Newsletter Issue #02 / March 2020
Hello, My Name is Matt...
Issue #02 / March 2020
** Clouds In the Sky
Less than a month ago it seemed like all of Kansas City was dancing in the streets celebrating our football Superbowl Championship. Now we are joining the rest of the world in quarantine to alleviate a global pandemic. My heart goes out to all who are suffering as a result.
There is a word, duhkha (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duḥkha) , that is part of the First Noble Truth in Buddhist thought. It is translated as an inevitable sense of painfulness and unsatisfactoriness that comes with existence. Not the most uplifting thought but surely something every teenager, at some point, has intuitively felt in their bones. There's an old saying that, "Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional." What we choose to do with our duhkha is what makes our path.
There is a nice visual aid that I often use in meditation. It's of a sky filled with clouds. The sky is us. The clouds are our thoughts. The clouds come and go but they don't change the sky. Sometimes we associate clouds with dark sad things. Other times we see them as giving us comforting shade or rain that makes the flowers grow. Like thoughts in our heads, clouds pass across the sky. How we choose to see them is up to us.
Here's a link to one of my favorite guided meditations entitled Just This Meditations- Part 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuTvY09xvBI) by one of my favorite teachers: Ram Dass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Dass) . If you are new to meditation you could start by trying to sit in a quiet place and listen to this once a day. If you already have a meditation practice check it out if you're feeling adventurous.
Please feel free to write back (https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/) and let me know what's going on with you or if you have any questions or comments related to my work. I'll try to respond as timely as I can. Thanks for listening. Peace.
Checking in ...
https://www.8thstreetpublishing.com/chapbooks/matt-roth-dad Last fall I published my first chapbook of poetry with local KC group 8th Street Publishing Guild entitled: Dad. The first 10 were hand screen printed on homemade paper. Those are gone. But you can order regular reprint copies from the 8th Street website (https://www.8thstreetpublishing.com/chapbooks/matt-roth-dad) .
Broken Heart Syndrome
Broken Heart Syndrome (https://www.facebook.com/brokenheartsyndromeband/) released a new single in February called Hard 2 B Boring (https://brokenheartsyndrome.bandcamp.com/track/hard-2-b-boring) . I wrote this song a very long time ago. A home demo was the last thing I uploaded to my myspace page around 2007. The style and arrangement were born out of playing with this wonderful group of musicians. Upon a closer examination of the lyrics, I discovered the subject matter eerily relevant to our times.
This month I have a piece on local radio station The Bridge 90.9's website about a Kansas City vintage musical instrument and repair shop called Found Sound. It's a pretty cool place. Found Sound: Keeping The Crossroads Weird... and Musical. (https://bridge909.org/news/found-sound)
MMM 1st Monday Playlist
https://majormattmasonusa.com/2020/03/02/major-matts-1st-monday-march-2020-playlist/For about a year I've been putting out a monthly playlist of some of my favorite musical discoveries, new and old. I release it on the first Monday of every month paired with a little mindful musing about music. You can always catch the full version here on my blog (https://majormattmasonusa.com/blog/.)
If you just want to hear the music you can subscribe on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Tea0yyi19b3QdYcYJ0zgX?si=nvT1GBs0SMarotlf7CUY3w) to get a new playlist automatically every month. You can also click onmy user link (https://open.spotify.com/user/1230320001?si=xi6M8eWvQuiaoKDdEFyLxA) or search Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.
https://hellfireclubkc.bandcamp.com/releasesI recently had the pleasure of recording one of my favorite new local bands. They're called Hellfire Club (https://hellfireclubkc.bandcamp.com/releases) (Think Loretta Lynn meets The Cramps). We did a down and dirty live session at OJ headquarters. It turned out beautiful!
http://blindingtwinkle.com/blog/I've been doing some mixing with the amazing Brooklyn based artist Fala (http://blindingtwinkle.com/blog/) . She's got a great music blog (http://blindingtwinkle.com/blog/) where you can hear what she's been up to and what's on her mind.
This is a little video I made for the poem Feb. 2016 from Dad. (https://www.8thstreetpublishing.com/chapbooks/matt-roth-dad) If videos are your thing you can check out and subscribe to my youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVISxqLtgjTZbYYV8mlNigg?view_as=subscriber) if you like.
- May 16 - Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge / Schwervon! + The Sluts + The Hellfire Club
- June 20 – KC, MO @ Revolution Records Rescheduled Record Store Day / Major Matt Mason USA (band) + Hellfire Club + Black Creatures
(subject to change because... ya know)
https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/If you didn't get a sticker for signing up for this newsletter go here: https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/ to send me your address and I'll be happy to send you one in the mail. In the interest of waste conservation, if you live in the Kansas City area and/ or think you may be seeing me soon just let me know. I'll try to have some on me and I'd be elated to hand-deliver one to you. But, yeah, that might be a while.
Thanks again for listening. Please be safe. I wish you happiness! To respond with any comments or questions feel free to use the contact link above. Even if you just feel like rappin' or wanna tell me how you're doing, I'd love to hear from you.
Until we meet again,