Forced to Look Ahead: Getting Back to Life in 2015

Recently, life has forced me to live in the present, enjoy the past, and completely postpone any thoughts, hopes or designs for the future. But all that is about to – supposed to – change. It’s exciting and terrifying.

In 2013, I spent 40 days and nights in hospitals, as well as a handful of months of full-time, “adult day care” in clinics. Through 2014, another 10 days and nights in hospital beds and innumerable clinic visits, I forgot what it was like to work and be productive, creative, and vital. My only saving grace was the energy I could put into my radio show: Cracked Machine on BFF.fm. Other than that, Doctor’s orders were to stay out of the work environment, stay out of crowds, avoid flying, and sit tight for life to start anew. I was grounded.

Despite some “hiccups”, 2015 looks to be the year I’m finally given my privileges back. Things are brewing and I am forced to look ahead:

  • I joined a gym and set up a physical trainer session for TOMORROW.
  • This week, I’m going to meet up with someone to see if we’re compatible to play music. Really, this is a test to see if I can shake off two years of rust and play bass at all like I used to.
  • I start a new job on January 21st – a job with the promise of upward mobility and personal growth.
  • I can’t stop thinking in jokes and stand-up comedy material, and need to find an outlet. For those who follow me on Twitter, I apologize already.
  • I’ve started to use a Jawbone UP24 to monitor and motivate myself to eat, sleep, and move in a healthy manor. A substitute for real discipline and inspiration, this wearable tech bit might just help pull me out of my slump.

Crabbing, fishing, camping, travelling, skiing, hiking… drawing, scuba diving, making ceramics, grilling, smoking meats, playing piano, writing words… There’s so much I want to do – so many things I’ve had to purposefully forget just to focus on surviving the last two years. And now the flood gates are barely cracking open, with me on the the other side. It’s impossible to deny the terror I feel that these hopes and ambitions I’ve already given wing to might up and disappear – that they might be taken away from me and I will be grounded once again.

People make resolutions around specific issues they have with their weight, behavior, careers, and aspirations. My needs reach broader than that – and I’ve never put stock in New Year’s resolutions. But I can say that I will be resolute in facing my fears of being grounded once again. I won’t stop in the name of fear, although it does haunt every step forward I will take. I will try to make the most of the opportunities afforded me. These are as close to resolutions I can muster.

It’s time to get back to life in 2015. The show is going to be great. The physical training is going to require much patience to get back to my former physical stature. Someone is going to laugh at my jokes or at me trying to tell them. Join me. Invite me. I’m looking forward now.

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ICYMI: White Reaper Interview

I recently wrote up my favorite albums of 2014 for BFF.fm. One release I couldn’t overlook was White Reaper’s debut EP on Polyvinyl Records. Months after playing this album religiously on my show and spazzing out to it in my spare time, I got to catch up with the whole band via telephone for a recap of their Summer 2014 tour. This was definitely one of the funnest interviews I’ve conducted to date.

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ICYMI: Protomartyr Interview with Joe Casey

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to speak with Joe Casey, frontman of Detroit’s Protomartyr, the day after their record release party at PJ’s Lager House for Under Color of Official Right. Since I recently named Protomarytr’s second album to my top albums of 2014, I thought I’d revisit this interview. I don’t remember being so nervous about conducting this interview, but I totally botched the band AND album name during the introduction. Lovely.

The interview takes place around the 1:30 mark. Listen to Joe set the bar really low, right before he jumps into the Safari.

SHOW ARCHIVE: ALL OHIO. Special Guest Tim Krug talks Brainiac Reunion Show

On the occasion of the 1st birthday of the Cracked Machine radio show, I’ve gone back to the beginning and put together an ALL-Ohio set of rock. I’m also joined via phone by Tim Krug of Oh Condor and Swim Diver to talk about the Brainiac reunion in Dayton, OH that happened last week at Blind Bob’s. We talk about the good cause for the reunion and why the band members and local Ohio artists got together.

Listen to the show:

Or read about the cause and how you can contribute.

 

We’ll Eat Anything – A Brainiac Reunion Show For a Good Cause

On Saturday, December 6th, the four surviving members of Dayton, Ohio’s rock band Brainiac took to the stage for the first time in seventeen years since the death of Tim Taylor, guitarist and frontman of the the band. They played as We’ll Eat Anything – an early name the band once took the stage under. From the inital responses, the night looked like it fulfilled everyone’s hopes of a sweaty, noisey, cathartic mess of glitched-out rock and roll.

The core group was joined onstage by local musicians from notable bands to perform a full set of the legendary band’s material. Other local Dayton bands also performed selected tracks from Brainiac’s discography, as well as the work of Jeremy Frederick – a dear friend of the band and a major contributor to the Dayton rock scene who passed away in 2012.

While the excitement and nostalgia generated by the Brainiac reunion is understandable, it was motivated as part of a fundraiser for the Izzy Frederick Education Fund, the daughter survived by Jeremy Frederick.

If you enjoy the video below – and any/all of the videos to follow – please, consider making purchases or donations via Jeremy’s Human Reunion bandcamp page. [Please note: I have no skin in this game. I just want to see funds raised for the reason the band reunited.]

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Photo pulled from Brainiac fan page on Facebook.

SHOW ARCHIVE: My Last Wednesday!

I’m just gonna play my favorite songs, talk about Margaret Cho’s good deeds , and make a plea to CB Tarver and Matt Sweeney of Chavez to play more shows. I also spin a couple yarns about Polvo, Sebadoh, Unrest and other indie bands.

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Show Archive: 6 Degrees of Women Rockin’

I took the first half of the show to explore my 6 Degrees of Women Rockin’ project, in which I attempt to map out the relationships between women rockers in the underground punk and indie rock scenes. There’s lots of Riot Grrl history there, and a ton of Kill Rocks Stars recordings!

Special thanks to my buddy Keara for helping me get this off the ground, and to Wikipedia contributors for being so thorough. I hope to flesh this project out further and revisit with a more polished narrative.

 

6 Degrees of Women Rockin