Entry 0009

July 10th, 2014
Please give a moment of silence to those in or around Gaza who have been victims of  Israel’s Operation Protective Edge  This shit will drive a person wild with insanity if it is all we focus on, so I briefly state my opinion and move on (or at least attempt to move on the best way I know how, seeing as how the world is currently ablaze with war after war after goddamn war).

Israel stole and then occupied land from the People of Palestine.  What Israel has done to these people, and continues to do, is so very wrong (morally and ethically).  And please, leave your religious metaphysical ideals at the door.  I do not care what any religious book or text state. Religion is not based in any concrete factual realm, and it should not be a justifiable excuse for any person or group of persons to occupy, steal, and then imprison the people who were living their prior to their arrival.  But that’s all the western forces know, right?  Invade, occupy, conquer, steal, repeat.  One day, it’s all going to come crashing down, though, and then maybe we can build something a little more decent.  I mean, I’d like to be a part of Team Let’s Do That Now, but this global system of capitalism and oppression is anchored in pretty deep, and I’m not quite convinced that magic “critical mass” number is strong enough to uproot it, yet.

** Also, I am not saying that I agree with the tactics used by Hamas (because this organisation is downright fucked, too), but if any person, State, or Nation tried to occupy my home, I might be left with no other choice but to hoist a rocket launcher over my shoulder, too

.

Hi.  How are you?  Probably not too great after reading that, eh?  Sorry.  That will be the only gloom and doom in this post.  I goddamn promise.

I’ve been busy.  So many sweet DIY shows.  So much punking.  So many good times.  If you live in or around Pittsburgh and are thinking about stepping into the unknown realm of DIY punk rock, please do.  July and August 2014 are going to be serious face-melting months for team DIY Pittsburgh.  Maybe you’re curious enough to test the waters?  If so, Why not head over to the Mr. Roboto Project located on 5106 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA on Friday, July 11th to catch the Homeless Gospel Choir Record Release Show?  7 PM.  ALL AGES.  $10.  It’ll be worth every penny.

Speaking of busy, it looks like the amount of summer solo shows I’m playing has multiplied.  I’m going to do a weekend of shows that will take me to Lancaster PA, Baltimore MD, and Asbury Park NJ.  I will post all the information for this short “Propagandhi’s Going On Tour, So I’m Going On Tour To See Them” Tour as soon as everything is finalised.  Until then, how’s this sound for new most recent local show announcement?

August 10Yep.  I somehow weaseled my way onto this show.  Cool  Playing with Kris Rowe should be a good time.  I mean, he’s been doing this shit for a long, long time, which, at the very least, commands some goddamn respect.  I mean, sure he sold out to the major labels for moment (which is where that  major hit cover song single with his band, the Ataris came from – Boy of Summer).  But whatever.  Every band during this era sold out the first chance they got.  Most of them got burned, and then,if they somehow survived being buried alive by those corporate shitheads, they had to dig their way out, back to those DIY roots.    Also worth noting the Ataris were one of the most influential pop-punk bands of the late 90s and early 2000s – don’t lie, you fucking love(d) this song, too).  Come hang.  Seriously.  Club Cafe is a pleasant sit-down venue.  It’s perfect for yinz old farts, and for chair-sitting enthusiasts.

Later.

Entry 0008

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
I might not need a work permit to come play music in Canada any longer, but still… “fuck the border!

Living Well (or decent) Is, In Fact, Revolutionary.
Woah.  There have been so many radical activities happening in my life recently that I have not had time to stare at a computer screen for more than a few moments (not complaining about that!), so apologies for the lack of grumblings recently.  I’ll try to be more consistent with my pissing and moaning in the future.

So, where should I begin?

Well, how about this.  By gawd!  It’s a miracle.  I’ve been sober for 40 days and 40 nights. Here’s to 40 more, and then 40 more, and then 40 more, and then 40 more…

Seriously.  It feel really fucking great to be sober all the time, and if you happen to be at a point in your life where you’re thinking about attempting to walk a sober line, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.  I am fairly convinced you will not be disappointed.

Anyway, it’s summertime, and that means all the activities!

On Wednesday, June 25th, 2014, Delay (from Columbus, OH) and Martha (from the UK) along with one of the best new Pittsburgh bands, in my humble opinion, Soothsayer rocked the fuck out of the Star Command (a new-ish house venue located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh).

On Thursday, June 26th, 2014, this happened:ramshackle june 26This was our (Don’t Let the Scene Go Down On Me!’s) first show at the Union Project, and it was fucking fantastic.  With the bands and crowd there were about 250 people.  It was truly a special night, and if you were there, thank you so fucking much.  You are totally helping make Pittsburgh, PA one of the best places, in my humble opinion, for DIY punk rock right now.

As an aside, I was detoured a bit before this show, as this guy got bit by a tick and got super sick:
RockySo before the show, I rushed him to the vet’s (who did a wonderful job) so they could use their knowledge, expertise, and science to, hopefully, make him not sick.  Rocky was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease, and prescribed medication.  As of today, he is recovering well, and for that, I am super thankful for all of the tangible things that are helping him recover.
ps.  To whom this may concern, according to Rocky’s vet, Lyme’s Disease is running rampant throughout western PA this summer.   If you notice your dog limping or having difficulty walking (and there are no cuts or crap stuck in their paws), please take them to the vets,  This disease is excruciatingly painful, and medication is required to effectively treat it.

So…

After all of this, the next morning, I peeled myself out of bed at 5:30 AM to finish another work-week.  I was exhausted and definitely sleep-deprived, but I kept telling myself, “It’s almost Canada-land time.  Keep it together”  And sure enough, Canada-land time happened.

MJ and I sure had a good good time.

 

MJ and IThese photos^ were taken by MJ Doe.
We enjoyed the lovely view of what I believe is Canada’s attempt to show what an insane Disney Land (which is also insanity-land) should look like in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
0627142244We ate ridiculously great vegan pizza at Bella Noella’s in St. Catharines, Ontario

 

0628141118I had the best goddamn doughnut I’ve had in my life, thus far, at Rise Above in St. Catherine’s, Ontario.  Seriously, this particular doughnut made Voodoo Doughnuts seem mediocre, at best, and I think Voodoo Doughnuts are pretty fucking good.
ps.  I only eat like 4 – 8 doughnuts a year, so I am, by no means, an expert in doughnuts, but still, this was absurdly tasty.

 

0629140127Then, I had an inspired and enlightened time at the 3rd Annual Anarchist Bookfair in London, Ontario.  Plus, I had a pretty entertaining time performing at the after-party, too, which took place at the Shire^ (which was one of the fancier places I’ve performed in quite some time).  Plus, I was able to reconnect with some old friends and connect with some new ones. My sincere thanks go out to Brent (aka the Drunken Wobblies), as if it wasn’t for his invitation to come up and perform at this event, this weekend probably would not have been a thing.  It sure gave us an end goal for a highly adventurous and thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
ps.  Please take a moment to listen to the stellar performers that I humbly shared the stage with at the 3rd Annual Anarchist Bookfair After-Party in London, Ontario:
Mother Tareka
Lee Reed
Test Their Logik
Bucky Harris 

 

Now, I’m back in Braddock, PA, gearing up for another whirlwind week, and even beyond this week, as I am feeling really fucking amplified on the prospect of packing my shit into a van (that does not yet exist) and hitting the road for an indefinite amount of time come this time next year.

ps.  Here’s the next activity I’ll be participating in, as Black Bear Mute is performing at this show:
10345849_10152159048742749_2120740726767595541_n

Entry 0007

June 23rd, 2014
Oh, fuck.  I’m dying.  Oh, fuck.  I’m dying.  Oh, fuck, I’m dying.  Oh, fuck, I’m dying…. and on and on and on…

I have no idea how many of yinz suffer from some form of depression or anxiety illness (or, likely, a combination of the two), but I know at least a few of you who I think read this, do.  I know I do, so this is especially for you.

It’s the fucking worst, eh?  Obviously, I can only draw from my own experiences, but my depression has not been nearly as crippling since I quit that alcoholic sauce.  It is definitely the most positive thing I’ve done, health-wise, for myself in quite some time.  I know I still need to seek some form of therapeutic mental help (especially since I no longer have that alcoholic-crutch to use as my excuse), though, as I still get very really pangs.  In fact, one hit me pretty hard yesterday (the first mammoth snap since my foray into sobriety), and it pretty much derailed my whole day. ps.  Thanks for being there for me, Magic: the Gathering Online.  I’m glad we became pals way back when I was in middle school.  You’ve been a pretty sweet friend.

Fortunately, I was able to get up and start moving fairly effortlessly this morning, and things have been humming along at a decent pace since.

Again, I don’t know if you suffer from depression, and if you do, I don’t know what kind and how severe it is, but (insert serious sarcasm here) my favorite depression attack (end serious sarcasm here), is when my brain plays the repeater game on me.  ”Oh, fuck, I’m dying… Oh fuck, I’m dying… Oh fuck, I’m dying..” over and over and over, and fucking over.  It is especially brutal when an attack rears its demon-beast-head at night, when, you know, normal people are slumbering.  It’s the serious fucking pits.  So it starts, the repeater game, and then my limbs being to tingle.  Then my limbs go numb.  Then the entirety of the weight of the world comes crashing down on them.  Even the slightest attempt at movement becomes unbearably difficult.  I seriously have to go, “Limbs, move!  Hey, fuckers, seriously, fucking move!  Goddamn it!  Please move!”  Of course, my brain is pretty well occupied with that whole jackhammer “Oh, fuck. I’m dying” nonsense, so it usually takes a while. Sometimes, it lasts a handful of minutes.  Other times, it last hours.  Regardless of the length of time it actually is, it always feels like an eternity.

I don’t know why my brain likes to play this game, and I sure wish it would stop.  But that’s how it goes for me.  It’s part of my life.  I’ve dealt with this, privately, for the better part of my life, and I honestly never talked about this with anyone.  Pretty fucked up, eh?  But then again, the culture surrounding mental health and mental illness has been pretty fucked up in the United States for as long as I’ve been alive, and even long before that.  However, things are always changing, and there appears to be a rising tide of acknowledge and acceptance that the brain is an organ, capable of malfunctioning, just like the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, stomach, intestines…  That’s a very, very good thing.  So here’s to seeking help, recovery, and knowing yinz have a friend in this particular battle.

YINZ HAVE A FRIEND IN WESTERN PA
I heard it drug you back down to your knees
Does it feel impossible impossible to move?
I’ve been there more times than I’d like to recall
Every time it feels like it will be the end

But it’s not impossible
And I’m sure you don’t want to hear
this right now

But it’s not impossible
It’s just quantum physics hard

Still always trying to be an optimist, at least I can say, “Thanks, depression.  If it wasn’t for you, this song never would have existed.”  Of course, I’d trade this song in a fucking heartbeat if it meant I would fall peacefully and soundly asleep every night for the rest of my life.

Love,
Robby.

Entry 0006

June 21st, 2014
“Don’t forget.  You weren’t born until 8:38 PM.” My Mom.
“Thanks, Mom.  I won’t.”

Yay!  Happy birthday to me, or whatever.  Another day, another dollar.  Grumble, grumble grumble.

 

Hi there.  I’ve been a busy boy the past few days, hence the reason why I haven’t updated this ol’ insanity-land-adventure-time blog.  However, I have some free time, so here comes some more word vomit.  Be warned, I took a nap, because that’s what old people do, after work, so get ready for a well-rested, coffee-induced, piss and vinegar rant.

We (Black Bear Mute) were supposed to go busking tonight, but that fell apart.  Always trying to be an optimist (I question myself life choices frequently), I decided to use this time to play some guitar. Huh.  Look at that, I crapped out another new song.  Magic!

The mood of this was definitely directed by a few things, primarily all that FIFA World Cup nonsense and garbage talk of sending US military forces back into Iraq.  As for the World Cup, I do not care about professional soccer, so I surely do not give two shits about it. However, plenty of Brazilians have some choice words about it.  As for invading Iraq, once again, do you know what I think?  No? Too bad.  I think Iraq would have been much better off if we would have kept our greedy goddamn hands off their cookie jar.  Sure, things in Iraq were far from ideal before we invaded them, and then again, and again… but it sure wasn’t as miserable as it appears to be there now.  Also, I’m pretty sure the people of Iraq have a better idea of what direction they want their country to go.  It should be left up to them to decide.  If you do not fucking live there you should not a get a say/interfere with their affairs. It seems like a simple goddamn concept to me, but maybe those imperialistic western fucks know more than I give them credit?  I  mean they sure seem to think they know everything.

GARGANTUAN
It’s just the way that it goes.
Oh, there’s profit to be make
from every casualty.
Fucking millionaires created
from that rocket’s red glare
And there’s a sick sense of
American pride in the air
once again
As they steady their lasers
and take aim on another
nation state

When they say,
“it’s just the way that it goes”
What they mean is,
it’s war after war
war after war

So I wonder how many more
lies and lives it will take
before the world finally puts us in our place?
It’ll be the way that it goes

Oh, I might go down with this ship
but don’t you fucking dare call me a patriot.

 

You can listen/download this song, along with six other shiny new demo turds, by clicking the photo flyer below:

ROBBY LESTER SHOWS

ps.  Look at that those sweet shows I’m playing this summer.  I know I piss, moan, whine, kick and scream, but I do attempt to keep things in perspective.  I sure am one lucky and privileged fuck.

June 21st, 2014: The Sequel
I’m really starting to get the hang of this whole being a 30-something adult.  I go to bed at a reasonable hour.  I’m much more responsible with my merger earnings.  I wake up early in the morning on the weekends, which provides me with ample time to putter around with whatever I fancy.  I am definitely a fan.  Of course, when I was roaring through my 20s turning 30 used to terrify the fuck out of me.  However, now that I’m here, I’m like, “Fuck it.  I’m 32.  I’m still doing the same shit I was when I was 19, but with a little more tact, knowledge, and skill.  The best thing about this, I think, is that I can firmly and convincingly say this is not a phase of my life.  This is my life, and that’s quite all right with me.

 

It’s My Birthday, And I’ll Whine, Kick, and Scream If I Want To
I really hope, if I make it, when I’m old that I will not impede the forward momentum of that current generation.  I wish I could say the same thing was true about today’s old-head generation…

The 60s Are Dead
It’s like waiting for a bus on a Sunday afternoon
or driving through that Tunnel during the week’s commute
or doing work your boss is supposed to do
or trying to pay off that corporate loan shark’s debt
or trying to get ahead when you’re broke and underpaid
Or being vegan on a dairy farm
or being gay in small-town USA
or explaining climate-change to those who blindly follow Jesus
or teaching tolerance to the absolute atheist
Or casting a ballot for the rich white man
or protesting war that’s already been declared
or claiming pacifism on this violent fucking planet

We’re stuck in that baby-booming dream
It’s become this generation’s nightmare

It’s like waiting for a bus on a Sunday afternoon

 

As always, you can listen/download this new demo, along with seven other demos, at:

WWW.THEGHOSTWRITE.BANDCAMP.COM
I sure would appreciate it if you took time out of yr busy and over-stimulated day to take a listen. Feel free to read along with the lyrics, too.  I think lyrics are the most important part of any song, next to hooking em in with a melody, of course.

As soon as I get two more demos that I’m happy with, I’m going to start chipping away at turning these demos into a well-recorded, well-crafted full length album.  I don’t plan on rushing this one, and I  think I might “shop it around” to a handful of labels that I think are doing it well in the modern age of independent music.  And then, hopefully, by this time next year this album will be a real tangible thing, at which point, I hope to live out of a backpack and attempt to grind away on the road as a full-time DIY or small-time independent touring musician.  The very insightful and lovely Mr. Derek Zanetti [aka the Homeless Gospel Choir] loves to remind me, “If you really want to do this, get rid of your back-up plan.  Back-up plans are a dream-crusher.”  ps.  You can call him Mr. Z if he’s yr pal,  He loves that shit.

Entry 0005

June 17, 2014
They prey on youthful ambition and naivety, and once those vulture have their hooks buried deep within the flesh, only then, will we realise it’s far too late.  

Fuck You.  Pay Me.
I wish I did not have to think about money.  In fact, I wish I did not have to deal with it, ever. Unfortunately, I live here, on Planet Earth, and we humans seem to love the shit out of it; capitalism in particular  I mean, why else would it be the most popular monetary system used in this mad house?  Oh yes.  I almost forgot, we’ve been fed a gigantic lie about how this particular monetary system will empower all the people and help them better their particular lot in life.  Lies, I tell ya. Goddamn lies.  Of course, those in power, the primary benefactors of capitalism, will fight tooth and nail to keep things just the way they are, so it’s probably better off believing that I am completely insane and everything I just said is that of a mad person.  Ahh… Glory days!  USA!  USA!

This morning, I woke up around the usual time, 5:50 AM, and began my  morning ritual: scratch my ass, put on some clothes, brew coffee, let the dogs outside, feed the dogs, drink a cup of coffee, check my emails.  And wouldn’t ya know it, this morning I received an email containing the contract Black Bear Mute was obligated to sign in order to make our appearance at Rock United Fest official.  Much to my surprise, red flags sprang up everywhere on this particular contract.  I don’t really feel like boring everybody with all the legalities and how utterly fucked this contract is and how no performer with any wit about them would sign it, but here’s the clause that really got my blood a-pumping.  Who needs morning aerobics when there’s shit like this to deal with?

“You have agreed to a minimum ticket sale of 60 PASSES.. You must meet this minimum of ticket sales either through actual sales or monetarily AT the time of your Arrival Time to guarantee payment.”

First off, no.  We never agreed to sell a minimum of 60 tickets.  We said we would try to sell them. Maybe my definition of try is their definition of agree.  Maybe 2+2 isn’t 4 after-all?  What if it really is 5?  Fuck.  Everything I thought I knew is crumbling before my goddamn eyes.

Anyway…

We, most assuredly, did not agree to this shit.  Second, what the fuck is this noise “you must meet this minimum of tickets sales either through actual sales or monetarily…?”

If this is escaping you, or if your’e thinking what is the big deal?  Here’s the math equation:

60 tickets x $15 = $900

This means, by the wording of this contract, we are financially responsible to pay the promoter of this fucking scam, disguised as a music festival, $900, regardless of whether or not we sell the goddamn tickets.  Obviously, I told them to “go fuck off (in a polite manner).  We’re not signing this, and if this is how this festival operates, we do not want anything to do with it.”

Familiar with pay-to-play shows?  If not, reread the part right above this again, and then continue.

Okay.  Great.  Now, we’re all familiar with them.  Do you know when it’s acceptable to play a pay-to-play show?  Never.   Fucking Never.  Repeat after me.  Never.  Fucking never.  Why?  Because it puts all of the financial burden and promotion responsibilities upon the bands, even though it should be the promoters and venues responsibility.. because, you know, that’s their goddamn job. The real kicker, however, usually comes at the end of the night, when it’s time to cash out.  Do you know who reaps the lion-share of the profits from this labor?  I’ll give you a hint, it is usually not the bands who are promoting the shows and selling the tickets.  Usually, it’s the shithead promoters and venues who use these exploitative and sleazy tactics to profit off of bands, especially new bands, burning desire to perform.  Fuck that.  Never.  Fucking never.  It’s never okay to play pay-to-play shows.

Love,
Robby Lester

ps.  I have been playing shows for over 15 years, and I have been booking DIY shows for over 10 years, in case anyone was wondering, who the fuck is this guy, and why should I give a shit what he has to say?  I mean, you still don’t have to give a shit.  I merely wanted to provide a few relevant background facts pertaining to this particular topic.

pps.  Never.  Fucking never, yinz.

Entry 0004

June 16, 2014
It doesn’t happen very often, but today I wish I was still in my “I know there’s something commendable about being responsible and dependable, I just haven’t figured it out for myself yet” [1] Husky Tenor phase of life.

Why?  Well, this tour is happening in August 2014.
PROP
Okay.  Cool.  You’re definitely not in any of those sweet fucking bands, so how does this affect you, Mr. Lester?

Well, good ma’am, I was asked to drive/sling merch for War On Women on this ridiculous tour.  I said no (did you hear my heart breaking when you read the word “no?”) because I’m helping organise/play a ton of events/shows in Pittsburgh when this tour of the goddamn universe rambles through Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, NYC, etc, etc…  And for me to simply drop all my responsibilities (while I did think about doing that), would be counter-productive to what I am trying to help build here in Pittsburgh, PA.

No matter, forever trying to be an optimist, after I spent a few minute crying into my goddamn pillow, I noticed this little tid-bit of information about this particular tour:

Sunday, August 17th – New York City, NY
Monday, August 18th – No Show
Tuesday, August 19th – Grand Rapids, MI

I know my US geography fairly well, and I know that the second fastest route between NYC and Grand Rapids rolls right through Pittsburgh, PA.  Let the scheming begin.

ps.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love, love, love the shit out of all three of these bands.

[1] This Machine Kills Pacifists” by Endless Mike and the Beagle Club

Entry 0003

June 15, 2014
Sometimes I wonder if pigs dreams.  Not cop pigs, but animal pigs.  Those fuckers are wicked smart.  I would like to believe they do, but how can they dream when most of them live under such nightmarish conditions?  Sometimes I wonder if all the other caged animals dream, too.  Mostly, it makes me sad, though.  Where they live there is no future.

 
Every morning I wake up, I make a very real political statement by refusing to consume meat and diary.  Maybe if I lived in another era or in another society I would have no choice but to consume them for survival, However I live on privileged land, and I cannot think of one single justifiable reason, serious medical conditions withstanding, to participate in such an industry.

When I first starting walking this veg-life, I would often find myself in heated conversations (some might call them arguments) about veganism.  Now, unless it is here, in written form, or in my music, I don’t really care to talk about it.  This is a part of who I am.  It is important to me.  If it’s not important to someone else, then so be it.  Now, it doesn’t usually ruin my day whenever I see friends, enemies, or strangers chomping on some disgusting slab of meat or guzzling on some animal’s birthing fluid.  It also doesn’t ruin my day, usually, whenever I hear someone make some moronic statement about how vegans and vegetarians are shitheads (I mean, some of them are, in fact, shitheads).  However, if anyone is curious, I have a sledgehammer, and I’m sure I could use that to beat some goddamn knowledge into yr brain.

Anyway, I bring this up today because I woke up seriously pissed off about how too many animals never see the sunlight or ever get to take a breath of fresh air.  Instead of going all ALF** on the nearest animal research testing facility, however, I decided to focus my energy on writing new music.  This is the first time I’ve ever written a song that is this overtly and directly about veganism.  In years past, I was very concerned that such ideas would often come off sounding holier-than-thou and/or too preachy.  Today, however, I don’t really fucking care how it comes off sounding.  If it resonates with even one person, maybe that will equate to one less animal living life trapped in a cage on a factory farm or in a research testing facility.


MADNESS

You can justify it any way you’d like 
But the food you ate 
stopped a fucking beating heart 
It’s not essential 
It’s excessive 
So call it what it is 
Yeah, call it what it is 

If that’s what being a man is all about 
I refuse 
I refuse 

You can justify it any way you’d like 
Can’t be for peace 
when there’s a war 
on your dinner plate 
It’s not essential 
It’s excessive 
So call it what it is 
Yeah, call it what it is 

If that’s what being religious is all about 
I don’t believe 
I don’t believe


This song is available, along with five other demos, for free download.  Click the image below if yr interested.
Demos 2014 Cover

 

** I do think the work ALF does is extremely important, regardless of whether or not I agree with all their tactics.

Entry 0002

June 14, 2014
There was a full moon and it was a Friday the 13th last night.  I feel asleep around 8 PM.  I woke up this morning.  It appears the werewolf did not show its face.

Above It All?
I posted this earlier this week.  I think it is quite important, but a bit of clarification is needed.

“Here is something to think about, DIY punx (and everyone else, too).
** The value of $5 in 1980 was equivalent to $15.19 today.
** The value of $5 in 1990 was equivalent to $9.94 today.
** The value of $5 in 2000 was equivalent to $6.92 today.
We need a paradigm shift and a goddamn raise. Up the punx.”

The little afterthought of “and everyone else, too” is much more than an afterthought, and I should have made that clear.  Fortunately, for me and everyone else who is paying attention to this particular social media corner, the vast majority of people who respond are civil critical thinkers. Here’s an important point that was brought up on this particular thread by Cullen Nawalkowsky, who, among many things, is a worker-owner at the radical book store collective Red Emma’s in Baltimore, Maryland.  You can read an article about Red Emma’s and their new space here.

“Wages have stayed stagnant over this period, though – yes, punks and musicians should get a fair wage, but so should everyone else. The reason why musicians and artists’ plights are often disregarded is because musicians and artists themselves seem willfully complicit in both the “winner take all” economy and the separation of *their* fate from those of other workers.”

Personally, I do not deal with this sort of entitlement very frequently.  I mean, mostly everyone I know in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, who are artists, musicians, comedians, actresses, writers, photographers are also grinding away at some sort of service job, too.  There is no separation, as the musicians and artists are also waitresses, bar-backs, cooks, laborers, dishwashers, retail workers, and on and on.  However, if this sort of entitlement did arise, where an artist or musician suddenly felt their plight was more important than the fate of every other worker surrounding them, I would be quick to reply, “That is a very dangerous way to think about things, friend.  Do you not feel we are all in this together?”

First we think, then we party:

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 21ST, 2014
Summer Solstice//My 13th 19th Birthday Party
WHERE: Bandi Schaum Park: Pittsburgh PA
WHEN: 8 PM
ALL AGES.  FREE.
Black Bear Mute will be playing, along with a bunch of other lovely performers.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 26TH, 2014
ramshackle june 26

Entry 0001

Friday, June 13th, 2013
I have self-destructed, and I have been sabotaged enough by this “game of life” to know planning too far into the future is for fools and those who care about retirement. I do not believe I am a fool, and I care very little about retirement. Maybe that makes me a fool? 

Quite a lot has happened since I decided to break-up the Ghostwrite nearly seven months ago. “Wait? What? How can you break yourself up? That makes no sense at all. Seriously, it’s one of the most nonsensical things I have heard in quite a while.” More than one friend has told me this.

But I did. I broke up the Ghostwrite, and then, in February 2014, I reunited to play two shows with War on Women on the west coast. It was a grand reunion, but now it is really dead.

Okay. Maybe this is not entirely true, as I have upcoming solo shows, and I have dreams of more Canadian and US touring, and, possibly even Europe. However, I am done with the Ghostwrite moniker. Now it is Robby Lester. Maybe one day I’ll even start using my real name, but I wouldn’t recommend holding a breath. I am quite the fan of this particular fake name; I have been since it was given to me nearly thirteen-years ago.

Anyway, enough about that. I simply wanted to mention this because the header and tag line say “Robby Lester.” I am merely trying to keep the confusion to a minimum around these wild parts of the internet.

So..

The whole point of this, hopefully, daily or semi-daily rambling is two-fold:

1.) Facebook controls almost all of my internet activity, and that needs to stop being a thing for me. I mean, we know how this Myspace story is going to end. Plus, I want to have my own corner, filled with my own thoughts, where I have control over the content and usage… at least as much control as the internet provides any individual.

2.) I want to get back into the habit of writing every day. Who knows, maybe some of these entries will be worthy of a print-release?

Below is my first entry, but before that, here are two pictures:

Turney.

Turney.

Roofus and Rocky

Roofus and Rocky

 

 

 

 

 

I Wanted to Burn My Bank Down. Instead, I Broke-Up With It.
Maybe it was because I was lazy? Maybe it was because I was depressed? Maybe it was because I spent too much time dulling my senses with alcohol? Maybe it was because I forgot everything I learned during all the protests and actions? Maybe I was sleep-walking?

Whatever the case may be, it was a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.

Fuck you, PNC Bank. It’s over. We’re through. I want our bridge to burn so viciously that the heat creeps up to your ivory gate and sears off your goddamn face. I think you need a reminder. You are not a god. You are not indestructible. You are weak and cowardly, and you deserve to be put in your place.  

Anyway, I found a lovely little credit union, right down the way. We’re meeting up for coffee and tea very soon.  Maybe it’s because it’s new, but they sure are more pleasant than you.  

This is not personification. Corporations are still considered people. That is insanity.

What If The Show Goes On?

Dear Pittsburgh punks, music fans, anti-oppression activists, and people who live here,

Maybe you’ve heard? Maybe you have not heard?

On Thursday, May 29th, 2014 a band called Death In June (who I personally think are neonazis; others might argue otherwise) are playing at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.  Regardless of what you call the people that make up this band, one thing is certain; they attract a crowd of white supremacists, fascists, and nazis.  They attract such a crowd because “they repeatedly use fascist and nazi symbols on their albums and on stage, including the Death Head (worn as a pin by nazi SS soldiers), the Life Rune (a pagan symbol commonly used by fascists) and the Black Sun (another rune used by the SS). Likewise, members of DIJ have often worn nazi Waffen-SS uniforms on stage. [1].”

Douglas Pearce, one of members of Death in June, has also been quoted saying the following:
** It is worth noting that Douglas Pearce is openly homosexual.  Please bear in mind, though, being homosexual does not mean a person cannot be a bigot, fascist, nazi, or white supremacist.

“”I prefer to suck, white, uncircumsised cocks of a certain age so I suppose that rules out quite a few races and religions in one huge act of sexualdiscrimination. However, that’s natural selection for you. It follows on that, of course race is important to me![2]

To paraphrase PERE UBU, “I don’t need a cure, I need a Final Solution!” How could a fat Jehova’s Witness sing something so Correct?[3]

Depending upon their ‘ version ‘ of Eurocentric Racialism, then 9 times out of 10 I feel very comfortable with it. This is how it’s supposed to be. I would like to think that the Klu Klux Klan version isn’t included in this. Eurocentrics goes beyond reactionary Christian, political militias. I believe in seizing the end of time, not being a passive part of it.” [4]

Also, if the fascist element wasn’t enough, another member of this band, Boyd Rice, had this to say in an interview [date unknown]:

Back to the rumours. Are you a misogynist?
“Yeah.” Nods fervently for the record. [Laughs.] “Yeah, more and more all the time.”
What makes you feel that way?
“Just a lot of experience with women. I don’t think women deserve the same rights as men. I don’t think women are on an equal footing with men. I think they’re totally different creatures. I think the world operated better when they had less say over how the way things went, had less control.”
And regarding his piece “R.A.P.E.”, which is appallingly pro-rape but allegedly tongue-in-cheek: “I was poking a bit of fun, but it’s like there’s more than a grain of truth in everything I said in there. I think all the stuff I said was basically true. Which is why it’s funny when it’s funny. And it’s why it upsets women, when it upsets women. Because, you know, they can’t really deny most of that stuff. Well that’s why when women start having these intellectual arguments with me I say at a certain point, “Listen, I refuse to even argue with a woman.” They say, “Well, why is that?” and I say, “Because you overreact, you get all emotional, and fly into a tizzy.” [5]

These are just a few choice examples.  If anyone is interested in researching more, the links listed at the bottom of this page would probably be a great starting point.
—————————————————————————————————————————-

Anyway, there is a decent effort from many different groups and individuals who are attempting to shut this show down, myself included.  For me, I do not want to see any support, sympathy, or apathy given to fascists, nazis, racists, misogynists, or any kind of bigots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (or anywhere, for that matter).  This hits particularly close to home because I utterly love (and participate) in this particular music scene, and I do not want to see it become polluted by terrifying and hateful ideology.  Maybe you feel the same?  Maybe you feel similiar?

If so, I encourage you to flood the Rex Theater’s phone lines with your concerns about this show happening here.  You can contact them via phone at  (412) 381-6811

You can also email them at:  ben@greyareaprod.com

If you feel like contacting the promoter for this show, you can do that by contacting Manny Theiner at: (412) 361-2262

Hopefully, if enough opposition bubbles to the surface, the show will be canceled.  If not, a small (but hopefully growing group of individuals) will be organsing a counter-protest to this show.  The details are unclear, but if anyone is interested in being a part of this (if it comes to that), feel free to email me at robby.lester@gmail.com for a little more information on this.

If all else fails, and the show goes on, I will personally boycott the following businesses/promotion companies, and I will also advocate that other patrons and musicians do the same:

1. The Rex Theater
2. Grey Area Productions
3. Garfield Artworks (or any other show Manny Theiner promotes)

It’s not 1997 anymore, and I personally want to send a message that shit like this is not welcomed in the 2014 version of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

All the best, and may Pittsburgh and its lovely music scene continue to thrive.

References
1. http://libcom.org/library/death-in-june-a-nazi-band
2. http://libcom.org/library/death-in-june-a-nazi-band
3.  http://nycantifa.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/why-we-dont-like-death-in-june/
4. http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/2013/09/queers-to-shut-down-death-in-june-in.html
5. http://libcom.org/library/death-in-june-a-nazi-band