11.19.2016

13% [chapter 22]

STARES TO NOWHERE


On the flip side of your handsewn musical memory's buttflap stretched a snake skinned seamline whose name is Lydia Lunch.


At The Record Exchange in Princeton, New Jersey, just after turning 15, you spent the money you received from your crappy job running a hot dog stand in the lobby of a pre-Walmart department store called Jamesway on the first vinyl record in your collection: '13.13'. You had no idea who Lydia Lunch was, but the cover was all black with red text and you instantly adherred to the song titles printed on the back: 'Afraid Of Your Company', 'Lock Your Door', 'Suicide Ocean', 'Snakepit Breakdown', 'Dance of the Dead Children'.


13's always been your favorite number. You felt sympathetic for it having received such a bad rep when it did nothing wrong except be unique and meaningfully prime to pre-Christian calendars and Mother Earth-centric festivities celebrated by potent thick-ribbed women before they were all branded as whores and condemned to death; untold millions drowned, hung, boiled or burned alive for knowing the healing medicinal properties of plants we now commonly call weeds. Masculine consorts seized the holy stations where women stood defenseless because there was no such thing as weapons or fences or war for over a thousand years. Then the conquerors dressed themselves up in flowing robes, grew their hair long, wore fake padded boobs and ritually pretended to menstruate monthly. Instated, they took the daughters of those women burned at the stake and forced them to dance around the pole 100 times, barefoot in the smoldering red hot coals of their mother's scorched remains so as to ingrain in them what would happen if they disobeyed the new laws of the male god. All in terrific disdain for the philosophies they could not control and the life-giving abilities they could not contain. Penis envy is a Freudian phrase that's about a hundred years old, but womb envy's been going strong for 5000 or so.


The moment the needle dropped, you felt relief. These songs made it ok to be this angry. To seek some poetic retreat from the worries that rained down amidst cold war threats of nuclear destruction, to the things that were being done to your young numb feminine body, to the fucked up foot binding rules society was expecting you to follow without question. This record let you know it was your duty to voice dissent. Even if no one ever heard your hollow holler, it was better than ending up like your mother; whittled down into submission, cleaning up in service to an unappreciative master, doing the best she can, passive aggressively getting her way by naggingly not taking a stand.


After becomming engaged with your new tattoo machine, you spent ages designing and drawing and inking Lydia's image from that album cover. 13 snakes portraying Medusa hair wrapped ouroborous-like around your forearm, along with the words "cvm patentia" (with patience). A reminder that whenever you felt suicidal, the best thing you could do is just wait. So many times, a few days after crying yourself down into a gluten-induced tarpit, you'd feel fine and realize that life was actually ok. Then some pleasantly gentle thing would happen and while smiling, you'd tell yourself, "Gee, sure am glad i didn't off myself last week." Approximately 40,000 times, this has been the case.


Synchronicity explains how then, after seeing the tattoo you were working on, a friend told you that Lydia Lunch was coming to play in San Francisco that weekend. A special set of the songs from '13.13'. Another friend gave you a free ticket at the door. And you spent that entire night not believing this wasn't a dream, a mere 28 years in the making.


Upstairs, just after the gig, you stood 3 feet away from her but couldn't bring the awkward teen inside you to say anything susinct. You were just grateful being there, hearing all those songs again, as if the universe was pouring forth rays of serendipity all over you and all you could do in your starstruck state was stare into the headlights. Death was coming like a speeding train to crush you down into nothingness again, but for now, that was totally ok. At that moment you felt you were standing in exactly the best fated time and space.


Less than a month later you were invited to play an opening set on stage in LA where she was headlining for the Extreme Futurist Festival on December 22, 2012. The first day after the End of the World. Just being invited was a miracle in itself. Something that never happened. You'd become accustomed to organizing events on your own because it was the only way you could ever play shows, by putting yourself in the mix instead of waiting around forever for someone else to book you a gig. Even if just across the Bay Bridge. So being invited to play such a huge festival in LA was absolutely monolithic.


A further surprise was that this invite came from someone to whom you were an outright bitch. Rachel had been flown to SF to play at a Throbbing Gristle tribute festival called Destroy the Universe a few years earlier. But while helping set up the stage for her soundcheck, you found her demands arrogantly shortsighted and rude. Completely stressed out and overtired you told her, loud enough so that all the other bands could hear, "Ya know, being a dick to the person who's running your sound is a really bad idea. No one deserves to be treated like shit!" She quickly recognized the sense in this. Pleasantries were exchanged afterward and you stopped scowling eventually.


By now, it was like you'd become the proxy mom while staging shows, telling young rock stars and divas to remember to say please and thank you and to clean up after themselves. It's called having consideration for others. And it disgusted you that these things had to sometimes be said out loud.


Being doormatty and pleasing other people laid flat in contrast to this sad outstanding fact that the only people who seemed to have any respect for what you were doing were the ones you stood up to. And you're resoundingly grateful that Rachel even remembered such a smalltimer like you. Other folks just walked all over you. Because you let them, stupid. Because you thought that's how you make friends, by being kind and useful. But those people weren't friends, they were just opportunists using you. Shoulda figured that out by middle school. When you get good grades everyone hates you. So you learned how to dim your light, hide your potential, not speak your mind, fail on purpose so that you could have a social life. And look where it got you.


Putting all that behind you, you got too psyched about the prospect of playing on the same stage as the woman who had initially inspired you to make music in the first place. And your shits quickly turned into cement bricks. Looking to social media for proof that this was real, you excitedly posted the flyer for the upcoming festival with your band name proudly emblazened on the amazing lineup below Lydia Lunch, Survival Research Laboratories and NegativeLand. But no one responded or commented or liked this wonderful thing you'd been invited to do. In shocking astonishment, you reposted the news a few days later to the same non-responsive silence. And again. With spiralling eyes. Still, nothing. After years spent congratulating other people's record deals and massive tour bookings and escalading accolades of success and achievement, finally here was your Yay Hooray. But no one was happy for you. Not one person.


Devastated, you were beyond hurt. You'd taken for granted how much it meant to feel that someone else out there was rooting for you. This was something even your own mother would never do and that magnified this perceived damage. How hard was it to click a stupid fucking little button? Confused as to what you must have done to all 400 of the super friends in this community for them to collectively consider you such an undeserving asshole, you waffled and flailed and stewed, alone on a computer in your room. Clinging to these unravelling strings of disbelief, you sent messages to 3 or 4 other musicians, inviting them to come play this stellar show with you, willingly splitting up the 45 minute set to share the ample stagetime with others you felt close to. To share the joy. But they all said no, too.


More than just a slap in the face, or a punch in the gut, this total absence of support completely threw you for an endless looping mindfuck; its degrading mental tail spin dragged you further down the dark self-doubting trail than you can, even now, relive without feeling a bit sick. Abandonment via social media made you go from shitting bricks to being just a piece of shit that shits shit bricks. Virtual poo with poo in it.


Then, a week before the festival, Kat, whom you'd been playing with in an improv noise trio replied and said ok. She'd go with you. Exhaling exasperated gasps of relief, you set about making a papier mache mask of a huge dead bird skull that would disguise your scared shitless face while standing on stage. In sloppy speed driven agonized haste over too many sticky twitchy nights and long drawn out days, you decided you'd rent the truck, do all the driving and reserve the hotel room where you'd both stay. Kat was from LA, so all she had to do was give you directions to the venue.You'd use all your rent money to pay for everything and bring a bunch of merch to sell, hopefully making up the difference. This was a risk you were willing to take because, hey, This Was Your One Big Break.


The night before leaving for LA while obsessively repacking all your gear, a cold breeze wafted through your room at 3 in the morning whispering, "Leave now. On your own. Just Go."


"No, i can't do that. Kat'll be upset if i leave without her..."


For a moment though, you did consider the freedom of doing just that after being so torn through and deboned by that searing high-pitched lack of anyone having your actual back.


As you began loading shit into the truck, you got a parking ticket. Then another. And another as you waited for Kat to arrive at 9 AM. A dread had sunken in by then that was so thick and biley, you felt certain something really fucking awful was going to happen. Like an accident. A car crash. Or some other kind of foreseen disaster. So you procrastinated. Hour after hour, you waited for this nauseous anxious feeling to go away, and got yet another parking ticket in your panicked state. At noon, realizing this trip had already cost you $180 without going anywhere, you and Kat finally drove onto the interstate.


Driving down the grapevine into Los Angeles at rush hour, you ran out of gas in the dense freeway's middle lane. A big strong blonde woman stopped traffic by parking her car across the fast lanes so that you could let the truck roll backward into the breakdown lane. With semis blustering by every few seconds, the stalled truck rocked and shook like a little toy capsized. Until the tow truck arrived, you both sat counting each second as if it would be your last, delicately impaled on a bed of nails, crooked and rusty. Kat yelled through the cocophany, "Is this life in the fast lane?" and you laughed hysterically. You were just glad no one was dead. But that expectant fatal threat hovered too close, waiting to pinch you from every next breath with the tiniest of misplaced steps.


Towed, refueled and running late, you quickly changed at the hotel and sped toward the show with $20 left to your name. Your phone rang every 15 minutes wondering where you were. Again and again, you cried that you were on your way. Kat kept turning her phone's google map this way and that, losing track of the north star. Repeatedly missing the exit and sleeplessly stressed out from hours of speeding around lost in the dark lead to you having seizures behind the wheel on the busy honking unforgiving highway.


Pulling over at a gas station, you bought a paper map of the entire city. With eyes so weary and crazed, the mass of unfolded tiny letters crammed up next to each other in a gray blurry fog of unreadable characters. Moving the map to and fro from your disintegrating face, you could not see a fucking thing. It reminded you of the time you were tripping on acid in London's subway and all the lettered signs morphed into unknown symbols like Chinese. Your cell phone kept going off, demanding to know where the hell you were. Lost in Burbank. After the lightning storm of seizures passed, you sat down under the pale green halo of a street light and just sank to the ground. Admitting total and complete defeat. Pummeled like a pylon. So close. Yet so far away. Needless to say, you never made it to that stage.


Dropping Kat off at her friend's house the next day, too upset to say anything, you drove home alone, $400 in the red. Several pitstops were made along the way, in between waves of crying so hard that you couldn't even see the lines on the road.


Relationships disappointing you was something you'd grown so used to that witnessing the death of your sex life the year before was no big deal compared to this. The dying of your creative life was like losing your only child, like losing something so innocent and sweet that had never harmed anyone or anything. It had only ever brought joy into your life. But it got killed because of your own inability to be there for yourself. It was a deeper self-inflicted wound that no part of your soul knew how to forgive. A slow droning sound with the cold stone glare of a hungry barred owl filled your head as you drove too fast, riding on fumes of self-hate because you had not cared enough for the one thing that tried so hard to save you from your destructive demonic self.


Afraid to succeed because you didn't know how to, failure was your self-imposed comfort zone. It's all you knew. It's all you deserved, you thought, because you'd amassed so much proof of this. The big miracle gig was supposed to even all that out. This one good thing was supposed to make up for all the bad things you'd already been through. You needed it to redeem you. But it didn't. You blew it. And the hard hitting smack of that fact was not something you wanted to survive.


If there is a lesson to be culled from all this, it certainly showed up even though you didn't: Trust Your Gut. It Will Never Lie To You.


At that moment in your room when the wind was whispering,"Go now. On your own," Kat was at home thinking she didn't really wanna go to LA with you. Just like everyone else. And if you would have just said Fuck It, wrote down the directions to the venue and then went and did this one awesome thing For Yourself, there may have been a river of redemptive successes that came from passing that test.


It showed you that intuitive feelings are not selfish reflections of wishful thinking. That clear voice KNEW not only what was best for you, but also what was good for others, too. And that blew your mind open a little wider in time. It meant that intuition is somehow attached to the collective mind that seeks to uphold a benign group health, it wants the best for everyone, for everyone to become their best selves. And now that it was crystal clear no one outwardly cared, you could quit trying so hard to please everyone else. This was the next best thing that could have happened to you.


Always mining for creative veins of gold, you began taking photographs at each unhurried pause on the long drive home. At several shifting spots you stood in psychic quicksand, donning the dead bird head you'd put so much effort into creating. It hung over you like a shroud in silent solace with death's ordinary unbiased approval.


Walking off into the woods beyond a town called Gorman, beneath heavy mossen bare oak trees, ankle deep in yellow leaves, the crow skull cawed for this lifelong loss in front of a clicking camera lens. A young doe stood curiously close, chewing grass and watching this display of creative desperation on that otherwise quiet afternoon.


At sunset, the bird head scanned no man's land across the brown acrid haze of Bakersfield, stung by the putrid winds of slaughter, dung and fodder.


In moonlit orchards of the central valley, near a small town called Tranquility, more love shone from the migrant workers tin huts, strung together with Christmas lights and songs of collective suffering than from the 2 car garaged tract homes of upstanding plastic surgeried families, comfortably alienated from each other and themselves.


There you found the blessing of knowing, sinking in the chilly mud, looking up at the ringed moon through a bird's eye sockets, that this tragic turn of events would be remembered indefinitely. Only you and I would know how oddly peaceful and liberating those painful static hours in motion became. And how they would naturally shape all future behaviors after that day, December 23, 2012. The second day after The End of the World.


On the third day, you posted these photos on facebook with the tale of your utter failure to achieve anything in LA. It got a bunch of Likes.


So you closed the lid and hammered in another spike with a clear-seeing half-smiling respite. Even if no one else ever would be, you were now and forevermore, on your own side.






*u can call me ph!*

11.03.2016

13% [chapter 21]

KID A-MINUS


Like a bright red thread stitched alongside your wayward militaristic drift, Oxford, England ran loosely in and out, connecting every embroiled rift.


As a kid, a consistent return was made here bi-annually to visit your mother's side of the family. At 4 Salisbury Crescent, up a wooden ladder on the 2nd floor, through a hobbit-sized door, lie the children's vaulted attic room with a window opening up onto the sky, forgiving all spry imaginings of the young. Holidays spent at this address had a particular scent. Like a lush fertile garden, a damp compost heap of tranquility. Sinking into the big soft bed, under an enormous fluffy feather douvet, this was the one place in the whole world where you always slept soundly. Protected by the presence of your stalwart grandparents in their separate bedrooms downstairs, steeped in constant cups of hot sweet milky tea, amidst their jovial nonstop bickering, bad things never happened here. It was like living inside a fairy tale with a Little Match Girl ending, where what would normally seem morose was actually serene. And you consistently hated having to leave.


Until the last holiday visit in January of '88. Hammered, your drunk dad clamoured up into the attic where you were quietly drawing. He stood you up and hugged you for way too long, blubbering something about how much he loved you. Your marble arms clung to your sides, preparing for the worst. Reaching his hand up your shirt like a fumbling adolescent, he tried to french kiss you while squeezing your teenage tits. WHATTHEFUCK?! Such an impetuous offense after testifying against him in court and going through all those years of state-appointed therapy. Yet, This Shit Was STILL Happening. There are no words for my contempt.


Sprinting down and out of the house, ripping on your coat, you snagged some cash from your mother's purse and just ran. It didn't matter where. Realizing later that the legal drinking age in England is 18, you slowed your pace after careening past Squitchy Lane and decided to go do the adult thing. Deal with this fresh contamination by getting shit faced at the nearest drinking establishment.


Happening upon a local pub called Jericho's Tavern, you went in and tried to order something fancy and punishing. Like a marguarita or a long island iced tea. The bartender was having none of that. He finally agreed to pour you a few stiff rum and cokes begrudgingly. "Schtupid yankee twat," you could hear him thinking. Though he warmed up to you after asking him to teach you how to hand roll cigarettes.


The pub was fairly empty for a while until a group of kids came in carrying a ton of music equipment. It took a while for them to set up their gear in front of the stained glass window at 4 in the afternoon, but they laboriously sturdied themselves to play what appeared to be their premiere gig. A few of their friends straggled in to offer support. Then they launched into a confusing barrage of something ska-ish but slower in tempo and with minor keyed melodies.


What really captured your inebriated attention was the painfully self-conscious tremor of the singer's voice and the vortex of his presence, there on the floor, no stage present. Too human. Too tender and uncongealed for your current state of mind. He shone with an agitated energetic flood-light that you were already drowning in on the dark side of the room; that angst-fueled youthful resentment for a world you're born into without your full consent, but given enough sensibility and fuck-it-ness to reckon with another Cerberus head. Feeling stripped skinless after a few songs in, you stumbled out of Jericho's and went trouncing back to the house, weeping half-heartedly as the setting winter sun glittered across the icy banks of the river Thames. Turns out, that singer was Thom Yorke performing one of his first live sets.


On another visit to England in 1997, your cousin John gave you a cassette tape of the new album a local band had just finished making at your aunt Shirley's recording studio in Chipping Norton. It was called 'OK Computer'. And you replayed that tape til it stretched out beyond capacity.


By 2003, you sent a bunch of your xeroxed comix and cds of some music you'd made to John and asked him to pass the extra copies onto that band. It was your way of saying thanks because it had been a long time since you'd fallen entranced into a widely shared soundtrack after the release of 'Amnesiac'. You were inspired to hear a group that kept evolving, housing different emotional chasms, not just repeating itself or petering out or starting to wholesomely suck within a decade. As it was with precious few other musicians whose work you loved, their music had become a coping mechanism. Like a plumb line to hold up against the internalized trials of life, and see that somehow, you are still doing alright. A sounding board, a psychic connection, a sonic imaginary friend.


John soon replied, saying that he saw your comix strewn around the studio in between recording sessions and that they loved them. Thom listened to your cd but thought "it's quite dark." That still makes you smirk like a blushing self-promoting yet totally obscure jerk.


But it's called Feedback, yo.


Since the 192 bands you played with in your own neighborhood rarely gave you any, it was worth its weight in words. Otherwise, you might have continued to believe that you didn't actually exist. That everything you made was "not suicidal enough." That, after all that work, you were "lazy", and "striving to be ignored." That "the songs you wrote were too heavy -- we're just trying to sell records here not change the world." Beyond people exhibiting surprise (though you'd never understand why) that such "spooky" music was being composed by a woman, that was it for a decade's worth of feedback, yo.


For this reason, you remain indebted to Big City Orchestra, Lance Grabmiller, Skullcaster, Andy @ Last Gasp, Weasle Walter, Chicken John, DarphNader, Dave Ligon, OX, Zoey, Willow, Charlotte, Fred @ Thrillhouse and Trixy Grace, the righteously good-hearted ranks of LCM, 5lowershop, The Lab, Church of The Buzzard, SPAZ, MediaAlliance, MaximumRockNRoll and A.T.A., Twerk, Eve Tekromantik, China of Boyskout, Skott Cowgill, Headboggle, Margarita Lara, Neighborhood Bass Coalition, Joe Donohue, Motion, 12K, Leafcutter John, Matt Flynn, Brendan Seibel, Filthmilk, Doug Poore, Fatima, Prizehog, Chupa, Kat Genikov, Tony de Jesus, Alan Dubain, Paul Smith, Jonah Rust, Dark Muse, Heartworm, Aviatrix, Ethan Port, Tamara Glass, Angel Bethke, Despicable Alien, Rachel Haywire, nullspace, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Common Eider King Eider, SYMPLX, Lucia Patino, Brianne Hanshaw, Brice Frillici, Realicide, Cy, Leland Kirby, Dromez, Crebain, Bill Reeves, Thorsten Sideb0ard, Nature Abhors Normality, Zac, Billy Bragg, Mick Nasty, Sinda Koslinka, Fernanda Loaiza, Stuart Chisholm, Burmese, Mitch Levay, Torn By Teeth, small drone orchestra, Debbie Dingledong, Lob Instagon, Don Haugen, Horseflesh, Horn of Dagoth, Derek Kelly, Shane DeSilva, Josh @ The Guardian, Jeff Ray, Petey, Heidi Alexander, John Dwyer, Eric Bauer, Josh Pollock, Jef Templar, Henry Larsen, Cameron Gibson, Dylan Simon, Gorpy Endockle, Derek Pardue, HausArafna, Brent St. James,Noah of Cameltoe, Jeannine & Bill Thibodeau, Maz, Dale Lankford, Douglas Land, Erika Dillingham, Rob Gillespie, James Tracy, Casey Appeldorn, Healamonster & Tarsier, Eddie The Rat, Not Breathing, Ramsey Kanaan, Gerald Hawk, Beth Custer, Keith Curts, Joey Hurt, Colin Studybaker, Raub Roy, Vetivert, V.Vale, David James, Evil Moisture, Screamo Leemo, Bonfire Madigan, WendyOMatik, Legendary Pink Dots, XtraAction Marching Band, Rich Westmeyer, Phoebe Garofano, Mary, Dolce Maletesta, pirate radio Jake, Abra Jeffers, Sarah Lockhart, Diego Gonzalez, Nebbie Loon, Kelli Winslow, Luca Garino, Lik Neon, James Tracy, AC Way, 6ixes, Stubee, Swoondoll, Vyvian Looper, John Burkhalter, Brandi Obsolete, Demonsleeper, Chris&Cosey, Styrofoam Sanchez and Sharkiface for their encouragement and appreciated aid.


Plus the letter that arrived from Svetlana; a lone female employee working 12 hour shifts at a crowded light bulb factory in Croatia. She said your music helped her get through her unremitting hellish days. So you mailed her a big free box of everything you'd ever made. Following your own string is the only way to escape the Minotaur's maze.


At the tail end of 2011, the 2nd half of 'In Rainbows' haunted your last visit to England long after its initial release. All surviving family members were now scattered far and wide from 4 Salisbury Crescent. Riots in London had just ended a week previous to your arrival in Hackney. The police had altered their original "beeboo beeboo" siren sounds to the typical American cop car whine because, according to a local radical, too many U.S. crime shows had desensitized the population and those old siren sounds held no crowd controlling power anymore. But that healthy disrespect for authority is something you've always admired about the people living on the Isles.


Crossing the channel by overnight ferry, everything you once loved about Belgium's unconventionality had mutated as well. Buried in an amalgamated blue gray EU mush. Gentrification on a continental scale. It broke your heart to see Ghent become so expensive and overblown. Just like SF. All you could do was sit on the little bench beneath the 15th century cathedral spires and sigh. Europe was losing it's local hues to The Big Nothing of steamrolling globalization, trickling down its unelected debts. Doing no good for anyone except, of course, the 1%. But no one seemed to be all that upset. Because now their heads only stared down into their iphones, grasping onto some new form of virtual protest. Note: Belgium holds the record for being the longest running country with no official government. And your friends there were rightly proud of that accomplishment.


In the spring of 2013, just in time to stay inside and deal with the debilitating effects of post traumatic stress, the 'King of Limbs' arrived. The song 'Codex' encapsulated a mountain of inner turmoil and still raw regrets inside a 10 second segment: "No one gets hurt. You've done nothing wrong." Like driving over a speedbump or hitting the same huge pothole over and over, you could not hear those lyrics without sobbing uncontrollably. No matter what else you were focused on before that melody came up on the 8000 song shuffle. This phrase seemed to drop an emotionally devastating atom bomb every time it came on and blew all else away. Standing still. Separated and wailing. But slightly more fascinated by the mind's ability to catalog and contain such an irrational magnitude of gnawing desolation within one short and specific musical refrain. Then you'd pick up where you left off again. Patch the leak. Do more lines. Renumb the brain. Continue selling everything on ebay.


Nothing is easy. But dealing with shit would be impossible without music. It's where all of our true colors thrive. Despite the trend you noticed of anti-emo Californians trying to emulate cold calculating machines cuz they seemed to be so ashamed of being human beings. As if they couldn't spare the time. Or maybe they were just like you, only capable of temporarily relieving their grief when left alone with chemical substances in private. Subsiding on the inside, not out there in real life.


One thing was for sure, you were now surrounded by droves of bland khaki fucktards who were fond of using the phrases "win/win situation" and "get in on the ground floor" sans irony. Not while nonchalantly strolling down oh-so shabby chic Valencia Street, but just beyond your bathroom window. While taking a shit, you'd overhear your new cherry-faced neighbors upselling to their clients over the phone on the weekends. And no one else within a thousand feet of your room ever played or listened to music anymore.


During one of the last free noise & doom shows at bleakhaus, prior to being shut down amidst threats of eviction, you were alone naked and drunk in the bathroom, lights off, door closed. Soft warm tones echoed from down the hall where Black Thread was performing a bittersweet analogue tape looping set to an intimate crowd through the solid state PA in the front room. Crawling into the clawfoot tub, submerged in hot water, you quietly cried, knowing it would all be over soon. Knowing the time had come to leave the Mission. Forevermore. Just as you were finally figuring out how to appreciate the small glimmers of joy discovered there, after wasting so many years ignorantly overlooking them before.


Bukowski once said the most beautiful roses can only grow in the grossest of gutters, and there was nothing subversive or down to earth or close to the bone left in that town anymore. The fact that a bigger crowd showed up to burn trash cans and stop traffic in celebration of a baseball game rather than to protest the deadly police brutality occurrances in Oakland and Ferguson and Chicago and Baltimore every other day was proof enough of San Francisco's completely diluted whitewashed droll. The city's historically class-conscious backbone had collapsed under the weight of a massive bankrolled jellyfish. Now this town was all about priviledged fratboys spattering in your face, "YUH!! GIANTS!!" Unamused, you retorted, "DWARVES!!"


But the city's spirit did not go down without a fight, without sounding out a clarion howl of every civilization's repetitive cyclic self-importance destroying truth: Depression creates necessity creates creativity creates vitality creates media attention creates corporate ascension creates proprietary greed creates hyper speculation creates overpopulation creates migration moving out creates mutation blending in creates stagnation creates irrelevance creates apathy and sinking down and bleeding out until it again creates depression.


And so, in the summer of 2015, 'Truth Ray' spent a lot of time behind the wheel of Haustruk, driving with you those thousands of miles away. No specific gps coordinates to call home so that you'd never have to go through feeling raped again.


Oftentimes, 'A Moon Shaped Pool' will discreetly bathe with the cleaner simpler version of you that now lives with your beloved piano in 100 square feet of solitude. No electricity, air-conditioning, wifi or plumbing but thinly subsisting on the non-detrimental freedoms of Less. Tweeting more to the birds with a handful of seeds than to a Twitter feed. Making plans only as grand as the distance from your face to your hand. Singing to yourself in the trees while chem trails streak criss crossing clouds across the sky. Sitting by the fire. Reading books like they're going out of style. Listening to shows on the short airwaves. Drinking hot sweet milky tea. And however hungry you may get, nothing feels as fulfilling as being able to fall asleep to the sounds of crickets, wound up in a sheet like the peacefully resting dead. Leaving a smaller carbon footprint on anyone else's unsuspecting Radiohead.



*u can call me ph!*