a cork board

Free Randall Blythe
PMpFri, 27 Jul 2012 15:25:18 -040025Friday 1, 2010, 3:25 pm
Filed under: music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On December 8th, 2004 in Columbus , Ohio a man named Nathan Gale attended a concert for a metal band named Damageplan. He came with a loaded 9mm Beretta. Somewhere during the music set, he stormed the stage and took very deliberate aim at Darrell Abbott aka Dimebag Darrell, the former guitarist for Pantera and driving force behind establishing the unique sound of “groove metal.”. He fired 3 shots and killed Darrell, along with 3 other people and wounding seven more. It was a sad day for everyone involved and a tearful day for the entire metal music scene.

Fast-forward to May 24th, 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic and we find ourselves at the concert for another “groove metal” band, Lamb of God. A young fan repeatedly storms the stage, only to be thrown off by security personnel and even band members. This fans third and final attempt to storm the stage results in him being hurled off the stage where he lands awkwardly on his head on the concrete floor. He later dies of his injuries.

Anyone who has ever been to a heavy metal concert knows that there is always some asshole who wants to, tries to or succeeds in storming the stage. Sometimes they do it just to turn around and stage dive. Sometimes they get so riled up by the music they want to shove the band. But after Dimebag Darrell died, no metal performer would ever look at a fan storming the stage the same way again. For all intents and purposes, the singer, guitarist, bassist or drummer could push that motherfucker right off the stage. But they don’t have to get involved because of the big, burly security guards lumbering over the audience. The singer of Lamb of God, D. Randall Blythe, would have been within his rights to push the fan. But according to people who were there, he either didn’t touch him at all or he barely touched him.

Fast-forward to June 27th, 2012 and Lamb of God touch down in Czech Republic again for another concert only to find police waiting for them. Randall Blythe gets arrested for manslaughter. He posts a $200,000 bail, but the courts are afraid he’s going to skip bail and trial so they refuse to let him leave and have since raised his bail to $400,000 (double his salary). He is officially charged with manslaughter and faces up to 10years in prison if he is convicted of causing the death of this fan who decided to storm the stage after being thrown off twice. Randall is being held at the historic Pankrác Prison in Prague, Czech Republic.

This is absolutely outrageous that he is being held and charged with manslaughter. Unfortunately, people have died at concerts. People have sustained major injuries at concerts. Axl Rose has catapulted into an audience and pounded an ignorant fan with a microphone stand. I have been blocked from going onstage at a metal concert. But if you manage to get on and then stage-dive or get thrown off by security, why do it again? Don’t act like an ass-hat. If anything, charge the security company or the guard. Don’t charge the lead singer of the band for protecting himself and his band from some dumb-ass fan who felt the need to put himself and the band in danger.

Free Randall Blythe. Get him out of jail right now! Spread the word about this, it needs more publicity. This is not some delusional fan trying to support his favorite artist after he did something wrong, this whole situation IS wrong. The media needs to know about this. The Czech Republic are holding him in jail after he has paid his bail while they investigate. Not only should he not be charged, but he should not be in jail right now. Please inform people and spread the news to media outlets so this can get the coverage it deserves. Metal fans are up in arms over this, and the rest of the population should be too, no matter what music you listen to.

AMpMon, 01 Aug 2011 09:34:38 -040034Monday 1, 2010, 9:34 am
Filed under: music, poems, the ether | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We were never made to understand you.
Your eyes, spoke of sadness and longing.
But your voice, spoke in soul and jazz.
And your shoulders, spoke in eulogies and swan songs.
An epitaph of brilliance and rebellion interlaced
with passion and, a portrait of addiction.
An iron-clad middle finger and a white flag,
you couldn’t give a fuck what we thought.
So you did what you could,
and we loved to hate you for it.
That’s what we came to know as,
an enigma continuously contradicting itself
for the cold embrace of shallow highs
that sailed you down a one-way river
with no hope of returning, ever.
We watched you wither away
like a descending sun through a fading sky,
and you slipped back to black.
I wish I could have helped you shake
the clutches of those shadows, Amy.
But addiction is a lonely thing,
a road that leaves us helpless.
It turns us into faceless bystanders
praying for you to make the right choice.
I will never profess to understand
the complexities of addiction.
But I know that it never leaves you; the urge,
the pain that took you there in the first place.
Not everyone deals with plight the same way,
but you, you just kept on running.
We would have laid our hands across
the blades of railroad tracks for you,
if we didn’t enjoy watching you
tear away at your own skin.
If we didn’t enjoy watching you fall
like a drunken man trying  to stand,
we might have offered you a helping hand.
Forgive us for the way we are, Amy.
We do not flee the scene of an accident,
we watch the carnage
until the blood stops running,
until the paramedics stop even trying,
until the show is over.
Now the curtain is pulled …and you’re gone.
I can only hope you find the quietness
that eluded you in life.
You kept giving us reasons to pay attention.
We inflated you with expectations of
Aretha and Billie and Natalie and Nina,
and you never knew how amazing you were;
the fact that you didn’t even have to try
is what made it so special.
No, you just sang
And your pain, sorrow and strength
resonated through the chords in your voice.
Every time you would burst into flames,
the music would pull you
out of the ashes like a phoenix.
That’s where you left us your heart, Amy; in the music.
How we’ll remember you, through the music.
After all of the tabloids and headlines,
all that matters, is the music.
Two albums, five grammys,
the start of the new British invasion,
an inspiration to so many starving artists
and a fingerprint on the chest of every person
who was touched by your music.
I wish we could have watched you rise again , Amy.
Instead I’m sitting here writing this poem,
trying to put my fingers on the pulse
of the life you left behind.
I will make sure my son knows your voice,
to pass you onto future generations.
And I wish you peace, Amy.
Peace you could never find
in this life, as you fade back to black.

what if Bob Marley were alive today?
PMpWed, 15 Dec 2010 12:16:57 -040016Wednesday 1, 2010, 12:16 pm
Filed under: music, the ether, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

it’s hard to believe that it’s almost been 30years since Robert Nesta Marley died. it was in the year between when my wife was born (1980) and when I was born (1982) that he died. I always liked to find some sort of meaning in this, I’m not sure what but it’s something. Bob Marley represented so many things that a simple, little blog entry cannot even begin to encapsulate or contain. He was a beacon of hope, he was a sign that people were ready to embrace peace and love, a sign that we were ready to come together, he was a bonafide Rastafarian trumpeter to the masses, he was  simple man who believed in simple ideas that were massive, he was a husband, a father, a human being, etcetera, etcetera, etc. there are conspiracy theories about his death to this day. people will always believe what they want to believe, but I believe he died of cancer. whether you want to argue about how he died or not, the simple fact remains that he was much too young, just 36, when he left this world. he left behind an incredible legacy (music, philosophy, ideals, family and so much more) that grows every year since he has passed. but what if Bob Marley were alive today?


I ask this question out loud all the time. we pontificate on the wonder that he would have become. we tend to look up to the sky when we do this, as if he would be a mountain scratching the sky. a part of me thinks he would have quit music eventually. I would like to believe that he would still be touching our hearts and souls and having us believe in something that is just within our grasp. in just gettin’ down for the sake of gettin’ down and recognizing our flaws while still loving one another. but if you take a good, long look at how we are today, you may begin to question this; our culture and thirst for blood and deception and cruelty has turned us into self-serving monsters. would we have been any different if we still had Bob Marley and his songs of freedom? I don’t know. I’m almost sure that we would be the same. we may have even tainted his own sense of purpose with our hunger and greed.


what we have become is a culmination of our own human nature and the fact that we can get away with whatever we want (or so we think). it’s the same reason people stop to a halt when they see a car accident, especially if you can see the victim. because we like to watch tragedy take place. we have seen so many movies and taken in so much reality t.v. that we are just dying to be entertained. so what’s more entertaining than making a hero? tearing them down. we like to tear people down more than we like to build them up. if that’s not the case, then we like to discard them and fade them into obscurity. because we look at them as a mirror of nostalgia that will never be what it was; so why even bother? maybe it’s a good thing Bob Marley was taken from us so soon. that way we will always remember him as he was…as a Legend instead of fading in front of our eyes. when he finally decided to undergo chemotherapy, his dreadlocks fell off. I saw a picture of him like this. the fire was still in his eyes, but he was fading. and seeing that always made me wonder if it was the cancer or the fame that was eating him from the inside.


in today’s culture, how would he have even survived? the artists of his day that are still around have become punch-lines in Rollings Stones-themed jokes. they have become dancing ghosts waiting to sing their own eulogies. I could never imagine Bob like this. I will always see him as that roaring lion who swallowed the stage when he sang and danced like a shaman summoning the rain. but what really gets the gears in my head turning is how blood-thirsty our culture has become. we surely would have vilified him by now. Bob Marley was a very frank man. he believed in certain ideas and he never issued a single apology for how he felt; he didn’t need to. he believed in equality and one love but he was vocal about certain things that would have some groups of today slandering him for. I can’t shake the idea that we would have type-casted him into the role of the villain by now. of course, there are always people who will love the man and his message unconditionally, but history has shown us that any one person who represents an idea that goes against an establishment that gains momentum and fervent followers, is likely to be painted as a fool or even assassinated (we tried to kill him once as it was). the end result is us (the masses) believing this person is bat-shit crazy, or wondering how on earth we let them fall so far without trying to catch them the way they caught us time and time again.  


we have had so many musical heroes leave us way too soon. they have been killed, perished or just passed away. there is John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendirx, Peter Tosh, Kurt Coabin, Tupac Shakur, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, Aaliyah and countless others that are slipping through my fingers as I type this. and what makes their faces emblaze our t-shirts is that fact that they became martyrs for their own cause. they rose to the top and they inspired us to believe in amazing things, and God decided to take them from us before we could ever tear them down. if Bob Marley were alive today, a corporation would have tried to break him by now. his music meant too much to him for him to ever sellout. if he was still making music, he may have fallen into the honorary band of Bob Dylan and Neil Young (they still pour their hearts into their music, but the mass public doesn’t care and neither do they because they’re doing what they love the way they want to do it). Bob Marley was sent to us for a reason. I once heard him say that with each song he wrote, he tried to teach a different lesson on life (no matter how big or small). so through his music he has left us a blueprint on how to live our lives and how to treat each other; all we have to do is open up our hearts and listen. his legacy is eternal, and sadly, that is because he died so young. if Bob Marley were alive today, his heart would be heavy at the war and greed that we have embraced. his worries for us made him sick sometimes, so how far would we have driven him before he broke? it’s a sad tale to think of.


c.r. avery & baton rouge
PMpFri, 16 Apr 2010 12:49:26 -040049Friday 1, 2010, 12:49 pm
Filed under: events, music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

the background hum of the office is ever-the-same. light key-punching and muted conversations humming like public transit. I drift like Magic Hour Sailor Songs and dwindle down the Mississippi River back to Baton Rouge. I miss those muddy waters. I used to glaze them over with my eyes from the window of a courthouse in the city. I saw C.R. Avery last night at the Burlington Slam Project. the man is a beast. the man is the wheels on busses and bicycles and coincidence. it was the first time I saw him perform without a mic. his harmonica-beatboxing persona was not lost in the quiet room at The Black Bull. the crowd fell to a hush when he began performing. the waitresses lined the outskirts of the room and there was not even the sound of glass clinking from the bar. C.R. was brilliantly simple without one of his three bands and only two of his family of instruments. there were no electronics, but it worked. the bass from his throat shook our ear drums and we ate it up. I finally got to see him do his “Boxer” piece and the beat was bouncing off of the wood. like I said, the man is a beast. the highways and road-maps he’s travelled are etched on his face; his clothes are weather-worn wonderfully extended from his self-proclaimed hobo caricature; his voice is worn and weary and woefully whimsical in its eloquent story-telling mannerism; and his smile is as genuine as Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s handshake. I beat-box his songs into sleep, into work and throughout the day. and today…the background hum of keyboards and head-set-held customer service phone-calls takes a backseat to C.R.’s greyhound shenanigans. the hobo has me horribly hooked and I am blessed to call this man my friend. everytime I hear him play…I miss Baton Rouge. last night he asked me “have you been back since Katrina?” and all I could say was “not since ’97.” now I’m thinking about The Great Canadian Novel and Magnolia Trees and Pelicans and gumbo and crawfish…over the background hum of keyboards and phone calls and generic office ramblings. it starts to sound the same after a while…so tune out and tune in and “take a bus to Baton Rouge.”

losing loyalty
PMpMon, 12 Apr 2010 12:29:42 -040029Monday 1, 2010, 12:29 pm
Filed under: music, the ether, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

I got to thinking about loyalty this morning. A co-worker and I came to the consensus that loyalty is one of the things that’s lacking in the modern world and modern living. What got us talking was that we learned that DMX’s wife is writing a tell-all book now that they are separated. I’ve read a bit further into it and it seems she is going to take an “inspirational” tone to it. But I mean, they’ve known each other since she was 11 and been together since she was 18. That’s a long time. And we all know X-Man has been through his share of darkness and crimes and drugs. He’s the real deal and he is not afraid of how he looks in the eyes of the unforgiving public. The man does whatever he does and you gotta respect him for that. But the fact also remains that he has a history of smoking crack and committing serious crimes and loads of other sketchy happenings (like the time he impersonated a FBI agent at JFK to carjack someone). But the last thing he needs is more incriminating stories about him out there, from who he loves and loves him. How many people have had tell-alls written about them. Baseball brothers Jay & Mark McGwire are not even on speaking terms because of a tell-all book where Jay decided to detail steroid-use and other things a brother thought a brother could keep to himself.

I think the reason for this is the opportunistic mind-set people have developed. one of my old trainers used to call it the W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me?) mentality. Everybody wants to get ahead, not matter the cost or what it takes. Everybody wants to take something from an imaginary pot. So…loyalty goes right out the window. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard talk about opportunities, and the topic comes up about other people being affected and in the end it doesn’t matter. it’s self-serving.

I also wanna say that I’m all for self-progression. I’ve been trying to disassociate myself away from negative people for a couple of years now. I think they can be leaches and continuously pull you down in life. What I’m talking about is the close circle of people who you have to be loyal to. That’s immediate family, close family, best friends or anyone else that you just would not cross in the name of a dollar.

I just think that knowing where your loyalties lye is very necessary in life. And the fact that people are consistently willing to sail their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, best friends, or anyone else that matters (dead or alive) down river is very saddening. It comes from wanting to make a quick buck. It takes very little to realize that money can be made, that people want to read scandal, and then you begin sorting out sordid details of your loved one’s life. People also want celebrity more than anything. But it sounds to me like this whole loyalty conversation is leading into may a’new topics…so I will end it here. I think whoever is reading catches my drift. Be loyal to the ones who mean the most to you, what you get back will be worth more than a dollar ever can be. People just need to understand this age-old value…the shit is priceless.

the deftones
PMpMon, 05 Apr 2010 14:30:15 -040030Monday 1, 2010, 2:30 pm
Filed under: music

thanks to my buddy Scott Allison, I’ve been diving into the Deftones discography. i’ve only owned ‘white pony’ andi always loved that album. i’ve really liked anything i’ve heard from the deftones.

but listening to ‘adrenaline’ and ‘around the fur’ and all of their older stuff i’m really beginning to figure something out. first off, i kind of regret not giving them a listen back between 1995 and 2000. and secondly, i’m really getting to understand why so many bands today sound the way they do. it sounds like the deftones have influences everyone under the sun when it comes to nu metal bands. the deftones are so amazing. they’re one of the few bands that have stayed original and true to their style of having no style to begin with. listening to ‘adrenaline’ gives you a clear idea of what they will end up sounding like. maybe i’m making a big deal out of nothing, but i’ve been blown away from taking in the deftones discography over the last few days.

and yeah, i know i’m really behind the train on this one. i guess i always liked what i heard but never ventured into buying albums. so, if you’re a deftones fan, throw up your horns! and if not, but you like heavy music, youtube that shit right now!