9.03.2013

Downtown Phoenix--First Friday After Party at Last Exit Live

Get tickets here! http://ticketf.ly/14EnhpY

7.31.2013

I'm Bradley Manning

The Bradley Manning case was not my ideal situation. To me, Edward Snowden is much more of an "ideal" type of whistleblower: his leak was controlled, focused, and well-planned--while Manning sort of just did an indiscriminate mass dump of confidential military files to Wikileaks. Because of my general opposition to war, leaking military files is whatever. But it does give his opponents enough legal ground to stand on to legitimately convict him.

However, he did what he did, and as a result the United States military was exposed for practicing war crimes. And, as his verdict this week confirmed, an enemy was not aided. Thankfully there was no violent fallout, no tragic consequence of the mass file dump. If there had been, Manning would have surely received the death penalty and the situation would be that much more complicated.

I disagree somewhat with the way Bradley Manning went about his leak, but I disagree WAY MORE with the way he was vilified, imprisoned, and tortured by our gov't for trying to act on his conscience. They've done more to hurt free speech in America than Manning ever did to hurt anyone at all.


#iambradleymanning

7.23.2013

DAT WEEK

Here's a video taken by Kingfathand, our show-mates from the weekend. Thanks for the video! You should follow their YouTube channel, it's pretty damn good.



And don't forget, we're back at the Rogue Bar this weekend with our brother band The Deer Leader, releasing their first record!

6.03.2013

Turkish Defiance: 2-June-2013

Over the weekend, Turkey has been in a state of violent unrest. Early peaceful protesters were retaliated against by the Turkish government with unnecessary violence. This seemed to be the last straw for many of the Turkish people. Protesters, branding the honored name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern day Turkey, who formed the modern, secular, cultured European nation with a large emphasis on good education--all amidst broken pieces of the Ottoman Empire. The protesters complain that the current Prime Minister Tayyib Ergodan is unravelling the principles upon which Turkey was founded. They have showed up in Istanbul and cities across the country to speak out against what they say has been an increasingly authoritarian rule. Among their grievances are: heavy-handed police forces (using tear gas bombs, pepper spray and water cannons against peaceful protesters), pushing Islam as a state religion, operating a state-controlled media, and practicing a paternalistic, non-inclusive form of democracy over a free Turkish people.

It seems that the unrest had been simmering for quite some time, because the protests began as a peaceful sit-in of just a handful of people who were speaking against the destruction of a historic park in the nation's capital. Instead of allowing people to peacefully demonstrate their opinions against Ergodan's policies as a successful democracy might, the state went immediately to brute force and violence to clear the protesters from the public park.

These early protesters, before being sprayed, beaten, and their tents lit on fire, were seen offering some of the security officers pizza to eat.

The next picture from the event was a woman standing alone, unarmed, and non-aggressive, yet enduring a heavy stream of peppers spray directly to her face.

THREE days later, the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities still swarm with thousands of angry protesters demanding democratic justice and a return to a more Atatürkian path of governance. But the police violence against the people has not let up. At least one person is dead and hundreds have been injured, as well as a thousand detained.

Ergodan continues to deny the significance of the protests with a dismissal that will likely prolong the violence until he is forced to address it. Many Turks whose information channels are limited to state-run television media have not seen a single word reported about this massive uprising.

I know we're just an American rock band, but this is a huge injustice happening on the other side of world, and if we have any platform at all on which to spread awareness of this injustice, I'm going to take it. Ergodan has made a public statement in response to the protesters, calling them just "a few bums", and denouncing social media networks, calling them the greatest plague of humanity. It clearly had more to do with social media's role in the rapid nationwide (and worldwide) awareness of the situation, causing support to grow exponentially faster than it ever could have in the past.

Ergodan claims the protests are the partisan stunts of his political enemies, but the protesters have ranged across the entire political spectrum. Soccer players, doctors, old, young, bakers, dentists, students, business owners, and even soldiers have united against Ergodan's government to call for his resignation.

The Turkish people deserve our support, and they deserve to be heard around the world since they are not being heard in their own country. Though our situations are worlds apart, we can still learn something from people who are willing to unite despite their differences to defeat whatever it is that threatens their democratic freedom.

Please spread awareness of the events happening now in Istanbul. The picture above is inspiring, but here is a link to some of the more heart-shattering photos of this situation: ALBUM -- WARNING: SOME GORE

Love,
Trev

5.28.2013

May 31 - Sun Ghost w/ Midnight Vitals, Ladylike & Orphans

us at the "La Di Da"
music video shoot
Hey everybody--


I got engaged over the weekend to my lovely Ashley. She's the best person I know, someone I look up to, and a total inspiration. Now enough gooey stuff. We've got a comeback show to play.







...



LAST EXIT LIVE
Friday, May 31
Sun Ghost w/ Midnight Vitals, Ladylike & Orphans

4.30.2013

Amanda Michigan

On Tuesday, May 14, I (Trevor) will be playing a set consisting solely of Hot Water Music songs and I want to dedicate my set to Amanda from Michigan.

You see, Amanda was a girl I met in an AOL chatroom when the internet was just barely becoming a commonplace thing in people's homes. I even think they were AOL hours provided by those free CDs they'd send to everyone in the mail. Anyways, I was probably somewhere around 13 years old, perusing what I thought was the extent of the entire internet--a couple dozen chatrooms categorized by interest. Poking around in the "Music" chatroom, I was looking for someone--anyone--who had recently also had their minds blown by the brand new Jimmy Eat World album, Static Prevails. My young ears had yet to even hear the word "emo" and I'd yet to discover any other bands who sounded anything like what Jimmy Eat World had just concocted. So I was wandering blind, basically. But I eventually ran into Amanda, from Michigan.

After we'd established a shared love for Static Prevails I discovered she lived in or around Detroit. She was a couple years older than me so she told me about some of the underground bands popping up in Michigan, gave me some more band names to look up (which is how I discovered Mineral, The Get Up Kids, Sunny Day Real Estate and Jawbreaker), until eventually she wanted to just send me a mix tape. A fucking mix tape! Yes, children, we really did that as kids. She slipped a cassette tape into a padded envelope and shipped it to Arizona.

So on this mix tape were some real gems: Karate, The Descendants, Smoking Popes, The Great Detroit Riverboat Race, Texas Is the Reason, Christie Front Drive... But there was this one song--the first song on Side B--that I couldn't shake from my mind and I had no idea why. The song was not pleasant to listen to. It didn't make me shake my booty. I could hardly understand any of the words. Yet, somehow, I wouldn't stop running it over and over in my head.

It was "220 Years" by Hot Water Music.

Relative to Jimmy Eat World's record, it was far less polished and much harder to listen to. I'd never heard such a sloppy, reckless, and utterly passion-filled recording. They seemed to sacrifice quite a bit of their musicality to pure emotional expression--but without the immaturity of the punk bands I had started to get into, like Guttermouth, Rancid or Against All Authority. HWM just did it with an intangible sophistication. They harbored a much more introspective rage--one that was just as personal to its fans as it was defiant to its oppressors. Rather than sticking it to the man, their lyrics encouraged decidedly more positive angles of individuality such as self-discovery, exploration, community, art, hatred, love, etc. For instance, another song from Fuel for the Hate Game, "Turnstile", gives us these great lines that sound punk as hell at first, but that eventually reveal a deeper side:

Raise your voice in swells, find your meanings, then
Use the signs inside to relive and relive again.
No point in holding back with what you're holding,
No matter it be shit or it be golden,
Foundations shift, they're still shifting,
We set up, we set up our falls.

And instead of politically-charged songs of rebellion, HWM took the punk anthem formula and, instead of lines about riots and authority figures, they took it inward and repeated powerful strains like "Live your heart and never follow"and "Caution, the solid ground that you're on will slide from under you."

Needlessly to say, I quickly jumped on board the Hot Water train. It was a lonely train for a long time because I didn't learn how to actually connect with other HWM fans until my late teens, and by that time the novelty and underground special-ness of the whole punk/hardcore/emo thing were obliterated by being accepted by popular culture. But I continued to love their music. As people say a lot, because it's absolutely true, their songs got me through a lot. As melodramatic as teenage issues sound, it's possible I wouldn't have made it through those years without HWMs music, lyrics, overall outlook and attitude.

But alas, here we are. It's 2013 and Hot Water Music has played, broken up, explored side projects, reunited, and released several more albums over the last 15ish years. I was lucky enough to follow their career the whole way, thanks to the internet--but I may never have started listening in the first place if it weren't for Amanda putting "220 Years" on that first tape. I haven't spoken to her in approaching 20 years now (holy shit), and the tape lost its playability long ago, but it's a gift I was able to take and really do something with--so for that, I thank her, wherever the hell she is.


Come see Sun Ghost perform Hot Water Music, as other local acts play covers of NOFX, Bad Religion, and Propagandhi, at the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix. Details below: