Friday, November 12, 2010

Random Thoughts pt 371

I logged into my e-mail today to find a message from a guy named Joab. He's 30, from the Philippines and has been down with hardcore since 1997. He wrote me to thank me for informing him of the new project from ex-members of Trial and Catharsis called Between Earth And Sky that I did a write-up on a few months ago. I checked out his blog and came to a few realizations.

Firstly, I was blown away by the picture he had posted of his bedroom. Perhaps I'm making assumptions here and perhaps I'll sound a bit naive of the living conditions in the Philippines, but judging from this picture, the living quarters seem quite small in comparison to what most American homes probably look like. I'm obviously not stating this in a condescending manner as I've been well outspoken in the past about the perils of Americans living in excess. I'm bringing this up because if you really take a look at this picture, you'll realize that it is essentially an entire room dedicated to music ... and that is something I respect and admire.

It's always nice to run into people who seem to have the same dedication and passion for music as you do. It's also nice to experience a bit of deja vu of the days whenever people really had to dig into the crates to find information on new bands or just the general happenings of the day in hardcore. The excitement expressed in this e-mail that I received from across the world was more than refreshing. Finding out that members of your favorite bands from the past are getting together to do a new project because you took the time to sift through piles and piles of random, mostly meaningless texts ... how exciting is that?

Quite ironically I was also recently contacted by a man named Harrison, who is also well into his years of hardcore, through an order he made from my webstore I was doing at the time. Apparently he had been seeking out the original Too Pure To Die full length for quite some time and inquired as to how I had copies for sale. We started talking about my past membership and he told me a rather unbelievable story about how whilst temporarily living in China he would use the album as an example to show other kids he was growing up with what Straight Edge Hardcore was all about. Feel free to have your opinions on TPTD being a worthy example of "Straight Edge Hardcore"; my point is that getting messages like these are quite humbling in many different ways.

It's obviously always cool to have someone appreciate the art that you put out; especially whenever they point out some of the more obscure specifics that you were always secretly hoping someone would pick up on. It's also awesome whenever you get the feeling as though all of the hours of your life that you waste on creating what sometimes seem as pointless write-ups for some silly blog are worth it. Little things like this far outweigh the negative vibes you typically feel when touring across the US or reading anything written by anyone on a message board ... ever. I digress.

I think we typically take for granted the fact that information is so accessible now. The fact that you can have essentially ANY sort of news in the world that you want forwarded directly to your phone or computer without the slightest bit of effort is quite a technological feat. Whenever I receive messages like the previous two examples I mentioned, it makes me fall in love with hardcore all over again. Seeing that there are like-minded people out there who are more than enthusiastic about continually seeking out new bands and ideals is always going to be uplifting in my eyes.

If you're interested in checking out Joab's blog from the Philippines or Harrison's band from China ... check the following links.

Real Tight Crew Blog
Hutong First MySpace


Andrew said...

I'm not trying to be facetious in asking this, but actually want to engage the issue.

How does having a room full of music elicit praise, whereas a room full of, say, video games (or whatever other example) seems to be immediately derided as consumerist bullshit? Aren't these both just different manifestations (that work on different scales) of the same problem?

AJ said...

Do you really want to compare World Of Warcraft to Destroy The Machines?

Andrew said...

If that sort of comparison seems too ridiculous for you, then how about comparing Destroy the Machines to someone's Nike Dunks. Or rather, someone's Earth Crisis record and t-shirt collection to someone's Nike shoe collection.

Don't get me wrong, I am very into hardcore and appreciate both the music and the message behind it. But I find that the music being manifested through material goods is too similar to normal American consumption. I'm also extra weary of the link that seems to be made between amount of hardcore merch/records/cds and one's devotion to the music and ideas.

AJ said...

I'm with you on the merchandising aspect of it all ... but I view the actual music releases on an entirely different level. The shirts and back to schools folders and whatever are silly to me ... but the lyric sheets and the art that comes in the form of a CD are worth every bit of material used in its production. Thinking about the life path I have taken thanks to the lyrics contained on less than a notebook's worth of paper and the music contained on less than a milk jug's worth of plastic is mind-blowing to me.

benevolentXmachine said...

@Andrew: I agree with you to a certain extent. There are commonalities when I spend a shit ton of my money on albums and electronics and comics compared to say sweatshop labor. It's all consumerism, which is pretty much the root of a lot of our species problems. But I feel what hardcore/straight edge/veganism/Punk, and all of these things that have made me see that capitalism, WTO, IMF etc. is fucked also told me to care for each other. So when I do "consume," I do my damn best to know where my money and resources are going, so that it circulates within the "sustainable" loops (is that possible? Before the revolution, what else is there?) If I eat out, I make sure I patronize a place that's in line with what I judge to be sustainable. Reading your posts, I'm sure you and I both don't eat at fast food joints because we don't want to feed the malicious systems. It's the same way with the consumption of the hardcore music lover vs the mindless nike/gucci/fashion fan. A lot of people don't think twice about the systems they support. You can call it middle/upper class privileged, but every time I get a tattoo, I can only get it done by someone straightedge/vegan (preferably both), because I have that trust that they won't blow that my earned cash on some destructive shit and I trust that they have the many of the same perspectives as me. Consumerism, it's a problem, I'm working towards a time when this won't be an issue (we are by just talking about it here), until then, I'll make sure I pay my money to the true heads~

@AJ, dude, I was very pleasantly surprised by this post! Haha.

Quick typo correction. It's "Hutong Fist", not "First". But anyways, talk about being humbled when I read your post. Respect~

Reading the lyrics from the album. All these years.... haha. They are even more powerful than I had guessed. It's so funny to be corrected after all this time.

"You are my sister support is what you'll get,
You are my brother never forget"

Trying to build that new world man.

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