Thursday, October 9, 2014

Path of the Pilgrim

As a young man I would ask the question
where is this heaven 
reverend said it was like a cloud in the sky 
then I learned some science 
science said a cloud is molecules 
so does that make heaven a lie 
and if so why sit in a church 
in a position that hurts 
listen to stories absurd 
Nah, I was not having it 
I'd rather go hang with the savages 
my habitat, babylon's labyrinth 
imagining I'm livin so lavish 
established and smoking that cabbage 
trying to get high like that cloud in the sky
like this was my heaven 
but I was pretending afraid of the times ending
it was a quick sand hourglass good times, go fast 
in the past, I was attached i thought I had, to make it last 
so the, high's were high and the lows were low 
and the manic depression would come and then go 
I knew there was more, I chose to explore
so I hit the open road with my broken toes 
put the soles of my feet in the dirt 
and walked with the salt of the earth 
in all of my travels i have observed 
we all feel similar things but use different words 
the curse of this babel makes fanatical's battle 
over the intangible but that cloud is not graspable 
so science is factual, actual, literal 
religion is ritual, mystical 
and the myth is the map 
to find where your at 
upon your life path so 
where you stumble there lies your treasure 
you need the struggle to enjoy true pleasure 
I now have acceptance of both more than science can measure 
since the essence of heaven is a poetic expression 
word to the reverend, I've worked with the church
Now I know that cloud is my brain 
I'm the big bang explosion 
I walked out the ocean as that web footed mammal 
 I'm the camel, passin through the eye of the needle 
my purpose has service to people I'm working the land 
I'm a man who holds eternity in a grain of sand with the palm of my hand 
and my truth is, I'm a buddhist, 
I chose to look within my mind to find 
the divine design my face and spine is like space and time 
From time to time, I ride cloud nine and this is my heaven 
it's laughin with my lady 
watching my baby learn, how to crawl 
the call from my mom 
it's writing this song 
givin my life to a cause 
it's trying to do right when easy to be wrong 
it's the feeling incredible of 
eating the vegetable, I grew from the seed 
being a lover of shade not a hater of heat 
mother nature connected perspective complete 
my spirit, alive in this 
my lyrics, describing this 
translated enlightenment 
that cloud is a mirror so heaven, 
I hope you can find it...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mother Earth Is Speaking (People's Climate March Performance)



 
I find truth in that ancient metaphor of the earth as a mother.
And in that way, through climate change
I believe that mother earth is speaking, she's says she's got a fever.
I used to doubt her, but now I believe her.
It can be the middle of winter, and I can be wearing a t-shirt,
like it's summer warm. The next day might be a snow storm.
So mother earth is speaking, she's says she's got a fever
And look how we've treated her.
We put fog in her eyes, paved and farmed her skin dry.
No wonder she earth quakes to shake the fracking pipelines of her back
That are acting like the needle of a misquito,
But yo, I too have drained the gas can
too many days I've been sittin' in a traffic jam,
surrounded by cars runnin, wondering,
how we ever gonna get our way out of this,
with trash on my floor, some of it non-recyclable
as our exhaust smoke lifts, chokes the air
where the tree's that breath carbon, get clearcut for profit.
as if our earth mother is a lifeless object,
as if we aren't part of a larger process, that belongs to the earth.
And in that way, as cells in her body,
unlimited economic growth,
is a cancer cell philosophy.
That is not the world I want to see. This is not the change that I want to be.
So mother earth is speaking. she's says she's got a fever.
Somebody get her a tissue, this is an issue. This is a challenge.
This is our opportunity. To be like the hero in the movie
that saves the day when you think it's the end.
Because the mother earth is speaking, she says she gots a fever, 
and even though the crises gets deeper, we cannot, give in, to cynicism.
The quickest way to make a difference is own simple livin,
then get in with where ya fit in and change the system.
We have to know, the status quo, it has to go. so.
when the people lead, then the leaders follow.
Today we organize, we act tomorrow.
The solutions exist, with the systems we shift, still we cannot buy our way out of this.
Be aware of politicians with corporate wallets.
that promote policies that would allow temperature to rise,
4, 5, even 6 degrees. It's already risen almost one, it's still rising,
stopping at 2 or 3 is the best we got.
If we want to survive. 
Because mother earth is speaking. She's says she got a fever.
It is time to relieve her. It is time to listen.
Our earth has given herself to us
like a mothers body to her baby
and through our growing years, for the milk
we've left her bite marked and scarred.
she will never be the same again.
But a mothers love is eternal and abundant.
Abundant enough for our need... just not for our greed.
It is time to help our earth mother recover.

(Group Sing/Chant) 
The Earth is our Mother, we must take care of her.
Unite, my people, into one, into one.



So this is the song/poem I wrote for the Eugene People's Climate March, 9-21-14. I hope you like it and even more that it inspires you to take some form of action, or to push yourself to the next step in your mission to find harmony with and heal the earth.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Light A Candle (Dedicated to the Earth Lovers and Earth Activist)

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about climate change, the destruction that will occur because of it, and the importance of learning to live in harmony with the earth. I believe that this learning will be increasingly important as Industrial Civilization recklessly heads towards collapse (Can you believe the US state department recently declared that the Keystone pipeline would have a negligible impact upon the environment? If you believe that you might as well believe the earth is flat!)

I've been working with a group of Avant Gardeners and have been blessed enough to have their help transforming my traditional home into a urban homestead. In a sense, I feel like I'm going back to the land, as a child I was raised in the woods and I can't help but remembering my Mom who would sometimes read me Chief Seattle's great speech before bed, that speech, about being connected to the web of life, helped inspire this poem/song (I've been recording it into song with a friend and once the song is mixed, I will share with y'all).







Light A Candle

Hear my voice
Echo the elders
when they tell us
the earth is sacred
every pine needle
every grain of sand
I know the sap
that courses through the trees
like I know the blood
that flows through my veins
the flowers my sisters
the rivers my brothers
the air gives us breath
so how can a man
own the land
when he is not the weaver
but merely a strand
in the web of life
understand then
what we do to this web
we do to ourselves
so what will happen
when the last tree is logged
the bees are all gone
and the last salmon caught
it will be the end of living
the beginning of survival
so listen to these words
uttured by Chief Seattle
and don't curse darkness
instead light candles!

So How did this happen?
drilling, fracking,
can't drink the water that comes out the tap and
can't breathe the air
where they build a coal plant and
they build a pipeline
from the Tar Sands and
cut short the lifeline
of this planet
so lets examine
supply and demand when
keeping up with the Joneses
Equals eco-psychosis
because it's debt ridden
this capitalism is a system
of living based on infinite growth
on a finite globe
so we cut down the old growth
make paper cups, for us to use once
throw it away, make a mountain of trash
WE DONE WITH THAT
I hang with Avant Gardeners and Forest Defenders
and we remember our ancestors
and re-myth the message
for our progression
into the future
yes we use computers
don't buy new ones
every single year
so with this right here
we make mesocosmic moves
grow grass roots
through the city
occupy vacant lots
create eco villages
livin simply so others may
simply live
cuz, we don't wanna win
political battles
and we don't curse darkness
instead we light Candles!

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...
-Plaedo

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

And....THE ALBUM IS FINALLY OUT!!!

Well Hello there Friends, Fans, Family, and Strangers

The Album is Finally F'@CK*N Out! You can download it here, on a pay as you please basis.  (If you scroll halfway down the page you will find the link) I'm really happy to give the album away for free. But if you want to pay me, I will gladly take some money as I would like to do this as a career.

So if you don't know, here's a little back-story: Years ago while riding a train across the country and reading "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell I decided I wanted to make a hip hop concept album about the hero's journey.

But first I had a problem, I didn't know how to make music. So once home, I started to discipline myself, to wake up early and learn how to make music (Shout out to Sickamore who really helped me develop my flow).

So I started to make music and started telling my friends I would make an album. Then Occupy happened, and I took a year and a half to focus pretty much solely on activism. As Occupy Eugene slowed, I began to work on the album again.

Than my partner got pregnant and we began to buy a house. So once again the album was put on hold. After my son was born, I began to work on the album again. Finally finishing.

But then came mastering, what was supposed to be a month and a half process became a draining 7 month process.

But through all of these life events, I gained valuable insights, new friends, new flows, and I think the music reflects this. As I had to live my hero's journey in order to tell the stories and songs that would be my hero's journey.

This is my 'learning how to make music' album in a way. As you can hear me learning about music as I was creating it. It is a flawed album, but I'm deeply proud of it nonetheless. And I'm already working on a new batch of songs that I believe will reflect all the practice and skill refining that has happened since this album was finished 7 months ago.

I hope you listen, let me know what you think. I'll tell ya honestly, I'm a little nervous for the reviews and worried a little about people's responses. BUT, I do believe in the beauty of my dreams. I do believe in in staring at the face of my fear, and to take that mask off and reveal love.

Thank you for reading this blog. Please share with your friends.

Here is another place you can purchase my album:
http://plaedo.bandcamp.com/album/learning-adventures-in-love-and-revolution

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom....
-Plaedo

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A review of "Jared Paul Live"

With a punk rock attitude, hip hop cadence, and the mentality of an activist, Jared Paul begins his first ever full length live spoken word album with "Class Warpath." Shouting "So it's 2012 and I'm still in the water, sharks swarm, but I'm never swimming for shore, let them come, let them come." A telling line about the territory covered on this album which could easily double as 'a Jared Paul's Greatest Hits" album. This is an album from a man, an artist and activist who has spent the past ten years criss-crossing the country on the independent grind, performing at poetry slams, festivals, protests, and bars. A man who along the way has built quite a reputation as a live performer. (I've seen him perform for crowds, from hundreds to a handful, no matter the amount of people in the audience he brings the same passion.)

Along the way, Jared Paul has gathered a few things. He has a mind full of statistics. Some might say statistics, shouldn't be in poetry! Still the stats are quite inciting, on  "ABC's for Radical's" we learn that, "There are over 900 billionaires in existence. Total their wealth and you got more money than the combined asset of every other working class person on earth." The poem puts a chilling case for why we need to change our ways or we will destroy our ability to live on this planet. This is a statistics spitting street poet, who is able, and willing, to say the poems that uncover those uncomfortable truths the decent society would rather sweep under the rug. This is not coffee table poetry.

Which isn't to say that this isn't a fun album. Jared Paul is not the spoken word Morrissey. The next poem is a 'Bike Riding Revenge Poem' that humorously and vividly recounts an incident with a taxi driver on a sunny afternoon. Actually this is more a story than a poem. And some of Jared Paul's best pieces are stories. I highly recommend "2008 RNC Arrest Story."

"Once I took a train..." And so it goes for this traveling artist slash activist. Numerous tracks are centered on his experiences on the road, there's road trips stressed by snowy roads, dirty hotels and bar performances, and from a train window there's a field of crosses that spurs a deep meditation. This deep meditation in "Salt Lake Crucifixion Blues" covers quite a lot of ground, it's an absorbing journey of a poem with a clever ending.

Other standouts pieces include,  "Lots Wife" with it's rhythmic and graphic poetry and "Pro Choice For Life" which begins with him existentially questioning "are things as bad as I seem to make them?", and ends with a portrait of a childhood violated in foster care. His answer is there.

And in the tradition of the Pete Seeger and all the great voices of the people, Jared Paul continues on. His live album, inspired by the great injustices of the day and travels on the road, is his greatest hits album, a telling end to a chapter in his story. I encourage you to listen to his album which can be found here: http://jaredpaulsfr.bandcamp.com/

Next up for Jared Paul, a book! Go here to learn more:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jared-paul-book-campaign







Monday, April 8, 2013

Rites of Passage along the Journey (New Song)

Hello Good People,

For the Hero's Journey to start there needs to be a catalyst. Mythologists and Depth Psychologists such as Robert Bly and Michael Meade often stress how there needs to be an event that transforms the innocent into the orphan. It is a painful but necessary process for a person to reach individuation and to understand what their bliss is. In fact, many tribal cultures engage in a painful rites of passage ceremony to initiate teens into adulthood. Where a boy or girl must go through a process to realize their adult identity....

The seeds of this song were planted in Bellingham, Washington. I taught a spoken word poetry class at Options Alternative High School. My heart was touched by all the youth who shared their childhood scars in their poetry. From there I took a train to Los Angeles. In L.A. I spent a weekend performing poetry on street corners, selling my poetry chapbook. At night, I couldn't afford a hotel room, so I would stay up all night walking the streets and talking to street youth, I kept hearing similar stories of Childhood trauma. I heard many stories of childhood wounds that needed to be healed. After LA, I got on a train for Chicago. Along the way, I kept thinking of the youth who I had met and at some point a burst of words came, words that told my story and told their story. Words that were meant to help youth reach the other side of the initiation process (It is quite sad and a sign of how unhealthy our culture and society is, that we don't often practice serious rites of passage processes.)

Concerning the Orphan, Carol Pearson wrote, "His or her accomplishment is to move out of innocence and denial to learn that suffering, pain, scarcity, and death are an inevitable part of life...After the fall comes the long and sometimes slow climb back to learning to trust and to hope...The Orphans task eventually is to learn self-reliance...We return to Eden and Innocence understanding that it is safe to trust ourselves, others, and the universe."

I know personally it took me many years to heal these wounds, and on some level, the process of healing is ever-going. However, I know that many songs and poems inspired me along this part of my path, hopefully by telling my story I can help others on this part of their path, So hear it is!

Listen to Rites of Passage.

Also if you like the song, please donate to my Indie Go Go campaign, I have yet to raise enough money to realize the project.


Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...
-Plaedo

Friday, April 5, 2013

Answering The Call to Adventure (New Song!)

Every Story must have a beginning. For the Journey to Start the hero must answer the call to adventure.  Thus my album, "Learning Adventures in Love and Revolution" begins with the song, "Morning Mantra." Allow me to explain...

I graduated from College with a general studies and philosophy degree at the end of 2008,  around the time Obama took office and the Recession set in. There were no jobs. And I didn't have a clue, what I wanted to do. I lived in Moscow, Idaho and had already tasted the 'big world out there' as I had spent some time living in Bangkok, Thailand a few years earlier. I knew that as much as I loved Moscow, I needed to get out of that town. I needed to explore...

So I took my meager savings, about 2000 dollars saved while working as a barista at a Food Co-op and I bought a cross country train ticket. I booked a little spoken word poetry tour, packed my bags and hit the road. The next few months were spent performing poetry at little coffee shops and on street corners, meditating in Philadelphia, Partying at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, hanging with Street Kids in Los Angeles, visiting family and sorting through generational baggage in Bellingham and Seattle Washington, washing my face in both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, and exploring DMT and altered states of consciousness in between. Along the way, I was given a book, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell.

This book made me realize, that I was on my Hero's Journey. Somewhere, Somehow, I got the idea that I wanted to tell my Hero's Journey in the form of a hip hop album. But first, I had to live that journey and I had to learn how to make music...

After I traveled the country for 3 months and visited 38 states, I came back to Moscow. I tried to live in Moscow. But I couldn't. I felt crazy. Something deep within was unsatisfied, I had the feeling that I needed to leave Moscow, it was spiritually a life or death situation.

So I moved to Seattle, Washington. Upon arriving in Seattle, I was quite isolated. In retrospect this was good for me, and upon further studies I realized that all Hero's Journey's include a period of isolation or separation from the known.

When living in Seattle, I would wake up every morning, do 10 minutes of yoga, say 22 positive affirmations in the mirror, than practice music for a few hours before I would go explore Seattle looking for jobs and opportunity.

The following song represents that era to me. In fact, this song was written in Seattle (making it one of the oldest songs on the album.) It is a song that represents answering the call to adventure, the quest for enlightenment, and an unknown white trash alien turned activist and family man MC walking through the city, inspired to make a change. And while it is not my favorite song, nor the obvious hit single, it is where the album needs to start: So here it is, track 1, Morning Mantra. I invite you to come with me on this journey...

This song is also the first song I have paid to be mixed and mastered with donations to my indie go go campaign from people like you. 

Click here to donate.

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...
-Plaedo


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