Eden Bloom – Lost Planet I don’t know where I’m going I can’t remember where I’ve been I landed here on this planet And I’ve just been trying to fit in I sit with every sunset Chart the stars and draw the maps Light the fires on nights I think are special I keep on calling… And I wake with every sunrise Try to put it together best I can I do it for the people I’ve fallen in with here It was lonely so I’ve taken up with them. And I don’t know where we’re going Hate and greed may bring it to an end. My soul was brought down on this lost planet. Now our children carry the star with them. So I wake with every sunrise Try to listen to the spirits, the people and the land. I light the fires on the nights I think are special. While we spin I keep on calling…
Welcome to the first full edition of Symbols and Spells. This has been a long time coming and now that it is here I am not sure what to say. I should start at the beginning I suppose. This year I changed my name to Eden Bloom. There are numerous reason for the change but here I’ll highlight the positive. What’s in a name.
Our family is well. We continue to work (slowly) on the house and the half acre of land that we are attempting to keep up. The biggest news is our new roof. Now that we are no longer dealing with water damage we can begin restoration of the “other” side of our house. We are also actively seeking investors to support this work and the creation of a space that we can share with our community.
I’ve been playing guitar quite regularly, almost every day. While I managed to eek out Lost Planet earlier in the year, I’ve been challenged to find my way to writing new material. I’ve started working on a project I’m calling Golden Age, which is basically a covers project. I’ve been posting them frequently to YouTube.
Before Stranger Things brought Kate Bush back into the charts I started working on a cover of her seminal nuclear protest track Breathing. Breaking from the simple live recordings I’ve been making in the dining room I attempted to multitrack this one. I also began working with lyrics that reflected our current struggle for clean air here in Detroit. If it were vinyl I’d release Breathing Stellantis as a b-side.
Earlier this year I self-published Eschaton Life. Supporters copies are still available and you can download a digital version.
In Respect and Gratitude,
Welcome to Eschaton Life. While the meaning of the name may be available to some, I will always express that this is not an endorsement of any fascistic or dogmatic movement, but rather an expression of creative resistance to systems of ‘control’ operating in what many perceive as the end times. In short, living in or through the eschaton.
Eschaton Life is an attempt to catalog Eden Bloom’s work and archives. On the Spring Equinox of 2021 my family and I began the process of changing my and our name. By default, I’ve lived with my father’s name for 50 years. While I have always dreamed about the change I’ve never been stable enough to make it happen. Eden, rather than biblical, stems from my engagement with the Temple of Psychic Youth in the 80s and 90s and Bloom was the moniker used to signify my spiritual/creative efforts since that time.
My internal reasoning for the existence of Eschaton Life is to document my ‘stuff’ for my family in a way that make sense. My experiences with what I’ll call here ‘the divine’ have rarely been mediated by easily ciphered knowledge and practice. While there are certainly influences, patterns and systems that resonate throughout, translation, as always, remains a problem. This is an attempt to organize the threads that have mattered.
Lady Rachel by Kevin Ayers
One of the undisputed masterpieces in Kevin Ayers’ catalog, “Lady Rachel (Lullabye For Children)” was first sighted on his solo debut album, 1969’s Joy Of A Toy. A vaguely supernaturally-themed ballad, alive with fantasy elements and whispered dream sequences, “Lady Rachel” was powered by treated guitars, a quavering horn, and a wealth of muted sound effects that certainly bespoke the accompanying Soft Machine’s musical dexterity, but detracted somewhat from the majesty lurking within the song itself. The album itself was recorded in just three days, with the bare minimum of overdubs, and “Lady Rachel” unquestionably suffered from the experience.
That injustice was rectified two years later when Ayers, now accompanied by his Whole Wide World band, returned to “Lady Rachel” for a projected single. The release was eventually cancelled and the session remained unreleased until 1976’s Odd Ditties compilation. However, it was worth waiting for. Considerably slower than the original LP version, the song was built now around boiling horns, while a female backing chorus soared hauntingly behind the chorus to further color the mystic lyric. This same arrangement also fires the punchy 1972 live version found on the BBC collection Too Old To Die Young. Ayers also turned in an effectively skeletal solo acoustic rendition on a BBC studio session in July 1974.
23 Ever Changing Covers: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIybaZSX3lSEIJF-IBwllYRxBnm8upK2
If you’re looking for something that was here check All Covers – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIybaZSX3lRElLNKiZiZfezt_W0ykZ5k
The majority of these covers were recorded live with my iPhone 13 Pro in our dining room in Detroit. The kids can often be heard in the background. Many songs are filled with flaws, fumbles and misremembered lyrics. I typically use too much reverb on the vocal mic and record hot due to my hearing issues. These are intentionally extremely unpolished sketches. Some of my rearrangements are intentional, some of them due to the limits of my own ability. I don’t own the rights to lyrics or music.
These sketches are part of an ongoing healing process. I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I kicked alcohol in the spring of 2017. A great deal of my life has been metal and emotional detox since then. Removing alcohol from my daily routine has brought an understanding of how booze was intertwined in all my relationships. Drinking had also become integral to my connection to music as it was key to the connection with and adoration of my muse(s). Suffice to say, creativity without alcohol has been fleeting at best. I’ve struggled with the transformation and with attempts to write new material without reaching toward inebriation.
These tracks are part of a healing process and an attempt to rewire some of my internal connections; to establish relationships, sometimes for the first time, that are not fueled by or based upon alcohol.
- Some of these songs are from my childhood and somehow connected to my interest in altered states.
- Some of these songs, and the challenges and emotions they extoll, have transfixed me since I first heard them.
- Some of these songs have perplexed me. All of them have challenged my technical ability, coordination and focus.
For the past five years, being unable to write anything new without unleashing demons, I have turned to these songs as gestures toward laying a foundation. To connect my fingers to the strings without lubrication, to find my way back to worship at the temple of my muse(s) without wine.
Robotnik TV In association with The World Network System The Hafler Trio The Archives of the Temple of Psychic Youth The Halfer Trio and The Temple of Psychic Youth present Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine
October 23, 1991 – From the TOPY IO Archives. Pulled this for the full view of the Dreamachine I built In 1990. The majority of the DIY dreamachines dropped a hanging bulb from the top. I figured out how to wire through the center of the turntable base. This made it possible to move around independently. More coming.
Shot on 8mm video with analog effects. THERE IS NO AUDIO! Based on the design by Brian Gysin as distributed by the Temple of Psychic Youth. This was a cabinet on rollers and I wired the bulb from the center of the record player. It was an awesome design and we didn’t have to drop a bulb from the ceiling. More footage coming. @Eschaton Life
November 29, 1991 – I loaded up the dreamachine and joined with Coyotes and Kalis from across the country for an amazing night, and weekend, of ritual. More footage coming soon. If you were involved in this gathering please get in touch.
From 8mm video recorded in 1990.
well, I woke up this morning
had a dream last night it was really bizarre
woke up this morning and I went searching for something
I went searching for TVs
This TV became central to my ritual work.
August 25, 2022
Eden Bloom, Testimony
Oversight Committee’s Environment Subcommittee Congressional Field Hearing, Detroit
Good morning. I would like to thank the Environmental Subcommittee for this opportunity. I would also like to recognize the environmental justice neighborhoods throughout the city of Detroit. My name is Eden Bloom. My family and I live in the impact area of the Stellantis Detroit Assembly Complex. I also serve as the Public Education and Media Manager for Detroit People’s Platform. DPP is a Black woman-led org that has been active since 2013. Part of my work is organizing for better outcomes for Detroiters impacted by large public funded projects like Stellantis.
Last year, our oldest who is in middle school, wrote Governor Gretchen Whitmer about living near a paint plant. In the letter he asks; “have you ever smelt paint fumes? Have you been outside for too long that you can’t breathe? Do you know what it is to suffer? Well, the Beniteau residents do. The FCA plant creates Jeeps. It’s a big plant and people are suffering, especially on the streets closest to the plant.”
As a parent, when it was announced that we’d be living near a paint plant my initial thoughts were what it would mean for our 3 kids: for their development and life expectancy. An article from Planet Detroit answered some of my concerns. It reads, “Residents in the neighborhoods around Stellantis suffer a high number of serious asthma cases, and some suspect the high pollution levels are linked to a life expectancy of 67.8 years, which is among the state’s lowest. Residents 20 miles north are expected to live nearly 87 years.” The article goes on to share that those born in Oakland County on average live nearly 10 years longer than Detroiters. Source:
I think about what that means for my family constantly, but I’m also horrified for our neighbors who live right up on the plant. Our neighborhood is 94% Black and I’m concerned about those who have more formidable health issues and, due to the extreme poverty prevalent in Detroit, have less resources to try and manage or mitigate their exposure.
I have attended every public hearing and one of the most frustrating and counter intuitive aspects of this process has been EGLE’s compartmentalization the project from the people. After the first few public hearings it became apparent that EGLE couldn’t hear us. EGLE’s website reads, “Some issues EGLE cannot consider include popularity of the action, emission sources that are not part of the action, indoor air pollution, traffic, hours of operation, noises and lighting, and zoning issues.” How is it possible for our state regulators to protect frontline communities they can’t see or hear? The parameters they have established to make their decisions also become a justification for their abuse.
They can’t consider that in the U.S., Black children suffer disproportionately from asthma, and are seven to eight times more likely to die of asthma than white children. The fact that communities of color face nearly 40% more exposure to toxic air pollution than white communities is not just lost on EGLE, it can’t be heard. I wonder what would have happened if EGLE would have listened to concerns raised in their hearings. Would they have looked more closely at the ventilation plans? Maybe these air quality violations would have been averted.
In addition to these health issues and the injustice baked into the permitting process, it is vital that we recognize the Stellantis Detroit Assembly Complex as a public funded project. It is unconscionable that Stellantis, the fifth-largest automaker in the world with a reported net profit of $8 billion in the first half of this year, has accessed nearly half a billion dollars in local and state tax incentives, abatements and tax capture AND is having a detrimental impact on residents. The project will capture $93 million in local and school taxes generated at the site over the next 30 years. The economic impact of the project on our tax revenue is long term.
This extensive use of Brownfield TIFs in the Stellantis project is reflected in economic development projects across the city. This appears productive in a post-industrial city, but Brownfield-funded redevelopment, while cleaning up the site for developers can create new environmental and health risks, new frontline communities and subsequently the displacement of long-term Black and Brown residents. Neighbors are made to live through increased truck traffic, diesel emissions, fugitive dust and potential damage from construction. Depending on the use of the facility, these issues can be long term.
One final note on Stellantis’ and other manufacturers shift toward the production of electric vehicles (EV). While the Inflation Reduction Act strives to address environmental and climate concerns, based upon residents’ experience here on the east side, there needs to be more intentionality. Alternatives to aspects of production that contribute to climate change, like the paint process, must be implemented. There is also concern over the raw materials required for EV battery manufacturing and the storage and disposal of waste. Without intentionally the opportunities of the Inflation Reduction Act could replicate rather than reduce frontline communities.
To conclude, in addition to this increased pollution Detroiters are living through extreme weather and flooding due to climate change. It is disturbing that funds and resources that could be budgeted toward infrastructure repair and improvements have been used to finance a project that is hurting everyday Detroiters. Decision makers approved this project based upon economic promises and flawed engineering models rather than health, economic and climate reality of Detroiters who are now being made to live in and through violation after violation.
Thank you for your time, your consideration, and your efforts to address the injustices presented and discussed here today.
May 17, 2022
Council President, Pro Temp., and Council Members,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak my concerns into the record. My name is Eden Bloom and my family and I live in Distict 5.
This morning I want to express concern over the use of ARPA funds for the demolition of industrial sites. I would like to know if APRA funds are being used to demolish the AMC Headquarters. If so City Council should demand the developer pay for the demolition themselves. COVID relief funds should not be used in this manner on this or any other demolition project.
These funds should be re-allocated to the Public Health Fund to protect Detroiters from historical, ongoing and future over pollution.
The current administration has spend nearly a billion dollars on demolition without adequately responding to the housing crisis or the environmental injustice of deals like Stellantis. The state has fined Detroit $24,500 in the last eight months over environmental safety violations by contractors hired to demolish houses. Source: Axios
The particulate matter generated by demolition may represent a threat to the health of people living nearby, one of these being asthma.
Latest state report on asthma in Detroit shows the disparities have grown in the last five years. In 2012 Detroit adults with asthma at 15.5% compared with Michigan’s 11%. Last year, 16.2% of Detroit adults had asthma, while the proportion statewide remained almost the same at 11.1%, making the disease 46% higher in the city than the rest of the state. Source: Detroit News
Finally, my family live in the Stellantis Impact Area and last week my wife and I called both EGLE pollution emergency hotline and DTE due to being overwhelmed by fumes. My partner and 2 of our kids had headaches from playing outside when the fumes rolled in. EGLE was unable to send someone out but the DTE worker confirmed the stench and said he would attempt to locate a source. I’m extremely concerned what these levels of pollution mean for those like us who do not have AC and won’t be able to close up our windows when it gets too hot.
Our neighbors on Beniteau have to live with frequent overwhelming fumes from the Mack Ave. Plant and we all should be concerned about what is going to happen to our air quality when Jefferson North comes on line.
As decision makers I hope you are concerned about the cumulative impact of living near not only the massive Detroit Assembly Complex, but also the chemical facilities south of Jefferson, US Ecology and other smaller and potentially less regulated shops. With industrial redevelopment more of these shops are coming.
While Detroiters are experiencing the economic impacts of climate change through flooding and power outages it is vital that city leaders look at the big picture. We must consider the cumulative public health impacts of these industrial developments. Again, I encourage City Council members to take a more active roll in protecting Detroiters and to move more funds into the Public Health Fund.
Existing Public Health Fund
The City of Detroit has an existing Public Health Fund that has not yet been funded. The Public Health Fund was created as part of the Bulk Solid Materials Storage Ordinance. The fund can receive donations from any source. Money in the fund remains in the fund at the end of the fiscal year and does not go into the general fund. Donations to the fund must be accepted by City Council and can include conditions. The expenditure of the money from the Public Health Fund must be approved by City Council.
Happy May Day, Blessed Beltane and a mysterious Walpurgisnacht to all. As promised an update and the first official ‘Symbols and Spells’ monthly reader.
I’m grateful for the continued urge to get out more of my own work and the ability to share more goodies from the archive. March focused on the initial distribution of the Eschaton Life book and recording the Lost Planet demos. April has gotten my house in order with the posting of videos that have been on the back burner for years. I put the slow drip on the Sonic Youth and Foetus, Inc show earlier in the month and just now pushed them all out. I also published the entire His Name Is Alive show today. Majesty Crush as been up for a moment, but they need to be included in the big four of shows I’ve been able to upload.
- Majesty Crush, Majestic Theater, Detroit 1990
- His Name is Alive, Majestic Theater, Detroit 1990
- Sonic Youth, The Latin Quarter, Detroit 1990
- Foetus, Inc., St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit 1990
I also got up the courage to post the majority of my “pandemic covers”. I’ve been posting these on to FB and sharing with a few friends to a positive response. I’ve thrown them up as Imperfect Covers for an Imperfect World.
Speaking of courage, I finally edited and posted a reading from the Eschaton Life Book.
Read: Misanthropy Embarrassed
Thank you all for the continued support and encouragement. ❤️ EB
Sonic Youth – Kill Yr Idols Live at the The Latin Quarter, Detroit 10.16.1990
8mm Video by @eschatonlife from the ARCANE PRODUCTION ARCHIVES (1988-1991) DETROIT ANN ARBOR
I’m uploading more 8mm video of Detroit shows regularly. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBLZCKQ4H4gChbX7DvuydQ
From a box of old 8mm video cassettes recorded from 1988-1991 in Detroit and Ann Arbor. All copyrights to the original artist. This is shared to document the music scene in Detroit and some of my early videography.