I’m Tied to Him or Him to Me, Depending Who You Ask
Perception is an interesting thing; paradoxical by nature, it can be completely misguided yet hold absolute truth. I remember trying to deal with “the problem of perception” many years ago, when my father explained to me that a person’s perception is more important than actual truth. That people are deluded often, and to them (and me) what is perceived as real is actually more real than anything else. It seems like a flaw in our nature, but it is unavoidable. Once something is understood a certain way, whether it is or it isn’t that “way”, it becomes a challenge to shift that perception. The resulting “fixed” perception, in turn, becomes “reality.”
Truth is an interesting thing; pure by nature, it can be completely misconstrued by flawed understanding, therefore rendering our belief systems as little more than indulgent schemas for futile fantasy. After all, one seldom wants to hear what they don’t want to believe, even (especially) if it’s true. More often than not, this tactic is a function of self-preservation and protection; perhaps it’s even instinctive. It is often much easier to believe what is perceived (seeing is believing) than what is known… furthering the disconnect and miscommunication between mind and heart, between science and religion, between knowledge and belief, etc.
You might be asking yourself, “What the hell does any of this mumbo jumbo have to do with a rock and roll show?” Superficially, it might seem like they have nothing to do with each other, but if you peel away the surface layers of what is perceived, to look at the kernel of truth in the center, it will become obvious that everything is connected and interconnected and music is an echo of the rhythm of our times. The disconnect between our beliefs and our world relate to the state of health in ourselves, our relationships, and moreover our society. If one aspect is sick, then all aspects are sick, and there are few things that can heal unequivocally—but music is surely one of them. So if music is this proverbial “healing salve”, then it too must be affected by the upheaval, the unrest, the uncomfortable, the unspoken—all facets of the unthinkable.
I urge you to proceed, unafraid, to as many shows as possible, especially if they are Ellis Ashbrook shows. Don’t let your perceptions about the state of things in the band, the relationships you may have had in the scene—both collective and individual—alter the course of the future, as things are seldom what they seem, and just as the world is being taken away from us, we must hold on. We must do the same with each other, regardless of who is on stage, and press forward into the unsure, the unknown; linked arms and smiling-ready for what lies next. And when we are hit by shrapnel or fallout, music heals—always.
Stay tuned for more show/album announcements forthcoming… may the 4th be with you.
…And also with you
Tuesday, February 7, 2017: ARLENE’S GROCERY, New York, NY
Set: Peripheral Declination, Accelerator, Good Time Blues, When Will This End?, On, Therefore However and So Forth
Before GTB there was some deliberation regarding what to play, and someone from the audience yelled “Stick to the Setlist”, to which John responded, “The setlist was abandoned 20 minutes ago.”
Before GTB, John took a minute to introduce new band member, Dan Keller on Guitar/Keys/Vocals
Prior to the jam in GTB, John introduced everyone in the band, including himself, and stated “We are Ellis Ashbrook from Brooklyn, NY”
With “Red” quotes from John
Prior to WWTE? there was a Cat Song request from the audience, to which John responded under his breath on mic, “We don’t know that one yet.”
Prior to On, there was extended banter from John thanking the universe for “reuniting us with our old girlfriend Arlene for this Tuesday night booty call.”
Prior to Therefore, there was more Tuesday night booty call banter, including the proclamation that Tuesday Night Booty Call was the official show name, from John.