A Letter From Underground Al

 We at The Underground Alliance were wandering the city of Fredericton, when we came across a strange man preaching what seemed to be nonsense to a small crowd. Some of the people were laughing, but some of them were crying. Strolling over to get a closer look, we noticed a pungency that only even the most morose of alley cats could produce. This guy was obviously out of his head. He had an old vinyl record in his grasp and was waving it around as if to hypnotize an orchestra. His jacket was slim and tattered and we assumed he had stolen the perfectly conditioned Top Hat upon his melon. A quick look was all we needed to disband this “creature” as just another vagabond dog, just looking to blow off some steam. It wasn’t until he turned his face that we saw it. He had mirror-like eyes and we could see ourselves staring back. His skin was every shade of every race and his voice was monotone and crisp. Where did he come from? We all wondered. Even later that night we couldn’t stop talking about that broken milk crate he perched upon and the faces of the minds he was melting. Previous responsibilities and a sudden urge to run kept us from getting too close. It wasn’t until we received this letter that we knew he was for real. “This random, this freak, this kaleidoscope dream will remain as such, a spirit of the scene. I am a reflection. I am the dream you don’t tell people about. Cast away and thrown from trains I’ve learned to live and I’ve lived the pain of knowing where love truly lies. Not in a pocket but inside of your mind. If you hate me, tell me. But if you love me, tell the world.” Those were the last words he said to us…..until now.

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 Bad day? Bad relationship? Bad Medicine? Let’s forget about that for a minute and talk. You remember what that is, don’cha? Sure, you’re reading and I’m writing but isn’t that the way of today? The majority of the conversations I have ( that aren’t with myself) are cast across a screen. I text, I Facebook, I’d like to start using carrier pigeons, and I most definitely cannot do the hand jive with my feet. I think we have a lot to say to each other and maybe somewhere along the way I might actually make sense for once. So let’s TALK.
I’m going to go ahead and assume that the majority of people reading this are on equal ground as myself if not a few stages up and I will address you as such. I want to know what makes you tick, I want to know what makes you cry or scream or grasp out for the first stranger at the mall and yell “ I NEED MORE COWBELL”!!!!! I am going to portray absolute certainty to the best of my own knowledge, throw it in a blender with some homemade mosh sauce and a splash of mullet grease and serve it up slick. Do you know what that means? It means I’m going to tell you exactly what you want to hear but in the worst way possible. In my own words.

So I know what you must be thinking. “ Oh Al, tell me more, you are just sooo cool” so I’ll start you off with exactly what makes me tick. MUSIC!!!! Music ,oh sweet music. From the bowels of Native throat singers across the Muddy Waters and directly into the mosh pit, I love ‘er all. Ludwig Van Beethoven ( the original metal head) said that “ Music is a higher revelation than wisdom and philosophy” and I can’t say I disagree. How many of you lovers out there have “ a song”. You know what I mean, that song that plays on the radio and you just sink back into your seat or fall a little deeper into your boots. It’s the song that carries you back to the arms of days past and nostalgic wisps’ of scents and spirits coagulate into your empty bits. First dance? There’s a song for that. First Kiss? There a song for that. First Song? There’s even a song for that. There is literally a tune to turn the tides in any sort of ties that bind, and in the way we see the turns, comes back to just a song we heard. Even the way that I talk is somehow inspired by music. Did you know that some ancient cultures would only use music in ritual? They believed that music was the only key to the other worlds and as they drank more and more wine they equated the inebriation to the music and not the alcohol. They believed that the music was changing their mental state. Now a lot of these culture’s were privy to the whole “ Sacrifice and Chill” lifestyle so it’s not surprising that they would party pretty hardy. I’ve never been much into the killing aspect of things but I did sacrifice a goat when Dio died (metaphorically of course and it probably would have metaphorically tasted better if Ginger Ben didn’t metaphorically burn it).

Either way, you can call it what you like but everyone has their type of music. Best advice I can give? Get into the scene. Get into the grimy edges of your Honey boo boo neck crust of a city and turn that puddle into an oasis. Find the local talent, become their friends. Meet more bands, become their friends as well. If you’re already in a band, respect your fans. Fans are Friends not Food. If you need to charge too much for a show, then play a smaller venue. If we like you, we’ll still come whether we’re so squished that we get ninja diddled constantly. You don’t need to be a Virtuoso or study at “ Randy Blythe’s School for Stage Dive Etiquette and Safety” to be able to help fellow musicians be more efficient or fellow fans to be more supportive. Trust me, I’ve played in bands and I sucked at it so this is just a matter of opinion but I’ve been a fan my whole life so I know a little about a lot . If your friends are in a band as well, help each other out. Lend equipment, borrow supplies, bond, bake, break up and do it all over again. BE EACH OTHERS NUMBER ONE FAN. Don’t trade merch’, buy it. You can’t eat a t-shirt. And chances are that 20 bucks you just spent is going to be returned when they buy one of your bands t-shirts. Work together. We need each other. Home work for the month: If you listen to Metal, I want you to listen to a Pop radio station for one hour. I know it’s going to hurt but just roll around a bit and think happy thoughts. Are you a hip hop or dance music fan? Go out and check a local metal show. And the same goes for you, I know its going to hurt but a good roll around and swift tickle will take the edge off. Let me know how it goes, and don’t just listen to the music, FEEL the music. The next Tarja Turunen could be out there, IN YOUR TOWN, and you’ll never know because she’s stuck in front of a 30 piece high school orchestra when she should be on her way to Heavy Montreal. Open your ears and we will open ours. Always mosh responsibly, and remember, There is no “ I ” in “SCENE”.

Sincerely,
Your Child in Time,
Underground Al

Underground Al

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