Sunday, February 22, 2009

Living in the past pt. 1: "You can swallow all my priiiiiiide"

Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax -- YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT I LIVE IN THE PAST!

One of my favorite things to do when downing pints with friends, or even after a couple glasses of grape juice with the mrs., is to think back to the old days, times spent and laughs shared, lives bent and carafes bared, to remember and relive the seasons, the reasons, for getting together once again. The cynical amongst us might whine and cry about not living in the now, not loving each day as anew, not creating a future even worth reminiscing about. A pox on them, I say.

I've been recently getting back into some of the music I loved from another time (Avail, Propaghandi, Operation Ivy). And yes I dig it for what it is/was, but I can't deny that part of the appeal is traveling back to a particular time and place, bringing back all the feelings and memories of a youth well spent. To wit, I love eating In'N'Out burgers, mostly because of the taste, but part of the joy now is the opportunity to, subconsciously I think (though not anymore), replay beautiful afternoons rolling down Van Nuys Blvd after school without a care in the world, or having been away from LA for a while and going straight from Burbank airport to get all animal styled on the way home. Nostalgia's an important part of real-time experience, past actions and emotions and context inform and affect the present, I say.

I recently met up with some very old and good friends that I rarely see these days. Long story short, we innocently finagled our way into the 3-story penthouse of the heirs to a European money printing operation. And got kicked out of the place for really no reason, basically the victims of intra-family strife, the manifestation of years of whitewashing problems with feigned indifference and real discontent, throwing piles of money as an extinguisher upon fundamental issues. After getting the hell out of that situation, my fellow cohorts expressed feelings ranging from outrage to disgust to embarrassment, what have you, but I just couldn't stop smiling. A contrarian 'til I die, I was so happy, knowing that years from now every time I'd see those guys we'd have something to talk about, laugh about, reminisce and rehash. To me, there was so much utility, fun at the time and allowing for even more fun in the future, in what happened. The future's a beautiful house built upon bricks of the past.


This is a little video I've made for the old and somewhat rarely played Via Violenta song, Cleo. I basically started the process to try and learn how to use the software, and totally not because I'm living in the past and painfully missing playing music in between hanging out with friends and cracking jokes while drinking Polish beers and smoking trees. Somewhere along the way, I realized not only was the studio recording not actually finished (I've got to assume that the guitars were merely scratch tracks to get the drums and bass down and that we would go back and re-record them, at least I really hope so), and not only was there no mixing done, but there's probably a reason this one was rarely played. Nevertheless, it still holds a nice place in my heart. And there was no way I was scrapping it and starting anew with a different song. The intro is a nice example of Freddie's antics-inducing laughter, complete with Hari's desperation and my hyena-on-nitrous-like cackling. Joel's a pro as usual (more likely eating a sandwich in between takes). I hope this brings back as good memories for some as it does for me. This goes out to all the bandmates, you too Inder, and the friends that came to the shows and shared drinks and laughs and everything else.


Mr. Hari said...

the fondest memory i have for this song (maybe the only fond memory as this song was the bane of my songwriting for many a year) was freddie citing its amoral content as evidence of his need to leave the group in order to follow Jesus. good times, good food.

rananda said...

i think it was the line, "if there is a god, im sure he's not trapped between your legs, legs, legs, legs" that did it.

Sir Fantastic said...

Yea that song was pretty sweet. I think the nostalgia for the times with buddies is clearly about the desire to be a part of a community, and having those shared memories, even when the memories are of shiite, cause it allows us humans to feel a part of something bigger than our lonely selves. Remember that wedding in Seattle you and Hari got kicked out of? I kind of wish I'd gone there with you guys, instead of hearing the stories about it and drinking by myself in that trendy ass bar. Anyways, animal style hamburgers are delicious, that's just nostalgia for deliciousness.

Kid Nix said...

damn hari is destroying me. i think we can all agree i was right. yeah good times, good food man indeed. pizza...those big messy ones at the end of the night...or a sandwich during. empenadas for 1 dolla?! cmon guys...its enuff to make you holla!

Odo said...

lent gives me the new nostalgia for animal style fries. how long did i not know? and why am i dieting for lent like some doggamn papist? because pickup basketball has been hurting my lower back. which reminds me of this distinct childhood memory, wherein my ma was complaining of an aching back, and i thought to myself, "damn that's awesome. i can't wait until my bones are all creakin and demanding attention." and this returns us to the fact that the past present future exist(s) simultaneously if at all, that the majority the sense data we use to claim knowledge of some external present reality is actually made up of old news and thus easily duped due to our lazy tendency to impute patterns, patterns which themselves were learned during young times when our elders easily duped us to entertain and look cool in front of their friends. wheels within wheels and all that, leaving us with only aestethic(!) decisions between using e.g. music to induce our own psychoacoustical feedback environment ("lets all go to Ashkenaz!") or letting the usual stochastic rumblings of our innermost noggings burp out something from the archives (did or did not Spike have the Motts?). so the moral is to holla when you roll through LA and we'll play music real loud while we get high and drunk.

Bob said...

- As I get older, I can't think about a memorable moment like your story without getting a little down. At the same time that I'm having a good time, I can't help but think that this could be last time that I have this much fun with this group of people. Kind of ruins the fun of the moment. Perhaps this is just indicative of a negative view of life/adult life. (Although given that, as of late, medical issues have forced me to curtail drinking, smoking and staying out late, perhaps my fears were well founded).

- your post reminded me of a calvin and hobbes strip (couldn't find a link to it) where the following exchange occurs.
Calvin: Which exactly are the halcyon days of my youth? Is Saturday one?.
Father: I believe they are awarded retroactively when you're grown up.
Calvin: You can't identify them until then?
Father: Halcyonity is relative.
I wrote a bs undergrad paper incorporating this strip.
This isn't exactly on point, but then again, when is something that I say to you ever on point.
(even more tangential - remembering this comic strip reminds me that I have some good comics that I should pass on to you at some point.)

rananda said...

animal style fries

GOOD... GOD... MAN... what have i been doing in the freezer?

and amen to everything else.

rananda said...

At the same time that I'm having a good time, I can't help but think that this could be last time that I have this much fun with this group of people.

a healthy paranoidal fear of what kind of unholy- and armageddon-like destruction is to be brought by any self-conciously enjoyed moment of fun or acknowledgment of good luck is probably normal, but i think you may be approaching this the wrong way. but i hear what youre saying.

think ive actually seen that calvin and hobbes, possibly in our old bathroom. they had some gems, eh.