This is bittersweet. It only seems like just a little while ago, when we began the journey into a career of making music that has become something special and unique, and much more than we anticipated. i am speaking now of my group youth@risk, the band that was really – in some shape or form, the first thing i ever did in regards to pushing out to go perform music live. Something happened when we went out to have our concerts, a special feeling was in the air… a powerful synergy was created with us and our audience, and whether it was practice at the band house, or a performance in a concert venue, everything became a concert, and we always gave it our all, on hundred percent. The year was 1997, and youth @ risk was just getting started.
We cobbled together some of our best recordings of our favorite songs, and put together, and put out our first CD, the [now out of print] album was “brigade” – and things were taking off quickly. So youth @ risk became a group that would play concerts out and about on a constant basis, just pushing as hard as we could to get our music known, to be out there and make a name for ourselves. We never stopped, and we had a lot of success, in my opinion.
The live shows were countless, nonstop, and amazing for us. In time we put together our second album, the darker, more heavy-oriented “roothead”, and with it followed the concerts all around our hometown, eventually performing [perhaps in a culmination] with Sevendust, Days of the New, Puddle of Mudd, and a boatload of others, we just went out and gave it our all. Having a show with Sevendust on the bill as well as us? Sevendust and youth @ risk, it was a real dream come true, because we drew inspiration from them, we admired them for what they did, and Sevendust was a talented band of our idols and heroes. After that concert, well… Whenever you perform a show with 5,000 people in attendance, you only want to match that kind of success, or take it higher. Like… where do we go from here?
All of that can prove quite hard to do for a band that has no major record label support. If you’re not label-affiliated, there are people who will tend to disregard you as a hobbyist or amateur musician, whether or not your means of financial support solely relies on making the aforementioned music. People will do you wrong in the world of music. Such as, “Play a show for free on a Tuesday night, and we’ll see if you can draw people to the club, get yourself some exposure, then from that – we’ll determine whether or not we’ll pay you to come back and play again later.” this is the constant nature of the music venue, versus the band.
They will reject you, slam doors in your face, tell you not to bother ever coming back, they’ll tell you you’ll never be anything, and they will give you the impression that no one comes to them for help, they can’t help you, they can’t push your music out there, they can’t sway public opinion of a band, that’s not their job. If you go through this then you’ll see why… Everyone’s a critic. But truly, when you* get out and pound the pavement, [when you know these streets, these streets know you] when you* represent yourself, when you* put the time into it, when you* do the work yourself, you* [and not some record company] alone will reap the benefits. Anything worth having is worth working hard for.
As youth @ risk going through all this junk – paying our dues… Did we ever stop and reflect on the old classic actors question, “what is my motivation?” It would seem not, it appears now in retrospect that we’d just push on and onward, each of us struggling [often against each other] to do what we felt was best for our band. We fought to create what we thought was to be the next level – to bulldoze our way through, and go beyond the tipping point, and we believed the longer and harder we’d fight, the more shows we’d perform, the more albums we’d sell, the more people who’d hear our music, the more we’d spread the word about ourselves… the better off we would be in the end of it all. “Eventually these labels won’t be able to ignore us!”
That was quite likely how i thought about it all. Like, “We’ll become famous!”… that’s just not the way the world operates. i can’t tell you how many cd’s and press-kits and promotional materials i sent out to labels, trying to get my foot in the door, to promote youth @ risk. Make no mistake… ATTENTION MUSICIANS OF THE WORLD, HEAR ME OUT! LISTEN! No one ever “becomes” famous. Fame is fake. Fame is just something that you buy. Red Hot Chili Peppers really spell it out in their song “Californication”… the lyrics say “Buy me a star on the boulevard…” All this is not to say that it’s entirely ugly, mind you. It’s pretty too. It is bad, but it is also good. So many of us out here somehow identify with musicians as heroes, we see ourselves in the position of the vocalist, and/or we either admire them as an idol of some sort, or see how we could desire them as some sort of bizarre love interest. ATTENTION FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLS OF THE WORLD, YOU WILL NEVER MEET JUSTIN BIEBER! But fame is something youth @ risk wouldn’t admit to, but truly wanted.
But what was the reason behind it all, causing us to do what we did? Why did we push for this career in music? What good does it do anyone? What profit is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? Miraculously… Without reaching the goals of having a vast fortune we could never spend all of, or becoming the number one selling band on the planet, we have already learned that fame, learned that money, that all these physical material things… absolutely do not hold the answers to make you happy.
At long last, the band youth @ risk has decided to call it quits, to hang up our spikes and let go of the long pursuit of making a name for ourselves, to let go of the band, we are no longer spreading the word for the sake of our own music, and we are ending the long-pursued elusive dream of having a national major-label record deal. This is not the insane rambling of someone threatening the final leap, standing on the edge of high bridge, this is not a cry for help, this is not one last shot at grasping that “deal” no, not at all. But this is the end. Everything dies.
This is bittersweet. August 16th at the first round in downtown Augusta will be our final concert together as a band. So we will then release our final cd, titled “everything dies” and we will perform, and retire. We are hoping to end this all on a positive note. Thank you to each of our friends and associates we have made along the way, thank you to our families, and my bandmates… boy we have been through a lot. i appreciate you for 16 years of a fantastic music career. Most of all, i thank God this ever happened.
Who does the proofreading on this mess? i mean if i were running an advertisement, i think i would look it over myself before it went to final printing, or something! Ask someone for a second opinion! That stuff’s not cheap! Anyhow, and without further ado, here’s the retarded ads…
‘Braille dictionary for sale. Must see to appreciate.’
That’s as bad as the Leopards being the mascot for the deaf school!
FOR SALE BY OWNER: Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica. 45 volumes. Excellent condition. $1,000.00 or best offer. No longer needed. Got married last weekend. Wife knows everything.
Oh! A wise guy eh?
Help wanted, singer for rock band. Must be female or male.
No lady boys or hermaphrodites!
For sale, Hope Chest, brand new, half off, long story.
It’s a real long story so don’t get me started!
Help wanted, adult or mature teenager to baby-sit. One dollar an hour.
What a bargain for you!
Lost: small brown poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.
What kinda family is this!?
For sale: a quilted high chair that can be made into a table, potty chair, rocking horse,
refrigerator, spring coat, size 8 and fur collar.
Now that’s versatile!
Four-posted bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.
Aint’ love grand?
Wanted: Part-time married girls for soda fountain in sandwich shop.
If you’re married full time, then nevermind!
Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.
Sorry i blew up like that…
Christmas sale. Handmade gifts for the hard-to- find person.
Then how do you get it to them?
Wanted, man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
Those darn cows these days! Always smoking and drinking!
Three-year old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred.
They’re hiring ‘em younger and younger!
Wanted. Widower with school-age children requires person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.
Wink wink nudge nudge!
Tired of working for only $9.75 per hour? We offer profit sharing and flexible hours. Starting pay: $7 — $9 per hour.
Another great bargain!
Our sofa seats the whole mob and it’s made of 100% Italian leather.
Bring home the entire mafia!
Full sized mattress. 20 year warranty. Like New. Slight urine smell.
i don’t think i would buy it *new if it smelled like pee!
Nordic Track $300 hardly used, call Chubby.
i guess Chubby’s giving it up!
Joining nudist colony! Must sell washer and dryer $300.
At least they gave a reason!
Open house body shapers toning salon free coffee and donuts
We help you get that toned, attractive, pear-shaped body!
Found: dirty white dog. Looks like a rat… been out while. Better be reward.
That ad’s author is a regular bucket full of sunbeams!
Exercise equipment: Queen Size Mattress & Box Springs – $175.
There’s an exercise regimen for Chubby after all!
ALZHEIMER’S CENTER PREPARES FOR AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER.
Ah, forget about it!
Free Yorkshire Terrier: 8 years old. Hateful little dog.
Wonder what the owner’s like!
Free puppies: ½ cocker spaniel, ½ sneaky neighbor’s dog.
Stealth puppy power!
Free puppies: part German Shepherd, part stupid dog.
The rare breed ‘stupidous canineous’ highly sought after!
German Shepherd, 85 lbs. Neutered. Speaks German. Free.
Holy crow a talking dog!?!?
Snow Blower for sale…only used on snowy days.
Bill’s Septic Cleaning: “We Haul American-Made Products.”
What a crappy job.
Cows, calves never bred…also 1 gay bull for sale.
How do they know the bull’s gay if they only have one?
Nice Parachute – Never opened. Used once.
Wow skydiving is so exhilarating! i always wanted to do this! Oh noooo! SPLAT.
Hummels – Largest selection ever. “If it’s in stock, then we have it!”
If it’s there, then we don’t have it!
1 man, 7 women hot tub. $850/offer.
Nah, you keep one of those women, i’m tired!
Shakespeare’s Pizza. Free chopsticks.
Even i don’t follow…
Harrisburg Postal Employee Gun Club.
There’s always work at the post office! Now we know why!
Tickle-Me-Elmo, still in box, comes with its own 1988 Ford Mustang, 5L, Auto, Excellent condition $6800.
You know i heard that Elmo’s bringing sexy back!
A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.
This is a superb place!
Dinner Special — Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.
Every fight is a food fight when you’re a cannibal!
For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
No skinny ladies allowed!
Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.
Why, i never heard of such a thing!
Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.
i’m getting a new job!
Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.
And you gotta be productive! And good lookin’!
We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.
At least they’re careful!
For Sale — Eight puppies from a German Shepperd and an Alaskan Hussy.
i am not touching that one!
Great Dames for sale.
Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.
For her age, i mean, she’s really quite gorgeous!
Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.
Someone needs to because i am starting to really smell!
Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
Honey? i know how to get rid of the kids!
Vacation Special: have your home exterminated.
Serves it right!
If you think you’ve seen everything in Paris, visit the Pere Lachasis Cemetery. It boasts such immortals as Moliere, Jean de la Fontain, and Chopin.
When i walked in Chpoin’s crypt he said, ‘Close the door i’m decomposing!’
Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool while you drink it all in.
Water tastes good, glub glub!
The hotel has bowling alleys, tennis courts, comfortable beds, and other athletic facilities.
i’m going to bed, will ya spot me?
Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.
We call it cajun style blackened toast!
Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.
They’ll arrest you for that around here!
Stock up and save. Limit: one.
Wow what a deal!
We build bodies that last a lifetime.
Like you’re gonna prove that!?
For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.
But how did you feel about it?
Man, honest. Will take anything.
Got some anything right here!
Wanted: chambermaid in rectory. Love in, $200 a month. References required.
UsedCars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
i can cheat you twice as much as them!
Modular Sofas. Only $299. For rest or fore play.
Here’s a place that really wants to sell to the ladies!
Wanted: Hair-cutter. Excellent growth potential.
Only potential though!
Our experienced Mom will care of your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included.
Gotta keep kids in their place!
Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.
Wowsers! Someone’s gonna get arrested for sure!
Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.
Hey an honest mechanic!
Holcross pullets. Starting to lay Betty Clayton, Granite 5-6204.
Hey! You leave Betty out of this!
Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
Does it make for better meals when you beat the cook?
Illiterate? Write today for free help.
Barely in time, here’s a link to a traditional but [in my mind, anyway] rarely heard Christmas song, “Mary’s Boy Child” I got to do the lead vocals here, pretty sweet! It’s an honor to be regarded as good enough to keep on singing lead. This track was made by E_B_A. – who else? He’s gotta be 1 of if not the most prolific music producers i have ever known… THAT’S PROPS SHAWN! He even brought in his family to sing with us, to give it that choir effect. All in all, it’s a pretty neat hip-hop infused/influenced Christmas carol… I’m happy with the finished version.
Chuk Rok – chuk rok check out my self-titled chuk rok song! i think it’s really worth a listen!
Visit the bangyard bully soundcloud! Click this link to go!