A bit earlier than usual…

I am putting in my usual break a bit earlier than usual. That means no updates until the new year. I know it has little bearing when I just got rid of the update scheduel, but I am more posting this so you don’t come expecting anything.

Still new asnP on the first. No additional updates for the rest of November and most of December, though. I like to take this break to relieve my brain of frantically thinking of what to write about next, blog wise. I plan on cleaning up and editing my book in the meantime. That’s all the info you get on that, however.

My birthday is on the 12th. I will be 31, and starting into the fresh hell that is being in my 30’s. My wife assures me that it’s okay, but I’ll reserve judgement.

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Write Everything.

I found myself in a bit of a jam the other day. I knew I had to write, but I couldn’t find a voice or tone to use. My topics all seemed petty, my vocabulary was dower, and everything seemed wrong. So: I just wrote anyway.

The result? I wrote a script. Not a good one, but it did loosen up areas of insight in my mind. It seemed to be the concept that was drowning my thoughts and not allowing me to continue to write different things.

I will admit: it’s loosely based on a real conversation I had with someone. It paints “me” in a rather pretentious light and her in a horribly arrogant one. I enjoy it, but also acknowledge that it’s very poor in quality. I will be releasing it in the new year under the anewsinPublishing banner because I don’t like to hold anything back.

That brings me to the idea I want to put out there. I am a firm believer in that whatever comes to mind should be written down. That includes if it’s bad. Just get thoughts out there. I find myself stuck on, what feels like, nothing for days on end. I have a document on my desktop full of half-stories that will probably never see the light of day. I just need to get them out, then my brain is no longer full of stupid and generic shit.

Oh! I should mention that it’s my birthday on the 12th! I will be posting my usual masterbatory BIRTHDAY message then vanish for the remainder of the year, like I always do. I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to go the same way that it has in the past, though. I have “foam” coming out on the first, which I am stoked on finally releasing to everyone. I also have a couple applications for things that I want to address as soon as any sort of result comes from them.

It’s starting to be Christmas season once again. Please, consider donating to my Patreon so I can afford to give my wife something nice and my pets food. Even a dollar means the world!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Spam

I find myself at a genuine loss as to why spam comments and/or e-mails exist. I understand the point: to raise awareness of a product or service. My confusion comes from the question “does it actually work?” as opposed to why it exists at all.

I can only speak for me, but I do not check unsolicited e-mails and I filter dozens of comments on this site. I have never once been tempted to get a larger penis or see singles in my area. We all know of the anachronistic “member of royalty” that became disposed and needs to give you thousands to make sure that their fortune doesn’t fall into wrong hands.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe my cynicism is such to make me delete those without reading. Maybe both? I am not entire sure.

I derive a great deal of entertainment dispatching of such unwanted advertisements. I always go through and skim over the comments to see what ridiculous things are being marketed my way. Most of the time it’s related to the post, but occasionally I really have no idea where they get the concept that I might be interested.

What I really enjoy are the spam text messages: the messages where they are disguised as your phone carrier. However, when you track the number where they area code is based out of, it turns out to be a homestead in Winnipeg. Do people actually click those links blindly?

So, please fill the comment section under this post with the most brazen and confusing attempts at sales! If you are one to go along with spam, why? Finally, do you have any concepts on how to avoid it OTHER than spam filters?

The Moments Prior

I fucking hate the day before I release a project. The release tomorrow (Epic), though different for me, is probably my best work to date. No one dies, there is no mention of a loss of anything but individuality and the illusion of choice. I should clarify that, the illusion of an illusion. I am putting way too much into a few words and phrases.

I believe in “Death of the Author.” By that, I mean that a piece of work should stand on its own. I think the author should butt out of any release they make. Future explanation and definition means that you were ambiguous with what you were trying to say. That may have been your intent, but leaving something open with the assumption that you can explain if someone doesn’t understand is just bad writing.

(I am aware that I am using only one interpretation of that phrase. Let’s talk about it if you think I am wrong in feeling the way I do, or if you just do not appreciate my use of a term out of proper definition.)

That is why I tend towards short tales as opposed to full novels. I get great enjoyment out of writing something and having people pine for either further explanation or a grander world. This contradicts my enjoyment of the death-of-the-author trope, but I enjoy ambiguity. I have expanded on “Martha.” and “The Above” and will probably not release them for a very long time.

Please, feel free to ask me questions regarding a work or a theme. I will answer to the best of my ability. I won’t even be a dick about it: I will answer honestly and without pretension. What I would like to see is everyone who is reading something get together and discuss what it meant to them. I want to see everyones interpretation of what I’m doing.

Anyway, big release tomorrow! I am very excited to share it with the world. Hopefully I will have other big news this week, but that might be the last you hear of anything in that vain forever.

Language is fun

I spent a large part of my morning trying to identify my favourite word. My vernacular is far from impressive, though I do tend to choose flowery ways of saying “I SPEEK GOOD WORDS! I ARE RITER!”

What did I come up with? Three words in particular: Abdicate, Schism, and Juxtapose. I find myself at a loss trying to choose between those three, simply because they are all so awesome!

Let’s be realistic: they are all stand-ins for easier ways of saying what they mean: Abdicate is simply when a royal gives up a position of power, Schism is just a split between two of something, and Juxtapose is the comparison and contrast between two ideas or items.

However, if you can, work them into day to day conversation, few people will question your convictions!

Like I mentioned in a previous post, Abdicate is fun to use wrong. Schism is fun, but you have to make sure you are using it properly: too many people (thanks to Tool) know what that one is. Juxtaposed remains as one of the more intimidating words. People know that it exists, but if you deftly use it, people assume you mean business. The best part is that it doesn’t sound too ridiculous as for people to look at you strangely. The simple definition makes it easy to place in conversation, and it’s really easy to spell!

The greatest thing about these words is that you can say them without people realizing you are just using 5 cent words to be a douche! Unlike ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ where you just sound arrogant, these words can be slipped into conversation easily.

Why Metal?

I was faced by that question lately. I was initially threatened by the concept from a standpoint of being afraid of being limited, but I found the opposite to be true the further I thought about it.

To be completely honest, it’s the genre you can do literally anything with and get away with it. Compare “Blood Brothers” to “Invent, Animate” and you clearly see what I mean. The former is chaotic, hyper, and almost desperate. The latter is methodical, depressed, and revels in being beautiful. I am NOT saying that “Blood Brothers” is not beautiful, but I (being a huge fan) acknowledge that calling them beautiful as a descriptor is a bit misleading.

When I was younger, I was initially upset by the local music hole dropping the metal section and just putting Tool in the same section as Iron & Wine. Now that I have listened to more and developed my pallet a bit farther, I realize the monumental task of having to justify I Wrestled a Bear Once being in the same specific category as In Flames.

Sure, we still have Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and Killswitch Engage. If every band performed music like that, it would be silly easy to label things as ‘Metal’ and call it a day. Now, however, we have bands pushing genre’s and sounds. Dillinger Escape Plan and Cephalic Carnage exist in a world along side Periphery, and other than time changes and a way of doing some vocals there is little to compare them.

When someone speaks of classic metal, I have an issue relating them in my mind. I love Black Sabbath, but to categorize them in the same way as Kittie seems like a misstep. What compounds the confusion are bands like Refused and Alexisonfire. It used to be metal made after the nineties had screaming. Full stop. Then those two bands emerged* and everything changed: now punk and basically anything with thrashing could have screaming.

*Yes, Refused are from the ’90s. There was other punk with screaming before Refused, but that is a decent benchmark.

Even electronica and pop started to take parts from metal. With Throbbing Gristle and Skinny Puppy came the whole industrial movement, where bands would use fake drums and keyboards to create sounds only previously found in horror movies. On the pop side, Sleigh Bells were started by a member of a metal band. He adapted many metal tropes into the music that was written.

I need to stop, but I was thinking about this today. If you want me to deconstruct any other musical genres or whatever, leave me a comment somewhere and I’ll see what I can do.

Also, I feel like I need to add that this is far from definitive, complete, or probably right. There has been many attempts to categorize and catalogue the metal scene, and I feel like they ignore entire parts of metal, much as I have. There are even a couple of points I made that I don’t fully agree with, but would have to type pages to make one point. Metal is a vast term, and it has many different forms. I didn’t even touch on most of the -cores, post-‘s, or any specific genres like death, black, and chamber metal. If there is a call to arms, I will put a better list. Even if I spend days on doing so, I won’t agree with some of my classifications, and I will miss so many labels.

…and people wonder why I listen to metal…