Xoterica 11: The Fade

I celebrated my 44th birthday this week on December 12th. Since you’re wondering, yes, I did have a great day off. I was showered love and best wishes from friends, family and coworkers.

It was not filled with cake, drinks or balloons. No party. No presents.

While my day of celebration was atypical and devoid much of the common fanfare, it was filled with one thing:



The Birthday Blur

It feels impossible to slow down time these days. The more I fill up the schedule, the faster I reach sundown. The more commitments I make, the less time I have to live. Once, years ago, when I was sick and unable to sleep more than two hours at a time and pain was the constant, time seemed to plod at a Sisyphusian pace. I wished for time to speed by, even if I didn’t really expect to enjoy my future.

I just needed to get through the pain. Now, it seems like every day is a harried race to the top of the clock.

Punch. Reset. Start over. Everything between eyes open and closed is a busy blur of important stuff to do. For work. For life maintenance. For survival. For socialization. 

The boulder barrels down the mountain, beyond the grasp of the damned man. 

We control what happens in our lives, but we can’t stop the acceleration and velocity of time. The end comes fast, regardless. I’m trying to make a more conscious effort to be present and productive, use my time lively — including on my own birthday, which was filled with art and warmth, not my typical activities, such as dining out, getting a massage, grabbing a drink with friends or seeing a show of some sort. 

This year, I owned my Birthday Blur.


Your Own(ed) Personal Holiday

We each should own our Birthday blur. It is my belief that an individual’s birthday should be the biggest thing we celebrate every year in the United States and around the globe.

Above Easter. Independence Day. Valentine’s Day. President’ s Day. Thanksgiving. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Christmas.

Blasphemy? Probably.

But as a #humanfirst thinker and secular transhumanism supporter, I tend to put the needs of the individual first. That kind of free thinking and positioning could get me killed in some countries.

But I will not bow. This Humanist believes that we should pay foward through connection, kindness, empathy and recognition as a function of our humanity, not due to duty to an overlord or deity. 

A birthday is a personal holiday we all share through human biology. Sure, other creatures are born, but there’s only one species I know that proactively tracks and celebrates their day of origin. Until we have no more birth anniversaries, we are all bound by that bloodline. What happens after our last breath is a debate for our society and culture; what happens before we are dead matters. There is no denying the delicate days we persevere through and deserve a day to be recognized for the heroes were are.

Consider this: what if we all celebrated and acknowledged the days of birth of the people in our orbit with the same fervor we observe Thanksgiving or Christmas? Dare I offer, what if we put our Birthday above every other date we have on the calendar, a holiday for the human hero that lived to see another year?


The Fade Becomes Us

Religion aside, our birth, growth and evolution as human monsters is a miraculous thing. Every year, the beast inside dies a little bit more, our locks streak silver and wither and our days are cut shorter. The weight of life sinks down upon us, counterproductive to momentum of evolution.

To be human is to be broken.

These days, my art feels like shards of a fractured me, shattered and splattered out onto canvas and pixel. If birthdays are the pick axe and our lives are stone, each year is another fracture lost and chipped away off the boulder.

This year, I poured my Birthday time into finishing 11 pieces of art that I had been working on. These eleven pieces should exist long after my talent — and my presence — is gone. Memories of my Birthday will disintegrate in time, but these fractures of me should remain.

Watch this blog and my adjoining social spaces for shots of these pieces!

And Sisyphus grins as the fade

becomes us.


On the Passing of Warrel Dane

Warrel Dane by Samuel Dietz

NEVERMORE And SANCTUARY Singer WARREL DANE Dies Of Heart Attack In Brazil

"Acclaimed heavy metal singer Warrel Dane, who achieved fame with the bands SANCTUARY and NEVERMORE, died on Wednesday (December 13) in São Paulo, Brazil. The American musician, who was in the process of making his second solo album, had a heart attack during the night and could not be revived.

Guitarist Johnny Moraes, who was a member of Dane's solo band, was with the singer around midnight when Warrel started to feel bad.

"He died in the night," Moraes told Brazil's UOL. "He was in the apartment where he stayed during the recording of the album when it happened. I gave him cardiac massage and we called the Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU), who came very fast, but when they arrived, he was already dead."

According to Moraes, Dane — whose Wikipedia page erroneously states he was 48 but who is believed to have been in his late 50s — had a history of addictions and health issues. "His health was already very weak because of his diabetes and his problems with alcoholism," he said. "He was already facing a lot of health problems."

The instrumental parts for Dane's follow-up to 2008's "Praises To The War Machine" solo album were almost completed and he had begun laying down his vocals shortly before his death. The musicians in his solo band are thinking about finishing the record with guest singers as a posthumous tribute, but no decision has yet been made."

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/nevermore-and-sanctuary-singer-warrel-dane-dies-of-heart-attack-in-brazil.html#1vX70EuVwWsplqTB.99[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Death of a Legend

"Refuge Denied" was one of the first albums I received from the Columbia House tape club when my family and I moved back to the states in 1988. The first album by a relatively unknown group known as Sanctuary became a life-long favorite, and cemented Warrel Dane's future as one of the best frontmen in metal. I ordered a t-shirt featuring the cover of "Refuge Denied" and stitched it to the back of my jeans jacket. During a time when Poison and Metallica and Warrant and other big-hair rock bands were trendy, I chose to fly the flag of the underdog. 

I still have the jeans jacket in my closet to this day, reminding me of my roots. The music of Sanctuary and the vocals of Warrel Dane -- whether through his 80s work, this long legacy with Nevermore, his solo album or the 2014 Sanctuary reboot with "The Year the Sun Died" (my favorite album of 2014) -- will always remain as a powerful Soundtrack to my growth and evolution.

Lightspeed, Warrel Dane. I will miss your voice, your art, and your contribution to the heavy metal story.

"What if there is nothing more?
What if there is only emptiness?
What if there is nothing more
beyond the code of deliverance?
What if everything decays?
What if we've all just been betrayed?
The code of deliverance leads us closer
We are closer to the end."

(Sanctuary, "The Year the Sun Died", 2014)[/vc_column_text][vc_video link="https://youtu.be/Rh_XtvJ1-28" align="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Artemis Sere Returns to the Ritual Madness Podcast

Ritual Madness Podcast Episode 166 featuring Artemis Sere

On December 1, 2017, I returned to the Ritual Madness Podcast for a three-hour show about art, music and the #YearoftheSere with brother Greg Chilton, Godfather of the Twin Cities metal scene and vocalist of the band Outside the Murder.

About the Ritual Madness Podcast

The Ritual Madness Podcast is run by Twin Cities metal legend and friend, Greg Chilton. Ritual Madness Podcast supports music of all styles -- tattoo artists, photographers, painters, digital artists, comedians, local businesses, and anything underground in Minnesota and the surrounding areas. His main focus is "to help people recognize that the midwest is a hotbed for talent and the world should take notice."

Artemis Sere Returns Podcast 12/1/2017

As previously mentioned, Greg and I chatted for over three hours. To access the full stream, click on the link below.

In the future, I'll clip out the Podcast and share individual segments of the Podcast in this blog.

Seretic Studios