Garage T. Rashington III – Sophomore Slop

 Garage T. Rashington III – Sophomore Slop

Garage T. Rashington III – Sophomore Slop – Album Review

So where was I?

That really was the question this time around, but allow me to back the story up just a little bit here.

Some of y’all have probably followed along with a word or two that I’ve written about the legend we’ve come to know as Garage T. Rashington III.  Back when I wrote my first review on this elusive character’s music back in February of this year, discussing the songs on his debut called Inauthentic Slop, I went into as much detail as I could recall from running into this crazy cat the first three times in my life, all having taken place in three completely random and separate locations.  Let’s just say these were the kind of meetings that you tend not to forget in life, due to how utterly strange they were, each and every time.

Sometime back towards the middle of April this year, I made a bunch of phone calls to all the people I knew throughout the industry, desperately trying to track this dude down.  I became obsessed with this guy…this thing…this…entity – and I had to know more about who the heck Garage T. Rashington III was, if only to prove that I hadn’t been lucidly dreaming this entire time.  I had the music, that existed, but beyond that, all I had were some drunken memories and blurry images of what I think that I had seen, which I’d written about in my review of Garage’s debut record.  All of my calls to folks in the business were dead ends.  Most people had no idea what I was even talking about, and I sounded like a raving lunatic…like some sad musical version of Renfield calling out from the confines of his cell, screaming about how he’d come back some day, and when he did, they’d all regret it.  I sent out a whole bunch of different colored flares one night, attacking the sky with smoke-laden graffiti, but to no avail.  I sent out two highly decorated and trained carrier pigeons, both strapped with an SD memory chip to their back which contained the files for a video interview with Garage, and after telling them my stories of what it was like to meet the man briefly in my time, I released them through the window of my attic in hopes that they’d somehow find their way to him.  I am very sad to report that over the next two weeks, I heard nothing.  Randomly consoling myself over a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for the third time in a day, I saw an unusually shaped piece deep down at the bottom of the cardboard well, and pulled it up.  It was smaller than the rest of the pieces in the bucket had been…oddly pigeon-sized if you ask me – and then I saw the crispy SD chip attached to where I think his ankle might have been…and well…you get the idea.  One out of the two birds had already come back to me in bucket form, and that was a sad-ass day.

As to the whereabouts of the other one, I do not know…but I know this – he must have made it to the destination, because sometime in early June, I received a singing telegram that informed me I had another package coming to me.  Which, YES…it seemed odd that I would get a message about another message, sung to me no less…but here I was and that’s the way that it happened, I swear.  I thanked the singing telegram person and closed the door behind me, thinking about how odd it was that they even still HAD singing telegrams in this day & age as I went back to my couch, sat down, and heard another knock at the door.  “What an asshole,” I thought to myself.  “Tipping culture has simply gone too far.  I’m not giving this fool a tip for simply telling me about the potential of a package coming later on, so he can officially go fuck himself.”  I turned the TV back on indignantly, and stared forward.  Surprisingly, after about a full minute had passed of me watching a Full House rerun on a full stomach stuffed to the sides, another knock occurred, but a bit more aggressive and louder this time.  I shouted, “NOBODY HOME,” and laughed out loud to myself, because I clearly was.  There was nothing that was going to stop me from experiencing the classic hijinks of Joey Gladstone, Danny Tanner, and Uncle Jesse – nothing.  I put my feet back up on the coffee table, turned up the volume even louder, and focused my attention back onto the show.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  It sounded like the fucking reaper had showed up to claim me.  I peered over the top of the couch, half expecting to see my door caving in from the sheer pressure of whomever was knocking at my chamber door, and admittedly, I peed a little – that last knock was like a series of thunderclaps.  I was terrified now, and no set of Olsen twins antics would be able to calm me down.  With my knees shaking and my hands trembling, I made my way over to the door and twisted its rusty knob slowly, peeking through the crack as the wood segment peeled back from the rest of the frame…and there was nothing.  There was no singing telegram asshole, there was no one else in the hallway, there was just…nothing!  I couldn’t make any sense of it whatsoever, and to be truthful with you, I still can’t to this very day.  I began to shut the door, but not before looking down and spotting a tiny inch by inch and a half envelope that was wedged up against the doorframe.  Was this the package I had been informed about?  I palmed it, brought it back inside my abode, and stared at this tiny white envelope on my coffee table for about a full minute before turning off Full House to fully examine it.  I peeled back the corner flap and tore the envelope open, and out fell an SD card – the same one that I had sent out months ago via carrier pigeon.  For a moment, I felt the sting of dejection…like the mission had completely failed.  Then I saw that it contained a marking on it that I hadn’t sent it out with.  It read:  GTRIII in the tiniest letters, scrawled on the black surface in black pen…I was lucky to have even spotted it.  The rest is history folks…history that we made together, and revealed to you through our highly unwatched but mighty independent music show that we know and love as SBS Live This Week.  In fact, if you were to boot up your Google machines and type in the address of this website right now, chances are, our interview with Garage T. Rashington III would be the very first thing you see.  While we do not ever see this mysterious figure of musical mayhem onscreen at any point throughout the interview, we do hear his low southern drawl graciously answering our questions, for which I am forever thankful.

Anyhow.  This is all a preamble to explaining that I am completely positive that after that interview took place, Garage T. Rashington III and I crossed paths for a fourth time – I’m absolutely certain of it.  I hadn’t expected to see him…I honestly don’t think that anyone ever does…it was late one night, and I was walking home right here in my hometown in the province of beautiful British Columbia.  It was a night like any other, and I was listening to Aerosmith in my Walkman singing something about a whole bunch of pink things while it was practically pitch black outside, and I could feel a cold wind blow right past me all of a sudden.  I looked, and I saw this massive beanpole figure darting down the alley to my left, completely dark, but with a gigantic brim hat and the beacon cherry of a crooked joint in his mouth burning brightly about six or seven feet up where his mouth would have been.  I could smell the smoke, I could smell the weed…and if I had been anywhere else other than British Columbia, perhaps that would have been an anomaly.  Here it was common place…you can fuckin’ smell weed everywhere, all the time – but that didn’t mean I didn’t want some!  So I ran after this enormous figure in the night, taking off down the alley, while he laughed like a madman, keeping his pace way out in front of me.  For a moment or two, I considered that I might never catch him, and also had no choice but to reckon with how totally out of shape I was…I mean, damn – I was already wheezing.  Then I realized I was in a dead-end alley and that he had nowhere to go.  The batteries in my Walkman were dying and the tape sounded like it was beginning to melt…with Aerosmith’s song now becoming a ghostly expanded version of “piiiinnnkk.”

Through the murk of the night, I could see the end coming upon us – he would soon run out of space to flee, and I would suck down the rest of his weed for making me chase him this far, without apologies.  What happened next, I cannot explain…though I will try…and that’s why you’re reading this I suppose…

…he never slowed down.

That’s right.  Even with a massive building in front of him, it didn’t matter how close he was getting, he never slowed down.  If anything, his pace increased even more.  I yelled out “Garage T. Rashington III” partly to warn him, but also to partly let him know that I KNEW it was HIM.  He turned his head just enough to flash a sinister looking smile before he hit the side of the building at top speed full on, and POOF – he vanished right in front of my eyes.  The long cloak he was wearing and his hat fell to the ground…the tiny little stub of his joint still burning, lay right beside it…but the man, the myth, the legend, had returned back into the ether from whence he came.  Beyond puzzled, entirely out of breath, and straight-up bewildered by what I had just seen with my own two eyes…I made it to the edge of the building where I just saw this dark figure disappear, bent down to the ground, and picked up the tiny roach of his joint before it burnt out.  Of course I smoked that shit – you know I did, that’s who I AM.  I started to walk back in the other direction, pondering how what I just saw could have been real, yet smoking the evidence to prove that it was at the same time.  All of this happened, right in front of me.

Now…it could have been that the weed was more potent than I’m used to, though admittedly, we grow some amazing plants here up north.  It could have been that I hadn’t slept for days, but that was also fairly normal for me too.  “It could have been the Willie Nelson…could have been the wine” like our main man Gord used to sing too I suppose, in that ever-metaphorical Canadian way.  Whatever it was, didn’t make any damn sense, because not everything in life does.  I decided that I was going through that wall.

In that instant, there was no talking me out of it, there was no going back, there was no thinking about anything too much – only going for it.  My legs moved at a speed they hadn’t for years…I became the Usain Bolt of the alley that night, with the side of the building becoming more and more of a reality with each quick step I took as I ran.  I was either about to be in a whole world of pain, or discover something incredible we can’t see, but we all know exists around us, and are too afraid to look for in the daylight.  I hit the side of where the building should have been…and if you had happened to be watching, you’d have seen that same POOF – I was gone.  I fully retained my clothes, so I don’t really know what that was about, and kind of have to assume that Garage just enjoys being nekkid…but I was in the world no more.

Which is how I got here.

You see?  That’s some real full-circle shit right there.  You gotta love it.

In The Ether – Day One

I heard the strangest voice…like I had just broken into a concert with the main act being introduced.  I couldn’t see my own hands or any part of my body…I was just there, like the air around you right now.  Then I heard an unmistakable sound – it was Garage T. Rashington III, singing “I used to think a lot of things I do not think of anymore.”  There was comfort in these words…it was like I was being given some kind of permission to let go of my earthly form, and accept this new reality, in the ether.  I thought to myself, “Where’s The Tylenol?” as I tried to shake myself back into the body I used to have…but to no avail.  I made the harsh decision to leave the world I knew behind, and embrace this new one.  I mean, fuck – there was MUSIC, so what else did I need?  This first song I was hearing in my new life as a nobody was completely spectacular…realer than real…the kind of sound you’d WANT to leave your life behind for.  And so I did.  These BIG ASS drum beats…these wild guitar tones…these vivid vocals and words that seemed to come ALIVE right while I as convinced I was dead, lying in a crumpled ball of man meat outside in the cold of the alley…my god – is this what death sounds like?  “To my thoughts I am the universe, they dwell on planet Brain” the song was saying…and I was convinced I was in the afterlife.

Yello, sir – have you seen my mind?” the music asked right afterwards, describing exactly how I felt along with some of the most brilliant sound I would have heard this year if I was still in fact, alive.  “I cannot crackle the code to where my mind skedaddled” the music said, and I had to agree.  “Can you throw me an assist?” it asked – and I was like, fuck…no?  How could I help anyone else out when I was as lost as I was?  Someone needed to throw ME an assist right now…it seemed like with every single line I heard in the lyrics and music, the further I was getting away from the life that I once knew.  Again, I asked myself if this is what it sounded like to die…was I simply using the last of my brainwaves to form songs and echo my thoughts back to me before it was lights out forever?  “Yello!” I yelled out…but I heard nothing other than music in return…and good lord it was exquisitely CRUNCHY in all the right ways.  Hell, it was ART…but I was almost too preoccupied by trying to figure out where I was, where my body had gone to, where the thoughts in my mind could be coming from if there wasn’t a mind at all – you know, the usual existential questions I’m sure we’d all ask in a similar situation.  I let the vocal presence sing its song about trying to find my mind, the synthetic vibes of the music work its magic on me, and felt like I drifted off into sleep after it was all over, somewhat expecting that I’d probably just wake up in the alley to a new day, realizing this was all a dream.  But that never actually happened.

In The Ether – Day Two

Look.  I can’t definitively say it WAS the second day, but thematically, the music made a jump…and it felt like I was experiencing a completely refreshed energy or a reset of some kind.  Images started to flash around me, and I followed this extraordinary story of a kid named Jimmy that would only listen to “Late 19th Century Opera,” while actually learning more about the entire history of Punk Rock than anything else.  Name drop after name drop…I found myself thankful that this supposed afterlife I was now in at least still had an understanding that the greatest of the greats existed…bands like Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Black Flag and such…I might never have been much of a Punk fan back in the real world myself, but at the very least, I could still separate the wheat from the chaff.  While this wild song regretfully missed the opportunity to mention many crucial bands like No Means No, DOA, DDT, or Propagandhi – I found myself appreciating it all the same.  No song can include everything all at once, not even in the ether…and though I might be dead, I found myself thinking I could live with that.  Besides that, you know what’s REALLY fucking hardcore?  Being so enthralled with “Late 19th Century Opera” that Punk music seems like WEAK SAUCE.  Put that patch on your jean jacket and wear it punk!  This song was rad as hell.

Finally…some kind of thread that tied me to what was happening – it was a song that I could actually recognize, and in fact, was unmistakably Garage T. Rashington III.  It was called “All The Day Long” so far as I remembered…a track that we were lucky enough to see come to life onscreen back in that interview I had managed to get from the legend himself on that show I used to do called SBS Live This Week back in the real world.  It’s funny what you find yourself thinking when you have no body, shape, or form – I found myself thinking about how I couldn’t even remember if I had mentioned how bloody AWESOME it was to have this song on the episode back when it came out.  For real y’all…it was hard enough to get an interview with this guy, let alone an exclusive peak at his upcoming music via video in the most Garage T. Rashington III of ways possible?  Fuck yeah!  That was a moment to remember, and clearly I did…I was here floating in the fog of the ether, mentally turning this track right the fuck UP as loud as my mind would allow it to go.  “All The Day Long” is a trip unto itself, even if you’re already convinced you’re trippin’ – the stunning amount of voices chattering in the background of this tune made it feel like I was surrounded by like-minded friend-minds, all floating in the ether together, dancing up a fucking storm.

So now that I was reassured that I was listening to Garage T. Rashington III, and probably somewhere within the realm he commanded, I relaxed a little bit.  I mean…we were homies at this point having met each other in random passing a couple times and done an interview…I felt like I was safe, even if I didn’t have hands and feet like I used to.  I started listening to this track called “Good Evening, Robert” and really digging into the sheer amount of work and effort he put into everything…this whole narrative that runs through the song is brilliantly well-thought-out.  Like, you follow young Bobby who “was abducted” and seems like he’s on the edge of death at all times, yet is basically recruited into some crazy Hunger Games-esque type of scenario whereby if he can escape, he’ll regain his freedom, no harm, no foul.  So obviously Bobby’s like, fuck yeah, I’m game for this…and the option honestly does seem to be a whole lot better than the situation he’s currently in.  So he gets out into this maze, starts kicking ass this way and that way…and I think…if I’m understanding this correctly…he nukes the internet in the process?  Like it was his captor’s REAL objective all along, and Bobby’s freedom just happened to be a byproduct of said internet destruction.  Anyhow.  He gets back to the world he knew, and realizes that he can’t even jump on Facebook to tell anyone about what he just went through.  WHAT FRESH HELL IS THAT?  Can you imagine a world without the yummy comfort of LIKES AND SHARES?  Wait…you can?  Oh!  Well – you must be musician or perhaps another kind of creative artist then.  If you get it, we’ll just move on.

In The Ether – Day Three

Time passes by in such a strange way here.  I don’t know if I passed out, if I blinked, or if it is in fact a completely new day or just feels like one…but I’ll consider this next moment to be day three in the ether.  “Stretched out like a rubber band, the day was long, drawn out and tense” – once again, the music seemed to mimic exactly how I was feeling.  Day three was the most interesting so far if you ask me…it was like I was watching myself back in the real world, slumbering away and sawing logs “with the best of them” and it was fucking PEACEFUL y’all.  It’s really something to watch yourself continue on with life to begin with, but it’s a whole other thing to watch yourself sleeping away like you’re just gonna get another day, without a care in the world or thought that you may one day, become trapped inside the ether after chasing a legendary mythical rockstar, with no concept of how to get out after.  I’m cute when I sleep…that much I can confirm.  Anyhow.  While everything seemed so calm at first, soon enough, it’s fuckin “Spider Time,” and I’m no longer alone.  Now I’m watching myself being wandered over by an eight-legged invader, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it from here!  This thing is humpin’ my ears, it’s rubbin’ up against my fingers, it came WAY TOO CLOSE TO MY PEEN – and again, there’s nothing I can do from wherever I am, other than watch this all unfold.  Then, and this is no bullshit y’all – this spider starts TALKING to me and explaining his situation about how the place where he used to live became untenable, and I find myself actually sympathizing.  Like, I’m yelling at myself from oblivion, to let this spider simply stay and hang out for a while.  “Time was oh so small” at that moment.  It gives a man perspective y’all…like…who even was I back there in my body if I’m out here away from it?  Somehow I made the right decision…I didn’t squash the heckin’ life outta this little guy, I let him live…and hopefully if I ever get back to my body one day, I can give him eight high-fives.

In The Ether – Day Four

Reporting to you directly from the nothingness, it’s your old pal Jer @ SBS.  “The way that I been feelin’ makes me feel like I should be feelin’ less…it’s like I feel too much considering the circumstance.”  Amen Garage T., amen.  Perhaps GTRIII has been my spirit animal all along?  “Yet I feel the multiverse’s weight” – is that where I am?  Is that what this is?  Do I get to see Michael Keaton in the batsuit again here or what?  Cause if I don’t, I’ma run back outta this motherfucker the way I came in, even if it kills me again.  “It’s the schism between reality and me that keeps my body feelin’ like my body’s feelin’” – you see what I’m saying?  Err…like Garage is saying?  It’s like he can read my thoughts, and completely understands what I’ve been going through on the other side of reality’s door…and probably because he’s been there.  You know something?  I haven’t seen that dude since I’ve been here…which I think has been about four days now…and while I appreciate that his music has been kickin’ all the ass as my soundtrack during my time in this place, it’d have been nice to at least meet the guy officially once & for all.  I don’t know that this is in the cards for me…not now, not ever…but I am thankful for this smattering of kickassery in the music, that much I can attest to.  I can put away my “Venomous Pessimism” as long as I’ve got great tunes to listen to, and there’s no shortage of that in the ether as far as I can tell.  Garage T. Rashington III has got that all hooked up – I told you we were homies.  “I should be carefree, all is well in my hood – I’ve got my needs met and then some.”  And so I’ll chill the fuck out…this can’t really last forever, right?  One of these days, I’m sure I’ll wind up waking up safely back on my couch and discover that none of this really happened, and that I munched my way through an entire bag of the right kind of mushrooms.

I was this and that but that was like a month ago” – I tell ya folks, Garage T. knows exactly how I’ve been feeling and it’s like the music of this…this Sophomore Slop…has all been explaining what I’ve been going through in real-time as I listened.  He’s got “Clean Teeth That Cuss,” and fuck man, so do I.  “So blame yourself if I’m unidentifiable” – I still know who I am!  Serves you right for trying to classify me when “I am unclassifiable” to begin with, and even more-so in the state of nothingness that I find myself in now.  Have I simply looked in the mirror, or gone through the looking glass, never to return?  Time will tell the ultimate tale I reckon…but rest assured, this whole experience with Garage T. Rashington III’s music has changed me forevermore.  If I ever get back to my body, I’ll appreciate it more.  Heck, I’ll probably grab a box of Kleenex and start appreciating it the moment I get back if you know what I mean.  I digress.  This soundtrack to my state of oblivion has been nothing short of remarkable…and I can only hope that if I ever do return, that I bring this music back along with me…the world should hear what I’ve been hearing.  This dude has a mastery of language like you wouldn’t believe, a creative mind second to none, and a grip on his instrument(s) like you’d hardly ever come across.  That last part is innuendo y’all – get it?  All kidding aside, it’s true…Garage T. Rashington III sounds even better with his latest music than he did with his debut…the production is crisp, the songs are spectacular, and the man himself is nothing short of electrifying.  He’s deserving of his legendary status as far as I can hear.  I might never really meet him knowingly, but just by listening to his music and words, it’s like we’re the same person.

In The Ether – Day Five

Right here could be anywhere, I don’t care.”  It’s true…this is how I’m feeling “Right Here,” right now.  “I’m a speck of dust right here along for the ride” and I’ve really had no choice in being so as far as I can tell.  I mean…I had the choice not to run through the wall about five days or so ago, and didn’t have to step on into the world of Garage T. Rashington III’s world…but “right here is right where I prefer to be” now.  Which means that I’m comfortable.  Which means that I need to not be.  Anytime I’m comfortable I instantly get the itch to change that…and so dear readers, dear friends…I’m afraid I must do my best to find my way outta here, despite how much I’ve enjoyed my time as particle dust.  I began to search high and low, “Right Here” and right there, with one last gentle and delicate love-song to serve as the sweet conclusion to my time spent in oblivion.  “Right here is where you exist,” as Garage T. Rashington III will tell ya…and he’s right.  Upon hearing that line, I opened the eyes I thought I no longer had, to discover I was “Right Here” in my humble apartment, with an empty bag of mushrooms, just like I had suspected I would find.  What a spectacular trip!  And good gravyboat lighthouse, what a fucking imagination I have, am I right?  I looked around my apartment in sincere disbelief…was I really “Right Here” the whole time?  Had it really been five fucking days?  What is that pigeon doing sitting so calmly in my window and what the hell is that strapped to its ankle?  Wait…is that an SD memory chip?  I quietly snuck over to the bird so as not to scare it, and plucked off the tiny package it was carrying, which was indeed, an SD card.  It contained all the files I was hearing over the past five days in the ether…the Sophomore Slop that Garage T. Rashington III had deemed fit to create a second album from.  It was REAL, and all has not been lost!

And so I took that wonderful bird to my local KFC to get him a special grease spa filled with eleven secret herbs and spices, and ate him happily while I had another listen to the album, and wrote this up for you.

That’s some real full-circle type shit for you right there is what that is.  You gotta love it.

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