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  • Ground Floor Revisited

    12 sept. 2012, 17h32m

    The following is an excerpt from "The Catnip Nomad Blog", by our roaming guitarist. For more stories of his travels and rambling philosophy, visit The Catnip Nomad Blog

    There's an joke here in Serbia:
    An American, a German, and a Serb are all sitting around in a bar. The American says, "Man, I just don't know; every month I make $1000, I spend $700... What happens to the other $300, I just don't know..."
    The German says, "Yes, I haf ze sem problem. Every mans I meik 1000 Euros, I spend 700... As for ze ozah 300, I jast don't know..."
    The Serb says, "Eet's de same story here. Every week I make 500 Dinars, I spend 800... As for de oder 300, I haf no idea..."

    The basic will and desire to survive is integral to everyone. It almost seems like the primary accessory to the gift of life is a basic need and innate desire to preserve it in one's self. And yet our awareness and personal definition of this concept of "survival" has changed immensely over the last several millennia and still varies greatly based on simple (and often arbitrarily determined) factors of economy and geographic location.

    To an early human, like Cro Magnon or Neanderthal man, survival was still a fairly pure concept. Like today's wild animals, it entailed providing one's self with enough food while not becoming food for some other larger or more fearsome creature and securing some form of shelter to provide protection from the elements, enabling him to build fires for warmth and cooking, and giving him a relatively safe haven in which to begin thinking about and working on the cultural and social concepts which would over the following eons push forth his development and leave us contemporary humans on (what we've convinced ourselves is) the evolutionary pinnacle of this planet. This will to survive is what the Hindus and Buddhists refer to as "Muldahara", the first chakra. It is the ground floor, upon which everything else we've ever built is founded. And while here I'm discussing all these stages in terms of society's discovery of them, every human still moves through them in that same order starting with Muldahara from the moment of birth. Fairly soon after that (comparatively), as humans organized into more stable tribes and communities and experimented with agriculture and early social and legal structure, the bulk of the population shifted their focus from mere survival to procreation. Obviously, we were always procreating, but around then, people's concept of what their life should mean began to also entail leaving behind a lineage, and at the same time people first started recognizing the emotional end of the sexual urge. They began to think of sex as a "desire" as opposed to just an instinct. This second chakra is known as "Swadisthana".

    At this point (centuries later), things get murkier depending on what part of the world you chance to be born in. But in our Western societies, in the centuries surrounding the "BC" barrier, cultures like the Greeks, Egyptians, and later, Romans began to focus on collecting goods and property. For lack of better terminology, a kind of simple greed began to direct our focus. Some Eastern cultures arrived at this point long before we did, and it can be argued that some Native American and African cultures never got to it (or - and I won't delve too far into it yet, because what happens after is a much larger topic for a later date - jumped right past this phase of development) until the intervention of "Western Civilization".

    For centuries, we've been stuck, as a culture, at this point. Try as some religions have (Buddhism, Taoism, Christ's original teachings before the Church was established and started chasing money and status), most of us today live our lives chasing... stuff. In fact, in a world where there are still people who haven't food to eat or a place to live - even and especially in the United States - or clean water to drink (this, ironically, didn't used to be as big of a problem, and is steadily becoming worse), most of us have started to think of the most important goal in our lives as the accumulation of wealth. In modern Western society, money secures your basic survival, and popular culture has convinced most of us that it will also help fulfill your sexual desires. Suddenly, the the keys to satisfying Muldahara and Swadisthana in our own development have been tied up by society into the third chakra, "Manipura"; the charkra of greed. And while we live in the societal structures we have created for ourselves, most of us never look any further. Some have even deluded themselves into believing money will solve the above problems of need and want, as opposed to perpetuating them. There is a wall beyond Manipura, and most never even wonder what's on the other side.

    The new CatNip Tea album, "Ouroborealis" is an attempt to depict and perhaps better understand and maybe then even explain the evolution of a human consciousness from its component parts before conception through its development and on to its culmination. It is divided into three "trinities", and the second of these three deals with Muldahara becoming Swadisthana becoming Manipura. Swadisthana and Manipura develop in people in many different ways depending on the conditions and beliefs within which they were raised. Anything from religion to personal experience to economic opportunity dictates how we first encounter and experience and deal with these stages. And while depending on where and when in the world one is born, his experience with Muldahara may very quickly begin to differ from another's, our basic experience of the will, craving, and fundamental need to survive is universal.

    All that said, it is with great pleasure that I present you with the first single off of "Ouroborealis", "Muldahara". This album has been several years in the making, and as we speak the rest of the band is completing and perfecting their contributions. It is one of the most personally gratifying experiences (both creative and otherwise) I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. If any of the cosmic coincidences that grew out of and followed the first CatNip Tea project display themselves on this one (and they're beginning to), I'm sure this next year will be a pretty interesting and personally redefining ride for me and everyone involved.

    I humbly, emphatically, and lovingly invite you to be a part of the experience, and to invite anyone else you may know or love to join us in this exploration of what we are, where we come from, and, hopefully, where we're going. Abide, Dudes.

    To listen to and download to the track check any of the following links:

    The CatNip Tea Bandcamp

    Soundcloud
  • We finally got a new website up.

    31 jan. 2011, 22h40m

    After a few years off, we've finally begun to regroup. We're in the shop, working on some new things right now. To tide you over until that's done, we put up the entirety of "Denweigh and Hyvor's System", our debut album, for name-your-price download on our new website: CatNip Tea

    In addition, as you can there see, we put up a live EP of some stuff that was filmed at the College of Santa Fe in November of 2007, as the album was being completed and mixed.

    Both of these things are as good as free, though we always appreciate the contributions which usually just go to more promotion here... closed cycle... just like all the best things about life.

    Be well with yourselves, good dudes, and enjoy the tunes. We will be with you again shortly.

    -Tea

    Playing Games (Live)