What if?

I did a vlog. I’m posting it on this blog. I don’t do these all that often, but hey, it’s been a while, so here it is:

(Also, thanks to everyone who came to the Guitar Pull on Tuesday. I had a great time, and I hope you did too. Much love.)

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Sept. 20, 2022 (tomorrow!) – Guitar Pull

Hey, hi, hello, greetings.

I will be joining Stephanie Jeck and Layne Weldon on the Cloverdale Playhouse stage tomorrow for the September 2022 edition of the Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull.

I’m planning on performing some stuff I haven’t recorded/released yet, so come get a taste of some new songs, a couple of drinks, and some stories and music at one of the best places around.

And if you haven’t seen the documentary about the history of this event, it’s available on Amazon and Tubi.

I hope to see you tomorrow evening!

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That was a beautiful moment

So here’s one of those “I have a lot of thoughts going on in my head, so let’s start typing and see if it turns into something that may be meaningful to someone.” Or something like that.

I just read an article about the concept of “filling the well” – basically, remembering moments of happiness, listening to music you love, dancing, observing others experiencing joy, and taking all of those things to fill your own well so that you can spread kindness to others.

As the ol’ saying goes: you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to fill your own cup, replenish your energy. #FindTheBeautyInTheWorld, if you will.

I recently attended an art event, and as I was walking to the entrance, a lady recognized me. She grew up down the street from and went to school with my mom (I sure do miss her.) She was talking about all the music and film projects I’m involved with and how my mom would have been so proud. Anyone who knew her knew that my mother was my biggest fan, and it was nice to hear her remembered so fondly by someone who knew her most of her life.

That was a beautiful moment.

I recently got to spend some time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. At one point during our adventures, I thought about how neither of us imagined that we’d be in that particular moment eight or nine years ago when we met. I thought about how we met through someone that neither of us remained friends with, but our friendship stayed intact and grew. I looked back over the years, thinking about all the dots that connected to get us to that particular place in time.

That was a beautiful moment.

This morning, a phrase popped up in my head, out of nowhere, that was said by a dear friend of mine probably 15 or so years ago. It was funny to me; I smiled. And she may never read this or even know that I’m referencing her, but that moment from that long ago still can bring a smile to my face.

That was a beautiful moment.

I’ve had long conversations with a few close friends recently about all kinds of deep subjects and recent experiences, and one thing I’ve mentioned to them is: I don’t feel like the same person I was back in June. I’m on some kind of journey. I’m trying to figure out who I am. It’s an ongoing thing, and I hope this Josh version 3.0 will stick around for a while.

I still struggle. I still have depressive episodes. After a lifetime of suppressing emotions, I’m learning more about the fact that I’m an emotional being (very… apparently… who knew?) But as I’ve mentioned before, I have a wonderful network of friends and a great therapist who accept and encourage me, even if they don’t necessarily subscribe to the new “hippie-shit” I’ve been examining lately. [Smiley face emoji would go here.]

And in all of this, I feel like I have an awareness or perspective that I didn’t have before. I’ve tried to slow down and focus on what’s important, what’s worth my energy. It’s a process. It’s a journey. And I don’t have answers (sorry if you got this far thinking I was going to provide some.) I have questions, I have feelings, I have thoughts, and I’m examining and testing a whole lot of stuff.

So if there’s anything to kind of wrap all of this up, maybe it’s a reminder to take a second to think about a beautiful moment. Savor it. Feel it. And refill your cup so that you can spread some kindness to another person. There are a lot of people out there hurting, and maybe you can help by just being the kind, thoughtful, authentic person that you are.

Find the beauty in the world. Thanks for reading. Much love.

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The Bleak (special ‘addition’)

A month ago, Towering Above released our new album The Bleak to streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, etc.) but now there is a special “addition” of the album available on Bandcamp.

The 13-track special edition contains some demos and a different mix/version of the song “Lake City Quiet Pills.”

I’m #JustTheDrummer of course, but Towering Above guitarist J. Slickwood had this to say:

I think it’s like pulling the curtain back. When a band releases a demo you aren’t getting a clean studio product. You’re hearing this basic version of a song, the skeleton, sometimes with mistakes still intact. Instrumentals, or testing vocal melody and harmony. This was music the band recorded on their own to prep for the studio, not really for everyone to hear. So even though it’s rough, you can hear how songs progress from the band room to the studio.

We hope you’re enjoying the new album and the music video trilogy. Ooh, also, you can find some Towering Above shirts here.

Thanks for listening, reading, supporting, and everything else. Much love!

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‘…their virtues make them vulnerable…’

My buddy Zach posted the following quote on Facebook this morning, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since:

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway

There are pieces of it that remind me of the ‘tortured artist’ theme, and that made me think of something my buddy Shane said a few years ago:

“Creative people beat themselves up a lot… we are sick individuals. Nothing is ever good enough. There’s never enough time… We’re super sensitive because we have to absorb the world’s pain in order to make something we think is beautiful.”

When reading the Hemingway quote, I searched for it to see what came up, and I found a blog post that talks about it. It’s my first time coming across that blog, but there were a couple of things said in there that stood out:

“Because even when the best people are wounded or destroyed, the story doesn’t end there. Their sensitivity, courage, diligence and sacrifice live on, a legacy to all who were blessed to know them.”

and…

“We can make time to appreciate something beautiful each day. We can reach out to others even knowing they may reject us. We can be honest even when it’s difficult, and we can, at least some of the time, put someone else’s needs before our own…”

For me, I think all of this goes toward something I’ve posted a lot about on here over the past few years: authenticity.

Authenticity can be difficult because it is vulnerable, and that’s not always accepted by people. And I’ve said this before – I’m lucky that I have people in my life that accept me for me, not for some made-up version of who they think I am or have the capacity to be.

This tortured artist cried in front of two close friends recently. My song lyrics are deeply personal. I put my whole self into my artistic endeavors. It is vulnerable. It can be painful. And I’m on a journey learning new things and focusing on some recent experiences that words fail to explain. And the people in my life have shown up without judgement and made me feel loved and seen. And I can’t thank them enough for that.

I hope to be one of the “best people” that Hemingway talked about. That’s the goal, anyway.

#findthebeautyintheworld

Thanks for reading. Much love.

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Part 3 of the Towering Above music video trilogy and ‘The Bleak’ release

Part 3 of the Towering Above music video trilogy is up! If you haven’t seen part 1 (“A Certainty“) or part 2 (“How To Abandon Ship“) then catch up! And… you might want to refresh yourself on the video we did for “Jumper” from our previous release to get a couple of things in part 3.

Starring: Kendrick Golsen and Jeff McKinney

Many thanks to my 1st A.D. – C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions – and my Director of Photography – Stephen Poff of Body Thief Films – for their incredible work on this! (This was a Terrible Master Films production.)

The Bleak is out today on Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and more!

We’re performing with Uncaste and Duos Locos at the Sanctuary tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 6) so come to the show!

Thanks for listening, reading, supporting! Much love!

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Montgomery Advertiser piece about ‘The Bleak’

[album art for The Bleak]

Towering Above guitarist J. Slickwood recently talked with Montgomery Advertiser‘s Shannon Heupel about the band’s upcoming release, The Bleak, our music video trilogy, and our show this Saturday at the Sanctuary with Uncaste and [now] Duos Locos.

Read: “The future looks ‘Bleak’ for Towering Above

Part 2 of the Towering Above music video trilogy is out!

On July 15, Towering Above released the first single and music video for our upcoming album The Bleak, and today, part 2 of the trilogy dropped!

Check out the continuation of the story and the song “How To Abandon Ship”! (If you haven’t seen part 1: “A Certainty,” be sure to check that out first.)

Starring: Kendrick Golsen and Jeff McKinney

Featuring:
Chris Eckels
Jacob Lee
Raina Scudder (Eaton)
Katie Walden
Amber Moody
C. DeWayne Cunningham
and my bandmates J. Slickwood, Clay Smith and myself.

Many thanks to the people listed above and to my 1st A.D. (also mentioned above) – C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions – and my Director of Photography – Stephen Poff of Body Thief Films – for their incredible work on this! (This was a Terrible Master Films production.) And thanks to the Cloverdale Playhouse for helping us with such a perfect location for this!

I would have posted earlier today, but, like last time, I was on set working on a feature film called Shadow Tag, from the same folks behind Coffee With Friends. More news and stuff coming soon!

Much love!

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First single and video from Towering Above’s upcoming album!

Towering Above just released our first single and music video – the first of a trilogy! – today. The song is called “A Certainty,” and it’s from our upcoming album The Bleak, set to release on August 6!

Starring: Kendrick Golsen and Jeff McKinney

Featuring:
Lindsey Adkins
Jasmine Curtis
Ahsen Bilal
and my bandmates J. Slickwood, Clay Smith and myself.

Many thanks to the people listed above and to my 1st A.D. – C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions – and my Director of Photography – Stephen Poff of Body Thief Films – for their incredible work on this! (This was a Terrible Master Films production.)

I would have posted earlier, but I’ve been on set today for an upcoming feature film called Shadow Tag, from the same folks behind Coffee With Friends. More news and stuff coming soon!

Much love!

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