Music For Transients Only

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 8 Jan 2024

"I am not a Christian artist.
I am an artist who is a Christian."
Johnny Cash


Oh good, I already wrote it.  The article about the crushing vacuum that holds it all together.  The contrary forces of infinite pressure and heartbreaking void leaning on and into each other, feeding each other even as they cancel each other out, so that "equilibrium" may be maintained in the souls of the smug and the dismissively aloof.  I was afraid I was going to have to write it again.  What a "relief."  Glad that's over with.


A Tragic Heart


Equally unfortunately wonderful is the realization that I don't have to repeat the point that in America, like Iran, artlessness is a virtue.  Not only a trait, but a virtue.  In this unscriptural, dogmatic, and overbearing view, art is a sin, so to be without it is to be morally and spiritually clean.  In America and Iran alike.  The observation comes from a place beset with pure diamond loathing for both white- and America guilt, which ought to make it all the more powerful.  I'm not imposing the unbreathable force of the paradoxical pressure of the Western cultural vacuum on you because I hate the West.  It's purely FYI.  For historical and archaeological reasons.


American Ayatollahs & Artless Fundamentalism


I recently joined a chat, with some Christians on YouTube.  To me, "chatting" is something grandmothers do while playing Bridge and drinking Ginger Ale, and I've never seen the allure in engaging in a shallow, short-form conversation with a bunch of strangers on the internet.  And so I have never, ever done it (once perhaps, during Myspace.  I can't remember).  But my guard was down and I was in a good mood, so I chiseled a few words into the scrolling digital parchment against my better judgment.  And it didn't happen immediately, but because nobody is immune to THE CULTURE OF THE OVERBEARING MESSAGE, not even Christians, eventually somebody made the glib, offhand comment about "not liking secular music," but enjoying "the dubstep intro of the last video anyway."

And the crushing, paradoxical weight of the vacuum collapsed on me again, and "my day was ruined."  The effect such glib, dismissive, self-righteous ignorance has on me is much worse than that, but I'm not here to whine.  Fill in the blanks with open sewage, or a Tik-Tok challenge, or something that sucks all the hope and moisture out of your soul.  Anything that diminishes your capacity to breathe and makes you want to die.  Anything.


Artistic Diaspora: Rise of the Message


On good days, sometimes I wonder if I'm "quitting," coming down to Mexico.  Then I remember:

The hipsters and scenester gatekeepers never let you break free of the crushing gravitational pull of their hyper-compliant, artless little community of sex cliques,

And the Christians told you that perhaps "God would bless you if you became a Christian content creator and denied the talent He gave you, by writing the songs I would write, if I had the ability to do so.  Because I idolize it unknowingly, and am therefore incapable of seeing it as a trade worthy of reasonable compensation (since I can't do it), I believe the sole purpose of art is worship.  I wouldn't know, which is how I know.  The Bible clearly states we ought to speak to each other in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, to the exclusion of all else.  That last part is in there.  It has to be.

Because I am an idolater, and therefore inconsistent, I don't apply those standards to MY trade.  We need to support our Christian bakers when the law tries to force them to bake a cake for a gay wedding, but we really shouldn't, because the baker doesn't write JESUS IS LORD on every birthday cake he bakes.  He needs to repent of not writing "Jesus is Lord" under "Happy Birthday Bobby."  Since I'm an idolatrous hypocrite, I'm not really a fan of secular cakes anyway. 

Cars either.  The mechanic once worked on a car that wasn't a church bus; perhaps we should stop taking our car to his sinful garage of backsliding power tools.  I also heard that the builder actually pays his bills building houses for people who don't share the faith.  A porn star once bought a house that he built; did you know the builder actually pays his bills with the money he makes building houses for sex fiends?  He even lives in a non-church building himself.  What a heathen.  Worse, the football coach sent his kid to a 'secular university' to play on a non-Christian football team.  Wait, is there even such a thing as 'non-Christian football?'  Of course not.  We don't idolize it like we idolize art and music, therefore it's okay for us to be hypocrites.  Nothing is more culturally-upstanding-and-therefore-righteous than a bunch of college jocks.  Because he lacks an inquisitive mind, and is a citizen of a postmodern society and can therefore have no moral culpability, the coach has done a righteous thing.

But... you aren't going to listen to that song that doesn't name-drop Jesus,


It isn't possible to breathe in an atmosphere comprised of such hypocritical, oxygen-hating demands for one-way compliance.  It doesn't matter if those demands come from a place of sexual degeneracy, or sanctimonious faux-holiness, it is okay to feel AGGRESSIVELY UNCOMFORTABLE around people who chirp through life like flying cockroaches, while believing themselves to be birds.  "Hey, I found a piece of garbage on the ground.  Looks like a fake gospel song, or a dead worm trying to fly.  It has the word 'Jesus' on it, so it must be a gospel song!  Isn't perpetuating the culture void fun!?!"  And they pop the dead sewage worm in their glib, overemployed beaks like baby birds eating the regurgitated stomach product of the mother.  Technically, it's food.  Technically, it's a sound file.  But you can't eat puke forever.

Can you?

In the 90s, I said that my music was "Music For Transients Only."  It wasn't gospel content, and it wasn't degenerate muck-flailing.  The early stuff is angry, the later stuff (to date) has been melted down and converted into assorted forms of costume jewelry, some of it warped from sitting on the dashboard too long.  Some of the pieces are made of lava, some are made of Mexican black tar heroin.  Some point (or try to point) to Christ, and some are made of ice.  I worked with what I had on hand at the time.  The support of the culture at large was not among the materials spread out like golden seagulls at my feet, so it never found its way into my work.  Thank God for that, I can say in hindsight.  Can you imagine how horrible it would be to be beholden to those people?

I've made the point a million times, including in the video below.  But chatting with a bunch of unwitting idolaters about God will make any sane man want to blow his brains out.


“Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad;"
Ecclesiastes 7:7


Apologies aren't necessary, but as usual, the glib dismissiveness-posing-as-holiness doesn't owe me a syllable of understanding or attention; as usual, it's me who has to go.  It's more painful than anything.  It would be one thing if the hypocrite idolaters were open to the possibility that they're wrong about something they've never once considered at any point in their lives...

But they're not.

And turn on the news, and ask yourself why.

"Tumbleweed" is not a gospel song.  And yet, in spite of this would-be Godless handicap, the song is true.  The lyrics, which are as transient and fleeting as earthly life itself, are at the bottom of the article "The Gospel of Weedwolf." 

"Greaser Boy" is not a gospel song either.  It tells the story of getting married to my 2nd wife in Las Vegas.  The full story is in the article "The First-Ever Church of Doomsday Life."  If you're here, you're at least a transient sympathizer, and perhaps will find something of value in both the songs and the articles.

Songwriting for me was the pursuit of freedom and independence from the tractor beam of anti-culture, the self-righteous quicksand dragging on the feet and souls of everyone who has something uncomfortable to say.  Even if that statement is only a desperate, artless plea for "Help!"  That counts.  Help counts.  It's a legitimate statement.  A million times more true than the glib, condescending chirping of the people who idolize the arts by holding them to angelic, impossible standards.  "Help!"  From the gutter,


From the bleachers, from the sinners in the cheap seats. 


From the innards

Of the sinners in the streets.  

An attempt at a poem, I suppose.

The cry is valid, if nothing else.

Thanks for listening.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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