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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LIKE THE OLD PUNK ROCKER SAID

jacob shelton and daniel biggins
the seduction

Another cycle around the sun, circled twelve times by the moon, 365 turns of Earth spiraling through what? Nothingness? Future? Space? Illusion? Cycles within cycles. I've seen my life in seven year cycles. They flow so evenly into the next, it takes awhile to see in retrospect. I've been aware of the seven year cycles long enough to have seen the changes and how seamlessly one flows into the next. The cycles are not evident until you notice them. It's been five years in this present cycle. The cycle started same year as I took up writing this daily blog. It was the next thing. It just happened. One day talking with friend of many years in her office, she said I should do a blog. What's a blog? She didn't really know, her daughter told her about blogs. She  told me how to connect with blogspot. I thought about it overnight. I liked the idea that everybody can have a forum to write for, arrange pictures for, make photographs for, speak your meaning without editors and sponsors. Freedom to write and not have to deal with publishers, contracts and money. I like especially that it's not about money in any way. I don't want advertisers and they don't want me. Early in this cycle, I made videos of bluegrass and old-time shows, put them on youtube and wrote about them. Now I'm making video at punk concerts and writing about them. It seems strange, but I see old-time fiddle and banjo music the same as acoustic punk. An old-time string band plays wide open, fast, charging rhythms, rhythms to put dancers on their feet. All the instruments play at the same time, nobody takes a lead and performs solo, nobody emotes physically or vocally. The only part of the body in motion would be forearms and the fingers on the strings.

daniel biggins, jonathan owens, brandon hamby
the seduction


the seduction

Old-time is the pedal-to-the-metal birthplace of rock n roll. Punk has similar driving charge to old-time tunes, though amplified considerably. In old-time, the songs are chosen from a long list of standards. In punk, the bands compose their own songs. My first summer in the mountains, I went to a fiddler's convention in Independence, Virginia, the next town across the state line. I'd been listening to punk a couple years. It was new and fresh. The fire had gone out of the experimental aspect of Sixties rock, which degenerated into REO Speedwagon, bands making pop of an initially experimental music. They rocked, but when I heard them, it was like, been there, done that. I wanted to listen to Patti Smith Group, Nina Hagen Band, the Damned, Generation X. The Sixties taught me to find music I wanted to hear that radio stations didn't play. Drug music was what it meant to them. Sponsors were freaked out by it. Rock was anti-war and conditionally patriotic. Punk came on in the mid-Seventies, seeming to me the natural next thing. The radio wouldn't play punk either, except college stations free of sponsors. It was twenty-five years before punk rose above ground. Billy Idol injected some punk attitude and rhythms into American Metal. It's strange now with punk mainstream. Talking with Daniel on the road to the show in Winston, I said, I only have two friends of my peers I'm aware of, who can tolerate a minute of rock I like to listen to, one in New York and one in Georgia. From here in the woods, high on the mountain where I listen to music, it felt good to be in the company of, surrounded by, with people who share an interest in good ass-kickin rock n roll.

the swamp


bask

I saw self a bit comic in a place where I could be grandpa to most of them and daddy to the older ones, grooving to the music wholeheartedly, music I've listened to longer than most of the people in the Garage had been living. Talking with a woman I met last year at the Milepost in Charlotte, a face so beautiful I felt like I died and this was the angel sent to guide me to heaven, Hayden, girlfriend of the bass player, she blew my mind to smithereens when she told me her mother was once a punk rocker. This coming Saturday, I'll see my friend I've known all her life, Eve, for lunch, whose mother is my New York punk rocker friend. Though my self-consciousness saw self a comic figure, no one else in the place seemed to. Everyone I talked with regarded me with respect I don't get other places. They think it's cool I've listened to punk since the beginning before they were born. Everyone I talked with welcomed me and thanked me for being there. I felt like everybody in the place was my bodyguard. It was the atmosphere. It was so for everyone in the place. All were safe in friendly company, would be helped in whatever ways needed, whatever might happen, immediately. I find punk rockers sincerely friendly, caring people, and not just to me, but all the way around in all their circles. Their styles are individual. To be a hippie, long hair was commandment number one of a long list of codes, evidence of commitment. A punk rocker can, of his own free will, wear a suit and have a barbershop haircut. His style. You're not even required to say dude. Some do. Some don't.

viajando


the seduction

The show Sunday night came to me as a result of a decision made in my late fifties. I heard self start two sentences, the kids these days. Hearing it the second time, I said to self with firm determination, the kind I use when I mean it, set it in motion that moment, this will not happen a third time. I'm done talking that shit. I decided to go to a rock concert of the present moment on my 0 birthdays. For sixtieth, a Papa Roach show at Ziggy's in Winston-Salem. It was what I needed. People packed  in tight, shoulder to shoulder, hopping up and down in place, the band right there in yer face. I got in among the kids these days and found them cool people. For seventieth birthday, Thrice in Charlotte at the Fillmore, and Animals as Leaders. Another situation shoulder to shoulder among the kids these days finding them cool people. By now, I'm drawn to the kids these days because white men my age these days gripe about nothing good on television anymore, opinions from Fake news and rant radio, waiting to die. They bring me down, make me worry that I'm going to die any minute of something, when I really don't care. Ok, I can die any minute. For me, it's not something to dread. I'm so curious about what's on the other side, I have to remind self not to have any accidentally on purpose accidents. I feel like it's the same me on the other side as it is on this side, so why not enjoy this side while I'm here. After the Seduction played, people talking sounded to my ears like they'd inhaled helium. I thought, yeah, just right. My life has opened up since I came to see this side of the veil the same as the other side and allowed it to be. Last year I said I'm going to celebrate every birthday with a concert. Still, three days after, the show Sunday night continues to occupy my mind's eye and ear. It's not involuntary, like buzzing ears, but quite voluntary. I want it in my mind.      

nick brown
viajando


daniel biggins
the seduction


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3 comments:

  1. Loved this!!!! I'm a punker from way back - loved T Rex, hung out with the Sex Pistols one night - haha! I love the analogies you have made about the music, you make it sound as exciting as it was back in the day! Sometimes I will crave it still! Love the fact you are making videos - and you have such a great music scene there in the mountains

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  2. Thanks Vickie, partying with the Sex Pistols must have been a hoot. You're one of not many. This present wave of punk makes me think of how it was in the early years, the excitement. I'm familiar with the craving you have. There are times I need to hear the Clash or Siouxsie or Sex Pistols. I appreciate you.

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