Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Transcendence

It's come to this.

The end.

In the end of 2008, I attempted to embark on a project, a personal project. Document something of note for every day of 2009. I wanted an MP3 blog filled with audio clips, streaming videos, tons of photos, my own edited videos, whatever. It was to be a media frenzy. In the "my own edited videos" department I have a few works, a few blogs with them. But to be honest, my computer crashed to the point where I lost Adobe Premiere Pro, my video editing software, and I also lost my video camera capturing software. I am basically SOL on that front.

Thank god the audio aspect of my computer is intact, though. This is the most important aspect to my computer. Everything seems to be in working order on this front.

I think I did well in the media department.

The main crux of the blog was to document the daily trials and tribulations of Patch. Where was I a year ago? Where am I now?

Truth be told: not in a very different spot.

January 2009: I was recording Schematics tracks. Three more were to be fleshed out for the project. "Typosgraphy" was the current track, and I was having a hell of a time working with it. "In Hopes to Mend" was also a doozie, and if I remember correctly, it took two and a half months to record that one song. "Switch" took two weeks. Go figure.

I sent the tracks over to Schuyler for mixing and mastering in May 2009. He worked for two weeks then told me he had to stop and start over due to him not being happy with the results of his mixing, and because of a large three month trip to Europe he was to be on for the entire summer. I basically sat on my recordings for this time, playing with Taylor's Lizard People project in the meantime. After Schuyler returned, we started on the project again. From late September until early December he mixed. During this time, I was also finishing up Lizard People recordings as a tit for tat with Taylor for Schematics artwork that he had agreed to work on. I finished Lizard People in late October and immediately set about getting the live band together for Patch.

November and December were full of band meetings, lunch meetings, changing members, rehearsals and seeing how everyone interacted.

Where am I now?

1) I have to move out of my practice space due to noise complaints by my neighbor. I have a new space ready for our moving in in January, however.
2) I have four members of Patch intact. The lead guitarist role has once again been left vacant. Matt Anderson leveled with me yesterday and thought that he wouldn't be able to do both his band, The Engagement, and Patch. I'm currently looking to fill the last slot.
3) Schematics will be finished in mastering the week of January 11th. The artwork will be finished in the next couple of days here, as Taylor will be bunking up at my house for the next week. During this time, we will be finalizing all of the artwork for the CD, and starting to work on the Patch website art.
4) To coincide with the Schematics release, I will be recording new songs to be released as free MP3's for those who buy the physical Schematics EP. Simple and minimalistic in nature, the music will focus on Ommission, a loss of words, a loss of my intact nature. It's based off of some recent personal events in my life that would most likely cause some mayhem if I were to describe them here publicly.
5) Patch Live 1.0 will be onstage early March. Schematics and Omiss will be released at that time as well.

Patch will be public March 2010.

It's been tough. Constant uphill battles. My day job mixes with Patch in the afternoons due to so many calls that have to be made, plans set in stone, coordinating schedules without losing my mind.

So, Patch is still brewing. It's farther along, of course, but mainly in regards to having a lot of it out of my hands. "Hurry Up and Wait" is the main line heard in the popular music world. Deadlines are met and then you sit on your efforts for awhile. You think, "Did I really need a deadline in the first place?"

With this blog, I also wanted to document my personal life. One last attempt, since I'll be setting all of these aspects of my life to private once Patch goes public. I wanted to talk about my work with children, my relationships, my family drama.

One of the interesting developments in the personal life realm was the realization of friendship I had with the Brotherhood, the people who all lived in a little house on Monroe Street in Northeast, Minneapolis. It started from Citizens Banned wanting to share a house where we would all live, breathe, and create together in one nucleus. This fell apart, and Taylor and I brought home two women that we had picked up at a dance club downtown. We had these two meet another close friend of me and Adri. We became inseparable in 2007 and 2008.

2009 brought an end to everyone living at Monroe. Everyone moved away, leaving me with the house for Patch purposes. Now that Patch has been given the boot . . . this will most likely be the last year for me at Monroe. It still offers me recording space, but at 25 I've grown and procured too much stuff that my room is stifling and suffocating. I need to move on.

With everyone coming back for the holidays, though, this blog ends. Karmath was a term I came up with relating to Citizens Banned, and it since has been ingrained as the story of the Brotherhood. The songs on the Karmath EP were all written at Monroe, they are all about the Monroe residents. Karmath the Blog is a written testimony to their existence in prose. And how much I love them.

A basic need in my life, one that I've searched for since I was a small child, has finally reached a climax, a resolution. I've found a group of friends that will remain the closest soulmates to my own soul until the day I die. People I will always call on. People I will always visit. People who will father and mother my children, and help out my own true family. They're all going to be at Monroe tonight for a massive New Years party. A true homecoming. A true hurrah.

My brothers and sisters. This was my document to myself that this is where it all became realized. 2009 was the beginning of a new era. Schooling stopped in 2006, leaving the Brotherhood. The school of the Brotherhood stopped in 2009. Now, for me, it's Patch. School: check. Friends: check. Career: ?

2010 will be a very important year. My dream will become reality. I will most likely change and grow in a way I never imagined. It's a strange frontier, putting a new voice out in the world like I want to do. But I'm ready.

I've got the friends to back me up. The people to call on when I need help and a break. Support. Everything has led to this point. 2009 is the climax to my youth.

2010 will be the separation of the man from the boy in me.


To fully wrap this project up, I've linked some of my favorite entries below. These represent some of the more seminal 2009 moments, an entry I'm proud of, something special, etc. Most days' entries I'm proud of, but these stand out to me. I've had three quasi-official relationships in the past year, great successes, great moments of fear and stress. Here it is, a recap in Karmath the Blog form of 2009:

1. 1/5/09: Polish Sausages
2. 1/6/09: Pi
3. 1/7/09: A Call to Arms
4. 1/21/09: Brigade of Mascots
5. 1/22/09: No Longer Striding
6. 2/7/09: Finally Striding
7. 2/8/09: Slithers and Dust
8. 2/21/09: Metafiction
9. 2/28/09: A Prologue to an Epilogue
10. 3/1/09: Mustaches and Mayhem
11. 3/6/09: Casualties of War
12. 3/28/09: Marathon Sprints
13. 3/31/09: The Sandwich Crust Epidemic
14. 4/2/09: Yo'plaited
15. 4/13/09: I Hoped to End
16. 4/24/09: Army of Darkness
17. 5/4/09: SUCCESS!!!!
18. 5/17/09: Broom Stick Revolver
19. 6/28/09: Liquored Truths and Glittered Booths
20. 7/30/09: The Coma Child Incident
21. 8/4/09: That Girl Interrupted My Great Balls of Fire
22. 8/8/09: My Visit from Beelzebub
23. 8/13/09: The Foreskin Debate
24. 8/14/09: Rats and Revenge
25. 8/17/09: One Dollar Baby
26. 8/21/09: Lizard People IV: The Final Showdown
27. 8/28/09: Fine Print of Obligation
28. 8/30/09: Polish Sausages II
29. 9/4/09: How the Swedes Kill Kittens
30. 9/18/09: West's Dead End
31. 9/23/09: The Missing Beak
32. 10/5/09: Hair o' the Dog
33. 10/18/09: Tainted Love
34. 10/31/09: Mainstream Mania
35. 11/12/09: The Cost of Noise
36. 11/14/09: A Day of Firsts
37. 12/6/09: PATCH LIVE
38. 12/9/09: Hi, My Name is Robert
39. 12/12/09: Smokey and the McMuffin
40. 12/30/09: The Anchor-age


And now, 2010.

Karmath the Blog will exist, but nothing will be added to it. This is the last blog entry.

Welcome to Circadia will now be the main blog. I will most likely have another personal blog, but it will be pretty private, pretty exclusive. For now, Welcome to Circadia will have to suffice.

It's been a good blog, this here Karmath. But I'm tired of working on it everyday. But I fucking did it! I . . . beat . . . you . . .

2010, bring it on. Time to step into the next era. A scary, strange, foreign era of my life.

This is Peter . . . signing off.

Ennio Morricone -- "L'estasi Dell'oro"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Anchor-age

The stench was a mixture of seaweed and sulphur.

Echoes permeated out of the catacombs in such a way as to distill upon impact with the open air, distilling before a wayward passersby would happen to stumble upon the proceedings within The Anchor, a successful restaurant in the light of day, a secret meeting ground in the still of night.

I had traveled alone in the cold. Traversing slick roads, crying children, sickly men, I pulled my coat tighter around my vessel. As of late, the cold and society had proven to cause a sickish temperance within my mood. I was hurried, I was famished. Tarnished with need, it was an order by the powers that be that we should have the Brotherhood coalesce into one vecter. Want fled once the cold was let in.

Yet, I carried on. I was leisurely, I was fed, or so the mantra tried feverishly to implore upon my consciousness. Stopping along the corner of my destination, the aforementioned concoction brewed haphazardly for the fancy of the poignant sense, smell, perforated my innards with a grimacing bite. I was near.

Stepping up to the hidden door, I let loose my overcoat. The mantra left as cool reality rushed in. I cared not for the smell, but only for the mantra to be rendered mute by the redundancy of true warmth. But I had to keep my wits, my memory. There is an order to the elements of our strange universe, and I had to abide.

I bared the sign stitched into my chest, unbuttoning my shirt for the guard to ponder. He decided it was of good fortune to let me pass. I gave him a shilling for his ponderment.

Traversing into the dank hallways underneath The Anchor, I smiled, beside myself. This was my order, my doing. The human in me would always cry mercy from the outer environments, but once inside, where transcendency reigned, the warmth of hope triumphed. The proceedings were of my calling, and I was on time. Fashionably late in my arrival.

A turn here, a turn there, I reached my destination. Warm firelight attempted to sneak underneath the blocked doorchamber, to hardly any avail. Again, I smirked at the dichotomy between survival and want. Something as trite as firelight abided the laws of Karmath, the laws of the universe, needing to escape to new corners, to find sustenance in any place dark. Yet, I stuttered, it shouldn't be surprising to think of one of the four basic elements to be a primary example of law and truth.

I shook my head. Time to swim to the surface. Time to meet the Brotherhood.

I knocked. I heard a rasp on the other side. "I drive, you walk, I say-"

I answered. "Salsa."

The door opened on my party. Baring the stitch within my chest yet again, the stitch we share as Brothers, the stitch of the chili pepper, we all bared our chests. We were well met.

I took off my coat, my mantras expelled like I had surmised. Speech was of the essence, and in that quadrant of my brain I now tried to work.

"Sit down, Brothers," I began.

The order, which consists of men and women, eight including myself, sat in chairs. Jeremiah, the caretaker of The Anchor and overseer to the proceedings, also shared our company. I remained standing, cemented in pacing within the center of a celebratory circle of chairs.

"I've called us here to talk of the past, the present, and future." Good man, start vague, reign it into detail. "We Brothers have been through a lot together. And recently we hath seen trial and tribulation at having our order separated across the good land of America. We are in pressing times, I need not remind ye. The order is threatened only in new members, but it is hard to let new blood into an already established bond of entertwined vessels and veins, is it not? Trust comes to mind, mark it, trust is very mischievous, yes.

"We started as three. Adri, Lord High Genius of Salsa, Louis, Chief of Salsa, Taylor, Chief of Salsa. You hath procured a fourth, me, Peter, Thane of Salsa. Together we four traversed our vicinity, minstrels on the path of enlightenment within the alchemy of guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. What we made carried over not in art, but in friendship. The Brotherhood was established, and this order came to rise. Our art continues, but it pales in respect to the Brotherhood.

"Our activities were overseen with the guise of prankmanship. While we studied alchemy, we passed it off as if we were children surmising to frighten the weary citizens of our vicinity. A traveller on foot, lost in internal thought, would suddenly be swept out of his tired dream and into a harsh realm of realizing they had just been . . . salsa'd. We, screaming from a better means of travel, an automotive, perhaps, would make them know their inferiority. 'SALSA' we said to the world on high. Say it with me now, Brothers!"

They all screamed "SALSA! SALSA! SALSA!!!"

"Yes," I continued. "And new members infiltrated the four. Gregory, of the Second Circle, which was not called tonight, Louis' family and friends, also of the Second Circle, et cetera, et cetera. We became quite a clan. Alas, our alchemy was proven false, and we drifted. We set out to have an abode, a true epicenter to the Brotherhood. It is here where we began our true blood tying.

"We brought Nicole, Daughter of Mild Chili, and her beau Ryan, Chunky Down Under, Kristen, Hot Wild Winger, and Marta, Smooth Queso Dipster into the fraternity. And they passed. One's blood flows within the other. We are one. And we are met tonight.

"Two years passed as we let the Salsa slip and we delved into the Queso, the cheese of our innards. We were friends, meeting with happiness, sadness, anger, and wholesomeness. We have moved into a realm of the new life, where our Brothers thought it necessary to embark on their journeys, yet never distilling the blood of the other from out their travelled hearts. Seattle, Washington D.C., Rhode Island, now claim our Brotherhood.

"I will now talk about the future, my friends. We need not dwell on the past, only in that it would be redundant to do so. We know what I speak, I speak what ye know. Redundancy in tow. We will dispense of this foul play.

"Our Salsa Ship hath sailed. Anchors have been cast aboard and let loose to the new territories claiming our blood. We have reached a maturity, a transcendence, into travelling Brothers, a place where we will need to be remembered for our past but prepare for the future. Marriages will proceed, children of our blood, we must bear the insignia of the new and mature. Let's dispense of this Salsa, take the stitches of our Chili Peppers out from our epidermis, and brand ourselves . . . The Anchorage.

"Three of our women folk hath branded themselves in this very sign. The Anchor represents a tool of travel, yet when the Anchor truly shows, the travelling vessel is at rest. Anchors are sunken into the bowels of the shallow sea so that its sailors may take heed in the land they hath discovered. They will rust away as the sea taketh, once we have perished, like the waves on a sandbar.

"I now ask of ye to see my persuasion. My motives are clear. Our Brotherhood is now the Anchorage. We shall brand ourselves in the mark, we shall call the eatery above home. A nexus for our meeting. We shall bring new members to this very latitude and test their blood for appropriation within the Anchorage.

"What say ye, Brothers? Do I speak in vain? I ask not for an answer. I only ask for your silent pondering. I will take leave of this proceeding, and see ye in the open air in the days ahead to tell me of your answers. Be well, ladies and gentlemen. Pleasant merriments."

And with that, I stripped myself of my Chili stitches. I dropped them to the floor, turned, and donned my coat. The warmth of my speech had driven away my mantras permanently for the night. In that thought, I smiled again.

Dropkick Murphys -- "Kiss Me, I'm Shit Faced"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Dyes of Patch 5

While all of the other main influences remain pretty much equal in terms of how much they influence me, how much I listen and study them, the final influence might be the biggest and most important because it is the one that holds everything together.

Patch relies on storytelling. The lyrics are usually the first component of a song ever written down. Not music. It's all poetry, or prose describing the storyline that will be turned into poetry or lyrics. Then the music is written to help carry the storyline in a personal, empathetical way, hopefully coalescing into a new sound.

I also like to use a lot of symbolism. Abstract images, speaking in small hints, giving clues, making up worlds and huge concepts. Plus, the stories and the lyrics are committed. I want to sound like I really believe in what I'm saying.

No one has given me greater influence in this regard than Marilyn Manson.

His work from 1994 through 2001 remains some of the most poignant storytelling and conviction I have ever heard in lyrical rock. The music is secondary to Manson's voice and lyrics.

However, Trent Reznor produced his first two records, having more of an input on Manson's greatest record, "Antichrist Superstar". He plays on most of the songs, even. It is on this record where both Trent's musical knowledge/production and Manson's gift of poetry joined together in the most perfect way.

"Antichrist Superstar" might be the most influential record of all time for me.

You've got theatre, found production and noise, a new sound (Trent's), challenging songwriting, and some of the best lyrics in rock n' roll. Boom! Patch was born while listening to this record on repeat in sixth grade back in 1996 and 1997. I wanted to put images and noises together. I wanted to perform crazy antics onstage. I wanted to shock people into thinking a different way.

The big three: "Antichrist Superstar", "Mechanical Animals", and "Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)", are the main crux of Manson's good work. After these he delved into more campy goth territory. It's still interesting, he's still dealing with concepts and great influences and symbolism and metaphor, but it lacks the importance of the big three. Still, even "Mechanical" and "Holy Wood" don't hold a candle to "Antichrist". It's all here.

Every lyric is a symbol. Every symbol within the liner notes relates to a lyric. Everything in the music relates to the poetry. Everything in Manson's performance dealt with the story and the lyrics. Everything is connected, everything is whole. Perfect.

So really, listen to "Antichrist Superstar" in its entirety. It's a good place to start if you want to know where the whole Patch dream came from.

Here's "The Reflecting God", track 15 on "Antichrist", quite possibly my favorite Manson track:

Marilyn Manson -- "The Reflecting God"

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Dyes of Patch 4

This next influence is the most direct, meaning it pertains specifically to songwriting and style. I'm a rhythm section writer by heart, guitars usually come second to drums and root notes in bass composition. One band has opened my eyes to guitars, to different time signatures, to challenging the audience by overwhelming means of writing and delivery.

The Mars Volta started out as mud to me. As time went on, I started to get them. More and more I came to realize that Cedric Bixler-Zavala's vocal delivery was my favorite out of any other vocal artist. He has quivers in his falsetto, his voice is gutwrenchingly high (meaning it's impossible for me to ever sing in his range), he conveys such emotion with each syllable. He's fantastic.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez writes the music. He fuses latin jazz with punk rock. Again, a whole new sound all their own. But this might be one of the more challenging forms of "new sounds" in modern music today. A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with the Volta. They started out strong with their debut "De-loused in the Comatorium" and since have descended in critical acclaim. Their latest record, however, "Octahedron", has garnered praise, mainly because it is more simplistic in nature than their other recent ventures like "Amputechture" and "The Bedlam in Goliath". For me, "Frances the Mute" takes the cake as best Volta record. It was the most challenging record, but it was still riding on their success with "De-loused" for most people. It's the most mature and gutsy. The ends of songs have sprawling electronic ambient outros, but the songs themselves are pretty focused and well-written. The last song, "Cassandra Gemini", clocks in at 32 minutes.

After listening to this record and "De-loused" over and over, I welcomed the new material with open arms. The stuff that got more carried away, with lots of different sections and changes. "Amputechture" might have been the record that changed me as a songwriter. At this point, my songwriting was very 4/4 based, blues riffs, production oriented. After listening to "Amputechture", I immediately wrote "Typosgraphy", totally a play off of Volta. Since then, I've tried to make it a goal to have lots of different changes, challenging time signatures, challenging riffs, more story arcs in my writing. They can put mind blowing rock together with emotional music. Again, here's another band that can make me cry. I always get tears in my eyes at the end of "Frances" when the acoustic guitar comes in for the last minute after the thirty minutes of noise in "Cassandra Gemini".

Another song of mine is a good example of the change I've experienced. "Trachomanic" has a lot of changes, and could be the best example of things to come for Patch. Every one of my influences is exemplified here: NIN's electronica and punk beat, Beck's found production, Tom Waits' theatrical personality, the Volta's section changes and complicated solos. The last influence, tomorrow's, puts the final touch on all of these . . . a lyrical influence, symbollism. Intense, engaging storytelling.

Here's one of my favorite songs by The Mars Volta. It shows the section changes, the complicated solos, the complicated rhythm section, their own patented sound, the emotion in Cedric's vocals, and the intensity of the climax in the movements. This song makes me crazy (in a good way) whenever I listen to it. Especially the end.

The Mars Volta -- "Goliath"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Dyes of Patch 3

Anyone who knows me and my musical tastes shouldn't find this next icon to be a surprise.

Growing up, he was my main influence. The be all, end all. Nothing could take the reign as top dog in my book other than this man. Reflecting now on the last couple of years, where Patch has started to take a new direction and have a maturity in my mind regarding songwriting, I view this icon's music in a different way.

Trent Reznor, to me, is the ultimate producer. A producer who has crafted his own sound. When a Nine Inch Nails song comes on the radio, you know exactly who made it, even if you've never heard the song before. One of my main fears about Patch was that, because I've listened to NIN all my life and have pretty much studied Trent's production everyday since I was 10, my music would sound like Trent produced it.

People ask, "Would it be your dream to have Trent Reznor produce Patch?" I retort with a large "NO! That would completely make it his, not mine, then. My production skills would be nothing. I'd like for him to like my music, but never to produce it."

I want my own sound. I want to come up with something no one else could replicate. It's what I call "Typosgraphy", having something completely new that no one else can call their own. Make my own crime scene using evidence and markers from the past, my influences, and making it the Peter Kenyon sound.

Trent's lyrics are less than desired. But they have personality (just like Tom Waits). You can sense personal emotion in the delivery. The main treat of NIN is the music. When Trent spouts his thoughts on sex, loss, government, etc., it's the music that does most of the talking. He takes electronica and puts it together with acoustic instruments, very much what I like to do. I just hope to god it doesn't sound the same.

This blend of electro-acoustic is heard in "Just Like You Imagined" from The Fragile. This is one of the only songs in the music world to make me cry on occasion. It's instrumental, save for a chorus of "Ahhh's" by Trent. It's placed in a portion of The Fragile representing Trent's fall from helping another, someone who has been with him on his journey of repair, a lover perhaps, and he/she betrays him. At least, that's what sources say. To me, it's a representation of losing something you love in a terrible way. I broke up with a girlfriend of two years and immediately put this song on. It was a bad breakup, and it was everything that I was feeling. The music has personality, not just vocals. Trent speaks best through the instrumentation of his music. His vocal delivery just adds a cherry on top of the masterpiece.

Plus, on a live performance level, Trent's energy onstage is some of the best stuff I feed off of. Especially in the early NIN days, Trent was so crazy, you'd fear for your life if you were in the front row. I'd like to embody that intensity, that danger, in my live shows.

I hope my music has both a vocal personality akin to Tom and Trent's voice delivery, and the notion of an entirely new sound that speaks volumes in its own personality. A new language, a new school. "Typosgraphy".

Nine Inch Nails -- "Just Like You Imagined"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Dyes of Patch 2

The next main influence to my songwriting doesn't happen to be an artist I listen to every day. I like half of his songs, I get bored from the other half. But I respect his whole repertoire due to the way that he carries himself as an artist. He blends reality and fiction into a whole where you're not sure where the story begins and the true artist ends. He has made a complete ethos out of himself, as much an actor as he is a musician. He is a more "down-to-earth" version of my number one influence. A more folky version. A lighter version. More quirky and campy.

One extreme in my songwriting to my number one's other extreme.

This man is Tom Waits.

His more straight ahead blues songs, his ballads, I don't much care for. It's the weird stuff, the stuff where you can hear the room ambience in the recording, where his gruff scream is the ultimate delivery, where bones are played instead of regular drums, where the theatricality of it all comes out. I picture some basement of a dive bar to be the locale for Tom Waits' music. A strange cabaret where something isn't quite right, but you'll go along for the ride. I like when an artist prompts the audience to constantly question the sanity of the man/woman behind the work.

I dabble in simplistic production from time to time. Set up pots and pans in a room, play a simple acoustic riff, and scream from across the room. It adds character and depth to the personality of the music. Mr. Waits is excellent at portraying character.

One of the best examples of Tom's work for my influence would be his song "Earth Died Screaming" from the album Bone Machine, and one of the main songs from the "12 Monkeys" soundtrack. It was actually the first song I heard of his. I thought it was special, a dark voice with such a strange personality to it. So much is going in the way he conveys the message, but it's done in such a simplistic way. There are bones for percussion, a distorted blues guitar, and Tom's voice. That's it, except for the Death song excerpt at the end. Hearing this song, it makes me want to find a random venue, not traditional, where the band takes garbage cans, water jugs, chains, one guitar and one amp (one of lesser quality) and put on a show entirely in this magnitude. I wrote a song called "Whisper a Scream" which consisted just of metal on stone hits and vocals. A lot of "In Hopes to Mend" is inspired by Tom Waits, as well. One of the main features of the bridge is a bongo drum played with me holding keys loosely in my right hand. I put the reverb up in such a way as to suggest that I played it in a lone basement room, which is where the song takes place.

A basement room not unlike the one I picture Tom to claim as his performance throne.

Tom Waits -- "Earth Died Screaming"

Friday, December 25, 2009

By the Fire, Together Again

A low key day. Saw a movie at the theater (Sherlock Holmes), Cosmos, presents, dinner, board games, the newest Pixar movie viewing (I always ask for the latest Pixar movie every year from my mom) whilst sitting near a fire.

Pretty run of the mill for X-Mas with mom. I can't complain.

I do wish for the big family experience, but I guess that'll have to wait until I'm married.

Here's the end of my favorite Christmas movie, "Scrooged". I dedicate it to a friend who showed me that Christmas is okay, it's not as scary of a holiday as I sometimes make it out to be. Thanks LG!

Pearl Jam -- "Let Me Sleep"

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Whenever I've gone home this year, I've written about my father and stepmother, and how I become a little insecure around them, looking for acceptance. This Christmas Eve, my brother was in Kenya, it was just me at their house. I brought Chianti. It provided for a rather splendid evening. We were all drunk, laughing hysterically about everything.

It was the first time that I felt accepted by my father.

I can't think of a better Christmas present.

Here's the beginning of my favorite Christmas movie, "Scrooged":

Crash Kings -- "Mountain Man"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It was either a scene from GoodFellas or like going to a reunion with your family when you were younger, seeing friends from the past meeting up together, loud and drunk, making you feel uncomfortable since you were a helpless little child who wanted to stick around your parents and all types of strangers were pulling your cheeks. "You're gettin' so big!"

I feel like I became that adult yesterday, the one that is now old enough to meet up with people from the past at seminal establishments. Nicole (my good friend, not my awesome neighbor) and Ryan came back from Rhode Island yesterday, and another friend, Wade, decided to throw a little get-together old crew style. Karaoke at Grumpy's.

In the second entry of Karmath, I mentioned Karaoke at the U Otter Stop Inn bar near my home. There was something magical about last night, though. U Otter was before I knew everyone would be leaving Minneapolis. All of the gang is coming back this holiday season. We're throwing a large New Years party to celebrate the homecoming.

Adri and I decided to go to Grumpy's together. It was a quiet night on the streets. Downtown seemed dead. Grumpy's itself seemed a little empty as well. The alcove just off to the side of the bar holds the Staraoke event, what I consider to be the biggest Karaoke event in the Twin Cities. The place was packed with both the homecoming party and another birthday party. Friends from my theater past and people we used to hang out with who were friends of Ryan and Wade were all there.

It was like meeting people when you're older. "Nicole, howa de kids?!" "Ryan, ye sonuvabitch, you still ogglin' over Hot Lips Lucy?! Hey ye got a little, WHOA!, almost slugged ya!! It was always dat right flank you had a problem wit. Gotta woik on it, pal."

I felt a little out of place, to tell the truth. I started out strong, but soon became a little disassociative. It wasn't until some more of the Monroe House brotherhood's inner nucleus started showing up where I felt a little more in the zone.

The reunion of the past, something that will continue throughout the week and next, will be interesting. It will be bittersweet.

It will be with this reunion that I will end this blog. Where I've come from, how I've changed in the last year, where I'll be going. The past and present and future meeting up in a grand party to kick off 2010, what will most likely be one of the most seminal years of my life.

Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra with Jo Stafford -- "Manhattan Serenade"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Resolute in Chance

I have succumbed to the resolution that Patch has to pack up and leave my house. City officials and authorities operate out of a "if you're disrupting the quality of life of an individual, you are in the wrong". There are no decibel readers in law enforcement and law. The only group holding these machines is Environmental Control, and they only come out when they are enforcing noise ordinances, not as a service to a questioning band member. Even if I'm in the legal limit of 10db's or less, my neighbor could keep complaining and shut us down. I could say "We are totally legal. We are 10db's and less. My friend's decibel reader said so." They'd look at you and say "So what? Shut it off, she keeps complaining to us."

So, yeah, we're leaving.

I just got back from checking out a space just west of downtown that we would share with Solid Gold. It's a pretty cheap option. Not as ideal as my back room, but it works. I have no idea what the band will bite on, but I'm scared that certain members will potentially opt out of Patch completely. Maybe it's me being too anxious about the situation, but that's why this is such a big deal to me.

I would love to be completely confident that Patch is at a comfortable position of having set members and a set space, but that is not the case with this situation. Anything can happen right now.

I hate this. I want resolution. I want to know that we're okay.

Kings of Leon -- "Crawl"