Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dominic Mallary

A few days ago, a young man from Massachusetts died of a brain aneurysm shortly after performing with his band, Last Lights. We didn't know each other at all, but considering how small the hardcore world is, I'm sure that our paths would have crossed at some point sooner or later. Our lack of familiarity shelters me from feeling the same sadness and loss that those close to him are surely struggling with, but I am saddened by his death all the same.

"War drums don't move my feet. The human race can run without me..."

Dominic Mallary had an incredible amount of talent, and I'm sad that I discovered it only in the wake of his untimely passing. According to his band mates he was responsible for nearly all of their material, both musically as well as lyrically. Check out his music.

Last Lights - Strong American Nightmare type of vibe
Haunted Like A House - His quieter/experimental side

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Economic Grousings

My roommate just had her hours cut at work and her co-workers are getting laid off one by one every day. She warned me that it's a possibility that she'd have to move out soon. My girlfriend has seen a significant decline in business as a hairstylist lately. She's considering picking up more hours at a side job, in addition to the six days a week she already works. Friends of mine have a house in foreclosure. Another friend is a student, and nearly didn't get state grant money that was promised to her and is necessary to supplement her income.

I've been listening to NPR this morning, and Talk of the Nation focused exclusively on callers' stories of being laid off in the recent weeks. It was so depressing. I've always taken work for granted, and always earned my own way as much as I could.

I got my first job at 12 (technically 11) and worked 30-40 hours a week from the time I was 17 until I was 25 when I finally decided to go back to school. I'm turning 27 next week and I'm subsisting off of grants, loans, off and on part-time employment and freelance graphic design work. When I started school, I had visions of obtaining a degree, and jumping right into the workforce and getting paid to do what I love.

I don't believe in that vision any more. For the time being, I'm considering myself lucky to have what I have, and trying to prepare myself for the inevitable disappearance of my comfortable life.

The American economy will rise and fall, but it's disgusting to consider how it could have been different. Would we really be in this deep recession if so much money hadn't been thrown in the wrong direction over the past eight years? It's classic Orwellian double-speak; while our president tells us that we want to pursue peace, yet, we're funneling all of our money into wars. We're also told that our country is built on small businesses, entrepreneurship and common people, and yet we cut taxes for the wealthy, underfund education (a means by which to ascend the economic ranks), deregulate everything, place our faith in the competence of businessmen, allow big business to run free and THEN leave us with no choice but to bail them out financially.

Here's a bit of an antidote for all my gloom...

Wait a minute, that's some antidote... this sketch shouldn't have even had to be made in the first place. How about we deregulate the institution of marriage?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Academic Overload & Procrastination

I suspect that there are currently thousands of blogs online with recent posts complaining about the stresses of school as the semester comes to a close. I'm tempted to write one myself, but the truth is I didn't do shit all semester, so I'm pretty much getting what I deserve. It's not even so bad, really. I've finished a paper, studied for a few tests, and still have to complete a few art projects and write one last paper.

On the topic of procrastination and shirking responsibilities...

I'm behind on mail-order for the first time in a year. I used to be horrible about getting things out, so I decided to make a change. In order to keep on top of things, I simply made a routine of going to the postoffice on Tuesdays. After sending out a couple hundred zines this year, I've been laying low. I have nothing new to produce and distribute, so there's no real momentum. On average, I'm now handling only one or two orders every month. I really don't understand why it's so hard for me to just get out to the post office and send a few orders out. Even worse, I'm behind on shipping out trades. My trading partners already hooked me up, and I've just been sitting on my end of the bargain.

OK, I'm off to the post office... this is ridiculous.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recording Revisited

It's amazing how much can be accomplished in 20 hours if you simply forgo eating and going outside. The end result of this weekend's efforts actually surprised me and exceeded my expectations. The record sounds way bigger than what we should have been able to afford on our budget... some of that might have to do with the massive amount of guitar tracks we laid down.

In order to get the fullest sound possible, Paul and I each AB'd two amps. I ran my Yamaha T100 with a Mesa Mark IV, and Paul used his Peavey Butcher and Sunn Model T reissue. Four amps getting tracked in stereo pairs results in eight channels of guitar every time the engineer hit "record". On top of that, we double and triple tracked all leads. I'm thankful that we've found an engineer that is enthusiastic enough to sift through all that and mix it properly. Chaos and excess at its finest. Andy Kugler fucking rules.

Our new 12" entitled All Human Failings will be released in February on Free Cake Records.