‘Hymns of Mare Nostrum’ turns 10…

I’m old. (Get off my lawn.)

The Hail the Titans debut album “Hymns of Mare Nostrum” came out 10 years ago today.

Coincidentally… that album was engineered by Chris Lantrip at Headless Dinosaur Recording, and my current band – Towering Above – is working on our new album, again recording with Chris at HDR.

Be sure to follow us on the ol’ FB for updates.

OK, that’s all for now… cause I’m old.

Much love.

So… what’s next?

Recently a friend asked me something that I had already been thinking a lot about. It was two questions, actually:

  1. What have you been working on?
  2. What’s next?
Photo by Jill Friedman.

The first question is pretty easy. I, as a solo artist, and Towering Above finally had a first public performance since everything shut down early last year. I’ve been promoting the release of Remembering Anarcha (see it on VOD, review at Rotten Tomatoes), I’m near the final edit for a music video for Electric Blue Yonder’s upcoming album, I’ve edited and done some poster art for a new short documentary (from Terrible Master Films, Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions, 803 Films and Early Riser Films), and I’ve been helping edit a new project from Foolish Henry Films.

Then the hard question… what’s next?

That’s always the hard one. I think most artists feel an almost constant need to create, so when you’re between projects, it’s easy to feel kind of lost.

Somewhat related, there’s also the “post-show blues” that happens at the end of a project. I know that hit me earlier this year after the close of Sweat. When you spend almost every day for over two months becoming a character, there’s a bit of grief when the play closes. Or at the end of a film project. People become like family in a short amount of time, and then everyone is off to something else.

Towering Above is about to return to Headless Dinosaur Recording to begin work on a new album, so that’s something to look forward to as a “next,” but I want to do more acting, make more movies and music videos, write more songs, write more screenplays… and I don’t know exactly where to begin on any of it at the moment.

Sometimes the initial idea is the hard part for me. Hopefully something will spark soon.

If you’re wondering about a point I’m getting to here… um… I don’t really have one. This has been on my mind recently, and I haven’t blogged in close to a month, so it was time to express my thoughts. Hopefully it was an enjoyable read anyway.

Thanks for reading, and for your support and encouragement. Hope to see you at a show soon. Much love.

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New merch! (And yes, self-promotion is still weird)

Last February, I wrote a post talking about my feelings on self-promotion, and… well… I just read over it again and still feel exactly the same way as I did then.

But I also just put a new design up in the store, so if you feel so inclined, here’s the link.

Others are available as well, so if your sentiment is more along the lines of “I hate Josh Carples, but his music is tolerable,” or “Whomst the f**k is Josh Carples,” then there’s a shirt for you too.

Also, there are some shirts available for my band Towering Above as well. Click here.

Uhhh… while I’m on this whole merch/promotion thing, I also have some prints available of some of my photography if you’re looking for some new art to hang on the wall. Those are handled through Society6 here.

This could totally be on your wall.

OK, with that out of the way, there are a couple of upcoming shows I’m involved with. I mentioned them in a post earlier this month, but here’s your reminder:

Friday, July 9 I’ll be performing at Alabama Shakespeare Festival as part of their Garden Glow music series (with Megan McMillan and Neal Lucas.) I was told the last performance in this series sold out, so if you’re planning to come, get your tickets ASAP.

Saturday, July 17 at the Sanctuary: Towering Above, One Like Son, Lonleysev. Details here.

Oh, one more thing: Remembering Anarcha recently got added to the Rotten Tomatoes website, so if you’ve seen the film, please leave a review and/or rating there. My producers and I would love to read your thoughts. We’ve had some kind words said on the DVD on Amazon and on YouTube Movies. And if you haven’t seen it, here are some links on where you can find it.

OK, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading. I hope to see you at one of those upcoming shows. Much love.

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News! Events! Stuff! Things!

With vaccines and stuff, it looks like things are slowly getting back to some sense of normalcy, which means… [drum roll] live music is picking up! [Insert crowd noise here.]

So yeah, my first public solo performance since my album release show in March 2020… about a week before everything went to shit… is coming up next month. I’ll be part of the “Garden Glow” series at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

The Montgomery Advertiser wrote about that series and the artists that will be performing. You can read that here. It starts this Friday, and there are four nights of music currently scheduled. (I’ll be joining Neal Lucas and my friend Megan McMillan on July 9… Speaking of Megan, here’s a music video I directed for her a few years back.

Next up is Towering Above. Our first public performance since the plague is set for July 17 at the Sanctuary. We’re joining One Like Son and Lonleysev. Details here.

And in Remembering Anarcha news…

The film got mentioned in the Washington Post last month:

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s available on VOD, DVD, and Blu-ray.

The origin of the name ‘Terrible Master Films’

There have been a few instances over the years where I have been asked where my film company name came from, and there have been a few misconceptions as well. I don’t remember ever writing about it publicly, so I figured I might as well take a few minutes to explain the origin of the name Terrible Master Films.

I’ll address some of the misconceptions first: It’s not related to the transatlantic slave trade, American chattel slavery, or really, any form of slavery at all.

I can see where that misconception may come from, though. I mean, I’m a white guy in Alabama who has directed films that involve race, history, and social justice like Remembering Anarcha, The Time is Now, and in·dig·e·nous, so maybe some people think the name is somehow used in irony or something. But no, that’s not it.

It comes from a quote that stood out to me during a period of deep depression a few years ago:

“The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”

The first instance I remember reading that phrase was on Brain Pickings. Later, I found this RadioLab post about it. Both are linked on the “about” page on the Terrible Master Films website.

Brain Pickings shared a graduation speech given by David Foster Wallace. The speech, commonly known as “this is water,” references the quote thusly:

“…Think of the old cliché about ‘the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.’ This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master…”

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that this is not the first time I’ve discussed mental health, and as I said above, I stumbled across that quote during a deep depression I was in. I had finally started seeing a therapist and was doing a lot of reading about life, philosophy, and mental health.

That quote was powerful to me. The way I looked at it, when I’m in control, I can make my mind do the things I need and want to do, whether it’s writing a song, working on a film, or just trying to be creative in general. But when my mind was in control, it became the terrible master, leading to depression and feelings of worthlessness. (For others, it may be anxiety or a variety of other things.)

So the name Terrible Master Films serves as a personal reminder for me that mental health is important, and to attempt to keep the terrible master at bay.

As always, thanks for reading. Much love.

Terrible Master Films is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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‘Remembering Anarcha’ is out today!

Today, May 4, 2021, is the official release day for Remembering Anarcha! The film my team and I started working on back in 2018 is now publicly available to purchase on many video-on-demand platforms across the U.S. and Canada.

You can find it on Apple TV and iTunes (special thanks to everyone who pre-ordered!), Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, Google Play, Microsoft, some cable and satellite VOD channels, and more!

There are also DVDs and Blu-rays available through online retailers.

Check out this post at TerribleMasterFilms.com for some links.

On this day, I’d like to share a portion of a recent Facebook post:

I want to take a moment to give a shout out to a few people. First and foremost: Michelle Browder. Her art, passion, and activism inspired me to make this film, and she continues to educate and raise awareness about Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey through her “Mothers of Gynecology” project. (Be sure to check out https://www.anarchalucybetsey.org/)

I also want to give a shout out to my fellow producers: C. DeWayne Cunningham and Royce Williams. They came on board knowing that this was a passion project with no budget, and they have been supportive every step of the way.

And through this project, I made friends with author J.C. Hallman. His research is fascinating, and I’m looking forward to reading his forthcoming book “The Anarcha Quest.”

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project and pre-ordered the film. I hope you both enjoy it and learn something new. I appreciate the support. Much love.

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‘Sweat’ tickets, ‘Remembering Anarcha’ and more

First things first – you should see “Sweat” at the Cloverdale Playhouse (it opens tonight!), and you should get your tickets soon. Tonight’s show is sold out. According to this Montgomery Advertiser article, “Early performances have sold out for this thought provoking American worker tale that runs Thursday through May 9, but you can still get in to see it”

“Set in Reading, Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2008, “Sweat” is a thought provoking look at the lives we build around ourselves. In this case, it deals with a group of unionized steel mill workers whose company is suddenly making changes. Between layoffs and picket lines, ordinary lives are suddenly caught in a war between community and capitalism.”

There’s strong language, by the way, so… you know… get a babysitter or something.

Remembering Anarcha pre-orders are still up on iTunes and Apple TV ahead of the May 4 wide release. And many thanks to Shannon and Lynn Heupel and the Montgomery advertiser for the multimedia piece they ran on the film, the play, Towering Above, and my solo stuff. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a live performance of my song “Liquid Heart” and some photos.

It’s been shared a lot on social media, so many thanks to everyone who’s shared it, pre-ordered the film, bought tickets to the play, and continue to support the art I’m involved with. It means a lot, and I am very appreciative of it.

Thanks for reading. Much love.

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‘Remembering Anarcha’ is up for pre-order!

You can now pre-order Remembering Anarcha on iTunes – click here. The film release date is May 4. Here’s a short video I made talking about the pre-orders, production, and the history:

The film has been acquired by Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, for North American distribution. Read the news release announcement here.

The film will be available on-demand from multiple outlets across the U.S. and Canada, but pre-ordering on iTunes helps garner attention and get the film in front of more people. So if you use iTunes or Apple TV, this will help raise awareness of the film and the important subject matter the film addresses.

And while you’re clicking on links, be sure to check out Michelle Browder’s ‘Mothers of Gynecology’ project (click here.) Michelle appears in the film, and her art is what first caught my attention for this story. She’s gone across the country doing big things to raise awareness on this issue (and the shirt I’m wearing in the above video is from her project.)

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your continued love and support. Much love to you.

Official trailer for “Remembering Anarcha”

The Remembering Anarcha production team will be making some announcements in the coming days, but in the meantime, we have officially launched the film’s official trailer on the Terrible Master Films YouTube channel.

Follow the film on social media for more updates: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A statue of Dr. James Marion Sims stands on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The South Carolinian spent almost two decades in Montgomery, pre-Civil War, practicing medicine. Sims is known as “the father of modern gynecology,” but his detractors call him “Father Butcher” for his experiments on enslaved women – without anesthesia or what is now “informed consent.” His legacy – and the statues dedicated to him in Montgomery, Columbia, SC, and until its removal in early 2018, New York City’s Central Park – only tell part of the story. Remembering Anarcha explores this history and issues of ethics, race, and the lingering effects on modern society and medicine.

From Terrible Master Films in association with 803 Films and Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions. Produced by Josh Carples, C. DeWayne Cunningham, and Royce Williams. Directed by Josh Carples.