‘The good half live in arrogance’

Celebrity suicides tend to bring discussions of mental health and society back into the forefront. I wrote about this subject a bit last July, and with the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, it’s back again.

I think there’s a sense of helplessness when we see it. I’ve seen many people sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (which is 1-800-273-8255,) and I’ve seen people pointing out that in most cases, a person who is contemplating suicide is less likely to reach out, so we should be checking on our friends, even the ones we think are the “strong” ones.

I think we crave answers. We want to be able to understand why some people who seemingly have everything going for them could end it like that. And I think that for some, that desire to understand crosses into territory where people can spout so-called answers, even when those answers have no tangible roots.

And that got me thinking of lyrics from the song “Magazine” by Pedro the Lion:

This line is metaphysical
And on the one side
And on the one side
The bad half live in wickedness
And on the other side
And on the other side
The good half live in arrogance
And there’s a steep slope
With a short rope
This line is metaphysical
And there’s a steady flow
Moving to and fro

“The good half live in arrogance.” That’s the line that stands out to me. The reason is that a few days ago, I saw religious people in a Facebook thread being judgmental, claiming to hold the answers as if religion was some magical cure for mental illness.

I don’t think these people are bad people. I don’t think they were intentionally being judgmental, but I think their words were not rooted in empathy or understanding.

I’m still thinking about some of the things that were said. I’m going to post some pieces of that thread below. I have covered the names and profile pictures (except for mine) because of two things – 1. The post was not public, and 2. I’m not posting this in an attempt to shame anyone. My intent is to get people to think about what they’re saying, how it comes across, and who might be reading it (i.e. a person who’s struggling.)

This was the original post:



Before anyone starts a #NotAllChristians hashtag, I found this comment to be much kinder and empathetic:


Then we have a blanket judgement about journalists:


In this, I learned that non-Christians don’t have morals or values:


And then this happened:


If there is one thing you get out of any of this – one thing at all – yelling “suck it up!” to a person who is struggling with depression or suicidal ideation is not the way to help that person.


‘Spiritus’ DVD and Barrens hit Bham


On June 1, the producers of the feature horror film Spiritus launched an IndieGoGo campaign to take pre-orders for the DVD. (Full disclosure: As a member of Foolish Henry Films, I am one of said producers. I also served as 1st AD on the project and played the role of “Greg Hines” in the film.)

The film is written and directed by L.C. Holt, who is known for acting in horror films such as You’re Next and V/H/S 2. By pre-ordering your copy of Spiritus through IndieGoGo, you’ll receive extra perks that are only available through the campaign. See the video below for more:

Click here to place your order! The campaign only runs during the month of June.

In other news, Barrens is hitting the road this Saturday, joining Skeptic?, Abusements, and The Goddamn Rights in Birmingham, AL. We’ll be at Brennan’s Irish Pub. Show starts at 9pm. Details here. Or hear the details straight from Mr. Wolfman:

‘I wrote you a letter, asked your best friend to send it…’


OK, the title of this post is a lyric from the Foxing song “Rory,” but it’s what popped in my head when thinking about an article from Withal.com about handwritten letters. That article includes my friend Robert “Bubba” Hall, who appears in Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull documentary.

Read the article here.

In other news, tomorrow – June 1 – writer/director L.C. Holt (You’re Next, V/H/S 2) and the Foolish Henry Films crew will begin a DVD pre-order campaign for the feature film Spiritus. Be sure to follow the Facebook page for details and links so you can get your copy.


There are some other projects underway that I’ll talk about more as they progress. In the meantime, here’s a behind the scenes video of one in progress taken by C. DeWayne Cunningham on Instagram:

Photos and Rock show

32289548_2044278965792547_5910716198705692672_nTomorrow (Saturday, May 19) is the next Barrens show. We’re joining Skeptic? from Birmingham and the Abusements at Bomber’s Pub. This show is another addition to the Against the Grain music series. Details here.

In other news, photos from this month’s Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse are posted. Click here for those.

‘Translation’ is up!

Last year, writer/director Royce Williams discussed shooting a horror/thriller short with a voodoo aspect to it, and he talked to me about being cinematographer for it. It’s now public and available for viewing. Check it out on YouTube.

(When you get to the credits, you might recognize another name. The score you hear throughout the film was done by Shane Gillis of Foolish Henry Films, who scored both Death to the World and Spiritus. If you haven’t heard his new album Portal, then be sure to check that out on his Bandcamp. It’s really good.)

It's a wrap! #translationfilm #setlife #shortfilm #alabamafilm #directorlife

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DCSF lineup, ‘Concubineapple’ and… Murder?

[Cue dramatic sound effect]

OK, but for real, the Druid City Songwriters Festival posted the lineup today, and you should check that out. I’m really looking forward to performing at this and seeing a lot of the friends I’ve made at the Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull over the years.


In other news, Chris Eckels (bassist from Abusements) grabbed some video footage from the debut Barrens show last Saturday. Here’s the song “Concubineapple.”

And this coming Saturday, April 21, I’ll be performing my solo material at Bomber’s Pub, opening for The Murder of Jane Crow, from Birmingham. (See, there’s the “Murder” from the post title. I didn’t leave you hanging.)

Click here for those show details.


Debut Barrens show… and other things

30582075_2029825093904601_4289610094678989638_nAs confirmed in February, I am in a new band, and that band is called Barrens and features Jiggly J. Slickwood (12th Hour, Breaking Aim and the Rhythm, Flip the Switch, Neon Liars) and Clay Smith (Flip the Switch, Neon Liars, Born Enemies, Ballswag.)

Our first show is this Saturday, April 14 at Bomber’s Pub in Montgomery, AL with Happy Lemmy (Birmingham) and our friends in The Last Thing You Remember. Starts at 9pm. Details here.

You can find us on various social media platforms – @barrensmusic.

Saturday’s show is part of the Against the Grain “Scene Saturdays” music series.

In other news, I made some minor tweaks/updates to this website, mainly updating the About, Music, and Film pages. Look around, click some links, and use the Contact page for hate mail.

I hope to see you Saturday.

#concubineapple #demo #tease #barrensmusic #gnawedoff

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Seville: The Basement Cuts

I recently got the opportunity to write and direct a spot for Seville: The Basement Cuts, a temporary location for the Seville salon staff. It was a fun shoot, and they allowed me to go a bit experimental for a salon ad – going with a film noir/thriller vibe.

Check it out on the Terrible Master Films YouTube channel.

Directed by Josh Carples
Produced by Terrible Master Films
Music: www.bensound.com

Client: Brittany Vallely
Door Man: Christopher S. Hubbard

Jen Powell
Malerie Bussell
Jessica Toole

Jessica Bussell
Angie Davis
Mike Dickinson
Lydia Mann
Dez HD Social
Stephanie Wright

They let me on TV

Many thanks to Kenny Dean, The Barnyard Jamboree, and the folks at WAXC TV 3 in Alexander City for allowing me to play some of my songs for their audience.

The entire performance and interview can be seen here:

March 2018 Guitar Pull photos are up!

Click here to view the gallery.