Will we hug or just high-five?

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Home. Two plus weeks of crazy, and despite the fact that I had the a time of my life, it just never felt like me.

The weird thing was, it wasn’t at all uncomfortable. Bouncing from town to town, sleeping on people’s floors, unplugging myself almost entirely from the rest of the world, living in a van + a sedan with six other people with smelly feet making jokes about this video all day every day, then playing my heart out to roughly fifteen people who may or may not care each night — it’s more than fun. I see why every band ever writes songs about touring — you are, quite literally, living to have fun, and for no other purpose. The more fun you have playing your music, the better chance you have to make enough money to gas up to the next town, or find a place to stay each night after the show.

Don’t worry, I still think musicians writing songs about tour is almost as obnoxious as writers writing pieces about writers writing.

In Eugene we played almost the worst show ever (until Santee — or, as I’ve learned they call it — Klantee, but that’s another story). For starters, there was no PA system, until the terrible psych rock band we contacted at the last minute brought theirs by. Folks started showing up around seven o’clock, but the music didn’t start until 9. So in the interim they drank. A lot. Hi Ho Silver Away played first, and during their set alone more people spilled beer in the pit, then subsequently slipped on it than I could count on both hands. One of the guys who lived at the house we were playing at was all fucked up on something — he got down on his knees during one song and, excuse me if I get this wrong, but I do believe he was trying to dry hump Nathan’s legs. When Quick Attack played I had to stand on my mic stand with both feet to keep it upright, and Indiana actually took a swing at a girl with her guitar to keep from getting hit in the face again. Even Rob from the Taxpayers couldn’t control the crowd, he couldn’t even get a word in edgewise. But after it all, both before and after I stepped in to help break up a fight, a total of like ten people told me that the stupid little songs I play and love so dearly made their day, their week, their month, even their year (you’ll have to excuse me: the schoolyard ska band that opened for us in Santee covered the Friends theme song and now I’ve got that fucker stuck in my head). How can I be upset after a night like that?

I’m even willing to forgive, to a certain extent, said terrible psych-rock band, who played for more than two hours and during the course of the evening attempted to cover Where is My Mind yet for some reason didn’t play the main guitar theme and very painfully couldn’t hold the high note Kim sings.

After the show we hung out with Chase, who had set the entire show up for us and let us stay the night at his parents place after the show, despite the fact that we’d never met him before that night. When we got to the guest room and saw NBA Hang Time in his plugged-in N64, I knew we were all meant to be best fucking friends. So on our way back down after reaching the northward apex of our tour in Seattle, we went out of our way to make sure we hung out with Chase again. But he’s the only person I met on that tour that I could say I’d want to call my friend, except of course the amazing people from my band and HHSA. Every other scenario, you drop in, have fun for a night, then leave. It feels good for the soul as it happens, but it’s no way to make friends, because trusting someone to set up a show for you is entirely different from trusting them enough to talk about real things in your life.

Like it or not, I’m growing up. I want stability and meaning in my life. I want to decide on goals and then accomplish them. Punk rock is fun, but it’s not my life; not like it is for a lot of people I met on this tour. I come alive while playing shows in a way that rarely comes out of me in any other circumstance. But the whole time I was thinking, okay, and now what? And, why?
In other news, turns out I’m a war criminal. I’m apalled, terrified, disgusted. I almost feel responsible. My name isn’t even uncommon, it’s downright fucking rare. And, how the fuck am I going to be able to kick it with the security culture-paranoid anarcho punks anymore now that I don’t even pass the Google smell test.

Oh yeah, just wear patched up black jeans.

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A brief history of how I love

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

My name is Steve S. It’s a cold and cloudy mid-July afternoon here in Lompoc, CA, a small piece of middle America grafted carelessly onto its end — a town which I’m forcibly trying to make my home. I’m starting this blog today, my one day at home in the middle of a two-week tour with my punk rock band, Quick Attack!, when I should probably be cuddling with my girlfriend, who is currently napping in my room behind me, or taking a much needed shower.

I have a degree from a rather nice university and experience taking responsibility for and completing very large and difficult projects in the world of community organizing, and yet under the strictest of definitions, I’ve been unemployed for the last twenty-seven months.  I’m more than a little bummed about that, despite my knee-jerk ideological disdain for the wage system. It feels like every day, even when I don’t have much to do, I find myself making impossibly hard life decisions and wrestling with difficult philosophical problems. Like, how do I live my life to the fullest, and still survive? How do I balance living for the moment and planning for the future? Do I dare to hold myself up to my own standards, or should I simply relax and enjoy the world around me. And, what does success look like, and how concerned should I be about achieving it?

So, I’m starting this blog, on this cloudy and cold day in mid-July, to make a commitment to myself. I will update this blog, roughly three times a week, for five years. I’m twenty five years, eight months, and three days old today, which means that this blog will take me into my age-30 season, as they say in baseball. During this time of my life, I will have or find work, love, community, personal fulfillment, and I swear I will finish a goddamn novel. And I will do my best to answer all of those questions listed above, and this one, which has been haunting me for quite some time:

Why doesn’t every person matter enough to really be able to change the world?

Also, this blog will rarely be as serious as this post is. Please, I just want to entertain.

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