Savage New Man

Gary Numan, Second Savage summer tour. 20180907 @ Mohawk.

Minimally chatty; said hello and went straight into the rocking. Consummate professional. Played a lot from “Savage”, a bit from “Broken”, a nice amount from “Jagged” (my favorite), a fair share from “The Pleasure Principle”, and even trotted out three Tubeway Army songs.

Long may he live.

Some Day, All This Will Be Road

Mental soundtrack today has been Spin Doctors’ “Turn It Upside Down” (1994), for various subliminal reasons.

Feeling kinda bedraggled and alone, wandering between obligations. This album was one of the few salves during my Hell Summer of ’94, where my entire week was accounted for; between two jobs, one summer course, and all the time in transit, I only had the 48 hours of the weekend to claim as my own.

I certainly would’ve lost my shit if not for the constant presence of my friend Tom A. down the hall, and with Pam B., Eddie W., and James S. (plus a handful of others) in my Arkadelphia periphery to keep me sane. (Thanks, guys.)

These people, and that collection of albums, really ministered to me to keep me together, to lift me up out of that soul-dead state. They really threw me a lifeline.

I guess the way things are going now, I could use a little bit of ministration again. And so here I am, spinning this album in their stead.

Break the thread of indifference
They’ll suck the wind right from your soul
To never listen to the voice of memory
Is to die waiting for nothing

The Spaces Between

I have so many mixed feelings about SXSW this year. I had a good time; went out every night of the music festival portion, actually saw stuff. Didn’t take a usual night or two off because of “con crud” or fatigue — I just needed to get the fuck out and do things, see things. Find novelty. Seek out serendipity. Played each night by ear and generally landed on solidly entertaining path.

It was ultimately very satisfying to get out of my usual rut. Went a whole week without stepping foot inside Epoch Coffee, which is a stretch for me. Just no time, and it’s the last place I’d want to go to spend my post-show afterglow. Trying to explain what I’d seen and experienced to random acquaintances who had no common ground would just kill it. And I think my life was made better for that decision. Fresh air. Different views. A kick in the pants. I can go places that aren’t The Default. Y’know? I needed that.

There’s more to life than work, cafe, and home. So much more. JFC why have I wasted so much of my life in that triangle of locations? It’s a vortex of suck. This year’s south-by just reminded me that The Bigger World can be had right here. Austin’s a big town if you’re on foot and walk slowly enough to pay attention to the spaces in between the traffic lights.

I saw some of the most random, serendipitous stuff all the way through to the most insane. Saw Todd Lewis of The Toadies do a solo acoustic set across the street from my office. Saw Marie Davidson and her husband Pierre Guerineau perform as Essaie Pas. Discovered new bands like Boy Harsher, Automelodi, I Am Snow Angel, Emme, Museless, Sloppy Jane, Champagne Superchillin’, and so on. I have more than enough to try out and explore for months.

I spent most of the evenings on my own. Saturday night, I hung out with my buddy Doug and we had a blast. But most other nights, it was lonesome to experience these shows and have nobody to compare notes with. But whatever. My life is usually solo anyway. Turns out my calls out for companions on social media and chat were just wasted energy, wasted time. Pissing in the ocean hoping to raise the tide. Most of my friends either didn’t respond, or responded to the negative that they’d have nothing to do with the festival. Instead, I should’ve just spent that energy asking specific people directly. That’s what real adults do, y’know? Half drunk, fully lonesome, I wrote a thing between shows Friday night:

Instead of calling out into the void
I should have been calling out to you
The emptiness is echoed
The other is true

I’ve wasted so much time and effort. So much. I needed this week. With all the other shit going wrong or failing stupidly in my life and job and my social circles, I needed this. Maybe next year I’ll go back to hating on SXSW like all my fellow townies, but for now, I’m fatigued yet rested.

Rings

The Olympics. They’re that thing that happens every two or so years where I watch and feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. Yeah, pretty weird. But hey, I like it.

This time around, I found out that my SlingTV subscription is good enough to qualify as a valid TV provider; good, because I can use my subscription to stream all of the games on the NBCSN app on my Android and Roku devices. And good because it’s significantly cheaper than buying the expanded cable package with Time Warner just so I could get a tier that included NBCSN, which is the only real requirement for streaming.

The new media landscape is a joke.

That being said, I’ve picked up a few new things, like knowing more about Korea. Curling is pretty cool, too. Also, The Netherlands is kicking ass in lots of events, and their country doesn’t look too bad as a destination or place to live. Really progressive lot.

Kinda sad now that we’re in the second week of the games, but there’s still plenty more going on, and the closing ceremony is this weekend. Kinda solemn, kinda blue, but that’s that, eh? I’m glad I’m able to see it this time.