A stain on the brain is hard to remove.
I'm Stain, my name is Stain
I don’t complain, I won't complain
Do you comprend' what is the point of being born and being gone there must be a reason
War to the east, Pain to the west
War is at least, What we do 'best
What we do best is sharing guns
And kill for fun there must be a reason
My name is Stain I guess my dad he had the sense of humour
He gave such a name cause stains they all mix together
If you are red or blue you depend on the trends
But stains is no problem : everywhere you find them
The guy next door, is such a whore
The food I eat is poison or
I eat no food cause I can't find a store
Ma mama says I must be a tough guy, to live out there
I wanna know why ma mama says you got to be bad or beware
Oh Mam'
I no more share your point of view
I know that bros are not so cruel
They're not so bad, but just afraid
The best to do is to give some comprend'
I'm Stain
My name is Stain
So don't complain
And take my hand, you take my hand
The world it needs to shine again
My little friend we've got to start again
And to give some comprend'
Spilt milk and the drool of a damaged psyche.

No one get’s through life undamaged. NO ONE. And while people are always talking, making laws to limit the damage done (not an un-worthwhile cause); maybe the real discussion should not be about punitive measures. But, maybe we should be discussing how damaged you and I are? And, what damage do we cause others? How do we accept the damage in ourselves and others? Acceptance will be our guide. It is no accident that the Christian Bible would describe genuine love as “patient” and “kind”. And it does not specify we should be like this only with people we know, are close to, related to or share kinship with. It DOES say “others” which is EVERYONE outside of ourselves.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)

Somewhere along the evolutionary road Love became associated with emotion and romance. Love is not emotional or romantic. It is not passive. It is all about the actions we take. So, How will we act, to show “love” to the damage done to us? And will our love minimize (if not prevent) the damage we cause others?

I know I’ve posted the song (below) before but it so perfectly fits this post. Bruce Cockburn, “Orders” from O SUN O MOON.

Another pairing of images.   The one on the left is the original photo with some subtle texture added.   Work on the right is a complete re-work of the image on the left.   Multiple layers and textures added.   
Two different titles:

Bruce Cockburn: O SUN O MOON review

Bruce Cockburn is not the retiring type.   At the age of 78 he just released a most remarkable album.   O SUN O MOON - 12 songs of reverie, meditation, introspection and revelation.   An epiphany of a release that so much reminds me of his 1978 album WONDERING WHERE THE LIONS ARE.    Bruce is often referred to as a singer/songwriter  and his music encompasses rock, folk and blues.   I've only had the pleasure to see him live once.   It was a memorable experience.

There are several standout tracks (so far - after only one listen)  on this new recording.  The first one I include here is "Orders"   a listing of all types of people, the loved and the unloveable, with the regular refrain "... our orders said to love them all."    When one thinks of what seems to be increasing social, political, judicial and cultural polarity that seems to be growing like a cancer around the world this song has the ability to say wait-a-minute there's more....  Here in the early 21st century when everyone thinks there way is more right than the other person - even in the name of religion (jihadists, evangelicals, catholics etc) one thing remains for a person of faith; our orders from so many religious texts is to love them all.   And though we live in a time where that seems increasingly difficult to do we must (I MUST) make the effort to love not only the lovable but also those I would curse.  
An exercise:   make a list of all the things/people that irritate, annoy, anger you.   Then think about it - these are what you must love. 

The 3rd track on the album is also a standout.  "Push Comes To Shove" is a meditation on what may be, what is and what will be.   A lilting melody with the refrain, "...when push comes to shove it's all about love..." It invites us to consider that when push comes to shove we need to stop and take a minute to consider our options.     Don't just react impulsively.    Coming from a 78 year old person who has lived a long life - this song (and in fact the entire album) is a musing on all the choices we must make and offers advice to the young who are often caught up in the moment.   About half way through the song,  the bluesy violin of Jenny Sheinman offers a wonderful bittersweet break allowing the lyrical ideas to sink in. 
The next song I want to feature here is a wonderful character study.   "King Of The Bolero" is a beautiful song  description of a musician in a lilting bolero style enhanced.  In addition to Cockburn's signature guitar style there is also a wonderful accordion which creates a very strong atmosphere of an Argentinian smoke-filled tango bar.     The songwriter takes the role of the listener and viewer here and describes what he hears and then sees.  One has the sense that the songwriter is amazed at this magical moment/experience he is witnessing.    A delightful empathetic, picturesque musical pastiche.  Enjoy. 
The last song I want to feature is actually track #11 and the title track of the album.   At the age of 78, and possibly feeling closer to heaven than ever before, Bruce writes this prayer.   The chorus is a child-like refrain "O sun by day o moon by night, light my way so I get this right, and if that sun and moon don't shine, heaven guide these feet of mine to glory."
This album is a journey starting with a song called "On A Roll", much like life's roller coaster, and ending with track #12 titled "When You Arrive" and the "...dead shall sing and bells will ring when you arrive" at your ultimate destination. 
I strongly encourage you to check out the entire album.    These 4 tracks that I've featured here are just the four that really stood out for me - on first listen.   Based on your life experience you may find different tracks that stand out for you.    In fact when it comes to the music of Bruce Cockburn I have often found that songs that may not "stand out" on first listen or first discovery will reveal them later as my life experience changes.    

At any rate, I hope you found this post interesting and enjoyable.   

on being and becoming


I’ve been thinking about why I like dumpster/container images so much (like the one I’m posting today).

  • Ultimately while I may just take a photograph – there was quite a lot of work and time spent on the subject to make what its become. And its journey is not over. I’ve only preserved one moment along its journey.
  • It is a communal art. It took a dozen (or more) workers, repeatedly, to create this.
  • People followed schedules, they decided what hours they would work on it.
  • Planning and decision making was used to determine what would be put in this dumpster/container.
  • Decisions were made as to whether the so-called refuse would be tossed, thrown, dumped, dropped or placed in this container.
  • There is the time when the dumpster is full and loaded to be hauled away, its contents jostled, shaken and stirred.
  • Then of course, there is the moment the dumpster is unceremoniously emptied where contents slide out of their container into the local dump or recycling center.
  • Now there was also an element fo chance in these acts; The loose lid on the paint can that comes loose causing paint to drip, run and splash in presumed random motions, the rogue nail sticking out, various surfaces to scratch and scrape. A fabric to wipe and smear. Possibly a forgotten chemical to erode and corrode.
  • The dumpster/container is made of steel and gives the allusion of strength and permanence even though time proves it an illusion/delusion.
  • Then of course there are the elements, the sun and rain working to bring forth the corrosion, oxidation and rust with their texture and color changes.
  • All these things repeated over and over, constantly changing the “canvas” until the fateful moment I took the photograph.

I am humbled by the beauty and how little I did to create it. After all I’m just a photographer , another damaged human with an eye for damaged things. Like so many others I’m just someone with a “silver plated soul beneath the damage and the dust…” looking to photograph things and bring forth their beauty that lies beneath the damage and the dust.

Shaka Ponk?

Today I want to share a video that is, arguably, the absolutely best live cover of a Nirvana song ever!   Smells LIke Teen Spirit is anthem that taps into the cultural mainline that has addicted our world with it's refrain of "Here we are now, entertain us!".            

Shaka Ponk are a french band that has been around for years that I only recently discovered.   Maybe some of my European followers are more familiar with them.    Shaka Ponk have dabbled in a wide range of styles from hip-hop, pop, hard rock, rap, synth pop, etc.    

But in this live performance they really shine and I'm convinced they're better live than in the studio.  Recorded at the Alcaline in France complete with full band and gospel choir.     I dare you not to get swept away in this performance.   It starts at a demure level 4 (quiet and enchanting) then just before the 3 minute mark they turn the performance dial up to a shattering 10.   And it hums along until around the 4 minute mark where they nudge the dial up to 11 or maybe even 12.   And they just keep it going from there.    The performance drives, perhaps possessed by the ghost Kurt Cobain.   By the 5 minute mark I have goose bumps until the end.  It is just an amazing performance.   They know how to put on a show and the audience is with them the whole time. 

Even if this is not your taste in music.   I hope you give it a chance and enjoy it.   Unfortunately I think Shaka Ponk may be calling it quits as they are now promoting their self described "Final F*cked Up Tour". 

So enjoy this performance.  

Halfway to Halloween

The Images I posted Thurs, Friday and today are from two local "haunted house" attractions.   It seemed appropriate to post them this weekend since most "haunted house" attractions have special events this weekend celebrating Halfway to Halloween (which I didn't know was "a thing" until I started researching these locations - LOL). 

The Haunted Schoolhouse began in 1974 and has endured decades of horror.  The lessons here are haunting and filled with horror - but my own real life school experience was filled with horror so I never went to this attraction.   

The Haunted Laboratory has been, as the door says, "Infecting Akron Since 1981".   It is housed in the Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute next door to the schoolhouse.   Daniel Guggenheim (yes that Guggenheim family) was a war hawk who was fascinated with and promoted aeronautics - specifically the science and development of airships.  He had a difficult and complicated relationship with his brothers. He was partly responsible for dragging the US into WW1.    The institute was affiliated with the University of Akron and was in operation until 1949 when airships fell out of favor and their use was declining.   So it is perhaps appropriate that this location be turned into a "haunted house" attraction.  

It only seems fitting that the music today would come from a local Ohio group.   Midnight Syndicate in the early days became recognized for their gaming soundtrack to the popular video game Dungeons and Dragons.   They have since gone on to record many albums of horror, etherwave, darkwave music that have often been performed and used in haunted house attractions.   Enjoy the Dark Legacy.

Halfway to Halloween (is a thing?)

This weekened is celebrated as "HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN" at theme parks and haunted houses.  The photos from yesterday, today and tomorrow are from two local attractions here in Akron, Ohio.    You will see the Haunted Schoolhouse which has been haunting northeast Ohio residents since 1974.      Some lessons are very haunting indeed.  LOL 

The photo's are exterior shots only as I have never bothered to be entertained.   Just never bought into the whole "haunted house" thing kinda like watching most comedians.   I've always had the attitude "okay make me laugh" or "okay scare me" and 10 minutes later I'm already bored.   LOL.   But there are some fun moments that come out of such things - i.e. the video below by Broken Peach.     Their version of the classic Tainted Love From their Halloween Special.   Enjoy.