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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