01.03.13 - phoenixes and pheasants
03.10.12 - Andres Serrano’s – The Last Supper
Last year my friend, Andres Serrano, asked me to pose for his rendition of The Last Supper, from his collection of photographs entitled Holy Works. It premiered in Italy in September of 2011 and now it’s showing at The Armory in NYC. I’ve also found out it’s been turned into a book.
03.10.12 - Nicaragua 2012
The riches things I’ve ever come upon I’ve found in the poorest places. And when we offer ourselves, and who we think we are to others, We find ourselves and who we really are in return.
The question to ask is who is helping whom?
Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit together and share silence.
Trying is enough,
As there are many victories in failing.
The triumph of the spirit is the sweetest of them all.
It cannot fail when partnered with the truth.
And one can recognize it in any language,
In any land,
And find it in the poorest places.
02.16.12 - Nadia Ackerman – The Ocean Master
This coming March one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Nadia Ackerman, is releasing her new CD, The Ocean Master. Nadia is not only a gifted musician, but also a wonderful human being. She’s always giving of her herself and her talents when a worthy cause reveals itself. Nadia has been singing with Blow Up Hollywood for the last year now and I’ve had an oppourtuntiy to hear her fantastic new CD in advance. It’s a purchase I promise you won’t regret.
02.09.12 - Ten Year Anniversary
This year we are celebrating the ten year anniversary of our debut self-titled release, a concept album about death and the search for the after life. I’m also slowly getting ready to head down to Nicaragua for my third year. With that being said, I like to share this poem by Nicaraguan native Ruben Dario, as I believe it is very apropos. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Destined to Die
Tree…s are lucky because they barely sense a thing.
Stones, as well, because they’re hard, beyond all feeling.
No pain’s greater than the pain of being aware.
Human consciousness produces the worst despair.
To be, yet know nothing with no clear way to go,
the fear of having been, a future terror, too,
the unerring dread of being dead tomorrow,
and suffering through life and through shadows and through
the unknown and what one cannot anticipate,
the temptation of flesh, the fresh fruit still to come,
our tombs and the memorial laurels that await,
not knowing where we’re going
or even where we’re from!
07.27.11 - Long Island Pulse Article
05.05.11 - official video for “pilots of the canadian lights”
05.05.11 - Live at The Rockwood Music Hall!
Thursday, June 23rd, blow up hollywood is performing live at The Rockwood Music Hall. We are going to be recording the show for a release in 2012. The show starts at 7p.m. and goes until 8:30p.m. The Rockwood is located at 196 Allen St between Houston and Stanton in NYC. We will be performing some new material that has never been recorded before. If your in the New York City area come and join us.
03.10.11 - People are the strangest creatures
People are the strangest of creatures. They can be filled with so much fear and hate, and then other times with so much love and compassion. I use to consider myself a people person; someone who had lots of empathy, and a willingness to try and understand any given situation or circumstance. I use to love to be in their company and interact; Exchange idea’s, laugh and cry, all the while being open about who I am, without fear of being judged, or ever passing judgement. But something has changed in me. It could be I’m just becoming more jaded as I grow older. I hate to think that. It’s a terrible feeling. But I’m finding them more and more to be a huge disappointment.
We are all so easily hurt, and at times that can include me. However, I’ve always considered myself remarkably resilient, with the quick ability to forgive and forget. After all, isn’t that a big part of life, learning and growing. I use to marvel at some of my friends, especially the quiet one’s that kept to themselves. Weren’t they lonely? Didn’t they want to share the human experience with others? I understand them better now. They probably understood something I did not.
We are all so filled with so much mental and emotional distortion. There’s just too much information out there. Whether it’s political ideology or this very rant your reading right now. Every single thing is available and at our fingertips. I use to think that was a good thing. It’s not. It’s like trying to count to infinity. It’s boring and impossible.
I want someone to write me a letter. It could even be handwritten. I miss that personal touch. Of course who has the time. Our relationships would have to be limited to just a few. But they would have more meaning. I want someone to come visit me; stay overnight and have breakfast together. I remember a world without cell phones and text messages; without 24 hour news cycles or 1,ooo channels of shit on the tube. I remember having a pen pal and how exciting it was when that letter arrived. Simple times..
Now it’s utter chaos. We are being beat down with too much information, too many choices. The world is at our fingertips, and it was nice to have it all right here. It was nice for a moment, for a visit, but I don’t want to live there. The more time goes by the more I believe that the Native American Indians had it right. We out smarted ourselves. We took this thing way too far and now there’s no going back. The human intellect and curiosity; the desire to try and make things “better”, and ”easier” has gone too far! Unfortunately, there’s no going back. There’s not even very remote places left to go to. Anyway, I apologize for the rant. It’s just more noise, more distortion. I needed to vomit and I guess I need someone to listen.
write me…I’ll write back…Send me a photo of yourselve. Draw me a picture or compose a song and put it on a cassette tape. I have a player. I don’t care if it’s good. But it will have meaning!!!!!!
Steve Messina 110-45 Queens blvd #910, Forest Hills, NY 11375
03.08.11 - Young American Paladins in Nicaragua
Young American Paladins in Nicaragua
I want to celebrate you.
I want to shout it from the roof tops of the world.
You are truly benevolent Kings and Queens; glamorous Princes and Princesses from a fantastic mythological story. A story good fathers and mothers might read to their children at bedtime, filled with magic and hero’s on extraordinary voyages across land and sea.
I watched with a keen eye as you secretly placed silver and gold inside the pockets of souls in great need and embraced them as your own. I witnessed how your regal smiles rained down upon children in desperate need of hope, quenching their thirst, if but only for a moment.
Alone at night, lying underneath the Nicaraguan sky, stars a blaze, I wept thinking of you, and how you did all of this so casually, effortlessly, unselfishly. You are magic.
I wept as I imagined the young child being read to by his mother so tenderly, safely back at home and tucked in bed, in the magnificent kingdom. How wonderful that child will sleep tonight knowing you truly do exist and are out there.
I will too….
02.17.11 - Blow Up Hollywood Live!
Thursday, March 3rd, at The Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 2, at 7 p.m. The Rockwood is located at 196 Allen st between Stanton and Houston in NYC.
01.31.11 - In the Footsteps of Marco Polo
http://www.wliw.org/marcopolo/ - I just watched this amazing documentary and I can’t recommend it enough! “Travel is the enemy of bigotry.” Follow your dreams…
01.05.11 - Explorations
I hope everybody enjoyed the holidays and are now ready to start a new year. I finished 2010 like I’m beginning 2011, exploring. I’ve been investigating some real interesting artists. I went back to my collection of books written on, about, and by John Cage. I’ve always been a huge fan of his music and philosophy, and re-reading some of these texts wet my appetite and sense of adventure. So I set sail for others like him. One of the artists I discovered was Robert Rutman. ( http://www.rutman.de/flash5.html )
He Came to the U.S. in 1955 from Berlin to study art. In 1975, he started building steel-metal sculptures to be played with a bow, like a violin, and founded the U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble. http://mutant-sounds.blogspot.com/2007/03/robert-rutman-us-steel-cello-ensemble.html 1939 (Pogus, 1990) documents some of these resonating sculptures and their ghostly drones: Tabla and buzz chime, Steel cello and bow chime, Chant bow chime and horn, Three bow chimes, Song of the steel cello.
One of the leaders in the avant-garde movement is Pauline Oliveros. Here’s a link to her wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Oliveros. It’s amazing that all of these artists were doing their work decades ago, but it still sounds fresh. It makes me wonder how and where the edge will be pushed in the present and the future. I’m going to keep looking for it in 2011. It won’t be easy to always recognizing it, but it’s worth the effort. I’ll meet you there.
11.19.10 - Blow Up Hollywood Live!!!
Tuesday, December 14th, at 8p.m. Blow Up Hollywood is performing live at The Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 2. The Rockwood is located at 196 Allen st between Houston and Stanton in NYC. Come down and celebrate the holidays with us.
11.17.10 - Enter The Void…
Watched the film “Enter The Void” for the third time last night. It’s a film that just punches you in the face. It stay’s with you. It get’s it’s hooks in you and it’s hard to pry it loose. Then this morning I sat at the piano from 7:30 am until 4 p.m., running scales, banging chords, catching little phrases that were falling from my head. Went out to lunch when my stomach started naughing at me and to give my fingers, back and mind a break. Got into the car and truned on the radio and found a lovely station playing Henryk Górecki symphony #3. I sat in the car for an hour listening on ten.
I was feeling guilty, as I watched an assortment of people come and go from the parking lot I was sitting in. How was I so lucky to have my ears and soul being fondled, while they had to plod through another typical day. They looked miserable. I wanted to roll down my window and beg them to come and sit and listen with me. I wanted to give them this small gift; to stop and hear genius at work. When the symphony ended I went back to work at the piano, banging away, trying to find something. . .something that could be a gift to the miserable; to the lonely, to the dead.
11.02.10 - Andres Serrano/Brutus Faust
We have been working with internationally renowned visual artist Andres Serrano. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, it is shockingly stunning and brilliant. Some of his most famous pieces are his photos of corpses, as well as his controversial work ”Piss Christ,” a red-tinged photograph of a crucifix submerged in a glass container of urine. Andres’ work “Blood and Semen III” is used as the cover of heavy metal band Metallica’s Load, while “Piss and Blood” is used on ReLoad.
About 18 Months ago we were introduced by my friend, Marcy Jellison, who is his vocal coach, and together we set off to make a recording under his stage name, Brutus Faust. Thad Debrock and I co-wrote some of the tracks on the CD with Andres and his partner Irina Movmyga. It was an amazing journey and experience. And I’m very proud of the work we did.
I had heard alot about Andres’ work when I was younger. It was hard to get away from it when “Piss Christ” had caused an uproar in Washington D.C., on the senate floor, with Jesse Helms back in 1987. Andres was a mystery to me back then, as I wasn’t sure, like lots of other people, what to make of him and his art work. There was so much fear about the man and his art; so much misunderstanding.
I was thinking about it tonight, as I sat alone having dinner at a restaurant down the block from my apartment. He performed his first live show Saturday night, with Blow Up Hollywood as his backing band. His performance was captivating and unique. I was thinking about what an extraordinary man and artist he is, and how he has this incredible ability to be child like and see things outside of the box.
Over this last year and a half I’ve come to know him in a deep and profound way, not only as a visual artist, (one of my favorite things is to listen to him talk about his work and process) but more importantly as a human being and friend. It’s been an experience that I relish, as he’s taught me many things, not the least of which is being true to your vision, whatever it may be, however much others might not understand it. Andres is also one of the most kind and considerate human beings I’ve ever met. He’s been made the villian at times by critics of his work, but like his art, there is much more to the man than meets the eye.
10.17.10 - Steve Messina of Blow Up Hollywood goes onlinewithandrea Live
Steve Messina of Blow Up Hollywood goes onlinewithandrea Live – Listen
Live or Listen to the Archive On Thursday, October 21st, 7:30pm – 10:30pm Eastern
Blow Up Hollywood With Steve Messina – Musician, Singer and Composer Steve Messina goes onlinewithandrea to share the music of his group Blow Up Hollywood. Hosted by Andrea R. Garrison.
Call in and ask a question: (347) 426-3895
10.16.10 - Look Mom, No Hands. . .
I met a boy once who had no hands to do things with. He couldn’t hold anything except with his feet. Sometimes he would pick things up with his mouth or grab them with his arms like two chopsticks. I asked him what it was like to have no hands. He told me it was easy. He liked having no hands because it made him different from other people, except people who had no feet. He couldn’t imagine what that would be like.
“It would be very hard for me to paint,” he said, “without the use of my feet, and I like to paint very much, and my legs wouldn’t be as strong as they are.”
I asked him how he combed his hair and he told me he didn’t, which is why it’s so sloppy. He liked having sloppy hair because people could recognize him from far distances.
“Most people,” he said, “have very neat hair, except for those who have no hair at all.” He couldn’t imagine what that would be like. “My hair keeps my head warm in the winter so I don’t need a hat. “I would hate to have to wear a hat,” He said.
I asked him how he ate and he told me that sometimes he picks up the utensils with his feet, but mostly he just puts his face right down into the plate.
“It’s messy,” he said. “Does it bother you when people stare?” I asked.
“Oh no, I like when people stare at me. It makes me feel like a celebrity and celebrities get special treatment.” How do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, they always give me my own special table at the back of the restaurant where it’s quiet. And celebrities always get all the ladies!” he said.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” I asked. “No, I haven’t met the right one yet. I like tall blondes with blue eyes, nice legs and no hands.”
10.06.10 - the air-conditioned nightmare
“America is no place for an artist: to be an artist is to be a moral leper, an economic misfit, a social liability. A corn-fed hog enjoys a better life than a creative writer, painter or musician. As to whether I have been deceived, disillusioned…The answer is yes, I suppose. I had the misfortune to be nourished by the dreams and visions of great Americans -the poets and seers. Some other breed of man has won out. This world fills me with dread. I have seen it germinate; I can read it like a blue print. It is not a world I want to live in. It is a world suited for monomaniacs obsessed with the idea of progress – but a false progress, a progress which stinks. It is a world cluttered with useless objects which men and woman, in order to be exploited and degraded, are taught to regard as useful. The dreamer whose dreams are non – utilitarian has no place in this world. Whatever does not lend itself to being bought and sold, whether in the realm of things, ideas, principles, dreams or hopes, is debarred. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal.”
10.03.10 - Sunday Morning Reading
Charles Bukowski is out of his mind! I love it….
10.01.10 - The word on “Take Flight”
I’ve been watching the reviews slowly trickle in on our latest release, “Take Flight”. Years ago, when my ego was bigger and much more fragile, I use to get very anxious hoping that the music would be excepted or even hailed a success by critics, family and friends. I would get extremely disappointed and hurt if I read a scathing review, thinking that who I was, or the work I was doing, didn’t have any value. At the same time when a good review came in my ego was successfully satisfied.
I’ve since grown in many ways as my ego has shrunk. That’s a good thing. The reason I’m telling you this is because more than anything now I enjoy reading all the reviews, both good and bad. The difference now is when I’ve discovered that someone enjoys the music I’m glad because I don’t want anyone to feel like purchasing it has been a waste of their money, or listening a waste of time. And the opposite holds true when someone dosen’t enjoy it. I can appreciate every dollar one spends and how important it is not to make, what one might consider, a bad purchase.
“Take Flight” has been met with mixed reviews and I find it so interesting to hear what sometimes seems like extremes in personal opinion. One of my favorites that I’ve heard a few times is that our newest release is “Not Music”. Now, I say this in all earnestness, I like that review. Not because I agree with it, but because, if that is truly how one hears these sounds, then it truly shows, in my mind at least, how very different we listen.
I’m a big fan of John Cage. Not only his music but his books, poems and over all philosophy. I believe I can hear music in everything. Infact the hum of my refrigerator along with the sound of my tpying this very sentence has a nice flow to it. One of things I love about the record, as I just got up and put it on, is I believe it works with the surrounding enviroment. The sound of it meshed with the refrigrator, my typing, whistling wind, and the airplane over head ( I live right by an airport ) makes for an interesting sonic soundscape against slow moving and under developed melodies. This is music to accompany you on your day, to fall into deep contemplation, the soundtrack to your thoughts. Maybe, to some, it’s not music, but rather a sonic palette that you can continue to paint from, even if it’s in your own mind.
Listening – Take Flight
Reading - Tales Of Ordinary Madness – Bukowski
09.14.10 - Time is a Fisherman
It was you I caught,
Or did you catch me?
Giant tangled nets delivered us from the depths of a dream
to the surface air.
We flail violently on the deck with great fear and sorrow.
Crashing into others, like ourselves,
Lifted from dark waters and awakened from beautiful dreams.
Time casting it’s rod into the infinite sea,
Nourishes on our flesh, bones and all.
It was an accident, or was it,
That other fish from the school were injured?
Maybe we are wrong and they are the delicacy of numbers,
The true prize, the photo opt.
We are dead now . . .
at least a part of us.
09.02.10 - Mysticism of Sound
“A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan
08.30.10 - The new blow up hollywood blog…
We’re trying something new. A little blog, rants and ravings, that I will post periodically. I hope you enjoy it. I want to start by thanking all the people who have supported us over the last eight years and have enabled us to make the music we so much love to make. Without you none of it would be possible. We appreciate it more than you know. So from the bottom of my heart, Thank you!
Making records and releasing them into the world is like sending a little message in a bottle. When it is received it relieves a feeling of loneliness. There’s great comfort and solace knowing that other people, from all walks of life and different parts of the world, understand you. And what is more, not a political, religious, or even philosophical understanding, but on a sonic level, a vibrational level. To me that’s the deepest level….pure spirit.
Reading - Hazrat Inayat Khan – The Mysticism Of Sound And Music
Listening – There Will Be Blood Soundtrack – Jonny Greenwood