Category Archives: Music

Neurosis – Crawl Back In

by Neurosis

Hammer in skull I am waiting to return your suffering.
In my mind I see you distant, broken and lost again.

When you come back I won’t know you.
We won’t fit right like it was before.
Time is truth, hard and cruel
And my heart has turned to stone.
I crawled back in, I am hungry,
I made sure my traps are set in space.

We had been standing on these tracks,
All the winds never called us back.

We laid so long, eternal night, in my heart it never left.
I’ll stand here, you go on, when you see me I’ll be gone.
Every road brings us on the past is never forgiven it is atoned.

Neurosis – A Sun That Never Sets

I first listened to this song and the band who performed it several years ago, probably some time around 2004. A couple of friends and I went a place in the country, where we had a most profound consciousness-expanding experience. Deep into the experience, we watched this Sun that Never Sets DVD by Neurosis. It’s amazing what you can see in a video in that state of mind and what you can experience in a song.

I still remember, after that experience, I never looked at art or music the same way again. I was irreversibly transformed, in ways that would be difficult to describe here.

by Neurosis

A sun that never sets burns on.
New light is this river’s dawn.
When to speak of a word so old
Is to relearn what is known.
A time to think back and move on.
Rebuild the loves of lives long gone.
The blood that flows through me is not my own.
The blood is from the past, not my own.
The blood that leads my life is not my own.
The blood is strength, I’m not alone.

Neurosis – The Tide

by Neurosis

Where are they now?
They are gone.
I saw them run,
run to the sea.

Under the waves all has been said.
Their voices are free.
Free from the sun’s stare,
free from the noise of lost souls.

An exiled sound washed in with the tide.
Their voices are free.
Free from the sun’s stare,
free from the noise of lost souls.

On the waves their voice carries on.

Jarboe – Transmogrification

I still remember, as if it were yesterday, the coincidence that happened while listening to this fiery song. Was driving down the highway on a road trip from Atlanta. Listening to this album, that we had just picked up during the trip.

All of the sudden, we see in the middle of the road, a massive semi-truck engulfed in a ball of flame. What a sight it was. It took control of anyone within a half a mile. People were dumbfounded and pulled over to watch it.

by Jarboe

In the interim of temporary defeat…
I am not in flame mode
Building
muscle.

I will destroy what tries to damage me Again…

Fearless.
You
know how I live by a third of my Full force and Will.
In order to not threaten
mere mortals…

Don’t worry.
I am of beast nature after all
And I have let
it out of its cage.

Even death means Nothing.

Classical Music Activates the Mind

I have long enjoyed classical music from the many great composers.  When I was in high school, I once had the opportunity to play the Tuba part of  J. S. Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor adapted for wind ensemble.  Its was quite a challenge to play a piece which was intended for organ on a wind instrument, especially with all of the jumps between the top and bottom of the scale.

During the dozens of times I played it, during rehearsals, personal practice and concerts, I noticed new connections being made in my mind, new centers of thought and awareness activating.

I have always heard that classical music activates the mathematical centers of the mind.  I believe this is true and there’s probably far more going on than we are consciously aware of.

I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy this Tocatta and Fugue video complete with a fascinating visualization, so you can not only hear the sound, but also get a sense of how the music is structured from a visual perspective.

We’re In This Together Now

So often our ego gets in the way of really being there for our fellow man when it counts; truly being our brother’s keeper. We’re often so concerned with being the one who’s right or being superior, that these concerns often lead to hiding information to get the upper hand or turning a blind eye, when we could use our skills to help someone in a meaningful way.

Now there’s nothing wrong with being your best, per se; but it’s when we intentionally do things to aggrandize our selves at the expense of others, that we should really take pause. If we really are so great, then we shouldn’t need to hide things and screw over others to let the world know this. Simply acting with great awareness and equanimity, drawing on our abilities and our intellect; this will be all that needs to be done.

Its easy to forget, in a competitive civilization such as ours, that ultimately we are in this together. If we all become better, then everyone enjoys the benefits!

Even though we compete with each other in so many ways, the goal of this competition is to encourage each of us to become better; well, at it’s best, that is what competition does. At its worst, competition encourages us to push our fellow man down to get the upper hand, to hide information, to plot and scheme for unfair advantages.

Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a break from your own idea of personal advancement, to express care and compassion. Ultimately, your true advancement is bolstered by being able to help others along the same lines, because it teaches you, makes you better and makes you more fulfilled.

The Beautiful Days – How I Got Into the Swans

I’d like to take you on a journey through my past and into the realm where no time or space exists. Lets visit a realm of energy, music and passion. This is the realm I go to when I visit the land of the Swans. It is a dark realm in each of us; you can only visit it, if you are willing to face yourself, face me and see the dark and the light without prejudice and with overall equanimity.

I want to show you the very beginnings of my journey into the music of Michael Gira and the Swans. I want to share some of my first pivotal experiences and explain what revelations this brought about.

I started listening to the Swans at around the age of 19. I was exploring some old interviews with Maynard James Keenan from Tool; when I found an interview on JJJ Australian radio. This was an interview where they explore the songs which the particular artist found inspiration. Two of the songs were from the Swans: Time is Money (bastard) and Coward.

I found both of these songs stirred deep dark feelings inside me. They were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. My first inclination was to dislike it, because it wasn’t what I was used to thinking of as music and it scared me; but I became intensely curious, so I decided to buy every album of the Swans I could find, so I could explore this all in much greater depth.

When I got ahold of the albums, my exploration first gravitated towards their compilation album called Various Failures. The songs on this album were more melodic and upbeat, which I found easier to enjoy and relate to, since I had not yet developed my taste for their more exotic work from the earlier, darker, years. At that time period, playing the older, more dark and depressing albums, was like opening pandora’s box to me. I seldom did it for very long and when I would listen to a full album with my full attention, I would inevitably have an enlightening experience.

The first such experience I can remember, is while I was still living at home. I was probably around 18-19 years old at the time. I was at that point in my life where the lie that everything is, started to be made manifest in my perception. I started to realize that the world we are in today, tends to transform everything and everyone into meaningless corporatized crap. Even the so-called alternatives were often as meaningless as that which they purport to replace.

Having this reality dawn upon me was most unsettling indeed, as I had spent years thinking that things were, not necessarily great, but well enough in the world. I was beginning to realize what a tub of filth the world had become over the preceding decades. This was the rotten, empty, forsaken world I was emerging into, in which I would spend the rest of my life.

During one evening, when I was at home alone and had a particularly depressed feeling come over me, I decided to play a live album called The Swans are Dead and take a nice long bath. Little did I know that this experience would be remembered years down the road as a turning point in my relation to this world.

I turned on the music and I just let go, as much as I was capable at the time. I let the emotions it would evoke in me flow as I gave it the full attention of virtually every aspect of my being. The performance started with the song Feel Happiness, which was slow and then gradually layered on this new reality, adding layer upon layer as the moments progressed. I still remember the first lyrics of the performance and how it reverberated in me.

I’m truly sorry,
for what I never did,
but I forgive you, too;
for your indifference.
You’re a lonely child,
laid open to the world,
and when I looked in your eyes
I saw myself there too,
So please forgive me now,
for what we never had,
Although its useless to say,
I wish you happiness.
I wish you happiness,
I wish you happiness,
happiness…

I felt as if it said everything my soul was yearning to say; but had kept bottled up inside for so long, unable to express, unable to really understand or acknowledge. It is difficult to describe with words how powerful that was, especially in the context of experiences I was having. In fact, words and descriptive language could not do it justice; it simply must be fully experienced in ones own life, to be understood.

Even to this day, almost 10 years later, I still find this song and the album in which it is contained, to be one of the most powerful tools for understanding and accepting the great depths of emotions I often feel, deep underneath it all; beneath the facade of personality I must wear each day in order to make my way in this godforsaken world.

After I got a couple of songs into the album, I found myself surrendering completely. I simply gave in and let the music carry me to realms I had never visited. It was a tour de force of everything I was needing to face in my life and in my very being.

It’s was kind of like sex in a way; but it lasted much longer, involved my entire being through and through, and didn’t end in an energy drain. More specifically, I’d say it is like tantric sex with a partner who really knows themselves, the kind of sex where you savor the experience and are truly present at every moment; not letting it drain you by letting go to a climax.

This kind of experience is like a transfer of energy and awareness and since it doesn’t happen in a blip, like a climactic experience, it is able to transfer much more for a sustained period of time.

When the album was all over, I felt like I had really connected with something mysterious and amazing. I felt the deepest depths of depression, met with my shadow self, gained a renewed understanding and learned something of who I really am underneath it all. After all of this, I felt a great elation. I was now far more aware of aspects of myself that I had little experience in knowing and understanding.

I realized that, while this is a dark and distorted world and I live a dark and distorted life, it isn’t something to be afraid of or upset about; nor is it something to avoid. No, it is something to relish and experience to the fullest; because life can teach us many things, whether those lessons are from the dark or light aspects of our being.

If there is darkness, it is there for a reason; it isn’t just happenstance that things are the way they are. If we let ourselves have those experiences and don’t avoid them, despite the fact that they may not be pleasant, we will ennoble ourselves on a very deep level indeed. It is often the darker lessons, involving our shadow selves, that teaches us the most and helps us to make greatest leaps in our edification.

Even if you are a relatively unevolved life form, living in a primitive society like the western world of today, populated by spiritually blind — though technologically savvy — imbeciles, your life can still be just as rich, interesting and enlightening as if you lived in Shangri-La. Your life will just be enlightening in a different way; because there are different sets of lessons to learn in each kind of world. One advantage of living in a dark, unevolved world, such as ours, is that the potential for growth is truly remarkable.

When, when we were young
We had no history
So nothing to lose

Meant we could choose
Choose what we wanted then
Without any fear
Or thought of revenge

But then you grew old
And I lost my ambition
So I gained an addiction
To drink and depression

(They are mine
My only true friends
And I’ll keep them with me
Until the very end)

I’d choose not to remember
But I miss your arrogance
And I need your intelligence
And your hate for authority

But now you’re gone
I read it today
They found you in Spain
Face down in the Street

With a bottle in your hand
And a wild smile on your face
And a knife in your back
You died in a foreign land

And they found my letter
Rolled up in your pocket
Where I said I’d kill myself
If she left me again

So now she’s gone
And you’re both in my mind
I’ve got one thing to say
Before I am drunk again:

God damn the sun
God damn the sun
God damn anyone
That says a kind word

God damn the sun
God damn the sun
God damn the light it shines
And this world it shows

God damn the sun

Some of the greatest beauty you will ever experience in this life is bittersweet. It is sorrow coupled with understanding and acceptance of who you really are at this stage in your evolution. It is the source of all good art, music and poetry.