Kendrick lamar damn tour merch
2012.09.17 02:38 Kendrick Lamar
Community of the 3 time Jeopardy! clue, Kendrick Lamar!
2010.02.01 20:52 zigzagzig /r/HipHopHeads on Reddit
Everything hip-hop, R&B and Future Beats! The latest mixtapes, videos, news, and anything else hip-hop/R&B/Future Beats related from your favorite artists
2012.11.21 02:47 TenCentPistol /r/HipHopHeads on Reddit
Everything hip-hop! The latest mixtapes, music videos, news, and anything else hip-hop related from your favorite artists.
2023.06.02 16:39 wavwax The Hillbillies - Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar url
2023.06.02 16:39 wavwax The Hillbillies - Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar
2023.06.02 16:36 ss2811 Tour merch for Europe/Latin America leg
Do you think the merch will stay the same as it was for leg 1, or do you think we might get some new items?
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to TheWeeknd [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:18 AnubisResurrected Has anyone received a boxabl house yet?
So I’ve had my eye on boxabl for the past year or so and really love the concept behind it. The other day I saw their new 2 story concept and thought to myself “well damn, they must really be amping up production to release a new product like this”.
Well, I went down a few rabbit holes and cannot find anyone that actually lives in one. All I see are tours from the factory or from a showcase. They say they make 4 casitas per day, but surely out of 1,500 or so casitas made, someone would’ve posted about living in one? It just seems super suspicious to me.
I tried going to BOXABL
but it seems like an echo chamber with the occasional few disagreeing getting downvoted lol
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to TinyHouses [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:14 _TheBigMeowski Mathematics tour Umbro shirt
Please tell me that someone has seen this shirt at the tour?! Or at the very least, tell me that the merch is better at the tour than the trash that’s on the official store right now.
Really wishing I wasn’t broke and could’ve seen the Subtract tour as well just for moments like this. Incredible! https://www.instagram.com/reel/CswThSoN1kA/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
submitted by _TheBigMeowski
to EdSheeran [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:01 RandomHypnotica 00s Pop Punk Rate
all-american rejects, mothers of Stacy and Hoobastankarinas! It is finally time to rate one of the subgenres of all time - pop punk!
Welcome to the 00s Pop Punk Rate.
Introduction - What Is Pop Punk? Pop punk is a genre that was invented by musical artist Machine Gun Kelly in the year 2020.
No but really, despite the sendup of it MGK contributed, the subgenre actually has a long and storied history dating back to the 1970s. One could argue bands such as The Ramones were essential foundations for the genre, if not themselves being a pop punk band. A reaction to the emergence of punk in the 70s, pop punk takes the energetic thrashings of punk music and overlays the sensibilities of pop song-crafting. Pop-punk saw an explosion of popularity in the late 90s with the rise of bands such as Blink-182, Green Day and The Offspring, and arguably hit its peak in the 00s with the creation of Van’s Warped Tour, a touring music festival that featured a lineup of some of the biggest pop-punk, post-punk and metal acts of the time. Alongside its rise, it would come to incorporate elements of ska, college rock, emo and post-punk.
Another element of pop-punk that differentiates it from punk is its lyrical focus. While punk’s focus tends to be heavily political and explicitly anti-authoritarian, pop-punk trades that topical focus for poppier subjects - love, lust, drunkenness, and how much the singers truly hate this town (worth mentioning that while this is in general true, especially of more mainstream pop punk acts, there are some notable exceptions).
In discussions of subgenres of punk, pop-punk tends to be largely ignored or snidely dismissed by both pop and punk communities but I think this is unfair. Yes, its lyrical subjects are often sophomoric and steeped in teen angst. Yes, the pop focus can cause the songs to feel derivative for some punk listeners. Yes, the culture surrounding pop punk has given us moments that are unintentionally hilarious. However, there is a reason this genre gained such attention - to borrow a phrase from pop, because it slaps. It takes pop music and thrashes it around. It fills the listener with nostalgic angst with power chord after power chord. It is an ode to the immaturity of youth. It is wildly influential; you can see pop-punk’s fingerprints in tons of modern genres - emo rap, hyperpop, and even Billboard-smashing pop songs.
Pop-punk is fun and raucous and a fantastic send-up to the teenage years many of us reminisce about. Today, it gets its due. Happy rating. - u/seanderlust
If you already know the drill because you're a regular rater, feel free to get rolling with the rate. Below are links to submit, a Pastebin ballot, and playlists for both Spotify and Apple Music:
Link to send in your scores
Spotify Playlist │ Apple Music Playlist
- The Academy Is... - About a Girl
- Alkaline Trio - Mercy Me
- The All-American Rejects - Swing, Swing
- The All-American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret
- The All-American Rejects - Move Along
- The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell
- All Time Low - Dear Maria, Count Me In
- All Time Low - Weightless
- American Hi-Fi - Flavor of the Weak
- blink-182 - First Date
- blink-182 - The Rock Show
- blink-182 - Stay Together For The Kids
- blink-182 - Feeling This
- blink-182 - I Miss You
- Bowling For Soup - 1985
- Boys Like Girls - The Great Escape
- Boys Like Girls - Love Drunk
- Busted - Crashed The Wedding
- The Cab - One of THOSE Nights
- Cute Is What We Aim For - The Curse of Curves
- Dashboard Confessional - Hands Down
- Every Avenue - Tell Me I'm A Wreck
- Fountains Of Wayne - Stacy's Mom
- Good Charlotte - The Anthem
- Good Charlotte - Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous
- Good Charlotte - Girls & Boys
- Good Charlotte - I Just Wanna Live
- Good Charlotte - I Don't Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)
- Hoobastank - The Reason
- Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
- Jimmy Eat World - Sweetness
- Jimmy Eat World - Pain
- Lustra - Scotty Doesn't Know
- Marianas Trench - Cross My Heart
- Mayday Parade - Jamie All Over
- Mayday Parade - Jersey
- Motion City Soundtrack - My Favorite Accident
- Motion City Soundtrack - The Future Freaks Me Out
- Motion City Soundtrack - Everything is Alright
- New Found Glory - My Friends Over You
- Plain White T's - Hate (I Really Don't Like You)
- Plain White T's - Our Time Now
- The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down
- Relient K - Be My Escape
- Short Stack - Sway Sway Baby!
- Simple Plan - I'm Just a Kid
- Simple Plan - Perfect
- Simple Plan - Welcome to My Life
- Something Corporate - I Woke Up In A Car
- Sugarcult - Memory
- Sum 41 - Fat Lip
- Sum 41 - In Too Deep
- Taking Back Sunday - MakeDamnSure
- Taking Back Sunday - Cute Without The 'E' (Cut From The Team)
- The Used - The Taste of Ink
- We The Kings - Check Yes, Juliet
- Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
- Yellowcard - Only One
- Yellowcard - Rough Landing, Holly
- +44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
BONUS Okay, so.
The 00s pop punk era of course coincided with the rise of a number of other genres. Seeing an opportunity for a genre overlap in the interest of gaining fans from other genres, indie punk and metal label Fearless Records put out a series of compilation albums over the 00s and 10s. These CDs contained tracks of punk bands doing covers of pop, metal, and various other genres. They referred to it under the umbrella term Punk Goes… and featured such titles as Punk Goes Metal, Punk Goes 80s, and Punk Goes Crunk.
The most popular though, and the one that garnered the most subsequent albums was Punk Goes Pop. In this series, punk bands covered various pop songs that were popular at the time in punkier stylings. Think of it as Now That’s What I Call Music, but if all the songs were sung by Mayday Parade. It was an interesting idea and gained the involved punk bands attention outside of their core fanbase. I mean come on - pop?! AND punk??!! What is this, a crossover episode?
For our bonus rate, we will be rating a sample of tracks that were recorded for the Punk Goes… series. Some of these are quite good! Some of these are certainly pieces of music that musicians decided to record! But which is the best? That is for you, dear popheads, to decide.
To be clear: Rating these songs is optional. You can give a score to one of them, two of them, all nine, or any number in between. You cannot use your 0 or 11 on any of them.
- Yellowcard - Everywhere
- All Time Low - Umbrella
- Mayday Parade - When I Grow Up
- The Cab - Disturbia
- Artist Vs Poet - Bad Romance
- The Ready Set - Airplanes
- Go Radio - Rolling In The Deep
- The Downtown Fiction - Super Bass
- Seaway - Closer
Rules & Instructions
PLEASE READ THESE THOROUGHLY TO AVOID HAVING TO DEAL WITH ANY PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BALLOT LATER.
- You must listen to and score every song in the main rate. Ballots with missing scores will not be accepted.
- Your scores must be on a scale from 1 to 10 and can include one decimal place but no more. So 7.3 is fine, but 7.31 is not.
- You may give one song in the whole rate a score of 11 and one other a score of 0, so if you want to award these scores, save them for your favourite and least favourite songs in the rate, respectively. You must leave a comment on the songs you give an 11 or a 0, and they must be songs from the main rate, not the bonus.
- We encourage you to leave comments of your general thoughts or reasoning behind your scores on any songs you wish. If you choose to do so however, they must be in this format, simply leaving one space after your score:
One Of THOSE Nights: 3 They wanna be Juicy J feat. The Weeknd soooooo bad ```
Any other formats will get your ballot rejected. WRONG EXAMPLES:
I Woke Up In A Car: Yeah but did you wake up in a new Bugatti? (8) (WRONG!)
The Curse Of Curves: 7: me getting a D+ on my trigonometry homework (WRONG!)
The rate is Due on July 15th, if you think you need a small extension please let one of the hosts know!
- Your ballot must be formatted exactly like the template in the message link, so make sure you use it, or the template in the backup pastebin, for your scores to be accepted.
- Your scores are not confidential. They will be revealed, along with any comments, with your username attached.
- DO NOT SABOTAGE the rate by giving outrageously low/high scores for the sole purpose of skewing the results, we reserve the right to exclude any ballot we suspect of this. If you're worried your scores could be mistakenly perceived as such, all you need to do is leave comments explaining the reasoning behind them.
- If you want to change any of your scores or comments after you've already submitted your ballot, feel free to message myself or my cohost u/seanderlust before the submission deadline to sort it.
Finally, here are the links you'll need to start rating:
If there's a problem with it, here's the backup pastebin.
And the playlists of all the songs in the rate. Enjoy!
submitted by RandomHypnotica
to popheads [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:00 shrim51 Steve Weiss cymbals
I'm a touring drummer on a budget and was getting sick of buying expensive used A customs all the time. On the road a friend told me about Steve Weiss cymbals and I had a 16" a custom crash that just started cracking. So I bought a weiss 16" crash and a 12" china splash. I am so blown away. These cymbals are right on par with the a custom series for a fraction of the price. Anyone know any other companies like this?? And I'm also looking for cheaper stock recommendations. They're so damn expensive too.
submitted by shrim51
to drums [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 15:56 devpbrilius Kendrick Lamar, SZA - All The Stars
submitted by devpbrilius to u/devpbrilius [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:36 TheProfessorO Some pics from the NC shows
2023.06.02 14:30 Hold_Diligent As Joyce's East Coast Tour approaches, new merch is now available with a limited edition black shortsleeve shirt. Hit her store to cop if interested! 💸
2023.06.02 14:19 madigasxar Tour Merch?
Hey all! Does anyone have a photo of the Merch for this tour and/or know the prices? My paycheck was ass and I wanna know if I have a chance of getting anything tomorrow night. My tour t-shirt tradition might have to be broken this time around lol
submitted by madigasxar
to alltimelow [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:13 Bananakin_Skywater What Kendrick Lamar songs have a theme of revolution?
Doing a school project where I’m creating a playlist of songs that have a general theme or lyrics of revolution. Thanks
submitted by Bananakin_Skywater
to KendrickLamar [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 13:34 Killyourown Friend sent me this as we’re going to the Nottingham date. Uk wurst vacation tour merch.
submitted by Killyourown to IceNineKills [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 13:02 beermeupscotty ** RE:SET - BAY AREA STANFORD, CA FRIDAY 2 JUNE 2023 MEGA-THREAD **
This is a mega-thread for people who want to discuss before, during, and/or after the Re:SET - Bay Area show. Please keep all comments relevant to the specific Re:SET - Bay Area show. We will update the general info as more is learned comes through the wire if need be.
Enjoy the show! VENUE : Frost Amphitheater at Stanford
WHERE : Stanford, CA
WEATHER : High of 73°F and partly cloudy
TIME : * Doors open: 3:00 pm * Big Freedia: 4:00 pm * IDLES: 5:00 pm * Jamie XX: 6:30 pm * LCD Soundsystem: 8:15 pm * Curfew: 10:00 pm
VENUE DETAILS : * Please refer to the venue FAQs for more information! * Venue map can be found here
OPENING ACT(S) : Jamie XX, IDLES, Big Freedia, Shit Robot, Mishka
MERCHANDISE : TBD
- TICKET MEGA-THREAD. Feel free to post ticket exchanges here as well. Please abide by rules posted in the ticket mega-thread!
PLEASE keep all conversations related to the Re:SET - Bay Area show.
This thread serves 3 purposes :
This thread will be stickied 6 hours after the show ends. Once unstickied, this thread will be placed on the sidebar for the duration of the tour -- each GDT will replace the corresponding AXS website :)
- Invite people to talk about anything related to the show taking place in their city, such as the merch, the venue, the show itself, etc.
- Allow people to organize a pre/post-show meetup.
- Share any and all media and footage from the show.
Have fun and dance yrself clean!
COMMENTS ARE SORTED BY NEW
Please be advised that all subsequent posts regarding tonight's show, including buying/selling/trading tickets for tonight's show, will be locked and subsequently deleted.
submitted by beermeupscotty
to LCDSoundsystem [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 13:01 House_of_Suns /r/QOTSA Official Band of the Week 22: ZZ TOP
Sometimes a band gets so big that they somehow outshine themselves. They reach a point in their career where it does not matter if they release a new album or not; fans just want to see them tour. No one gave a damn that Led Zeppelin had not released a new album since the 1970’s; everyone just wanted to see them play again at the O2 Arena in 2007. When The Who played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2010 they had only released one new album in 28 years, and no one cared. And no one cares that Guns & Roses aren’t making new music. They still packed arenas to see how much cake Axl had packed into himself.
We’re going to take a dive into a blues power trio from down south who have zero need to release any new music, since their recording career stretches back over five decades. They had amazing and groundbreaking success in the ‘70s, the ‘80s, and the ‘90s before hitting the max level. Instead of playing to win, they now play for fun. Their sexually charged lyrics and videos inspired generations of teens to both dress better and worry about their fly. And you can bet that their fuzzy, bluesy tight sound had a huge impact on our very own desert dwellers.
It’s time for us to take a walk with That Little Ol’ Band from Texas. This week’s featured artist is the legendary ZZ TOP About Them
The Power Trio is a tested and true format for a rock band. Lots of examples come to mind: Cream. Rush. The Police. Biffy Clyro. King Buffalo. Them Crooked Vultures.
(Wait a sec. Just three members? Clearly, not everything is bigger in Texas.)
There is a member joke there somewhere, but I just can’t get it to come. Hmm. Perhaps it will come if you play with it a bit.
Hey! Stop that.
Get your mind out of the gutter.
ZZ Top’s original and founding member was William Frederick Gibbons. Born in Houston in 1949, the front man was originally a drummer but, after studying with Tito Puente in New York City, picked up the guitar at age 13. His dad was a musician in show business, which allowed Billy to get an insider’s view of the industry. By the late ‘60s, he had been in and founded a number of bands and had even befriended the late great James Marshall Hendrix. One of his first bands, a psychedelic/art house band called The Moving Sidewalks,
toured with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This meant that Gibbons was actually mentored by Snagglepuss himself. They also toured with The Doors, where Gibbons saw the legendary self-destructive band somehow manage to rise above conflict and make music every night. The Moving Sidewalks generated a following all of its own with a couple of hit songs, and things seemed to be headed in the right direction.
Things were going absolutely great until bassist Don Summers and keyboard player Tom Moore were drafted into the army to fight in Vietnam. Don't you just love the ‘60s?
Gibbons and drummer Dan Mitchell added a new keyboard player, Lanier Greg, and tried to make another run at it. But the chemistry was all wrong. Gibbons rechristened the band as ZZ Top (an homage to BB King), and declared that he wanted more of a straight up rock approach than the art-house kaleidoscopic sound.
Gibbons, Mitchell, and Greg (isn’t it weird when last names are also first names too?
) recorded the single Salt Lick
in 1969. This generated a bunch of interest and a recording contract. Decisions over the direction of the band ensued and it quickly became clear that Mitchell and Greg did not agree with Gibbons’ hard rock approach. That ended up being a poor life decision for them, but a great one for a couple of other guys.
Clearly, Gibbons needed a new rhythm section.
Fortunately, he found a package deal.
Dusty Hill and Frank Beard - also both born in 1949 - had been playing together on the Dallas-Houston-Fort Worth circuit in a number of bands, including The Warlocks, The Cellar Dwellers,
and a fake cover band called The Zombies.
Both the Duster and the (then ironically) beardless Beard also heard the siren call of rock and roll. Hill was classically trained and was an accomplished cello player before moving to his signature bass. Frank ‘Rube’ Beard appears to have been born with drumsticks in his hands (which I imagine might have been uncomfortable for his mom).
Beard joined the band first, along with bassist Billy Ethridge, who had played with Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ethridge balked at signing a contract and so joined Mitchell and Greg on the list of ZZ Top’s former members. Their lineup was set. Hill and Beard anchored the band in a rock-solid, tight, bluesy fashion. Gibbons meshed perfectly with this duo, and his Hendrix-inspired guitar work was on another level. Hill provided backing vocals, and Gibbons’ low throaty growl was an impressive counterpoint to his soaring fretwork. The talent was all there; now they just needed to record some music.
But success was not instantaneous, not by a long shot.
Their first album - appropriately called ZZ Top’s First Album
- gives insight into who the band were to become. In this 1971 release, you can hear their raw sound. The record peaked at 201 on the charts, and had only one single - (Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree.
It did give them material to go out and tour. The boys gelled on that tour and went back into the studio with renewed energy, and emerged with 1972’s Rio Grande Mud.
The disc was a step forward in refining their sound. The album almost cracked the top 100, and the only single - Francine
- went all the way to number 69. Nice.
But the band knew that their third album, Tres Hombres,
was something special. It is the epitome of Southern Rock: bluesy, fast paced, sexy, and irreverent, it is just over half an hour of pure magic. And while the album went gold and peaked at number 8 on the charts and is worth your time, it was one particular single that rocketed them to stardom. You know it and you love it, and a-how-how-how-how: La Grange.
It is still in heavy rotation on classic rock stations today. And why not? The song is an absolute banger
of boogie woogie blues, written about a visit to a whorehouse. What’s not to love? La Grange
propelled them to popularity. Tours sold out. Venues got bigger and bigger. 1975’s follow up album, Fandango!,
was half live album (with some covers) and half new material - like an EP with bonus tracks. They covered the Elvis Presley classic Jailhouse Rock,
Willie Dixon’s Mellow Down Easy,
and John Lee Hooker’s Long Distance Boogie.
The boys had rock and blues chops, and had 5 years of touring experience. These were bold statements that cemented their musicality as well as honoring their roots. But side two of the disc had another track that you’ve come to love. You ain’t asking for much: You’re just lookin’ for some Tush. Tush
was the perfect sexually charged follow up to ensure that they were not one-hit wonders. It was written in a ten-minute spasm of creativity at a sound check, and has gone on to be one of their most popular songs.
topped the charts, ZZ Top went back into the studio to record their full length follow up, 1976’s Tejas.
The name of the album means ‘friends’ in the Indigenous Caddo language, and was the basis for the name of the state. You know what that means? It means that the name of the state is ‘Friends’. Just like the ‘90s sitcom. Don’t mess with Friends.
Anyways, this was an album of experimentation for the band, and unlike its predecessor it came out half baked at best. Billy Gibbons has called it a transition album. What actually happened is the band transitioned into a hiatus from touring and recording, taking some significant time off. They had recorded five albums in six years and spent virtually all their time on the road. The latest effort was just not up to their standards and was a step back. It also completed their recording contract.
What was the solution to this burn out? Facial hair
The boys took a few years off before landing another recording contract, this time with Warner. Over those months, both Gibbons and Hill grew what would become their signature long ‘Texas Goatee’ beards.
Frank Beard did not grow a beard (though he did finally succumb to peer pressure from his bandmates in 2013, and his is much more neatly trimmed). So while they were resting/relaxing/getting their groove back/aligning their chakras or whatever, they also started to reinvent their signature sound as the world moved towards a decade of legendary excess.
The first step on this reinvention journey was 1979’s Degüello.
The title literally means ‘decapitation’ but idiomatically refers to a fight to the death.
Clearly, the band decided to tackle their transition head on. The album was not as successful as Tres Hombres
but it was not the flop that Tejas
was. It did spawn a couple of singles - I Thank You
(which was a cover) and the signature hit Cheap Sunglasses.
Both are staples at ZZ Top concerts to this day. Degüello
was quickly followed up in 1981 by the album El Loco.
This was really the first time ZZ Top incorporated a synthesizer into their sound. As you know, the synth was THE new wave sound of the 1980s. Gods help us, keytars
were once popular. But Gibbons, Hill, and Beard did not abandon their edge. The single Pearl Necklace
was an immensely popular innuendo laced tune from this album. And no, I will not explain what a pearl necklace is to you.
Ask your mom.
Over the course of their first seven albums, ZZ Top had steadily grown in popularity and become a truly extraordinary live band. More than a decade of touring together meant that they had not just cut their teeth. They had found the Tooth Fairy,
beaten her senseless, and added fangs to their jaws. They were ready to tackle whatever came their way.
Their huge breakthrough coincided with the birth of music videos and MTV.
was an absolute monster of an album. ZZ Top were everywhere. They completely embraced the Music Video as a medium and became pioneers in this new genre. They branded their band with a 1933 fire-engine red Ford Coupe,
which was on the cover of the album. They even had a signature hand gesture that they used as the car went by. The car belonged to Billy Gibbons and embodied his hot rod obsessions. It was featured in the videos for Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man,
Other singles from the album included Got me Under Pressure
and TV Dinners. Eliminator
is still the band’s most successful album. They were at the absolute height of their popularity with a massive audience. No doubt the 10-year-old Joshua Michael Homme watched those videos on a small screen in the California desert, little knowing that he would one day collaborate with Gibbons.
Seeking to capitalize on the popularity, the band went back into the studio and released Afterburner
in 1985. It featured the signature hot rod on the cover and spawned two more singles - Sleeping Bag
and Velcro Fly. Afterburner
was not an innovative album by any stretch of the imagination. It simply built on the success of Eliminator
and replicated the sound. If you blended the two albums together
it would be very difficult for a novice fan to guess which song came from which disc. But hell, when you release the most popular album of your career and are earning millions of dollars for that sound, it is not time to mess with success. Or with Texas.
Or with Friends (though Ross
was a pain in the ass, IMHO).
That desire to not screw up a good thing was also evident in their next release, the retrospective re-release Six Pack.
This was a great way to earn some bucks with a simple repackaging of existing tracks - I’m looking at you, K-Tel…
- and introducing them to another generation of fans. This was not a bad thing at all - you gotta get that green whenever you can, because fame can be fleeting.
ZZ Top closed out the decade by going Back to the Future. Literally. They appeared in the third installment of the Michael J. Fox trilogy as the olde-timey house band
(complete with rotating guitars) in the saloon scene. The single and signature song from the movie, Doubleback,
appeared on their 1990 release Recycler.
The album spawned two more singles: My Head’s in Mississippi
and Concrete and Steel. Recycler
was not as successful as its predecessors, but it did effectively max level
the band. In the 1970’s they were a scuffling bar band that hit it big. In the 1980’s they were one of the most popular bands of the MTV generation. And in the 1990’s they achieved superstardom. They had hit the level where it truly no longer mattered if they ever released new material again. They could simply tour on their back catalogue alone and sell out stadiums.
It is clear that the band realized this as well. In the thirty years since Recycler
came out, they have released five albums of new material: Antenna
in 1994, Rhythmeen
in 1996, XXX
in 1999, Mescalero
in 2003 and the critically acclaimed and Rick Rubin
produced La Futura
in 2012. This was equivalent to their output in their first six years.
In contrast, they have released no less than eight greatest hits albums, cover albums and live albums in the same time span. Greatest Hits
came out in 1992. One Foot in the Blues
was released in 1994. The massive compilation Chrome, Smoke & BBQ
came out in 2003, and is a fantastic place to start if you are a new fan. Rancho Texicano
was released in 2004, Live from Texas
came out in 2008, and Double Down Live
hit shelves in 2009. Live at Montreaux
came out in 2013 and Tonite at Midnight: Live Greatest Hits from Around the World
was released in 2016.
As recently as 2019, there were rumors that a new album was in the works for our Septuagenarian heroes. Lord knows the boys from Texas have nothing left to prove to anyone.
It was then that tragedy struck. Dusty Hill had to leave the band during a tour in 2021. The reason given was a hip injury. His guitar tech, Elwood Francis, filled in. Shockingly, Hill died at home at the age of 72 just five days after leaving the tour.
Fans were shocked and mourned the stalwart bassist. Per his wishes - and it seems he knew something wasn’t quite right - ZZ Top did not break up. Francis replaced Hill on bass, and the band soldiered on. In 2022, they released Raw,
a soundtrack for a 2019 documentary about them. This was Hill’s final release.
You can still catch them on tour. They are going to be out there this summer, touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd, for something they are calling ‘The Sharp Dressed Simple Man’ Tour.
Go buy some tickets. Don’t miss your chance to see a truly iconic band before they are gone. Links to QOTSA
The Reverend Billy F. Gibbons
was a big part of the Lullabies to Paralyze
album by our Desert Dwellers. He played guitar and provided backing vocals on Burn the Witch.
He was co-lead vocalist and lead guitar on the QotSA cover of Precious and Grace,
which he originally released as a ZZ Top tune on the Tres Hombres
album. He also provided the guitar stylings for Like a Drug.
But the connections don't stop there. Billy sang the lead vocal track on the recent Desert Sessions tune Move Together,
and he played guitar on Noses in Roses, Forever.
What may be most important to QotSA fans is that Gibbons was the first person, almost two years ago, who hinted that Queens were working on a new album.
And now we know he was right. Never doubt a Reverend. Their Music Salt Lick (Somebody Else Been) Shaking your Tree Francine La Grange
-- Live on Howard Stern Jailhouse Rock Tush
-- a fan made video. It is not subtle. Cheap Sunglasses Pearl Necklace
-- Live Gimme All Your Lovin’ Sharp Dressed Man Legs
-- the ultimate makeover video Got Me Under Pressure
-- Live at Montreaux Sleeping Bag
-- Let’s go out to Egypt and check out some heads... Velcro Fly
-- also somehow in Egypt My Head’s In Mississippi Concrete and Steel
-- vintage video Doubleback I Gotsta Get Paid
-- from La Futura Show Them Some Love /zztop Previous Posts Tool Alice in Chains King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Rage Against The Machine Soundgarden Run the Jewels Royal Blood Arctic Monkeys Ty Segall Eagles of Death Metal Them Crooked Vultures Led Zeppelin Greta Van Fleet Ten Commandos Screaming Trees Sound City Players Iggy Pop Mastodon The Strokes Radiohead All Them Witches
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2023.06.02 12:48 pedrokai15 May 5x5!
2023.06.02 12:25 Rhion-618 Just One Drop - Ch 88
Chapter 88 - From All I Believed
Morning, Two days before Shel
Captain Setar suppressed a smile as she watched the Ops door close. “Well, that was interesting…Ce’lani is a little cranky.” The last vestiges of sleep clung to her as she settled down into the command chair. She felt worn out, but it was the cusp of dawn, and Pod Seven had only just turned over control. “Report on station?”
“The perimeter’s secure,” Jelki replied crisply, pulling up the map of the campus on the main screen. “Pod One is on station and reports twelve by twelve. Sgt Ma’reis is already complaining about janitor duty.”
“Ah, first pod problems.” Setar shook her head, rubbing her eyes and blowing gently on her mug of tea. “What about the objective?”
“The objective’s secure,” Re’lan piped up, already sounding chipper. The woman could have been priestess of Jrafell. Her unwavering cheeriness would have been a character fault if she weren’t so devoted. As it was, it was a damned penance for everyone else at this time of day.
Jelke finished running the obligatory shift change checks and stretched. Things wouldn't get interesting until breakfast, but watching the perimeter was a given. It didn't keep the curiosity out of her voice, as she cocked her head and glanced over. “What was interesting with Captain Ton’is, Ma’am?”
“Mm! Well… it appears she’s expecting a call from Professor Warrick today,” Setar drawled out, taking a moment to savor their reaction. “She felt a need to remind me she’s devoted to Hele, and that if Be’ona or I let her sleep through the call, she’s going to ‘fuck us up the ass with a lasrifle and pull the trigger’.”
Re’lan was probably blushing like a cadet, but Jelke shook her head ruefully. “I expect there's a ‘but’ in there somewhere, Captain?”
“Well, yeah, she said that’s where the rifle would go…” Setar sniggered before taking a long sip from her tea, and slid a bit lower in the command couch. Her eyes wandered to the traffic on the board. “She also made it clear what’ll happen if anybody listens in.”
Thoughtful silence descended. Setar almost counted to twelve before-
“We’re going to anyway, right Captain?” Jelke asked nonchalantly. “You know, for security’s sake?”
“Sergeant, that would be a base infringement of Captain Ton’is’ privacy, which is in fucking short supply for everyone in this bunker.” She rubbed her chin thoughtfully, watching the steam rise from her mug. “Deeps right we are.”
_ _ _
Lady Wicama regarded her guest with interest as their autocab plied its way about the outskirts of Prelitauri. While she’d been free and cheerfully able to accommodate Khelira’s request, Monsignor Santino Barcio, or Friar Barcio, as he preferred, was not at all what she’d been expecting. She supposed it was a matter of exposure…
The Palace had never quite been the same since Princess Yn’dara’s wedding. Yn’dara was one of those odd Royals who, though well-regarded, was seldom in the public eye. A perennial favorite of the Empress, indulging her unexplained absences passed as a matter of course for the Court. Widely known to be estranged from her mother, Princess Arduina, no one enquired either deeply or often, so when she suddenly resurfaced, her return would have equally passed without comment… if not for the wedding.
Yn’dara had shocked the entire Nobility.
While it was common for any woman to marry into an established family and become a kho, the wedding should have been singular for a Princess. Princesses didn’t marry into families, Princesses formed them. And while Yn’dara technically had done so, she’d taken on four unmarried women at the same time as her husband, who was a Human! Favorite or no, the wags in the court were agog that the Empress accepted Adam so readily! The Empress, however, had been adamant; Yn’dara and her family had her blessings, and were to be left alone.
However, time had proven to be on Yn’dara’s side as well as the Empress.
After a wedding seen across the galaxy, Yn’dara’s family settled into a life of public duty. They spent long trips away from Shil, and while quietly dismissed as ‘pleasure excursions’, her trips often showed the throne to the outer provinces. Although her public engagements were few, she’d become a vocal advocate of the Empress’ reforms against graft and corruption, and, gradually, the jealous mutters about scandalous excess and Human debauchery faded away. Her marriage remained an unusual footnote, but time had demonstrated the value of Yn’dara and her wives to the throne.
Then there was Prince Adam.
Rumor held the Prince had made a favorable impression on the Empress years before, at an event hosted by Yn’dara’s mother. While details had never been forthcoming, a more significant story about Adam wafted briefly through the ranks of the Golden Glaives.
Both stories had been effectively silenced, but Wicama knew who to talk to, and being Khelira’s guardian carried a certain clout all its own. Though that influence waxed and waned over the years, raising Khelira required being aware of events that could shape her future, and she’d proven herself to be discreet. Over time, doors had opened and words had flowed.
Time had been on Prince Adam’s side, as well.
As the years passed, she’d had an exposure to Prince Adam that few of the court and none of the public enjoyed. She’d been wary at first, but he’d been a good friend and mentor to Princess Khelandri before she joined the Marines, and however infrequent his presence, he always displayed a keen mind, a loving heart, and a steadfast duty to his wives. Privately, he absolutely doted on young Khelira and possessed a loyalty to the Empress that you could bend battlesteel around. The two got along famously - after all, he was a veteran.
Not Navy, mind you, but you couldn’t have everything.
And so, as Humanity began making forays upon the galactic stage, her first impression of the species had been favorable. She’d witnessed Adam mature into his role with the court, and while the issue of children remained unspoken, that faded as well. At the time, Yn’dara had been sixth in the line of succession. A year after the wedding, Kamaud’re became an adult, followed a year later by Khelandri, and the matter became largely moot.
As for a second impression on Humans, Khelira had provided enthusiastic reports about Thomas Warrick. While the Princess thrived at the Academy, Warrick seemed to be something special.
The absence of a father in her life had been a void that no woman could properly fill, but she’d done her best. Although she’d entertained a few qualms, as the months passed by, Warrick remained a positive influence. Khelira’s messages were infrequent by necessity, but she’d written about her distress over Warrick’s family and clearly been moved. Prince Adam carried his own scars, but what veteran didn’t? He hid them carefully around Khelli, and if Warrick had chosen not to, he’d provided a useful sense of perspective, instead. It was time for Khelira to grow up, and that meant facing the grist of differing opinions and ugly realities. That was what education was actually for, and Warrick seemed to be doing admirably well as a grindstone.
All of that was before the library incident, which settled her opinion once and for all. While erratic, irreverent, and capable of violence, Humans clearly could be a positive influence when channeled in the right direction. Yn’dara had shown what a good Shil’vati woman was capable of with Prince Adam, and Lady Pel’avon was following suit.
And at least the wags at the Palace wouldn’t speak of Yn’dara’s state wedding again. As a subject for spectacle, Miv’eire Pel’avon’s had put it to shame.
Still, it was good to see Warrick married. While Professor Ha’meres scandalous exploits had faded from the public eye, older wo… more mature women didn’t forget such things. The man had been a daring adventurer - and an inveterate gadabout - and an unmarried man around that many young women was too tempting for some girls. A wife or two… preferably more… resolved such idle fancies. If the Pel’avon ceremony had been somewhat… questionable in taste, compared to Adam’s, it remained legally binding. Warrick was willing to settle down, and by all reports his wife had a proper sense of decorum.
Human men seemed to be a trial from the Goddess, but hopefully she and her kho-wife could sort him with time, love, and kindness.
While exposure to only two Humans was not what she’d call a comprehensive sample, in both cases her impressions had been quite positive. And so, when Khelli asked her to escort a Human Priest about the city, she’d been entirely willing.
Thus far, it had been an enjoyable morning. While there had been occasional missteps, their conversation had been delightful as they traveled from property to property. Even so, she hadn’t expected to meet such a kindred spirit.
Admittedly she’d stammered a bit when he mentioned eating the flesh and drinking the blood of his redeemer. On the other hand, she compared it to the first time she’d bled into the ocean, mingling salt in her blood with the seas. He’d turned shockingly pale, so she changed the subject. It was a purely symbolic act to Drepna - just a cut on the thumb, for goddess sake...
She’d taken extra care afterwards. Barcio could be clearly a sensitive male, but diplomacy was part of her work. Even calling her role ‘work’ was deceptive. She’d raised Khelira in every way an Empress could not.
It was easy for other women to appreciate the prestige of her position, but few understood the depth of it - or the satisfaction.
During her career in the Navy, her flotilla had provided direct support for the Empress, and they’d come to work closely over three tours. After Khelira’s birth years later, the invitation came from the Royal Household to act as her guardian, and she’d never looked back. Competition had been fierce for the prestigious position, but applying had been the best move of her life.
Empress Kamilesh loved all her children and had spent as much time with each of them as she could, but her work was all-consuming, and after her husband’s act of… Well, the Empress had been there, but she’d born her pain privately. She had lost herself in her work for many years before recovering a semblance of her former self, and her absence had taken a toll on her children. Kamaud’re had taken it the worst. Khelandri had bounced back, while everyone doted on Lu’ral. Barely more than an infant, Khelira had been far too young to remember. Wicama had been there through all of it.
It was a good life, and the princess was a delightful girl. For Wicama, the absence of a man in her life was something she’d felt now and then, but she invested her life in Khelira. The Empress treated her as a member of the family in all but name… and in a very real sense, the child you raised was your child.
Looking back, some women might insinuate she’d given up her personal life to raise another woman’s daughter. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
She had her calling - just as Friar Barcio had his.
Yes, he was a priest, and his religious strictures were very unusual. A male priest in any of the Shil’vati faiths would never be placed under such restraints, and for a man to go unmarried was noteworthy…
But she understood having a calling. Oh yes, she understood that as few others could.
After discussing his needs, they’d set out to examine three properties around Prelitauri. The Friar’s individual requirements were deceptively difficult when taken as a whole. A complex coupling a generous auditorium, ample administrative space, and he clearly needed substantial grounds to properly convey a sense of aura. Such accommodations were seldom on the market, and since he expected his colleagues to arrive in weeks, his need was immediate.
Thankfully, urban renewal moved in waves. The tides of such fashions meant Prelitauri was once again an up-and-coming area. While difficult to find, three older structures had the potential to be suitable, and so it was that she’d enjoyed learning about her guest as they explored the tiny district.
The Monsignor spoke four other Earth languages fluently. He tended to break into his native tongue and hadn’t mastered contractions yet, but his Vatikre was passable and he listened carefully, seldom needing to ask about a word. After limiting her contractions when she spoke, their conversation flowed easily.
Barcio had shown little enthusiasm for the first two properties, but their conversation regarding other matters never waned. She expanded on her devotion to Drepna, Shil and the roles of each goddess while asking careful questions of his faith. His own inquiries proved thoughtful, and he was as avid in politely asking after her beliefs as explaining his faith.
After their second hour together, she’d taken the liberty of calling Prelate Hi’meta Merlamiss. As a priestess of Drepna’s second circle, Merlamiss had proven a valuable contact over the years. Well connected, she enjoyed a good relationship with many other prelates of the Divine Halls; she also got on well with Xinfess, the Rakiri’s Speaker of the Dark Mother on Shil. A meeting with Barcio would readily open doors for his group that might otherwise prove difficult to attain, and while Barcio’s accent strained now and then, it was clear the Monsignor and the Prelate shared a questionably low sense of humor.
Given a chance, they’d probably get on famously.
Certainly, that would be a blessing. Their hunt for a suitable facility had not gone nearly so well, and while Barcio had been conciliatory toward the first two facilities, she could tell he wasn’t taken with either. The last property wasn’t high in her expectations, so she found herself casting her head to the side when it swept into view and he clasped his hands in excitement.
”*È bella!* This is beautiful,” he exclaimed. “It reminds me a bit of my childhood home in Sacile!”
She looked out at the complex with its low gabled roofs, as their cab wound up from the entrance. Beside the drive, a small river meandered through the campus past the main buildings. She tapped the console to slow their ride and considered the place in a new light. “I’m… well, a bit surprised to be honest, Friar.”
“Please! We have been traveling for hours now, and I am not holding a service.” The Friar spared her a warm smile, before gazing back at the premises. “I would take it as a great kindness if you would call me Santino.”
“Very well - on the condition you call me Wicama.” It had been some time since anyone called her by anything but title or rank, and the informality was pleasant. Still, as their autocab closed on the end of the lane, she let such thoughts go and considered the location properly.
The buildings were low, sensible cubes, but that was largely an end to it. The architect had made some unusual choices in Helkam motifs that strained understanding. A long colonnade bordered the river, and that seemed nice enough, but the buildings! Forgoing purple was one thing, but they were beige! With unusual elements and the repressively bland color scheme, it was small wonder the clerk handling the property confessed that the space had lain vacant. Its original owners went into foreclosure. The exotic design had proven unable to attract interest, laying dormant ever since.
Barcio… Santino… seemed delighted, however, and she pulled up the specifications on her omni-pad. “This site has two smaller auditoriums besides the main one, while the central building has four floors. One is underground, but all the floors face an interior atrium.”
As the cab gently halted in the car park, she climbed out to hold the door but Santino had already scrambled out and was examining the gardens with evident interest. Tall stands of parago trees were losing the last of their fronds for the year, but she had to admit the grounds were substantial. Yesterday’s storm had left the morning air cold and crisp, lending the gardens an appealing aspect. Untended since the last owners, much could be done with them.
She had given up trying to escort the Friar anywhere after their first two stops, and now they fell into an easy pace side by side as they strolled toward the main building. She turned back to the property itself. “So, this reminds you of your home?”
It wasn’t exactly Helkam architecture - domes weren’t covering every possible surface - but the builder had clearly been nodding in that direction. A promenade wound to the entry, supporting white chevrons that arced into the sky. The bright morning sky shone through clever cutouts, making the unusual design at least look light, rather than oppressive and unappealing. With a decent renovation, the facility had possibilities, and the price was comparatively low.
“*Si!* Oh, not so much like home, but there is the sense of it. I was born near the sea, and this feels… similar.” He gave her a depreciating smile before rolling his eyes. “It may not please everyone who is coming, but ‘everyone’ is not here, so I am allowed some indulgence! Better to have something waiting than nothing at all. I confess, some of my colleagues thought we’d only manage when the bridge to Messina is finished.”
“You should not have been sent ahead alone! Surely your colleagues were not that worried about a poor reception,” she tutted. Priest or no, there were decencies about a man traveling alone to be observed. “You shouldn't need a bridge to find a place for your mission. I don’t know where Messina is, but I’m certain Prelate Marlemis wouldn’t stand for it!”
“Tch! Excuse my poor efforts! The older I get, the more I remember things like yesterday. Unfortunately, the yesterdays I remember so well were thirty years ago!” Barcio smiled wryly up at her as they walked. “The ‘bridge to Messina’ used to be a saying… People dreamed of building a bridge to Sicily, and it became something that never happened. My English friends would instead say ‘when hell freezes over’. *Un'espressione volgare*, but very much to the point.”
“Ah… I’m sure we can manage something, and this could be made presentable. Maybe change the beige to a pale violet?” she offered helpfully as she made it to the door first, holding it open. “The aura inside isn’t so bad.”
“You’ve said that several times, but I do not know what you mean?” He paused in looking around the entry, which had an open foyer exposing the two floors above and led out to the atrium beyond. “What is ‘aura’? I do not think I know the word as you mean it.”
“Aura is… Hmm…” Wicama paused thoughtfully and gestured at the atrium. The interior was in better shape than the grounds, and the architect had done something clever. Not yet noon, a bevel along the top edge filled the space with sunlight. “Have you ever walked along a beach and wanted to save a shell? When you are there, that is aura… When you take the shell home and think of the beach, that is aura, but… less focused. Diminished. You sense the beach because of the shell, but you are not at the beach. Places can have aura, but it is more than character. If you move through a place and find yourself experiencing it? That is aura.”
“Mhm! *lodevole!*“I like this idea very much. It would be right at home in the Vatican. Not everyone understands a space can move the spirit, or lend power to a message.” He nodded thoughtfully as he cast his eye about the open space. “With the right advice, perhaps we can lead others to these halls.”
“Perhaps. If you tour the Palace, I hope you’ll allow me to show you about? A lot of the real gems are hidden from the public.” She watched as he wandered toward the double-helixed stairways bordering the room. Those were definitely Helkam; walking up one side without meeting someone coming down the other was an interesting experience… once. After that, they could be an absolute nuisance. Spotting the elevators, she called him back. “The nice thing is this place is inexpensive! That will pad out your funds for a good remodel.”
Wicama quietly thanked the Goddesses that the builder’s had the good sense to install normal Shil’vati-style elevators. The sides were open, granting a wide view out over the atrium. The grounds were terraced to create a small park; that could make the underground space bearable, and the plans made them seem spacious enough. Not to everyone’s taste, but pretty. “I feel bad for asking, but can you afford the building? If the price of the first two bothered you, we can find others.”
“I would not hear of it! Thank you for your concern, but we are economical with our funds, and were sent with a generous sum. This is an important venture to everyone involved,” Barcio clasped a hand over his chest, as he shook his head. “I can not thank you enough for your help! You have surely spared me weeks, and I might not have found something half so suitable. As it is, the grounds are enough to gain me converts. Father Roscio and Pastor Weber will surely plant a vineyard before the inside is half done!”
“It’s not a problem. I have plenty of time,” she replied, dismissing the matter as inconsequential. “I work at the Palace, but with the Court away and my daughter at school, I’m a bit at loose ends just now. At the very least, I insist on helping you through the paperwork. I wouldn’t put it past some realty clerks to try and overcharge you… Someone from outside Shil, that is. I’ll ensure they stick to the listing.”
“To someone not from Shil… or someone who is not Shil’vati, perhaps?” His head canted slightly to one side, but he smiled as he said it. “*Certamente!* I would not dream of preventing you, though Rabbi Kleinbaum will be bitterly disappointed she has nothing to moan about.”
“I hope you won't take this badly, as I’ve only met one Human.” Wicama gave him a smile. She was long past girlish uncertainty, and the Navy had taught her a generous measure of professional poise to go with her skills as a markswoman. “You aren’t what I expected.”
“You know the professore, then?” He sucked in a breath and pursed his lips. “I am still deciding what sort of man he is.”
“No, actually, I know another Human but I’ve not… I have not… met Professor Warrick.”
“So. You mean that I am not *un barbaro*? I am here to make sure that we are seen as something more than savage warriors, *capisci*?” He studied her expectantly. “While the Imperium is doing good work on Earth, some still live in want. The Imperium provides enough for all to survive, but not all live in plenty. We need to present ourselves well.”
”That seems like a very secular outlook.” She offered, as they rode up to the third floor. Barcio asked for an explanation of the word, and by the time they’d made their way through the first offices he had the idea.
“My church has not always troubled itself with such things, but our holy father is greatly concerned with such inequalities. He takes it upon himself to address such matters with the Governess, when their time allows.”
“Your church has a good relationship with her?”
“È straordinario! The Governess adores our food, and while she was adamant about taking quarters in the Vatican, she has taken pains not to disturb us.” He shrugged dismissively. “*Cosa sai fare?* It seemed a small price, and we have endured far worse.”
“I used to hear terrible stories about red zones on Earth, though the Humans I’ve met don't seem the sort. It is good that your… pulp?” She tried the word and was rewarded with kind laughter and a gentle correction. “It is good that your pope concerns himself with the full welfare of the people and works with your governess. Our prelates share the same concerns.”
“I thought the Empress was the head of your church? Now, I find you have many…” he groped for a word, frowning, and gave up. “*Questo accento è una prova di fede!* ‘Denominations’ is not the right word, but she is the one revered, yes?”
“Of course! The Empress has to show all of our virtues and none of our faults, but that’s part of her role. To favor any divinity over the others could cause divisions. She has her personal preferences, of course, but never lets them be known.” Wicama explained carefully. “It would be in poor taste.”
“And poor politics, I think?” Santino gave her a long look. At his height it was difficult, but he managed. “This makes sense to me now, that the Imperium leaves matters of faith alone. *Una benedizione inaspettata.*”
Despite the serious topic, his fervent reply brought a smile back to her lips. “It seems your pope considers politics as well as economics.”
“People will always defend economic theories which assume that growth will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice. This has never been confirmed by the facts, and expresses a crude trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” He said, stopping to clasp a hand over his cross. “Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
“That doesn't sound like scripture.” She offered cautiously, as they made their way into a wider suite of offices on the second floor.
“*Esattamente* The words of Pope Francis, a good and blessed man who appointed me to my position. His successor, his holiness John Paul the Third, is much of the same mind.” Santino said quietly. “Our savior washed the feet of others and urged all to do the same. The hardest step is to be involved. To work together for change, as well as to pray. That is why I am here.
“*I pigri di cuore trovano sempre una scusa* Some Humans, they are yet angry with the Imperium. Now they have enough, they are bitter not to have plenty. For some there is never enough - the true poverty lies within their hearts,” Santino said a bit testily. “Our faith teaches us to find salvation in eternal life, but others? *Pigrizia!* They see it as an excuse from taking agency in themselves. Jesus washed the feet of others - he did not lay down and wait for someone to wash his!”
Wicama turned the unfamiliar metaphor over in her mind but decided she had the sense of it. “Sham teaches us that helping our families and one another is the same as helping ourselves. ‘The rising tide bares us all from the reefs’.” It was a matter of faith… but that was why it was faith in the first place. On the whole, it seemed like a mature perspective that explained the changes she’d seen in Prince Adam over the years. “You’re here to meet with others, but this seems as much about knowing yourselves.”
“*Sì, non è una brutta cosa avere umiltà davanti a Dio.* Human beings, while we are capable of the worst, we are also capable of choosing the good. Of rising up to make a new start. We are entering the galaxy.” He gestured out the window at the world beyond. “If not now… when?”
_ _ _ “So, when are you going to explain this masterpiece you four have been cooking up?” Marin asked. Sammi and Sam were barely awake but the twins had already arrived, bright-eyed and enthusiastic, and Marin cursed the resilience of youth. The room was acceptably warm, but Ayen had complained about the cold and used the excuse to slip back into bed. She was considering her options for joining him.
Somewhere, somehow, Sammi had found their rabbit pajamas again. “Sam, explain it to her? You do it better.” Sammi yawned, but Marin suspected it was an act. Once something got their attention, sleep was usually an afterthought.
“What, now?” Sam had barely stumbled into the room and blinked. Bleary-eyed and barely awake, he looked like he’d been ambushed, which was exactly the case.
“Pllllllleeeease…?” They sat back pulling the ears, giving their best Roger Rabbit impression. Luminous green eyes peered out at Sam, imploringly.
“Alright… I need coffee, but fine.” Sam trudged over to the kitchenette and poked listlessly at the instant coffee. It was getting perilously low, but Marin was sure he’d brought more on the ship. Eventually Sam gestured at the K’herbhal sisters with his mug. “So the girls want to create an artificial topological soliton. It's like a black hole, except where it isn't… It's sort of a kink in space-time.”
“Made you say kink!” Sammi grinned impishly and the girls blushed. Marin shook her head but paid attention. It felt far too early after another late night, but once everyone was up you had to hang on for whatever came next.
“So, what's that got to do with this… hole you want to use for power?” Marin raised her voice just enough to drag the conversation back on track.
“It’s more like a side effect. If it cuts the right angle, it goes into a realm of space-time we can tap for power. Think of it as an obverse of an energy drain, so it's like a white hole.”
“Let me guess.” Marin shook her head and grinned, holding up a hand to forestall the inevitable. “Except where it isn’t?”
“Ummm… pretty much.” Sam grumbled, blowing at his coffee. Marin glanced back at the twins. With Sam busy, the twins had gravitated to either side of Sammi. There was room left on the couch, and she wandered over to settle in beside one of them.
The Sams had been complaining for years about a lack of ‘focal power’ for their mass compression technologies, and while a rubber duck inside a diamond was impressive, they’d wanted to do something more - a lot more. She suspected if the twins were providing the means, then they already had something about to surface from the depths of their imaginations. Over the years she’d learned to pick a bit, rather than take their answers at straight value. “And if things don’t cut at the right angle? You remember how long it took to get rid of the Navy, when you started talking about making black holes?”
“It's not our fault they didn’t understand,” Sammi said defensively, crossing their arms and pouting at her before the rabbit ears fell over their face.
“Who didn’t understand what?” Akeimei yawned at the door. She cast a wink her way before wrapping her arms around Sam and gave him a quick hug. “What did I miss?”
“Umm… a parallel universe, if the math is right,” Sam mumbled from the depths of his coffee cup.
“What? Like identical versions of us?” Marin watched Akimei’s nose wrinkled at the smell before she slipped away from Sam. Slipped down beside her, they rubbed shoulders a moment. “Tell me, is there one where I get more sleep?”
“More or less identical… though it's not like you need to go into a parallel universe for that sort of thing. There’s already a ‘you’ out there somewhere right now, to say nothing of past and future ‘you’.” Sam scratched his cheek idly for a moment “It's just the math. The universe is so vast that there are exact physical cosmic twins of us out there somewhere, not to mention even more almost-twins.”
“Sam’s right!” Sammi perked up excitedly, bouncing on the sofa. “Then there are quantum cosmic twins - which gets weird because particles exist in multiple states and you’d sort of overlap… but the easiest one is probably just another us elsewhere in the universe right now! That's sort of the point where things are since the universe is bigger than you can imagine!”
“So exactly the same… or almost.” One of the twins giggled. “Just like us!”
“Pretty much,” Sam nodded, slowly emerging from the depths of his coffee. “Another you out there on another Shil, or another me on a whole Earth, even - just a little bit different.”
“What? Like an Earth that never met the Imperium?” Marin canted her head, tossing out the obvious. It was hard to remember her life before, and she didn’t want to contemplate the alternative.
“Oh, I don't like that idea.” One of the twins stuck out her lip. “We want to come to Earth!”
“Yeah,” her sister nodded, though she suddenly looked glum. “I don’t know if Professor Warrick would mind though. He’d be with his wife and daughter, there.”
“Oh…” her sister's face crumpled. “I didn’t think of it that way.”
“Well, don’t…” Sammi hugged them both a moment, though they held the first twin a bit tighter. “The point is, somewhere he’s with them right now!”
“Wow, I guess so.” she brightened. “Just imagine! A whole Earth that never met the Shil’vati!”
“I wouldn’t worry, sis.” her twin nodded. “I think Professor Warrick is pretty happy right now.”
_ _ _
“I am not happy about this!” Tom glared at his omni-pad before tossing it down in frustration.
Miv looked up at her husband.
“It’s an honor!” She tucked her chin in and gave him a long, considered look, “What is it that’s bothering you - really? It wasn't Monsignor Barcio. Are you certain this isn't the same sort of thing?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” he growled, looking away like a guilty child. “Alright, maybe… but this uniform is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ll look like a mushroom, and the hat only makes it worse!" Tom grimaced at the omni-pad accusingly, "They won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, so now I’m on the rolls as a Warden Captain - whatever that is - and this ceremony is ridiculous!”
“The ceremony is traditional. Very symbolic... Besides, they don't make wardens out of anyone below the rank of captain - I looked it up. You were one before, so it's appropriate to make you one instead of a Warden Major or Warden Colonel.” She smiled at him serenely. “Surely, it can’t be the worst thing you’ve ever done.”
He turned to wag a finger her way. “I’ll take that bet!”
“Worse than our wedding reception…?” She crooned, teasing him. “Or maybe pre-term night? I swear by the Goddess no one will pinch your ass, except for Lea and I.”
“Fine… “ Her smile grew wider as he grumbled, but he was calming down already and there wasn't heat in it. Still, he stubbornly clung on to the point a while longer. "It’s in my top five.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive, husband. Now then, I have meetings all afternoon, so why don't you finish reviewing the menu? You’ll feel better when all this is over and you can go back to cooking, chess, or starting that eeeyiy club… You might even give Ce’lani a call or message her?” She gathered her coat and smiled demurely, though it harbored nothing innocent. “If I’m not here you’ll have perfect privacy… Just don't promise anything you wouldn't promise to me.”
“It’s iai-do…” Tom groused, but he was already picking up his omni-pad.
She blew him a kiss and made her way toward the commons. Tom would probably stew a while, but he’d make the call.
There would be time to meet with Ce’lani on the common, before she had to come home for dinner.
_ _ _
Tom looked over the banquet menu as if it might reach out and bite him. The words stared up at him with perfect innocence.
Appetizer: Fruit and Cheese Platter - Slices of various cheeses and fruits on a platter providing a delicate mix of sweet, tangy and creamy to invigorate the dining experience. Serve with a selection of sweet and semi-sweet wines.
Soup: Choice of Tomato or French Onion Soup - Served with a piece of baguette and cheese.
Salad: Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing -- an assortment of greens and fruit with a balsamic grain dressing to cleanse the palate.
Entree: Cornish Pasty - This herb-infused meat and pastry dish provides a counterpoint to the tangy taste of the salad and soup. Served with a creamy buttered mashed potato (a vegetable, humanely prepared!) with chives (also a vegetable). Served with a selection of wines or ales.
Dessert: Chef’s Sorbet Surprise - A sweet treat complemented by a palate cleanser, ending the meal on a piquant note.
His last call with Bherdin had been a trial and a half. Omni-pads were the definition of ‘high fidelity’, and hearing the little Shil’vati hyperventilate for ten minutes over the plan was pointless. At least Melondi had easier going with Vedeem on her side... one way or another this was happening.
As a final consolation, he relented on wearing matching suits. Bherdin frequently bemoaned Tom’s 'lamentable' fashion sense, and he perked up at that, promising to get him some appropriate formalwear for the occasion.
Privately, he suspected his Shil’vati friend was looking for a convenient alibi if a riot started.
In fairness, it probably wasn't a bad idea.
“Too late to use it myself…” he muttered. It wasn’t quite noon, and Miv was probably right. Instead of Chess Club or starting Iai-do practice or just cooking out at Human Food, he was stuck here at home. Miv’s place was bigger, but most of his stuff was still in boxes; it left him listless and climbing the walls. If this worked, at least things could get back to normal.
He flipped back to the picture of the Warden uniform on his omni-pad. It was bad enough, but the hat made the whole thing look like a blue toadstool in silver filigree.
He swiped the picture away like an act of revenge, but didn’t toss the pad back on the table.
…Miv was right... and I promised to call Ce’lani…
Tom centered himself, pulling up the number. The universe was always in motion and a good Taoist accepted their part in what came. That was the lesson of ‘the Vinegar Tasters’, and it held true… The painting showed three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and tasted it. The expression on each man's face showed his individual reaction.
The painting was an allegory for Confucius, Buddha, and Lao-tse. Confucius wore a sour look on his face. He believed life was out of harmony with the universe. As the second figure in the painting, Buddha had a bitter expression. Like the vinegar, life was painful and filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The last man, Lao-tse, was smiling at the taste. To him, harmony existed naturally and could be found by anyone at any time in any experience.
He thought about his buddy Dave. The old Marine would probably shake his head and tell him to ‘embrace the suck.’ It pretty much boiled down to the same thing.
Not that he was against calling. Miv and Lea had practically taken turns urging him on and giving their views on why it was a good idea. They hadn't harped about it, but he knew which way the wind was blowing. And Ce’lani’s message had been short, sweet in the literal sense, and the sound file she’d offered up had been…
…Pretty nice, really…
If he still said no, or decided he didn't like where this was going, they’d back his choice, of course. He didn't have a doubt in his mind… But with everything else in his life turned upside down, calling Ce’lani seemed like a calm in the eye of a storm.
…It's just a phone call. Leave the chaos at the gate…
He settled down on the couch to check his messages before giving her a call. It was nearly lunch…
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2023.06.02 12:05 Unrealgemini Dragon Ball Z「AMV」Kendrick Lamar - Father Time
2023.06.02 11:46 morethanwords16 If you’re in London, come watch me perform!
Delete if not allowed
I wanted to reach out because I’m a trans male artist and I’m performing a headline show at The Jago tonight (Friday) at 10pm. Esp as it’s pride, I wanted to reach out to any of my trans brothers/sisters and NB folk. My music is for you. My upcoming album is all about my journey of self discovery. So if you want to see a trans artist perform with a five piece band, and you like hiphop/jazz. Come along!!
Influences include Kendrick Lamar, erykah badu, Robert Glasper and The Pharcyde to name a few. Inspired by all things hiphop/jazz/soul.
Tickets are available here and Otd. https://www.fatsoma.com/e/18kfll57/fri-2-june-amazonica-las-chicharras-indy-newland-carlitosnino-dj-s-more-the-jago-dalston
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2023.06.02 11:40 morethanwords16 If you’re in London tonight, you don’t wanna miss this!
I’m headlining the Jago tonight at 10pm, performing a set of jazz-hiphop with a live band. Tickets are available (cheaper) online and OTD. Influences include the Pharcyde, Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar. Hiphop/jazz/soul. tickets
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2023.06.02 10:25 SykeoTheFox PK Music - How It Is (Kendrick Lamar x Drake)
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2023.06.02 10:23 SykeoTheFox [FREE] Kendrick Lamar x Drake Type Beat - How It Is