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Basswhooper: Tales of War in the Waste
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in basswhooper's LiveJournal:

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Monday, October 9th, 2017
6:45 pm
Back on the Bicycle
(Taken from Facebook. Much has changed in the months since my last post. In brief, I've toured all over the country and down into Mexico playing with Mark "Porkchop" Holder & MPH, we have a second album coming out on November 3rd, and I'm back on Wellbutrin.)

Heather and I did five mostly relaxed miles at the Riverwalk today, starting at the dam and riding just a little ways past the bridge over Chickamauga Creek, where we stopped and rested for a bit. Michael McDade and James Kilgore tarried with us, but then went on further down the Riverwalk, with Mike offering to bring James home when they were done.

If the truth be told, the reason I didn't push on further is that riding, at first, causes painful blisters on your ass (no joke) if you go from zero riding to riding several miles in one bold leap. So since I don't want to be all crippled in my ass when I hit Clarksdale, Mississippi in three days, she and I knocked it off early.

It's a modest beginning, but I still feel good about it. When I first got into cycling nine years ago, my first ride consisted of me riding two miles around Camp Jordan on a Roadmaster mountain bike from Walmart. I had to stop to catch my breath three times, and I felt like I'd been beaten with a boat paddle from my shoulder blades to my ankles. Over the course of seven or eight months, I upgraded to a nice Giant Bicycles Rincon, lost about 110 lbs., and increased my endurance to the point where I rode thirty miles around Chickamauga Battlefield and maintained an average speed of 14.7 mph. (a damned impressive feat for a 370 lb. man on a friggin' mountain bike).

So yes, my first two rides have been pretty mild affairs. Nevertheless, I'm already in better shape than I was when I got started last time, plus I'm starting on a better bike.

As an added bonus, Mike told us about how a light windbreaker is enough insulation to keep a cyclist warm well down into the low thirties, so unlike last time I may not have to stop riding when cold weather rolls around (assuming global warming even allows cold weather to roll around these parts.) With the added bonus of Wellbutrin (and therefore not being shackled by my customary seasonal affective disorder), I am hopeful that this thing will stick and, combined with my recently-changed eating habits, y'all will start seeing a leaner and much more energetic version of me.
As a preview of what that guy looks like, I present to you a video that was shot seven years ago, when I was still riding the tail-end of my increased stamina and cardiovascular conditioning from cycling. He's a little older and a lot hairier, but he's coming back.


Current Mood: hopeful
Friday, February 10th, 2017
11:35 am
Holy shit, the dream continues to deepen...
As of today, you can pretty much go everywhere you buy CD's and/or mp3's and get my band's album.

In two weeks we go out on the road for six weeks.

The dream gets better and better. It won't be complete until my wife can tour with me at her whim, but that day is coming.


Current Mood: ecstatic
Thursday, January 26th, 2017
5:09 pm
Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
10:16 pm
An open letter to people who are (mostly) not marginalized
Dear (mostly) straight, white, Christian folks, especially (but not limited to) males,

When a person from a marginalized group is talking about the struggles they deal with in our society and you feel the need to pipe up and tell them why they're wrong, follow these steps to the letter:

1- Be quiet. No, I don't care. Be quiet.

2- Listen.

3- Repeat steps One and Two until you no longer feel the need to chime in with some statement of how *your* experience (which, believe it or not, really is different and more privileged than theirs) is the same as theirs/worse than theirs/invalidates theirs/proves them wrong.

This does not come easy for us, as we are used to being treated like King or Queen Shit of Turd Hill, and we're used to our voices being important to the people around us. I've been there, and it was a hard dose of medicine for me to take, too. But if one wants to be part of the solution, then silence and listening are absolutely critical.

Yes, there are bad examples in every group of society, so that one (marginalized person) who (exhibited some behavior that you perceived as negative) cannot be the basis of your thoughts on the entirety of such matters.

Be quiet. Listen. Listen to a number of different sources. You will begin to see an alarming trend of consistency across the vast majority of their stories, and you will (hopefully) come to see that, no, they aren't lying, and yes, these struggles are real, and yes, you have been part of the problem, possibly without even trying to be part of the problem. Again, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's of inestimable importance.

So, to recap:

1- Be quiet.

2- Listen.

3- Repeat as needed.

Then and only then can you begin to be part of the solution (which still usually consists mainly of listening).

In the sincerest spirit of love and desire for the health and well-being of all,


Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
3:24 pm
My Review of "Hardwired to Self-Destruct"
I'm gonna say this right here, in front of God and everybody: "Hardwired to Self-Destruct" is as good as anything Metallica has ever done, up to and including the rightly-lauded "Master of Puppets". What it may (or may not) lack in youthful exuberance and urgency, it more than makes up for in depth and subtlety of songwriting.

For those who've bemoaned Hetfield learning to actually sing as opposed to yelling in key (a sentiment with which I almost agree: the gruff barking vocals of "...And Justice For All" are some of my favorite, but it must be said that Hetfield's singing voice is really quite good), he brings that vocal style back on some of the thrashier numbers on the album.

The guitar work is not as (consistently) blistering fast as pre-Black Album offerings, but when Hetfield does turn on the speed, it's clear that age has not robbed him of anything. I believe "Spit Out the Bone" and "Lords of Summer" may, if anything, be even faster than speed demons such as "Battery" and "Dyer's Eve." And the non-thrashy numbers are consistently very good, tonally and rhythmically interesting descendants of Black Sabbath.

Yes, the production is slick. Yes, there are vocal harmonies. Get over it.
So, there. I said it, and I'd stand on Kerry King's dinner table and say it again.

Fight me.

Current Mood: chipper
Monday, October 17th, 2016
2:41 pm
"I just can't wait to get on the road again..."
As I posted below, I went out on my first real tour last week. Here are some brief thoughts about the towns and shows:

Junker's Tavern in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a real shithole of a bar. I loved it. They had all kinds of cool metal and blues in the jukebox (including James Leg and my bandmate Mark Holder), and a great "dive" atmosphere. The crowd ate us up, and I can't wait to go back.

We stayed that night across the river in Dayton, Kentucky, with our friend (and bad-ass musician) Johnny Walker (formerly of the Soledad Brothers, and also the guy who taught Jack White how to play slide guitar).

The next day we went back into Cincinnati and had Skyline Chili (which is fucking delicious), then back into Dayton, KY, to check out The Lodge Recording Studio. Owned by the aforementioned Johnny Walker, it is in a decommissioned Masonic temple, and it is both cool and weird as fuck.

The New Vintage in Louisville, Kentucky is also a neat venue, slightly reminiscent of the beloved Rhythm n'Brews that used to be here in Chattanooga. We played for four people (it was an odd, last-minute gig without any promotion or opening act), but those four really liked us. That night we slept in Dead Bird Studio through the kindness of a mutual acquaintance. Sleeping on a couch in a studio that is still under construction is pretty cool, I must say.

The Springwater Supper Club in Nashville is yet another cool dive. I had been led to believe that it was the shittiest of shitholes, but apparently the Black Keys decided to shoot a video there, so it has been considerably cleaned and spiffed up. We shared a bill with Ten Foot Polecat (from Boston) and Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen (from Nashville, and friends of ours), and it was a great night. Too bad that nobody who was not in or associated with the bands (or bar staff) was there to see it. Nevertheless, we played well, and we got the added bonus of staying with Doug's friends, Matt and Katie, who are tattooed weirdo artist freaks, and a genuine pleasure to be around.

The next day was a five or six hour drive to Clarksdale, Mississippi. We stayed at the Shack Up Inn, on the site of an old plantation. Most of the lodgings are in old slave quarters.

A quick aside: Heather said, "There's no way I'd stay there! It's bound to be haunted." I replied to her, "Baby, Mississippi feels haunted. Not just the shacks, not just the old plantation, not the town of Clarksdale... the whole fucking state feels as if there are ghosts everywhere watching you," and that's the God's honest truth. That probably deserves a post of its own, but I must say here that being in the Mississippi Delta country was a deeply moving experience.

Mark played a solo gig that night at Red's, which is a legendary juke joint in Clarksdale. We got fed there, and I'm here to tell you that Tennessee barbecue hasn't got SHIT on Mississippi barbecue.

The next day we went to Abe's Barbecue and had pulled pork sandwiches and tamales for breakfast. Then we had our only real leisure time of the entire trip, during which Mark and I sat on the porch of our shack and played guitar. Afterwards we loaded up and played a full-band busking gig inside a bar/restaurant (whose name I cannot recall), but that was friggin' rad. Everyone there got a kick out of us, including the folks who owned the place.

We went back to the Shack Up Inn and I took a little nap before our show that night. The old Cotton Gin building for the plantation has been converted into sleeping quarters and a bar/music venue known as The Chapel. The Chapel is fucking amazing. The building is full of all kinds of random shit, but it's also got quite a bit of historical equipment in there, too, and to be on that elevated stage was almost a spiritual experience.

We played first, followed by Johnny Walker's band "All Seeing Eyes", then Chattanooga's own James Leg (real name: John Myers, and Mark's former bandmate in the Black Diamond Heavies). All of our shows on this tour leading up to that night had us honed to a pretty damned sharp edge, and we blew the place away. They were all familiar to one degree or another with Mark's solo show (acoustic Delta Blues), but they did not expect to see three gorillas who'd learned to play instruments with both power and finesse, and I think we proved to be a delightful surprise to everyone there.

The next morning Mark gave a fan a harmonica lesson on the porch of our shack, then we headed back to Chattanooga, about a six hour drive.

Life on the road is hard. It has its own rhythm that you fall into pretty quickly, and time seems to move very, very slowly, as you're packing a lot of experiences into a very short amount of time. I missed Heather terribly, as she missed me, and I can't lie and say that that part doesn't suck. At the same time, I have seldom felt so very alive, traveling from place to place with people whose company I truly enjoy, to do the thing I was put on this Earth to do.

My days as a maker of sawmills draws VERY fucking nigh.

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
9:12 am
And so begins the next chapter in my Rock n' Roll Fantasy...

(Posting text from the picture for any blind folks using a screen reader to check out my LJ.)

Got all of my shit in one sandbag, ready to hit the road tomorrow with Mark and Doug. This is my first real tour, and I'm both excited and nervous. Mostly excited. Incalculable love and thanks to my wife (for being a musician and understanding), family, friends, and by no means least of all, my bandmates, for helping me do this thing that makes me feel so alive.

Oct 11 Junkers Tavern, Cincinnati Oh
Oct 12 The New Vintage, Louisville, Ky
Oct 13 The Springwater, Nashville, TN
Oct 14 Deep Blues Fest, Clarksdale, Ms
Oct 15 Deep Blues Fest, Clarksdale, Ms
Oct 17 JJs Bohemia, Chattanooga,TN
Oct 20 Druid City Brewery, Tuscaloosa, Al
Oct 21 The Nick, Birmingham Al
Oct 22 Underground Art & Sound, Florence, Al

See you at the rock show.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
6:00 pm
Peter, you big, dead, bastard...
Peter Steele of Type O Negative has been dead for a little over six years now. I still can't bring myself to listen to their final two albums ("Life is Killing Me" and "Dead Again"), because as long as there is TON music out there that I've not yet heard, then it's kinda like Peter isn't gone, and the band is still out there, doing their thing. I know it isn't so, but... I just can't make myself do it.

I listen to their old(er) stuff, and more often than not, it brings tears to my eyes. But still I listen, because nobody really *got it* like Peter Steele did. I used to wonder if being on an antidepressant would take away my love of Type O Negative's music, but that didn't happen. I still listen, and I still cry, and I still love them.

Rest in Peace, Peter; until we meet, I/we remain,

Forever Negative, Negative Forever

Travis Kilgore


Current Mood: sad
Thursday, October 6th, 2016
11:42 am
Monday, October 3rd, 2016
6:24 pm
My daughter wrote this on the occasion of my 42nd birthday
Today is my awesome dad's birthday!!! My dad rocks, so he deserves to have the best birthday ever!!! Dad, we've had so many awesome and fun memories, even though I know you wish you could have been in my life more. To me, though, all that matters is that you've always been there. We've been able to laugh with each other until we cried, and to rock out on stage together, and to just sit and watch either super dumb or super smart shows together. No matter what we're doing, everyone always knows when the two of us get together, because everything gets exponentially louder. As you've pointed out before, we feed off each other's personalities, and as I've pointed out before, our personalities are very similar in many ways. I'm so glad that we've been able to do the things together that we have, and I'm glad that those things have made some great memories. No matter what, I will always tell everyone that my dad is cooler than their dad. I love you, and I hope you have a fantastically awesome day! :D

Current Mood: cheerful
Monday, September 26th, 2016
3:34 pm
Weight loss update, blah blah blah...
509 this morning in boots, which means 499 in my boxers.

I had gotten down to 498 in boxers, then it went back up to 506 for a week or so, then back down today.

I need to try to remember to post my weight every Monday so I can keep a better track of it.
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
4:42 pm
Fanfiction for The Dead Deads, because why the fuck not?
This story is based on the song "We Are Kings", from The Dead Deads' latest album, "For Your Obliteration". My son and I both agreed that the lyrics to the song have a Lovecraftian-horror vibe to them, and this short story was hammered out to sort of explore and expand upon that idea.

I fucking love this band. I've played two or three shows with them (in The Scarlet Love Conspiracy), and seen two or three other shows, and these ladies rock real fuckin' hard. Check 'em out at https://thedeaddeads.com/

We Are Kings

“You’re the new guy?”


“Never pulled guard duty before?”

“No. This is my first time at one of… The Tombs.”

The two men stood in the light of a campfire at the base of a volcano in the southeastern portion of what used to be The United States of America, in a region that the old timers still called “Tennessee”, even though such old place names were by and large irrelevant; leftover relics from The Time Before.

The older man gave the younger a brief visual inspection. His amulets and sigils seemed to be in order, and his signal flare was holstered at his right hip. He extended his hand and said, “I’m Travis, but they call me Metal.”

The younger man shook the offered hand and said, “Clint. Or Psycho. Downtown sent me, told me I’d meet you here.”

“Old Eric?” said Travis. “We’ve been guarding The Tombs of The Kings together for years and years.” As he spoke he saw Clint’s eyes turn towards the entrance to The Tomb, he saw them widen with fear, and he saw them quickly dart to the ground, to the lights of the distant village, to anything other than that barrier between him and one of Them.

“You’re right to be scared.”

“I’m not… I’m…” Clint stammered. “…scared.”

“Yes you are, and there’s no shame in it,” Travis said. “Were you even born before They went to ground?”

“No. Th… They… had gone down four years before I was born,” Clint replied.

“Then all you have is stories, and if you believe them to be true, then those stories are more than enough to scare the hell out of any sane person who *isn’t* within sight of a Tomb, and here we are at its front door step.” Travis’ eyes now went to the titanic mass of granite, concrete, steel, and obsidian, wards and sigils embossed upon it in gold, that sealed the entrance to The Tomb. “Any human who isn’t *terrified* of this thing and what it contains is a goddamn fool.”

Travis sat on one of the chairs by the fire and gestured for Clint to do the same. He took the percolator from the edge of the fire and filled two tin cups with the black, steaming brew, keeping one for himself and offering the other to his companion.

“I don’t drink coffee,” Clint said.

“It’s not coffee. Or, it’s not just coffee. Drink it.”

Clint took the cup offered him and asked, “What is it?”

“It’s got coffee as a base.” Travis said, “You’ll need the caffeine during the long watches of the night. But it’s also got Sorcerer’s Brew in it, too; the Sorcerer’s Guild figures that there will be some sort of psychic disturbance before They rise again… IF They rise again… and we need a little something to expand our consciousness, make us sensitive to that.” He took a sip of his drink, slurping it in order to keep from burning his tongue. “At least, they *hope* there will be some psychic warning. You know. IF…”

Clint sipped his drink and both men went silent. As the brew coursed through their systems, the colors of the campfire intensified, and objects visible in its glow became somehow sharper and clearer, brighter even, despite there being no additional light. Clint blinked at Travis across the fire and said, “What’s in Sorcerer’s Brew?”

Travis took another sip and said, “A number of things, but mostly psilocybin mushrooms.”

Clint looked at him, waiting to see a wink or a hint of a smile to tell him that the older man was yanking his chain, but Travis looked at him evenly, his face impassive.

At last Clint spoke again. “You… you were there for it. What was it like?”

Travis was silent for a long time, staring into the fire and seeming to gather his thoughts. “The Time Before ended at what we used to call Yellowstone National Park. Up until that day, the old nations built and bickered and warred and connived, and people lived their lives against that backdrop, and we all thought that human society was going its merry way, for good or for ill, as it always had since Mesopotamia and the other ancient civilizations, and would continue to do so until we blew ourselves up or an asteroid took us out.”

“So what happened?”

“Leading up to that day, strange things started happening. We had put all our trust in science, and most of humanity, even the religious among us, had completely written off magic as some foolishness from our past. But people started having dreams, lots of people. So many that it couldn’t be brushed off as a handful of crackpots.”

“Dreams?” Clint asked. “What was so unusual about that? People who don’t have even minor visions in their dreams are few and far between.”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t like that before. Dreams were mostly just… dreams. Meaningless. And even now, where most of us do have visions, it still isn’t the same as it was when they first started… some of the details varied, but a great many of us woke with this phrase ringing in our ears:

“I see it now, the future told:
One path decays, one explodes.

“That was unlike anything we were used to, Clint. Then a giant volcanic vent cracked the ground in Yellowstone, and steam from the Earth like man had never seen rose into the sky, as black, bubbling ooze seeped forth from the ground. The sun hit the mist in the sky, and the Rainbeau appeared.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard stories of it.”

“You should have seen it. There was never anything like it before or since. Huge, bright… it almost looked solid, hanging in the sky. News crews in trucks rushed to film it, adding to the number already there to film the vent, the steam, and the ooze, and so the whole world was watching on TV when…”

Travis fell silent, gazing into the fire again, but Clint knew that the older man wasn’t seeing the fire. He was seeing Before.


“They… crawled from the ooze. The Kings. Five of them. Awe-inspiring. Colossal. Terrible.”

He paused, then added, “Beautiful.”

Travis asked, “Do you remember Their names?”

“Of course. I learned the incantation as a child.”

“Good, say it with me.”

The two men began to speak in unison:

“M’tah and B’teh, who kill with voice,
Dai-seh and B’leh, the Thunderers,
And H’llah, the Chaotic One.
Grant us your eternal rest so that we may live in peace.”

Travis looked up at the sky, scanning the stars for the gods only knew what, then continued. “Old. Unimaginably ancient, They rose to their full heights, and a shockwave went through the ground. It shook the whole world, and in that instant, everything was changed. The magic that the dreams hinted at before their coming was unleashed. Humanity had to learn how to cope with that, how to use it, how to survive, at the same time that They walked the Earth, seeming to want nothing more than to kill all that moves.”

“How did they… I mean… What did They look like? You saw them on TV, right?”

“I can’t really describe it. Nobody can. The Guild thinks that our minds can’t really process them, and that seems to be true. But what we could grasp was that their heads seemed to stir the clouds as they walked, they were so gigantic. They were female.”


“Yes, female. All who saw them agreed upon that. And if their dread gaze turned your way, all that could be seen was a smile that would drive you mad and two glowing X’s where their eyes should have been. And *still* They were beautiful. As murderous as they were, They still inspired a great many to follow them.”

“Wait, that really happened!?” Clint said.

“Aye, that it did. Some simply embraced their death, marked X’s over their eyes in imitation of The Kings, and followed them wherever They went. We called them the ‘Dead Corps’, their followers.”

Clint shuddered at the thought. “Why do we call them Kings? You said they were female.”

“They were,” Travis affirmed. “They sang as They destroyed, did you know that? They sang and They pounded and the music and rhythm killed, and it shaped and changed the land, and it leveled cities, and it warped reality. Sometimes They spoke to one another, in voices that were alluring, in a tongue known to no living person. But the only thing They ever said that was understood was to proclaim, ‘We are Kings’ every time They set foot on another continent.”

Clint was silent for a long moment, taking it all in.

“How were They defeated?” he finally asked.

“Defeated?” Travis scoffed. “Is that what they told you?”

“Yes,” Clint said. “We stopped them. Forced them underground and placed the Great Seals upon the entrances to their Tombs.”

“They lied to you. I was there. I saw it.”

“So what happened?”

“Mankind learned to harness the magic They had unleashed. It took decades, but we learned to use it to help us, and as weapons. So the Sorcerers Guild was organized, and wave after wave of trained practitioner was sent against Them. And wave after wave was destroyed. Their incantations, their wards, their spells, their potions, their blasts… none of them had any more effect than mosquito bites upon them. No, we didn’t drive them to ground. They just… went.”


“I’m telling you, one moment They were walking the Earth and destroying, and then each of them gestured to the ground, and so help me five volcanoes sprung forth in areas that had never seen any volcanic activity. Each one had a large chamber at the bottom, and each one of the Kings went into a chamber, and…”

Travis paused for a long time.

“They were scattered about North America, but all the witnesses agree that it happened at the same time on that day. They abandoned the fools who followed them, and They each went into a chamber, turned to look out, and I SWEAR to you they were crying… I would not have believed such a human gesture from being so utterly alien, but They had tears in their eyes. Each one said, “We are Kings,” and with a gesture they sealed their own tombs.”

“Do you understand? I stood just atop that little rise there, and I WATCHED as Dai-Seh, one of The Thunderers, entered that chamber. I heard her say, “We are Kings,” and I watched her make some unfathomable gesture, and lava flowed down over the entrance, and it was done. I saw it.”

“You mean…”

“Yes. Those seals that we watch over every night were put there by us *after* They sealed themselves away. The Sorcerer’s Guild hopes… HOPES, mind you, that they will help keep Them down if They rise again, but what they won’t tell you is that it’s probably just a placebo to help people try to go through their lives without worrying too much about it happening again.”

Clint looked bewildered. “If we can’t really do anything to stop Them, then why do we keep watch?”

“We’re part of the placebo,” Travis said. “If the Guild is right about the Sorcerer’s Brew helping us sense something before They wake again, then we might be able to pop off a flare,” here he patted the flare gun on his own hip,” and serve as an early warning system, but an early warning of The Kings rising is just a little more advance notice of your destruction.” He looked at Clint, his eyes cold, his face hard as stone. “And if we happen to be guarding Them when it happens, then we are the first to die.”

Clint looked horrified. “Do you think They will rise again?”

“I do. I don’t think it will be for untold ages, but I do think They will rise again. I mean, who knows how long They had slumbered beneath Yellowstone? Humans had walked that area for at least eleven thousand years with no knowledge of what lay beneath their feet, and I dearly hope that whatever unknown cycle They adhere to gives us that much more time again. Maybe by then humanity will be strong enough to stand against them, rather than scurrying and hiding to survive as we did this time.”

Travis poured himself another cup of brew and did the same for Clint, both men having sipped them dry over the course of the tale. “I’ll tell you what else I think, since it’s just you and I here.”

“What’s that?”

“I don’t really believe eleven thousand years of preparation will make a difference. I don’t believe eleven million years of preparation will make a difference. Whatever cadence They march to, this world belongs to them, and when it is time, They *will* kill everything on the planet.”

He looked at the seal on the Tomb. “This world is theirs. They are Kings.”

Current Mood: sick
Friday, September 23rd, 2016
9:26 am
Bisexual Visibility Day
Today is Bisexual Visibility Day.

I am in a monogamous heterosexual marriage, but that changes my orientation no more than it changes the pattern of my baldness. Attraction to more than one gender* is as much a part who and what I am as is my height and eye color, and I am proud to be known thusly.

If you are not able to be out, know that I understand. I've been there. I know how that feels, and I want you to know that I love you. I am able to be out, and I'm proud to stand up on your behalf and proclaim to society, "We are here. This is who we are. We are your friends and your family, and we're regular folks, just like you."
I'd like to encourage all of my openly bisexual* friends and family to likewise stand up today and be noticed. Bisexual erasure is a real thing, but we cannot be erased, and those of us who are/can be out may serve as beacons of hope for those who are being marginalized or who cannot be out.

My name is Travis Kilgore. I am proud to be bisexual*, and I love all of you, my bisexual* brothers and sisters.
*Although they are not the same thing, for the purposes of this post only I am using "bisexual" to include "pansexual" as well. I actually identify as pansexual, but bisexual is close enough to the truth and seems to be somewhat easier for many folks to understand.

Current Mood: optimistic
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
8:40 pm
Here I am again; let's see how much farther this goes...
508 in boots this morning, which means I'm 498 in my boxers.

Boom, motherfucker. Under 500 for the first time in a couple of years. Now to get out of the 400 pound club.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, August 29th, 2016
4:15 pm
So Atkins. Much Update. Wow.
I'm down from 548 in boots to 519 in boots, in thirteen days. That puts me at 509 in my boxers, and I *should* be able to drop below the 500 lb. threshold by next Monday.

This past week I switched from canned sardines for breakfast and lunch to frozen 1/4 lb. burger patties, mainly because I was sardined the fuck out. I also ate the same patties for dinner most days, and my weight loss dropped from twenty pounds to nine. Turns out that ground beef has something near three times the calories of ground turkey. I'm not sure if that was a factor, but I'm planning on hitting the grocery store tonight and stocking up on a shitload of canned tuna (which I LURVE) and more ground turkey. I'm gonna do tuna for breakfast and lunch, then back to ground turkey for dinner, and see how that affects the scales come Monday morning.

Current Mood: optimistic
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
9:21 pm
Trying yet again...
During the long drive home from Memphis after a gig, Mark and I talked long and long about a great many things. After hearing my tales of repeatedly failing after having some sort of significant weight loss (invariably due to depression jumping up and biting me on the ass), he advised me to get a prescription for an antidepressant before I try anything else with regards to my weight and health.

So I did. I'm on Wellbutrin now, and it's alarming how it's mellowed me out. I'm not numb, not at all; I'm just... not out of control, with regards to anger and depression.

Since that is working, I decided to give my Kilgore Hardcore Atkins another whirl, having lost about 130 lbs. in six months many years ago. In one week I've lost twenty pounds, dropping from 548 (in work attire and boots, all of which adds ten pounds) to 528 in boots.

Between not being depressed all the time (and therefore not comfort eating) and what seems to be a possible slight suppression of my appetite, I've gotten even better results this week than ever I did before.

Let us all hope that, with the aid of the Wellbutrin, the coming winter does not find be again besieged by seasonal affective disorder, and MAYBE I can keep up my momentum, stay alive for my wife and family, and be a lean, mean, rock and roll ass-kicking machine out on the road.

Current Mood: cautiously optimistic
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
5:53 pm
...in which a dream has come true.
Sometime in 2009 I met a guy named Mark "Porkchop" Holder at Tremont Tavern's open mic here in Chattanooga. He'd just finished playing a pretty killer set*, and I walked up to him and said, "So you're the guy I've been mistaken for over the past several years." (We don't really look alike, Mark and I; I'm about six inches taller and at least 250 lbs. heavier, plus he wears glasses and I do not. But I guess people see "fat guy with a guitar", we apparently all look the same.) Thus was born a long-lasting friendship that turned into a pretty satisfying musical collaboration, too.

We played several shows in Chattanooga (along with a couple of different drummers) as Mark Holder and the Co-Defendants (look up that band name along with "My Black Name" on YouTube), including one notable gig in which we opened for living legend T-Model Ford at JJ's Bohemia. But it was never anything serious, just for fun, and Mark ended up getting married and moving first to Texas, and then to California.

For a good three years he pretty much fell off the face of the Earth. His musician friends in Chattanooga worried about him and missed him, but we knew that when he was ready, he'd resurface.

Late in 2015 I got a text from a number I did not recognize, with an area code that, when Googled, said "Chico, California," and it said, "I'm trying to reach my friend, Travis Kilgore. Is this still his number?"

I called him and for the first time in years spoke to my friend. Laughs were had, tears were shed, and amongst other things, Mark said, "Remember all that music I played in Chattanooga? That was just me screwing around. I'm coming home, and this time we're doing the thing for real, T."

It took a little while, but he returned home in March of this year. Shortly thereafter we started practicing with Doug Bales, drummer for local bands Uncle Lightnin' and The Unsatisfied, becoming a band that we call Mark "Porkchop" Holder and MPH. In April, I believe it was, we went into Tiny Buzz Studios and recorded what is to be our debut album, "Let it Slide". In June, we went to Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Georgia, to have the record mixed by none other than Dave Barbe**, which was an incredible experience of its own.

We shopped the record around to several different labels, one in France and a couple here in the states, but in the end it was picked up by Alive Natural Sound Records, a fairly large label here in the US which has both domestic AND European distribution.

And so it was that today, in the office of Millard Ramsey, Attorney at Law, Mark, Doug, and I signed a contract with the aforementioned label.

Today, I became a signed recording artist.

I'll likely post more in the near future about some of the ins and outs of what is now to come, but I'm just putting this here for posterity.

I am a signed recording artist.

Holy shit.
*The open mic at Tremont Tavern is not your normal "amateur hour" that you might expect from an open mic. You're apt to see highly talented locals as well as local-based, touring, professional musicians, playing covers that they like (but don't get to play during their shows) or trying out new material that they've written. The place really was the hub for much of Chattanooga's music scene for a good five years, and still is to a certain degree.

**You may or may not recognize his name right away, but he is a very big deal amongst people who pay attention to album credits. Look him up on Wikipedia.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
10:07 am
The perils of being a man of integrity...
Here's what pisses me off about social media...

No, it isn't the mangling of the King's English. No, it isn't the overall level of ignorance (often willful) that people put on display for the whole world to see.

What pisses me off is the cowardice people exhibit. They'll get online knowing that they can say pretty much whatever they please because they will probably not suffer any consequences from their statements. Yes, you occasionally see some employee getting fired from their job after they've posted some vile, racist shit, and that's all well and good. But I'm talking about the "keyboard cowboys" and "internet tough guys" who'll post status updates or comments on other posts, talking more shit than a little bit, and doing it because they know that nobody will be able to punch them in the fucking mouth through the internet.

THAT'S what bothers me. People who wouldn't bust a grape in a food fight spouting off at the mouth (or at the fingertips, rather) as if they were some sort of Billy-Bad-Ass, when in person they wouldn't say shit if they had a mouthful.

Now please understand that I am *not* talking about those who have been rendered voiceless in society using the internet to finally be heard; no, that is a wonderful thing, and it pleases me to no end to see marginalized people making their thoughts known. I'm talking about the people (mostly guys, it seems) who want to hurl insults at people, say racist shit, and act like they're King Shit of Turd Hill, knowing that they can't get their ass whipped for their behavior.

I don't really have a good conclusion for this post. I would exhort people to not say things on FaceTwittBox that they would not say to someone face-to-face, but I think that such woulds would fall on deaf ears among those who are inclined to talk shit behind their shield of internet safety.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, July 21st, 2016
3:06 pm
"Rover. Wand'rer. Nomad. Vagabond. Call me what you will."
I'm standing on the edge of something very important, and I must admit that part of me is terrified.

Today my friends and bandmates in Mark "Porkchop" Holder & MPH and I hit the road to play The Legendary Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor tonight, and a club in Memphis tomorrow night. A two night jaunt to one end of Tennessee and back. Metallica's "Wherever I may Roam" world tour it ain't, but nonetheless it is to be my first experience "on the road" as a musician.

We're all hoping (and optimistic) that things will continue to go well with the band, and that I'll be able to leave my factory job within a few months. As much as that appeals to me, the responsible, adult, family man in me is nervous about leaving something that it familiar and steady. But I'll be dead in fifty years or so, and I'd really like to live before that happens.

So here I go.

It must be said, and in fact it cannot be said enough, that none of this would be possible without the love and support of my wife, Heather. She is an artist in her own right, and she understands. For that I am grateful beyond measure and in her debt forever.

"And the road becomes my bride..."

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
10:34 am
I hate Donald Trump.

There, I said it.

I hate him personally, for what he has brought to light about so many of my fellow Americans. I hate him for the friendships and familial relations I have severed because of what he has brought to light about people whom I love.

I hate him personally, for bringing to light in me another personal failure, for highlighting my inability to remain philosophical about him and so many other things.

I can't bring myself to wish death upon him, even in the midst of my hatred. I just wish he'd never showed up on anyone's radar, remaining just another rich cocksucker we never knew.




Whether he wins the election or not, we have all lost. Singly and severally, we have all lost because of him.

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