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I just had my first baby, a sonic love-child called NATHANIEL. my man and i combined, combed through the knotted threads of space/time with our nimble fingers, and with our fingers, plucked & drummed & tweaked & turned until our heart-baby fleshed out. the DNA may be ours, but ART sparked the life. Art used our simple bodies to perpetuate itself. ART ("god") is the Mother for whom we are surrogates. we took reigns on the instruments, but only because Art had reigns on us. Art is a dominatrix! with all the flesh and bondage, needless to say this was pretty hot.
Art is Sex because it is sensuous, carnal, even reproductive (of the spirit of man) -- thus propagating evolved forms of the beings unto whom they were born. we made love with Art, and now i am a new mother to a 12-track organism that cries, laughs, learns, and never dies. now the kid is out on its own, in other peoples' cars, communicating for us, without us. the thing is a reflection of us, but because Art made it, and Art is Mother to us all, the thing is a reflection of you too. take care of it, and it will take care of your heart!
to release NATHANIEL is in part, abandonment. we could cultivate these tunes forever and they would only get closer to "perfection" but never become it. "perfect" is elusive, illusion, illustrated in Universal Balance which is simply Constant Chaos. true Perfection is acceptance of chaos, of imperfection -- uniting with the honest reality of this grotesque and beautiful present moment.
thus i will not apologize for Art, or how it had its way with me. i surrender to the divine secret, which i can neither grasp nor question. like anyone i am a small organic chemical conduit for the dimension of infinite apparitions. i with my limited human brain need not force answers out of a cosmic mystery. it is what it is. que sera sera. NATHANIEL.
My love Musik is the son of a Air Force Sargeant, so he grew up all over the States and parts of Europe. During a four-month stay at a Floridian high school, he formed The Moore Cody Experience with a group of kick-ass juveniles. They bonded tight and rocked some shows together before Musik suddenly bounced, as was his nature, to Texas. Years later, while Fifth Nation was on one of our early tours, the boys reunited on a Philly sidewalk. Since then they've become my great friends. The most bearded of this crew, Joey Volume, recently began travelling from Philly to NYC every weekend to help us work on our upcoming record. Volume has become crucial to the Fifth Nation nucleus, as a dedicated roadie, mechanic, gear head, session vocalist, merch prince, extra pair of ears, extra stomper of pedals, extra booster of spirit . . . plus, he has drastically increased my gear lust. I am excited for the world to enjoy the pleasures of Joey Volume! Especially including his future line of Joey Volume custom gear: pedals, amplifiers, flight cases, and the like. This guy is legit.
Yeah man, our record is coming our on March First and we are actually excited about it. Twelve tracks of completely self-produced home-grown music from the heart of Fifth Nation in the heart of BKLYNNYCUSA. These are some really great songs, and they legitimately sound awesome through the speakers thanks to Musik's incredible production skills. He blows me away with the magic he can make in that computer, I'm telling you. I am just so grateful to look around this room and see him sitting there playing some silly game on his iPhone, tea brewing at his feet, figs and honey . . . and see our spaceship -- all of these gorgeous robots with their slender cables and blinking lights, speaking that familiar alien tongue. We become more cyborg by the minute, don't we? -------- Then the more organic machines, glowing in the glory of their analog purity -- microphones, keys, guitars, objects like speakers, bells and cymbals that turn me on at the slightest touch. At the slightest tap, send me over the edge. I am hypnotized by all this magic -- digital, analog, spirit, flesh, salt, breath, plastic. My passion grows when I indulge my imagination beyond the power all this holds in my heart alone. I imagine how much power these simple things hold for the world. If I use these tools, and Art makes it through me unscathed, if I stay out of its way, and let it slip into Earthly waves from the Great Beyond -- I hope it lands in the deep chamber of your heart and gets all bloody and warm, and remains there dancing, making warm more warm.
Speaking of warm, how about this WEATHER?! Yeah, when I was a kid, it used to snow in the winter. When I was a kid, there were no iPhones, and we had to chat on AOL Instant Messenger. When I was a kid, I made soup out of dirt and onion grass, and I made pets out of ants and bees and abandoned baby birds. When I was a kid, I had no idea about anything. The only difference now is that I know I don't know anything. I just say what sounds good.
1/13/12 Today I wrote a song in the spirit of our current modern global revolution. It's called "Combat Kid" and it likens a musician to a soldier. Both are Brave Warriors, but the artist is nonviolent, depending on spiritual ammunition -- soulful expression and humane communcation -- as his Weapon of Choice in the ultimate battle between Good and Evil. In either case, combat boots are necessary. Here is the Fifth Nation Code of the Combat Kid, (based on the United States Military Code of Conduct):
(1) I am Human, fighting in the forces which guard Planet Earh and all inhabitants. I am prepared to give my life in their defense. (2) I will never surrender of my own free will. I will employ my free will to cultivate Peace and Inspire Love. (3) If I am captured, I will continue to resist with Compassion, Creativity, Humor and Patience. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape, including my captors. (4) If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep Faith with my fellow prisoners and those who imprison me. (5) When questioned, I will answer only in Song and Dance. (6) I will never forget that I am Human, fighting for Freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which make all Humans Free. I will trust in Love and the United Spirit of the Universe.
"Stepping On / Steady, Strong / Lock & Load / Follow The Code of the Combat Kid" ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ "I Got My Gear On / I Got My Six-String Shotgun / Bullets For a Better World"
A Day In The Life, In Sixteen Details: Today, Wednesday December 14th 2011
1) 8:30 a.m. alarm!! sucks me back from outer space -- much too early for holy Night Rockers who lose sleep to studio raging, but today is all about doin' it all for the kids, so up I go. 2) Musik has a particularly strong aversion to early rising, so he stays under the blankets groaning while I brew organic Costa Rican beans, hoping the thick aroma pulls his skinny ass outta bed 'cause i know my guilt trip ain't workin. 3) i paint some stripes in my hair, boil rolled oats with cinammon, stir in sunflower seeds, chopped apple and banana and graciously accept their nutrients. 4) out the door, down the block, now we're rollin' our trusty van through Bed Stuy into Williamsburg -- hit the studio, grab our shit real quick, heavy lifting -- it's a nice day and the birds are singing! we're on the clock, gotta be there before 11! 5) fly across the bridge into Manhattan, always a fine view. 6) pull up outside the high school, flip on the hazards, grab our toys, heavy lifting through the halls onto the stage of the massive assembly theater. one of the five cops at the entrance takes our I.D.s. -- that kind of school I guess -- so now we're officially registered visitors, which means we can't get away with any of those devious crimes we were planning. 7) run back outside to the van and what do i find? a bright orange parking ticket, bright as a beaming devil!! right there on the windshield -- $65. like, WTF?!? 8) back inside we hug Nora, the algebra teacher/O.G. who invited us. then a couple seniors come down after class -- Adam with his bass and Matt with his guitar, and we teach them the Fifth Nation song "Blue Gold" -- Nora asked us to come perform that number because the kids are getting hip to recycling and "Blue Gold" discusses the global corporate commiditization of drinking water. mm hmm! 9) class dismissed!! city kids pour in and find their seats while the trio of boys and I get down on an entrance jam: "Can't Stop", you know, that Red Hot Chili Peppers joint? 10) announcements! . . . boring . . . then -- 11) -- showtime!! we're here!! we're doin it for the kids!! our future!! our hope for a better world!! humbly we kill it, and graciously we accept their tremendous applause. hella elevated by this electric youth energy -- they doin the fuckin' wave out there for like the 12th time!! i play my best for them, and keep it real, gotta exponentiate that mutual inspiration. this is our future we're talking about and you gotsta dig it!! 12) the boys come up once more for "Blue Gold" and we rip up the finale, "Hey Jude", with everyone "na-na-na"-ing and clapping along like they ain't too cool for school. 13) show's over, kids file out, Musik shouts "I use glue!" into the mic, some of 'em stay to tell us that we made recycling seem cool. 14) i give Nora a back massage 'cause she deserves it. 15) we pack up, teach some students how to wrap cables and now we got us some roadies so we're heavy lifting again, out the door, in the street, to the van, trusty van! get an official letter from the principal asking the NYPD to void our ticket (let's cross our fingers for that one, alright ladies and gentlemen?). 16) in the van, flyin' high, cross to Brooklyn, studio time!! heavy lifting, share fresh salad, talkin bout fresh beats and ballads!! write a song, jam it out, Non-Stop Nation -- NO DOUBT!!
in memory of Steve Jobs, we hocked my spy grandfather's old gold cuff links and got a Mac Mini -- a compact robust computing genius, much like the late creator himself. 'twas a pivitol moment in Fifth Nation history -- until then we relied on a menopausal laptop and a system of aggregated interfaces which confused the hell out of both me and the computer, (but Musik seemed to know exactly what was going on) -- "we have got to get an i7 dual-core processor with 8GB ram and a 7200 rpm drive and a FocusRite Saffire Pro40 firewire interface so we can hook up our JBL JRX100s & Alesis M1Actives and bask in the LED-glory of our Samsung SyncMaster . . ." ---- "right! okay, darling, sounds great!" we've been accumulating equipment ever since we met 3/1/09 -- but without a powerful computer, we were kids with a kite and no wind. now it's like a fuckin TORNADO in this bitch! by our own powers and will we have transformed our ghetto mash-up into a zooming SPACE-SHIP -- a NONSTOP recording, engineering and producing machine with NO mention of "CPU OVERLOAD".Hallelujah! Re-Birth! Baptism in the sonic waters of our dream come true! soon, all of our music will be here for you, so that you may devour it, so that it may flood you with honeyed nutrients and revitalize your weary marrow. you may use it as you please, as is natural, as an aphrodisiac, or a mirror or a bathtub or a sky, a jungle -- an upper, a liquid elixir -- or a sedative, a heavy pill. hell, i don't know what it's going to do to you, but i swear my intentions are good. lately i've been obsessed with the electromagnetic heart -- it is so powerful that it radiates a giant sphere of electromagnetism around your body. i like to imagine everyone as floating orbs, pulsating independently, until they meet and the invisible powers of their hearts combine to create an epically more powerful energetic force. like "Station", the grotesque alien monster in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. alas, the heart gets its information from the brain, and we all know what a fucked up place that is. so that's where "intention" comes in -- the calm focus i apply to my mind so that instead of sending haunted rivers of poison to my heart, my brain sends rivers of love which radiate electromagnetically around me. i like to imagine a world where everyone uses intention to turn their own little selves into a spinning galaxy of love. it's so possible! i solemnly dedicate myself to this belief system until life batters me into a cynic. when that day comes, consider me dead and done for. i refuse to let misery rob me of idealism. i believe in humans!!!!!!!! i fucking love humans, as sinister as we are . . . and that is exactly why Fifth Nation sits in this room day in and day out, plucking on our little wooden instruments, plugging away on our various robots, working to give you a gift, our version of God. Music. Love. Chaos. Peace. Infinity. Life -- it's bigger than our bodies
10/18/11, CMJ @ Brooklyn Bowl: **lights, curtains, action!** FIFTH NATION, START YOUR ENGINES!! VROOM, BLAST, slam fuZZ, grittttttyyyyyy raw zoom la-la BOOM!! beating heart in unison with my lover kickin' n slappin' skins stage right. beating heart in unison with our NYC diehards, out in full color, and -- what's this? loyal CT crew!! how i love thee and thy super-down ways!!! also, hundreds of unknowns, filling this lovely room, all people blossoming in this blooming, fragrant hour. FN UNITE! in between songs I hear the victorious slamming of pins -- "STRIKE!" -- "what's up bowlers?!" everyone's singing along, everyone is radiant and free. way we ought to be.
10/22/11, East Williamsburg: no underground Brooklyn art party goes well without titties, and for a moment I was thinking this party could be a drag. thankfully, a Dia de los Muertos chica bares herself and now i'm ready to ROCK! Huff This just harvested a mind-bending set (Alison had butterfly wings on, and at the end there, when she was singing that strongest note, with her mouth so wide, she was not fluttering like butterflies do -- she was flying full-speed like a fierce Pterodactyl). alright this room is PACKED -- our California-fantasy-rock-n-roll-tour comrades Pint Shot Riot are here from England! I found WALDO! that brownie is starting to kick in . . . I got my guitar, alright let's do this!! mic check one-two WHATS UP BROOKLYYYNNN!!!! suddenly, this entire room is throbbing with dancers and now I understand.
10/23/11, Greenwich Village, Manhattan: Musik keeps getting stuck in the fake cobwebs -- his drumsticks, his hair, his shirt -- and the beautiful girl keeps yelling that he's stuck so he might as well just never leave and just keep playing there forever! there's a dozen people here and everyone's watching the television(s).
10/26/11, Meebo/CollegeHumor Private Party, Manhattan: more fraudulent spiderwebs, but this time they're stretched across the ceiling of an enormous Gramercy lounge-bar. sexy ad nerds are in full costume, pouring in, party time! Fifth Nation party band: GO! G.I. Joe is doing the twist with Miss America, and I found WALDO again. rapped with unicorns, Jesus and M&Ms over olives and spanakopita. VAN IS TOWED = buzz-kill, until today's pleasant journey to that impound lot on the pier -- I strolled through the rain with a carnation bouquet, up West Side Highway *the 9A*, digging the love I felt from missing Musik, then I laid out all that cash so I could get my van back. I remembered that money is just money and it's not life.
i bet that bizarre chrysallis beneath my old door has broken apart to release its butterfly. but i wouldn't know because i've long since moved.
in fact, we moved yesterday, and we'll move again tomorrow. we are gypsies again, jellyfish, following the sun across the pond. the great earth is our home and we will rest in caves, bathe in rain, traditions transparent as window pane.
although, traditions often exist for good reason, and i'd say roofs and beds are A-OK. but, Fifth Nation has sacrificed house for home -- home is where the heart is, and our heart is music, more important than even a roof and bed! it is the most magnificent feeling, because i am living FREE, for love, and I am in love. with music, and Musik!
and the love for you, dear reader, dear listener, dear friend, is half why we keep making music in the face of adversity.
so please, deeply enjoy this soulful music, feel the love stitched in it just for you, let it pervade your cellular system, allow it to wash your marrow and floss your teeth. feel it drip down your spine and settle in your toes, and lift you to that elevated place. doesn't it feel quite healthy?
with or without roof. come rain, come wind and dust, we still have music and LOVE!
i don't mean to over-romanticize or exaggerate our situation -- we're not bummin' it quite as much as say, Robert Mappelthorpe and Patti Smith did back in the day, contracting TB and starving, reciting scrappy poems for loose change and acid tabs. no, no -- absolutely not. in fact, we are surviving quite well. we have our own recording studio in Williamsburg now, in which we are creating so many incredible new tunes and developing our production skills, we are performing at the dopest of venues including Brooklyn Bowl, where we will be rockin' the stage for CMJ on 10/18/7 pm. Our second film with Edwin Escobar, "Fight A War", was released and received several hundred views in the first 24 hours, "I'm In Love" is now being spun on radio stations across the globe, from CT and NY to the islands of HI. we will soon have new t-shirts thanks to your vote on our Next T-Shirt Design, and a new very first Fifth Nation-produced record is coming soon. we are fueled by these simple markers of progress, but truly, patience is key. with patience, you never feel the need to give up.
so, can i like, crash on your couch?
all was pleasant and breezy until . . .
BOOM BOOM GO GO ZAP ZING MAN DOWN RETREEEEAATTT!!!
these are the sounds you probably heard if you were in our music video, FIGHT A WAR, which we released at dawn Monday morning. many friends and fans showed up to McCarren Park in Brooklyn last month to throw water balloons around in an outrageous battle scene that was sparked by Musik stealing my last piece of sushi. the ever-incredible Edwin Escobar captured the madness on film -- watch FIGHT A WAR, now on our homepage and/or YouTube! love it, live it, SHARE IT!
yes, sharing is caring. the only reason Fifth Nation is starting to gain some real traction is because sharing exists. we share our art with you, you share a moment with us, you share your attention and support, then you share your enthusiasm for our shared experience with your friends, family, co-workers, teachers, students, secret lovers, pen-pals . . . and together we create an exponential network slathered in juicy love. slurp.
no seriously, it's delicious. we had a video release party last Friday in Avon, Connecticut, where we have generated a rabid fanbase, and I could taste the excitement, that salty electricity, sweet/tart like heart-blood. people were screaming, and crying, and chanting -- they created that! we came with our passion, they came with theirs, and together we shared an epic moment! all caught on tape by Edwin Escobar, of course, who will soon be releasing a video that captured the entire night, including behind-the-scenes footage and after-the-show interviews of fans! we couldn't have done that show without the Big Bar Radio crew and Esco, who collectively gave us this amazing gift:
also Kyle, Maggie and everyone at the Hessian Lion, and our rapidly-growing CT fanbase. we share, they share, and what you get after that can be infinitely huge.
that's what we're going for -- hugeness. this is new for me. for most of my life i had the veil that most people have over their eyes, mind, and spirit. i limited myself because i was afraid and insecure -- which is exactly what i wrote into Wide Awake -- "beautiful people are made to feel afraid and insecure and lonely". key word "made." bullshit in the media, bullshit in school, bullshit bullshit bullshit everywhere. makes you feel empty, useless and complacent, right? get over it. i can clearly see that humans are at a turning point in our evolutionary development, because more people than ever before are gaining wisdom and maturity that rips them from that comfortable/uncomfortable/numb zone of fear/laziness/apathy. our generation is super dope because we have to be entrepreneurs, we have to educate ourselves, and our everyday tools allow us to connect with almost every single piece of information on the planet, and practically every person. humans nowadays have a more global perspective, which, if you let it, can easily beget maturity, wisdom and compassion. so everything in the universe is a reflection of the nature of the universe -- things grow, chaotically, and eventually die. if one human life form clearly does that, so must our species as a whole. we are a relatively young species in the grand scheme of this planet's biology, and i think we're finally showing signs of adulthood -- i constantly see people fighting for justice, peace, unity and love in so many ways, with art, with law, with labor, with science and engineering . . . it's endless. i believe in humans and i believe in love, and i will never stop fighting for it in my own way. that's what i was getting to with this paragraph -- i finally discovered the source of my power, my bravery that will take me far past the limit i set for myself when i was an angsty teen fawning over pretty boys and ignoring my guitar. i'm the little engine that could. i think i can i think i can!
i KNOW I CAN!
believe and it will be.
because -- i think, therefore i am. also, i think i am, therefore, i am what i think i am.
so we shot our second video with Edwin Escobar, for our upcoming single "Fight A War", an ironic follow-up to "I'm In Love" (I'm always balancing extremes to find the calm center, but the more common discovery is consistent chaos). but of course, to make sure that Fifth Nation never neglects our position to manifest positive reality, we made a happy-ever-after-ending for the violent "Fight A War" battle flick. you'll see!! it will be released late September.
we've been playing endless gigs, like for instance last weekend we played for the FAB Fridays Brooklyn street fair, truly one of the strangest locations we've ever played (Six Flags might even be a runner-up) -- in front of a gas station on the corner of a busy intersection, with barely any foot traffic. it was like, "here?? you want us to play here?? . . . alright, fuck it." so we set up everything, rocked our little hearts out, and much to our pleasure and surprise gathered an amazing amazed crowd.
then we packed up everything, and shot straight up to rural CT where we rocked the same set for a completely different, but just as enthusiastic, audience. two shows in one night, now we're talkin'! the next day we rocked a super set in a barn for some of our favorite fans, the Big Bar Radio crew -- check out their underground radio station streaming amazing and diverse CT-based music ALL THE TIME! we were flying high from the rush of that gig until an old drunk fell and sliced his skull, prompting a halt to the party and a 911 call. major buzz-kill, reality-check type shit but i've gotten myself into this habit of taking ugly moments as opportunities to exercise my ability to find gratitude. in that situation, it was for things like hospitals and police, and just as we saw the flashing lights of cop cars and ambulance pull into the wooded drive of this barn, midnight struck, it was 9/11, and i felt an even greater surge of gratitude for the brave soldiers of these life-saving institutions. mad love and respect to the good cops.
we have a chrysalis mezuzah. for those of you non-Jews a mezuzah is a parchment inscribed with Hebrew verses in decorative case affixed to the entrance of the home, and for those of you non-butterflies, a chrysalis is a cocoon and a symbol of awesomely beautiful magic metamorphosis. ours is so special, it's expertly crafted from mud and sticks and we watched in awe as the little caterpillar carried it up the side of our front door and attached it to the wall. to us, it's divine inspiration and a reminder that ours is a time of great spiritual transition. damn i'm really sounding like a hippie . . .
what else . . . ooh! we have been working on Futurian goddess Wednesday Atoms' "The Very Small, Very Strange Mailbox" project, composing the score based on five beloved songs by such great artists as Queen, Radiohead, Beatles, Mary J Blige and Amy Winehouse. we have been expanding our wings in the digital direction with this project, working with midi material which is much like throwing a party for robots and deciding the conversation. it's mad dorky and fun, sometimes hilarious, but the best part is combining digital with analog music, fully fleshing out the nature of our modern reality. EMBRACE THE ROBOT! robots can do amazing things for humans, if you don't believe me watch "WALL-E". of course, as with everything, modern technology also gives us the opportunity to extend our evils, so it's really just a matter of choosing responsibly. can I use a robot to destroy the planet? yes I certainly can. will I? i certainly think not.
unless I get BORED being all loving, promoting PEACE and unity all the time -- I'll take my tendency to create balance to a violent extreme, yin-yang that shit, and create a Fifth Nation chapter that's us in ALL BLACK, screaming about the benefits of HATRED and CORRUPTION!
nah. love. -KJ
America is COUNTRY, and there's nothing like driving through the endless rural infinity that is the USA! Meadows, barns, silos, churches . . . we've driven so many American roads in our two years as highway warriors, and they all culminate to such a COUNTRY country. We love it.
This past Saturday we drove up the Empire State through many such roads, and it was quite breath-taking. We were on our way from Connecticut, where we had rocked a show the night before, to perform at a graduation party in northern New York, and that's about the only detail we had. As we got closer, we began to see many Mohawk Indian-related businesses, but it hadn't yet dawned on us that we had entered Akwesasne Territory. Only when we arrived at the house and spoke to the people there did we fully realize that we were not only on a Native American Reservation, but that of the Mohawk Indians -- and this, dear Citizen, was a shocking revelation. "Fifth Nation" refers to the Mohawk Tribe as they are called in the Iroquois Confederacy, an association of Northeastern tribes that dates back to the early 1600s. We had been invited to perform by the tribe of our namesake.
The family was warm yet reserved, perhaps even suspicious (the chief cracked a joke about Musik's hair -- "that's almost a mohawk.") We immediately befriended the two smallest creatures at the party -- little Ryan and Ariah, who reminded me greatly of me and my own sister. They welcomed us with a fruit dinner and quickly became our helpers, storytellers, followers, and advisers. After the fireworks it started to pour rain, and sweet Ryan ran straight to our banner to save it from soaked doom! We ended our set early to avoid death by electric shock, and retired under the main tent for a much more intimate acoustic performance -- dazzled Ariah sat a foot from my face, beaming with curious joy as I sang. The family listened graciously, and their approval confirmed the legitimacy of our title. The real Fifth Nation.
It was truly a momentous occasion, an inspiration, and the weight of it didn't hit me until after we left and drove Southward to find a campground. We awoke on a riverbed and I scribbled poetry to focus my perception of the event. It remains incalculable but I feel a deep importance in what we accomplished -- our 800 mile journey to our name's origin, and more importantly, the origin of America's humans.
BOOM back to the city, back to the grind, get in gear, get in the fast lane, speed, bang, hiss, song-writing, booking shows, rocking shows, interviews, photo shoots, internet shit, blogs, e-mails, keeping up, fixing broken gear (gotta replace a blown speaker, gotta replace our shitty old PA), making videos*, being brave, getting smacked down, rising to the challenge, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
*BE IN OUR VIDEO!* If you are in the NYC area on Sunday August 21st, come to Williamsburg's McCarren Park at noon and partake in an epic water balloon battle. The song is "Fight A War", an anthem dedicated to the universal struggle for life and love.
Always stories, sometimes in words, most times in song, Always adventures, such is life, Be good, -King Julia