Another Top 10

I awoke this morning with lyrics in my head. I assume that is not strange for the masses, but I am a drummer: I usually do not remember lyrics because I am distracted by the music. I had this urge to highlight songs that actually mean something to me, so here are the top 10. I know that I have done something like this before, but I am going to point out the songs that mean something to me, not the albums. This list contains tracks from albums that would never touch a top ten, and there are one or two that I only listen to the album for that song.

I reiterate: I am a drummer. A couple of these songs are just on this list because the drums are so fucking cool. In the interest of transparency, I will point that out when it comes to fruition.

Animals as Leaders- CAFO
Let’s start with one where the drums sold me on the very premiss. CAFO is easily one of those complicated songs I have ever heard. I think why I put this on my top ten as opposed to something from Godspeed You! Black Emperor is because it remains one of my favourite memories. I saw this back open for BTBM a few years ago. They were playing a flawless set, then they got to this song. The drummer added just ONE snare hit before a fairly easy part (compared to the rest of the song, anyway), and the guitar players got SO lost. It was just so fantastic to see that even Gods can fuck something up.

Samsaris- Góða Tungl
No, I cannot pronounce this title to save my life. I can, however, proudly put it in my top list. This song is absolutely beautiful. There is something incredibly haunting about the clarinet in contrast with the vocals. This song speaks to me on every level, though I have no clue what they are saying.
I refuse to look up a translation. I am afraid of hating what they are actually saying.

Blood Brothers- Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck
A rather bleak way of describing eternal love and blind devotion, I first heard this song around a time when I thought I was in love with a girl. In hindsight, she was horrible. I know she does not read this blog (because we hate each other now) but, this song is for you.
Love love love love love love love. (rhymes with pity now)

Kevin Drew- TBTF
There was a time I almost got those four letters tattooed on my person: TBTF (to beautiful to fuck) is a story about love. Innocent love. A desperate person holding onto the relationship they have with a friend who is attractive.
Someone who is rejecting someone they should be interested in, but they cannot justify it.
To be honest, I have no fucking idea what this song is about. I just know that I love it and relate far too much to it. Because I am oblivious to what it is actually about, I use it to rationalize uncomfortable situations I found myself in with friends.

The Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism
Piano and drums? Yes, please! Is it to bold to ask for sarcastic and self deprecation on the side? No? Perfect.
I play. This whole album is amazing, but I think that it is perfectly summed up by this track. Fast. Angry. Dynamic.

Incubus- A Crow Left Of the Murder
Puns in the name and probably the coolest guitar riff ever written by a band, it is easy for me to talk about how much I love this song. The more interesting way to do it is to leave the link up top and see how many of you listen to it.

Placebo- Without You I’m Nothing
Think Pink Floyd, but modern. I almost put the version with David Bowie on this list, but the original will do beautifully.

Nine Inch Nails- La Mer
I fucking love this song. Soothing, beautiful, haunting. The trifecta of amazing. I actually refuse to look up the translation for this song for fear of ruining the feel of it.

Poison the Well- The Realist
Does this song demonstrate everything I love about this band? No. It does the opposite. This song contains the most beautiful vocal melody I think I have ever heard and I just need to share it with everyone I meet. Listen. Enjoy.

Sufjan Stevens- I Want To Be Well
This was the song that actually inspired me to make this list. I fell in love with this song back when the album came out in 2010. I was working in a record store and was trying desperately to be the cool-indi-music-guy (and failing very hard at it). I had gotten into Sufjan about a year earlier from the Illinoise album, and I thought I got where he was coming from. The Age Of Adz proved to me that I should shut up and admit that I do not understand anything about music what-so-ever.
This song was my anthem. When I was cruising around at three in the morning, I would blare this song out my windows, singing along and staining my voice. I am positive that I disturbed a few sleeping people, but I was earnestly saying those words in all their glory. “I want to be well.” If I only knew then that not five years later I could relate more those words than I did at the time. If I only focused on what I had and not what I was loosing. Maybe, just maybe, things all could have been amazing.

I digress. Do yourself a favour and PLEASE listen to these songs. Especially the last one, it holds a place in my life that only I know of.

To state again: these are just 10 that remind me to listen to the whole album again. They are in no way my top favourite albums, and not even the top recommendations I could make. They are just some great songs that I find myself thinking about a lot.


I wanted to die…

Okay, I admit: I made that title to catch the attentions of those around me who still care. To make people look up and maybe read this confession and, in some way, help someone.

Now, to explain how that title is, and was, accurate.

I have been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with an ex. We were dwelling on the hardships of life (as you do) and I stated how I wanted to die before I turned thirty.

The bleakness of the statement stopped our several-hour-long ramble dead and created a silence that physically hurt us both.

“Don’t you think thirty is a bit young?” she asked, almost pleading me to take my proclimation back. The most awkward part was that I could not do so. I was twenty-two. I had already released seven albums, played over one-hundred shows, and met literally thousands of people. I had felt heart break, I had felt love, I have destroyed and been destroyed. I was tired.

My only response was “…why would I joke about that…?” and we resumed staring at the wall for the next several moments.

Now, in my thirtieth year, I can honestly say that statement I made eight years ago was juvenile, uneducated and rash. I am not taking it back: at that moment, I could have taken the embrace of death with a smile and a nod. In fact, to be clear: I still do not fear death. I would love everything to end. I saw thirty of being just another goal, and at that time I saw it as an end goal. I knew very few reasons why, if I continued on that path, that I could justify living even that long.

Then; I did die. Twice. That girl left me while I was in hospital (for very justified reasons) and I lost the use of most of my body to which I am only just regaining pieces and parts back. That situation helped me meet my wife, write a book, realize that I have some amazing friends, and do things that I could never expect me ever doing.

Is this me accepting what I have been through? No. A thousand times: NO. I have, however, used the situation I am in to realize what I can do, what I have done, and what I will do. My life is far from perfect in almost every way. I am broke. I am in horrible debt. I am useless to society as a whole seeing as I CANNOT work. I am tired. Oh, let me reiterate that one: I AM TIRED. I refuse to let these things stop me from doing what I can. I refuse to have the possible brain damage that I sustained in my battle with encephalitis five years ago slow me down. I still have enough of my faculties to write and live. I like to think I am an okay husband, and I hope that I am an okay father one day too.

Final thoughts: I am just going to keep doing everything I am currently doing, only better. I will make this life my bitch. I will do everything I need to because I want to not because I have to.

I will just die later.


Remember up above where I mentioned how I am in horrible debt? I cannot afford to renew the site right now. I am working on everything with what I have right now, but do not get too thrown off if this blog vanishes for a couple of weeks. To make things easier, look at my Patreon page. Also, get hold of me on my personal pages with marketing offers. I am not opposed to tastefully selling-out. I am sure there is a more politically correct way of saying that, but I am heavily medicated right now. I will fix it in the morning.

A story about a tramp named Oline

I do not think I have already written about this, but if I have: PLEASE STOP ME!

Hahaha… you’re already reading it, so: too late!

When I was in school, suffering and not knowing why, I stayed in the residence on campus. It was okay, I guess, but it was far from interesting. People were (mostly) okay mannered when it came to the kid in the wheelchair, and the tight-nit staff were always fantastic to chat to when we all had time.

One hugely ironic thing I had to deal with was at at floor meeting. We were all gathered into the common room on the flood to discus what we could do as a group for, you know, “getting to know people” shit. Yeah, that’s what it was called!

I digress.

So yes, we were all gathered into this large room to toss out ideas for group activities. I heard tag being mentioned a few times, as well as poker and hide and seek. I was not planning on doing any of this, but it was interesting to hear the general mindset of everyone I would be spending the next eight months to a year with.

The floor co-ordinator rose up triumphantly and said “I was just asking out of formality. We already have started to organize a group trampoline day!”

The room then went very quiet as all eyes set on me and my roommate. He was in a wheelchair, as well, and you could almost hear everyone asking how we would be involved even though no one said it.

The reason this was hilarious, by the way, was because our floor leader-person-whatever was this girl who was just finishing her PhD in sociology specializing in involvement and inter-personal relationships. She only acknowledged my roommate and I when someone spoke up.

“Uh.. what are they supposed to do?”

It was a bit heartless and cold, but the point was sound. Her reccomendation for a trampoline party was without any consideration for anyone who physically could not conform.

She got visibly angry as she finally noticed my roommate and I, did not say anything, then quickly adverted her eyes away from our direction. She spent the rest of the evening pretending we did not exist.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out the irony between what she was sporting educationally and regurgitating verbally. She could not think of a world where someone might not be able to conform to her brilliance.

That really seems to be the issue with western society at large. There is little to no consideration for those who are physically disabled. Sure, there are bylaws and previsions put in place. They are, however, put in place over a world designed for the abled. Far too often have I seen a ramp that goes to an automatic door where the door then swings TOWARDS the person, pushing them back down the ramp.

I realize how stern I sound in that last paragraph, but I am far from angry. I find the intentional blinders put up by society the funniest things ever.

On an unrelated note, my book has gone up in price by one Canadian dollar for the digital copy. I hope you don’t mind. I like making rent.


I am actually honoured to write this post.

Katie was invited by The Twin to come out to a show back in 2010. Now to date ourselves: the invite was sent over MySpace because everyone used it back then.

ANYWAY: Katie was this very hyper girl who showed up and her and I spoke only twenty minuets over the event. However, her and I exchanged e-mails that night, and we have never spent more than a month out of communication.

Our humour works in the most backwards ways. She is hyper but an introvert, I am quiet but an extrovert. I do not know why we are friends, but we are very tight friends. We refer to each other as siblings very often.

When I ended up in hospital, she came by as often as she could. She remained awkwardly inspirational and never talked down to any situation that I found myself in.

We started Mind the Music TO in 2015 with me writing album reviews and her showcasing her photography.

I love her.

/I’m probably wrong…

WARNING! This post goes in the face of most established spiritual concepts and may result in frustration to some.

I have found myself questioning my belief structure a lot as of late.

When I was faced with my death five years ago, my thoughts on how there is no reason to anything were confirmed. This vindicated a lifetime of being a devoted atheist and solidified views on nihilism. The resulting several years have given me more than ample time to reflect on and research concepts that people have been arguing over for millennia.

So, what have my observations brought me to? It is clear when you read my latest book how I view life in particular, but in regards to our purpose in life I have always been a bit dodgy.

That fact relates right to how I view spirituality as a whole. It also explains my humour. It does not matter, there cannot be reincarnation (because it makes no sense) and there cannot be an afterlife. Therefore, when we die, we die.

Those more astute may ask “why do you claim reincarnation is impossible and an afterlife is silly?” and I cannot fault you for thinking that.

Reincarnation is the idea that we get reborn into another being. Now, this has been explained that we get brought back into another human and that we get brought back into animals. Both I find equally improbable and silly. To say that “we get brought back” is to admit that we have a soul. Fine, I say, but what defines a soul? I have looked it up, and find the definition unsatisfactory. To assume that we have a soul and nothing else is just horribly ignorant, and to say everything has a soul brings into question what everything is. It you use the definition where everything that is alive has a soul, what is considered alive? Are you including plants, cells, and animals? If you do, the argument could be made that you could come back as a brain cell and a skin cell could be the next generation. If your answer is no, then the definition of a soul is restrictive.

For an afterlife, you have to consider how long life has existed. How diverse all of everything is; how varied your day-to-day is. What definition is there to be considered for this afterlife? Do NOT say religion: that would imply that if you have no choice in your faith and everything is meaningless.

Seriously, though: all because Jim (you know, that guy who did that amazing thing that saved humanity) had no way of being involved with that one deity, he has no right to be in your afterlife? And what exactly does happen to him and his “soul?” If the argument is going to be hell, that is a full place. If the argument is purgatory, there are billions of people there. If that doesn’t matter because reasons, why did I not see the gates or door or whatever of these places when I died? Did I not really die because I came back? Were the doctors just mistaken on what there machine read, and they got kicks out of telling my family that I was gone?

I will end this by saying I am sorry if you became frustrated by any concept I dwelt on for more than a couple of words. I wrote this simply because I found myself being asked a lot about whether the character in my new book was dead or not. Please, leave any arguments below. Regardless of whether or not I respond, I will be thinking hard about what you have to say and I will be questioning my personal anguish in relation to your insights.

Price Drop

Hi everyone!

As I have stated (over, and over again) my book is out!

You probably noticed that I had it initially priced at $2.99 CND for digital copies. I am sorry for that: it was a recommended price that I have subsequently fixed.

Now, on Kobo and Kindle, the book is available for 99cents! Softcover copies are already as low as I can make them and still make some sort of profit.

I am still scouring the internet looking for other avenues to put my book for sale. If you know of one, leave a comment below or get hold of me somehow and let me know your idea!