The Decade

I was feeling like I haven’t accomplished much in the last little bit. I am used to being pushed in all directions at the same time, and I have been on this path of writing and blogging over the last six years. To overcome this feeling of uselessness that I have been burdened by, I revisited everything that I have done over the last decade.

2010: I played on the Livestalk & the Bodies LP. It still stands as one of my favourite albums of all time, let alone one of my proudest musical moments. I only played three songs, and they are not my favourite on the album, but they are a clear mark for my leaving of the punk/metal of All Cut Up and the beginning of my voyage into more complex structures.

2010: Release of the first Twin EP. We had a demo before that, but it was terrible. Nothing I was used to, and was literally a 180 from the Livestalk album I played on the same year. The EP did not turn out how we wanted it to, but I am still proud of it regardless. The same year, we released Victims and Dirty Dancin’ as singles. I believe The Twin have since released them as an EP, but I still consider them stand-alone projects because we went to two different studios to record them.

2011: Went on first tour. Though it was not very far: when the route is calculated, it’s over 1000 KM in total. It spanned roughly a week and had seven stops. We were joined by my good friend Gerald, who lent us his van that was more long-haul ready than mine at the time was.

2012: Played Warped Tour. That was a dream of 15-year-old Jay, and it actually happened!

2013: Inner Demons. Yes, The Twin took 3 years to go back into studio. That was because of relentless playing, writing, and fighting. Two new members on this EP, and it sounded like something new. It was so very different from what we had done before.

2013: I left The Twin because of non-exciting reasons. Teamed up with my old bass player and a good friend of mine. There was this poorly constructed demo they wanted me to listen to, and immediately I knew that I had to help them come up with the dream they had. It turned into my favourite recording I have worked on. Called the band Chance Procedures.
Became manager at the record store that I had worked in since ’07.
Died.
Then, didn’t die.
I spent from November to the end of the year stuck in a bed. Paralyzed from the neck down, and spent the little bit of the end of the year I was conscious being unable to emote.

2014: Was transferred between five different hospitals before finally being able to go home. Have been in a wheelchair since.

2015: Moved to Hamilton. Met Natasha. Started college.

2016: Failed out of two programs in college. Released You’re Not Dead. Got engaged. Moved back to Cambridge.

2017: Got married. Moved to Burlington. Had seizures. Discovered that I have had epilepsy for a while. Got our third dog (Tina).

2018: Started anewsin Publication. Let the first press of You’re Not Dead run out, but started harder work on the second edition to clean up some (lots) of missed errors.

2019: Assisted Hannah with some Chance Procedure demos that she had lying dormant in her head. Nothing to report on those, yet. I did construct a “music video” for one of them.

THINGS NOT LISTED: Our 3 cats. Our other two dogs. The litters that Tina had. The puppy-fiasco that was selling them. My previous band (All Cut Up) was from the decade before, and was not listed for that reason.

What have I learned? That I have done some pretty cool things. I am far from done doing cool things, and I want to double the length of this list next decade. I already have new projects in the wings. I have ideas and plans and some cookies! Oh, good flying fuck, I am so ready. So, please, help me to do something fantastic by considering a donation to my Patreon. It helps more than I can ever state.

A decade in review…

Thank God I don’t work in a music store any longer. Not that I didn’t love it, but this task was stupid hard.

As you may have noticed, I posted a recommended media for the year and NOT a music list this time because I was lacking in new releases for the last year. I only had one, and though it was amazing, it doesn’t make a whole list.

I decided to do a decade long list. Recommendations that have come out in the last decade: break it into years, and that equals ten! That sounds like a good idea right? RIGHT?!

Wrong. There are several albums that I go back to over and over, and there are multiple years that, though they had a few good releases, don’t hold my attention.

With much blood (and tears) I managed to get my list down to 50ish. I picked the best release that a band had that decade, which is harder than you might think. Some of the bands had a good portion of their discography come out during this time! So, instead of doing an in-depth dive into what makes each album amazing, I’m going to try to sum it up in a sentence or two, and link to a good (if not the best) song from each album.

BEFORE I START THIS LIST! I am so sorry for any advertisements that play at the beginning of songs. I tried as hard as I could to find ad free versions, but I was unsuccessful most of the time.

HERE WE GO

Adam Evers — Moments
You have heard me done on and on about this EP over the last couple of months. It belongs on this list for many reasons. Read my full review here.

Balance & Composure — Separation
A grunge throw-back. I saw them open for Touchè Amourè a few years ago, and fell in love.
Song: Void

Bloc Party — Four
What pop-rock can be. The classiest vulgar that you can find.
Song: We Are Not Good People

Boards of Canada — Tomorrow’s Harvest
Ambient electronica. Incredibly peaceful and beautiful. Sounds like the tracking from a ’70s movie, and it’s amazing.
Song: Reach For the Dead

Broken Bells — Broken Bells
I love this album. There is something enchanting about it
Song: The High Road

Cage the Elephant — Thank You, Happy Birthday
It’s a shame that this album wasn’t bigger. I would argue that it is one thousand times better then their first, but the public has spoken.
Song: Always Something

CFCF — Radiance & Submission
Two ambient electronica albums in one list? I’m loosing my edge! In my defence, this one is French
Song: In Praise of Shadows

Chon — Grow
NO ONE SHOULD BE THIS GOOD AT INSTRUMENTS. PERIOD.
Song: Splash

The Contortionist — Language
What the latest Tool should have been. Complicated, but not unattainable. Absolutely beautiful.
Song: Intuition

Counterparts — Prophets
I’m going to be that guy: I played with them around the release of this album. Nicest. Guys. Ever.
Song: Goodbye Megaton

Crosses — Crosses
Deftones without Deftones. Very different from Team Sleep, though the same idea.
Song: Option

Cursive — I Am Gemini
I have trouble putting how I love this album into words. Smart, but not arrogant. Self deprecating, but not pathetic.
Song: Twin Dragon/Hello Skeleton (I really love from the 4 min mark on)

Dead Weather — Sea of Cowards
I was a moderate White Stripes fan, and I never listened to The Kills before this came out. This album, turns out, to be a great blend of the two. Cool drums, as well.
Song: Die by the Drop

Deerhoof — vs. Evil
Just cool. Oh, and fucking complicated. It is truly amazing what you can do with music, and this band proves it time after time.
Song: The Merry Barracks

Deftones — Diamond Eyes
Not their best, but far from their worst. Almost didn’t make the list, but it has my third favourite Deftones song on it.
Song: CMND/CTRL

Die Hexe — Die Hexe
This was a surprise that I didn’t realize that I needed in my life. Might be one of my favourite albums of all time.
I reviewed this one, as well.

The Dø — Shake, Shook, Shaken
Just a good ol’ pop album! So damned catchy, so damned cool!
Song: Despair, Hangover and Ecstasy

Fall of Troy — OK
I am going to try to describe this without swearing, so I will just say that it’s the best album they have released since Doppelganger. I’m not going to say their best, but very close.
Song: Inside Out

Hail the Sun — Wake
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE DRUMMER SINGS? Think Mars Volta meets Circa Survive… BUT ADD A SINGING DRUMMER!
Song: Human Target Practice

Heart & Harm — Damage
Think A->B life by mewithoutyou. Now, forget that.
Song: Damage

Hot Hot Heat — Future Breeds
Such a good departure for this band. So many interesting takes on music but without reinventing the wheel.
Song: Times A Thousand

Invent, Animate — Everchanger
A more intense (better?) Misery Signals.
Song: Nocturne: Lost Faith

Kennedy — The Guilty Poor
The album opens with a monologue from 1984. It sets the mood for the entire album.
Song: Stillborn Believer (any album that opens with a monologue from the 1984 film automatically wins)

Livestalk & the Bodies
Okay, I put one of the albums I performed on this list. To be fair: it’s here because the rest of this album is amazing which does not have me.
Just go listen to the whole thing.

Melody’s Echo Chamber — Melody’s Echo Chamber
Psychedelic and ’60s sounding. I don’t know why I went through this phase where everything had to sound old, but I’m happy I did.
Song: Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?…

Minus the Bear — Infinity Overhead
Not my favourite MtB album, but Listing IS one of my favourite songs of all time.
Song: Listing

New Design — Far From Home
I was contacted to review this album around its release. I was not prepared for how good this group is. Also, they remind me of what emo was when I was in high school,
Song: I’ve Never Seen the Ocean

OK GO — Of the Blue Colour Of the Sky
I was on the fence if I was going to include this album, then I realized that there is nothing quite like it. Don’t get me wrong: I love this album, it just doesn’t quite measure up to the one prior.
Song: WTF

Periphery — Periphery
Never has a band started so strong to end up so pathetic. At least we will always have this banger of an album!
Song: The Walk

Rah Rah — Breaking Hearts
Probably one of the best bands that I have ever seen on stage. This album is just so damned cute!
Song: Henry

Ratatat — Magnifique
I hate everyone for not telling me about this album when it was released.
Song: Cream on Chrome

Regina Spektor — What We Saw From the Cheap Seats
There seemed to be this time in music where there was an influx of “girls-sining-and-playing-piano.” We are past this time, and this was actually a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t help that she comes off as incredibly condescending.
Song: All the Rowboats

Respire — Gravity & Grace
Metal and trumpets? Yes: metal and trumpets.
Song: Ascent

Samsaris — Samsaris
Sick of me banging on and on about this album yet? TOO BAD! I loved it when I picked it up, and I still love it to this day! I want to compare it to Bjork? But that might just be because of the Iceland comparison.
Song: Goda Tungl

Sigur Rós — Kveikur
SPEAKING OF ICELAND! Haunting. Incredibly beautiful. Heavy lyrically without me even looking into translations. Even if I found out that he was talking about how much he loved petting dogs, it would not change the fact that the first time I heard the first track, I almost cried from the intensity.
Song: Brennisteinn

A Silver Mt. Zion — Kollaps Tradixionals
I BUILT MYSELF A METAL BIRL I FED MY METAL BIRD THE WINGS OF OTHER METAL BIRDS…
If those words intrigue you in the slightest, I found your new favourite album.
Song: I Built Myself A Metal Bird

Sleigh Bells — Treats
What happens when you cross metal and pop? Something beautiful yet horribly disfigured, and I love it.
Song: Infinity Guitars

Slender Loris — World Tour
I am proud of myself for not loading this list with friends releases, but this is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard of ever.
Song: (not as hardcore as) Dismantle

Squarepusher — Ufabulum
I hate that I love this album so much. It’s electronica. No other caveats there.
Song: The Metallurgist

Stayce — Huck Dunter
When I was writing for Mind the Music, I found so many great albums! This is another one I came across in my short-lived travels on that site. Grunge? Not really. I don’t really have a category for them.
Song: Basement

Structures — All the Above
Still have a hard time trying to figure out some of the drum patterns. I gave up trying to learn it a while ago, but it would bring me much closure if I could AT LEAST FIGURE OUT WHAT HE IS DOING!
Song: Still Waters

Sufjan Stevens — Age of ADZ
Neat. Just, neat.
Song: I Want to be Well (personal anthem)

Title Fight — Shed
One of my favourite punk albums of all time.
Song: Shed

Tokyo Police Club — Champ
I do not have an excuse why I love this band so much.
Song: Bambi

Tom Vek — Leisure Seizure
This guy cannot sing, but his attempts are what make this album so amazing.
Song: Aroused (WARNING: If you smoke or DID smoke, this video will drive you nuts)

Touchè Amourè — Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
Some of the best lyrics that you will find ever. It really didn’t help that they are really nice guys who just love music.
Song: Home Away From Here

Vampire Weekend — Contra
Do you have an album that you love and you don’t know why and when people ask why you have so many plays on it, you hesitate to tell them it’s because you love the album dearly? Yeah, that’s my relationship with this album/Vampire Weekend in general.
Song: Giving Up the Gun

xx — Coexist
Minimalist, haunting, beautiful. There permeates a feeling that something is something horribly wrong, and it makes the album feel like a movie*.
*might be why the songs are featured in a few films and TV shows from that year
Song: Fiction

65DAYSOFSTATIC — We Were Exploding Anyway
This is the band that I wish I created when I was in high school. Stupid talented and imaginative. I love this band.
Song: Dance Dance Dance

Again; sorry for any ads that may have bombarded you. I tried to pick my favourite songs, the Melody’s Echo Chamber probably being my favourite of the last decade. Though I do recommend listening to all of these, I understand that it is a lot. There is enough for one a week, though!

PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Katie Maz

I am actually honoured to write this post.

Katie was invited by The Twin to come out to a show back in 2010. Now to date ourselves: the invite was sent over MySpace because everyone used it back then.

ANYWAY: Katie was this very hyper girl who showed up and her and I spoke only twenty minuets over the event. However, her and I exchanged e-mails that night, and we have never spent more than a month out of communication.

Our humour works in the most backwards ways. She is hyper but an introvert, I am quiet but an extrovert. I do not know why we are friends, but we are very tight friends. We refer to each other as siblings very often.

When I ended up in hospital, she came by as often as she could. She remained awkwardly inspirational and never talked down to any situation that I found myself in.

We started Mind the Music TO in 2015 with me writing album reviews and her showcasing her photography.

I love her.