The Decade in Review part 1

orginally posted on 2010-01-01 10:52:00
Obviously, I have to start this off with the obligatory “Boy did a lot happen to me in the last decade” statement
I know this is kind of a cliche’ subject but maybe I will realize some things at the end of this assesment and can gain some insight into the the most tumultuous and eventful decade of my life (so far)

I ended the 90’s with a huge decision to move to Minneapolis in order to do something with my floundering musical aspirations
My situation in Dallas was a very good one in that I was living at Moon Tunes and surrounded by all the friends and social opportunities I could wish for
However, I was becoming more and more bitter about the lack of musical prospects in that town(I would return 3 more times and be dissapointed 3 more times)
William had moved back to Minneapolis and offered me an opportunity to start fresh in a new town with a prospect for a band and a safe place to crash until I got on my feet
My original plan was to play drums for William’s band and continue my aspirations for my own project
The plans for my own band soon got put aside after I realized how good William’s material was
After helping to develop this material, we stole the idea of the name of Autonomy from Akbar/Sombra
It became the central focus of my musical existance and I put my own aspirations aside for something that promised a better chance of success
Plus, I really believed in the concept so I gave myself completely over to it
All the while, my material was simmering quetly on the back burner waiting for the right catalyst

Speaking of my material
I need to make clear the origins of my current musical position
Sombra has to have been the single biggest influence on my choices of inspirations
He turned me on to Buckethead and Foetus
We also shared a dislike for the way things were
All throughout the 90’s, me and Sombra wrote some really interesting and different music
He influenced me as much by positives as negatives and the results are mixed
The negatives, well, I will leave that to inter-personal conversation, but the positives are currently part of the makeup of PyroPlasticFlow (formerly Pteradactylman, Kung-Fu Grip and a million other names that we couldn’t agree upon)
The fact that he was never reliable as a “live” musican made me think in directions that lead me to multi-tasking
He exposed me to many conceptual musicians that transcended the constraints of the typical rock band format and fertile grounds to follow by example not by rote
This taught me to examine the way people made music to fit their own needs instead of the needs of a certain set of parameters
This material was built in the 90’s to help me free myself from a set of parameters which I saw getting ever more stale and uninteresting
And Sombra was there helping me develop it

Back to the early 2000s
Things were great
I had a cool up and coming band, a very lucrative job at Mars Music and a really cool girlfriend named Kat
I was not surprised at how good I was at selling guitars but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and disturbed at how vicious it made me when confronted with competition
Seeing that my behavior was rewarded with cash, I decided to explore this newfound direction
I had started to learn to shut off certain parts of my conscience in response to one too many failures when trying to take the high ground, so it was easy to let myself harden a bit more
I’m not saying that I deliberately went out of my way to fuck someone over but I wasn’t content to sit and wait for my share becaue it wasn’t coming
And I sure wasn’t afraid to take someone on bigger than me
But that job turned out ugly when I overreached my limitations and got played by someone bigger than me
The negative repercussions of that job would further harden me by proving the old adage “Do unto others before they do it to you” time and time again
Oh yeah, did I mention that I had a new girlfriend named Kat?

I met Kat at the Saloon one night
She had one of my friends wrapped around her who asked me to buy her a drink ’cause he was broke
Later in the evening, she told me that this was her second date with this guy and that he was already introducing her to his friends as his fiance’
The second time I saw her at the bar, she was paying lots of attention to some guy that was going to drive her back home that night, even though she remarked how dis-intersted she was in him
Yet another example of the positive/negative consequences of turning off my conscience
I knew exactly what kind of girl she was and I knew not to get too deeply involved with girls like that because they have a habit of leaving scars
I had thought that I got ahold of her, I then realized that it was the other way around when she ended up moving into my tiny squalid room for rent
She had grown up very quickly at the age of 16 and had to turn off some parts of her conscience as well in order to survive
We formed an intense relationship based on mututal support of each other’s insecurities
This seems to be a pattern in my relationships
I couldn’t belive this girl wanted to be mine so bad
She was selfish about it and yet knew that there were certain parts of me she could never touch (and subsequently change)
Even in her displays of affection, she had a spoiled girl attitude (which I found perversely endearing)
She was my first real trophy girlfriend
How can I say such a thing?
Because she embraced it
Every time we went out, it was presentation and we enjoyed the intensity of two spotlights focused on the same couple
There are mirrored windows just before the entrance to Ground Zero and we never passed them without me checking out Kat while Kat was checking out Kat (who just happened to be with me)
That was the first time I truly felt like a trophy and I liked it very much
Obviously, I wouldn’t have felt this intensely towards someone with no depth
I learned from her example and mixed my depth with various levels of hardness
We further explored the alter egos of Kat and Rockula, bouncing ideas off each other and having a fucking amazing time doing it
Of course, the end result of this intensity is that we burned out
After several attempts at reconciliation, I came away with tons of scars with lessons written all over them
Despite the numerous times I got clawed (even recently), I still have a hard time letting go of her to this day

William and I had been friends back in Dallas until he moved to Mpls
We had tossed around ideas about music but he had devoted his energy to his band so I never approached him about playing together
After arriving, we began to work on those ideas
I still wanted to do my own stuff but I was content to develop his music
One of my main motivations was to keep playing drums
We both had progressive ideas and I hoped to transcend the drummer position in the future but only had vague ideas that it would involve electronics

One day, when working at Mars, one of my co-workers walked up to me and said “Hey, your big brother is here”
I went to investigate and ran into Marko
We talked about stuff and he mentioned that he had a studio in his garage so I decided that he would be good for the 1st Autonomy demo
We had four songs ready and Akbar had moved up to join the band
We made sure we were prepared but when we got there, Akbar dropped the ball
William ended up having to record the guitar parts and Akbar went back to Dallas
The demo ended up sounding pretty good and we figured it would at least be good for attracting a new guitar player
Billy was a customer at Mars and I was complaining to him about the lack of decent players coming to our auditions so he asked if he could have a shot
I gave him a copy of the CD and he learned the whole thing in a week
We gave him the job pretty much because he was the only one that could play the material
He later confessed that his guitar teacher taught him the parts but I told him that his effort is what got him the job in the first place
Next came our first gig


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