Monday, June 27, 2016

Out Now... Cobby & Litten- My People Come From The Sea

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Release June 28 & Mixes Galore

Well here it is... Steve Cobby & Russ Litten- My People Come From The Sea... Digital Album & Super-LMTD Run Of 100 Hand-Numbered CDs... Full-Stream will be available on Monday the 27th, Shipping has started, Official release June 28... THANK YOU to all that have preordered, they are already on their way, much gratitude!


Finally, we beefed up our Mixcloud page...  And organized it.  All of the radio mixes, podcasts, Greta Cottage Workshop sets, etc. have been put in order by date recorded.  Lotsa music of all varieties...  And all guest mixes are up as well!!  To get you started here is the page, linked to the mix we were blessed w/ by Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, Wrangler, the list goes on...


Enjoy the summer, two more releases already in the pipeline!!! FBR

Saturday, June 4, 2016

New Gajah Out Now!!!!!!

Now shipping... 75 Only.

Friday, June 3, 2016

FBR008 June 28 / Preorders Up & Moving

Only 100 CDs, Hand-Numbered... Digital Album Preorder Now Up Also...

My Experiences With Mental Health Issues/Substance Abuse As A Musician & Label Owner

Before:
After:
I'd like to preface all of this with something...  My first 12" was released in 1997.  I have my degree in Psychology, worked in the field as both an administrator and in-the-trenches Crisis Therapist.  Case manager at one point, have had to restrain psychotic people and have been physically hurt in the process, at one point had a caseload of 100 "Severely Mentally Ill" clients in Yavapai County, AZ.  Folks that were constantly in need of home visits to make sure they had not killed themselves.  My experience over those many years has left me just as bewildered as I was before being "Educated" (S/O White Privilege).  One thing I do know is that I am really no different from the awesome people I was trying to help.  I mean sure, I have a bit of a "Skill Set" that I can attribute to my school/work during that time that spanned about 10 years.  However I am just a fucked-up guy with some "Knowledge" I suppose.  Knowledge may be power but not the variety of power that comes with control over one's thoughts and feelings.  I ain't a victim though, I've changed a lot in many ways.  In others, not so much.
I started taking migraine medicine daily at nine years old.  I had been abused/bullied in myriad forms by that time, and I should note that both of my parents were abused.  Born poor as hell, Dad got injured badly and had to find a different vocation than construction and landed a good job as a salesman, mom was a teacher.  They pulled it all together pretty quickly all things considered and my dad landed many promotions.  By High School I was living a white, suburban, safe and secure life that afforded luxuries like smoking weed every day before first class zoning out to music in my 1985 Civic.  Partying with the "Cool kids," still getting good grades.  Pretty girlfriends and shit.  Being in a band that didn't suck wicked bad and cutting a demo.  I was still a hot mess.  No matter how "Good" things were I was always waiting for my life to fall apart.  I was always sick on Sunday nights, as they reminded me of the fear I felt as the younger kid that hated Monday mornings at school due to being bullied and beaten.  Even after those that bullied decided to embrace me in the latter part of HS I was "Off."  Sure, I was already in therapy with my parents at that point due to being caught with weed and smokes several times...  Shit went deeper though.  By the time I got to Connecticut College I was on a steady diet of pot, coke, acid, e, meth, k, and booze.  Lotsa pills too.  After failing out twice, this behavior awesomely manifested into my love affair with heroin and crack.  At this point there is no reason to get into further glorifying detail of the damage I did to myself, but rather share some insight; during this extremely fucked-up period of homelessness and thieving for drugs I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar D/O as well as many other things that I simply discounted while I continued to use and fail out of 20+ Rehabs/Detoxes/Mental Hospitals/Halfway Houses...  I finally left my final 12-Step Oriented "Treatment Facility" due to abusive practices and a staff that had no credentials and decided to do some fucking research for myself.  I was in my mid-twenties.  About 15 years on now I know more than I would like to about the corruption of the "Treatment Industry" (Emphasis on the word "Industry").  I also know a lot more about the brain, how we process things, and how trauma can have a lasting effect that resides in not only the mind but the nervous system.
In short, I have realized that drugs are not/have not been the problem for "Us" in my humble opinion.  They have been a solution.  They do what they are supposed to, they work by blunting that pain.  That nagging and often inexplicable hurt or fear or uncertainty that just "Is" all the time, no matter how well things seem to be going.  Or maybe are going...  I certainly cannot distinguish between the two, and I think that really is the crux of my anxiety.  Are things gonna be ok?  Have I upset or hurt anyone?  Do people laugh at me when I turn my back?  Ad infinitum.
And then there's the Bi-Polar illness...  Again, despite years of hearing this diagnosis, I just continued to brush it off.  AA certainly didn't want me on meds, which is scary and a story for another time, and I originally tried to pull it together in that program.  I was told it was "The only way."  It's not.  In fact, had I been willing to see a professional that had experience with mental illness (That also runs in my family), I may have spared myself some jail and hurting lots of good people.  Or not.  I am not knocking those that benefit from 12-Step Recovery programs...  I simply want to make the point that if they are not effective it may not be the individual's fault.  There are plenty of peer-reviewed, scientific medical studies/papers on this subject, as well as an excellent book called "The Sober Truth."  I encourage people to possibly consider looking at not only what Substance Use Disorders really are, but effective treatment modalities that exist but are rarely discussed.  For me, the obtaining of knowledge changed everything.  Saying I am Bi-Polar is one thing, but it is in fact overdiagnosed and I want to qualify my condition before wrapping things up.  I am REALLY, WICKED, HELLA Bi-Polar.  Not some daytime TV bullshit.  For example, once I pawned all my musical gear and just quit entirely for a few years even though things were going quite well.  I once left the East Coast in my car and ended up in a crack motel in Sacramento, never telling anyone...  I just "Left."  I even went as far as stepping to dudes three times my size with no fear at all.  Mania is a son of a bitch, and it often feels amazing.  Once in West Palm during a homeless period I was in the process of getting robbed with a gun to my head, manic as all get out, and all I could do was laugh uncontrollably...  Utter lack of control over myself or care for myself, and I have not even gotten into the depressive aspect of the whole shebang.  Nor do I need to, as it is fairly standard stuff...  I want to sleep, I cancel commitments, I lock myself away with my dark thoughts knowing it's only making things worse but am paralyzed and can not get myself into action.  I think about how I let down my family so many years ago and that I do not deserve their love or support.  I think my music sucks.  I think about death and dying and the cosmos being better off without me.
Years of therapy and staying off street drugs have made a tremendous difference in how I am now able to interact with the scary world around me.  I am able to force myself to get shit done, at least most of the time these days, despite my mood.  Medication plays a part in this and I would not have it any other way.  If I am able to make it through the day without an existential crisis occasionally, then I know something has shifted/is shifting toward the light.  But said light is always obscured by daily self-doubt and insecurity.  This is better than a black hole.  Knowing my limitations, as sad as it has been to come to these realizations, has been crucial as well...  Like, I can't go out all the time.  I get easily overstimulated then "Shut off" or feel like I need to protect myself.  I have to be very selective about touring and base the run of shows on my mental wellness or lack thereof.  I need lots of breaks whilst working, whether it be writing or coordinating a release, in order to not go so hard I make myself sick.  I will work for 48 hours straight, in a manic and totally unhealthy state, until I crash for days.  I often take breaks from communicating with people in order to get my own head right.  This is never personal towards my friends/colleagues, though still taken as such sometimes.  Those that know me "Get it" and support me.  Which leads me to the importance of having a circle of people that do in fact understand me and my history...  And they love me anyway.  This fact has saved my life I am certain.
So those "Before & After" photos?  "Before" is myself with the homie Ceschi.  I am all smiles, hanging out with one of my favorite people at a great show with lots of close friends around.  I was comfortable that night, talkative, even met new people that I continue to communicate with to this day.  Great night.  Here's the thing though; I think I hit three shows that week.  I was driving all over the place, lots of late nights, sleep got out of whack.  These facts did not stop me from trying to put in a ton of work regardless as well as trying to "Date" like a normal person and be there for family amidst my self-created chaos.  The result is the crash that is evident in the "After" photo; I am physically and emotionally exhausted, empty.  I had not left the house for a couple of days.  Empty fridge, the thought of the grocery store terrifying.  No paper towels?  Oh well.  Phone off.  Fuck writing music and fuck promoting releases even harder.  I just quit.  That is what that picture represents.  Of course, I bounced back and plan on another week of shows coming up here soon.  Writing like crazy and balancing four releases for FBR at the moment.  So "Right now" is cool.  I can't speak for tomorrow or next week, nor do I care to.  I need to do everything in my power to live in the now, as my mind is constantly anywhere but.
Since starting the label just over two years ago, it has become apparent that so many of my peers and even heros are very much like me.  We seem a troubled lot.  The collective struggle is sublime and heartbreaking.  Beauty emerges from it.  I just want others to know that dealing with this sort of stuff is common and the taboos surrounding issues of wellness are crumbling.  I believe that the more we can relate to each other, help each other, boost each other up and truly listen to each other the better off we will be.  I constantly remind myself I am not alone and hope you know that's the case for you too.  Feel free to hit me up if you're struggling.  MJC

Monday, May 16, 2016

Big Year Ahead, Next Four Releases In The Pipeline

...W/ No regard for genre as usual, we are forging into the summer w/ four releases on deck...
First, we are doing the cassette version of "Imperfect Angels" by Gajah (The legendary MC) & Chrono Triggers.  Gajah's label is handling the digital and vinyl, peep a preview.  FBR007 Drops May 31!!

Next up, very shortly thereafter, is FBR008.  This is one of the most special musical moments of my career, no doubt.  Still feels unreal...  Anyway, the release is by Steve Cobby (Production) and author Russ Litten (Spoken Word).  Cobby, as many likely know, is one of the founders of duo Fila Brazillia. He is also part of Hey, Rube! and Cobby & Mallinder, with Mr. Stephen Mallinder, of Cabaret Voltaire and Wrangler fame.  Additionally he is a world-class DJ, solo artist going back almost 30 years, and overall great man.  His partner on this excursion is no other than Russ Litten, the famed UK author.  The two churned out a full-length unlike anything we have ever heard.  Preorders soon, here is a taste:


Two more coming as well... One is about complete and ready for mastering. It is one hell of a 30 minute trip to a beautiful hell and back by none other than Mikey Yeda.  Yeda is a stalwart of the LA scene, one minute rapping and the next playing horns in free-jazz sessions.  Or drumming.  Or playing piano.  Oh, or singing for Burmese...!  One of the most long-standing and intensely heavy bands of my entire generation.  Be on the lookout for details soon, it will be a very limited physical release w/ digital as well.  Finally, Benito and Skwirl have a spilt in the works.  that kinda speaks for itself, those guys have been with us since the beginning.  Shit, I have known Skwirl since Soundcloud Beta and he is one of the most talented and amazingly wonderful people I know.  Peace y'all, here's to a good second half of this year.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Stuff, And We Just Turned Two! Big Sale, Etc.

New mix up on Mixcloud, weirdo-rap:

New guest mix coming at some point, she agreed to it! I am so stoked and honored about it, it's a big deal. More soon... Here is the series thus far: We just turned two, THANK YOU! In honor of the terrible twos, here's a sale for ya'... Vinyl, Cassettes, Digital... Finally, get at us for mixing, mastering and more for rates artists can actually afford:
FBR Creative Audio Services