Powerless

I was listening to NPR Wednesday morning, and there was a story that was just absolutely depressing. The title is “Rohingya Families Flee Persecution And Suffering In Myanmar For Bangladesh.

In the story, there was a man who escaped his country by boat. His goal was to get to a safer area in another country and gather funds to pay a trafficker to get his family to him.

In the meantime, however, soldiers went to their village. People ran, including the man’s 8-year-old son, who was fatally shot in the back. In the village, the soldiers separated the men from the women, beating the men and raping the women. The women who resisted being raped were stabbed.

The husband was told what happened to his family, and he cried. The story described him as feeling guilty and powerless, second-guessing his decisions, wanting to be reunited with his wife and 5-year-old daughter.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s one of those stories you hear and immediately think how much evil is in the world. It’s a horror that most of us in the U.S. – luckily – can’t imagine.

But even in the U.S., thousands of people are victims of rape and sexual assault each year. It’s not soldiers raiding homes, but it’s very real nonetheless.

saam_logo-tealribbonAccording to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Per their site: “On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.”

I have met and am friends with people who have experienced sexual assault or were abused as children. I have even interviewed a couple of sexual assault survivors, and their stories were heartbreaking.

As someone who cares and has empathy for people, I feel powerless. I wish I could stop these horrors from happening. I wish I could do something. I try to encourage people to find the beauty in the world, but these stories make it difficult.

pinwheelThe month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and also Child Abuse Prevention Month. There are many worthy organizations – both local and national – that exist to help people in need.

If you want to help, there are many nonprofits out there doing great work. I’m in Alabama, so if you’re looking to start at a state level, there is the Alabama Coalition Against Rape and the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Or if you’re looking for your local nonprofit to donate to, both of their websites have listings of local centers that offer direct help to survivors – ACAR list; ANCAC list.

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Now – [late] Feb. 2017 updates and announcements

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I did one of these earlier this month and already need to update it…

I’ll start with the updates. Along with normal life and work stuff, this is what I’m working on:

  • Still working on edits for the short film Lullaby by writer/director Ce Anderson
  • Still working on edits for some cast/crew interviews from the feature film Spiritus by writer/director LC Holt
  • Editing a music video for Brineaboy that we shot this past weekend in Nashville (if I had time, I could write an entire post about how great that shoot was… but it’ll have to wait for now.. search for #brineaboyvid on Insagram for photos.)
  • I’ll be editing Feb. 2017 Guitar Pull photos soon
  • Working on a longer-term film project that I’ll announce publicly once I get further into it

Now for some announcements:

  • I mentioned last week that Four Thousand Wings, Best Friends Forever, and The Pretty Brunette were all screening at the upcoming George Lindsey Film Festival in Florence, AL.
  • Four Thousand Wings will also be on Amazon soon. I’ll post about it once it’s officially available to view.
  • Next solo acoustic performance will be Friday, March 3 at Head on the Door in Montgomery, AL. I’m opening for Breaking Aim and the Rhythm for their album release show.
  • Also, I will be releasing a live 5-song EP and video performance soon. This project was made possible by filmmakers C. DeWayne Cunningham and Sylvester Folks, along with Jen Powell, Malerie Bussell, and the rest of the kind folks of Seville Beauty & Barber Shop.
  • The poster for Spiritus was release this week:

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Thanks for reading. More coming soon!

Now – Feb. 2017 update

Figured since updates might be a bit sparse, I should at least make another “Now” post. (For more about the “Now” thing, see a previous post about it.)

So, along with normal life and work stuff, this is what I’m working on:

  • Editing the short film Lullaby by writer/director Ce Anderson.
  • Editing audio for a live music/video project with filmmaker C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son VISIONS.
  • Editing some behind-the-scenes interviews for the feature film Spiritus by writer/director LC Holt.

Along with that, there’s a couple of other film and music projects that are in varying levels of pre-production and production that I’ll be announcing in the weeks and months to come.

And of course, you can follow this blog via email for when there are updates, and keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Much love.

Listen

There is a scene from a movie that has been playing on repeat in my head. It’s from the documentary film Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore.

In the scene, Moore is talking with Marilyn Manson, and he asks, “If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?”

Marilyn Manson’s response:

“I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”

There are things in this world that are beyond my direct experience. I do not know what it is like to be black in America. I do not know the experience of being a member of the LGBT community. I do not know the ins and outs of being a police officer or the spouse/partner of one.

There is no way for me to say with any perfect certainty the phrase “I understand,” because without direct experience, there is no way to fully understand.

What I can do is empathize. What I can do is give an honest attempt at understanding. What I can do is show love and respect for the diverse makeup of people in my life. I can support efforts of peace and equality. I can agree that black lives matter. I can be saddened by the losses of life in Baton Rouge, Dallas, St. Paul, and so many other places around the country. I can agree that there is a problem.

And going back to what Marilyn Manson said in Bowling for Columbine, I can listen.

Much love to you.

Another “Now” post

12918396_261918314144364_2107604431_nIn December, I published a “Now” post, and maybe this one would be better titled “Lately,” but I’m not going to change it, so it’s another “Now” post. The other day a friend texted me and mentioned that I had been recently keeping a low profile, so I thought maybe it’s time for a blog update.

Last month was the 2016 Cinema Soiree where I got an audience choice award for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” for my role as “Daniel Andre Wilson” in C. DeWayne Cunningham’s short film Best Friends Forever. I had no idea I was even up for anything, but it was definitely a nice surprise.

DeWayne is also the editor for Trishunda Mooney’s short Land of the Freed, which I served as Director of Photography for. (Terrible Master Films is an associate producer for this one as well.) I’m told that the first edit is done, so it’s well into post-production.

Along with that, I’ve been working on a song with a former band mate, and I recently spent some time in Nashville where (thanks to my friend Tara) I was able to catch the Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) solo acoustic tour featuring Casey Crescenzo (The Dear Hunter) as the opener.

This past weekend, I was able to serve as 2nd Assistant Director and 2nd Assistant Camera on a short film in Atlanta called The Talk with a fantastic cast and crew. So many good times.

There will be some announcements coming soon about the film Spiritus, so be sure to ‘like’ the Facebook page for updates.

And… I’ve got a couple of acoustic shows coming up:

Thursday, April 28 – I’m playing the annual truck raffle fundraiser for Brantwood Children’s Home.

Saturday, May 7 – I’m performing at Head on the Door with The Buckrabbits and Andrew Vinson.

In the meantime, I’m still on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which get updated more often, and I’d love to connect with you there.

Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, again, thanks to @tkimbro2. #music #nashville

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Day 2 of #thetalkfilm. #setlife #film #atlanta #atl

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Birmingham Artwalk this weekend… and some vague stuff just for you!

This weekend is the 2015 Birmingham Artwalk, and I am honored to be one of this year’s musical performers. I’ll be under the Viaduct at 6pm this Friday.

Check out the fantastic list of performers and artists on their website.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event for more information and updates: click here.

I recently was part of a table read for a new film project that’s getting started this coming weekend. It’s a drama that has a great cast and crew, most of which I’ve had the privilege of working with on previous projects.

Last night's table read went well. #acting #indie #film

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There is another project in the works that I’ll be providing more information on soon…

Port St Joe, FL… with a @hailthetitans tote bag. #film #filmmaker #filmmaking #florida #music #video

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Related to that last photo, I made some new friends at the beach recently, and I got to try some rum that I’m told is Fidel Castro’s favorite. I’m not going to venture into politics, but if that’s true, he’s got good taste when it comes to rum.

From Fidel's personal rum factory… #realtalk. @mirandajhoody knows what I'm talking about. #smuggling.

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Also, while in the Port St. Joe, FL area, I had a lot of fun at this place. Good food and drink, good company, and good times.

Love this place.

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And then there’s this photo I took at sunrise recently:

#findthebeautyintheworld #nofilter #sunrise #florida

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget, you can follow this blog via email by clicking the “Follow” button in the right column.

10 things to stop doing in the new year (no. 8 was mind-blowing)

Hello dear readers, here is a brief introductory-style paragraph similar to those of which you might see on other sites, but I would argue better, simply because you’re on my site instead of one of those other sites.

With the introductory paragraph out of the way, I hereby submit my list of “10 things to stop doing in the new year”

1. Falling for click-bait

2. Falling for click-bait

3. Falling for click-bait

4. Falling for click-bait

5. Falling for click-bait

6. Falling for click-bait

7. Falling for click-bait

8. Falling for click-bait

9. Falling for click-bait

10. Falling for click-bait

Thank you for reading this. I sincerely hope you have a safe and happy new year. For real.

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

Music and merch news – Cyber Monday

As you are probably aware, it is “Cyber Monday,” the natural flow of consumerism that comes after “Black Friday,” “Small Business Saturday,” and “You’re Going to Hell Sunday.”

Today through Dec. 3, CD Baby is offering shipping for just one cent. Yes, that one penny, or one straw penny, or numerically $0.01.

So if you’ve been wanting my solo albums (or Hail the Titans first album or the Marsellus album) shipped, but didn’t want to pay more than a penny for shipping, this is your moment! (At least through Dec. 3, 11:59 PST, per the CD Baby website.) Here are some links:

Josh Carples – The Final Scene
Josh Carples – Ghost of a Town
Hail the Titans – Hymns of Mare Nostrum
Marsellus – Our Name in Lights

Of course, these are also on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, and most are also on Bandcamp as well, if you prefer digital.

Tonight – Dec. 1 – I’ll be doing an in-store acoustic performance at Bailey Brothers Music in Montgomery. I’ll play from 5:30 to 6. I’ll also have merch available for sale there.

And this Friday, Fall of Adam is playing at the Syndicate Lounge in Birmingham with Amen Corner (from Birmingham) and Press (from Asheville, NC). Details here.

Keep listening

I had a lot of random thoughts running through my head. I debated whether to attempt to write them down or not. Sometimes, once you attempt to put pen to paper, or digital pen to digital paper, it’s easy to lose the thoughts and points you wanted to make. Or at least it is for me.

Most of what I write here is somewhat promotional – not just stuff I’m involved with, but stuff my friends are involved with or things I may find inspiring at the moment. Once in awhile, rarely, I get somewhat personal. And then, for some reason, I feel the need to explain my thought process or reasoning in an introduction, like this one.

Sometimes it seems that negativity takes over. Sometimes the amount of injustice, suffering, and loss is draining. It’s sympathy. It’s empathy. It’s being a human rather than a sociopath, I suppose. And it can be downright depressing.

There are innocent people dying in wars, community protests over police shootings, family members of celebrities avoiding social media because of mean-spirited internet trolls, writers canceling speaking engagements because of death threats, and people still fighting over who’s idea of “god” is correct.

And then there are the struggles of the people you actually know. Your friends, your family, and what they deal with. Then there’s the stuff you deal with.

People cope in their own ways: art, music, writing, exercise, drinking, drugs, film, comedy. (On that last one, this Cracked article is heartbreaking.)

Sometimes it seems hard to find that clichéd silver lining, to see the glimmer of sunlight barely peeking through the clouds. Maybe that’s why I want to promote certain artistic endeavors. I haven’t really thought about it until now. I know that I want my friends to succeed. I want to enjoy beautiful music and film and visual/graphic arts. But maybe the bigger picture is that those things add positivity to the world when it seems overtly negative. Maybe those things – even when borne out of negative instances – add a positive aspect.

I don’t know. Maybe this is just me rambling publicly. I generally have more questions than answers. I just wish that there was more sympathy and empathy in the world. But in the meantime, keep creating. Keep encouraging. Keep supporting. And for your friends, keep listening.

"in bed." Right?

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A weekend of laughter, music and charity

Looking for something to get into this weekend? Yes? Yes, of course you are. Here are some suggestions:

Tomorrow night (that’s Friday, in case you don’t read this until tomorrow and don’t look at the published date or something… maybe you haven’t had your morning cup of coffee yet, I don’t know. I’m not judging you… OK, I totally am, but for the purpose of this sentence, I’m not.) Wait… where was I?

Oh yeah, tomorrow  night, Lightning Line and Helicity Montgomery present: Bicentenially Curious Comedy Night at the Sanctuary. Jason Fifi is headlining the event. Other comedians include Kurt Keller, Trey Brown, Daniel Kynard (and probably some others, but I’m only going by who’s listed on the event.) If you haven’t been to the Sanctuary, it’s a great venue located at 432 S. Goldthwaite St. in downtown Montgomery.

This week, Jason Fifi went on TV to talk about the event. Hopefully clicking here will take you directly to that video. If it doesn’t, then please know that I tried.

On Sunday, the Powell Brothers (of BPM and Distant Kin) are teaming up to host an open jam session at Head on the Door to help raise funds for the Montgomery Area Food Bank. That starts at 7 p.m., and it’s open to all musicians. More details on the event page. I also encourage you to check out the story in today’s Montgomery Advertiser about the event: “Jam session to benefit Food Bank.”

If you can’t make it to the event Sunday, but still want to help out, you can visit MontgomeryAreaFoodBank.org and donate online.

And if you happen to be in the Birmingham area on Sunday, you might want to mosey on down to WorkPlay to catch the Swedish band Truckfighters with Stoned Cobra in the theater. It’s going to be a great night of “stoner rock” for your ears. Seriously, you should go.