#BLACKLIVESMATTER

I realize my own ignorance. Instead of propagating the wrong message, I will simply say that I support the movements that are happening world-wide.

I will not be doing my usual uploads for the time being. I will update you when they come about.

Please, leave comments with reading material and support systems below.

I know I will appreciate them, but I am sure someone else will as well.

Why I write about music.

I am very certain I have written about this topic before, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to search through hundreds of self-indulgent words mixed in with only a small amount of importance.

First and foremost; I think music is THE most important thing in life. I realize that you cannot consume it for nutrients, therefore it can be argued that food is the most important. This is MY blog and I will make my sweeping statements that cannot be backed up in anyway!

AHEM: I make that claim trying to keep my past out of the equation. It’s not a secret that I spent more than a decade working very closely with the music industry. Hell, I worked at a record store for seven years. I was playing on albums and playing shows since 2005. I produced a few albums and EP’s. I have almost 40 days worth of music sitting on my hard drive. I ran a record label. I review albums because it’s fun and I think I don’t suck at it…

So, why put music above everything?

It’s the one medium that collaborates every aspect of the arts while being recognized by every single culture.

What about the deaf?
They can feel beats and rhythm, and can even tap out an approximate flow if they can focus on the direction of the metre. As far as writing guitar or piano, if they know their music theory, they can easily do that. Not to mention that, if they went deaf later in life, they can probably remember things that sound good together.

Now, to elaborate on my claim about combining every art. To combine poetry and music seems like a simple task, but after watching others do it for years, I now can confirm that it is not as easy as one might think initially. You need to keep flow and metre in mind, as well as emotional weight and emphasis. That’s two of the arts down.

Let’s keep going.

Album art takes care of the visual arts, on the surface and immediate level, anyway. Again, I ran (a very bad and unprofessional) record label for years. Visual representation does generate sales, as shallow as that sounds.. If the album cover is appealing, people are more likely to pick it up. I am under the impression that is why vinyl came back in a large way: the larger cover plus the appeal of having something tangible.

(That’s what drew me in, anyway.)

Let us not forget music and lyric videos. Though music videos have kind of shrank in importance, the few that come out can greatly add OR detract from the appeal of the music. Lyric videos are huge.

Stage performance is a kind of acting. Even the “roots” acts one may see have cultivated that image, whether it be intentional or not. I have played with many acts who (consciously or subconsciously) do a full change when they go on stage. As a musician, you learn to play off the crowd expectation. That could be reactions to a previous move you make, or observations on how the other acts that evening maintain the attention of the masses.

So, after explaining all of this: let’s get back to the initial question of why I write about music so often!

  1. I love everything about music. The concept, the sound, the feel… Every part of music makes everything in my life have context, and it’s very hard for me to go a day without thinking critically about it in some way.
  2. I think that it is important. Whether it is in regards to mental or physical healing, the effects that it has on a being cannot be ignored. I cannot be bothered to source all the facts I know, so I’ll just bring up the emotional well-being it brings myself. I know that music makes me happier, and therefore I try to do things in life. Without music, I would have little context for waking up in the morning.
  3. I’m good at it. Well, I think I’m good at it. I at least find it fun to do, and if you don’t like it, stop reading my blog.

With all of this said, if there is a topic that you would like me to explore in further depth, please get hold of me somehow. I have been contacted by .no funeral. records to examine a few of their releases, and I am excited to roll those out over the next bit.

Five Paragraphs

The “Five-Paragraph” essay style is just a framework. One cannot rely on that being useful for everything that they do. For example, I tend towards more of a conversation style when I write my blogs. The reason for that is simply that is how my brain works. The five-paragraph setup seems like a decent way to organize thoughts, but it has a few flaws.

One such flaw is that because someone has the intent of going with that style, they beat points into submission. I understand that this is to elaborate on a thought, but it bogs the reader down with information about a topic. Unnecessary details muddy up an otherwise clear purpose, and other points are left with little to no information at all.

It especially hurts the ‘essay’ because the points are all supposed to be mentioned in the initial paragraph. Again, I know that they are supposed to be sussed out in the subsequent words, but it feels redundant. It feels almost patronizing. The worst part is that it inhibits the author from expressing themselves creatively by playing with formatting. If the writer runs out of points for a topic, the reader can expect them to fill the space with text like this, or with recursive thoughts on the points already expressed.

The point of the third paragraph is to drive home the point before the conclusive paragraph is expressed. To force the writer to have another point when they feel like they have already proven their purpose is silly. This paragraph will just waffle about having no real purpose. There is also a good chance that this will be the paragraph with the most grammatical errors. But I digress.

So yes, the five-paragraph system is a bit silly. As a teaching tool, it works pretty well. It expresses the importance of organizing your thoughts, and the importance of planning ahead. To use this method as an adult shows an ongoing issue in regards to planning out ideas. Therefore, I am not saying that we should do away with this concept, but am saying that we should not expect it in every bit of writing. Especially when the writing is informal or opinion.

NOW, FOR ALL OF THAT THE WAY I USUALLY WRITE

So, can we all agree that the five-paragraph way of writing is silly?

It forces the repetition of ideas, stifles any form of opinion, and seriously hampers creativity. As a teaching tool, it’s a great way to start. As a crutch, it stifles ideas by forcing the writer to sit on a point for longer than may be necessary.

Maybe I’m alone in that. There is a good chance that my writing is unattainable and confusing. My language may be obtuse, and my opinions irreverent.

Damnit, there is a very good chance that I just don’t like being told what to do! I am, after all, just an old child. Forever having the mind of a thirteen year old who wants to do what they want to do and you cannot tell them otherwise or you will initiate the flood of hate and malice that comes when I am “forced into a box.”

Hey! I made my previous point in a much shorter line of words!

Anyway, fuck the five-paragraph setup. Fuck rules in writing that stifle creativity and originality. Fuck doing things for other people when you don’t want to.

An apparent misstep.

I started writing this blog to keep people abreast with my physical situation. Then, I started writing to express myself. For the last year, I have been putting a greater weight on music reviews than I have either the former.

I want to be a resource for the community. The biggest issue where that is concerned: I don’t know what people need. If there was a more direct question, I am sure that I would be able to fill in the necissary steps to complete it. Even if the answer was getting help, I would know where to ask.

Consider this me tapping out of the review world for a little bit. Again, I will be doing them, but space them out more. Kind of like how I used to go about a month between spotlights.

In the meantime, if anyone can think of a particular situation in regards to disability they would like me to illuminate, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask. I think my first revisit to that world will be talking about how horrible air seat cushions are.

a lukewarm warning about May

As I have done in the past, May is going to be depressing update month. Every Sunday, I will be posting some depressing fact.

I am just warning you because I have been informed that it might be a bit much for some. I see them as important things to think on.

I am posting this a bit early because of two reasons:
1) I don’t have anything else to post, and I feel that it has been too long
2) Just giving you ample time to remember.

I will be doing a more formal post (essay style) the day before I start posting them. That way, you remember not to click them by accident.

While I have you attention, I will be posting something that I am super excited about in the next 48 hours. I don’t have the exact time, yet. When I get the link, I will be sharing it with you!

Why “Let’s Plays” are great

This is kind of a different topic for me, so if my information is off-base, please forgive me and give me proper sources below.

Let’s Plays: I cannot think of a more decisive topic in my house. I think they are fantastic, my dad thinks they are a waste of time. He wonders why I am willing to watch someone play a game for a day worth of video as opposed to play the game myself. I get it, I really do.

My reason for watching someone play a game comes to only three reasons. The first of which is I am always broke. It would be fantastic if I had all of the money for every console and game that my heart desires, but I do not even break cost of living most months. Seeing how most games that hold my interest are either 70+, or on a console that I don’t own (see the Switch), I have no ways of actually playing said game. The only way I can experience it is by watching others play it. Most Let’s Play(ers?) already play in a similar way that I do: they search all of the dark corners for hidden bits of lore. That is a (mostly) free way I can get the entertainment that I crave.

The second reason is time. Most games that I want to play (Persona 5, for instance) take hours, if not days, to finish. With the cavalcade of games that come out every quarter, I do not have even a quarter of the time required to play everything. Throw in old games, open-ended games (Minecraft, Terraria, Grand Theft Auto) and games that piggy-back off of older titles (Life is Strange) and I would not have time to sleep or eat, let alone write. Watching someone play for an hour while describing the lore surrounding the areas that peak my interest satiates that part of me that craves all the games.

The third reason is just simply skill. For instance, I love the concept of the Dark Souls franchise. I own all of them, and I have put dozens of hours into each. I am not good at Dark Souls. I have put the dozens of hours into them and die incredibly quickly, sometimes not even being able to get out of the first place. They are made to be very hard. Part of why I love them is that they do not hold the players hand and refuse to guide anyone to anything. I still love the atmosphere, art, and worlds of these games. I can ONLY experience these games through a third party.

For these reasons, and I’m sure that I’m forgetting more, I love Let’s Plays. I get my shots of lore, as well as get to experience the parts of games that I would love. I still play games like Tetris or Hearthstone myself, because watching someone else play would just frustrate me (Everyone has their own way of being “good”).

I have not done the research, but I am curious how Let’s Plays effect game sales in the long term. I have a pretty good feeling that the explosion of popularity for Minecraft was partially fuelled by groups like The Yogscast, but I remain ignorant to if Atlas’ refusal to allow anyone to publish gameplay of Persona 5 has effected longterm sales.

Let’s face it, anyone who wanted to know anything about Persona 5 has bought Persona 5.

Let’s do more!

I have been contemplating what else to do outside of writing and producing. I have considered bolstering my YouTube channel, but that would feel forced. I am currently working on a new book, so writing a screenplay on the side seems a bit cumbersome. I cannot draw, and really do not have an urge to learn.

This is the conundrum that I find myself in: I feel like I should be doing more in the arts, but I have no idea where to put my effort into. Even worse, I hate everything I do even when I am told it’s okay. Hating everything you do is kind of the “artist-dilemma” though. I have yet to meet anyone doing anything involving some sort of art who thinks that their work is greater-than-par. I have met a few who think that they are hitting a new niche, which is cool.

I just keep holding out that Hannah will give me new Chance Procedure things to work on. I made that video for Patient Zero a while ago, and I have an itch to make that a full song. I have been in studio enough to know that you have to be prepared, so I’m not pushing as hard as I could.

Oh! Interesting fact; my old singer (Rahib) just had his birthday! I don’t know why I had an urge to share that on this blog, but there it is! He’s 30, so he is 15 days older than my little brother.

Side note: have you picked up the latest version of my book? It’s almost 3X larger, more grammatically correct, and (I might be biased, but) WAY better. I mean, it’s 1230298341X more depressing, but WAY better. Amazon finally updated some shit, though it’s still awkward to navigate. I have done everything I can on my end to make it easier. Review comes out soon, I hope!

Finally

It was explained to me today just how Amazon dot com was going to play!

You have to physically select them from a list of sellers to get a copy of You’re Not Dead. From the list that I can see at the time of writing this, they are the cheapest seller of both Hard and Soft covers. It should be the right one, but comment below if this isn’t the case and I (personally) will go through steps to have that rectified!

Anyway, I will put the links to both versions below. Please, let me know if there are any additional issues.

softcover || hardcover