I Have Trust Issues Because of Tool

I remember being in Hot Topic in the 7th grade with my mom and begging her to buy me a shirt with this logo on it.  She wouldn't.
I remember being in Hot Topic in the 7th grade with my mom and begging her to buy me a shirt with this logo on it. She wouldn’t

If I were ever in some kind of weird hostage and/or deserted island situation where I had the option to only listen to one band for the rest of eternity, without question, that band would be Tool.  I could listen to the first track of Opiate all the way up to the last track of 10,000 Days over and over and over again and never get bored, tired, or sick of as much as a single note.  The only difficulty I would face in this choice is if I had to isolate one album as superior to the rest; I simply cannot pick one lone song, let alone one album, that stands above the rest.  The deep complexity that goes behind each and every one of Tool’s pieces is just so deeply masterful that I still feel the same intense spiritual reaction listening to the band now as I did in the 7th grade.

The problem with loving Tool so much is that I feel like I’m in a dishonest relationship that I can’t escape.  Here I am, impatiently awaiting new ANYTHING from the Tool camp, and instead, my hopes and expectations are just being met with lie after lie.  For the past several years, Tool’s all like “Oh, hay, guyz, our new album is coming along great” and then they’re all “lol just jk tho.”  I’m also still convinced that when the band issued a statement claiming that writing was being delayed because half the band was injured in a vespa accident was also just another bogus rumor.  Which, by the way, that was over two years ago, and there are still no new/real updates on this freakin’ album other than “we’re working on it.”  But like, are you really though?

Why can’t Tool just go straight Beyonce on us all and release a secret album in the night?  I mean, okay, obviously they’re nothing like Beyonce because they’re actual artists and not manufactured pop sensations, but still, I wouldn’t be mad if I woke up one morning and the internet was all “Surprise! Here’s a new Tool album.”  And in all fairness, this doesn’t seem far off from something they would do.  It’d be nice if that happened, like, tonight.  Oh, or on Record Store Day 2015!  That’s reasonable, right?  I’m spitting out great ideas here.  Someone should tell Maynard.

I mean, really though.
I mean, really though.

My overly dramatic whining aside, I do respect Tool as both musicians AND artists.  I realize that the kind of music they make isn’t something that can be achieved in a condensed period of time.  I would prefer Tool to take 10,000 days to make quality music than have them release some rushed, sub-par piece of shit.  Could you imagine if Tool put out a bad album?  What if they didn’t put out anymore music ever again?  I guess life will go on, but what kind of life would that really be?  I don’t even know how I would handle either of the aforementioned situations.  What would I even do?  Drugs, probably. Lots of drugs.

In the end, I guess it isn’t so bad that the Tool album hasn’t come together yet.  I just wish they’d stop fibbing though.  Is that so much to ask?

-@Mercyfulkate

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Spring Is A Comin': Breaking the Cycle

It’s that time of year again. The post-NYE-resolution phase, where many of our fitness goals die after the 8 weeks of our “best” efforts at the gym. It’s that constant cycle- the roller-coaster of motivation that has us eating salads one minute, and snagging a fat pizza slice the next. There’s Something about the little victories and 5-pounds dropped in the first few weeks that has me allowing myself to slack now and then. The slack builds up, and suddenly I’m back to square one with my “new year, new me” journey.

YOOOO

For a lot of women out there, I’m sure you feel me. You’re tired of the up and downs, the constant battle to be in the physical shape you’ve always wanted to be. It’s not about looking a certain way or being ridiculously skinny but wanting to live life with the energy to do everything you want to do. You FINALLY want that goal achieved. I realize that I want that goal achieved and we both can, we break the cycle. This isn’t some bullshit article with magical tips and tricks to help you lose 20 pounds fast. This is some REAL advice for those wishing to break their old habits and start anew. I’ve been thinking about my own progress towards my health and fitness goals, and have found some ways to help those struggling like me.

It really is a lifestyle change, so stop kidding yourself with temporary plans to be ready for bikini season. If you want to be a fit, healthy individual there is no start and stop time for your journey. Don’t think for a second that once you hit that number on the scale that you can stop thinking about what you put in your mouth becuase It doesn’t work that way. A temporary change will only bring a temporary result. You need to create healthy habits that become a part of everyday life…like doing butt clenches on the subway or taking the stairs over the elevator. The little steps we can work into our daily lives will be the consistent victories that produce consistent results.

STEP ONE
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. If we have to agree to this never ending quest called a “lifestyle change,” why make it harder on ourselves? Stop pretending that you can get that firm ass in 1 month. You can’t realistically jump head first binging kale chips, nixing soda, and promising that you’ll wake up every day at 6am to hit the gym before work because lets keep it real, you can’t keep that up. Start small, and work your way to long term success. Start by jogging 1 mile, at least once a week. Once you’ve done that a few times in a row, up it to at least 2 times a week. Don’t block your beloved Dr. Pepper from your life forever, maybe just see each other a couple times during the weekend – casual dating. You’ll be doomed from the start if you keep trying to bite off more than you can chew.

cheat meal

STEP TWO
Treat Yo’self..just, never with food. Having a rewards system is important, but if the reward is counterproductive to the goal, WTF is the point? You want the reward to be something that will further motivate you to work harder. A good example for the stoners out there, would be to not smoke weed until you’ve completed your workout that day. This works – 1: You get a better high and 2: you will program your habits to get that workout done as soon as possible, in order to receive the reward sooner. GOOD TIMES FOR ALL.

STEP THREE
Have your Bestie kick your ass. Misery loves company and gym company will help you get the most out of your workouts. Let’s face it, we don’t want to look like lazy slobs in front of our friends so we will push ourselves harder when we exercise with them. The more honest the friend, the better. I’m not saying your friends should judge your appearance but it’s amazing how hard you’ll work when your old friend from college mentions the extra 10 pounds you’ve added. Use the free motivation and give them a reason to tell you “damn, you look good.”

STEP FOUR
How does that make you “feel”? I’m not your therapist, but paying attention to how food effects our energy levels is a great strategy to help curb the junk food binges. You’ll notice it actually feels good to eat a salad, and how much more productive you can be when you think of food as fuel. It’s also helpful to note when food makes you feel shitty- because connecting junk food with the negative feelings can help destroy cravings for it in the future.

STEP FIVE
Light your fire. A little cliché, but it’s amazing what a little passion can do for your goals. Find something interesting about health and/or fitness. Find a sport you love. Make your health and fitness goals part of your interests and values and you will find it easier to be motivated. It seems simple but cultivating whatever genuinely interests you and fueling it towards your goals can do wonders for your progress.

STEP SIX, the most important!
DON’T BE A FUCKING QUITTER. Seriously, you’ll feel like a loser and you know it. The only way to truly give up on “the new you” is to stop. To quote my favorite lesbian fish, “just keep swimming” because even if you slow down, you’re still moving forward.

- @lindseyralls

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Litterboxx Podcast – Episode 12

A choice cut from Boston's Tinder population. You can't buy class this rich.
A choice cut from Boston’s Tinder population. You can’t buy class this rich.
TWELVE EPISODES. That’s a lot of shit talking my friend.

The winter is misery on the east coast and we’ve taken a beating over the last few months. Katy and I talk about treacherous weather conditions and recount both our getaways to Boston brotown and Nashville over the past month. In Boston, Zeena re-ignites her passion for authentic white meat and immediately abandons it. On a finer tip, we discuss the term “heavy petting,” some choice terms for lady parts and the eternal question, “did the forefathers manscape?”

We dive into our time on the High Times Instagram, body shaming and trolling in digital spaces. Isn’t it ironic that in a digital world that should be judgement free, so many are fueled by hatred? Jeez, smoke a fat one and STFU. We discuss wanting to feel special, Zeena joining a new gym and the most important news of the last few weeks – JNCO’s making a comeback. THE 90’s ARE LEGIT BACK.

We have a lady of the 90’s on as our guest, international singing powerhouse Janet Devlin. Check out her new album “Running With Scissors” + more here:
http://www.twitter.com/janetjealousy
http://www.janetdevlin.com/store/

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Enjoy!
– @zeenakoda

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Emotional Landscapes

“I like people too much or not at all – I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.”

Gameface. Everyday, all day in order to survive. It’s the way we live now, lost in a sea of highlighted events filtered and cropped to our liking. Values gauged by the push of a button are constantly thrown in our faces and modern dating has been downgraded to a swipe and emoji. Everyone wants everything with no repercussions. Commitment is definitely hard to find because it truly is incredibly hard to commit. Everyday we’re faced with a cocktail all these poisons, whether it be a partner, friend, work associate or casual associate. Everyone has a role in this comedy and tragedy. There was a time when emotion was a go to for me. Maybe it was sheer stupidity and immaturity, or perhaps it was an addiction to the hope that kept emotion at the forefront. I’m also not exclusively talking about love, I’m talking about all emotion. That hope for your dream job, heated debate with your best friend, “the band is gunna make it man” and that oh so apparent emotional bubbling when your parents try to mandate some kind of rules on you. Jeez ma, didn’t know know I WANTED to grow up a savage? Emotional, all of it.

LOLZ

And yet as I get older I see emotion take a backseat. Everyday I battle how invested in anything I should be at this point because loving lightly is not my style. I started wondering if maybe my callous in life had made me so numb that emotions weren’t worth the investment for me anymore. Then I got sad thinking about how shitty it is to not to feel emotion. Like seriously, what the fuck is the point of being alive? Not saying that overly expressing your emotions irresponsibly is the way to go but what has happened to our culture?! We’ve built an entire commerce infrastructure based on emotion. We appeal to emotions to evoke action in almost every area of life yet it’s frowned upon when someone gets emotional. What a confusing war.

Emotion is why people going through breakups experience so much transition. It’s a burst of emotional revelation, a purging of your investment. I often see people make incredible changes they should have made years ago after a breakup and think “why wait until then?!” Emotion is currency, an investment. Although I’m living in a culture where emotion is frowned upon, I refuse to abandon it. You need to actively remember why we’re here and put it on the line sometimes because without emotion, nothing gets done. Believe me, communicating real emotion has never come easy to me, which is probably why my preferred method of expression is writing and songwriting. Free reign to be emotional and write it off as artistic, not crazy. I’m a super tough broad but when I feel emotion for something, it cracks the facade. Pride makes it difficult for me to find that balance, especially after experiencing so many let downs. Everyday is a checks and balances of how much we want to dive into that investment, that emotional revelation.

Emotion is fun, it makes us feel fucking alive. In a time where everyone is so intent on self gratification and saving face, crazy emotional still seems worth the real investment to me.

– @zeenakoda

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Litterboxx Podcast – Episode 11

We’ve been trying to get on that weekly flow but the east coast weather has thrown us into the fire. In this episode we talk about our Superbowl experience, the bullshit Grammy’s and one awesome Machinehead show we attended. We also go into Bruce Jenner’s timely metamorphosis and the vaccine crisis, because seriously who has time to deal with the plague?

In true Litterboxx form we dive into the important dating issues of the last few weeks. Between loaded L words, dating someone straight edge and recounting past adventures – there never is a shortage of hysterical activity. We discuss Valentine’s Day and proper sexual etiquette, two things that clearly go hand in hand. Also, excited to have on a kindred female spirit, Tracy G from Sway In the Morning, who you can catch on SiriusXM’s Shade 45 every weekday morning.

Some real talk about life, love and of course, sex from the most outrageous group of clams yet :)

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Old Hardcore Dudes: Who’s Doing It Better?

Whilst I am an avid punk rocker, I do have hardcore tendencies. Hardcore is a genre with multiple bands that dropped their first album in the late 80’s that are still releasing sick albums (or at least still touring). When I think of bands like that, the first few that come to mind are Sick of it All, Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front. I mean, duh.

So, let’s get down to business: the vocalists of these three bands have been crucial to the development and growth of the hardcore scene. Anyone that gives a rat’s ass about hardcore should have nothing but respect for these dudes.  I’ve decided that I want to compare the three and elect who is doing the whole “old hardcore dude” thing the best.  I’m going to judge them a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the best) on four categories: Oldness (how old they are compared to the others), Current Vocals (how their vocals have stood the test of time), Band Boner (how much I like the band), and Attire Choices (how they currently dress).

LOUDon’t worry, there is a bar graph at the end.

Lou Koller, Sick of it All: Who doesn’t love Lou? Not only is he the front man of one of the best hardcore bands to ever exist, but also he is pretty much the nicest guy in the world. Regarding the judging criteria, Lou ranks the lowest in the Oldness category at a mere 49 years old; younger than both JJ and Roger. I think his current vocals are still damn good, even compared to his younger days, which ranks him very high in this category. Band Boner gets a very high ranking seeing that I have a SOIA dragon tattooed behind my ear so I’m [happily] stuck with the essence of this band forever. Plus, SOIA released their first full-length in 1989 and just dropped The Last Act of Defiance in late 2014. How many bands can do that shit? And last but not least, Attire Choices is moderately high because he still rocks the Fred Perry polos and pulls off everything nicely.  He isn’t trying to dress young or old, he just wears his shit and it looks great. Lou finishes with a total of 33.

CroMags.FCC_.Fri_.PRB2014.byDeniseBorders_06John Joseph, Cro-Mags: I will admit, anyone that knows me well knows that I have a huge boner for this man. Nonetheless, this article does not have to do with boning but instead, figuring out which one of these 40-somethings are still screaming into a mic with integrity even 20+ years later. Now this enthusiastic vegan, Iron Man completing fool, is actually in his 50’s and could still kick your ass. This ranks him the highest in the Oldness category.  Current Vocals are given a moderate ranking because he still sings the shit out of his songs, but you never really could understand everything JJ screamed into a mic, even 20 years ago. Band Boner, again, is high because I have a Cro-Mags inspired Don’t Tread on Me tattoo and well, they fucking rule and that’s just the way it is. His Attire Choices have evolved to mostly Sea Shepard and Iron Man t-shirts and let’s be real, we all prefer this man  shirtless. JJ finished with a total of 34.
7-30-_Roger
Roger Miret, Agnostic Front: This band has had a huge hand in the hardcore scene since they started releasing albums in the mid 80’s. Roger has also quoted, “Never trust a hardcore kid that has not listened to punk rock.” which I totally respect. Of all the band’s, Agnostic Front probably is my least listened to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to them. I listen to AF albums in my car (yes, I still have visor CD holders) and don’t hit “skip” when it comes on my iPod, but nonetheless, it puts his Band Boner ranking the lowest.  His Current Vocals also are ranked the lowest of the three because I just don’t think his voice has stood the test of time as well as the others. However, Roger really shines in the Attire Choices category because he still wears a bandana and band t-shirts, not changing his look at all but still implementing the “hardcore kid” wardrobe above satisfactory. Roger finishes with a total of 27.

So, there you have it.

screenshot_03

Based on the graph, it looks like John Joseph squeaked by with a 34 out of a possible 40 on the Old Hardcore Dude-Ness scale that I completely made up.  It was a close call between him and Lou, but I think the fact that he is three years older really clenched the win for him.  In conclusion, this is all pointless and holds no baring on how rad these dudes are and how awesome it is that they are still playing shows and making music. [Madball ripoff] HARDCORE LIVES.

- Denise Borders / @Punkworldviews
http://punkworldviews.com

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Litterboxx Podcast – Episode 10 with Black Star Riders

Getting this podcast off the ground was a real learning process for both Katy and I. I did radio for 5 1/2 years, an area where production comes readily and the audience is a given because it’s already there, so I had no clue where to begin with this. Building something from the ground up and sticking with it, that’s some whole other level shit. Putting it out there to be scrutinized takes some thick skin and the support of those who believe in you. If you’re reading this: that’s you and I appreciate your support :)

BSR

It’s hard to believe that we’re already 10 episodes deep but we celebrate our anniversary with a bang. We talk about Zeena’s experiences at a bachelorette party which fittingly included good times at male strip show, getting ghetto fab at the hip-hop club and learning the correct bachelorette etiquette. We talk weddings, their value and if it’s really for everyone which is of course, mainly us.

We explore the possibility and dilemma of catching “the feelings” and how those lovely thangs play into each person’s insecurity and crazy. We take a look deeper into social media context clues and what Facebook, Instagram and Twittter are really doing to help and hurt the relationship struggle. Creepers gunna creep, right? Did you know there was a beard-centric dating app called “Bristlr?” Now you do. Also, because we love funny broads, we chat about Broad City for a few and even dive into our love for Marc Maron because podcast love, is real love. If you can have someone else project their misery to you in a hilarious way, you’ve found the winner.

We also have our first interview with two amazingly talented and seasoned buds from Black Star Riders, Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson. The guys were hilarious and have a new album out 2/24 via Nuclear Blast “The Killer Instinct,” pre-order it here: http://media.nuclearblast.de/shoplanding/2015/BSR/the-killer-instinct.html

Enjoy the ride.
– @zeenakoda

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GuestBoxx: Hanna Brewer from Purple – What It’s Like To Be A Lady Dude

We all know what it’s like to feel out of place, but as a woman in a sea of dicks sometimes the insider view gets beyond interesting. You find out WAY too much about men: the good, the bad, the gross and sometimes the most surprising thing – the weirdly insecure and sensitive side. Very rare. In our quest to understand the male species, ladies of all kinds must share their experiences and impart that knowledge on the world. For that, we bring on some GuestBoxx. This week we have Hanna Brewer from Purple, who dropped a new album (409) today via Play It Again Sam/[PIAS] America. She lived it, we learn it.
– @zeenakoda

purple_-c2aejennfive_0936

Lady dudes aren’t transvestites. They are a rare specimen of female who know when to follow and know when to lead. “You’ve got to fight but keep it light,” ya know? I would say that is the ultimate motto for the “L.D.’s” aka LADY DUDES. I, Hanna Brewer, made it up – thank you, thank you, I know. It’s just so enlightening. I consider myself a very well rounded L.D. so lemme tell y’all about it.

I’m in a rock band called Purple, playing the drums and singing. I can get myself all prettied up, load and unload equipment, set it all up, beat the hell out of the drums while screaming my (metaphorical) balls off, flirt with the crowd, take apart my drums, sell a bunch of merch while wasted dudes hug me and then go talk to whoever about getting paid. I’m the leader but a part of the team. It’s an art form man. Once I start thinking I’m the baddest bitch, I just become an asshole and if it wasn’t for all these shaggy men helping me pump out the jams on stage, I would be a lesser version of the magnificent lady dude I can be.

L.D.’s are just straight up women who know how to take care of all their people and themselves. We speak our opinions and listen to others. We’re not afraid to get all sweaty and dirty even if we had just spent an hour getting ready. Ultimately, we have balance in our lives. One of my favorite female artists, Lizzo, puts it perfectly in one of her songs, “act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss, work, work like a boss.” That’s whats up.

All I have to say to all my fellow lady dudes out there is, keep getting it done girlfriend.

-Hanna Brewer, @Purpletxmusic

Purple’s new album (409) is out on iTunes now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/409/id918875681

www.facebook.com/purpletexasmusic
www.twitter.com/Purpletxmusic

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Love and marriage, spare me the horse and carriage

For the last month my life has been consumed with taking care of my best friends wedding. Between the bachelorette party, actual wedding logistics and scrambling to find an acceptable dress that isn’t whore length, there’s a lot to account for. Fold in the fact I’ll be #broke paying it off the next 3 months, it has made me realize that it is a true gauge of how much you really want it. Consolation: she looked beautiful and hasn’t been happier so at least, it wasn’t all in vain. As a non-traditionalist, the cliche wedding execution always perplexed me. Why not have a dinner? Why not eliminate the stress that pomp and circumstance puts on everyone involved? Why not go to an island, elope and spend all the time you were going to bullshit the 10 relatives you didn’t even want to invite, fucking your new life partner. Despite the good times you’re offering your family, what is the ultimate payoff for a full-blown, traditional wedding?

The traditional route is what we as kids were forced to believe was valid. A life that is “fulfilled” could only be validated by kids and marriage in the picturesque way. The older I get the more I realize how much marriage itself is a rouse within a rouse. I’m not talking about companionship and shared goals, but marriage ceremony and concept itself. Call me a byproduct of the divorce generation, but until my 30’s I never even thought twice about how relevant marriage actually was to my life. You see everyone else around you pairing off, sometimes with people that make sense and other times with whatever scraps are left. Life always seemed like too much of an adventure to resign to that kinda commitment so early on. You marry, pop out a few kids in 5 years and sit back and wait for the rest of your life to unfold. Personal ambitions fall to the wayside because you have a human now relying on you. In many ways I view parenthood very seriously, much more seriously than marriage because it’s a task you need to take on wholeheartedly with compassion and understanding like no other. There is no sick day or “I’ll get to it later” because everything you do will impact your child. Even if you have the commitment of another to help you in that journey, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will uphold it. Kids are no fucking joke becuase they’re the physical manifestation of REAL commitment, literally the two people combined.

The most beautiful part of the ideal of marriage is the thought of having a partner. Someone to ride through life’s bullshit with, theoretically someone who will emotionally and physically be there through everything. A person you can laugh with, openly be honest and emotional with and someone who will always put your best interests first. The problem is we’re all human and as much as love can carry two people together, sometimes it can be the same poison that kills them. Personally, I fucking love flaws and I’ll never be someone who looks for perfection in a partner. Somewhere in my fucked up database of psychology it occurred to me that if I can make it with someone under flawed circumstances, they might have the endurance to get through anything. I’ve had “nice guys” walk out on me, bad dudes come through at the most unexpected times and many other situational surprises that make me sympathetic to many situations. Hats off to all my non-traditional types and respect also to those that decide to take the road more traveled. For me, hopeless romanticism is my theoretical marriage.

– @zeenakoda

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The Litterboxx Podcast – Episode 9

SWORD ON FLEEK BABY
SWORD ON FLEEK BABY
Almost 10 deep, every gals dream right?

2015 starts with a bang as Katy and Zeena discuss working at Hot Topic + Zeena’s VICE Noisey piece talking about those crazy, yet memorable times. We also dive into classy behavior such as stealing food from the buffet, stalking significant others and their current partners on social media and sex education classes. On the more committed end of the spectrum, we chat about being a bridesmaid and all the weird quirks that come with it. We even get into the dreaded M word – MARRIAGE.

We all know it will cross our path at some point but everyone has a different stance. As ladies, people expect us to embrace it. Zeena a fan of kids + marriage, Katy is less of an advocate. We explore the middle ground and all the fun bullshit that pours into it in between. Listen in, we’re switching to weekly so expect more coming up! :)

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