i have not been blogging so much. if i blog less i should make them beefier i think. there was a time that i blogged almost every day, in the days before the word “blog” existed, the “online journal” as we called it was terribly exciting. there were only a handful of bands doing it, a very small number of people of any sort doing it. my original drummer sam dobrozsi and i were computer geeks from a young age, and i attribute a great deal of our early success as a band to our savviness (nerdiness). Before the internet, there were local bulletin board systems or “BBS’s”. you could dial-up a BBS with your computer, and leave messages for other people who had dialed-up to read. our friend mariano (now a graduate of MIT who makes robots) ran one of these BBS’s from his amiga computer at his parents’ house. It was exclusively for our group of friends, half of whom would later join July For Kings, the other half would go on to become psychologists, writers, robotics engineers. The BBS was called “Nexus Flux”, literally interconnected change. It was 1994; we were fourteen years old. I like telling this story.

A short time later the internet started and we had a band called SWIM. We were one of the first local bands, if not THE first local band in Middletown Ohio to have an internet website. At the time, if you wanted to go online and see websites, your choices were very limited. For the few people in our community who began getting interested in this, our website, then swimband.com became a popular and dynamic place to hang out. There was no social networking–only message boards, which were an extension of the BBS’s so popular before the rise of the internet. At the time, if you wanted to meet people and socialize, you did it through sites that related to something you were interested in. swimband.com, and later julyforkings.com saw a lot of users, many of whom formed lifelong friendships and even marriages. this is still a source of great pride for me, that our music bought people together in such a direct way.

Now I have new friends and new band members but I also have all the same friends that I did when I was twelve. This is highly unusual and we remind each other frequently. Our group friendship has taken on a kind of mythic, Steven King’s Stand By Me quality in our minds. In a way it is as if we shared all the core values there were to share, even at that age, although we couldn’t have expressed it in words or imagined where our lives would take us.

for some reason all my post-utopian ideas about the internet are tied in my mind to that period of adolescent geekiness i shared with my close friends.

now i kind of feel like blogging is pointless. there is such a cacophony of ideas and slander and advertisements that the internet has turned into something of a great bathroom wall–nonsense, meaningless rabble with the occasional good joke or insight. although i am just as addicted to googling things and facebook as anyone, i just feel overwhelmed about trying to make a noise. i am a fruit fly rooting for myself in a football stadium the size of mars. this is the plight of the singer/songwriter right now, or any mostly unknown artist in any field. so instead of buzzing aimlessly, i am content to retreat to my corner of earth to focus on my crafts.

i spent a good deal of the summer working on music, first the release of July For Kings’s monochrome and then the basic recording for an upcoming solo album. now i am back in school at NKU still working on a bachelor of fine arts in painting. i am really going to focus on my painting for the next few months, and then return to the solo album during winter break. some of the paintings will tie into the album. hopefully i can complete everything in the winter. if there is one thing i am good at, it’s being alone for many hours and focusing on a creative task. unfortunately i feel less and less good at being able to properly exploit my talents and sell myself to the world. with that said, it is the work i truly love; the recognition has to come second. i think everything happens in phases though, and this is a good time to just do what i do best and really refine my crafts. despite this i am continually amazed at the amount of people who continue to be interested in my music despite any strong effort or budget to promote it! i feel very fortunate, and i always have.

in other news, i’m in Indianapolis right now sitting in a grassy vacant lot. I just watched a mosquito bite me twice without killing it, just to see if i could do it. It was uncomfortable to watch, seeing her hind legs raise as she drove her spike into my skin. If i was a centimeter tall and had an exoskeleton maybe it would have been sexy. But as it is, my hand itches in two places constantly and I am slightly regretting the decision.

i am waiting for david mead to play. i also want to ask him about what his life is like. i could easily have gone that route instead of going back to school. he puts out solo albums which are frequently sparse and piano/acoustic based (and quite beautiful lyrically and melodically), and travels the country almost constantly, either by himself or with one other guy. i think it is smart for me to get a degree and possibly grad school now, so that i have more options. although i feel the pull of music and the road constantly. i think as long as i am expressing myself i am generally happy. summers and winter breaks will have to suffice for recording for now. although you would be surprised how much music i can record in that time! i write a few things a week even when i must paint most of the time. i have my own painting studio now. it’s cozy.

i am reading a book called the Tao of Physics. it is about the links between eastern mysticism and modern physics. nexus flux? as it turns out, according to the most modern science and centuries of sages, everything is just energy and we are all interconnected- unconscious participants in a great, beautiful, cosmic dance. neat.

that’s the update for now. please keep in touch. thank you for your support and friendship
i look forward to making more stuff for you
joe