Thursday, April 17, 2008

We Had Fun, Its Ashame No One Else Did.

I think living the hardcore lifestyle allows for you to predict a certain amount of things that the off street dude can’t. I also think that I’ve come to the point where I living on this 2 or 3 year cycle where all of a sudden I see these kids and their attitudes and I can reference the cycles previous to it and just know everything about them and what they’re going to do. Lately my young boys have been bitching about these herbs from the burbs that are anti FSU and anti us.

I am once again the white devil enslaving the local scene and obviously ruining everyone’s good fun. Its been that way for years. I’m always the bane of someone’s hardcore existence. There is someone out there doing things much better or more true to the cause then I am. My friends are always wrong and just bullies. I can go back and harp on this for another paragraph but it won’t do me any cathartic justice. I’ve grown accustomed to it. I’ve read all the interviews with the herbs like Another Breath, Dangers, etc. The hardcore scene is so violent, gangs ruin everything, can’t we all just get along by shit talking each other online?

I am passed that point in my life where I really think I can change everyone’s perception of me and where my intentions lie. I’ve got a lot of distance and growth from what I used to associate fun at a show with. From then to now, I can say with ease that the days of me just laying you out for something incidental is beyond over. In fact I can say now with hindsight on my side that the days of brawling for nonsensical mosh beef is over. I can think back to my late teens where the anxiety and stress was so high, it was those weekend nights, 40’s before the shows, crew hanging out front that made life worth living. If it meant hitting someone over something my friend instigated, or going the extra distance to “prove” myself in some way you can be sure as shit that I was guilty as charged. There was a lot of anger in those days. I am still conflicted between wanting to just take the easy way out and get violent or using my head and getting through it in a different course.

I was always conflicted if I really want to get real and examine it. I was young and new and booking shows not far from my house. My friends were always right, I would say that first off. I will stay say that to this day. I have nothing without the guys that kept me from sinking into the depths of hell for good. But some of the shit that we pulled I wouldn’t let fly today. I think its almost sad that I was spending large amounts of time and money booking the “unbookable” and having a blast at my owns and in the same breath not giving a fuck about what I was disturbing/wrecking. It was the Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde that I never even saw at the time. I’ve had a blast with the booking end of things. It has served me much better then the creating end of the music as I am sadly relegated to bass aka the Idiots instrument or screaming on stage. Something that although fun is far from creative and important in a band, in fact I dispute that misconception that the singers in the band are the focus or the core of what makes a band great although I fall victim to loving a band or hating them based on the singer. Weird how that works right? The things I used to do, be a part of would honestly be worldwide msg board fodder for weeks upon weeks with both sides foaming at the mouth for more b33f. God bless the inception of the internet really didn’t come til the tail end of the chaos. I do remember the Punishment msg board being a hotspot in the b33f. Funny that most of it was in fact my friends fighting with each other.

Like the time PAST called out my boy KEM and in return KEM crossed damn near 30 legal pieces that PAST had running at the time. In fact I’d say that KEM effectively destroyed my term of hanging at walls watching the majestic beauty of a wall unfold. Funnier still was PAST’s determination to kick KEM’s ass. We were on South Street and he (PAST) was talking about if he sees him. Sure enough we get to the spot (5th and South) and KEM is on a bike and PAST walks up to him and was like “yo bro let’s go down the alley and talk a bit”. I remember Damien laughing and someone else making a gesture like “pull a chair this is going to get good”. What ensued was the most boring text book debate on Philadelphia Graffiti , the downtown scene and everything I didn’t care about. I think George and I left to get pizza and came back til it still going on. Ha… I miss the days of just being a soldier. Not getting the calls but being the one people were getting called about. Something fun and bad ass about always manage to cause a ruckus made going to shows or parties or South Street a blast and a story no matter the day. I remember when my boys got Freight Train together. It was such an odd coupling of Chris Cap (Release!!!!!NJ sxe) who was far from edge but a fucking blast, Mark and Jesse from the tattoo shop and good ol Diego and Slave whom I was close with.

I can remember them telling me they were doing a band and that they needed songs. Somehow or another they ended up using some lyrics I wrote “beyond understanding”. When Diego showed up with the Demo I realized we were going to have a new world of chaos in our hands. First show was in NJ at some shit bar that tried to do shows in South Jersey. First note I started dancing and boomed was choked and kicked out.
I don’t even know if they got to play a full set. I was so shit faced I would have really been up shit’s creek if Cracker and Dean hadn’t convinced the cops to let me go. Later on Freight Train shows would be the swan song of the Ninth Circle days, the end of my being drunk and stupid at shows. I can’t think of a show that didn’t have 20 or more of us there together raising hell and havin a blast. Whether it was Allentown, Lansdale or Philly we really had some good fuckin times.

I think of piling up in Carmen’s lil Plymouth and being shitfaced and high before we even left Philly. Some of the best /worst times were in that car driving somewhere. The best thing about Freight Train was that these promoters would really try to get them to calm down or get us to pay to get in but it didn’t work. Dudes would really carry a single cymbal stand to get in.

So fuckin backwards to what I was doing at the time trying to keep bands coming in from out of town. It was great on one hand to have a friends band make the waves down here. I remember watching people kiss Diego’s ass that hated him and thinking better him then me. Its been a long time and now I can see where he got a lot of his thoughts from. Its hard to be the guy that’s gotta keep everything together. Be the band guy, be the party guy and then be the crew guy that’s gotta keep the place in check. Big shoes to fill, a lot of choices that will always leave someone pissed and another doubting, I’m at the point now where I just look to what I want more then other people’s feelings in that regard. If you’re going to be an asshole to someone, you might as well be right in your thinking as well. I remember shows with Second To None and Freight Train and the absolute terror in some of these kids eyes. It was really something that isn’t possible to recreate today. The new wave of kids aren’t built for that much abuse. Unlike many gay crews from around the country that die out when a band dies out, we were actually worse at other shows I think.

I can remember the time when most of the real trouble makers went to a show Damien did in the burbs and that night we get home and it was pandemonium in the gossip department. 20 of the “younger” dudes had a major blowout at the Church during the Get Up Kids. I wasn’t there but I know prominent hardcore dudes got socked, coffee was thrown and the young boys I’ve watched grow from small church shows in our hood have finally got their own dirt. It was a weird moment. I was elated to hear that for the first time it wasn’t me or Carmen or Bushy involved. For once I could say “hey don’t look at me”. I am sure that’s far from how I felt then as I know there were proceeding non show asskickings that resulted from that show but it’s a notion that leads me to think about all of this.
Who the fuck was I to try to do shows on one hand and be so fuckin ignorant on the other? It’s a great thing this hardcore world and I was not headed down the path that would lead me to anything but jail or death. I’ve gotta say that Chris Spear from Dysphoria from being good friends with him really took me off that path. I think he saw more in me. More then what most did at the time. God only knows when I started being a fixture at Dysphoria shows that they were getting shit for the alliance but it really saved me. I was on the verge of being 19 when I got asked to go on tour. It was Christmas times 1000. In fact the only things that have made me happier since was a first kiss and two beautiful children.
I really think the final straw in the Ninth Circle card was pulled in June of that year. I’d booked Freight Train, Clubber Lang, Second To None, Overthrow (LI), Kensington for the church near my house. Things were going smooth. Usual NJ dudes showing up 30 deep, no one paying and it being cool. Most of my friends were drinking elsewhere but always knowing when to come inside. Overthrow had been stuck in traffic and running late. I couldn’t help them too much as I had to watch the show, mosh for every song(man I wish I had that kind of time now) and make sure things were going smooth. Back then I ran a vocal PA only and had to play the part of promoter, stage manager, sound guy, and lead mosher… God bless being 19 and not getting laid. Things were awesome, a few minor arguments but not one fight. Carmen’s girl got kicked in the face by a friend being the only major injury of the moment. Overthrow shows up and sets up merch. I tell them its too late and they can’t play. It was hard getting bands to be on time, have equipment then. I didn’t have my shit together like I do now. I wish I did but fuck it, it was the shows then that got me to be like I am now. After I tell them they can’t play the dude in the band goes nuts and knocks all this shit off the merch table. Causes a scene. People go up to them and tell them pretty much, eat shit and leave or get fucked up and not ever get back to NY. I know one friend who went as far to get a shotgun from his car… next thing you know there is an argument amongst friends over this dispute.
In charming irony, they were only fighting because one friend didn’t see everything and saw the other friend talking shit to the band. A girl in the middle of it leads to a gun being pulled and the whole place going crazy. I know people ran out the door and a knife was stabbed into the doorway. Minutes later as everyone is leaving and I am trying to see whats going on, a girl we know all too well maces someone that everyone knows these days and my babys momma is then kickin her ass on the sidewalk of the church. Soon enough that girl gets the shit kicked out of her by others and I am watching a Chinese fire drill of people leaving the church as soon as possible. Cops are coming, everyone is running around like crazy. I remember the Chicago dudes that came to hang out were in complete amazement of the situation.
It was a small minor event that lead to a lot of my friends beefing amongst each other. I got banned at the Troc over it (ha didn’t even do it) and I learned a lot about what people say in hindsight versus what their actions were that night. I had a great weekend with Second To None with the Chicago guys. It ended on South Street Sunday when we beat up some roadies of Indecision on South Street for acting hard and starting nonsense. I think today I would be in jail for even trying to fight like that on 4th and South. Oh well.

I learned a lot and less then a month later I went on tour. Met so many influential people to my early 20s that I have never been able to look back fully. The rest of 99 shaped out with me coming home after only drinking once on tour (that’s a big wow for back then) Some more shows, a lot of violence but the drinking and getting high tapered off. I started a band with Black Mike and Damien with my friend Mike Mig. Practicing became a big deal to me.
I wanted to be a better person for the first time in forever. Time spent with my daughter and seeing how the drinking her mom was doing wasn’t cool for her to see. I wanted to be a better father for the first time. I think at 19 with what I was going through that it was one of my better resolutions.
I was not ready for Carmen shooting himself. No one was. It really tore my life into pieces. He’d been a rock, a foundation. A dude I could talk to , could count on. Gone for good. Looking into his coffin I was almost sick in my mouth. I will never forget that day. The next day I stopped drinking. 2 years later I would have 3 x’s tattooed across the back of my neck only to come from tour seeing a billboard for the movie and being pissed. Its funny for me to type all this out.
Its probably far from a good read, but something I’ve pondered over the past few years. Punishment being a band in one sense ended a lot of the Ninth Circle days. I was away from the city a lot. When I was home the fights that happened were getting less serious and involved the “younger” crowd. My friends were more into the bars and staying out of the small show scene.
The nights spent out front of the Killtime included less me fighting, more me trying to be the middle man. Sure I wasn’t perfect and far from that today, but the change from the band was monumental. Yet the stigma still applied. My friends still ruined everything. I didn’t matter what I did, or what I was doing in my band, we were still the black sheep and menace. The reason no one else had fun. Its cool, I would never change an aspect of it. Just was what it was. It stayed like that for another 2 years and then tapered off to things being ok.
Enter the Horrorshow days and No Rights and funrama and us finally being on good terms with Robby after it seemed like forever of being able to laugh and hang out but being on opposite sides of arguments. I was finally seeing what he was saying back in 96.
Sorry Robby it took so long for me to grow up. 2 more years and I was able to not only work shows at the Church thus eliminating the trouble between my friends and the weak security dudes that didn’t do much of securing anything. I think of the bands now, versus then. Man we could have done so much, but we ruined that. We didn’t deserve it yet. We had to spend those years being asses, having to go to the Killtime or Funrama because the Church wasn’t doing hardcore shows. Now its been 10 years since I danced with bricks in my school bag, or showed up dusted and dancing with the intent on cutting someone with a boxcutter for the first mistake.

I’ve worn the scars and the scorn of many. I don’t want a statue or an award, but I think for all intents and purposes there is a world of difference in 10 years. I am still associated with all things that are evil and I wouldn’t have them any other way. Its been my legacy, the only difference is while I could have done ‘better’ things or the ‘right’ things I chose this. Its not always the popular choice and there will always be someone who disagrees or shoots rocks.
However I can say that I am still here and I still making a difference, good or bad. I’ve watched my critics get old or get cool and fade away. I’ve been accused by the freshcuts and greenhorns of the core of being the devil and its never stopped me.
A lot of people that I look forward to conversations with are people who saw the bad in me then and I am very happy to have in my life as friends now. That says enough. I will leave this entry with a youtube video of me playing bass in Freight Train with Damien on guitar. The show was the last Freight Train show (not like today when people make a big deal about it) but they didn’t play after. And with 2 punishment dudes in the band and max it wasn’t the real lineup so to speak to begin with. But it was one more night with the guys that made the end of my teen years worth living..

Send all the hate you can. We’re still here..

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sorry for the lack of writing.

This blog has been a great source of release for me, sorry for the lack of updates. I've actually just stopped writing for a minute to re evualate what I wanted to use the blog for. Still not sure. But here we are with a few things on my mind. I will be doing some more specific things in the near future. Time permits and all that shit.
Stay well and go see bands like Blacklisted and Death Before Dishonor on their lengthy tours they've just started...
Earth can be a lonely place
Blank stares on the people's face
I contemplate their pointless chase
That traps me and my friends
Is this the place where I belong?
Where did we go wrong?
Will it last real long?
Are you too singing this song?
Sometimes I feel it
Sometimes I feel all so alone
And yes yes I must confess
I feel so far from home

Ok why is Joe taking lyrics from a Shelter song and posting them up?For this demonstration purpose and ambience these lines best explain how I felt Thursday night. It was the last Modern Life Is War show in Philadelphia. Funny that bands do that sort of thing now, but I will back it over that one show in a venue that holds 500 so 1,500 show up at and its a mess. I remember having a good night fighting at practice and quickly changing clothes and heading over to the Church to get there for the very beginning of my young boys Brain Dead. They were the support right before MILW took the stage one more time. I can see the usual faces and alot of newer, stranger ones as well. Bands like Modern Life Is War always bring these types of offshoot core types who know there are other shows but are much to busy to show up. Its funny to even see them dancing. They almost always an eyesore to watch and the first one to get upset over contact. Its a great show of passive aggressive energy. For me going to these shows is as close to Church as possible. Enlightment is found through the release of aggression or the social contact of my fellow hardcore kid renews my thinking and I am once again whole. I could probably build a whole cult based on it but I digress that I need more time fighting and less time taking over the hardcore scene one cult at a time. BrainDead was far from powerful. In fact their newb drummer really didn't have it together and you could tell they were off. Its ashame, because they need every show to be a banger. Thankfully most hardcore fans are not too discerning with their tastes or able to pick up those nuances but they were there. The pecking/picking order for local bands to play the Church show follows a rough basic idea that the same bands shouldn't open every show. It allows a breathing space of a few months between the bands playing at the fun spot at home. It makes them a drawing force as opposed to the weekly special and really showcases our talent. A band like Braindead played last July with Ceremony and I can't think of when they played between then and now so in that time, nearly a year there is time for growth and kids to get ready for them. The place was moving. One thing I love is seeing my young friends bands getting the place riled up. I would go further but its never going to be the same for me I think. Hence part of those lyrics above. I feel alone sometimes out there on that floor. I am near 30. When I started coming here I had to fight for my 10 secs of dancefloor fame. There were titans in there with these great moves and these awesome tattoos. They made my 14 year old self feel so insecure and different. I wasn't ready for the culture shock of the church shows. No visible bouncers. No shirtless guys with the shoving. It was a different envoirnment altogether. I knew some faces from shows but hardly anyone to strike up a conversation with outside of whom I travelled with and who they knew. I remember I didn't dance forever. I remember going home and practicing at home. Moshing seemed like the best thing on earth to me. I'd been in pits for all the greats and I've gotten my bruises and had my fights (all loses). But those church shows were where the dudes really came out and moved gracefully. It wasn't like other shows where it was brute force or a show of aggression there was a style and technique. Each guy had a deviation of its own. So many different archetypes as well. It was such a wonderful palette of people,style and mosh tactics. The anxiety of a darkened church floor before the band began would ride high til the place opened up for the initial song. it was almost always the craziest the beginning and the end of the set. The thing I liked the most about the church was the lack of the steps that injured so many at the Troc. Sure the troc is where it was really jammed packed and alot of the church shows I went to were never packed til the very latter days of the Robby Redcheeks era, but still it was good not to have some fat asshole fall onto you and you fall with your ankle crushed on the steps underneath the balcony. Nowadays the church feels so small. I look out and I know the faces but I can trust a select few. I could hear Mike's voice back to his heckling and I knew I was still home but it just don't feel right. I find myself watching the front of the stage wondeing why stevie sings but no one can hear him and I realize he is doing the new cool guy technique of not holding the mic to his face. Its a huge let down to see someone do that. Go to practice, earn your pipes and make that shit audible. I see all the kids for what they are now. No longer are they really kinsmen so to speak. They haven't been through the shit I have. We're not here for the same reason. I don't relate to their tastes, their social outlooks and their choice in clothes. I have more respect for a girl named Tiffany who came from somewhere else that proved to be a lone wolf amongst these fuckin sheep. Its like they have a cloning device offshore between NJ and Philadelphia. Something on Perry's Island that mutates the young into these wanna be urban chic, fake hardcore aesthetic looking kids. They know the words, they know the moves, they know my name before I know theirs but are they really here? Are they really letting it all go the way we used to? I can't understand it. The best hit I've got in the face at a show was almost 3 years ago during Guns Up. Some kid levelled me and my lip was split. He was bummed and apologizing, but I was more happy to see someone not afraid to just let loose for a change instead of doing the hardcore hokey pokey gay dance that I thanked him. Do we need to go back to violent mosh with bricks in our schoolbags to prove a point? No. But it just feels like its all too choreographed. I am almost ready to hear some director yell cut and have the lights go on, the music instantly cut out and have some fucking technical advisor come over and give me shit saying that people just don't stand in the middle of the floor not dancing. I want to just tell him, well its 2008 and most of these kids couldn't mosh through a paper bag let alone do anything that I won't see coming. So I'll stand where I want. I think the element of fear that turns people away being gone from shows is a decent thing in the fact that it brings a better understanding of what we do as a community to the forefront, but come on. LET FUCKING GO. Get out there and just rage for once. No more of these 25 second jumping jack katas before the song really gets going and then once the banger hits you're out of moves or your cardio's shot and its an empty floor. Do you need some fucking Mosh viagra to keep this shit up? I watched the whole MILW set as kids were jumping around like they were going to kill something, be it a person, bear,dragon or tiger. They weren't going to stop, and once the song really hits they're out. Its like the mosh pre-ejaculation sympton has spread across the land. I think its just as bad as these bands in hardcore that want to be looked at as villains or so fucking tough and really they're softer then cotton candy. All these XasskickerX bands like that fat faggot AJ from the Storm and his new band Congo. I am tired of hearing the words "2 step" "Moshcore" associated with hardcore. Its all pussy la la shit and I could care less about how tough your lyrics are. Its as bad as CDC from Lansdale with their "Ghetto isn't cool, ghetto is hell" saying. Its just dumb shit that in hardcore today makes me want to laugh outloud, put on armor and forget about the whole thing completely. Where have we gone wrong? Did the fruits of real bands like Madball,Cold As Life, Fury Of Five turn into these piss poor subhuman species like the mesh shorts, castro hat fat kid mosh or the 90 lbs wet 6 foot tall freak of nature with the bad neck tattoos. These kids are getting younger, wimpier and trying harder then ever to be what they were never set out to be. I guess thats why over the course of the past 10 years, I've gone across the board in what band I support, what bands I play in and what shows I put on. Gone are the days of Second To None and Clubber Lang. The people who want to play music like that are bigger bitches then the posi kids who hated us for dancing like dicks in the 90s now. All this loud mosh say nothing go through the motions crap is just played the fuck out. Its roots are always sadly traced to Hatebreed, which to me stands as one of the greats. Not because they're on ozzfest but for other aesthetically pleasing reasons that have been disintegrated through years of the internet and the death of the work ethic. Hatebreed and Jamey really worked their fuckin balls off. All those demos,split 7"s. Stuff he used to write and sing about was nearly untouched. Mark My Words is probably the name of 12,000 shit bands across the globe now, but when I got that comp 7" It was the hardest fucking thing I'd heard since Suffocation "Pierced From Within". I don't really know whats worse. I am still contemplating the commission of a scale which will weigh things out to figure out whats a shittier element in hardcore. The kids who are decked out and know all the right songs and lyrics and do all the right moves but are just going through the motions so there is no follow through or the herbs that really think that they are tough guys because they have a pair of brass knuckles and are in a mosh crew. Most of these jokers on either side will never be shit, may even take their parents money and get the surgery to cover up the bad tattoo choices of their earlier years. It sucks to feel like an entire generation before me is gone, and the ones after have left nothing. The one going on today are just wearing this like a pair of cool sneakers. They will find its use and when we're old for them and the rise of being what they wanted to be is over they will be gone. Who will be left? What will be left? Should I stick it out another song to see how the show ends? Should I stick it out another show to see if there is some glimmer of hope amongst the rubble of wasted space?Do I have another year to put it up with fake smiles and bullshit hellos? I am not sure. The place is still packed, it looks like things are fine from all the right angles but honestly every now and again I feel like if I could just freeze time I could run through the place and realize all these people standing on that floor are nothing more then cardboard cutouts on cardstock set up like players from the candyland boardgame who are only a swift breeze away from fallen flat to the ground... Oh well. I guess time will tell.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I am sure that most of you know that right now all the bands we've spoke about so highly and so lowly are now gearing up much like a scene from the Two Towers (#2 in the Lord Of The Rings saga epic trilogy). The drums of TOUR (NOT WAR) are beating steadily and we find our favorite bands on fests in every state it seems this year and a continent or two. For me its time to get real and decide what to do with This Is Hardcore Fest. The bands I worked with 3 years ago are onto bigger things, out touring 14 months a year or broken up already. I can't keep repeating what I've done. I'm happy to see fests like United Blood, Rain City and As One Fest stack the calendar year. Hardcore shouldn't rely solely on the summer months though our demographic shelters those months as high tide due to everyone being out on break from school and what not. I've watched the fests come and go and I can't say I disagree with anything this year anymore then I ever have. I can remember as far back as the Wilkes Barre fests in 95/96 where they were having bands like Grade and Overcast play. Those were pretty cool. A few years later a couple of my friends played this club in Syracuse and later that fest turned into the best msg board joke ever- "HELLFEST 2K6 GOT CANCELLED?". I think its great to have so many areas with strong hardcore scenes putting on shows. I should also point out that even weaker scenes tend to put on a decent to great festival now and again. I would like to make them all one year. One year of fucking off and just checking out the shit like Punk and Disorderly in Berlin in February. Or End Of Summer Jam in Orlando. It would be cool and a great sociological study of our subculture indeed. I am far from bereaved over the message boards and the idea that there is competition amongst the fests. In fact I look forward to Sound And Fury doing well. Sound and Fury doing well means that kids are still coming and bands are still touring and that makes This Is Hardcore that much more of a relief. We're all going to have our differences and preferences and that is what makes it great. I think that I need to bring some zest back into my own personal hardcore world. Its getting bland now. All these suckers looking the same now, the mosh is beyond weak and more choreographed then water ballet. I think a band like Vision or Fahrenheit 451 can shake them up a bit and change their outlook on things. Stuff like 100 Demons and Madball has always been my bread and butter and with Madball resting high as one of the only bands left that I honestly feel from a promoters point of view earns their daily bread, its going to be awesome to start the This Is Hardcore weekend off right. I think if I can get the right mix of the young new hungry bands, with some of these veteran bands that still got it in them with a dose of the big boys who still rock the world, that is the best I can offer a crowd. I tried to reason myself out of doing This Is Hardcore in December. I remember it well. I was laying in bed, laid off from work thinking about all the stuff I am going to do differently in 2008. I want to be like a snake and shed some fuckin skin. No more baggage. I wish I didn't need all this shit around, I would have the ultimate yardsale and be done with most of it. I feel weighed down by these surroundings. Where this goes is off to the things that I spent ALOT of time on. I love the SCA and its keeping the other 3 letters like Flowers By Irene from kicking down my door amidst an amazing scandal that would put me in jail for the rest of my natural life. Ok, so the swords stay. How about the promoting.. Well with a void where we should have smaller shows and needing a new venue, that would take up time I don't have right now and I really know that it was going to hurt us, and to a degree it has. Ok, less shows this year. Got it.. But if bands I love and like working with want a show.. I'm in. OK. How about the Fest? We don't need to do it again.. Hardcore is BACK, didn't you see that national geographic shit on sxe .Didn't you see some of these bands getting bigger? That other fest can do what we did. And then I got selfish. Is there something I can do this year to make it better, different and yet fun for everyone that I didn't last year. The light bulb went on and I couldn't sleep. Now fast forward to 2008, April and we're three weeks til presales go up and I'm biting nails waiting on agents to get back at me and laughing at my list of heroes who want a down payment on a house to play the fest growing by the month. The Superbowl Of Hardcore was this weekend, but my own personal superbowl was going down and I know where I needed to be. Rivalry fest was a blast from what I've heard and everyone loved United Blood. As One fest is next month and its sure to be something and that Metal fest they do in worcester might be worth traveling for. I've got a list of bands ready to be the mortar amongst the bricks in the lineup but I can't get some headway. I've got this awesome intern from Cookieland (read Amsterdam,Holland) and I feel like she's not getting work because there isn't much to do since the videos from last year came in and we're still not at the full promo stage. I hate this. It feels like the part of the Two Towers where everyone is doubting if they'll be able to hold off the Keep from the horde of Orcs come crashing in. Its not quite Big speech before the big fight time, but its that doubtful time where you don't know if the decisions you've made will hold and if the people will come. I can only say that this year will not have bands that I could do without seeing, each will be something special and if it all works well.. I might retire after this one just so I don't have to "outdo" myself next year. I've got alot more rants to make but an update was neccesary and good to get the mind rolling again and the fingers sore from