I did a vlog…

I recorded a vlog instead of (also: as well as) my usual Podcast. So, if you were ever curious about what I looked like, your welcome.

Yes, I messed up the first time and uploaded the raw file. Yes, I did spend the next four hours fixing that mistake. So, if you watched the original, that is the better one.

Self-Impose

I have given myself until May 10th to have the rough copy of my next book completed. From that day, I have given myself another 6 months (November 10th) to have the second draft completed.

Some may be confused. If I am my own boss, for the moment; why impose restrictions on yourself? Why not just ‘go-with-the-flow’ and let things be done when they are done?

It’s a fair question with a simple answer: if left to my own devices, I would never complete a creative project.

I hear the questions already.
What about the All Cut Up albums?!
I played drums and mixed them. Yes, one could argue that I co-wrote them, but I was always convinced that it was Kevo’s project first. I wanted to release the best thing I could produce for him as fast as he would be happy about it.

What about the other projects you produced?
To reiterate, they were other people’s projects. As much as I would spend hours on mixing and leveling what I could, I just had to make it sound the best that it could. In a couple of cases, that mix was found very quickly. To continue to mix would risk ruining the end result.

What about the first book?
I am going to be doing a PodCast talking about that very soon actually, but I was aided in the fact that it was based in an event. I only had so much creative control when discussing reality.

So, yes: I will have a completed version of the book by November. You have until then to support me on Patreon to ensure that you get listed at the end. Just $1 a month is all I ask!

I Crave Your Privledge

I was faced with the only phrase that rivals my hatred for the term “better” and I feel I have to rant about it in a way that I can actually say all my thoughts without being interrupted.

I have a special kind of hate when people say the words “…if I had your life I would…” because it makes NO sense. I realise that I had more avenues open to me than some, and I realise that it could be seen as I skwandard most, if not all, potential in my life. To claim that if you ‘had my life I would have…’ is incredibly short-sighted and brazen.

If you really did live the life I lived, exactly like how you are implying, then you would end up just as me. There is a reason, in every life, that everything turns out the way it does. Yes: in some situations (most situations) it is a direct result to the options you have available to you at the start. Yes, there are stories of people overcoming adversity and achieving great things, but there is a reason you know those stories: they are the outliers. They are so special that the gravity of what they imply needs to be shared with the world.

To assume I let things get away from me because I am lazy, or I messed things up, ignores any hardship that I may have faced. The statement that I did something wrong assumes that you know the working of my brain when faced with adversity.

To be clear; I am not saying that is always an excuse. I am not saying that is a full excuse for why I, for example, have been to college 3 times, university once, and don’t have a diploma or any other sort of credential to my name. That is not an excuse why I have performed on 10 recordings, yet my name is far from a household name. I have the kind of brain that holds out hope that I can do something in the arts, and the arts are one of the few industries where luck really does play a role in the way everything turns out. For instance; I have recorded at least 5 songs that I was CONVINCED should have been top ten material.

I am losing my original point. Assuming that you could have done more with someone’s life and privilege than they have IGNORES everything they may have gone through.

Hello, New Year

Hi, 2021.

I have little faith in you. 2020 was promised to be a fantastic year, and look how that turned out! I know that it is unfair to blame a man-constructed unit of time for all the failings that we experienced, but 2020 was kind of amazing. To do a rundown of all the not-goodness would take way too long, so I will just leave the note as “last year sucked” and move on from there.

Really, what we saw was mankind falling suddenly and harshly. Minus the earth quakes, everything can be easily traced back to something we did as a species. Even if it wasn’t species related directly, we saw large portions of our population for who they really are. It turns out that a large portion of us are racist, and even more are blind of fascism and hate.

There were some amazing things that came from the year, and they are easy to forget. We saw unprecedented speeds in developing a vaccine for the worst pandemic that we have seen since the Spanish Flu, though I am not saying their impact was one-for-one. We have done some amazing research into the things in our immediate biom, and continue to make massive leaps in space travel.

We have lost some amazing talent in the acting sphere. Some due to pandemic-related stuff, some not. We have seen a host of ironic deaths where the people were convinced (publicly, anyway) that they were invulnerable to the plague, then succumbed to its apathetic hands.

It is hard to do a retrospective on the year without spending a majority of time on COVID: it truly had defined the year. If it was a person, it would be very proud with the impact that it has garnered. It ALMOST over shadows the immensely important and (unfortunately, still) necessary message of black lives matter (BLM) that shook society to its core this year. We (whites) didn’t know that it needed to happen, but a large majority of us are so happy that it. brought so much to the forefront.

So, what should we expect from 2021? Are we going to be barraged by the same stuff, or will the next year actually be better?

I am taking a lesson from this year: next year will just be another in a long line of years. Do I think society will collapse, that we will finally see racial and sexual freedom on a grand scale, or environmental reform? I wish I could say we will. I do think some things will get better. I think we will start to see the impacts of the change that needed to happen. I think that the arts are fucked for the next few years, and I think the environment has passed the point-of-no-return.

Overall, I feel pretty uneasy. I would love to be proven wrong.

Please, let me be wrong.

Independent Book Sales

I have not talked much about my book in a while.

I assume that, if you are interested, you have already picked up a copy. After a conversation with a friend of mine on Twitter, I realized that I should really stop thinking that way.

So, I re-edited and re released my book back in March. I expanded it with several short stories, and moved it from 73 pages to 195 pages.

On the physical copies, I have made the cover art black with white writing, but the opposite is still true for the digital.

I have been pushing towards buying from Friessen Press for two reason: They pressed the book, so they are going to have the proper copy. AND I try to damndest to support private and independently run storefronts, whether digital or physical.

NOW, FOR SOMETHING MORE DOWER.

I know I expel the great parts about being independent often, but the bad parts are starting to become to big to handle.

Since the initial release of You’re Not Dead back in 2016, I have made a total of 832.89 in total sales. For one month, that would be decent, but we’re talking a period of over 4 years. Considering by outgoing was 4878.93, I have not even made a full quarter of my outgoing back. To top everything off, that payout doesn’t include things like web hosting, facebook ads, or physical copies to be reviewed on the international stage. The real number is closer to 6000.

Anyway, the point of this post is to ask that you at least consider looking over my book. There is a review posted on the linked page, and you all have a feeling for my writing style by now.

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.

No.

I have been stewing over this topic for days. The idea that you can do anything if you try hard enough, you can make it. I hate this concept, and I want to fight it to the best of my ability. The wall I hit, however, is that I cannot dispute the necessity of trying regardless of end position. If you work hard, you will be compensated. If you do not work hard, you will be repremanded. To assume that it just takes time and elbow greas to make it somewhere can actually be both heartbreaking, and damaging to standing in the greater endevour climate.

I spent over 10 years in bands trying my hardest to make it. There was a constant climb upwards in the scene, do not misunderstand my points, but I always put out multiple times what I made. I offset any sort of financial downfall with jobs. I did music because I loved it and needed to do something creative. I never had any illusions that I could live off of it, though it was an end goal.

That unfortunate reality goes for any artistic doing. You can try, you can succeed, and you can fail. Sometimes, all three in the same week. To assume that you are going to make it big is dangerous. It does happen, but it does not more often. There are so many things at play when considering a career in the arts, and doing one thing is often not the path to go down. To assume that if you just write that one song that everyone will love and you’ll be fine is actually a safer bet than believing that your band will do gang busters.

Another way to look at it: I was a drummer. That means, that under copyright laws in Canada for a musical composition, I had rights to the recordings of my drums. If the primary song writers could rerecord my drums without my knowledge, they could have stripped me of any financial rights. Lucky for me, I played with collections of stand-up people who never even thought of doing things like that. Instead, we kept playing. Getting gigs whenever we could, going on short tours, recording albums out of our pockets, and not eating.

10 plus years of that. Now, three years writing. No money made, but a fuck-tonne put out. That’s part of why I opened up the Patreon. just $1 a month gets you a subscription. That means you get a list of your name on this site, plus you get ansP releases about a month before anyone else in a fancy PDF! Hell, if you donate $10 a month, you get the pleasure of knowing that I consider you a fantastic human being and I will love you for a very long time! Your name gets put on the list with a little note of FANTASTIC put beside it. Even if you cancel your donation, or lower it, that denotation NEVER goes away!