Shit piled on garbage, piled on more shit, piled on more garbage, until finally it is the end of the year and I find myself standing on the top of this huge, stinking-shitty-garbage-mountain that was 2016. It is the end of the year and I am looking down this hulking heap of detritus. I am attempting to find valuable items that may have been buried in the overwhelming rubble of elections, bombings, poaching, death, suffering, corruption and pollution. Did anything happen this year that could inspire optimism? Is there any reason to continue?
It wasn’t necessarily the worst year of my life but so many bad things happened that it was consistently/generally unenjoyable. I feel like I have endured something…
2016 has been getting a well-deserved bad wrap but after some reflection I am beginning to realize that a lot of good things have happened that may have just been overshadowed by bad news. I just wanted to share some positive uglyhead-related things that happened in 2016. There are so many things in fact, that this year could be considered awesome if you forget that so many bad things happened.
First off I released a lathe cut 7” picture disc with two new uglyhead recordings. The Garden was so complicated to record I just wanted to try doing something simple so with the help of Jeremiah Smith (long time uglyhead collaborator) I recorded a solo live performance in mono, mastered it and released it in a limited edition (there just a few more left) record. I played a show in Seattle and a show in Portland, OR to promote it and I also played a party in the Summer. That is only 3 shows this year but that is 3 more shows than I played in 2015!
Speaking of Jeremiah Smith: his project Extrodinary Pigeons played that show in Seattle with me after not doing shows for a while. He has also been releasing new tracks in 2016 under The Orphan on soundcloud
At that Seattle show I also played with J'owl which lead to me doing a remix for him (although it has not been released yet).
Nick Katich (AKA Balan) who has played bass and guitars on a lot of Uglyhead recordings has a project called Palace Of Worms and he released a really awesome album called The Ladder which has been getting a lot of press this year and wound up on a lot of "Best of 2016" lists. It took him about 3 years to get this done and released.
Jenson Charnell (long time uglyhead collaborator) has a rock band called Halcion Halo and also have been working multiple years on an album. They finally put it out in 2016. The album is called Joke Parade and should be checked out. I went to the CD release party and had a good time!
Louis Santiago (drummer on From Time To Time... and other uglyhead recordings) has a new project called Dearly Departed and has been playing some shows this year in Seattle.
Patrick Huerta (drummer on The Garden) has a new electronic project called Unnova Nights and has been gradually releasing new tracks throughout 2016.
Brian McClelland (who played guitar on the Ill-Fated uglyhead US tour) has a band called He Whose Ox Is Gored who released the album The Camel, The Lion, The Child in late 2015 and have been doing a bunch of touring in 2016 to support it, as well as releasing a 7".
Jason Bazinet (who also did some live drums with uglyhead for a bit) has been playing drums for Front Line Assembly for a while and went on an insane European tour this year. Jason has a project called SMP of which I have been a fan for many years and in 2016 SMP released an awesome collection of old demos/songs called Stalemate Demos that is pretty great.
Altogether that is an INSANE amount of activity from people I like! After sitting here and compiling this list I am not even sure I could say that 2016 sucked at all...
I am slowly chipping away at new uglyhead material. Progress has been very slow but I am very optimistic that there will be at least one new uglyhead release on the list of good things that happened in 2017. I don't think I will be doing any shows until I get these recordings finished.
I wish everyone out there a happy new year! I hope everyone I know keeps being productive and releasing new stuff! It really makes a difference when things seem hopeless. Best of luck in 2017!