Music Review :: The Contortionist — Language

No, this is not a classic review, as I often do. Today, I want to bring light to one of the most interesting albums to come out in the last 10 years.

Language is a beautiful album. It contains playful guitar lines, crushing bass, deft drums, etherial keyboards, and one of the most magical juxtapositions of vocals you will ever find.

Actually; let’s start the review with the vocals, for once. The singer has one of the most angelic voices you will find in music, let alone metal. When he sings, it is with one of the most pure tones you will ever find. He hits the notes with clarity only found in top-40’s pop, and he maintains notes for a substantial amount of time. Not since Tool have I found a more talented singer.

Where he gets very interesting is now he switches (at times, in a bar) from the voice of an angel to a daemon. His growl is brutal, Earth-shattering, and chill-inducing. What is beautiful about this album is that he never sticks to one style for too long. In fact, you do not even hear the growl until almost two minutes into track two.

Language part two (track three) opens with one of the most interest flows. The time signatures make little sense if you do not count them actively. The kind of chaos continues for the first minute, then moves into a sort of lull, where the focus seems to be places more the strings than anything else. Near the two minute point until the vocals kick back in, and singing does not return for another 30 or so seconds.

Okay, let’s go back to what I consider to be the most important part of most bands: the drums.

Not only is this possibly my favourite drummer in modern music, the choices he makes in relation to the music is perfect. It truly feels like the drums are another instrument, unlike other pieces where the drums feel like they are there because that’s what has to happen. Think Danny Carey meets Chris Pennie*, and you get a kind of feel for what he’s doing here. Ghost hits and polyrhythms litter the entirety of this album. I have listened to this collection for about a year at this point, and I am STILL discovering parts that I previously missed.

Why do I bring this now? I bring this album to the attention of those who care because this is what the new Tool album should have been more like. 12 years working towards releasing a spiritual rehash? I love Tool. In fact, until recently, they were my favourite band. The long waits, couple with the underwhelming releases that come at the end of the long waits, really ground my admiration with the band to the quick. Do I hate them? Far from. This sort of revelation just implies that I am going to be very critical of everything that they do moving forward.

*Danny Cary and Chris Pennie are Tool and The Dillinger Escape Plan respectively. This comparison will anger some, but I feel that it is just. Have a better comparison? Let me know.

No.

I have been stewing over this topic for days. The idea that you can do anything if you try hard enough, you can make it. I hate this concept, and I want to fight it to the best of my ability. The wall I hit, however, is that I cannot dispute the necessity of trying regardless of end position. If you work hard, you will be compensated. If you do not work hard, you will be repremanded. To assume that it just takes time and elbow greas to make it somewhere can actually be both heartbreaking, and damaging to standing in the greater endevour climate.

I spent over 10 years in bands trying my hardest to make it. There was a constant climb upwards in the scene, do not misunderstand my points, but I always put out multiple times what I made. I offset any sort of financial downfall with jobs. I did music because I loved it and needed to do something creative. I never had any illusions that I could live off of it, though it was an end goal.

That unfortunate reality goes for any artistic doing. You can try, you can succeed, and you can fail. Sometimes, all three in the same week. To assume that you are going to make it big is dangerous. It does happen, but it does not more often. There are so many things at play when considering a career in the arts, and doing one thing is often not the path to go down. To assume that if you just write that one song that everyone will love and you’ll be fine is actually a safer bet than believing that your band will do gang busters.

Another way to look at it: I was a drummer. That means, that under copyright laws in Canada for a musical composition, I had rights to the recordings of my drums. If the primary song writers could rerecord my drums without my knowledge, they could have stripped me of any financial rights. Lucky for me, I played with collections of stand-up people who never even thought of doing things like that. Instead, we kept playing. Getting gigs whenever we could, going on short tours, recording albums out of our pockets, and not eating.

10 plus years of that. Now, three years writing. No money made, but a fuck-tonne put out. That’s part of why I opened up the Patreon. just $1 a month gets you a subscription. That means you get a list of your name on this site, plus you get ansP releases about a month before anyone else in a fancy PDF! Hell, if you donate $10 a month, you get the pleasure of knowing that I consider you a fantastic human being and I will love you for a very long time! Your name gets put on the list with a little note of FANTASTIC put beside it. Even if you cancel your donation, or lower it, that denotation NEVER goes away!

Early release

I have sent out Patreon’s there copy of the next anewsin today. I know, it’s a day early, but I am equal parts excited and forgetful! I have a feeling that if I wait until tomorrow, I will forget.

Anyway, that got me thinking: why base an income on crowd funding? It’s very unreliable, kind of awkward, and kind of needy. Fuck knows that I hate asking for donations all the time. I hate having to set myself time limits to make sure that I live up to my end of the bargain.

Patreon is better than most of the others because I can offer a service for a little bit of money. Like, right now, $1 a month will get you a subscription to anewsinPublications and that will mean you get a link to a PDF one month before the story becomes available to the public! I think that’s hekin’ swell!

Some will argue that there is no point, and I won’t fight that. The stories do come out eventually, and they are always free. BUT! If you donate you make sure that my pets get fed! WHO DOESN’T LOVE MY PETS! (dontanswerthatbecausenoonethatswho)

There are other levels of donation. I cannot do cents, but $5 a month makes you the villain in a story I write, $6 makes you the hero (or at least the main) and stuff like that! There are so many new and exciting things that I want to write in the future! Please help me make that a reality!

Found Footage

Filmed by
Allastair Keddy

The bass player in this footage came over today. I have seen him once since I got out of hospital, and that was two years ago. It was nice to see him. He filled me in that this exists. Minus the sound quality, it is actually decent footage of this show.

The premiss was that we had to cover a band that influence us. I was never a huge Underoath fan, especially no the album these songs are from, but I was concede the fact that they were a huge musical influence on what we did.

The last song was original.

I hope you enjoy!

Advertise videos?

I am a stats whore. I love to watch numbers move.

With that said, I get discouraged easily when I don’t move from where I think I should be.

THEN SOMETHING LIKE TODAY HAPPENS!!

I posted the re-master of the drum video I shared the other month a week ago, and it has a tenth of the hits. I stared at the page, trying to figure out why I didn’t have even a quarter of the views on it then I had on the poor quality one.

Then, after not ten minutes of looking, I remembered that I forgot to post the update was even available on this page. So, no one even knows that it exists!

That’s where I am at now. That is the point of this update! I POSTED A BETTER VERSION OF ME DRUMMING! Well, better sounding. It still cuts off awkwardly, and still looks like hell, BUT IT SOUNDS BETTER!

Also, I did a music video for a demo Hannah (my old guitar player) recorded the other day. You should check that out.

Patient Zero

I created something that I think is okay.

Well, just the video. The song was given to me by my old guitar player {Hannah Rae Jordan} months ago, and I have been trying to figure out a way to share it with everyone since.

She has informed me that this was just a demo, and it has gone through many permutations since this recording. In fact, she claims that it’s far from done.

This does not change the fact that I love this recording very much BECAUSE it feels like a demo. This hiss, though probably not intended, fills a void from the lack of bass. The missing drum track also adds to the almost haunting feel of the song. I would argue that my horrible camera skills do not do the idea of this song justice.

Please, give it a listen. Give me (and her) feedback on the ideas at play. Very rarely, in life, do we find something that reminds us that there is beauty in the chaotic. This song reminds me that everything will be okay.

Music Review :: Adam Evers — Moments

Adam is a talented musician who lives in Toronto, Canada. He is stupid talented, and his voice is amazing. I am getting ahead of myself.

Adam recorded an EP called Moments a few months ago. It blew me away. I’m not normally interested in acoustic jams, but this is exactly what I wanted. Somber, warm, and new yet familiar. I really dig it.

I hate to make comparisons when it is independent music, but it really reminds me of A Perfect Circle‘s acoustic stuff mixed with mild Arab Strap. Beautiful and haunting. I cannot help but feel that this EP is important when I listen to it. The whole adventure last just under fifteen minutes, but the impact it had on me was significant. I have listened to this simple set of recordings dozens of times.

It wouldn’t be a review from me if I didn’t talk, at length, about the instrumentation. The first track is a perfect example of how to do acoustic music right: tasteful violins, huge percussion, wispy vocals, beautiful bass, and minimal (yet poignant) guitar riffs.

I don’t really have a favourite on the album, but I am partial to the song Bodies. I don’t have reason to say any song above another, but maybe because it’s just a beautiful song and a perfect example of what I enjoy about music. Maybe because I am just listening through the EP for the fifth time since I started writing this review and the song just came up again.

Know what? I can sit here all day and talk about how music this EP touches me, or you can listen to it yourself and understand where I am coming from. It’s available on every possible outlet for sale, but YouTube has the whole thing up for stream.

Enjoy!

Halloween: why it matters

I’m going to start this article by saying that “A Nightmare Before Christmas” is overrated. I think the movie itself is perfectly fine, but I can barely calculate how many of my peers seem to think that it is the perfect example of a Halloween movie. IT’S A CHRISTMAS MOVIE.

Anyway.

I am not vocal enough about holidays. I worked retail for far too long and now I hate most, if not all, important days of the year. I do have a soft-spot for Halloween, however. Even if, by definition, it is not a holiday.

I consider it a far better marker for the season. To me, a perfect fall day is met with pumpkins and candle light. To slot those into one day seems petty, but I fully understand why it happens.

To have pumpkin shit available all year would cheapen the experience. The charm of late-October being inundated by Jack-O-Lanterns is quite novel. As far as the rest of the “Spooky” stuff, I never understood why it was given its own day. Skeletons and spiders and demons are a daily occurrence in the metal/punk scene, and to designate a day where it becomes “mainstream” seems counter-counterculture.

With the prior rant out of the way, I want to state that I have nothing against Halloween. I think that it’s perfectly fine and, fine. I don’t understand the fan-fare, but whatever.

How long…?

MORBID THOUGHT! How long would I have to disappear for before someone thought to see if I was still alive?

I go days without talking to people, the exceptions being my wife and family. On that note, they have little contact with the people I speak to. From what I can tell, minus the lack of birthday wishes (or BIRTHDAY), it may never occur that I have vanished.

I rarely update statuses. I do the #vss365 on Twitter, but that community is so huge that no one may notice. I post blog updates here very often (too often?) but I schedule things if I even suspect that I would miss an update.

So, that is a thing. Now, what if I just WANTED to vanish? It would be very possible for me to just “kill” Jason Garden and start again. Not easy, no. There would be far too much to figure out with family and shit, and I make my income (for now) from the government. I am also epileptic, so there is a medical tracking on me.

As far as I have seen, little to nothing about me being paraplegic. I am just a stat where that is concerned.

My mind wanders in strange places when I am working away on projects.