grisly cartoonish mess
I just recently returned from a crayzee night at this “house show” dealy thingamabobber. It was a dinky dirty dank little rotten place on the corner of N. Enterprise and Merry. Sure enough, there were people of all walks of life showing up at this place: hippies, druggies, haggard-looking folks, folks who likely haven’t slept in recent years, bearded folk, scummy tattooed folk, nose ring/lip ring/tongue ring/nipple ring/unmentionable ring folk with weezer glasses and stringy knotted hair, clean shaven folks laden with lagers of many kinds, a great number of sad stories rolled into one night of bliss and a haze of long forgotten nuanced emptiness. Modern Soviet Enemies played a great show, though they only had 5 songs to do and Steve broke a key off of his moog. They were playing in such a tight place it was like being inside of a tuna can and trying to rock out as it was going through the garage compactor. There were just too many people stuffed into this little shack, the aforementioned “house” in the “house show” title of the night’s event. Mike drummed like a madman, Steve mooged like a wild animal, Blaine (another member of MSE) riffed like a hard metal hair band thing, and Ben, oh Ben. Ben sang and contorted, twisted up and unwound on the microphone, an unforgiving piece of magnetic insufficiency that grossly failed at conveying anything but a faint static whisper of his voice, layered behind a vertical wall of sound. Next up was the New Wave… Except Mike, Dan, Jared and I skipped out to go get some Taco Bell. We had a good chat. Jared enjoyed seeing Ben unleash his frenetic lyrics. Mike got tired from drumming insanely fast. Dan and I had compliments to make and tacos to down. We all smelled very potently of smoke and very slightly of fermented hops. We (sans Jared) returned to what had become a self-contained ecosystem of foggy haze and free flowing inebriating beverages at the “house” for the capstone of the night: Bullet Teeth. Steve was drunk, pumped, and drunk. He got into it. He may perhaps remember in the morning, we shall see. Dan left, he was to spend the night with Jeremy. Mike and I stood with Eric Barton and watched as Joel Midden crawled up the ceiling, licked the sickly ceiling fan, and then slithered down on top of an amp into the willing arms of a frenzied crowd moshing like there was nothing in the world that made any sense except throwing yourself into an uncoordinated spasmodic fit. Eric leaned in: “Bullet Teeth is about the STAGE PRESENCE”. Ahhh, it’s becoming clearer. The pitiable aftermath of this revelry is that nobody will have gained a shred of truth from the jam session plus painted/tattooed/convulsing antics of a skinny boy with a shrill cackling voice and a forked tongue. Joel Midden is a cool kid, make no mistake he’s smart, very down to earth and quite unassuming. But just like everyone else (aside from Mike, Ben, and a few others) at this function, he clings to a vapid notion, faithfully and blindly reassured that it will get him somewhere real and tangible in the end. That notion is spiritual fulfillment through ritual celebrations of madness and self-actualization coupled with some idolatry and friendly insolence. Mike and I took a walk. Just what does it mean to be in this world and not of it? After all of the spiritual diatribes and philosophical debates what do people really respond to? Stimulus of the brain… Or stimulus of the heart? When the camaraderie ends and their worldly friends are leaving, will we be able to put to practice a quiet undermining of the conceptions these people have of our faith? Can we be a surprise and a point of reality when the fakeness of these people’s existence is tugged out from underneath them? After the show was concluded we bid our farewells to friends and acquaintances alike. They’re all nice people, for the most part good natured, smart, and not completely plastered. It weighs on our hearts and minds, how do we exemplify Christ in this crowd? We took the band’s gear back to its appropriate resting place and I told Mike and the guys goodnight. I drove home, lots of music played, it was fitting. Music is music, noise, sound, something to fill a void for a moment, and then it fades out, or crossfades into another melody, another rhythm, another beat, another set of lyrics. Eyes are not filled with seeing, nor are ears filled with hearing. How true, but hearing music when it fits with what God is speaking to your heart, when all of creation surrounding you seems to be quietly undermining our innate tendency to fall away from God by singing out his praises: a song gives it over into a language we somehow understand better. Suddenly, if only for a moment, we connect with that whisper through a batch of chords, mastered layered channels of instruments and carefully tuned vocals. How much more so, when the music is originating in front of our very eyes, when we are enmeshed with the music, and the rhythm is taking over, the words are grazing us like bullets with little teeth on them. Dangerous times, and then again it is only music… But to some it is so much more. Prayer is where the battle starts, and also where it ends. All things on Earth fail, and one day someone who has put his trust in it will have that trust violated by its very nature. Then I pray we are in a position to offer up God’s truth, maybe he will get a hold of this person, and when they’re faced with the decision, they make it and then that is that. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Remember, we aren’t out to save souls for God, he doesn’t need us, but his consistence is in using utterly unqualified and unworthy people to accomplish his divine task. Rejoice. How can we drink from that well when our souls are so afraid to rejoice. Rejoice… Christ is in us… And that is all that matters. He is the most deadly ammunition against emptiness that the world has ever seen. And his work is whole, complete, infallible, and priceless.