‘…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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Our wounds and our gifts

Here’s yet another “memories” post… kinda.

Ten years ago today – holy shit it’s been ten years – the band I was in (Hail the Titans) embarked on a tour across multiple states, and it was such a wonderful experience for me. I know some people don’t think of the word “wonderful” when it comes to sleeping on floors and in vans and brushing your teeth in truck stop parking lots, but I guess I’m not “some people.”

[On tour in Richmond, VA, July 2012.]

It was amazing, and there’s a part of me that still enjoys being on the road, sleeping wherever, and meeting new people. (I’m still an introvert languishing in the ol’ INFJ section of the Meyers-Briggs arena, but every once in a while someone strikes up a conversation with me and allows me to open up a bit.)

I got away for a bit recently, slept in my car, on floors, even outside in the grass one night. I met wonderful people. I shared meals, beers, experiences, and deep, meaningful conversations. I made some new friends that I hope are life-long. I stared up at the stars, sat by fires, and experienced nature. I saw a relative I haven’t seen in person in years. I felt seen.

I’m still processing a lot of my recent experiences, trying to figure things out. I think that’s normal. Maybe. Hell, I don’t know. “Normal” hasn’t really ever been my thing, I guess. WTF is normal? Anyway, I’m lucky in the fact that I have wonderful friends (thank you!) and a good therapist.

I’m about to embark on another film project in a few days with the same writer and directors that did Coffee with Friends, and one line in the script is something that I have found to be very meaningful. (There’s actually a lot of stuff I’ve found meaningful in this script, but this one is most relevant to this post.) I shared it recently on Facebook, but I’ll share it here as well:

“It is our wounds as much as our gifts that make us who we are.”

Thanks for reading, supporting, listening, and loving.

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Aight… good news and bad news…

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first…

That show that I talked about in my last post, the one schedule for this Friday with Towering Above, The Cancellations, and Abusements… it’s canceled. Yep… a bunch of people have tested positive for COVID – the ‘Rona strikes again. Hopefully everyone involved has a speedy recovery.

So with that sadness out of the way, let’s turn to some good news!

This coming Tuesday, June 21 will mark the 101st installment of the Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse.

The Montgomery Advertiser ran an article about it – click here to read it – and in that article, they talk about the origins of the event and about the documentary film Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull (available on Amazon and Tubi.)

So, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, go check that out, and be sure to come to the Cloverdale Playhouse on Tuesday to see Megan Kuehner, Sonia Tetlow, and Senorita Awesome (all pictured below.)

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Towering Above updates!

Towering Above is performing this coming Friday (June 17) with Abusements and The Cancellations (from Nashville.) All ages at the Sanctuary in Montgomery, AL. Details here.

In other news, we’ve been working on album art, finishing up music videos, and getting everything ready to release a new album. We’ll provide more details on all of that soon. And we’re already working on even newer stuff (yay!)

Ooh, speaking of those music videos, here’s a screen grab from one of them that the band posted recently:

OK, that’s all I got for now. Thanks for reading. Come to the show this Friday!

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Show this Saturday and ‘Live at Seville’ turns 5

Hey everyone! The Live at Seville EP turns 5 today!

If you want some background on this EP, here’s a link to the original blog post about it.

The audio version is on most streaming platforms, but the actual video performances are on YouTube. (This was a Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions collaboration with Terrible Master Films.)

…aaaaaaaaaaaand…

That being said, I’ll be performing this Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the Sanctuary in Montgomery, AL, opening for my friends in Tres Locos and The McRyatts.

And speaking of Tres Locos, here’s a promo video I shot for them awhile back in their hometown of Huntsville, AL:

Hope to see you this Saturday!

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