Wednesday, July 30, 2008

red mountain music video campaign, part 3

I'm still in new york. here's another video, again edited by clint wells. this one featuring shane. officially the funniest person I know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

red mountain music video campaign, part 2

I'm in new york this week, clint has been working on these videos. enjoy:

red mountain music video campaign

reason number 412 why I love clint wells:

Friday, July 25, 2008

somebody needs to tell the kids that when they grow up they will do drugs

when I was a kid all I ever heard was "don't do drugs". what nobody ever told me was that everybody actually did drugs when they got older.

It’s true. everybody does drugs.

and I know right now you are thinking, “BTM not true. lots of people don’t do drugs. me for example, no drugs.”

well you are a liar and you not only probably sniff drugs right into your noseholes, you also probably deal drugs at your neighborhood swimming pool.

like, a lot of drugs.

so I've decided, somebody should start telling the kids this.

I have a friend who works for the government and from time to time goes to schools to talk to children about good things like books and food pyramids and safe sex and how good america is. I asked him if while he was at it, if he'd also tell the kids that everybody does drugs.

“no brian I will not tell the kids that everybody does drugs.”

“I’m not asking you to tell them to do drugs. You can keep telling the kids 'don’t do drugs' like I use to read on the inside of my candy boxes – but maybe just add an addendum to what you say where you mention that when they get older they will probably use drugs just like everybody else does.”

“brian, everybody does not do drugs.”

“yes they do.”

I knew it was true.

Monday, July 21, 2008

the hope that somehow gets passed around

"and yet the comfort somehow gets passed around: a few words that are never forgotten, a note in the mail, a look, a touch, a pat, a hug, a kind of waiting with, a kind of standing by, to the end. Once in a while we hear it sung out in a hymn, when every throat seems suddenly widened with love and common language."

-Wendell Berry, from the novel: Hannah Coulter

Those who know me well know that as much as I love making music, and as much as I love producing records and playing in bands – that I actually am very uncomfortable playing when asked, especially in intimate social settings. I clam up. My heart rate spikes, I feel the blood running to my face, and on the rare occasion when I do actually play for people, I never play very well. it’s like my hands are in chains. My thoughts are racing. I’m not free. I’m just playing because I was asked to play. It is something about myself that I really do not understand, and the older I get, the worse it gets.

Those who know me well also, even though they know how uncomfortable it makes me, from time to time ask me to play for them. and in the past weeks, some friends have gathered at my house on a couple of occasions for the odd activity of singing songs together. It makes for an awkward, delightful, eerie evening. One where people suggest songs and we somehow get through them, realizing that something way bigger than any of us is taking place.

Last night was one of those nights. Our friend Cheryl, who recently lost her husband Dewayne, was the guest of honor, the one we all were gathered around. Nobody said it. it didn’t need to be said. But it was true. And so we had a meal together, and we had wine, and we talked for a long time, and then we went to the piano and my face was red and sweaty and my hands were locked and I told everybody how awkward the music was, but that it was all I could do, and we sang songs and we wept and we sang some more.

at one point brooke looked at me and she said, "Brian, play..." and I sort of looked around the room at the faces of those who were with me and said, "I can't."

and then we sang some more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

the night I met coulter

friday night, cal came to visit with his family.  we looked at my neighbor's garden and ate dinner together and the evening ended with the music of sun kil moon, and playing with the children on the floor.  and as much as I really did not intend to take any pictures, I couldn't resist when I saw what kind of light was hitting the children's faces.  and I met coulter.  he's almost a year old and I've been around him since he was born, but his personality is just coming out, and he's a beautiful boy.

and the video at the bottom, it's of bain.  I think we did that for about 20 minutes.

oh, and the last five photos were taken by heather morris. heather ends up taking a lot of photos that make it to this blog, actually.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the shulls

"you really just have no idea how much you are going to love your kids"

that's what jared said to me as he watched his kids play, a huge smile stretched across his face, and as he bent down and picked up his sons and kissed them.

jared's been a good friend for a long time. he's a fantastic musician, and an emmy award winning producer. his wife, mohana, is a true chilean princess, and she always makes me smile, and to hear her talk is to listen to a woman sing. it was a pleasure to visit and take a few pictures.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

brett = really good rollerblader

a lot of people don't really rollerblade anymore. this is because rollerblades cause cancer (more on that later). but not brett. brett loves to rollerblade almost as much as he loves to train his dogs to undress my wife (more on that later as well), and for as long as I have known him, he has been rollerblading.

BTM, that's ridiculous. roller blades don't cause cancer. that's what you're thinking right now. I know it. it's okay. you can say it.

one time brett was rollerblading through a park and he hit a tree. and you know what happened? he bled everywhere. that's right. even his eyeballs were bleeding. when we finally got to him it looked like a tree had just eaten his face and legs, and we were pulling bark out of his earholes and everything. it was crazy. I actually licked some sap out of his armpits. I know. gross. I thought so too. I don't even really like sap.

rollerblades have 4 wheels, and they strap onto your feet, and they allow you to easily glide over pavement while simultaneously announcing to the world that you hate yourself and that when you go home you will probably drink a big glass of gasoline.

rollerblades also are kind of like shoes, with wheels, except instead of like regular shoes, which allow you to walk and kick and run and dance like a regular human being, roller blades hurt your feet and encourage you to pretend that you are awesome, like mel gibson, who is actually not very awesome at all anymore. 

rollerblades are sometimes worn with knee pads, and elbow pads, and wrist pads, and a bicycle helmet. and all combined this uniform suggests to the world that you are fully prepared and actually requesting to have your ass kicked, by 6 year olds, as soon as possible. I saw this happen once. it was awesome. the 6 year olds actually threw the bleeding rollerblader into a raging river and watched, laughing and clapping, as children often do, as the heavy rollerblades dropped the tortured rollerblader to his death at the bottom of the water.

one time someone threw a rollerblade at my face and knocked out one of my teeth. I caught my tooth in my hand, threw it back and killed the guy. true story.

another time it rained rollerblades. it was like hail, except it was rollerblades, falling from the sky. at first everybody was like "oh my god rollerblades are raining from the sky this is SO crazy." but then everybody got real excited about it and was totally like "FREE ROLLERBLADES!"

we were all excited until we remembered how much rollerblades suck and then we totally hated the sky again. I shook my fist and clenched my teeth and then I stabbed a rollerblader.

if I had a pair of really good rollerblades, I would set them on fire. and then I would set that fire on fire. think about THAT.

sometimes rollerblades come with extra wheels. or maybe they are replacement wheels. but the thing about those wheels is, nobody uses them for rollerblading. they use them for food. because that's how miserable everybody is after they buy rollerblades.

one time I saw a rollerblader who was so depressed that he actually ate his feet off. it took him a long time, and I got bored watching.

people say rollerblading is like ice skating. but that is a lie. ice skating is way better. one time when I was in college I totally went ice skating and it was one of the best days of my entire life. another time in college I went rollerblading and I got beat up by the swim team. no joke.

the only thing worse than rollerblading is wearing a fanny pack. and the only thing worse than that is wearing a fanny pack while roller blading, which is kind of like dropping your head inside a toilet and then tasting the plumbing with your tongue. I know. gross. that's one of the reasons I never wear a fanny pack. or rollerblade.

if I was a ninja, I would kill all the rollerbladers with swift kicks.

people say rollerblading is good exercise. well, I say that good exercise is running 7 marathons at once, NOT rollerblading.

people also say that you shouldn't drink and drive. people say all sorts of things.

now I know what you're thinking. what's this about brett training his dog to undress your wife? well, I'm not going to talk about that right now. but it's true.

Friday, July 11, 2008

atlanta photo shoot, part II

I was back in atlanta this week. shooting a lot of pictures for an upcoming book, which should be out in two months. the goal was to try and capture the feeling of some of the poorer neighborhoods just outside of the city. here is a sample of the photos:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

conversation with brooke

BTM: I don't believe the music I make.
Brooke: you keep saying that.
BTM: do you think it's not true?
Brooke: if it's true, why do you play songs you don't believe in every night of your life?

end conversation

Sunday, July 6, 2008

wild sweet orange

one of the many reasons to love music, and to love making music in birmingham.

birmingham's own wild sweet orange, on letterman just a few days ago.

wish them all the best, glad these guys are my friends...

Friday, July 4, 2008

july 4

today I spent time with good friends. I remembered once again how thankful I am for children.

these pictures were all taken with my small point and shoot camera. last two photos taken by heather morris.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

BTM on the news

video link

sometimes I just need to be still.

I have a few friends – one in particular – who subtly encourage me to be more comfortable with the fact that I really need to be still. I feel torn because I like to go to parties and see people and laugh with people and sing with people and talk about how confused and scared we all are. And I feel compelled to spend a lot of time with people. I live for long nights, cool breezes, stiff drinks, hard conversations. I have a lot of truly beautiful friendships and people I care about, and I am thankful for that.

And I feel like a lot of people need me and that is probably not even very true but sometimes I feel like I’m carrying this heavy load and all I want to do is lay down underneath it, and hope for rain.

And I make this music that I don’t even believe in, and the way it affects people strikes me somewhere deep inside and I don’t know what to do with that. It makes me feel really alone. And I feel very misunderstood and I realize that is mostly my fault. And part of me wants to just totally blow all that up and just let people be disappointed in me.

I quit my job a few weeks ago, sort of. I’ve been working in economic development for several years now – it started when brooke was in grad school and I had to take on extra work to get her through school – I was with the chamber of commerce, and the past 6 months I’ve been working out in shelby county. It’s actually a really good job / career path, and I guess I’m kind of good at it, which surprises me, but I’ve had some tremendous opportunities come my way in recent months and I have to go for it. so I’m now working part time for the county, and I have more time to pursue my other interests. ultimately, I’m pursuing self-employment, which has been my goal from the beginning.

And I have more time to live my life. I’m going to try to not work so much.

I’ve been getting a lot of work as a photographer lately. Like, a lot. I’m actually kind of angry about that. Actually, I think I’m really angry about that. I’ve told a few people about it but I feel weird talking about it.

The thing about me is, I’m not a photographer. A friend told me recently that the reason people probably like my photography as much as they do is because I don’t hide behind it so much. that since I don’t care about it as much (as my music) that there is a freeness to it that translates a little easier to people.

I guess that’s all probably true. But it still makes me angry.

maybe I’ll write more about this later.