The Black Angels, who the hell are they?


Allow me a moment while I lapse into a middle-aged sort of adolescent wild-eyed musical fanaticism.


Hmm, first let me back up.
I want to tell you about a band. I just discovered them in the last couple of days and I’m crazy about their music. They’ve released a couple of albums in their relatively short career and are due to release another in September. I’m intrigued and fascinated by their sound. I’ve listened to their music incessantly since yesterday and my behavior is now straddling the line between psychosis and extreme interest.


A flashback is in order…


Sunday afternoon, my son was contending with an odd “psychological action” game on Xbox called Alan Wake. I was in the bedroom drifting in and out of a strange daytime slumber that was half nap, half exhaustion. One of those that you awake from feeling more tired than before. The 4th of July weather here in L.A. was gray and cool and it put a damper on the typical flaming firework enthusiasm. The last time I spent Independence Day under the spell of such meteorological gloom was back in the late 70s when I drove with my parents up north and we stayed in Crescent City for the night. We watched as fireworks were launched into the gray overhanging haze. Sunday the 4th just passed matched that mood almost exactly save for the cheesy chain motel decor. During one of my semi-wakeful periods (the game’s sounds were a jumbled morass of effects and voices in the background), a song began playing, it was from the game’s soundtrack and it literally jolted me awake by virtue of its distinctive melody.


Have you experienced this?
It’s the “love at first sight” principle applied to the realm of music. You hear a song, it strikes a chord and you want more of it, you want to find out who sings it, are there others like it…? This is exactly what I experienced when I heard this song and I asked my son to dig out more info from the game credits. He found it. “Young Men Dead” by a band I’d never heard of, The Black Angels.


Hmmm. This internet, it delivers upon the historic, 20th Century promise of providing “knowledge at your fingertips.” Indeed.


(WARNING: feel free to construe what follows as a legitimate music review…at your own peril!)


The Black Angels. They have a logo.


Described in their Wikipedia entry as a “psychedelic rock group” whose name is derived from an old Velvet Underground song, the band is composed of 5 members from


Austin, Texas:


Stephanie Bailey — drums, percussion, bass
Christian Bland — guitar, bass, drums
Kyle Hunt — keyboards, percussion, bass, and guitar
Alex Maas — vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards,
Nate Ryan — bass, guitar, occasional drums


I’m spellbound by Maas’ echo-driven voice which seems to skirmish at the outskirts of our mundane existential dimension. Their music reminded me a little of Soundgarden and The Doors, maybe others I haven’t sifted to the surface of my recognition just yet. This is the kind of shit I need to listen to in a dimly lit environment, for bright florescent flood lights do not mix well with The Black Angel’s dreamy, borderline brooding style. Maas’ resonating voice darkly begs our attention at the forefront while the rhythmic procession of percussion and guitars follows his lead into a hazy mental oblivion. It is the ideal hors d’oeuvre to a personal festival of fungal growths and other herbs spawned from hills and grassy knolls. And if you’re not the type to alter your consciousness artificially, turn the lights down and amp up the speakers because one good listen in such an environment will easily mimic such heightened “sensations” in a clean state.



I suppose it’s no shock I’ve taken an instant liking. I did grow up listening to Pink Floyd throughout my teen years. The Black Angels are not quite from the same School of Psychedelic…much of their supra-dimensional appeal is conjured through simple vocals and the union of percussion and guitars dancing in a freaky sort of synchronized union of dislocated sounds.


Yesterday I downloaded both of their LP’s (Passover and Directions To See A Ghost) and have listened to them in varied states of (sober) moods and lighting. The music draws me into that state of semi-presence which I love so much. Here, not, there, fluctuating, tidbits of unreality squirming down my mental walls. They are set to release their next album, “Phosphene Dream,” this Fall.


I can’t wait for their L.A. appearance(s). How awesome will it be to be a part of that live performance as the sounds wash over me from the monumental output of the PA system amidst the blinking, foggy torches of concert lighting.




How marriage has failed mankind

Mother-EFFIN long weekend.
I was off on Friday and the prospect of Tuesday pains me because each ticking second on that remorseless clock signifies that I’m one step closer to boarding that stinking bus tomorrow morning and heading back to my paradisiacal corporate monkey sector job.

I love time off work for all the obvious reasons; but also because it allows me time to think and think and fucking think. Too much thinking can be detrimental to my sense of ignorant well-being yet I crave it.

And I can read and read and mortify my humble ass into submission.

The End of Men, an apocalyptic tale of the doomed path of modern Man. And this morning, Safe times are tough times for heroes over on agnostic’s blog.

The concepts distilled individually from both readings coalesced, were “married,” in my holiday-relaxed mind.

Isn’t it the natural inclination for a thinking person, when confronted with specific phenomena driven by the rapidly accelerating nature of human society, to wonder as to the Why and the How?
We seek to reverse engineer the phenomena. Perhaps take a step, or two, back. Take in the whole picture, which is difficult, for this means we must defang the qualities of modern history, most of which occurred in our pre-maternal absence. We must reassemble factual tidbits based on our knowledge of eras past and this involves a lot of [filling in the blanks].

For instance, Why and How have we reached a point in human history where females have claimed the historic male ability to triumph over the current landscape of humanity? Theories abound in this blogosector and most participants are not shy about pitching in their two cents. Personally I don’t think the How is vitally important, yet that seems to be an equally discussed bone of contention. The Why is what matters. The Why is the only tool available to Man which will allow him to take control of his balls once again and perhaps his natural dominance over society. Maybe. The Why speaks to inherent flaws in our mentality which can be addressed, in theory, and perhaps overcome, whereas the How only speaks to how these flaws have manifested themselves in the gender dystopia of the modern age.

Do you hear it? The chorus of women’s voices cheering in joyful, delusional unison? They do not seek to sort out the ramifications of such a society…for it is true that many women of our modern age are content to merely revel in the attention and glory of their ascendance without giving a second thought to the dystopic vision they marvel at.
“Why do we care? It’s time for women to finally rule!”

Little do they realize or care that the same male dominance they denigrate is the one which built the society and infrastructure which affords women the time and resources to paint their nails and hair, to buy large houses which they can decorate in fits of extravagance, to drive expensive cars to nice restaurants where they can chatter glibly over plates of food. Male dominance built this world which womanhood enjoys the spoils of so selfishly. Women have hijacked the freedom and liberties man has created while distorting them in order to create a world that has neutered men. They have usurped man’s arsenal and aimed it back at him and man can only watch the unfolding cultural shift from a position of utter powerlessness and humiliated weakness. I’m reminded of an X-Files episode in which the “villain” has the ability to manipulate his victim’s thoughts and coerce them into taking their own lives; I feel that is the same dynamic womanhood has mimicked in order for man to essentially sublimate his superiority and trade it in for a sense of inferiority. Man has been tremendously weakened. I don’t believe women have necessarily excelled to such stratospheric levels of academic and career achievement solely by virtue of intelligence or personal ethics. I think they have been helped and aided by the complicit help of man, en masse, as he has dropped out of relevant society and become a buffoon and co-conspiratorial wuss. I should not say “men” – I really mean “Man.” For it’s a group effort, with many, many outliers and glaring examples of men who have not fallen into the trap, but societal trends are written by groups, not individuals. And Man, the group, has fallen pitifully short in modern society. He has relinquished control to Woman, to his female counterpart, to his…wife.

Yes, his wife.

It’s very obvious to me.

The most important consideration when explaining the fledgling supremacy of the human female is that this is a dynamic which has engraved itself into the soul of civilization over thousands of “civilized” years. It did not happen overnight, or even in the span of one generation. We’d like to think this, we’d like to blame Hollywood or feminism or the liberal nanny state, but these are merely symptoms of a deeper underlying cultural transformation that has been occurring for spans of time longer than we can comprehend in our limited, human lifetime world view. We give ourselves too much credit while we bitterly write this all off as a conscious effort on the part of assorted demographic groups who gather in complicit armies set to overturn civilization as we know it. Human social evolution is exponential; each evolutionary leap, each step, is fueled by a previous leap which in turn was also fueled by a previous leap…and thus a paradigm shift occurring now is really fed by countless layers of historic shifts which rested on the shoulders of a previous paradigm shift. In other words, change now is compounded, and would probably be nearly unrecognizable from the perspective of someone witnessing present events from a time machine in an era just 50 or 85 years ago.

The “officialized” state of marriage is the underlying cultural component which has laid the groundwork leading to our current gender dystopia. As I’ve said before, I feel uncomfortable criticizing marriage. I know enough happily married couples that I feel I must add that my opinion on marriage’s responsibility for the state of our world is essentially a value-free assessment. The point is, I am speaking of a dynamic which spans thousands of years, not just a blip on the radar of time which a generation or two denotes. The occasional presence of a healthy marriage suffused with the natural gender roles on the part of husband and wife does not disprove the overriding ages-old effect that this institution has left on the current skewed gender roles in society.

Marriage is to blame.
The recognized union of man and woman in a mutual cohabitation which presumes that each part is relatively equal in the eyes of society. This is not natural, not in the primal, evolutionary sense.

Man and woman are evolutionary rivals.
This is key.
We are not enemies, contrary to the general impression you get from many in in the MRM. I dislike feeding into the MRA mindset…I find MRA types bitter and helpless and their subtle (and not so subtle) misogyny is not very amusing. I love women and I don’t believe they are consciously banding together in order to defeat man. The forces of social nature are larger and embedded so deeply in our cultural being that they are untouchable to those looking to make individual marks.

Man and woman are rivals, therefore they function optimally when allowed to remain separated as much as possible save for moments nature sees fit to bring them together (ie, mating). That which enables and allows men and women to come together in order to “cooperate” under the mutual auspices of social arrangements which are constructed by societal laws and mores in order to create a dynamic of equality can only result in a skewed interrelationship resulting in the male losing his naturally endowed strength and woman’s leeching off this strength in order to meet her own ends. This dynamic has had thousands of years of wedded generations to embed itself and distort primitive gender relationship. A rivalry implies separation of parallel goals while both parties nevertheless remain bonded by a common interest within the larger context. For man and woman, the larger context here is propagation of the species; yet, their immediate goals due to their conflicting natures are best left separate. Thus clarified, a dynamic in which the male rules absolutely is most natural and conducive to seamless breeding. In such a natural state of separation, the disparate goals will be allowed to exist and the species to flourish. However, brought together in an artificially induced union (god love religion!) nature is defeated and its aims foiled. Over thousands of years and countless generations of successive social embellishment carried forth on the shoulders of previous unnatural unions of male/female equality, women rise while men sink. Equilibrium naturally surfaces in the grand zero sum game. As I’ve noted, the evolution is exponential. We are in the midst of a flurry of rapid and visible changes in our time. At our stage, it doesn’t take many generations to effect nearly instantaneous changes; for the change occurring in one generation today is representative of a long-standing systemic change which has been cemented in place for thousands of years. On the surface, even though it appears women have taken “control” overnight, the groundwork was laid ages ago when marriage became the standard by which gender expression was allowed to express iteself over ensuing generations.

As the purported equality of marriage has overwritten the original societal program, it has imprinted its template upon our culture. Women, liberated within the confined boundaries of marriage, found this liberation slowly seeped into mainstream society as the marriage mentality slowly guided man’s relinquishment of power and masculinity, a paradigm which also shifted culture’s mores and social structure. As men brought their married sensibilities to the world at large, and to groups which they occupied exclusively, as I outlined in a previous post, they became unwitting accomplices working to change the structure of society with the aid of their historically latent power, and failed at this crucial juncture to demand that societal structure adapt to their masculine vision. This masculine vision was stillborn within the egalitarian container of marriage. Marriage’s greatest power was its insular nature which allowed man and woman to escape the tendrils of society’s moral compass.

Man, tamed by marriage, was unable to bring his potent sense of masculinity to bear on the outside world. Over thousands of years he weakly participated in weakening his own evolutionary influence on society because at home he was forced to relinquish his masculine hold in the interest of mutual cooperation with a woman. This was compounded by the fact that his father learned similar coping skills and his father before him, and the father before and before, generations of gradual surrender of masculinity. A dew point of equilibrium was attained in recent memory and the scales of gender finally tipped irrevocably in the wife’s favor, both at home and at large.

As with all grand societal paradigm shifts, the few outliers who eschew new roles live a solitary life of alienation for their lack of enthusiasm and willingness to join the common march exposes them to harsh and subtle ostracization.

The modern man who dares to maintain a tenacious grip on his bachelorhood is roundly purged from the playground of modern life (unless he is homosexual in which case he is excused, and in fact, revered by the feminized hordes). It is not easy to share cultural real estate with legions of those who have happily succumbed to the modern gender paradigm. To remain unmarried and actively free of any outward enthusiasm to join or humor the feminized social world will easily find you cast from its Club. You are a rogue state. You cannot be considered a vibrant or legitimate player and you will find yourself marginalized in the eyes of the sheep who have gathered to breathe life into the Hive and expand its insidious reach. In order to join the ranks of respectable society and be allowed to indulge in its empty plasticity, you must,

1) Be married
2) Humor the frivolity of a feminized culture
3) Check in any traces of odious masculinity at the door

Those men who dare to remain single past 35 while resisting female induced self-degradation willfully surrender their membership in pleasant society. Marginalization seeps downwards in the barest of daily minutiae.

As women’s strength and influence grows, men’s sense of their masculinity must flow and ebb in sync with capricious female demands or they must eject from the matrix.

Women have always dictated the definitions and concept of masculinity; from the primal and natural position of submissiveness, their definition of the masculine male was the traditional one we knew for nearly the entirety of human history.

Now, women, from a strength of power, define the masculine role as submissive and powerless, much like their own previous role in history.

And men have no choice but to follow their lead.
If they wish to partake in pleasant society.

A dizzying dance with no end

Adrift and aimless.
Wandering. A wanderer. With no end in sight.
Where do I go with this blog now?
Not from self-doubt or regret, no way. It’s simply a biting urge to step it up, to shake the cobwebs loose, to disturb them and draw their 8-legged sentries out of their hidden eaves. To rile things up; to send a lightning bolt of destruction issuing from the peaceful confines of my bloggery.

I’m restless that way.
I am not the type to sit still. Even though, I actually am.
It’s hard to explain.

I’m super stable, super ritualistic, super time structured. To the point where many might call me boring. I call it discipline. I believe a steadfast routine has its place in our life. A necessary place. Our daily rigmarole demands predictability and dependability. We can improvise beyond that and add various elements of drama along the way if we desire.
Dress up the routine, so to speak.

Comes with age.
When young, you relish the electrifying element of spontaneity and impulsiveness. Your young empty life yearns for the new and the fantastic and the capricious. You crave the ability to fill your days tirelessly with unique experiences and unusual personal interactions and bizarre unrehearsed scenes.

Alas. You reach my age, 45, and you see less humor and scintillation in that kind of meaningless crap. You don’t care for novel experiences that exist solely for the sake of novelty. Granted, I welcome new but only in measured doses and only when they are somewhat predictable. That is the rub. Even my spontaneity must be anticipated. Crude surprises are no longer endearing. Like a cute puppy who has crapped on the kitchen floor one too many times…

Yet…I’m evolving. Always fucking evolving, like a madman.

When I started this blog as Phoenixism in August of last year, I had no clue what I was going to do with it. None whatsoever. I still don’t, but it’s only because I don’t know which direction to take it based on the series of historical foundations which have paved the path to Here and Now, whereas in August I didn’t have the slightest clue where to begin.

So I began carefully, and fateful synchronicity fell into place and joined to hammer out the spawning of Phoenixism and the evolution was underway. I always had a vague, precognitive hint of where I was headed with this, but I never would have guessed I’d be trolloping through this blogosector and hobnobbing with all these intelligent and interesting cyberfolks. The blogosphere is great, it’s an awesome filtering mechanism which allows you to direct your focus toward the verbal absorption of others who also enjoy expressing themselves similarly.

They’re all here: the odd, the bizarre, the angry, the bitter, the hateful, the resentful, the horny, the self-centered, the liars, the actors. In my daily life I barely encounter a fraction of this variety of character. I doubt most people do….essentially we all live relatively unidimensional lives in which the layers of existence do not present themselves or impinge on upon another because we essentially spend most of our day in the same environment with the same people with the same habits. Most of us are not exposed to random samplings of society within the framework of the typical 24-hour day.

I’m adrift.
Seriously floating freestyle, not a fucking clue what I’m going to do. In the past couple of months I’ve undergone a bloggish metamorphosis of sorts. Changed the name, the look, a bunch of other borderline kooky elements and now the resemblance to what I started back in August is fading and nearly non-exsitent.

And you know why?

Because I’m constantly evolving. Skirting the edges of normalcy. I never stand put. Though my life may appear cloaked in predictable serenity and tranquility, the truth is that this world that lives here in my chest, inside my head, is a fucking turbulent and destructive hurricane of thoughts and notions and ideas and my mind never rests for I am always thinking of new approaches and departures from common consensus, and even though I’m never bored, I always hunger for more.

There are times this hunger inflates beyond belief, a greedy voraciousness which eludes my control, which loses form, becomes an unfocused morass of theories, and there is too much and it can’t be quenched or sated and I want to write a million diferent things at once because all these fucking ideas are brimming and bursting and they want to squeeze out from inside this pressure chamber that is my skull and in the end…

I sit and write nothing.

I’m consumed with a tidal wave of thoughts and intuitions and motives and urges and I want to tell the world about them and they slowly fill my swelling brain like a saturated and distended sponge that can no longer hold water.

This blog has evolved along with me. It has been my intellectual partner.
It has trailed, it has led, but it has always changed with me. The only limit appears to be technology and my uninspiring sense of shamelessness. I have no idea what I will change next. Change for the sake of change does not give me a hard-on, but change carefully orchestrated makes me hot. But I must feel it. It must happen with minimal conscious thought or effort. I must experience its resurrection from the earthly depths of my spirit. Change, evolution, advancement of my soul.

I used to think everyone was similar. But I’ve known several people long enough now, for extended periods of time, upwards of 5 or 10 years, and every single one of them has presented a contrasting pattern of evolution in comparison to myself. Invariably the extent of my measurable change as defined in the realms of my psyche, has outpaced any change experienced by others. I change interests, I change beliefs, I’m always moving on to something else. The impression is one of restlessness or boredom or idleness, but those are not the driving forces behind my varied evolutions.

Back to point 1.
I’m like a raft abandoned into the silent and remote ocean, far from shore, spun and twirled wildy towards the blank horizon and lost to the merciless tendrils of the oceanic current. I have no grip, nothing to wrap my arms around, and here I wander, buoyant amidst the splendor of the cyber world, bobbing up and down on the shoulders of minds greater than mine, on the shoulders of minds sharper than mine, one minute this way.
The next minute, that way.

Shifting directions, a dizzying dance with no end.