I had the idea to record this episode for a few days: pretty much right after the other one went live.
I did a review of one of my favourite independent albums! I want to make this a regular thing, so let me know if you have an album or piece of art available copyright free!
This is something I am horrible at.
Realize that in your writing, whether the written word or audio, you have a voice. Escaping that void is possible, but you should not be ashamed if you cannot.
It was my pleasure recording with the ~4 bands I did. I may have had a drumming “style”, but I was never boxed in by the constant repetition of one writer. That is not a bad thing, but from a drummers perspective, it can be a bit hard to grow as an artist. The coolest dichotomy that I saw was Livestalk v ACU. It was the same writer, but he was not constrained by the “punk/metal” sound we cultivated in ACU. He had taken down all constraints and, therefore, was able to flex his creative sound.
That is not even delving into his creative contribution to Slender Loris. They will probably remain one of my favourite punk bands for the rest of my life.
Voice is more personal when it comes to writing. I have read back most of my works recently. I was taken back by how similar they all felt initially. It was not until I looked at them from objectively that I noticed how different they are.
You can be too close to appreciate the things you have done. When your style is a certain way, it is easy to write-off projects as “the same”, resulting in spiraling and not producing any further.
Accept that you may have a tone or “voice” in everything you do. It doesn’t make anything new too similar to what you did prior. Look at the narrative. There is a difference between those two projects, and a successful tone should not dissuade you from doing something.
Yes, it is possible to leave your comfort zone. It is possible to create works leaving behind atribute that you have relied on forever. It could be neat! This does NOT mean your old works are shit.
Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t hate what you do if it brings you happiness today.
I DID ANOTHER ONE!
This time, I tried to express why it is important to take up a role and STICK TO IT when joining a band.
Time is a fiddly bitch. Even when I start to think I have a grasp on events, I soon realize or remember that thing that does not matter in the slightest, but changes context around the future.
What am I on about?
As people who follow me on Instagram are aware, I have charted out most of my music career. Mostly, I am content with how it all has come together. Mostly, I have an idea of the flow of things.
As I think harder about things after I have my notes “complete”, I remember little things that have no bearing. I start questioning when big events happened. Sure, I have dates for recordings and CD releases, but should I actually ignore that big showcase we did? If I do choose to talk about it, do I actually remember when it happened?
For example, I played with The Dillinger Escape Plan moderately early in The Twin’s career. Part of me wants to say that it was our fifth show, part of me just wants to refer to it as the first show in Guelph, Ontario, and yet another part of me wants to glaze over it and make it a “not a big deal” moment.
I am having a very hard time not five years. One would assume that five years is nothing in the grand scheme of things: and you would be correct in thinking so. Unfortunately, The Twin performed close to 600 shows in that span. We released 2 EPs and 2 singles. We played about 20 different venues, and that does not include doubling up on certain places.
That also ignores any additional work that I did in music over that time period. I performed on Eudimonia by Livestalk & the Bodies, did a couple shows the wind up All Cut Up, an that was all on top of going to college, dropping out of college, becoming full-time (then manager) of a local store, and still trying to maintain some semblance of a personal life.
At one point, I was doing damn near 80 hours a week trying to keep up with everything. I am not bragging, not even a humble-brag, when I say that. I was stretched so thin and I was so tired: no wonder I died!
A part of me misses aspects of being that strained. I was rarely bored. Yes, I was behind months on things that I loved, but I barely had enough time to be bothered. Now, I spend most days mapping out projects that may-or-may-not get done, writing (then deleting) my next book, and starting helplessly as my family and dogs lose their minds. All said, I probably spend 80 hours a week working on things that you will never see, now.
Fuck-knows that my bank account doesn’t feel accomplished.
This is a video from 14 years ago! LOOK AT HOW SKINNY I AM!!!!
I miss playing in this band. It was incredibly fun and formative. Not just as a musician, but as a person.
Being in a band teaches you how to interact with people. You have to get along with bandmates, you have to get along with promoters, and you have to get along with fans.
This show, in particular, predated our last album.
I find myself doing this weird deep-dive across my life where I try to pin-point my favourite year. I don’t have a reason, and rarely does it have any bearing.
I hate that I resort to when I started working at a media store. It feels like a co-out, like the only reason I pick that year is because that was the first full year that I got more exposure than ever to everything. Then, I remember how, for the first year anyway, I just filled back catalogue in both music and movies. I mean, yes: all the new music I got into was released that year.
NAME THE FUCKING YEAR JAY
K. Fine. It’s the year 2007. So many great albums came out that year. It was the last year of All Cut Up and we recorded probably the most fun EP of our three year run. The Twin started to form late that year. Livestalk & the Bodies was put into motion right at the end of the year. Battles and Dear & the Headlights recorded and released 2 of my favourite albums of all time. Not to mention the plethora of mind-bending games that came out that year like BioShock, Portal and Mass Effect: 3 series that started that year and I remained a fan for a long time.
In the movie realm, all I have to mention is Juno and point out how amazing that soundtrack was. I could go further, but that one film sums up a large part of that year for me.
Interpersonally, I flourished that year. I don’t have many interesting stories, but needless to say that I was rarely home. The shows had all but dried up that year, so it was low on the totem of personal achievements. Maybe I should take that as a note: years that I don’t achieve anything matter more? That might be complete bullshit. There is a co-relation between years where I find happiness and being comfortable artistically. From 2005 to now-ish I have done something artistically placating every year. Hell, even this year I renewed my book for a second edition that is double in length and has half as many grammatical errors.
Do you have a favourite year? Want to gloat about some achievement that you have hit and never felt like you had the praise you deserved for it? Let’s talk about it either in the comments, or hit me up on FaceBook! There is a page, if you don’t feel like seeking me out personally!
Happy new decade! Yes, I am aware that there was no year zero, thus next year is the new decade. I like 0’s, though: so you have to put up with my excitement for a bit.
This is the best “emo” album ever created, and I have no regrets saying that.
It’s a bit unfortunate that everyone just associates this album with the political climate of the early 2000’s: specifically in response to the “war on terror” and the invasion of the middle east. This album puts a spotlight on the financial situation that we are still plagued by. Everything from a priority put on finances to the abandonment of happiness in a pursuit for the advancement of financial gain.
I digress, let’s start with the music.
I don’t think I have ever found a better intro for an album. “For the Workforce, Drowning” starts this album off with seven of the most abrasive hits that have ever been composed. The entire song highlights the musical prowess of this band. Beautifully harmonized guitars, tasteful drum lines, and an almost off-key singer. I am ready to be proven wrong; but, at least from my personal plunge into music, this marks the first time a bass was used as more that just rhythm. From the 1:52 point until 2:32, the guitar takes a back seat to beautifully composed bass-lead that eases the listener from the barrage that just occurred. It only last for about 30 seconds before the slap-in-the-face that is the ending. It almost creates a false sense of calm before the climax of the chaos.
I use the first song as a kind of beautiful depiction of the album as a whole. “Sleep Ascending” starts a reprise before the brutal sincerity that is “M. Shepard” to the end of the album. This is one of the few albums in my collection where the vocals match the desperation of the music.
I feel out of my depth. I find it very hard to talk about this album without gushing about the vocals which, I have made clear, I am terrible at talking about. I’m a drummer, not a vocalist. I know enough to know that the singer is NOT a good singer. Much like The Cure, I could not fathom this band existing with a different singer.
Long story short, I love this album. Definately for fans of punk and emo from the turn of the millenium. I cannot even say that this album is musically fantastic, but I find it one of the most important releases of my life.
On a personal note, I have been let down three times by this band. Since the first Taste of Chaos Tour in 2005, they have canceled every show that I have tried to see them in. Yes, they always had valid reasons, but teenaged-Jay was disappointed anyway. If you have seen them, let me know how fantastic they were.
This review was written after a discussion with my old bass player, Caitlinn. She brought up the fact that she just found a burned copy of this album, and I reminded her that I made that for her forever ago.
I do not know how arrogant this is, but I am listening to an old album while writing my next book. I think (because I cannot bring myself to bullshit) that I am almost done: maybe just a page or two left before editing. I think I am going to name the book “it doesn’t matter” in all lowercase because I am a douche. You would think, in a time of hashtags and trending, that I would write something and name it one word to keep things easy. I am, however, convinced that the aesthetic is fantastic.
Just released the first chapter of the new book recently. I hope you like it!