Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Blarg No. 84: Brandon Kellum

Getting Ready for Launch

We are undeniably living in interesting times. In any way you want to interpret that phrase—good and bad. Well, I take that back, because I don’t know what your situation is. Maybe for you, everything is shit right now. If it is, I’m sorry, I hope things get better for you. I’m trying to get away from the inclusive you and the royal we. It creates distance and only serves to generalize the specific. You probably don’t care, and here I’m using “you” correctly and on purpose, but I do.

Let’s start over.

I’m living through interesting times. Good and bad. It’s like a crazy-ass roller coaster. I hate roller coasters. I’m coming to grips, though, with the reality that this is just how my brain works. Some of the forces are external—how can I not absorb all the awfulness? I’ve had to severely limit my exposure to the news. I already can’t watch the news (with the exception of the highly condensed “Last Week Tonight”), I’m beginning to not be able to take listening to the news either (shout out to my local NPR station, KJZZ—when I do listen, I listen to you). I’m making myself read the news, because it’s important to stay informed, but it’s really hard, especially if your a sensitive person such as myself, to not just shut it all off. Vote. Vote your conscience.

Politics aside, it’s still interesting. This podcast continues to grow (thank you all so much for listening and spreading the word about this podcast), Hoot n Waddle is beginning to take off (you can pre-order our first book, DOGSEAR by Chris Danowski, at http://hootnwaddle.com/dogsear), we’ve (and here I’m referring to myself and Janell and Hoot n Waddle, so I’m using “we’ve” on purpose) got a lot of projects in the works. I’m constantly busy working on things I love. That’s the good part of the interesting times.

However, I’m also freaking out. What do I mean by that? Well, as I’ve discussed, I’m a very depressive person. It doesn’t take much to send me into a spiral. Also, and this seems to be more recent, I’m constantly feeling anxious, and I’ve begun to have actual anxiety and panic attacks (there must be a difference—it feels like there’s a difference…). Also, I’ve started having anger issues. Not physical or violent anger, but it doesn’t take much to trigger a negative emotional response. My patience is almost nonexistent. Also, suddenly certain Springsteen songs (“The River,” an acoustic version of “Thunder Road,” “One Step Up”) make me well up every time I hear them. I don’t know. It sucks. I’m certain I need therapy, but I can’t seem to make myself take the leap.

I had wanted to use this edition of The Blarg to promote the DOGSEAR book launch. I wound up writing all this instead. I’m going to leave it all in. If you’re interested in details about the book launch, visit the Hoot n Waddle Facebook page. All the details are there.

About this edition of Limited Engagement:

A founding member and lead vocalist of the Phoenix, Arizona based hardcore punk band American Standards, Brandon Kellum is also a regular contributor to YabYum Music + Arts, as well as the founder of the nonprofit organization, Heart Shaped Canvas. On this episode, Brandon discusses his musical odyssey, songwriting, life on the road, and much more. American Standards’ latest single, “Weep,” is available on Bandcamp, as is their latest album, the critically lauded Anti-Melody. The band was recently featured as one of the 12 bands to watch out for this year by Alternative Press, and they’ll be playing The Nile in Mesa, AZ on September 3rd.

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The Blarg No. 83: Tony Moschetti

I need to get back to watching movies of consequence. I need to get back to watching more movies in general, but I’m talking about stuff with plot, and great dialog, and you’re left wondering whether a great film has to also be entertaining. It used to be that’s all I watched. I would never go see summer blockbusters, popcorn fair, or what have you. Any film I went to see was showing at the old Camelview. Now, I’d say ninety percent of the films I go see are exactly that: Marvel films, Pixar stuff, Star Wars—basically, Disney gets all of my moviegoing money.

Part of that, and I know I’ve talked about it at some length before, is that I denied myself the enjoyment of nerd culture for so long. I am a nerd. I’m proud of it now, but there was a time when my nerdiness, a large part of my identity, was bullied underground. Probably from the ages of about 13 to 25, I eschewed anything that I thought might be considered nerdy or immature, and I went full on high brow. I learned a lot, my horizons expanded, my interests grew. The quality of the films and literature I took in greatly improved, but the fun was missing. Not that some of the films and books I read weren’t fun, but I was definitely focused on being serious.

Slowly, the fun started creeping in around the edges. It was bound to happen eventually. The closer I got to 30, the fewer fucks I gave. Now, at 35, I give zero fucks. I’m a lot happier. I wouldn’t say I’m happy, because I’m also just a miserable fuck with major anxiety issues and self-esteem problems. I think it’s genetic. I also think that the nerd I unleashed in my 30’s has been on an overcompensating rampage. Couple that with the fact that I’ve developed a lot of focus and attention span issues, and I wind up with this current state of imbalance. I think there is a balance. I’m working to achieve it. This year I’ve gone to see two new films that would not be considered mainstream (the most recent being Sorry to Bother You, which was fucking brilliant), I’ve made a point to see things at Film Bar, and I’m very excited about the programming PHX Film Society is doing (and even more excited to that they’re our first sponsor).

That being said, I also just binged my way through the Mission Impossible franchise (I think four and five are legitimately good films, the third is okay, the second is one of the biggest pieces of shit I’ve ever seen). Balance—trying to find it.

On this edition of Limited Engagement, Tony Moschetti discusses the challenges of starting up an independent arts organization (Laughing Pig Theatre), gaining an audience, podcasting on the fly (Starving Artists PHX), and at one point attempts to take over hosting duties. Visit Laughing Pig’s Facebook page for all of the latest information on their events and programming, including workshops, classes, and performances.

Best,
Jared

Listen to LE 83 – Tony Moschetti

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