it's like a bad day that never ends
Before I get to whining, here's some pure goodness to cleanse yr palette.
MP3 The Hold Steady - "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"
Here's a track (previously linked to/reviewed by Pitchfork last week) from the forthcoming Separation Sunday LP (out May 3rd) from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Mpls indie rockers The Hold Steady, courtesy of French Kiss. Above (right) is the poster I picked up when I saw the band last month, now available from Aesthetic Apparatus. Brooklyn Vegan has pix from their recent NYC gig at the Bowery Ballroom, and you can find more Hold Steady photos at Kathryn Yu's (thankyouthankyouthankyou) Flickr gallery.
CAVEAT: Here comes yet another pathetic pity party by yours truly, which I seem to be holding at an ever increasing frequency. You've been warned.
So this past Monday nite, Phoenix headlined a triple-bill at the Fine Line with Dogs Die in Hot Cars & Joy Zipper (who I have blogged about before). Sounds like a can't-miss show, right? But was I in attendance? Nope. Was it sold out, like the Decemberists/Okkervil River show at the same venue two nites earlier? Nah. Did I just have to stay home for the latest episode of 24? Not really. So what did I do? I stayed home, watched said episode of 24, listened to Patton Oswalt on Monday's edition of the Majority Report, and spent the rest of the nite generally being miserable.
BTW: Oswalt was on Carson Daly last nite (heads up via goldenfiddle) along with fellow comedian David Cross, who coincidentally co-hosted last nite's Majority Report with Sam Seder (since Janeane is shooting a pilot in LA). To no one's suprise, Cross' disdain for Daly was not all that thinly veiled.
My general lack of enthusiasm also kept me from roadtripping down to Chicago for the aforementioned midwestern RANA event, which normally I would never-never miss. Other recent musical frustrations include my mistakenly thinking the upcoming Out Hud gig at the Triple Rock was in May, when it is actually this weekend (I will be out of town), and a bone-headed error on my part that completely f**ked up my iTunes library of 25K+ songs, forcing me to reorganize from scratch (goodbye playlists).
But all of this is besides the point, which I suppose I should get around to:
Relax, folks. I don't so much "want to die" as much as I just seem to have little interest in life. Yeah, I've been depressed on-and-off for over four years now (holy crap), but it's getting to the point where I'm having serious trouble enjoying much of anything, which may somewhat explain why my posting frequency on this blog has been so erratic of late. I've found myself taking off entire weeks at a time, despite having loads of presumably free time that I spend doing very very little. I've mooched off my folks for far too long (nearly three years), and they're rightfully giving me the boot at the end of the month. You would think that the looming threat of homelessness would jumpstart my survival instincts, kick my ass out the door toward work & shelter, but alas I'm still the same dumbass feeling sorry for myself, getting nothing done, amounting to jack-sh** or somewhere thereabouts.
I wish-wish-wish I had the intense enthusiasm that Toronto's The Deadly Snakes exude in this raucous track, from the band's befittingly-titled 2003 LP Ode To Joy. I sought out this album after Pitchfork granted it "best new music" status in fall '03 & was happily impressed with its balls-out rock peppered with "garage, early punk, roots/bluegrass, Stax soul, & Southern gospel," and it wound up on my best-of list at year's end. "I Want To Die" has always stuck out as a favorite for me, perhaps due to its call-and-response breakdown toward the end of the song that knocks everything out of its path, or maybe it's the level of excitement it generates while vocalist Andre Ethier yelps out lyrics about not "wanting to see a thing anymore" or "go out on Friday nite." Despite my shortcomings, in the past I have been able to muster up plenty of earnest passion about things that intrigue me, or that I care about, so I suppose I connect with the song's stark contrast between its downcast words & foot-stomping music.
So why am I so darn pitiful, and who cares anyway? Well, unfortunately for me I truly cannot stand myself. Do I have an okay sense of humor? I guess. Do I decent taste in music, movies, etc? Depends who you're asking, but I suppose I do care about aesthetics to some extent (I went to school for it, so I had better). But other than those measly attributes, I can't say I'm proud of much else that has to do with me, and that extreme low self-esteem & lack of self-confidence combines with nagging anxiety that has always plagued me to make for a surefire recipe for success (add your own sarcasm). Whatever, this is all just the same bullsh** that various shrinks have had to endure over the years, so I'll try to avoid being redundant & spare you as much tediousness as possible (yet I keep writing).
When I'm struggling like this, I get into nasty habits. Phone calls go unreturned. E-mails fail to garner responses. My semi-irrational, pervasive disdain for myself leads to this solitary anti-lifestyle, also known as being an "a**hole." Even my friends' company can become discomforting, with my suckiness inevitably (and selfishly) reflecting off their not-suckiness. As you can imagine, this all can make me an unpleasant individual to be around.
I used to be able to better manage my depressive tendencies. I used to be responsible. I used to be dependable. I used to trust my own abilities. I used to have some ambition. I used to have more enthusiasm. I used to be a lot of things (or at least I think I was), but now I'm disgusted with the guy I've become after four years of basically wasting my life. And none of this means a damn thing. None of this complaining or self-abuse gets me anywhere.
This track, from Toronto-based MC K-Os, has been in my head for quite a while now - for obvious reasons, but it's also a great friggin' song. From last year's Joyful Rebellion album, "Man I Used To Be" has a groovy rhythm & a catchy-ass chorus supporting thoughtful lyrics about self-examination, regret & the nature of existence (sorta). I certainly feel the sentiment behind "I just wanna get back to me," though I know that my desire to do so is likley an exercise in pure vanity. I appreciate the acoustic interlude after the song, which tacks on an extra layer of authenticity & feeling IMO.
MOV K-Os - "Man I Used To Be" video (24.2mb)
MOV K-Os - "Superstarr Pt. 0" video (29.2mb)
MOV K-Os - "Heaven Only Knows" video (25.2mb)
MOV K-Os - "Crabbucket" video (24.3mb)
MOV Buck 65 - "4-6-3" video (24.5mb)
Director Micah Meisner has directed several music videos for K-Os (courtesy Revolver Films), as well as one for fellow Canadian hip-hop artist Buck 65.
So anyway, I've been toying with the idea of ending this blog, or possibly putting it on hiatus. Or maybe somebody else could take it over in my absence. I dunno. I'm already posting at a scattershot pace, and I barely have the will to do so as it is. I'll likely need to focus my energies elsewhere in the near future & I don't know if I'll be able to keep up The Big Ticket for much longer. Heck, internet access may be an issue, with a potential lack thereof (if I'm living in my car, or something) becoming a major obstacle. I haven't made up my mind yet, but soon it may be made up for me.
And now I come back to Phoenix (not the city), whose local show I just couldn't drag myself out to earlier this week (check out their in-studio session at The Current). This track is from the French pop band's 2000 release United, and also appeared on Erlend Øye's much-lauded DJ Kicks mix, and was also posted way back when at the now tragically defunct gabbaPad. Much like the previous songs, its upbeat disco groove is juxtaposed with melancholy lyrics, many of which hit home for me:
Feels like I've been buried yet I'm still alive
It's like a bad day that never ends
I feel the chaos around me
A thing I don't try to deny
I'd better learn to accept that
There are things in my life that I can't control
But I'm feeding the enemy
I'm in league with the foe
Blame me for what's happening
I can't try, I can't try, I can't try...
No one knows the hard times I went through
If happiness came I missed the call
Someday all this mess will make me laugh
I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait...
Of course, all my so-called "suffering" is totally self-inflicted - I am my own worst enemy, just like the cliché says. I can only hope that I will somehow, someway get my sh** together & come out on the other side for the better, but from my vantage point it's very difficult to see how that outcome will come to fruition. And the clock is ticking, always ticking. But I'm trying not to think about that right now, since I have to get to packing ASAP. I'm going down to Naples, FL (oh, poor me) with my dad & my brother Alan for a long weekend, during which I will hopefully find a way to settle my nerves & unwind a little. I may do a post or two while I'm down there, but I kinda doubt it - especially since I'm considering shutting down this whole operation altogether. Again, I don't know what I'm gonna do.
Anyway, sorry to be so gloomy. I know that's not why anybody bothers to stop by this site. I also don't think I expressed myself very well, but then again I'm in a rush. However it's still my blog, so you'll have to indulge me.
I'll leave you with an encouraging image: David Cross @ Air America.