The New Keyboard

Yeah, that’s the full reason why I said “I vanished!”: I needed a new keyboard.

You never really realize how often you use the ‘L’ key until you can’t anymore. I mean, the first part of this paragraph contained 4 cases alone, and it was more of a fragment as opposed to a full sentence.

What did I get in the end? Another Mac Magic Keyboard. This is my second one. The first, I purchased back when I got my Mini, so back in 2007 (give or take). Either way, my old keyboard was about 10 years old. It put up with a lot of shit, missing keys, broken buttons… I will miss it, but I am surprised that it lasted this long! I feel bad that I never gave it a proper name…

Something else that is kind of cool: I got faster internet! Fido had a deal for a year for 35 a month no contract, so my wife and I jumped on it. Took a little less than a week after repairs to the modem had to be conducted. We went from about 15Mb/s to 75.1Mb/s (at time of writing) and now everything works so much better!

Business talk! Patreon pricing has changed, like I mentioned on the previous blog. So, please consider donating to this project!

I have another book sitting just shy of 80% complete. I have put it out there to a couple of publishers, but if no bites before December, going independent again.

Anyway, that’s enough of this ramble. First…

WITH NEW INTERNET SPEED COMES A NEW VIDEO.
It’s the drumming one that I found on an old camera. I uploaded it, then took it down because I hated the way it sounded. I recently found the pure audio recording of the session. I have now re-mastered and re-uploaded the file. I hope you enjoy!

Look how young am…
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Classic Album Review :: Matthew Good Band — Beautiful Midnight

I have not written one of these in a while, but the last one keeps getting new readers! If this is something you want me to do more of, let me know in the comments! I have a few albums I can think of that I feel everyone should remember or experience for the first time.

Oh, Canada! You make such good music!

I know that I keep doing retrospectives in Canadian music of albums from the ’90’s, but that was my bread and butter. I was a huge alternative nerd back then, and some of the best music came from Canada. I am sure, if this article does well, I will hit on Our Lady Peace.

I digress. I lovingly call this album “The Soundtrack for Nihilism” to no one ever.

(I need friends.)

This album has some of the bleakest outlooks on life ever put to lyrics. From the bombastic opening of Giant right through to the somber ending of Running For Home. Every song croons about “everything is fucked is and we’re all going to die so make the best of what you’ve got.”

I love it so much.

Giant is probably one of the best intro songs ever. It opens with a cheerleading group spelling ‘KICKASS’ with no backtrack what-so-ever. Then, with piercing squeals preceding it, the drum line comes crashing over everything. It’s beautiful.

From that point on, the lyrics and music paint a picture of how great it is that everything is the way it is in the most sarcastic, unfeeling way. The music reminds me of the epic crescendo’s of the ’80’s metal scene mixed with the independent movement in the early 2000’s. Leads and little more than jangles placed perfectly over steady rhythms laid out by a steady bass line. This, of course, is punctuated by the slap of crushing swells and pounding drones. The strings sound like they would be simple in execution, but they are covered in flairs you might not notice unless you were looking for them. The drums accentuate the standard pop song structure then vier wildly into the realm of progressive meters and timing without the listener even noticing.

To put it simply, this album should not work in the mainstream archetype, but does so beautifully. The bleak lyrics help along this feeling of ambiguity that the album contrives. Metaphors abound and the similes used illustrate the mind of someone defeated by society, but they do not celebrate it. They are used more to illustrate how messed up everything is, but drive home the hopeless emotion that permeated the ’90’s.

I think my ravings have proved how much I love this album. In fact, I am having a hard time picking a favourite song to share with everyone. When you have massive tracks like the aforementioned Giant and piano ballads like Strange Days with only one song between the two, to find a standout track that dictates the general feeling is really difficult. It would actually be a lot of fun to break the album down, song by song, and write a piece about each one. There is enough content in each song individually that doing so would be interesting. Even taking what they sound like they mean and comparing what they are actually about would be interesting.

I, however, am far from the right person to do such a task.

If I had to make a generalization as to what states-of-mind the album elicits, I would have to say crushing realization combined with an acceptance of just how wrong everything can be.

SO, I TOLD MYSELF I WOULD NOT PICK GIANT.
I found a really good version of Giant live.
The first guitar solo is ignored by the camera operator. Epilepsy warning, though I was okay.

Enjoy.

I did a bad

So, I was doing all this planning and research for my next update. It was going to be another top-10 list of albums that I highly recommend listening to. I was planning on going about it entirely differently and I was genuinely excited to share it.

Then: I did something horrible.

I do not have a strong excuse, but it did not save I probably hit the “be a moron and throw away hours of work?” button when it came up.

REGARDLESS: I spent seven hours getting together some amazing albums, finding songs, and writing blurbs about each one. It probably was not all that good, but I thought it was fantastic.

I have talked before on this site about the importance of doing something you enjoy to survive another moment in this bleak existence. I have three sources for distraction: music, writing, my wife. That is not to say that is all I have in life, quite the opposite: between friends and family, my calendar is rarely empty. I will say those are my favourite and most time consuming things because I make them so. I would not have it any other way.

Holy Fish (Shameful Sheep inspired)

  1. Does anyone else have things that autocorrect has changed for the better? Even if it is better in just your mind. My personal favourite was that my phone could never allow me to use such profanity as “fuck” and would therefore always change it to “fish.” It really does change the tone of what you are saying drastically. Usually, it would be for the better. “what the fish?” usually sounds less petty than the proper. Unfortunately, that very phrase can be used at the worst times, making everything you say sound sarcastic and dismissive. “I was just fired” is not a good time to have your phone correct your words for a PG-13 audience.
  2. I owe a couple of people huge apologies. I keep receiving EPs and albums for me to check out, and I always intend to do so. Recently, I have just plain forgotten. When I finally do remember, it is when I am getting another collection of sounds to listen to, then look up and think FUCK! [SO & SO] SENT ME SOMETHING LAST NIGHT. I will just simply say that I am so very sorry, and I promise that I will listen to everything over the next few days. As I write this, I am already queuing up two more. That will take my number of forgotten gems down from eight to two. The one is actually from a producer I worked with on the Chance Procedure album, Ryan Prasad. He is a brilliant musician, and I am beyond excited to listen to his new work!
  3. You may have seen the announcement in my last post, but I am going to be giving Patreon supporters who back me more that $10CDN/month a free PDF of what I am working on. I do not think I made it clear enough, so allow me to elaborate. I write a lot of short stories that I do not post anywhere. I do, actually, write more than one of those a month. I am also looking to change my publication strategies over the next little bit. So if you have recommendations for my next step, please pass them along.
  4. I have stolen this whole numbered layout from The Shameful Sheep. I cannot even pretend to be as funny as her, or even remotely funny, but I love her style. If you have not looked over her works, I highly recommend it. She is funny, brilliant, and sarcastic as all hell.
  5. I almost forgot: WordPress wants my monies again. The orginal URL for this site (which is too long and complex for me to remember, let alone type out) has come up for renewal. I have decided against it, and keep getting little notices every time I open this blog up. If you are having a similar issue, please let me know somehow. I am working hard as balls to fix it but seem to have hit a kind of roadblock.

I am sorry for you dealing with it, potentially.

500 words, fuckers!

How Meta…

(Still recovering from being married)

Welcome to my blog about blogs! I promise that I will only do this when I feel it ABSOLUTELY necessary.

The Shameful Sheep is a collection of the funniest thoughts I have ever read. Blair has a fantastically bleak outlook on situations. She never shy’s away from reminding the reader of that situation they cringed at the other day. Even my wife Natasha finds it hysterical at times, which is saying something: I have the darker sense of humour between the two of us.

The other blog I wanted to point my readers towards is The Viking Reviews. Mainly the “Gibberish” posts, though it is all grand. I will not lie: it is slice-of-life-ish and mild voyeurism, in the best way. I just really enjoy reading it. OH: and the main part of the blog is book reviews. They are all pretty fantastic. (Yes, he reviewed “You’re Not Dead” positively, but it does not sway my opinion what-so-ever)

Anyway, I just felt this compulsion to share these sites with the world. If you have a site I should look into, leave a link in the comment section. I have to approve every comment before it gets posted, so I will be looking into each link submitted.

(I should note that these are not the only two I read, just the two I wrote about today.)

So, why am I doing this? Why am I highlighting these outlets? Am I being paid to mention them? I fucking wish. I just really love them and want everyone to enjoy them.

BOOK!

Married 

I got married on Friday. As you can imagine, I have been a bit busy planning things, so I do not have an update. Please keep yourself posted: I will have something next week (even if it’s just celebratory photos). 

ALSO: it is Natasha’s Birthday today! 

A Change

I am still doing minor tweaks here and there, but I think this layout/name are here to stay. I am going to cancel the old url (viralmeningoencephalitis.com), but wheelchairhero.com is going to stay.

Let me know if you have any additional ideas, I will have all the kinks ironed out soon.

The Single Hardest Project Ever

I had a discussion with a good friend of mine whether or not we could come up with a Top 10 list of albums. We both agreed that it would be very difficult, so I tried to make one up after he left. My result was a top 20, so I gave myself further restrictions and now it’s a Top 10, finally. As I am writing this, I am stuck thinking about what I kept off the list.

RULES: One album per artist. No “Honourable Mentions”*. No regrets* with what I have listed.
(Only one exception because it should be on this list, but I made a promise to do 10)

NINE INCH NAILS :: The Fragile
I could not resist putting this album in the list. I love it so. Between “La Mer” and “Just Like You Imagined” I would be set for a very long time in the event I loose everything but this. I have heard rumours of an instrumental version existing: if you know where to get it, please pass me along a link.
Recommended listening: Just Like You Imagined

That song is a strange example of the rest of the album. Beautiful, which is a fantastic snapshot, but extremely tame compared to songs like Starfuckers, Inc. Please enjoy. If you know the album, what is your favourite?

CURSIVE :: Domestica
The album I have listened to the most, hands down, in the last few years. It is actually my favourite album of all time: it flows perfectly from end to end. I do not have it on vinyl because I have never seen it around for a reasonable price ($30 is too rich for my blood, though it is tempting). It honestly has the (second) best ending of an album ever. (the best ending belongs to Sparta on their debut album Wiretap Scars. Only Honourable Mention I will do because it was axed only due to space)
Recommended listening: Radiator Hums

Jazzy and fantastic: this song contains some of my favourite lyrics ever portrayed in a song. It is just so biting: so harsh. Yet, like the rest of the album, self deprecating and pretty. BONUS POINTS: The chorus is so much fun to shout along to.

DEFTONES :: White Pony
Do I really have to justify this being on my list? It’s heavy: both emotionally and musically. A brilliant collection of sounds, it has been a major influence on the music I have collected in the years.
Recommended listening: Knife Party

Beautiful. That statement is even before the chaos that is the ending. Her vocal range is astounding. The drums contain some of the coolest licks I have heard.

DEERHOOF :: Vs. Evil
Everyone has to have a strange album they listen to. This band is in my top list simply because I always am blown away when I listen to them. Like everything great, I do not know how I found this album because it exposed me to what music can be.
Recommended listening: The Merry Barracks

I put the music video as the sample for this song because.

DIE HEXE :: ST EP
Anyone who has talked to me in the last year has known about my obsession with this EP. The beauty in its distopic view of reality is astounding to me. Do yourself a favour and listen to it, please. This collection is easily my favourite independent album to exist in years and one of my favourite albums of all time.
Recommended listening: The Entire Album

Not only is the whole album fantastic, they are independent. It does not seem fair pointing out one song to ignore the feat they have managed.

BIBIO :: Ambivilance Avenue
Think folk mixed with trip-hop and jazz, and you only get a mild idea of what this album contains. Perfect background sounds for writing or meditating. Also, the last thing I listened to before I ended up in hospital.
Recommended listening: Fire Ant

I guess this is not a fantastic example of the rest of the album, but it is, by far, one of my favourites. It is an example of what a hip-hop beat could be if a DJ was given free-range.

WEAKERTHANS :: Reconstruction Site
Punk, but with a twist. Some of the most brilliant and soul-destroying lyrics you will ever hear.
Also, I cannot listen to it without thinking of my good friend, Elianna.
Recommended listening: Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961)

This was the first song I heard by this band ever. Not going to lie, the line “yes a penguin taught me french back in Antarctica” sold me almost instantly.

WINTERSLEEP :: Untitled
This was a favourite album of mine for a very long time. The emotional weight it portrays is amazing. The song “Lipstick” perfectly encapsulates being alone while surrounded by people.
Recommended listening: Danse Macabre

I figured it out after years of listening to it, but that drum line is STUPID!

BLONDE REDHEAD :: 23
Hauntingly beautiful and beautifully haunting. Really, there is little to write home with this album: there is nothing to it except that it is incredibly pretty. So pretty, in fact, that I love it this much.
Recommended listening: The Publisher

This song has my favourite vocal progression, by far.

DO MAKE SAY THINK :: Goodbye Enemy Airship, the Landlord Is Dead
This is my favourite album. It doesn’t have any words, and that almost makes it better. The juxtaposition of the instruments is spine tingling, the rhythms and flourishes that it finds is jaw-dropping, and the crescendos bring tears to my eyes every time. Every album they have released is astounding, but this one is perfect. I cannot even show this album to everyone because I KNOW that not everyone will appreciate it.
Recommended listening: Goodbye Enemy Airship

That is my favourite song. Full Stop. I fucking love this song and every emotion that it evokes. I have been listening to a playlist of all these albums since I came up with this idea, and I stop everything I am doing to listen to all 12 minuets of this song every time it plays.

WHAT DID I LEARN!?

I toss around top-ten labels way too easily. It is not malicious or a lie, just a spur-of-the-moment label. Most of the CDs I give that label are, in fact, held in a very high regard.

In fact: I am of the assumption that if everyone did that in regards to something that they love, they will notice where priorities lie.

I still feel like I forgot about something very VERY important. I am also upset at the fact that Blood Brothers, Poison the Well, and Said the Whale are not on the list anywhere, but I promised no honourable mentions.

Also, ‘Frequently Played’ numbers are not to be trusted. Sometimes, you get into a habit of playing something because it reminds you of something. That may be a time, a place, or right now. It has nothing to do with the love for the actual album, however. Tom Vek is in my top plays but he was not even a contender for the list.


These are the albums that I listen to almost daily.

One may argue that this is not an appropriate post for this blog. There is nothing about health or life in a wheelchair.

YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG.

A large part of health, in and out of a chair, is finding peace in whatever is around you. I have always kept music a massive part of my life: so much so that when I had to go almost 10 months with either nothing or crappy radio I was horribly depressed because of it. Yes, I am aware that I focus too much on music. I need to, or I will get swallowed up in my situation and dwell on how things can be better. It motivates me to get back to drumming the way I used to. It reminds me of how things used to be and shows me how they will change by being in everything I do. ‘You’re Not Dead’ has a soundtrack, and the book I am working on now does, as well.

Marriage?

On my FaceBook page, I asked what I should write about. “Best Frozen Foods” was a strong contender, until I remembered that pizza is a thing. That entire question is a bit redundant in a world where we have pizza. Sorry.

Someone mentioned the topic of my marriage plans, and the response was overwhelming. Therefore, here you are masses: plans as they stand.

WE DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING PLANNED.

We were initially planning on getting married this August. When we looked up and realized that we had NOTHING planned, we have now pushed it back to 2017. We will plan everything soon, life has just been kicking us in the ass lately.

I will not lie: the fact that we are so disorganized scares the hell out of me. Was this a wrong idea? I know she is my one-and-only, but does she feel the same about me? What if I cannot be what I need to be?

These are all questions that float though my head. As soon as I let them come to be in some sort of medium, I laugh to myself. I know the answer to every one of them and THAT is why we’re doing this.

Am I ever going to be perfect? Fuck no. She swears that I am to her, and that is honestly enough for me.

If you have known me for a very long time, you may remember a time not all that long ago that I was against the idea of marriage. I still am, in a way, but she’s not. I want to be with her forever/for a long time. I want her to be happy. I want to be more than just a boyfriend/partner in title alone, I want to be hers forever. I want her to feel comfortable. I want her to know that I will be by her side for all time, not just while we are in the same room. Can you have that feeling without marriage? I think so, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want this. She wants this. (Want want want).

That is all I can really say about my pending marriage. It will happen eventually, I am just not sure when right now. I promise, when we have it all planned, to tell the world. I will not keep it all to myself.

Recommended listening (mirrors how I feel about her).