Still Thinking

I have started on my second book, as I have mentioned before. The intro went really well, but I was floundering for a bit. I am proud to say that I have figured out where to go and it is SO good. I’m probably biased.

Something I am still struggling with is that I have not figured out how I was to re-brand this blog. I have nothing against it, but I am finding having one topic to hold my attention is debilitating. I don’t have many topics that I have barred myself from, but there has been a couple of times where I did not write about an event because it goes too far from “the topic”. I want delve into humour and generally use this ties as it is made to.

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Rebranding

To those who check in every week: I am sorry I vanished Sunday. I spent my day thinking about rebranding this blog.

As much as I love what I have written, I find the health angle debilitating. I sometimes feel as if I cannot update with what I want. I know I have Mind the Music T.O. to talk about punk, I am not able to talk about things that I want to from time to time.

If you have an idea for a new name, please feel free to let me know.

Thank you for the patience. I am exited that I might have new information by Sunday!

I’m Making A Video

Hello, everyone!

As the title states, I am going to create a Vlog (does anyone say “vlog” anymore?) for next week instead of doing an update in my traditional fashion! Why? I have never really done it before with the exception of one review I did for Mind the Music TO.

Do you have any questions you have always wondered? Please leave them somewhere I can see them! The recommendation is to comment here, but either on my Facebook or on the You’re Not Dead page is acceptable. If this goes well, I will do another one and (hopefully) get better at it as time goes on!

Incase you care: Yes, my camera sucks. Yes, my microphone sucks. I am going to play with the audio to make it better, I hope, but it will still be subpar.

I state again, please ask me questions to be answered in the video. I have plans, but I am going to be scripting and editing all week!

Motivation

I need some ways to focus my attention onto my next book. I currently have 7,695 words and am only on chapter 4 and only 17 pages in. I love the characters; I love the world. What keeps distracting me is life and the internet. I have not even played video games much in the last month, even though two games I was frantically looking forward to have presented themselves (Mass Effect: Andromeda & Persona 5).

On a side note: I do plan on giving a kind of review once I actually get through those. I really love both series and seem to hate having a social life, so I do not quite know why I am being tardy on playing them through. I think I am just afraid of getting to see an end of the characters even though they are two new worlds I haven’t become invested in yet. Maybe I’m just done with the worlds?!
HA. NO.

Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know.

{EDIT A FEW DAYS LATER!}

I just scrapped over 5,000 words from my next story. I really liked the first few pages, but it got so complicated too fast. The difference I am noticing between fiction vs. non-fiction is because I am creating the story, it is hard to continue with little direction. My planning has turned into almost tricking myself that it really happened, then writing my fabricated memories.
I am just shy of 25 hundred words and 7 pages in.

(I can do this.)

{Edit}

Know what has amazing music? Persona 5. Seriously. I have played about 2 hours of campaign and I have fallen in love with the music in this game. It is like a happy trip-hop or a mildly dysfunctional lounge soundtrack. It is similar to Persona 4, but a bit busier and a bit smoother(?). Due to my strange addiction to this game, Mass Effect has kind of gone the way-side. I am also waiting for all the bugs to have been eradicated. I know the game-breaking vacant stare has been fixed, but I also know of a million other bugs that I have witnessed in the little bit of spoiler territory I have let myself see.

{Another Edit An Hour Before Publication}

I have posted the first page of the new work over on You’re Not Dead. Read it over, let me know how I am doing.

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.

Punk.

I have always enjoyed Punk (the subculture) through the lens of an outsider. I barely listened to conventional punk music, I had a mohawk out of convenience more than a statement, and I have always carried my political views close to my heart but out of the ears of others.

Why do I mention political views? The punk scene has a large history of standing up to social issues and government rules.

The mohawk was fantastic, but I never wanted attention for it. I never wear the damned thing up, choosing to go with more of a combover look. The best part is that I can do it myself opting out of going to a salon or to a professional. My fiancé hates it. I tend to get hair all over the bathroom and I never seem to clean it well enough, if I do at all. The ‘hawk was paired with the 15 piercings I had at one time. I did all of this, but I recoiled in fear every time someone drew attention to it. I felt like a poser: I did not think of the statements that were attached to what I was doing but given the chance, I would do it all again.

I say “conventional punk music”, but I use the term lightly. Some would argue that there is a specific sound/mood to what punk should be. That (somewhat ironically) goes in the face of what punk is and stands for.

Looking at what punk used to be, it was a generation of people who couldn’t play their instruments protesting in broken song against the established mainstays of the music industry. It picked up momentum in the ’70s and ’80s, and broke into several sub-genres. In the ’70s, you had bands like The Clash and Exrospecs thrashing their instruments, and their voices. The ’80s saw the rise of Deathrock, Goth, and New Wave. All very different, all having a mainstream band for introductions for the masses.

Pop-punk in the early ’90s brought bands like Green Day, Offspring and Blink 182 into a revival of the punk feel. The message was kind of gone, but the formula of the writing was refined. The underground landscape changed and became both more complicated and more mainstream as time went on. With bands like Propagandhi and Choke carrying the Canadian scene, while NOFX concocted their own sound.

The 2000’s were both interesting and depressing. The Emo sound started to reign king and Pop-punk became more Pop than Punk. Not to be outdone by their more commercial counterparts, Skate Punk poked its head up around this time being fuelled by the video game market. ‘Screamo’ started to become more mainstream, as well: even though it really got it’s huge push by “The Shape Of Punk To Come” by Refused in 1999 and bands like Quicksand in the early ’90s.

This is roughly where I came in. I was never a huge punk fan until about 2007, and my “poison” was the atmosphere of Emo with the edge of Screamo. Bands like Farewell to Freeway and Caulfield in the underground paved the way for my love of Alexisonfire and The Reason (who was my first show around the release of Ravenna).

The explosion of acoustic instruments being used and abused in modern punk excites me to no end. There is also no-end to the labels that have been applied. One thing remains constant, however: punk is a protest with no clear goal. Some are ‘punk’ to rebel against social, political, and institution views. Others are just rebelling the state of music in todays mainstream. Regardless, the one thing I have learned from punk is love each other and respect each other.

GUESS WHAT DOESN’T MATTER?!
Fashion. I fucking hate that people hold it in such regard. Is there a Punk fashion? I guess, but it really just comes down to “wear what you want” most of the time.

I should probably state that I have no research put into this. That is probably clear.

I put the question of “..what does punk mean to you?” to FaceBook out of curiosity what people would say. If you follow me, I recommend reading what others have put. A couple of people just listed bands, which is always awesome, but Linda M. put a fantastic personal account of the classic Punk Scene and how everything used to be.

Also, Kyle W. put a fantastic definition up as well. Read those.

Actually, if either one of them are okay, I would like to post the comments on here in either a comment or as an edit. Let me know.

The Most Unfortunate Thing

My laptop would not connect to a power source and the batterie was dead. What a strange thing to go through. I honestly did not know why it was doing such a strange thing, but it hindered writing and expression for a couple of days.

I took it in to the Apple store to get it looked at. After about thirty minuets of diagnostics and whirly-boops, I was notified that it just needed a “power reset” of sorts.

What had happened was the power source that I was preferring was too strong, 80W to be exact, and it had over-charged the laptop. I had never heard of such an issue before, but it did make sense. It was also very embarrassing since I had recruited my parents to assist me in this adventure. There was a silver lining, however: the diagnosis was free. Needless to say, I am getting back to writing tomorrow (March fifth) and do not plan to stop until I literally run out of ideas.

What I am focusing in on now is exploring the idea of relative isolation from both my experiences and those recorded. I am going through this journey through the eyes of individuals who do not exist, in a literal way. I am looking forward to writing my first fiction ever. So far, I have four pages and 20,000 words. I seem to be sticking to one tone without trying, thank Glob! It is one of my biggest deterrence from doing a fiction on prior dates: I am too scattered, usually, to stick to one tone of narration. I know this about myself and I have been trying hard to move passed it.

Classic Album Review :: Sloan — Navy Blues

I feel like I need to remind society, as a whole, about this fantastic Canadian gem. Navy Blues was Sloans fourth album and, in my mind anyway, their most amazing release to date.

The year was 1998. The landscape in the music world was dark and brooding. Refused was asking to get the airwaves back, and Matthew Good Band was slaying society by reminding ourselves how bleak and pointless everything was. It actually remains one of, if not my personal favourite periods in music. Korn was still worthy of respect, Meshuggah was being ridiculous, and The Dillinger Escape Plan followed up to a very technical introduction with one of the most complicated (sonically) albums ever released.

Through all the brooding, doom, and technical insanity, Sloan released a throwback.. Navy Blues is The Beatles in the nineties, but with more coherent lyrics. I will not sugar-coat it: this is a pop album. It stays on my radar by having some of the most interesting and simple drumming I have ever heard.

Between tight harmonies, catchy hooks, and a driving beat, this album continues to bring nothing shy of a smile to my face.

Maybe it is because it is cute and simple that I love it so much. When you have such a fantastic year of really complicated albums coming out, the pop throwback not only stands alone but is more appreciated for not pretending it’s something it’s not.

I won’t bullshit music fans: listen to the album, but realize that it’s not for everyone. Stated again: it is a pop album. It is great to listen to when cruising in a car on a summer day with windows down.

My recommendation is watch the horribly arrogant and hilarious music video I have provided.

Incase you haven’t noticed: I really don’t know what to write about. I felt like bringing this album to light because I feel like it is forgotten in the shuffle. I used to write a fuck-tonne of reviews and highlights like this (only more arrogant) a few years ago. Leave a like if you think I should do more. It’s fun!
Also, I do Canadian Independent Punk reviews over on Mind The Music T.O. most Mondays.

I will have something next week that isn’t just a review. I wanted to do this (it’s been in my head a while).

ALBUMS OF NOTE THAT YEAR:

& You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead — ST
(Not their best, but it does mark the beginning of something great)
Board of Canada — Music Has the Right To Children
(Ambience arguably at its best)
Bran Van 3000 — Glee
(Canadian dance weirdness)

I cannot continue this list. I have 33 different albums that I would have to talk about.
You get the idea.

Blog #3

I actually forgot the format for the title of blogs and had to do some searching.

Hi there! I have started going down the dark cave that is writing a new book. I’ll let you know what it’s about and how it turns out in a week or two (because even I am not sure). I am currently writing one story based around one character, but I am tossing around the idea of writing several stories and make them all intertwine somehow. Thoughts? Ideas? I have great confidence in what I am doing, but I am worried that I am just trapped in my head.

Otherwise, life has been okay. I am lonely (as Tasha works 8-9 hours 6 days a week) but I have 3 fuzzy friends to keep me company. I am an hour (give or take) from most people I know, and those who can make the trip work a fuck tonne.

I have started pushing myself in new ways. For instance: I currently cannot go from sitting to standing without something to hold onto. To combat this, I have been putting myself in more and more awkward situations and forcing myself to deal with them.

TO BE CLEAR: I am being safe.

I know myself. I know that, if I hit the ground, it could be devastating. To make sure I am okay, my end goal is ALWAYS my wheelchair. I also make sure that my walker is close by. Barring those two things: a surface to get a hold of. Still no luck to bring to light, but I hope to report something soon.