind, the band fully retained their enigmatic presence. Which is awesome, because I love the mythos I perceive around these guys; the evocation of that strange era of the 60s/70s when hippy dippy free love turned into hard drugs, black magick and satanism. This is the first band I've encountered since My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult back in the early 90s that feels dangerous in some capacity.

Opening was local band Twin Temple. My good friend Chris from The Thirsty Crows and The Horror Vision turned me onto these guys a couple weeks ago, and they did not disappoint live. Self-described as "Satanic Doo-Wop," I'd say a more accurate description is a Satanic Amy Winehouse. Either way, check out this video:

Finally, it's St. Paddy's day! Since our new place is considerably smaller than my former residence, I'm unable to hold my annual party, and as such my 'St Paddy's Spirit' is considerably diminished. I've got a corned beef in the slow cooker, and some Guinness to quaff, but I'm not even really in the mood to watch State of Grace - which I'll probably watch and be consumed by anyway.

Playlist from 3/14:

Le Butcherettes - bi/MENTAL
Thin Lizzy - Fighting
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Vol. 1
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Wasteland

Playlist from 3/15:

Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Le Butcherettes - bi/MENTAL
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
Nick Lowe - The Jesus of Cool
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Wasteland

Playlist from 3/16:

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Night Creeper
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust

Card of the day:

Hod, the area of Prudence, defined by Merriam-Webster as the ability to govern and discipline oneself with the use of reason. This applies directly to the self-destructive feelings I have toward a certain project I have right now, one that the carelessness of of one of those involved has led to a flurry of thoughts on my part to end the project. Anger and frustration are a natural reaction when the carelessness of others directly affects our plans, lives, etc. But instead of lashing out, it's always better to just take it on the chin and continue. If, that is, it's something and someone you care about.

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