It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything in this space. But hey, we’re busy. And, yeah, we’re also a bit lazy too. Don’t judge!
This is a bittersweet moment, since we recently wrapped up tracking Kyle Cox‘s debut solo full-length album at The Paper Mill here in East Nashville, TN. It really sounds amazing thus far, even in the raw, rough-mix stage that it’s currently in.
The sensation of accomplishing a project of this magnitude and getting to sit back and digest the fruits of everybody’s hard work and creativity… words can’t possibly do justice to that feeling. That’s the sweet spot. The bitter part was Kyle leaving to head back home to Orlando, FL. But it also opens up a new, exciting chapter in the process of completing the album – mixing and mastering. There’s more news on that front in the near future.
I consider myself very fortunate and proud to be part of yet another phenomenal album with such an eclectic blend of songs that paint with so many different colors. So much credit is due to Kyle for his brilliant songwriting, as well as producer/drummer extraordinaire Mike Marsh for bringing the album’s vision to life. I’m hard pressed to find more inspiring artists to work with!
And what a cast of cameo appearances! There’s some pedal steel by Mike Douchette, upright bass on a couple of tracks by Avett Brothers pianist Paul Defiglia, mandolin courtesy of Cherrill Green, and additional vocals from Armon Jay “AJ” Cheek and Rachel E. Smith - both of whom are talented songwriters in their own right, and also have records of their own.
For a preview of sorts, here is Kyle doing an acoustic only version of his song “I Ain’t Been Lonely, Until I Met You.”
Kyle is also receiving some great press already. American Songwriter featured him twice in the past month! Be sure to check it out here and here. Even Ernie Johnson of TNT took notice and invited Kyle and his wife Sarah to hang with the NBA Halftime Crew (Shaq and Charles Barkley) – crazy! Hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come for Kyle and his forthcoming album.
Attention young people who want to engage seriously in the world of ideas.
Take a lesson right now: YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE NOT YOU.
When people call your arguments silly or inane or bad or whatever, they are not being rude or mean. They are criticizing your THINKING not you as a person. There’s a difference. If you can’t see that, or you can’t deal with it, you are in the WRONG line of work.
Again: Your arguments are not you. Save yourself some pain and angst and learn that now.
These are words that I wholeheartedly endorse, and you don’t have to be libertarianish for it to make an impact!
After being sentenced, Chelsea Manning will be imprisoned at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth. Unlike the federal or state prison systems, the Army Corrections Command manages this facility. In an unclassified document they explain that their facilities “will assist in providing medical and mental health care, counseling, and social services”.
When it comes to an inmate’s health, the standard operating procedure is to perform an initial medical, dental, and mental screening – including previous medical history, mental health problems, and even observations of the inmate’s behavior, such as state of consciousness and mental status. If an inmate has a mental disorder, such as bipolar disorder or even an anxiety disorder, their facilities will assist in carrying out the appropriate treatment, according to the Army Corrections Command.
If the Army Corrections Command protocol is anything like the Federal Bureau of Prisons protocol on medical care then they should “provide essential medical, dental, and mental health (psychiatric) services in a manner consistent with accepted community standards”. Moreover, theArmy Corrections Command already has a protocol allowing for the transfer of an inmate to a federal institution if their facility can’t provide the proper mental health care.
Would a federal institution give Manning her treatment? The answer is yes. Constitutionally, federal courts maintain that denying an inmate hormone therapy is a violation of the Equal Protections Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Being a form of essential medical care, denying inmates the treatment recommended by a medical professional is also deemed cruel and unusual punishment by the courts since the prisons promise and must provide healthcare to their inmates.
So how is it that two libertarians are arguing that the government should provide Chelsea Manning with hormone therapy or treatment for her gender identity disorder? When it comes to the prison system, we agree that it’s an immoral institution and probably shouldn’t exist in any form that resembles its current structure. However, we must look at this issue within the system’s current framework and the reality of the situation, and sadly, that system is a government-run, military-run institution.
These prisons are already providing medical care to those with diabetes, cancer, bipolar disorder, and other legitimate, recognized mental disorders. Then why not treat gender identity disorder, which an Army psychologist previously diagnosed Manning?
As it exists today, prisoners are forced to rely on these facilities to provide necessities such as food, shelter, and medical care. So before you conclude that Chelsea shouldn’t force you to pay for her medical care, think about it this way – the government is forcing her to rely on them for all of her services since there is no way she can find an alternative, independent solution. Even the new Netflix original series Orange Is The New Blackexplores the complex issue of treating a transgender inmate in a woman’s prison, and the lack of options that exist for prisoners outside of the state-run prison system.
Prisons already offer psychiatric counseling for mass murderers, serial killers, and all sorts of violent offenders – yet the public outrage is eerily muted. Manning, on the other hand, is hardly a violent criminal. In fact, she is quite the opposite. But according to the recent outcry, receiving crucial medical treatment for being transgender (gasp!) is more of an outrage than paying for Charles Manson’s psychotherapy.
Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of this news-story-that-shouldn’t-be-news story is that Manning is imprisoned for exposing war crimes and other atrocities committed by the state, while the President received commendations like a Nobel Peace Prize – even though he continues to commit war crimes, violate the rule of law, and assault whistleblowers in direct opposition to his own word. The least we can do for a hero like Manning is give her the medical care she needs, hormones or otherwise. Given her situation, she can’t acquire them independently and must ultimately rely on the state, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
From Nada Surf’s sixth full-length studio album The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (2012), I give you the music video for my favorite track on the record, “Jules and Jim”
It gently alludes to the classic French New Wave film of the same name. The video brings you into the dreamlike world of three characters who are intertwined and isolated and into three different worlds which are also intertwined and yet isolated. The different perspectives of the three characters and the three worlds seek to evoke the ever changing feelings and roller coaster ride that comes from being a rational being crazy in love – desire, jealousy, security, ecstasy, sadness, beauty and the like, and yet to be able to see clearly outside ones own feelings.
The speed at which you move
It’s weird how you never lose
What can I do when I’m next to you?
I am lost in my mind when you go to sleep
You gain and lose sight
Even under the northern lights
Under the midnight sun will my thoughts still run?
Never felt such a pull before
I’m hypnotized I’m destabilized
I am Jules and Jim I’m me and him
I am all three I am Catherine
Image via CitySlang.com
Time for another installment of “this doesn’t have anything to do with anything” music – except that I love it.
In 2009, Jimmy Eat World embarked on a limited ten city tour in honor of the ten year anniversary of the release of their timeless album Clarity. You know, the album that famously got them kicked off Capitol Records before they went DYI, raised money themselves touring through Europe, recorded what became their Bleed American album, got picked up by Dreamworks, and became one of the biggest bands in the world. Well played, Capitol!
The tour culminated in March in their hometown of Phoenix, AZ with another one of my favorite bands, No Knife, doing the opening honors. After playing the entire Clarity album from front to back, Jimmy Eat World came back out for a six song encore. They kicked it off with one of my absolute favorites, an albumless tune called ”What I Would Say To You Now”.
They even released a digital recording of the Phoenix show, and wouldn’t you know it, I was actually at that very show! Talk about an incredible birthday present! Hope you enjoy (begins at 59:25):
You’re still sitting there with your legs crossed
And not paying attention to me
But if we talk, just curiousWould this end up like it always does?It’s all the wrong I’ve doneAll the wrong I’ll do
Keeps me from trying
It keeps me quietThrow out your arms to each sideCuz it’s easier to let things go
When we talk think what we sayIt’s questons then silence and
In silence we remainIt’s all the wrong I’ve doneAll the wrong I’ll do
It keeps me from trying
Keeps me from calling you
Something I just found out
Something you know by now
Hope makes you so strong
Strength keeps you alone, far away
So this doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but it’s one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands. ”Hit Man Dreams” by No Knife is the title track from their 1997 full-length album. Produced by the legendary Mark Trombino (also produced Clarity – ’nuff said):
In dreams I forget
I cross to someplace
And I shake off what I know
I breathe you in
Oh, they’re playing our song
And it felt like it did
These days I’m hard-pressed
It’s an impersonal thing
To become the shape in your doorway
To bury you under the boards with the rest
Oh, they’re playing our song
And it felt like it did
Run rabbit run!
I keep missing you