Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Orange Tree - Who'da Thunk It, I'm A Ghost

Paper Thick Walls has a music video. In fact we have had it for a while, I'm just a super slacker when it comes to posting now that I have 4 and 1/2 jobs again. So I bid farewell to my secret identity as I peel back the Obsquatch mask and show you a connection to the real me. The see-through, macabre, unmoving, ghastly, unanimated, ghost-of-a-man that this video portrays me as. Maybe that's not the real me. Maybe... Enjoy this please.
-The Ghost of Obsquatch

Befriend Paper Thick Walls on Facebook? Sweet
Watch out for us on YouTube? Rad
See minutes of video? Shazam
See hours of video? Ka-Pow

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wording Words Is Not My Way Of Earning Earnings, But Planting Plants Is - or - Sent To Me From My Mop

An Ode to the English Plural

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in
eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England . We take English for
granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can
work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from
Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers
don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of
them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop???

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Woke Up To Write This...

There are things about me that I hate. I’ve built up mole hills and I’ve knocked down mountains and I’ve seen me tumble from the clouds into the fire and I’ve seen me rise from the ashes and soar to the heavens one too many times. There are things about me that keep me silent, that keep a smile across my face as the days fill up and the nights slip away. There is darkness that light can’t touch and a blinding illumination that keeps the shadow confined to the skinniest hiding spots. Neither are the truth. Neither are the definition of me. But both get their time in on the soap box. Both get their equal share of my thoughts. So as I swing back and forth, all I can ask is that I don’t jump in any one direction, that I don’t launch into the light or into the dark. I just want to get off and get some sleep. I just want to put my feet on the ground and look at the pendulum from the safety of a park bench. There are cracks and chips and divots and flaws that make be proud to be beautifully damaged.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

An Obsquatch's Shopping List - or - This Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of It's Toiletries And Booze

These are my last 6 purchases:

-1000 business cards with my name and my phone number on the front and a palm tree on the back.

-A bottle of 101 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon and a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream with a hint of Mint Chocolate.

-A big bag of organic carrots, a box of granola, Cabot Extra Sharp Hunter’s Cheddar, and jar of peanut butter – extra crunchy.

-A lemonade with two shots of tequila and a slice of lime.

-24 rolls of toilet paper, 2 tubes of toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, Barbasol Foamy Shaving Cream w/ Aloe, a new sponge on a string, sunscreen, 6 black headbands, and a pair of oversized women’s sunglasses that fit over my glasses.

-2 hot dogs, Chicago style with extra hot peppers.

What more could a man need?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gotta Minute? How 'Bout 54 Of Um - or - PT-Dubs Has A Live HD Video

Hi. I'm gonna do something I didn't think I would ever do. I'm gonna tell you my name. My name is Danger. Actually, Danger is my middle name. I live in a tiny apartment in Chicago and I fill my tiny apartment with instruments, tropical plants, bourbon, and laundry. As you might know, I play double bass in Paper Thick Walls. On June 1st, we did a live web-streaming performance through a super-pro recording studio called Audio Tree. They have just released two very slick HD videos of this session. One is the last tune that we played during that session called Liar's Lawyer, a tune that really gets my blood going. It is about 6 minutes. The other video is the entire hour long audio session. Take a minute if you got one and check out the links. I like to think that I have been waiting for this band all my life, but waiting implies that there was no work involved in getting to this point, which is the complete opposite of how PT-Dubs has worked. Quite literally, blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this band but the result is a musical collaboration between five amazing individuals, each bringing their one dump-truck full of talent, personality, dysfunction, and dedication to the collective. The whole out weighs the sum of the parts for all the right reasons. I will fight to the end to keep this life long dream of mine alive and this tight-knit cross-section of life-walkers from totally different paths together until the bloody, sweaty, tear-filled end. I enjoy it. I need it. I love it.

6 minutes of Liar's Lawyer
54 minutes of Paper Thick Walls Live from Audiotree
Bleed with us. Sweat with us. Cry your fucking eyes out. Enjoy?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Once In A While You Get Shown The Light... - or - I'm On TV On The Web On The Streets Of Toronto

I'm in Canada. If you are interested in seeing the work of the man in question in this video, please click the link. He is an amazing man.

Hratch Armenious Violins

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Paper Thick Walls Audiotree Live Sessions - or - The Way You Would Jump With Me

Paper Thick Walls recently went into Ji•Ra studios in downtown Chicago to do a live recording and webcast of nine or ten songs. The recordings have just been put online, photos and a HD video of the performance are to follow soon. This was one of my favorite days in memory. I hope you enjoy it.

Audiotree Live Sessions

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dreaming Of Dissonance - or - An Apocalypse With Real Buzz

Apocalypse. End of Days. Rapture. The second coming. T-Rexs with lasers. There has been some heavy bullshit laid out and spread around these past few weeks from all kinds of nutjobs. As much as I tried to avoid it, joke about it with friends, or disregard it as distractions from the real issues the world currently faces, these predictions have permeated my subconscious to the point that I dreamt of the end of the world. And although there is flooding in my hometown, tornadoes killing hundreds in the prairie states, corrupt governments killing their own civilians in countries around the world, nuclear power plants spewing radiation into the oceans and into the skies, and natural disasters wiping out thousands of innocent people in the blink of an eye, even though all these things are happening in the real world around us, I would like to take a moment to share with you my prophecy of how this world will come to it's end. I dreamt of the final minutes of my life, signifying the last stand of mankind, before I was overtaken by an angry hoard of mindless undead, soulless killing machines bent on destroying all human life.

Yes. A zombie apocalypse. It was awesome. I was a bad ass, complete with a tattered red head band, glistening bulging biceps, bandoleers over each shoulder, and war paint caked all over my snarling gritty face. Rambosquatch. I was fighting zombies in my dream last night, thousands of them. No one knew where they came from or why, all we knew was in order to live, we had to kill every one of those brain-sucking bastards before they killed us, and they had us severely outnumbered and were advancing against our last strong hold, the last vestige of human civilization. I was in command, fighting an endless sea of flesh eating monstrosities, their ranks stretching from horizon to horizon. My rag-tag unit of commandos were all that was left of humanity, and we were fighting; fighting with any weapons we could find, pitch forks, pistols, shot guns, machine guns, rocket launchers, flame throwers, and our bare hands.

I remember the final moments of last night's holocaust the most vividly. My second in command, a buxom raven-haired camouflaged-bikini-clad amazonian warrior woman, chewing on a cigar and sporting an onyx encrusted eyepatch stands next to me, looking out into the vast fields of the ravenous undead. Tumble week rolls in front of us as a desert wind picks up and tosses her mud caked curls playfully, reveling open scars on her stern war-worn yet some how soft and beautifully tan face. She is the perfect woman, graceful and savage, with a lust for life and a taste for blood. Without breaking her gaze of the battle field, in a sultry, smokey voice, she informs me...

"There are thousands of them, sir."
"Nothing we haven't handled before," I reply.
"They won't stop until they have ripped each one of us to pieces."
"Just like yesterday." I grind my teeth.
"They are getting harder to kill, somehow they seems smarter, faster..."
"I expected this day would come." My eyes narrow.
"They are scaling the walls of our compound, about to breech out defenses." For just a split second, there is a hint of panic in her tone.
"I am ready for them. We will prevail. We must prevail!" My voice is more that of an animal than of a man.
"They all have Kazoos!"
"Well, that's not good..."

Suddenly I am over taken by a mass of green and blue zombies, each wearing a paper party hat, holding balloons, and moaning away through shiny metal kazoos between their yellow rotten teeth. I find myself totally helpless as they descend upon me. This is how the world ends in my dreams. Not with a bang. Not with a fizzle. But rather with an endless, low, groaning buzz.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

From My Quite Couch - or - Quotes From The Non-celebration That Is Not Being Broadcast By CNN or FOX

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and ponder the events of the last few days, let us reflect on this: "Say unto them, As I live... I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live."
(Ez. 33:11, King James Version)

"Let every one, then, who thinks with pain on all these great evils, so horrible, so ruthless, acknowledge that this is misery. And if any one either endures or thinks of them without mental pain, this is a more miserable plight still, for he thinks himself happy because he has lost human feeling."
(St. Augustine on killing)

"...is it ever a good idea — from a spiritual or philosophical standpoint — to celebrate with beer and good cheer over the death of anyone, even a widely acknowledged monster?" NPR.org

Vengeance and justice are often misconstrued.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PT-Dubs, Y'all - or - You Gotta Minute To Make Me Famous?

I am a musician. Tomorrow I am jumping in a car with four other musicians of equal or greater value and am driving to New York City to play some shows and lose some money. Yes it will cost us money to go there and play, but we are dedicated to the cause and because the cause is just, we are just going to go. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is that the band I am in, Paper Thick Walls, or as I call them, PT-Dubs, has been nominated as one of The Deli Chicago's Artist of the Month. This is where you come in. Please go to the following website and listen to the nominated bands. They are all good. Then vote for us. Even if you don't want to vote for us, even if you think we suck, which we don't, just do the right thing and vote for us. Vote for us because I won't have any leg room for sixteen straight hours as we drive halfway across the country to play in the terrifyingly big city of New York. Vote for us because we just dumped hundreds of dollars into tee-shirts, posters, buttons, stickers, Tupperware, beanie hats, and booking agents and don't have a dime left in the band account for gas money. Vote for us because Eric, one of the co-writers and the guitarist and singer in the band, gets bad gas after eating road food. Vote for us because Jacques Réné snores. Vote for us because I will drive all night, there and back. Vote for us because of the cute little mutt puppy I want to get when I return to Chicago is cute and fuzzy (and I don't know anyone who can resist a cute and fuzzy mutt puppy asking you to vote). Vote for us because I will be blogging and vlogging from the road. Vote for us because of this photo right here.
Vote for us because this is one of those childhood dreams that I've never wanted to let go of, to be in a band of friends, a band of talented musicians, and tour the land, playing dive bars and lounges in towns I'd never thought I'd find myself in, meeting strangers and making them dance and smile, sleeping on floors and staying up all night, burning the candle at both ends to light up the stage, smiling and singing and slamming my fingers against the strings until my face hurts and my voice is raw and my fingers are ripped to shreds, and then packing it up and doing it all over again the next night.

This is what I get to do with Paper Thick Walls. This is what makes me happy. Please do me a favor and be part of it. Thanks. PT-Dubs, Y'all.

Artist of the Month is in the upper right corner.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Death Of A Reader

The Death of the Reader
Kerrin McCadden

I have not read a book since my divorce,
or, I have been a bad reader and have read
books, but have not finished them, or, I may
or may not have read some books, but only
those I read as a child, and those to my son,
or, I have picked up books in order to love
them, but have been unable to. I have loved
so many books, and by that I mean novels,
those books that are to lose oneself inside,
to hide in a duck blind, to hide behind a door
with an axe, to hide in a tree with a friend,
to crush a birdnest in the fist to watch the
smallest shells fall through the sunlight, to
pick up a gun and fire it by accident and
kill my ten year old twin, my father
running through the tall grass like he is
under water, I have never seen him run
so fast. Even hiding in the farmhouse,
fantasizing about a floor that can be hosed
clean. Mostly, though, the duck blind,
and being caught there, my long dress
having trailed the mud, and later my death,
there, in the second floor bed, my eyes
two awful things, my death a black thing.
This is the tenth poem I have written about
my death, or at least the death of the reader,
or at least the death of the reader who cannot
read books, only poems. A poem can break
your heart in the short term, and over and over,
in the same way, and in others, the shards falling
through the treelimbs to the pasture below.
This is the heartbreak I am after. Not the one
after the marriage, the long marriage, the forty
open acres of marriage, the fifty page ending.
Just the snapping open of a valve, the chamber
squeezing like a fist, the heart breaking like
a bird's egg, untended, desiccated, sparkling
in the evening light, so beautiful, so light
and diaphanous it almost doesn't fall.

© 2011 Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden was my high school English teacher. She had a profound affect on my life as a student, as a writer, and as a person. Find more of her poetry at failbetter.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Right On - or - Choking On My Own Advice

Write for the sake of writing. Write because the voice in your head, as crazy as it might seem, has a secret to tell you. Write to move the last thing you wrote a little further back in history. Write because at some point there will be a zombie apocalypse and you don’t want to have your brain eaten before you get most of the good ideas out of it and onto paper. Write because it makes you think of good times that have passed. Write to remind yourself of the hard times you have gotten through. Write to never forget the mistakes you’ve already made once. Or twice. Write to remember lost friends, lost loves, lost dreams, and to let them live on. Write because sometimes the world in your head is a lot more interesting than the world out side of it. Write because bringing some of the things from inside of your head out makes the world a little bit more interesting for everyone else. Write because there is no reason not to. Write to practice your penmanship. Write to regain feeling in your fingertips on cold winter evening. Write to sit underneath the ceiling fan on a hot sticky summer day. Write to find excuses to use the word Cataclysm. Write to get that girl off your mind. Write to get that girl into your life. Write so that your hobbies can include writing. Write to explain yourself to the world. Write to separate yourself from the herd. Write for the glory, fame, and prestige of being a writer. Write for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tomorrow, I'm Cleaning My Room - or - Sometimes More is Not Better, Sometimes More Is Just More

A friend told me about an acquaintance who's cleaning bill for his apartment was $10,000. Five thousand dollars of it went towards two fifty-foot dumpsters that were parked outside of his home and emptied every night for a week, and the other five grand went to the five man crew who, over the course of that week, cleared out the house wearing HASMAT suits. I searched for images of a hoarder's home and found this 20-min documentary. I've lost my appetite now.

POSSESSED from Martin Hampton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bright Eyes - or - There Is Time To Think Next Week

I was on my way to a gig. I was driving down Broadway on the north side of Chicago, right by the famous Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, about to get on Lake Shore Drive. I was on my way to work. My van was loaded up with speakers and amplifiesrs and drums and bins and cables and mic stands and big heavy black polycarbonate boxes with shiny latches and spring loaded handles, stuffed to the hinges with gear. Quite honestly tons of gear. Gear with names that are made up of capitol letters and numbers: O1V96, GL2200, KSM44, SLXWL58Beta, AKG414TLII, XLR, TRS, RCA, STFU. Gear heads know all these terms, and thousands more no doubt. Gear heads toss them around in conversations like conjunctions and the result is like tossing chum into a shark pool. Gear head tech-talk attack! "I prefer the LA2A to the Fairchild 670." "That's it, we can't be friends. That's like saying a Distressor set to the 40:1 ratio sounds good on mid/side room mic setup. Bahhh! I say BAHHH!"

Yes, I have had these conversations before. I've since stopped having them due to the complete lack of interest in these topics from the fairer sex. Now I wear a tux and talk to wedding planners and over attentive brides maids that want to hear Usher.

In fact, I was on my way to work to deal with these type of people, just like i do every weekend when I saw it. I saw the Riviera Marque with the words Bright Eyes lit up in big letters. Bright Eyes was staring at me. I stopped the van. Without a moment's hesitation, I pulled over in front of the big Marque and stared back at the letters. It had been a long long time since I have said those words. I was alone so I said them out loud to myself from the drivers seat. "Bright Eyes." I used to call her that. I didn't even know the band had existed back then, the band that now had people flocking to see them at the Riviera Theater. The very theater that sat in front of me and that I stared at through the windshield. The Riviera Theater didn't have the first hint of a clue that some sound engineer with a head full of capitol letters and numbers, who is wearing a tux that gets worn every weekend but only washed once every couple of years, a tux-wearing engineer who has a history of those two particular words in that particular order might drive by and, if he wasn't careful, might cause a fourteen car pile up that might, as a result, make him miss a very expensive wedding at the Ritz Carlton later that evening which would in turn, ruin a princess's dream wedding. Good thing for that princess, I pulled over, out of harms way.

"Bright Eyes"

And just like that, the years of silence vanished and I missed her like it was yesterday.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Damn Choir - or - I Get To Do Shows With These Mofos

This is the Damn Choir.

Paper Thick Walls is lined up to do a bunch of shows with them. Find us both. We are worth it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Quote, Unquote

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Paper Thick Walls, Moxie Motive, and Teuce 3/5/2011

Paper Thick Walls website.
Order the new CD before the release date (5/6/2011) via paypal on this website ONLY.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Quote From Sir Charles - or - Benign Intervention

"Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you're allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It's like killing yourself, and then you're reborn. I guess I've lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now."
— Charles Bukowski, Interview, London Magazine, December 1974-January 1975

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Bionic Mother - or - Knee To Know Basis

I just got a call from my father that my mother has successfully gone through a double knee replacement surgery. She will spend the next weeks recouping and watching her favorite TV show, Northern Exposure. I have seen a lot of people regain tons of mobility after getting this type of procedure done so I am excited at the potential of doing a hike with both my folks next year, if not run a marathon.