Guidance Counseling: Natural Child

Published  September 2015

AntigravitySeptember2015WEB_Page_08_Image_0001So many bands these days don the wardrobe of down-home-country-blue-collar- drifter, but most of their buckles are too shiny, their denim too crisp, their weed too boutique, and their sound way too clean. Meet the real thing: Natural Child, who ooze Nashville twang like they invented it—all while blasting the Ramones, drinking domestic beer, and passing dirtweed spliffs. Dancin’ with Wolves, their  breakout album of 2014, is one long, groovy trip, the kind of album a generation of babies could get made to. AG was fortunate enough to grab guitarist/vocalist Seth Murray for some advice in advance of their return to New Orleans, to play Siberia on September 26. Take it on home, Seth.

I have a lot of artist and musician
friends, and I try to support all of them in their creative exploits: attending shows, going to exhibitions, etc. Since the advent of crowd-funding, the only support my friends want now is money. I get several Facebook “invites” to donate money for this or that band/video/project every day. At this point, and I’m running out of ways to explain that I just can’t give cash every time Henry wants to make a noise album or Jane has to put together a public performance piece about the fall of the Soviet empire. What can I say?

Money isn’t real. Its value is determined by a group of people that just like to carry out real life experiments on idiots like you and me. Work on not believing in money and you’ll find it’s very comfortable and easy to tell people, “I don’t believe in money” when they ask for it. As a side note, when you actually do stop believing in money, it also has the added benefit of making you extremely generous and you might find yourself donating more.


My best friend is the king of exaggeration. Every story he tells is amazing and entertaining and also mostly bullshit. The problem is that no one calls him on it, and it’s gone on so long that he doesn’t even seem to realize that 80 percent of what he says is fantasy, and so calling him on it might straight up end his relationship with the caller. We love him and we love his stories, but don’t we have an obligation to let him know we know he’s lying?

If this dude is entertaining and he’s lucky enough to have an audience, let him do his thing. Unless you think he’d be happier knowing that you think he’s a liar or without you as a friend at all. This sounds more like you need to decide if you want to have a bullshitter as a friend or not.


When I was young, my parents didn’t have much money. I got no help to attend college or start my life after, and it has really taken a toll. All my original dreams had to be adjusted to be more realistic and I’m working a job I hate but can’t get out of. My younger brother was entering high school when my parents’ financial woes finally ended, and so his life has been amazing. New car at 16, whatever college he wanted, free money whenever he slips up (which he does, a lot). I love my brother and my parents but I can’t help feeling shafted. Can I demand reparations?

Nope. You got the better end of the deal anyway. People that have things  handed to them take them for granted.  Has your brother wrecked his car yet? Did you ever wreck a car you bought with your own money? Just be thankful you got to learn responsibility at a young age when things matter less. Imagine your brother at 40 trying to get his act together enough to get his first entry-level office job. That’ll never  be you, right? Also, quit your job and let your college debt do whatever it wants to do. Unless you already have a family, you can’t possibly have enough  responsibilities that you can’t just work at a bar for a few years and enjoy your youth.


A good friend of mine recently married, and I was his best man. I organized the bachelor party, worked with him and his fiancée to coordinate the wedding and reception, and I happily contributed much time and money to making their special day as special as it could be. Well, the marriage lasted less than two months and the couple is now finalizing  divorce proceedings. My wedding gift was a sizable amount of money meant to help my friend and his wife start their life together, but since they have ended the marriage so soon, is it in poor taste for me to ask for the money back?

Yeah, obviously it’s in poor taste or you wouldn’t be asking. It’s just money.

Didn’t everybody have a good time? All you did was plan and help pay for a big, expensive party and then give a gift to your buddy. Who else but you cares what the reason was? Forgive your friend and make him buy you drinks every time you go out. If you feel like you aren’t man enough to do that,  just tell him how you feel and end the friendship and count it as an expensive  lesson. And then count your money.


How often are you supposed to call your mom?

Every time you take mushrooms.


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