blogging

sunday kind of love……sam hunt

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Untangling your Christmas lights.  It’s one of the first steps we take to prepare for Christmas.  Today, our homes blaze with light during the Christmas season but while the source of this light may be electric (or possibly solar), the association between light and Christmas is nothing new.  In a world lit by fire and candlelight, winter months were long and dark, especially in northern Europe.  For medieval Europeans, Christmas, which came just a few days after the winter solstice, had a strong appeal, not simply because of its religious symbolism but also because it presented a break in the middle of what was often a long and dark winter.  Scholars have traced the origins of this holiday to several different pagan festivals, all of which occurred at or near the winter solstice.  The Roman holiday Saturnalia which honored the god Saturn and began on December 17th, ending on the 24th, is most often linked to Christmas.  But a second Roman holiday, celebrating the birthday of the unconquered sun and held on the date Romans believed to be the solstice (the 25th), also probably influenced the tradition of Christmas---along with the pagan Scandinavian holiday of Yule which also occurred in December.  While Easter’s connection to the Jewish Passover meant that the commemoration of the resurrection could be easily linked to a specific date, no date was assigned to the birth of the Christian messiah until the third century and the date was not seen as cause for celebration until the late fourth century.  In many ways, this tardiness in creating a specific day upon which to celebrate the birth of the messiah made sense: for early Christians, it was the resurrection of Jesus which was central to their theology.  His birth, while important, was less significant ...the ultimate history project
Untangling your Christmas lights. It’s one of the first steps we take to prepare for Christmas. Today, our homes blaze with light during the Christmas season but while the source of this light may be electric (or possibly solar), the association between light and Christmas is nothing new.
In a world lit by fire and candlelight, winter months were long and dark, especially in northern Europe. For medieval Europeans, Christmas, which came just a few days after the winter solstice, had a strong appeal, not simply because of its religious symbolism but also because it presented a break in the middle of what was often a long and dark winter.
Scholars have traced the origins of this holiday to several different pagan festivals, all of which occurred at or near the winter solstice. The Roman holiday Saturnalia which honored the god Saturn and began on December 17th, ending on the 24th, is most often linked to Christmas. But a second Roman holiday, celebrating the birthday of the unconquered sun and held on the date Romans believed to be the solstice (the 25th), also probably influenced the tradition of Christmas—along with the pagan Scandinavian holiday of Yule which also occurred in December.
While Easter’s connection to the Jewish Passover meant that the commemoration of the resurrection could be easily linked to a specific date, no date was assigned to the birth of the Christian messiah until the third century and the date was not seen as cause for celebration until the late fourth century. In many ways, this tardiness in creating a specific day upon which to celebrate the birth of the messiah made sense: for early Christians, it was the resurrection of Jesus which was central to their theology. His birth, while important, was less significant …the ultimate history project.

 

this is a post to say happy holidays to any and all of my readers.  i will be fairly busy through the end of the year so this may be the final post of 2015.  i have some ideas for changing the format of the blog for the new year, but it’s all still germinating, much like my crocus and tulips underground right now. more will follow certainly.

i am very grateful for this avenue of expression that has supported and helped sustain my recovery over the last 9 years.

sam hunt has recently become an artist of interest to me. somehow over the last year i have moved into the light with this once-closeted love of indie and country rock- vance joy, ryan adams, rob taylor, ed sheerhan, and now sam hunt. i have posted below a mixtape of an acoustic mixtape i found on itunes. happy happy and merry merry..

At first glance, Sam Hunt might seem like a fairly typical young country singer—he grew up in a small Southern town; spent his school days concentrating on sports, but feeling his attachment to music grow deeper and deeper; and came to Nashville with little idea of how the music business worked, but with big dreams.

But a closer look instantly reveals that there is nothing typical about the music that Hunt makes, nor about the way he has introduced his work to the world. In a short time and on his own terms, he has become one of Nashville’s most hotly anticipated new artists, and his debut album, Montevallo, delivers on the buzz and the promise—and then some.

The album follows Hunt’s recent four-song album preview, X2C, led by the Top Five, gold-selling track “Leave the Night On.” Of course, even though he was a recording rookie, Hunt was no stranger to the country music charts, having already written hits for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Billy Currington.

Hunt grew up in rural Cedartown, Georgia. An athlete all his life, Hunt wound up playing football through college, ending his time there as starting quarterback at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Somewhere during his time at UAB, he picked up a guitar, and while learning the songs of such great singer-songwriters as Townes Van Zandt and John Prine, Hunt began putting rudimentary chords together and writing tunes of his own.

After college, the NFL had taken notice of his talents on the field and he was invited to training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. “I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I needed to find out if I could take it all the way,” he says. “But by then I knew that if football didn’t work out, I was going to Nashville.”

Arriving in Music City, USA without a real understanding of the different paths an aspiring musician might pursue, Hunt was able to play a few of his original songs around town and was soon offered a publishing deal, enabling him to write full-time. He fell in with the songwriting community and the conventional methods of collaborating, but he knew that he was developing a sound that was slightly out of sync with the standard Nashville formulas.

“I always loved country music—I used to take the car keys from my mom and sit in our driveway listening to the car radio,” he says. “But I was also hearing a lot of other music – hip-hop and R&B. In some ways, that really gospel-based Southern R&B might be my favorite of all.”

His songs started to experiment with ways to mix more modern beats and tones with the narrative and wordplay that define the best country music. Some of the other songwriters were skeptical, but when Kenny Chesney recorded “Come Over” (written by Hunt along with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, who remain his close associates) and it became a Number One hit, he sensed that he was on to something. When the even more sonically daring “Cop Car” became a hit for Keith Urban, Hunt was convinced that he had found an exciting new direction, and began to shift his focus from being a songwriter to stepping out front as a solo artist.

“I learned a lot from working with all those amazing other writers,” he says. “I learned so many of the rules and the structures that make great songs. But I also knew that there was a way to go beyond those rules and make something that would really be unique and honest to who I am.”

Along the way, Hunt met producer Zach Crowell, who made beats for the Antioch rap crew. They holed up together at Crowell’s home studio for long hours, matching tracks to lyric ideas and developing a new way to write country songs. Once they had a big enough body of work, they borrowed another idea from outside the country genre, and released a free mixtape of acoustic songs called Between The Pines in 2013. “In hip-hop, they do a great job of making the music accessible,” he says. “When somebody’s never heard you, just give them the music and let them decide for themselves if they like it or not.”

Soon, Hunt’s songs were averaging over 300,000 streams per day on Spotify, and he won the latest cycle of Spotify’s “Emerge” program for new artists (previous winners include such notables as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Bastille). After signing with Universal/MCA Nashville, he finished polishing some of the mixtape songs and fleshing out the remainder of debut album Montevallo.

The results are a bracing mix of sounds and styles, from the aggressive dance beats of the opening “Take Your Time” to the more melodic “Make You Miss Me.” On “Break Up in a Small Town,” Hunt talk-sings the verses, an accident he and Crowell stumbled on in the studio, before unleashing an explosive chorus. With “Raised On It,” he wanted to write about his small-town upbringing with images that expanded upon the now-predictable trucks and dirt roads of countless other country songs; the results are both more specific and more universal than the standard fare.

help is on the way

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rounduproundup 2

Do not try to become anything.  Do not make yourself into anything.  Do not be a meditator.  Do not become enlightened.  When you sit, let it be.  What you walk, let it be.  Grasp at nothing.  Resist nothing. If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't begun to meditate.....Buddha
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.
If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate…..Buddha

 

i got a badge today on wordpress for 8 years of blogging. i was a little taken aback. today is also my belly button birthday- 57 years old. i began blogging about 10 years ago, but on blogger- i added wordpress to see what some of the differences might be and migrated a few years later.

in case you want to see my earlier blog- www.kickintina.wordpress.com

blogging has been a gift from the universe for me. it has helped me stay sane during the chaos of early recovery. i have had a place to write down some of thoughts and impressions when it certainly wasn’t appropriate for me to share those in my daily life.

thank you universe for this gift of expression and outreach. it has literally saved my life. and thank you to all the friends i’ve made along the way- especially mark olmstead, mark s king, willie knoetze, tony radovich, jeremy andrews- all of you have been my homegroup.

Don’t give up the ship
Even when you feel it’s sinking
And you don’t know what to do
Don’t give up your dream
Even though you may be thinking
It never will come true
Life has it’s own ideas of how things come about
And if you just hang in there, life is gonna work it out

Help is on the way
From places you don’t know about today
From friends you may not have met
Yet
Believe me when I say
I know
Help is on the way

You don’t have to know
Where the path you’re on is leading
You just have to walk along
Dreaming as you go
Asking for the things you’re needing
You never can go wrong
If you have faith that things are happening as they should
And just believe each step you take is leading you to something good

Help is on the way
From places you don’t know about today
From friends you may not have met
Yet
Believe me when I say
I know
Help is on the way

So open your heart, Open your mind
No matter how you’ve tried and failed
Tomorrow you could turn and find that

Help is on the way
From places you don’t know about today
From friends you may not have met
Yet
Believe me when I say
I know
Help is on the way
Help is on the way
Help is on the way

hard fast and beautiful is what my graffiti hopes to be

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The Buddha asked them, "What do you think? Which is better for you? To search after a lover, or to search after yourselves?".... buddha
The Buddha asked them, “What do you think? Which is better for you? To search after a lover, or to search after yourselves?”…. buddha

it dawned on me recently that my posting is almost tag-like. i have a simple formula which has been developed and honed over some time. i find a photo or an image which provides a quick bit of inspiration and then i outline the post with the image on top and a song or soundbite at the end. this provides the outline of my tag (as it were). inside i splash some inspired bits of color and wisdom that have been picked up somewhere along the way. because of my schedule and the time frame life has alotted, i am pressed for time and usually spend a precious bit of concentrated time creating the tag for the day.

i would venture to declare that my work is not monumental. i do not put the time, effort, or level of critical thinking that so many of my contemporary bloggers put forth. my style is much more spontaneous and hodge podge, its creations are strewn into the online environment in an almost impulsive mindset. i blog because its practice soothes my spirit. it has become second nature. it is haphazard. it is dark. it contains and reflects light and inspiration. and i love it.

Both “graffiti” and its occasional singular form “graffito” are from the Italian word graffiato(“scratched”). “Graffiti” is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is “sgraffito“,[4] which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. This technique was primarily used by potters who would glaze their wares and then scratch a design into it. In ancient times graffiti were carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The word originates from Greek γράφειν — graphein — meaning “to write.”…….. reposted from wikipedia

i continue to make efforts to be more authentic with my posts and less formulaic. but somehow i have stumbled upon a formula that satisfies most of the soul connections i crave for the online presence i covet- images, music, and some cost and time effective philosophy. some form with some funciton. quick and easy, down and dirty.

i am including a bootleg compilation from one of the first “industrial” bands i became enamored with in the early 80’s. somehow that machine driven techie provides an apropos backdrop for my intention here. there are repeated blasts of repeating swatches of sound and vision tossed into the air to land as they may.

there is a lyric from a pop song by “my life with the thrill kill kult” that emerged at around  a decade later that also comes to mind.

Built by all
Inspired by none

You are the Star
The Scarlet Son
You are the Star!

Hard, Fast and Beautiful
(Beautiful)
Hard, Fast and Beautiful
(Alright)

Action boy,
Love the thrill,
Leather boy,
(boy!)
Beg your skin
(alright)

Free and Wild…
Sweet Love’s Child…. my life with the thrill kill kult

here is “front 242”

and here is hard fast and beautiful with a vid created by some former colleagues from chicago. these pastiches of sound and vision represent the cave drawings of that time and speak volumes about where i have been and what i have seen. the daily pages i write now are rooted in the images and sounds of my past – perhaps mixed with the hope for a more sane and grounded future.

subterranean

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“All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”
“All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

have been watching the “sonic highway” series that dave grohl and the foos have done for hbo. it has, for me, seemed like watching a magic trick. it looks so simple, but what it reveals is almost unbelievable.  the docu-series’ intimate glimpses into the underground music cultures of several american cities stirs the echoes of my infatuation with “alternative” as a philosophy.

the music industry is undoubtedly multi-layered. most of the moths attracted to its light ever make it to a level that is known as success. but success is only a carrot that doesn’t even begin to describe the allure that music and the music business emanate. my thought is that the actual music itself is the draw- not the success.

i connect to this agenda via my own allegiance to blogging. i have utilized this medium for about 7 years now.  it grounded me during my early recovery and gave me a place to purge a myriad of confusing feelings and ideas. it was not  the idea of fame or success in this process that was a hook for me. the motivator has been the benefit of participation. when i began, i had no idea that i had submerged the memories of shame based trauma nor did i have any clarity on my developed survivial skills and strategies. through continued practice though, the benefits have proven to be priceless and i continue to blog as a spiritual practice. once in awhile, someone will encounter my efforts and find connection. this is a bonus when it occurs, but it is not the motivation. my relationship to this process is the end game.

grohl’s experience touches on this theme. his approach to music seems to be a spiritual practice. it is encouraged that all american music enthusiasts peruse through the foo fighters’ documentary series. it is like peeking in through the back panel of the freak show tent at the circus. for me the hook has never been the stage appearances or starring roles that merit adulation as much as the gritty grist for the mill that artists must trudge through every day. the romance in breathing in the dark is just as critical as the day in the sun.

it comes across very clearly that dave grohl has respect for what he does as well as admiration for his contemporaries. this is a clear demonstration of integrity which is not my experience of the norm these days. my respect and admiration for dave grohl and his voyage into his soul. sonic highways has been an incredibly worthwhile journey for me too.

Nothing left within, I’ve been mined
Hell and back again, subterranean
I’ve been digging in down inside
I will start again, subterranean
But the truth is so unkind
What do you know, how low the sky
Yet the truth is so unkind
What do you know, how low the sky

You might think you know me
I know damn well you don’t
Oh no, oh no, you don’t

You might think you own me
I know damn well you don’t
Oh no, oh no, you don’t

Buried my heart, cannot go this alone
And I might think you love me
But I know damn well you don’t
Oh no, you don’t

Bring all your lies leave them deep in the dirt
Oh no, you don’t
Pull down my eyes
Lay me deep in the earth