Radical Change Requires Radical Love

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

I just read this tweet by Brandon Boyd of Incubus about radical change requiring radical love. Attached was a video of a black lives matter type of discussion. I think sometimes, somehow out of all the chaos that it forces our communication to either cease, decrease or magnify. I am encouraged by all types of discussion from all angles. All I can do is talk about my personal experiences. So, here is one I will share with you.

I was in my late teens and some of my friends and I would go downtown to different clubs to experience music and culture. I was raised Southern Baptist. I grew up in the church and went to a private school, etc. I remember coming out of this club Fallout which was friendly to all and accepted 18 and up for certain nights. It was known as a gay club. My friends and I loved the people, we loved the music and we loved the fellowship. I was pretty high strung, so once I got into the music I was dancing all crazy like by myself. 

At the end of one particular night I was finishing a conversation as my friends were headed out to my car. I told them I would be right there. Once the chat had ended I left the club and started walking to catch up to my pals. I was then approached by two men of African-American decent. I was shocked because one was very angry and held a gun right at me. He was on some heavy drugs and his friend had a beer in his hand and looked stoned. I had a little to drink myself and whatnot, so it was a bad situation. 

The man with the gun threatened me and said I am going to kill you and added on explitives. I have HSP and I was dumbfounded and afraid. I stayed calm and I told him I do not understand. I told him that he seemed like a guy that I could have a conversation with. He asked me why my head was shaved and why I was dressed crazy and also inquired about why I was wearing combat boots. I explained it to him that it was because of the music I was listening to and the things that I thought looked cool. I then told him I just want to catch up to my friends waiting by my car.I asked the man what his name was and told him mine. His friend then told him to stop and that I was cool and let on my way with a respectful nod.

This is not the only time this has happened to me. I certainly can only imagine and empathize as to what is like to be black or a cop or a woman or even part of the LGBT community. I just know that every one has their own unique perspective and that we need to show more compassion in the face of fearful circumstances. This is not a look at me and what I did post. It is not promoting all lives matter. I am not saying there is such a thing as reverse racism. I am saying that we all need to show others to the best of our ability the compassion we wish to receive. It is also a self-love issue. I have struggled with that myself in the past. I believe that radical change can happen with radical love too. 

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How my will can challenge my spirit.

Posted in Topher Music with tags on June 4, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

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     In my previous post I touched on the idea of spiritual anorexia. I want to continue the topic of duality and discuss how I have learned how my own will can lead me into a challenge for my spirit. Beyond this black and white idea of spiritual control I believe that there is more to it than meets the eye. Maybe it’s something you have never considered? Or perhaps you think is ridiculous? 

     I can only speak for myself. So, here is a pretty intense thought. My will is selfish, it wants and needs unnecessary things that hold no value when it comes to spiritual matters. I am myself and in a sense that it is all I have. Or is it? This can be debated. However, from my point of view I know that I must daily throw down my will before God because of who I am in Christ. It is in this nature that the Spirit can be free to work in your life and mine. It is a release of the spirit, if you will. It opens the door to the conduit for Him to work freely in my life. I have tried to honor this process in my life, but there have been times where I have failed miserably.  Times where I was too preoccupied with the thing in hand, sort of speak.

     If a song were to have a call to action in regards to this idea then this one is a good suitor. It’s called, “Hang Your Wings” and it is a dark and lengthy song. I can recall how it always got a real strong response and that it seemed to touch a person inside somehow.

     Right away the lyrics challenge the listener by posing the question if they are afraid of death. They then proceed to encourage one to fear not. I truly believe the mystery of Christ is something that has been at least thought of by many. In a sense, most of us are on our own walk and are missing different things or need to be reminded through others. I will never understand the full mystery while I am living on earth. So, I think the message behind this song is about metaphorically hanging one’s wings up. The one’s that we use to hide our shame. Wings that demonize in the blink of an eye just because Christ was not remembered. That is why I must daily do this sort of analogy. Yes, the duality behind faith can be difficult and is a sight unseen. It can even drive some crazy just to think about. That is my two cents. Just some food for thought for the next eight minutes or so, if you take the time to listen.
    

The idea of spiritual anorexia.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 23, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

. I do believe there is something powerful about the idea of duality. I also think that in some cases things cannot always be deducted in this fashion, nor is there always a simple explanation as to why something is what it is or appears to be such. These ideas have been in some discussion and have been coming to mind lately. Incidentally, I also met a troubled man recently who solidified this persona.

. With that said, I want to tell you a tale. It is about the story of a man’s vision of a gremlin. Yes, a small evil-looking entity. Imagine it is a cold, day during the fall season. The man is waiting for someone inside a dwelling place. While sitting near the top of the staircase a breeze opens the unlocked entry door. To his dismay a small gremlin is perched in the tree out front!

The man locks eyes with the creature and it would seem there were devils dancing together in the reflection of its eyes. The gremlin begins to laugh and the man is in awe and afraid. There is frost on the branches of the trees. The wind continues to blow the creature to and fro. It is simultaneously camouflaged by the leaves on the tree because of this bitter breeze. The small demon-like creature seemed to flicker on and off just like the light would if someone were to play with a light switch.

. The gremlin begins to laugh at the man. Discouraged and oppressed the man feels defeated. He continues to do his best in life, but for reasons he cannot fathom he seems to fail over and over in his own mind. The man suddenly realized he is hungry too. He quickly is reminded about the idea of anorexia and how it can apply as a metaphor for how the physical and spiritual existence can be quite difficult.

. Lately, you may have noticed I have been posting about ‘Lesser Than God’. I am attaching a song that really fits this post and I would like you to listen to it. This is really the only polished song that we had recorded in the past that we thought went well. It was intended as the first song that was to be I included on our first actual album. Any discussion or comments are welcome.

@4fingeredhand Photography Slideshow

Posted in Saint Louis Music Press, Topher Photography, Uncategorized with tags , on April 6, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

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*Photo above features Michael Bivens of Connibal Road at The Pageant.

This slideshow contains some pics that are just some random concert photos that I took at some past shows that I covered for STL Music Press. These are some examples of photos that were taken in the past from various shows. The slideshow begins including shots from Relient K, Senses Fail, Transit and goes on to feature many STL music acts. Such as, The Takedown, The Vondrukes, Earl, Butcher Holler, Bella & Lily, Clockwork, Since 1902, Dear Genre, Social Slave, Sicfaist, Never My Silence, Corvus, The Orbz, Make Me Break Me & also Connibal Road. The thumbnail pic is of Butcher Holler. In the past, I also did some interviews and album reviews for the music press site. Those are indexed on the categories cloud on this blog. I particularly remember having fun at these shows and enjoyed fellowship with friends and meeting new people. Good times. I’m thankful for the opportunity and the experience. All of these were shot using a meager PowerShot SX120 IS by Canon.

 

 

@4fingeredhand Art Slideshow

Posted in Topher Artwork, Uncategorized with tags on April 6, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

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I finally got around to my old artwork that has been collecting dust all organized and I put into a slideshow finally. It starts with some random drawings that I made for book covers and such. I did most of the early stuff my senior year of high school. It continues on into beginner college level stuff. Design mediums like collage, drawing, color-aid paper, chalk drawings, etc. The last ones are something recent I did and digitally edited some stuff in. I know I’m not the best artist, but I do take pride in the things I have created. Let me know your thoughts, if you care too. Hope this finds you well.

…lesser than God – Live @ The Mudd Room

Posted in Topher Music with tags on March 19, 2016 by 4fingeredhand

ltgHello! Long time no bloggy. So, I recently was gifted with a DVD disk by Jason Harding with the old recording from in the mid nineties of this show that my Dad video taped on an old VHS camcorder and figured out how to get it on YouTube for everyone. What a blast from the past! The Mudd Room was a coffee shop that was on Chippewa/Watson during the early to mid nineties. The lighting was not very good and there was no stage. This was one of my first shows ever. I had fun with my friends Greg, Jason and Kurt. We hope you enjoy watching it. It is recorded in it’s entirety and is broken down into four parts. HERE is a link to the playlist or watch it below. The song listing and such is in the notes on YouTube for each specific video. Shown above is a flyer from one of the two shows we did there also.

People keep asking, so here is what’s up with me, as of right now.

Posted in Ockum's Razor, Rock U Fest, Saint Louis Music Press, STLMU Music Blog, Topher Music with tags , , , , on July 13, 2013 by 4fingeredhand

     God is changing me. My desires are changing. I’m not going into it in depth and I just want my friends to know that as of last year Ockum’s Razor is more than likely done for good. We had a good run. All of the music is set to free download. Since the winter of last year into this year, I have been able to devote more time to STLMU and Rock U Fest since I have more free time. Honestly, I don’t know if I want to continue doing music in the same fashion that I have. I have been making good on the things that I have dedicated time to, but I need help with some stuff in order for it to advance. Otherwise, I cannot guarantee that I will continue having the drive to do what it is that I have been trying to accomplish. I’m not giving up or quitting, I just don’t have any more to give and it seems that very few people truly care enough to help. Some of the friends that I thought were good friends didn’t turn out to be as understanding or as real as I thought they were. I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but my personal friends keep asking me what is going on and I figure this post is a good way to explain things, in general.

     My friend Greg and I had been working on some good recordings just for posterity of music that we used to write and perform years ago in our teens into our early to mid twenties w/ LTG. We are at a stopping point now because of an issue with work that has to be done to his home and it will be chaotic. We plan to pick up in the fall again. We hung out with Jason, our original drummer when we started and he has been talking about getting a kit again and him doing some drum tracks down the road. The songs that are up now on my Soundcloud account are the most completed, so far. We have worked on others, they just don’t have drums, etc. Those are not uploaded. Our mutual friend Dennis had been offering to do drum tracks here and there so far, but we want to try and have one of our original drummers on them. Chad has gotten re-married and his new wife has been with child and such. His time just would not allow for it given the responsibilities he already has. 

     I am still a part of STL Music Press and the editor has slowed down the frequency of posts until the fall. I have been spending more time trying to accomplish some personal goals and writing. Ever since I moved over a couple of years ago, I have been so focused on things going on around me that I haven’t ever really gotten things together on my end and it is just time for me to take inventory from my perspective. I love hearing from my friends and always make time for the ones that make time for me. I haven’t always been the best at keeping up with them for various reasons, but I’m working on that too. To my friends that I miss, this is for you. Hope all is well. Take care and God bless… Sincerely, C.M.D.

 

 

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