Favourite Year

I find myself doing this weird deep-dive across my life where I try to pin-point my favourite year. I don’t have a reason, and rarely does it have any bearing.

I hate that I resort to when I started working at a media store. It feels like a co-out, like the only reason I pick that year is because that was the first full year that I got more exposure than ever to everything. Then, I remember how, for the first year anyway, I just filled back catalogue in both music and movies. I mean, yes: all the new music I got into was released that year.

NAME THE FUCKING YEAR JAY

K. Fine. It’s the year 2007. So many great albums came out that year. It was the last year of All Cut Up and we recorded probably the most fun EP of our three year run. The Twin started to form late that year. Livestalk & the Bodies was put into motion right at the end of the year. Battles and Dear & the Headlights recorded and released 2 of my favourite albums of all time. Not to mention the plethora of mind-bending games that came out that year like BioShock, Portal and Mass Effect: 3 series that started that year and I remained a fan for a long time.

In the movie realm, all I have to mention is Juno and point out how amazing that soundtrack was. I could go further, but that one film sums up a large part of that year for me.

Interpersonally, I flourished that year. I don’t have many interesting stories, but needless to say that I was rarely home. The shows had all but dried up that year, so it was low on the totem of personal achievements. Maybe I should take that as a note: years that I don’t achieve anything matter more? That might be complete bullshit. There is a co-relation between years where I find happiness and being comfortable artistically. From 2005 to now-ish I have done something artistically placating every year. Hell, even this year I renewed my book for a second edition that is double in length and has half as many grammatical errors.

Do you have a favourite year? Want to gloat about some achievement that you have hit and never felt like you had the praise you deserved for it? Let’s talk about it either in the comments, or hit me up on FaceBook! There is a page, if you don’t feel like seeking me out personally!

5 Years?

Hey, did you know that I have had this space to yell into for five years today?

If you have been here since the beginning, thank you.

If you have not, welcome! Everyone say hi to the n00b!

Anyway, I just thought to immortalize the anniversary with this post. Please support me on Patreon!

I love you.

A bear on a wire

I am kind of disturbed at how people seem to be loosing their minds over the whole isolation bit. I haven’t left the house for more than an hour in a year. It’s been several months since I went out and about, and I have packages to send. (sorrykatilldoitsoon)

Anyway, I went over all that recently. I am mostly writing as a reminder that I released a book a few weeks ago. Of course, I still have issues with Amazon dot com, but I hope to have all of that resolved next week. On that note, I have said “next week” about this issue for the last month or so. I hope that I am right this time.

In the meantime, the Friessen Press bookstore is a great way to get the book. They have pressing locations in Europe and the United States (on top of Canada), and it ensures that the most recent pressing gets delivered. It also delivers in arguably (I hear, though I haven’t done ordering for obvious reasons) the best time frame.

New asnP on the first, and the one after that is written. The next one is my usual format, but the one after is a poem/kids story. I am excited to hear what people think of both of them.

Classic Album Review :: Buck 65 — Secret House Against the World

The early 2000’s were a formative time in my music learning. I got a job in a music store in 2007, so a large portion of “new” releases I got were from that time. I did spend the first year or two going back into the annals of history finding everything I missed. Buck 65 was one of those things that I missed.

Strange, yet perfect: Buck 65 combines country music with Hip-Hop. When I say that, there is a good chance that your mind jumped to Old Town Road. That is a fair jump, but far from what I was trying to say.

Buck 65 takes the framework of country, then masks his inability to sing (?) by speaking the lines over the instrumentation. It makes everything incredibly unique and, on this album, is beautiful.

The wording in the last paragraph was intentional. I love this album, but I find that Buck 65 can be grating. Therefore, too much can exist in this instance. Not with this album.

It opens with the closest to Johnny Cash you can get with the song Rough House Blues. Then, like a light switch, genre change in the song Devil’s Eyes. It’s an almost Flamenco style, with it’s sharp staccato hits to create the music. Track three, Le 65isme, is almost my favourite all around. Probably the closest this album get’s to being traditional Hip-Hop, but hinges it’s entire premiss on broken sounds a drum beat that doesn’t make any sense.

The rest of the album continues that trend expressed in the paragraph prior: country guitar lines, minimalist drums, lazy vocals and Hip-Hop feel. The track where everything changes is The Floor. This song hinges on a very simple piano line and a horrific poem expressing a broken childhood. This song, more than any song I have ever found, sounds as sad as the words express. I love it.

This song does not reflect the rest of the album.

Mildly Angry

I had this long post talking about the current climate with the impending health crisis and isolation. I also talked about how I am fixing things in regards to my book on Amazon dot com and brought up different things we could all do instead of just bashing our heads in silence. I talked about feeling like a burden to friends and family. I wrote about how horrible everything may seem, then came up with this fantastic anecdote to ease minds.

I wrote over 1000 words, then WordPress was a douche and erased EVERYTHING. I don’t know why, what I did wrong, or if I can ever fix it.

So, I am not going to let it win this time. I am writing a short post expressing my disappointment. Before anyone says “hurr that’s wordpress hurr”, I know. I have heard of such things happening. I realize that this is far from a perfect platform, but this is all I can afford right now. So fuck off.

The short version of what I was saying about the book: Amazon dot com is still showing the first press of You’re Not Dead, meanwhile Kobo is just being stupid. I recommend using the Friessen Press bookstore directly to ensure that you are getting a right press. They are not expensive, and have printing offices in England and the United States (if you’re concerned about shipping costs).

In the meantime: I am going to cry into a pillow and hope my dogs leave me alone long enough to find some sort of

Classic Album Review :: Stabbing Westward — Darkest Days

I might be wrong: I think everyone forgot about this album. I find it strange because this album is like a strange radio-friendly version of early Nine Inch Nails mixed with Bush X. It is both accessible and hard-hitting. I do not have it in my pantheon of constant rotation, but it is a very welcome addition to my library.

The album opens with a haunting soundscape, very mechanical and broken. The bass then kicks in driving a simple 4/4 riff while bells chime overtop. It is incredibly haunting, even if it is simple in execution.

The coolest part for me is that the vocalist starts by singing in almost a whisper, only to crecedo when the music does. And how it does! The opening track is in my top 10 opening tracks for demonstraiting the full capability for a band. Nothing is very from a skill perspective, but it is very impactful and hard-hitting.

One of the last lines of the first track (everything I touch I break) gets repeated over and over in the second track. Not in an “I’m 13 and know everything” kind of way, but more that dark and brooding way that Deftones does — point out the horrible in people and exploit it. The kind of angst that never really comes off as whining, but more like that expression of a soul done by someone who has actually seen some shit. The kind of writing that we all wished we were capable of in high school, tried, but came off as spoiled children instead of creating the portrait that we were trying to express.

Have I mentioned that the late nineties, in particular ’97 through 98, is my favourite moment in music? I do not know what was going on in society, but everything was perfect. From Beautiful Midnight by Mathew Good Band to Rabbit In Your Headlights by UNKLE came out right around the release of this fantastic album. I have gushed about the atmosphere of the former, and I plan on writing something on the latter in a bit, but that year is peppered with genre-defining moments of all forms.

Anyway, I have gushed enough. I know that I did not go further into specific instrumentation, as I normally do. This album is better defined through the overall feel, not to say the individual parts do not matter. For a proper breakdown of the instruments, all I can say is nothing special happens and that actually makes it better. Give it a listen. You’ll know what I mean.

What is a “Friend”?

Let us consider what a friend truly is, because I think the internet has distorted the definition greatly. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, just a fact.

The Google definition is fun, if kind of vague. The idea of a friend being someone you know is a bit, well, bleak. I have plenty of people that I consider friends whom I have never and will never meet. We met online, and continue to speak online. I guess you could argue that we know each other mentally, and have no regard for physical appearance. I also know many people who consider me a friend that I have not spoken to in years. Some of which, and I hope no one gets offended by this concept, I would no longer like. This does not change that I would happily tell someone they are a “friend” if the topic gets brought up.

So, if someone says they have no friends, do they mean that literally? I was in a conversation with someone that I consider a sister, and she stated the harrowing fact that she “has no friends.” My reply was asking what I am. She then tried to reverse what she was saying, very non-gracefully. Eventually, she had to change her definition to “no friends around me” which is a point that I was in no position to argue. We do live over an hour apart, and I haven’t spent time with her in over a year.

I shouldn’t bitch. I played in bands for about a decade. I played hundreds of shows and in front of thousands of people. I have gone to cities not knowing anyone, and stayed the night at a random persons house surrounded by dozens of people. In the end of those events, I am guilty for going on a self-pitting rant about how I do not have any friends.

If even in situations when surrounded by people I can feel alone and hollow, what is a friend? I have had more important and impactful conversations with people I have never (and, most likely, will never) meet.

So, I raise the question: What is a friend?

I contend a rather sterile answer. What if friends are who we need at that moment? What if they are who we can categorize as a friend, and not actually “a friend”? That would alleviate the social pressure to be the classical definition of a friend. I cannot promise that this plan would fix much, or even should be considered, but I ask that it should be contemplated.

We all need to relieve the pressure to have a friend. We all need to stop changing ourselves to be a friend.

Lack of Inspiration

I haven’t written in days. I finally figured out how to save my latest work-in-progress and I just haven’t had a spark to write. Yes; I do see the irony in writing how I have no clue what to write but I feel like I need to do something.

That comes off wrong: I want to write something, and I have this blog figured out. Yet, when it comes to my next book, I have a tonne of ideas but no clue how to work them into a coherent plot. I am hoping that me writing this will allow me to look at what I have so far in a different light.

What am I writing?
It’s an investigative reporter for a paper talking to a man who thinks that he might be immortal. He thinks this because he has survived several no-way situations that he recounts. I have an ending figured out, I have written about 4000 words, not including the ending. I am just stuck on figuring out how to progress from where I am.

To be completely honest, it would make a great short story in the form it’s in right now. I actually started writing it as an ansP, but it snowballed and now I am determined to write it out fully. The best part about it is that I can be the investigative reporter and point out holes that I can see in my own story through the eyes of a person trying to get his article out of this man. I haven’t jumped into that idea yet, but I have already noticed at least one point that I can ride.

I know that I have championed the idea of writing everything that comes to mind down on something, and I do that (thus this post). One thing I have not written about, because I have never actually experienced it, is writers block.

To be totally honest, I am not sure if what I am currently experiencing constitues writers block. I have ideas for where I want the story to go, I am just not sure on how to make it go there.

With that said, I am only 4000 words deep. I could scrap it, but I don’t want to. I have given myself a year to complete this work, and I am going to give myself at least that long to try. I am going to go ahead and write something new if a new idea comes to mind.

I actually started flushing out Martha. not too long ago. I had an idea on how to flush out that world, and I like some backstory ideas that I had for that. The main issue that I found is that I know how I would want it to work out as a show, but a book I was having a hard time keeping it interesting without leaning on exposition and inane description.

“alive and kicking it in hamilton”

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of me posting my survival to the world. I spent about an hour trying to compose exactly how I wanted this to be presented. Though the end result seems silly and juvenile, it was calculated.

It was both disarming and abrasive. I wanted people to see that I was here, but I wanted it to be as underwhelming as it could be. Simply for the fact that I didn’t see it as a big deal. I could never know the waves that it would have created.

271 likes and 95 comments. That doesn’t even include the reactions from the 7 shares that I received. That was all from my personal FaceBook, as well. I, for lack of a better definition, was a nobody. I had friends and family, sure. That doesn’t change the surprise I felt from the outpouring of notices that I received. It would still be another year before I wrote and released my blog explaining, somewhat, what happened. This would still be four years from the release of my book going further into detail about a more in depth explanation of all the events.

Do I regret not having everything in place for the inevitable reintroduction to the world? Of course. That’s why I am classifying my book as a “mostly fiction” from now on, and have been since I was told how my timeline was warped by my parents.

To be fair: they did give me a detailed outline. They had taken extensive note for the first five months of me being in hospital. They claim they were doing it for me, but I knew it was a kind of coping mechanism at the time. If it had really been for me, it would have continued until further in my recovery. More description would have been put into names, staff, places and specialists. Regardless, they did finally give it to me to read after the book had been out for two years, and I may have had flash-backs while my eyes crept between marks of graphite and ink.

Personal side-note: I wish I just put “kicking in hamilton” as opposed to “kicking IT in hamilton”. HINDSIGHT!