RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, January 22

JJ Krupert Jan 2018 number five "looking for a home"


I get far less hyped about EPIC NEW RELEASES that I’m not supposed to miss than I do all these various random ass collections that come out nowadays, where the crate diggers from ten years ago have become the collection makers trying to capitalize a dollar off someone else’s work by having the rights to be wrong and throwing together a sick themed collection from a defunct label/genre/regional musical tradition/nation beyond our own copyright laws/whatever the fuck. I don’t really fret the fact these people are digital era version of shitty record label producers taking advantage of the artists because haha I don’t buy shit, I just download it for free. Am I taking advantage too? Well, if you believe in capitalism, yes, but I don’t, and I doubt a batch of obscure artists (obscure due to exploitation in the first place, perhaps) if presented with the fact they could get 34 cents from me buying something that I wouldn’t buy if I had to buy thus no 34 cents, or know I’m enjoying the fuck out of a song in my shitty fucking rural Virginia hellhole life, I’d imagine all real Natural Born Artists would prefer the second. I know for me personally somebody saying, “Hey, when I was going through some real shit two years back, your writing helped me get through it,” means way more than my bank account getting hit with the $12.74 deposit from some sudden Amazon sonnet spending spree somebody went on somewhere or another. But yeah, hopefully the second leads to the first, but let’s be honest, there is no method nor meritocracy involved here, despite what algorithmic philosophies try to tell us, so I just scatter thoughtseed in a thousand directions and hope it bears as much fruit as possible.
Often times these collections will bear a heavy load of forgettable regurgitated songs, but with a couple hidden gems within that mix. And sometimes in the middle of those few hidden gems is a song that is just one of the most beautiful and amazing songs that ever fucking existed, on “Freebird” level, on “Juicy” level, on “play this shit at my funeral when y’all having a bonfire and getting drunk afterwards” level. And that’s exactly what happened with the random ass Back to the River: More Southern Soul Stories collection I absconded from digital guts at some point. “Looking for a Home” rose to the top of the collection as the most worthwhile track, and then as real life turned to shit, it became solace in the madness, and in fact an epic track that perfectly soundtracked real life experiences, as I wandered the railroad tracks along the James River, searching for any sign of future light to penetrate the crushing darkness that had become full reality. “Looking for a Home” and Little Buster’s sad wailing is now piece and part of me walking the Rivanna subdivision between mile marker 72 and 68 by the Shores yard, along the James River, mullein sprouting in creosote heavy patches alongside old tracks, fresh gravel laid down as Buckingham Branch attempts to maintain their fucking shit, me just walking along, sad as fuck, hopeless, depressed, but feeling just an atomic sliver better with each Little Buster-esque “wo-ah-o-ah-ooooo…” And that is the point of fucking art for Natural Born Artists. (And it’s not even a point probably, more likely a smudge, towards the positive, on some giant unseen metaphysical universal ledger.)

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