The other night I was watching the mini documentary There Will Be Quiet about the straight edge hardcore band Judge’s lauded return to the stage from a few years ago and was moved by the story of Mike Judge dealing with social disconnect from growing up in a society that shames men for being emotional. The cult of toxic toughness is something that is well overdue for a change in the greater Universe, major Aquarian vibes are an important part of the coming future astrologically and we cannot sustain a society and world that is so machismo at the expense of the tender nuances that allow us, if we dare, to not live as compartmentalized shells or paranoid androids. I say that from a male perspective because for better (and usually worse) we still live under a conquering Sky God global patriachy paradigm.
It is remarkable how cool it is to see the change and growth of the dudes in this Judge documentary and made me super psyched for the power of hardcore and friendship to heal and uplift still in our underground!
Let’s take that kind of big energy into 2021. Watch that Judge doc if you have never seen it and let’s try to all channel our Anthony Civarelli this year – as in welcome and uplift one another and remember our shared victories as he does for Mike in the documentary’s powerful ending.
I have also been really enjoying Rituals Of Mine’s Hype Nostalgia, a record so musically chill and emotive yet full of real connection amidst the stylistic potency that it reminds me of when I first lost my mind at how good early Portishead is. It’s that awesome. I was moved by learning of how Terra Lopez navigated grief in the wake of the loss of a family member and other struggles and believe me when I say it is relatable to a lot of horrific trauma from my own life that feels sometimes like it would cripple me from moving forward forever. My heart goes out to Lopez for being brave enough also to make this super potent record and get in touch with a ‘pre-loss’ perspective.
As the record’s Bandcamp bio says: Lopez wanted to create a soundscape from a pre-loss perspective, revealing how the darkness she experienced was just microcosms of her being.
I feel like that is a great motivating energy to think about as we leave 2020 as well. Who were we from before this painful pandemic year and what have we learned? What can we carry forward together differently? I have had many comversations with my girlfriend Elizabeth, the psych folk musician Globelamp, about how happy she was as a DIY musician before she was manipulated, discarded for demanding fair pay and a victim of DARVO during a terrible time in her life as a member and immediately following her time in the fucked up band Foxygen (still remember how you thought starting a personal niche label called “Fascist Records” was cool under Trump or at all, Sam. Fucking psycho privileged idiot.)
My point is, how does tragedy define us? How can we retain the inner child and spark of enthusiasm we once had in the face of daunting challenges that swallow us whole? How do we embody what we have been through in a healthy way and move forward but remember our brightness inside? For better or worse- and it is also a privilege to pretend the USA was “ok” before MAGA and not built on white supremacist gaslighting, vulture capitalism protecting the 1% from equal taxation at the expense of the poor and also awash in nightmare factory farming bleak karma culture- we have all just shared in an abusive psychic relationship with Donald Trump. The scars may heal but are a symptom of a wider disease. And it also won’t just go away by spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity, though PMA is still super important!
One thing I know is, we can’t give up.
After nearly dying this year and just avoiding a diabetic coma, I am more eager than ever to seize the day and to heal with people, try to promote great bands and send empowering vibes out to you all. Let’s remember the heroes of the scene we lost this year from Riley to EVH to Frankie Banali and other folks who gave us their all to remind us that life can be an incredible place together. Let’s be inclusive and defy the odds. Let’s make our best songs yet to come and also honor where we have been. Let’s change the ugly paradigm we have been under the heel of and celebrate the best in us in 2021. And yes, that also means holding Dems accountable for not being progressive enough and not resting on laurels just cuz of a temporary illusory Blue win “respite”.
Love you all. Hails, horns and hopeful head walking on show crowds again in our future in 2021!