Glass City

It’s been another year around the sun and it has reached my least favorite of anniversaries, the death of my baby sister Brittany. It has been three short years and I can’t believe how quickly time passes and what life can happen in that window.

I think of Brittany daily, without fail. A drawing she did as a very little girl adorns my left arm, close to my heart. From time to time she appears in my dreams to scold me on whatever stupidity I’m into or maybe to console me about the ever evolving mystery of the women in my life. While I don’t believe in a God in Heaven, the echoes of those we love and loved us back remain. It is for those echoes and the memories of that silly little girl that I strive to honor everyday.

When you lose a family member, especially one who is much younger than you, and someone who is a vastly superiour person that you could ever hope to be, you are left with a survivor’s guilt. I can’t tell you how many times before and after her death I would curse the heavens and beg and plead to be taken instead. Those cries fell upon deaf ears, and late at night I lie in bed pondering my place in the universe I take into account that I am still here, and wonder how I can live up to be the person Brittany envisioned me to be. Or rather, how can I live to be as good and great as that lost soul.

We do not know how much time we have on this little blue ball. We might live to be 80 or 90 years old. We might die tomorrow. Since her passing, I’ve tried to live every moment like it might be my last. I don’t always succeed and if I’m being honest, I fail more often than not. Regardless, I’m trying to live a life that would have made my sister proud. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have no regrets.

I’ve thrown caution to the wind. I’ve traded security for adventure and I’ve come out triumphant. I can say without a doubt in my heart or mind, this last year has been the best year of my short little 31 year old life.

I may not know how I’m going to pay my rent next month, but I’m not broke. I’m whole. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve accomplished so much in such a short little amount of time, and still I have tomorrow to look forward to. What other adventures can I fill the days with? Who else will I meet? What else can I do?

Still, survivors guilt sits deep down in my soul. I’m saddened that it took the death of my baby sister, one of my closest friends, to set me on this journey. It propelled me onto this road, and this road has brought me joy and satisfaction I never thought possible. It was a desperation to live NOW that caused me to beg Drag The River to take me on that first tour with Cheap Girls. A trip that opened up a whole new world of adventure. It was that desperation to live that has taken me to Atlanta or Chicago or all the other corners of America. It was that desperation to live that inspired me to pick up a microphone and go and meet my heroes. It was that desperation to live that I finally learned what living actually meant.

My hurry to live hasn’t always been a good thing, I’ve made some rash decisions. I’ve flown across the country, just to fall on my face. I jumped. I fell. I got back up again and soared. I’ve learned to love the bomb. It is the ability to get back up again and jump back on that horse and that is what life is all about. I didn’t let her death break me, I let it set me free.

I hope that those of you who read this will take from this that you should live for today. How would you react to the death of someone you love with all your heart? How would you continue on. I continue on, because she would have wanted me too. I try to live as honestely and fully in her memory. I just wish I could have done that when she was still alive.

If I was to die today. I would look back at these last few years with fond memories. I would be happy. I would have no regrets. My friends, next time you turn down a chance for adventure, I want you to sit back and truly ponder…What would we regret as we lie in our deathbeds? What adventures will we have wished we would have taken? I implore you to take those chances. Jump off that ledge. Learn to fly! Sieze the day! [Insert other cliche’s about living life now here. ]

I’ve done it, and I’m a better person for it. Only I hope you don’t wait till someone has died to learn these lessons. Jump, fall, live, learn and do it with those you love. We don’t know if we will always have that chance.
Brittany, I love your stupid little face. I miss you every day. Thank you for the lessons you have bestowed on me. I hope you are still proud of your big, dumb, brother. xoxo

 

[This is what I wrote last year: http://dammitdamian.blogspot.com/2011/09/glow-worms.html It made a ton of people cry. If you don’t know of my sister. Give it a read.]

RIOT FEST – CHICAGO!!!!

I’m sitting in a busy, but oddly empty coffee shop on West Fulton Street in Chicago. It is called Jupiter Outpost. The barista is a beautiful young lady who looks like she could be Zoey and Emily Deschannel’s other sister. She’s wearing a sun dress although the day is overcast, cold and dreary. She’s a ray of sunshine, and I can’t take my eyes off her. God damn!

I’m excited about this week’s episode! Talking with BILL GRAHAM from SKA BREWING about his early years and how throwing caution to the wind became their recipe for success has inspired me. It is not a big leap, but when you are living on unemployment… Spending any money not on living usually is. I’ve preordered Pint glasses. I’ve always wanted Mostly Harmless Pint Glasses. I love the cocept of drinking a mostly harmless beverage out of a glass that says MOSTLY HARMLESS! Order them now at our webstore. Save a few bucks and help fund my eating and drinking in Chicago! http://mostlyharmlesspodcast.bigcartel.com 

This trip is off to a fantastic start. I have not been to Chicago since I was 14 years old on a high school orchestra trip. It was on that trip that as Jake Shaver and I were exploring the hotel grounds, that we saw a young ladies breasts for the first time in real life. We talked about that moment a hundred times over the next few high school years. It was a memorable trip. Hell, it was that trip that I got over my fear of loop roller coasters! How? The cute girl in class, who i was madly in love with.. Was getting on the ride and I did not want her to think I was a wuss!

So far, I’ve checked out a ton of the usual punk rock dive bar spots. I’m blocks away from the Bottom Lounge and Cobra Lounge. I ate one of the most delicous hamburgers of my entire life at Kuma’s. All metal burgers all the time! I had the High on Fire, while Derek enjoyed the Led Zeppelin. I don’t remember much of the end of that first night, except I’m acumulated to high altitude and we’re not suppose to get drunk at sea level… And I got smashed.

Last night I learned the intimate details of the Chicago train and bus system. Thanks to Google Maps app on my cellphone telephone, it made navigating easy and FUN! I found my way to and from Beat Kitchen with ease. I met up with my friend Adi and watch an El Paso band called The Royalty. Killer indie rock with killer legs.

Now I’m sitting here with a dilemma of what to do tonight, the first official night of Riot Fest. We’ve got Frank Turner blocks away from the apartment. Alkaline Trio/Brendon Kelly, Bob Mould (Which I can’t afford so I’m not going… bummer.), Offspring/Pegboy (meh), Pallbearer/Royal Thunder (a good little train, then bus ride…) Decisions, Decisions.

Life is great. It’s hard to believe how incredible this year has been, and how it has all happened… and I couldn’t have done it with out you guys. Stay tuned for a Riot Fest wrap up episode next week. I had a ton of interviews planned, but nothing has quite worked out. We’ll see what we can make happen this weekend! wooooo!!!

My memories of Tony Sly from No Use for a Name, plus an early interview with Tony from 1999.

I wrote a few words about Tony Sly my first of many encounters with one of my heroes. I had not seen Tony in years, but we had been in contact a year or so back, trying to get him to come play some shows in Colorado.

I reached out to him on facebook a while back, but sadly got no reply. I got to his personal facebook page and it says to me: “Friend Request Sent.”

I am saddened that Tony will never be on my show, but I’m honored to have met him, once upon a time.

“Making Friends” was the soundtrack to summer the very same year I graduated high school and decided not to go to college. I was 17 years old. I had found NO USE FOR A NAME, the same way many of us had thanks to the  Survival of the Fattest compilation from Fat Wreck Chords.

I was immediately attracted to the anger and humanity reflected through NUFAN’s songs. Listening to it now, it’s hits me in the same way. It makes me move. It makes it okay to have felt the way I did as a confused little teenager trying to find his place in the world.
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Here We Go!

We’re back baby! I took a few weeks off from the podcast. No real reason for the break, but it was nice. There just have not been that many shows coming through the area that I could attend that I was interested in doing interviews for.  It was a nice little break, but thank god we are back! Nothing like four weeks off to recharge and remember why you do this in the first place, right?

I turn 31 on Friday, August 3rd. On Saturday, August 4th, We are doing a LIVE MOSTLY HARMLESS PODCAST at the Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs with Arliss Nancy.  We had The Lusitania from El Paso booked, but sadly they could not make it. Maybe we’ll have another special guest or two as well!

All i want for my 31st birthday is to finally break 1,000 downloads/Listens for Mostly Harmless in the first week. We’ve had some GREAT episodes and we’ve broken a ton of website records week after week, but I’ve yet to have an episode hit 1,000 downloads the first week. Let’s see if we can do that for the BOUNCING SOULS episode! Please share, share, share!

And to top things off, We have a special GIVEAWAY thanks to our friends at CHUNKSAAH Records. We’re giving away a LP of The Bouncing Souls’ new record: COMET! Maybe we’ll get lucky and have some more goodies thrown in as well! Check out that contest at: http://www.facebook.com/mostlyharmlesspodcast/app_107727025983833

I’ve had a handful of articles published at AMP MAGAZINE and a ton more in the works. Check them out!
Tony Sylvester from Turbonegro
Ray from Teenage Bottlerocket

STAY TUNED! NEXT WEEK: TOM MAY from THE MENZINGERS!

 

Busy. Busy. Busy.

The website has been quiet these last few weeks. Its been about a month since the Red Fang episode hit the web, but that does not mean I haven’t been working.

My first article for AMP MAGAZINE, an interview with Trapped Under Ice guitarist Sam Trapkin about his rock n’ roll band: Diamond (or DMND), hit their website on Friday. You can check it out here:http://www.ampmagazine.com/38517/diamonds-sam-trapkin-talks-about-their-debut-vinyl-diy-filmmaking-recording-with-paul-leavitt-and-their-plans-for-the-future-by-damian-burford/

I have an interview with Teenage Bottlerocket about their new album as well as a very in dept interview with Tony Slyvester, the new lead singer of Turbonegro. Those should be in the next print issue as well as the website, soon!

All that and I’m planning the first ever Mostly Harmless Live show for August 4th at the Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs. It will be my 31st birthday. I always throw one hell of a party for myself, and why not record the insanity for prosperity!  So far the guest for the show are Arliss Nancy from Fort Colllins, Colorado and The Lusitania from El Paso, Texas. We’re still working on the other acts for the night, but expect drunken debauchery, live interviews AND live music!

I also helped set up a short Colorado run of dates for Mr. Shane Sweeney of Two Cow Garage and Todd May from the Mooncussers. Check him out July 11th at Moe’s BBQ in Fort Collins with Arliss Nancy; July 12th at the Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs; and July 13th at The Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado! Expect a podcast next week with Shane!

People freaking LOVE our Koala bear logo. My good buddy, ZAK KINSELLA, designed the exploding bear six years ago! He’s recently launched a comic book, MIDSPACE, with writer Nick Salmon. Its a space themed comic, heavily influenced by Joss Wheadon and Firefly! Check out previews and find out how to order the book at: http://www.zakkinsella.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/MidspaceComic Expect an upcoming episode with those two creators in the near future!

Don’t forget you can PURCHASE one of our Koala Bear shirts at our store: http://mostlyharmlesspodcast.bigcartel.com/ The quality shirts were printed by none other than CHAD PRICE of Drag The River / ALL fame and his company Wounded Heart Press! Check them out for high quality, low cost shirts, hats, coozies and more! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  www.woundedheartpress.com

So as you see, the website has been a little slow going, but behind the scenes I’m a busy, busy guy! I post this every update, but I have some cool stuff I’m really excited about for the future of the show. We’ve got some great interviews booked. We’ll soon be announcing our new sponsor! So keep checking back each wee for MORE, MORE, MORE cool stuff!

 

Glass Soup

Been working hard on many, many new projects. We’re going to be adding more content and interviews to the website in the coming weeks, so STAY TUNED!

It looks like I’ll be writing for AMP MAGAZINE a lot more in the coming weeks. My interview with Tony Sylvester, the new lead singer of Turbonegro, should be in their next issue and I’ve got a few other writing opportunites in the works.

Even stranger, an aquaintance asked me if I’d be interesting in doing a Spoken Word album? Bizarre! Who the hell would want that?

Its been a strange trip, thanks to everyone of you for helping make these last six months a success!

 

New Wave

I have not done an interview in 5 weeks. I’ve been having a hard time finding the motivation, and the artists coming through Colorado have been a little off my scale. I have not been motivated in weeks to do any work on the show, and it has shown.

I’m on day 5 of soberness, the longest stretch I’ve been on in MONTHS, and I feel better than ever and more energized and energetic to work on this show. The time off has been good.

Regardless of the time off, word is spreading and our download count, despite only releasing ONE episode so far this month, is about half of what it was last month when we released four episodes! Thanks for listening and checking things out! Thank you for spreading the word.

Again, I’m re-energized and I’m suddenly full of fantastic ideas. We’ve got some stuff in place to work with some fantastic companies and websites. I’m going to retool the website a little more and start offering more content.

Expect some cool stuff to come in the next few weeks and until my fuel reserves run out again. Let me know what you think! Email me at: mostlyharmlesspod (at) gmail (dot) com

We’ll return with new episodes next week!

Meet You in The Middle

We have a sponsor for this week’s Episode! Please check out the mighty fine coffee from TONX.ORG! Thanks TONX!

We also debut our new THEME song from our friends at BONER PARTY! Jarrod the mastermind of BONER PARTY is also in the Los Angeles band, Hiedi Askew. Check out the projects at:
http://www.facebook.com/BonerPartyJams
http://www.facebook.com/hiediaskewband

Now you would think loosing my day job and getting a very nice severance package would motivate me to bust my ass and bust my balls working on this show.

It is interesting because working the dead end warehouse job for the failed Dot Com I worked for, I would come home after my 10 hour day and all I wanted to do was work on the podcast! Now I don’t have the job I HATE to influence me to better myself. Why is it I can bust my ass for others, but I can’t do anything good for myself? Its frustrating. I’m crazy.

We took last week off to give my brain some time to breathe. Doing an interview a week, and sometimes two or three a week, was slowly getting to me. I was phoning them in and not taking the time I needed to take to make them AWESOME! So I took some time off. Went to the amazing Old 280 Boogie in Waverly, Alabama and also Atlanta. Met the This is American Music gentleman. I met some other really awesome people and had a fantastic time not over analyzing questions I was attempting to prepare.

Even though this is the busiest time of the year for touring bands, we will probably be taking some more weeks off in the future. Not having a full time job, and living off unemployment makes it slightly more difficult to be in Denver every few nights to interview bands. Gas, Booze and food add up! Its gets expensive.

I’ll still attempt to keep the show on a weekly basis, but there may be some outages here and there! I’ll try to replace those with some more radio style episodes!

I have some other ideas in the works, so STAY TUNED!

Whiskey and Wine

I’ve been drinking waaaay too much since losing my dead end internet warehouse job, but its easy to do. I have a giant bottle of Jack Daniels. I work at a bar. I go to about 20 shows a month. And the booze just keeps on coming. So that’s why this week’s episode is coming in the middle of the day rather than at midnight. I have no real excuses. I’m just busy enjoying my massive amount of free time. The train has to come to an end, and that end is soon… Thank God!

I got to meet my podcasting HERO, Marc Maron on Saturday night in Denver. I was star struck. I’ve met many, many, many “rock stars,” but if it wasn’t for Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. I awkwardly approached his merch table. I don’t even know if I said hello. I just awkwardly thrust my Mostly Harmless T-shirt at him and exclaimed: “I started podcasting because of you! Thanks!”

He unfolded the shirt and looked at me, “Oh hey man! You emailed me! Sorry I never got back to you, you know how it is…” We took a photo, he appologized again for not emailing me back and said that next time he’s in Denver we’d try to set something up!

Then outside the venue He exited with his girlfriend, thanked us for coming out and wished us a good night. My week has been made. I’ve been celebrating ever since!

I'm trying not to Freak out while meeting my podcasting hero, Marc Maron from the WTF podcast!

Next week: BROADWAY CALLS!

Sleeping Weather

We’ve got some exciting things coming up! This week CHEAP GIRLS! We got some awesome LIVE VIDEO of IAN GRAHAM playing some Acoustic jams for us, and on top of that, we have LIVE AUDIO from their show at the Marquis Theater. Pretty gnarly, right? Let us know if you want MORE of that kind of entertainment!

Earlier this week we interviewed BROADWAY CALLS and talked about their new album. We were going to combine both interviews for one SUPER EPISODE, but I descided to wait a few weeks to get that episode up, and let it breath and grow in its own right, but damned it was a fun interview!

Tonight I’m on my way to the Black Sheep, here in Colorado Springs, to interview LARRY AND HIS FLASK! And although LUCERO’S PR people turned down an interview request I’m still going to try to hustle one out of BEN NICHOLS and some of that gang!

DIY Journalism, like what I’m pretending to do here, is all about hustlin, hustlin, hustlin! Thanks to you guys for all the support, you guys help bring my game to a whole new level!

Enjoy this week’s episode! Enjoy the warm weather! Enjoy!