Thursday, September 22, 2011

WAY overdue update

Well, fancy meeting you here, Blogspot. Long time no see.
Admittedly, you've not been out of mind entirely. I've sat down a few times to write something for you, but I get lost in the details, or overwhelmed by the sheer scope of all the things I'm trying to concisely iterate without compromising the integrity of.
But what can I possibly do? There is no way that I could ever, as an author or even as a speaker, convey everything that's happened to me since my last update. My life has been an absolute psychotic whirlwind of emotions and experiences: Things I thought I'd only be able to dream of, falling right into my lap; things I busted my ass for, crumbling in my hands. Moments of unimaginable bliss and confidence; crippling anxiety and sadness; completely unproductive rage. Highs and lows surpassing all past experiences in either direction. Personal barriers and comfort zone inhibitions completely destroyed.
Summer 2011 was probably the most eventful and powerful season of my conscious life.

After the annual music program I teach at concluded, I hit the road pretty immediately, and it was a weird tour. It was over a month long, but I played less shows than I would ever normally do while being out that long. My life at home situation was getting unbearable, and I desperately needed a breather. Not a "get out for the weekend" breather, but a "be gone for over a month and hardly talk to anyone from home at all" breather.

I went to MI, played a prom themed show that was an extension of Ultra Mega Awesome Extreme, with tons of friends, wearing something I'd have worn for such an event, and hung with some family for a few days after, before taking a plane to LA for three super intense shows and three completely crazy days off. I got to play with and hang with some incredible and diverse, mostly electronic artists, including Captain Ahab, NVR-NDR, Kool Skull, Kevin Blechdom, Essay, Cyn Cyn And The Pons, Vyncent Flaw, Wizwarz, 8bit Weapon, Computeher, and one of my closest friends, Yatagarasu.

I flew back to MI after my week had ended, drove up to super North Michigan to play out in the woods for Placenta Recordings' second Mental Spaghetti Fest, with a cavalcade of great music, including Watabou, Kessenchu, Crochetcatpause, Little Mack, BBQ, Free Love Association, Dental Work, a whole bunch more.
After that, I made the long drive to Iowa City, where I played one wacky, awesome show, followed by a week off, to hang out with friends new and old. I was so taken with the city that I've sort of decided to move there at some point. Were my life at home not turning around for the better, I'd be living there next month.
In IC, I actually started a new band, humorously called Piss Fist. It was a particularly angry day, and I was with a great metal drummer and a great metal vocalist... why not start a grind band? (I'm on guitar, by the way)
This is a low quality demo of the first 19 seconds of a song, before my computer died and I realized I had no cable to plug it in.
"No worries, we'll meet up again tomorrow and do full song recordings" we said, not knowing that tomorrow would be a busy day indeed, and we'd not play again together until a time that has yet to happen.

Before the end of the Iowa journey, I took my friend Weaver with me up to St. Paul, MN, where I played a BgO set at a grind/thrash/tech-death show.
For two songs, BgO was a two piece, with a second vocalist. We probably could have benefited from a rehearsal or two, but it made someone very happy indeed that I was able to play Life Story = Fire for the first time ever (I didn't write it thinking I'd ever play live and is hard to pull off, alone, as you can probably imagine).

We drove back down to Iowa, collecting some hilarious Christian extremist propaganda on the way (some of which is still in my car) and we got ourselves ready for a crazy house show.
Before the show, I was inspired to play Discomfort & Laughing, off my split with Dental Work, but I've never really liked the lack of low end and weakness of the drums on that track, so I used my car speakers to write a bass line and make a completely new mix of the song.
My set for this packed living room ended up being the single longest BgO set of all time, clocking in at about 47 minutes. I have no idea how my voice held up for that long.

Two more leisurely days in Iowa before I hit the road once more, for the final stretch.
I drove to St. Louis to play somewhat quietly, to a nearly empty gay bar, but still enjoyed myself.
The next morning, I was mauled by a chihuahua (seriously, the wound is just not healed) before going to Grand Rapids, where I had a bigger, though stoic, crowd of punks that seemed to enjoy my set. None of the fans I expected to show up made it out. Always something weird when I go to GR.
The next night I played a meadery in Columbus OH. The projected turnout was massive, but almost no one showed up at all, save for a friend and a few other fans she brought with her. The guy who helped book me on my last trip through Columbus eventually showed up and, through the most successful and proactive attempt to promote a show of all time, literally coaxed people from the dubstep show across the street that I was more worth their time, and they came/were apparently not disappointed.

As a side note, I'm far from an expert on the subject, but this place's mead is pretty delicious. Just saying. Brothers Jake is the name of the spot.

The second to last show of the tour was in Buffalo, at a cool little art gallery. The set was really awesome, the people were totally enthusiastic, and I was in good company for the night and the following day. Buffalo, by the way, gets an award for most dancey crowd. The house show in Iowa City and the boutique I played in LA were good, but Buffalo did great. It was a marvelous way to end the tour.

Well, it wasn't supposed to be the end of the tour, but Hurricane Irene had her way with my Brooklyn show, making it the second time a natural disaster has influenced a show of mine with Greenlander (last time we played together a rather fatal tornado tore apart the city next to where we were).
There ended up being a makeup show for that, which was the catalyst for a series of really dramatic and powerful changes in my life, but I've been cutting out the overly personal parts and nitty gritty details of this story.

So now that I'm home and have no upcoming tours scheduled, I've just been working on recordings. The Hybegnu album is finally being mastered, and it sounds gooood so far.
Ultra Death Men is in the same boat: severely overdue but at least it sounds great.
I'm also recording the next BgO album, a vinyl/mp3 only thing called "I can't ever know things"
It's not exactly a full length, but certainly not an EP. Why bother classifying these things anyway? It'll be out, hopefully by the end of the year, but I can't make any guarantees.
I'm also diligently working on composition and production of the next true BgO full length, Critters. It's so drastically different from all past BgO output that I've actually included some slightly older, super choice material that no one has ever heard, just to give it a tiny bit more continuity. The songs happen to work with everything I've done for the album anyway, so they aren't just going to be slapped on there, willy nilly.

Unrelated to BgO or projects you already know about, I'm going to be doing some production stuff for a few artists I really like. Recording vocals, mixing, all that noise.
I'll also be doing production stuff for some black metal my friend has written. I guess he wants me to play some of the guitar parts, too. I like working in contexts that make me uncomfortable.
I am also doing a soundtrack for an upcoming, platforming game for the iPad. I'm pretty excited about that.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm pretty beat, so hopefully there are no horrible grammar mistakes or non-sensical sentences.
Take care, babies.

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