Diary of a Drunken Divorced Bachelor – Volume 1

Walking into the bar, they all start looking the same.  I am speaking of the women who frequent these establishments with attitude, makeup, and tight clothes to emphasize.  Yet, they hold fast to a guarded look when I walk by.  How can I blame them?  They have been bombarded by attempts of assholes trying to get laid.  Guys who are only thinking of instant gratification for themselves, and not the greater and more implicit treasure.  That is a far, far more difficult task to achieve.

I have already had the one night stand.  I have had the hollow feeling of waking up in unfamiliar surroundings and uncomfortably justifying to myself it was worth the few hours of pleasure.  Maybe it was, but I tend to think of it as a hit of heroin for a junkie.  For a little while, someone gave me attention.  I needed that, even realizing it was attention she gave only to have reciprocated.  To give of oneself without expectation, that does not exist on these adventures.

Tonight, I am searching for the same thing I have most of my life.  The right girl.  Speaking strictly from the heart, I am not looking to find my bride.  I am not prescribing to the theory of the one and only.  No, that probably is impossible.  I am looking for someone who doesn’t need to emphasize herself.  I seek a spark.  An adventurous sort with values and ethics, who is not looking for a one-night stand.  Someone, but not anyone.

As the minutes pass, and the drinks flow, it seems another night has been lost.  Throughout the establishment, I observe many women.  Some heavyset and modest, just looking for someone to settle with, and maybe have the white picket fence one day.  Also there, of course, are the girls who carry themselves like Hollywood starlets.  They have already predetermined I am not good enough for them.  They want the great looking rich boy/man who can expedite their dreams with the big house, multiple cars, and swimming pools.  I used to hate their kind, bitter I was excluded from their standard.  Now, I respect them.  At least they are clear on what they want, and do not pretend to humor anyone who may be interested.

I meet a few girls. They are nice, but nothing pulls me to them.  Before my meeting my ex wife, I would have valiantly conversed with them and possibly even courted one of them.  I used to need their attention to prove to myself I was a good person.  Post divorce, I am sure I am a good person, so I no longer need that.  I need to find someone worth finding.

With an hour to go before closing, she walks in with a large man who must play professional football.  She has searing eyes and humble smile.  She coddles up next to me to order a drink.  She smells like the dawn.  “Does your boyfriend mind if I buy you a drink?”, I say.  Laughingly, she replies, “He isn’t my boyfriend; he is just a great friend.”

With that, our conversation flows like a river.  Her name is Carolyn.  She lives in my neighborhood and attends school at night.  She is articulate, sweet, and funny.  She may be what I am searching for.

Not to be rude, she rejoins her friend, along with another who has arrived.  I watch vicariously, trying to avoid a stalker vibe.  She knows I am watching and returns the look.  There are probably four hundred people in this place, but I can only see one.

After a while, an old man enters and takes a seat next to Carolyn.  He combed his hair tight and seemed confident he looked his best.  He is wearing an authentic Members Only jacket, and a sad look.  There is not a ring on his hands.  He is alone and out of place.  There is not another soul in this dump who isn’t at least fifteen years younger.

He freaked me a bit.  That very well may be me 20 years from now!  In fact, am I not a version of him already?  Wearing what I think is impressive and looking for someone to enjoy time with?  He is me.  Perhaps, I am doomed to a life of loneliness.

Suddenly, Carolyn turns to the old man and nudges him with her elbow.  She smiles at him and laughs with him.  Then she buys him a drink.  The old, sad man’s face lights up like a Christmas tree.  She gave him respect and attention.  She gave him a chance to relax and laugh.  I know this woman is worth my time.

She dances and then saunters back to me.  She is stunning to behold, with large eyes and pursed lips.  I can hardly believe she seems to like me.  We dance and the bar may as well be empty, “You must let me take you out”, I say.  She smiles and bows her head.  Then she replies, “I can’t date you.  I am at a bad place in my life and I just would not be any fun right now.”  I can’t hide my disappointment.  She turns and heads toward the bathroom.

On her way back, I ask again.  “Look, I am not here to hit and run.  I like you.  Let’s go out once, that is not too much to deal with.  Just once.”  She is gazing at me and replies, “How could you possibly like me, you don’t know me.  Why do you like me?”  Her face is curious and serious.

I explain the episode with the old man at the corner of the bar.  She looks flattered by how sweet I found it.  Then she quickly bows her head for a second, lifts it and spits the words out.  “I have a nine year old daughter.”  She is intensely focused on my reaction, to which I am even surprised with.  Without hesitation, looking straight into her eyes, I calmly reply, “That is not a problem.”

She smiles warmly.  She takes my hands and draws in to me.  She kisses me softly with closed mouth.   Then she pulls back.  With a frightened and sorrowful look she says, “I just can’t.”  She walks away briskly, grabs her friends, and leaves.  Never once did she look back.

~Robert Chill

Pussy Riot Gains Key Support Against Putin

In the ongoing battle between Pussy Riot and Putin, Pussy Riot is gaining support of influential musicians around the world. Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand among them.

In a statement Madonna told the Associated Press, “I’m against censorship, so I hope that the judge is lenient with them and that they are freed soon.”

I think it’s fantastic that musicians are standing up for these women.  Particularly Madonna, considering she is a global icon who has made her career as a strong minded, free thinking woman on the world stage.  Needless to say this kind of world exposure to the case against Pussy Riot can only help them avoid a 7 year jail sentence.

Below are are links to the Madonna story and the latest from Russia by Tom Parfitt in Moscow. Below that is our previous post about Pussy Riot battling Putin.

Keep checking here at The Basement for the latest on Pussy Riot developments.

~Robert Chill

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/06/madonna-pussy-riot-putin-russia?newsfeed=true

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9451525/Putins-Russia-in-the-dock-during-Pussy-Riot-trial.html

Previous Post about Pussy Riot:

http://thebasementonline.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/pussy-riot-punk-activists-battle-putin/

Music in Review 7/20 – 8/5/12

For those who have been enjoying the music we are playing in The Basement here on our website and on Facebook, we will be posting playlists so you can enjoy our selections continuously. Here is our first one. Maximum volume is suggested for an optimum aural experience. 

Killer Mike Restores Message of Rap Music

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music – Williams Street (2012)

Rap music became an art form because it carried a pure message directly from the streets, where people were being mistreated and had no way out of the hellish existence they suffered.  For me, the beginning of rap music was an awakening of music confronting real life issues with a mix of intelligence and fury.  Sadly, there aren’t many rap records anymore made with the urgency of the original concept.

No, instead the worlds of pop and hip-hop mostly have records about being sexy or how much money they have.  This spectacularly boring concept of self-aggrandizement and objectifying of women are far more popular than I can stomach.  I miss real rap music.  I miss LL Cool J talking about how Fast Peg ended up in a dumpster because of her coke habit, or Ice Cube explaining what a good day is like in Compton.  Those are songs from the streets that project pictures and send a message.  Save for a handful of albums in the last decade, rap music was essentially dead as we knew and loved it.

Luckily, there is a real rap music long play recording out this year that brings the true ideology of rap back into the forefront.  Killer Mike is on the attack and he is bringing the message with some wonderful backing tracks supplied by El-P who produced all the music on this record.

The music is really good.  There are wonderful long background chords here stretching out far and wide, leaving Killer Mike plenty of room to fire off his lyrics anyway he wants.  The beats never get redundant and each track has a unique feel that really sets it apart from an old school rap album.

Beyond the music, Killer Mike is here to inform you what life is like nowadays in the inner city and takes the time to reflect back and analyze why the world he emanates from is so horrible.  Tracks like  “Reagan” and “Don’t Die” and “Anywhere But Here” are desperately honest and urgent songs that will emotionally resonate with you while you are moving to the beat.  These are must listen tracks where Killer Mike tells you how it is as he varies his cadence and vocabulary while shuffling between sadness, anger and apathy.

Most tracks on R.A.P. Music (R.A.P. is an acronym for Rebellious African People) are strong.  Sometimes Killer Mike reaches for more than is needed such as when he lines up a corny choir for “Ghetto Gospel”.  Still, I can easily forgive his mistakes of ambition as opposed to hearing another lazy ass Eminem track.  Thanks to Killer Mike and his producer El-P, rap music has returned with challenging, provocative messages that are real.

Rating: 8 of 10

Punk Activists Pussy Riot Battle Putin

Punk music was the only weapon wielded by the feminist punk group Pussy Riot 5 months ago, and it is proving to be very powerful.  Looking at the 3 Russian Punk Girls in their current situation, you might disagree.  They have been imprisoned for 5 months since performing an anti-Putin song in a prominent Catholic Church.  They are now finally at trial and have gone on hunger strikes to further protest their treatment.  Russian courts find defendants not guilty at a rate of less than 1 percent.  Worst of all, they can be sentenced up to 7 years in prison if found guilty.

You may think if Putin were a practical leader, he would realize punishing three young women for singing against his authoritarian and anti-feminist rules of law is a bad idea.  Yet, Putin is wholly unconcerned about public opinion and perception. We are all familiar with how Putin has abused power to reinstate himself despite the will of Russian citizens.

Putin wants to make these punk feminist girls an example to spread fear into anyone who may defy him.

So why do I feel their punk performance is powerful when up against an old school Russian egomaniacal czar?  It’s powerful because their story has now reached all over the world.  This story serves a strong reminder how powerful Putin is and how important it is to stay alert of his actions.  It also shows how a punk rebellion can expose injustices to the world stage.

Amnesty International and many other organizations are now working to help Pussy Riot.  I am compelled to make a donation to help their cause; because these three courageous girls have proven a wonderful point.  Punk music can change the world.

~Robert Chill

For more, please check out these links:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/169167/pussy-riot-trial-begins-feminist-activists-take-putin#

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jul/30/pussy-riot-trial-vladimir-putin

Radio Dreams Coming True

TuneIn Radio

As a little boy, I loved seeking out far away stations by slowing turning the dial left or right.  Of course, I had the most success deep in the night.  I would be ecstatic even finding a talk station out of Ohio!  Growing up, I always wanted a short wave radio.  I dreamed of hearing stations overseas or on the east coast.  I wanted to hear what radio was like.  Did they talk differently?  What do they listen to?

Well, my dream has been fully realized.   All it took was a free 15-second download onto my phone and I was listening to Dolly Parton singing in Switzerland.  I found a fantastic classic jazz station in Greece and got quite a kick of morning drive time in London.  Yes friends, global radio is ours and it is spectacular.  All thanks to TuneIn Radio.

TuneIn Radio has a fantastically simple interface where you can search stations by location, language, genre or search function.  Some stations will load playlists and list their DJ/personality lineups and also post their streaming rates.  The free version has an occasional ad pop up, but it is not disruptive.  Pay a buck and it’s ad free, plus they include a recording button that records up to 8 hours of programming.  Listening to an interview but are walking into work?  No problem.  Simply hit the record button and listen on the way home.

TuneIn’s search functionality also helps troll for podcasts.  Being a fan of old time radio, I found a host of podcasts to choose from.  You can then set the podcast to a preset to listen anytime you want.  The number of presets is unlimited as well, so once you find a great station or podcast, it is right there for you all the time.

I have been using TuneIn Radio for 3 months now and I cannot find one negative aspect about this amazing application.  For non-app people, simply go to tunein.com and navigate from there.  It’s a radio miracle!  Now, I have to go listen to a George Jones concert from 1968 being broadcast in San Antonio.  It’s so easy, I feel like I’m cheating somehow.  Get this app friends, and make your radio dreams come true.

Rating: 10 of 10

~Robert Chill