Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's Wrong With My Brain?

Don’t tell my wife I said this but there’s a lot of things I don’t remember. I listen to a lot of podcasts and hear people speak about remembering where and on what day they saw a particular movie from over a decade ago. They can supply numerous details about the weather on that day, the theater and where they stopped to eat before or afterwards. They have a rich tapestry of memories to draw upon it seems.

It doesn’t work that way for me. I can’t tell you what day of the week or the month and probably not the year (without looking it up) that I first saw Star Wars, or Aliens or any of literally thousands of other movies I’ve seen in my life. I can’t give tell you if I had popcorn or candy. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

It’s not just movies though. I also can’t recall a great many details of concerts I’ve seen other than the year (maybe) and the general period within that year (Summer? Fall?) that it occurred in. If you ask me about the set list I’m at a loss. I know I enjoyed it and I probably could tell you who I went with and perhaps I generally can remember the opening bands or if there were any. Then again, I’ve seen a lot of shows.

I am almost always reading a book but if you ask me about it a month afterwards I doubt I could tell you a great many details about it. By that point I’ve more than likely already read at least three more. If it’s in a series by the time the next one comes out I almost have to go back and read the previous one all over again if I want any sense of continuity.

The thing I’ve come to realize over my life is that I consume these things (books, movies, music) and other experiences very much in the minute and then I move on to the next. If I don’t retain anything I can always read or watch it again. That doesn’t really work for concerts of course. My only recourse at this point is to research it and write it all down as best I can.

The way I have come to feel about is that there is nothing wrong with the way my mind works. It is what it is and it does how it does. I don’t expect to be normal or like everybody else is because that use of terminology is just an illusion. There is no right or wrong way to be. I am the way I was created. It would be a rather horrid world to live in if everybody thought the same way, processed information the same way, expected the world to behave the way they thought was correct.

Wait a minute, aren’t we already on that road to intolerance of difference? Don’t we already expect others to think the normal, correct way and chastise others if they don’t agree? Shouldn’t I have a right to think the way I do and say what I want to say even if it’s different than your way and your opinion?

Of course we all have those rights. Just don’t expect to actually be able to use them.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ten For Tuesday Episode 079: No Really



Finally I got around to doing another episode, of course at the last minute. Too much has been going on and sometimes the podcast suffers as a result. We'll see how long it takes to get the next one done, no promises. This episode features two blocks of music and what's significant about the 2nd one is all of the artists live in or around Tulsa and I've seen all but Merlin Mason (soon I will correct that) and Stationary Nomads (because that's me and I can't see myself performing now can I?). Listen for the details. Or don't. Your choice. Make the smart one (that means listen).

Toys That Kill - Safe & Warm
Freedom Club - Death Satchel
The Public - The Dogs
Banda Muerte - La Sangre de la Muerto
Behaviour - Bad Times For Heroes
Merlin Mason - Social Anxiety
Riot Waves - Enemies
Colourful Hill - Selfless
Lizard Police - Swearing In Spanish
Stationary Nomads - Ladrones

Ten For Tuesday is a podcast dedicated to playing the music I couldn't find anywhere else. The music I like varies from style to style, genre to genre and era to era. You will hear punk, ska, rock, Americana, metal, country, rockabilly and more from all over the world. It doesn't matter if it's a major label or indie as long as I like it then it gets played. The motto is Less Talk More Music which means you won't hear me waxing poetic for fifteen minutes between songs. At TFT its all about the music...and me of course.

Email: tenfortuesday@gmail.com Twitter:@notmovingpics
Blog: www.notmovingpictures.blogspot.com

Old Episodes can be found by going to www.archive.org and searching for Ten For Tuesday

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Small Press Books To The Rescue

I haven't been writing very much lately, for the blog or otherwise, but I have been reading. My mind is full of ideas but sometimes the problem is getting them out of my brain. One thing that helps though are the very books that I've been reading. They have mostly been from small press companies but don't think for an instant that impacts the quality of the writing. The few remaining large companies for the most part won't touch these kind of authors. Instead of playing it safe with their content and writing style they carve out their own niche and usually when they make a fan it's someone who fiercely believes in the content they put out. I'm going to list three authors and the book I read from them and then talk about the overall impact it's had on me.

Sean Carswell - Barney's Crew  (Gorsky Press)
John Sheppard - Small Town Punk (Ig Pub)
Kevin Sampsell - A Common Pornography (Harper Perennial)

All three writers have different styles of writing but all three made me re-think about the so called rules of writing. They tend to keep the chapters short and always end them in a way to make me want to read just a few pages more. Eventually when I come up for air those few pages more have easily turned into fifty or sixty. Sampsell in particular writes small vignettes that are sometimes less than a page in length. They all write about characters who are at their best flawed people. Some are drunks or always on the lookout to obtain drugs, just going from one high to another. Some refuse to look life realistically. Some are only fooling themselves.

None of this would hold my interest though if the quality of the writing wasn't so high. The stories drew me in and kept my attention. The resulting effect was that I started to rethink the so called rules of writing. About what was acceptable, what qualified and once I started down that path I found myself awash in new ideas, things I never before would have considered. Now that I have found the challenge the only thing holding me back (besides time) is me. I am my own worst critic. Sometimes the criticism is warranted, sometimes not. It's okay to question yourself if your intention is to do the best that you can do, to a degree that is.

Another thing I have discovered is that it's okay to be yourself and by that I mean accepting yourself flaws and all. Coincidentally that means you have to accept others as they are as well. No matter how well intentioned you may be you need to stop judging others for failing to live up to the lofty standards that you hold dear, no matter how much you want to see them succeed. In the end it is up to the individual. Positive criticism is so much harder to give then negative criticism isn't it? Stp trying to convince others that things would be better if they did it your way instead of theirs. They will either choose to do something or they won't. It's that simple.

Sean Carswell, John Sheppard and Kevin Sampsell have all inspired and in a way challenged me. The only thing I have to do is answer that challenge and meet their creativity in my own manner. I have the ideas, now I just need to tell the stories. Either I will or I won't. It's up to me and whatever the result it's all okay. I'm going to do the best that I can. How's that for an idea?

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ten For Tuesday Episode 78 Is Up



It's been a few months but Ten For Tuesday is back to slap you in the face with ten sonic delights. The time off was spent on other creative projects but I don't foresee any other delays in the near future but then, you don't normally see delays like that do you? I've been doing the Ok, So Story Slam, my zine Exercising Demons and recording a song that I wrote and do vocals on. That's got to count for something right? Eh, tough crowd, alright here's the music:

Monsula - Ocean Walked
Slow Faction - Under Heavy Manners
Wonk Unit - Je M'Appelle Alex
The Skints - Friends And Business
Jukebox 101 - I Believe
King Django - I Promised
Westbound Train - Stranded
Stray Bullets - Sirens
The Splash - Nothing New
The Carringtons - Just A Second

Ten For Tuesday is a podcast dedicated to playing the music I couldn't find anywhere else. The music I like varies from style to style, genre to genre and era to era. You will hear punk, ska, rock, Americana, metal, country, rockabilly and more from all over the world. It doesn't matter if it's a major label or indie as long as I like it then it gets played. The motto is Less Talk More Music which means you won't hear me waxing poetic for fifteen minutes between songs. At TFT its all about the music...and me of course.

Email: tenfortuesday@gmail.com Twitter:@notmovingpics
Blog: www.notmovingpictures.blogspot.com

Old Episodes can be found by going to www.archive.org and searching for Ten For Tuesday
Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tulsa Zine Fest!!!!!!!

The Tulsa Zine Fest just wrapped up and it was amazing! I found a ton of great zines to read and handed out almost fifty copies of both issues of my zine, Exercising Demons. It was rather cool to meet and talk to people who had tables and share info with them. Any perspective is nice to have and there were people who are in the early stages of zine making to those that have been doing it for years. Quite a few of them loved the name of my zine. They came from Kansas, St Louis, Stigler, OKC, other places and locally too. Exercising Demons first issue came out in April and I had to rush to get the second one done in time for today. Last night after work I came home and had to start gluing them together. I had to do that because I screwed up. I procrastinated getting it together and instead of taping everything down to get my master copy ready and then gluing it in place, I skipped the taping part and just started gluing. After everything was copied and I needed to put the pages together in order, I realized I had messed up and could not staple them. Hey, I'm still learning.

Here's a picture of the loot I got at the Tulsa Zine Fest.

I spent thirty-five of the forty dollars I won at the last Ok, So Story Slam on zines plus some of the people here just traded me a copy of their zine after I had given them mine. Soon I hope to have all of the kinks ironed out of this zine thing and then I'll start selling mine. I really hope that the fest comes back next year and I can be on the other side of the table. I'll say right now that I'll do what it takes to help out to continue something so cool. Zines are the ultimate in self-publishing for me. We have Jay Hancock, the owner of Holy Mountain record store here in Tulsa and his wife to thank for not only the zine fest but also for making zines available in the store. That's what got me started reading and now writing them. Holy Mountain also has been doing some in-stores for local bands which is a good way to expose yourself (not that way) to talented bands for free and then further support them. Jay has done a lot so go in and help out the store by buying something you like. That way we can keep stuff like the Zine Fest happening and that's a very good thing.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wistful Thinking On Funerals

This was written two days ago but I'm just now putting it up.


I'm supposed to go to a funeral today. I'm not a big fan of them, not that there are many people who are. That would just be weird. Actually it's more like I'm not a big fan of social gatherings in general. Weddings, birthday parties and yes, even funerals all cry out "look at me, validate me by paying attention to me." Birthdays and weddings of course are for the people who are alive and there at that moment. Funerals though aren't for the person who died. They're for those left behind. I don't think a dead person cares either way if people have gathered, dressed up and are paying their respects to what kind of a person they were when they were living. It seems more about how the attention somehow makes the grief of the living easier when it's shared.

Personally I feel it’s all rubbish. Like I said, the dead person doesn't care one iota about anything being done "for" them or in their name. Being dead means they're beyond feelings period. I rather doubt when I go I'll have a large outcry of lamenting over my leaving but even if there is a small one I'd rather they do something different for me. Instead of gathering in a church, everybody dressing to impress each other and having people talk who may or may not be telling the absolute truth, I propose whoever feels like it can gather and tell stories about me. Tell why you hated me or tell why you loved me. Tell funny stories that show that I was a human, not some near perfect being because trust me, I'm far from that.
 
How about visiting me before I die and sharing these things? Anybody can come after you've gone and only speak of the good things. After all, by then you're no longer around to correct them on the details. It is hard to see someone when the end is near when you are sad about the change in them, perhaps because it makes us recognize the frailty of life and that all of us will succumb at some point or another. Whatever the reason I'd rather people share with me while I am dying and then if they must, gather and celebrate the life I’ve led with each other. I've let far too many people slip away and haven't spent time as well as I could have but I am trying. So you can heed this or ignore it, your choice. Once I'm gone even these words will no longer matter to me. Do what you feel like. Do what makes you happy.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Catching Up...............With Some Crappy Photos

There's a lot of stuff I've been meaning to post but just haven't gotten around to so I figured now is just as good a time to get it done. Here goes:
 
 
 
Last month I went to an in-store at Holy Mountain and saw local band Riot Waves who opened for another band.
 


 The other band was another local group, Lizard Police who were promoting their new 7" single. I bought it.
 
 
The end of July brought The Slackers, one of my favorite bands, to town, the first since I moved back to Oklahoma. If you've never seen them you should seriously give them a try. It got me skanking for the first time in a long time and I even knocked some guys beer out of his hand.
  
 
The Last Slice is a Tulsa ska band that opened for The Slackers AND Roddy Radiation as it turns out. I'm fairly sure I'll be seeing them again in the near future. Maybe next time I'll bring my wife and son.


 
Okay, so I already mentioned his name. Roddy Byers aka Radiation was the original guitarist in The Specials and if you don't know who they were then go look 'em up and then come back here. Roddy put on a great show at the new DIY punk and more little place called Boulevard Trash. It's a store too and I scored a Hex Bombs 7" before the show. Seriously, go see Roddy if he comes your way, you won't be disappointed, unless of course you're a twat.

 

The Scotch Bonnets opened for Roddy and were also his backing band. They were impressive enough for me to part with some cash for some of their music.


 
Lastly came Rush, yes a very different kind of music but still a great band nonetheless. According to the band this will be the last big tour for them. They may do some smaller ones or some individual shows but no more huge tours. With that in mind I'm going on a road trip in July to see them two more times.

That about does it, a lot more things went on like my sons birthday, some workshops at TCC and so forth but enough is enough. I'm tired and still have to get back to work.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.