It has been one of those days.
It’s one of those days where the gray sky has been dripping cold rain on my face for days and days without relent. In my anxious state, it’s just all too easy to worry the winter sun may never come back when it sinks beneath the slate gray sheet of sky at four PM. As the long night falls, the ever-pervasive clouds snuff out starlight and moonlight alike, giving an eerie abyssal feeling to the sky. The darkness is pervasive as it is consuming. So much so that I get the feeling walking home sometimes that the blackness towering above me wants to reach down and pull me into its maw, swallowing me whole.
Like I was never here. Like I was never supposed to be here. Like gravity pulling in reverse. That’s how I described my feelings of alienation and displacement in conversation once. Like the world as it spins now, does not hold a place for any of us. It’s like that episode from The Twilight Zone, where the three astronauts return from a mission, crash landing their space shuttle. One by one each of them gets the feeling “they aren’t supposed to be here” and fade away. That’s what lonely nights in this city feel like.
Like gravity pulling in reverse.
On quiet nights like this one, were it not for the internet and panic paced twenty-four hour news cycle, I think it one could almost forget the world exists outside this city and its dim streetlights. As if the world just falls away into nothingness once you hit the city limits. So I go it alone one more night, hunkering down to write to my favorite songs in my small bedroom, shut away from the world I’m so desperately afraid of fading away from, but don’t know how to rejoin at the same time. Tonight it feels like all the clocks died at two minutes to midnight. Fuck, the whole last year feels like that. The kind of apocalypse dread and desperation that reminds you what attracted you to punk in the first place.
So tonight I lose myself for the millionth time, slipping into the spirit of sound. Ensconced in the wail of guitars and D-Beats drumming out a battle march with all the rest of the lost souls and bitter children. Screaming at the madness and sheer fucking senselessness of it all. Because I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gotten a good night of sleep in what feels like weeks. Ever since that intercontinental ballistic missile false alarm last week, mushroom clouds have haunted my dreams almost nightly. All across the city, everyone I love just wonders when the hammer might fucking drop, and that then that’s it; lights out for all of us and the roaches have their go.
Punks have been freaking out about the end of the world for forty years now, my entire adult life. I inherited these deep fears as much as the next oversensitive ex-spiky kid. I mean, shit. Discharge made a few flawless records (Let’s just pretend for tonight that Grave New World just never fucking happened, okay?) and a career off these fears. Beyond that they inspired legions of leather clad, paranoid emulators.
I don’t really know how to end this, except to say that I’m scared sometimes. I’m sad sometimes. I’m strong most of the time. If you’re reading this and we know one another, I love you so much, and I’m glad you’re alive. I want you to keep living. If you’re reading this and I don’t know you: I probably like you. I love your lives and your stories because you have them and they count for something. Here’s some tunes that I love that have been on heavy rotation the past few weeks. I hope you find something you like.
This mix represents my first attempt at what I hope will become a more regular feature of incorporating my love of music and my love of sharing music into my writing practice. As always, thank you for reading. If you’ve got feedback, or just wanna tell me what songs you loved or hated, I wanna hear it.
- Chaos UK – No Security
- Icons Of Filth – Fucked Up State
- Skinny Puppy – Nature’s Revenge
- Confuse – Hate (Is It War?)
- Black Flag – My War
- Ash Borer – Waves With No Shore
- Body Of Light – Burn As One
- Larm – Chemical Suicide
- Cemetery – 4:30 Blood City
- Gauze – Unknown Title, unreleased song. Live, May, 2011. First show back after the Fukushima Disaster
- Lydia Lunch – Suicide Ocean
- After The Bombs – To The Void And Back
- Youth Code – The Dust Of A Fallen Rome
- Nausea – Here Today
- Killing Joke – This World Hell
- Broken Bones – Death Is Imminent
- The Comes – Ningen Gari
- Part 1 – Pictures Of Pain
- Pharmakon – Sleepwalking Form
- Lebenden Toten – Near Dark
- Drift – Mirage
- Bellicose Minds – Orwell’s Troops
- Scumraid – Tsar Bomba
- Crude – Stand And Fight Again
- Life – The World Lies Across Them