…you will die.

I posed a question to my Facebook the other day: if you had to hear one song and then you died, what would it be?

I never really put any further explanation, nor have I voiced my personal choice. I was just curious how many replies I would get, and what kind of songs people would post.

I found the results of the pole confusing. Granted, I never made it explicit what the circumstances of your death would be. Maybe that is why I found the answers so confounding.

The rules are that once the song ends, you will die immediately. What I had in mind was a gunshot or massive heart attack. This would ensure that there would be no way to recover or survive, and the final song that played would follow you into the void.

I had some interesting replies. One fellow thought that he would break my game and just go with the Song that Doesn’t End (you’re welcome for that link) and from that point he would live forever. With the parameters I placed on the question, I fully understand why he went this way. To him, my official reply is: well played, sir. Well played. Enjoy that song following you around for the remainder of all time.

The other big reply that I got was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Though, that song is amazing, it is so long. You would be dwelling on the fact that you are going to die for the entire 5:55 that the song goes on for. I do not know about you, but for the almost six minuets it is playing, I would not be able to enjoy it. I would just be cringing and counting until my demise.

That is why my choice would be Mother Night Revisited by Premonitions of War. The song is stupid short (1:21) and it is busy, loud, and distracting. The cacophony it creates would drown out my thoughts of my impending demise and it ends abruptly, not giving me any time to dwell on the fact that it is ending.

Maybe I am just biased, but I want to just cease living, not contemplate my entire life throughout my favourite song.

AMENDMENT:

Well, amendment is a strong word for the situation. More like another idea, or concept, that I would like to share because it is so cool!

The album Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie is one of my favourites of all time. It is dark, cynical, honest, and beautiful. One thing that it does (in the most sneaky way) is open with a machine sound. The album plays and that machine sound seems to stop. Where it gets really cool is that the sound does not actually stop, or even change volume. The sound hovers in the back. It is not fully noticeable again until the very last song where the guitar and vocals clear for a moment to revel that it has been there the entire time. Until then, one may not notice just how invasive the sound has been through the entire album.

Then: it stops.

The album ends, therefore the sound ends. Actually, if you wish to get petty, the sound ends one second before the album does. The silence is deafening. At that moment, you are left to reminisce on every word that was sang up until that point.

I am pretty sure that it was not intentional, but it beautifully demonstrates my view on death. Everything ends abruptly and there is nothing.

Fuck, that sounds bleak.

ANYWAY: I am curious. Please, let me know in the comments what song you would like to die to immediately preceding. Do you have a reason for the choice? What is your take on my choice?

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Guess what I have been doing?

What a misleading title. It implies that I have been doing something interesting, but, alas, unless you find me rewriting You’re Not Dead interesting, you will feel cheated.

You’re Not Dead is coming up to being released two years ago in July. My contract with Friessen is up, and I am planning on doing a second release with more meat in its bones. I have already fixed two grammar and a continuity error. Both of these items embarrassed me greatly, but filled me with much rage as I had an editor who, apparently, did fuck all.

UPDATE A FEW HOURS BEFORE UPLOAD! I found a form that I misread at the time. Though it does not excuse everything, there were some ideas that I just did not take to heart at the time.

So, yes: there will be more news on that front as it cumulates.

I have also started piecing together my next release. I am planning a series of short stories bound together in one collection. My publicist thinks it a good plan, but I am curious what the general populace thinks?

Also, I know I just said something about it, but I have changed my Patreon already to make it a five dollar donation gets you whatever I am working on. I decided to lower the bar for entry simply because the releases will not be edited.

Interesting news about the week: my brother turns 28 today (the 25th)! Is that not exciting as fuck!? I know this will post a couple of days late (and I will see him before it goes live) so happy belated!

I have also found a better way of doing the “Have You Not HEARD” posts. Every blog I am going to put a song you need in your life. I will also state if the whole album is worth your time, or just that song.

This week, it was a toss-up, but I am going with my favourite music video. Listing by Minus the Bear gets the title simply because it is just so damned cute. Does not help that the song is amazing, and the whole album is a Godsend.
I digress. Jazzy, calm, amazing. Great to drum to, a lot of fun to sing with. Far from my favourite MtB song, but easily in my top ten. Please, listen and 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.

~PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Pat Hussey

TO BE CLEAR: I was informed afterwards that he and his girlfriend are both contributing, but I am too lazy to change the title.

Pat and I go back a very, very, long time. He was in a band that I played a lot of shows with when I was in All Cut Up at “The Parking Lot.”

In fact, he and I have such a long and strange story, it is hard to come up with one story about what to write.

I guess one of the more innocent things we did was that we used to go get soft drinks at a corner store between our houses, sit on parking stones, and discuss our views on society, music, and life. Yeah, that was fun! Let’s talk about that!

Oh, he was also my guitarist while I was in The Twin. I guess that was important. Especially because he, Steve and I created that band out of random jams we had for about five years prior to actually creating the band. It was interesting because we all came from very different influences, but had a mutual respect (mostly) for what everyone was into.

To keep on topic, the first time he came over after I got out of hospital was awkward and hilarious. He came walking into my parents living room about one week after I finally got out of hospital. In a thunderous voice, I said “Well looks who’s finally coming in here- showing off their two legs. Walking and shit.”

Though he laughed, I did not hear from him the next couple of days. I assumed that I offended him in some way- as if he did not know my horrible sense of humour. When I did get through finally, I found out that he had been horribly busy and the furthest thing from offended. In fact: he barely heard what I said. Jokes on me, I guess.

I digress. Pat is one of the few people who understands me on several levels, even though he is somewhat an enigma to me after all of these years.

I have rambled on about him and completely avoided talking about Becca. She is lovely, but I do not have any interesting or hilarious stories about her. Yet.

What I can say is that I have known her for a very long time and I hope that, someday, we will have some sort of interesting story to tell. Maybe something involving offending old people, or tackling people, or making really crude cripple jokes at my expense.

SIDE NOTE; He mentioned the story about dragons, so now I will launch into something completely fictional because I really want to.

It was cold. The trees were all still, as if they were anticipating something. Pat lay in wait for the serpent to fly overhead. It was the season that they were waking from a six month slumber.

“I trained for this…” He repeated this line over and over to himself, trying to psych himself for the task of defence that he has accepted. He knew that he would either survive the onslaught, or die in an anonymous blaze. Other than the other guard, no one knew that he was outside the city boarders.

He blew into his hands, praying that his breath would be enough to warm his hands. His sword was leaning up against the trunk of a tree, ready for a quick retrieval if one was needed. His armour was little more than leather, hastily strewn across his body. He hoped that it would be enough.

Suddenly, the wind picked up. He could hear a low groan pass over the land he was in. A sound similar to a drum being beaten could be heard in the background. It was coming.

Pat grabbed for his sword, checked over his body for weak points, and moved into what he thought was a fighting position. He was far from trained for this; he was far from ready. He had started to sweat though he was chilled to the bone.

The cries become louder and Pat starts to feel his heart racing. He tries to keep his breathing slow, but he can feel his body reject the very notion. He wants to panic. He needs to panic. He will not let it happen.

With a mighty crash, the dragon lands not two hundred feet from Pat. He readies his blade and lets out a mighty scream.

Pat starts to sprint.

DONATE TO MY PATREON AND REQUEST MORE IF YOU WANT MORE

Another Top 10

I awoke this morning with lyrics in my head. I assume that is not strange for the masses, but I am a drummer: I usually do not remember lyrics because I am distracted by the music. I had this urge to highlight songs that actually mean something to me, so here are the top 10. I know that I have done something like this before, but I am going to point out the songs that mean something to me, not the albums. This list contains tracks from albums that would never touch a top ten, and there are one or two that I only listen to the album for that song.

I reiterate: I am a drummer. A couple of these songs are just on this list because the drums are so fucking cool. In the interest of transparency, I will point that out when it comes to fruition.

Animals as Leaders- CAFO
Let’s start with one where the drums sold me on the very premiss. CAFO is easily one of those complicated songs I have ever heard. I think why I put this on my top ten as opposed to something from Godspeed You! Black Emperor is because it remains one of my favourite memories. I saw this back open for BTBM a few years ago. They were playing a flawless set, then they got to this song. The drummer added just ONE snare hit before a fairly easy part (compared to the rest of the song, anyway), and the guitar players got SO lost. It was just so fantastic to see that even Gods can fuck something up.

Samsaris- Góða Tungl
No, I cannot pronounce this title to save my life. I can, however, proudly put it in my top list. This song is absolutely beautiful. There is something incredibly haunting about the clarinet in contrast with the vocals. This song speaks to me on every level, though I have no clue what they are saying.
I refuse to look up a translation. I am afraid of hating what they are actually saying.

Blood Brothers- Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck
A rather bleak way of describing eternal love and blind devotion, I first heard this song around a time when I thought I was in love with a girl. In hindsight, she was horrible. I know she does not read this blog (because we hate each other now) but, this song is for you.
Love love love love love love love. (rhymes with pity now)

Kevin Drew- TBTF
There was a time I almost got those four letters tattooed on my person: TBTF (to beautiful to fuck) is a story about love. Innocent love. A desperate person holding onto the relationship they have with a friend who is attractive.
ALTERNATE MEANING:
Someone who is rejecting someone they should be interested in, but they cannot justify it.
To be honest, I have no fucking idea what this song is about. I just know that I love it and relate far too much to it. Because I am oblivious to what it is actually about, I use it to rationalize uncomfortable situations I found myself in with friends.

The Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism
Piano and drums? Yes, please! Is it to bold to ask for sarcastic and self deprecation on the side? No? Perfect.
I play. This whole album is amazing, but I think that it is perfectly summed up by this track. Fast. Angry. Dynamic.

Incubus- A Crow Left Of the Murder
Puns in the name and probably the coolest guitar riff ever written by a band, it is easy for me to talk about how much I love this song. The more interesting way to do it is to leave the link up top and see how many of you listen to it.

Placebo- Without You I’m Nothing
Think Pink Floyd, but modern. I almost put the version with David Bowie on this list, but the original will do beautifully.

Nine Inch Nails- La Mer
I fucking love this song. Soothing, beautiful, haunting. The trifecta of amazing. I actually refuse to look up the translation for this song for fear of ruining the feel of it.

Poison the Well- The Realist
Does this song demonstrate everything I love about this band? No. It does the opposite. This song contains the most beautiful vocal melody I think I have ever heard and I just need to share it with everyone I meet. Listen. Enjoy.

Sufjan Stevens- I Want To Be Well
This was the song that actually inspired me to make this list. I fell in love with this song back when the album came out in 2010. I was working in a record store and was trying desperately to be the cool-indi-music-guy (and failing very hard at it). I had gotten into Sufjan about a year earlier from the Illinoise album, and I thought I got where he was coming from. The Age Of Adz proved to me that I should shut up and admit that I do not understand anything about music what-so-ever.
This song was my anthem. When I was cruising around at three in the morning, I would blare this song out my windows, singing along and staining my voice. I am positive that I disturbed a few sleeping people, but I was earnestly saying those words in all their glory. “I want to be well.” If I only knew then that not five years later I could relate more those words than I did at the time. If I only focused on what I had and not what I was loosing. Maybe, just maybe, things all could have been amazing.

I digress. Do yourself a favour and PLEASE listen to these songs. Especially the last one, it holds a place in my life that only I know of.

To state again: these are just 10 that remind me to listen to the whole album again. They are in no way my top favourite albums, and not even the top recommendations I could make. They are just some great songs that I find myself thinking about a lot.

Ignorable

I am terrible. In the last post, I promised something about winterizing a wheelchair (or something like that). I have not even looked into the research for that. I have been distracted by Caddicarus posting his complete collections of seasons. I am a nerd. I am well aware of that.

I have thought about looking at Media’s portrayal of being in a wheelchair. I really like the idea, but I just thought of it today and I am planning to put a good bit of research into it. So, for today, I am going to talk about the importance of finding good ignorable music.

Good Ignorable Music? If something is ignorable, does it really matter the quality? If it is good, wont you be distracted by the amazing radiating from the speakers?

Ignorable music, to me, is comfort music. It is something you can have on in the background. Something to do chores to. Something to enjoy, without the urge to listen to every beat or lyric.

My go-to is Chevelle’s Sci-Fi Crimes. I think it was horribly underrated and I feel it is not talked about enough. With all the praise I can give this album, it is the definition of ignorable to me. Nothing is overtly complicated, I have listen to it a million times, and the lyrics are pointless in a good way.

I discovered this while doing dishes the other day and the sounds of this album were penetrating the drone of the running water. I never once looked up and regretting not hearing part X of the song that was playing. Quite the opposite, really: I knew every bit even if I could just hear certain frequencies individually and not as a whole.

Nothing bothers me more than walking in somewhere playing shit music and the people just remark “I put on something to ignore.” IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HORRIBLE! You can ignore favourites simply because you already know what is coming.

</rant>

~Late blog filler

Hi! I forgot to finish writing the post I intended for tomorrow, and I forgot that I had nothing finished in time. Please allow this post as filler.

I have had a busy couple of weeks. I started reading and re-writing parts of my next book. Hopefully, I will have the fix done in the next couple of days.

I also got a new air cushion for my wheelchair! The basic layout of my seat is four air chambers all with thin wall between them. My last seat had a hole (or something) in the back-right section. They are notorious of falling apart after two years, so I was not surprised. It is kind of strange, I can go days without having to fill it again! How will I ever get my exercise now?!

My mother-in-law is not doing well. I really hope that I do not have to wish her a peaceful rest in the near future. My wife is very stressed, but is handling the situation with incredible grace. I do not envy her position, and I wish her entire family my condolences in this difficult time.

On the obsessive music front: I remembered that I had the Juno soundtrack! I am actually embarrassed how long it has been since I listed to any of these songs. I you know the soundtrack, you are already well aware of how interesting it is. I will not say it is horribly diverse, all of the songs follow a theme, but I will point out how it scratches an itch. It is rare that you can find an album where all the songs share a mood. It is even more rare that you can find a compilation where ever song on a soundtrack scratches the itch for different, yet mature, sounding music.

Or, I am horribly wrong.

YAY!

Oh! Please consider donating to my Patreon. It can be as cheap, or as expensive, as you wish! I am tossing around reading You’re Not Dead on YouTube as a collection of videos. Let me know if you would be interested in that.

-end of rambling-

How to define amazing.

Hi! Happy New Year! I hope that this year sucks less!

That’s right! My first post of 2018 is going to be about music! I feel like it has been a long time

I found myself deep in contemplation about what makes an album “the best” in my mind. Was it that every song is fantastic? Is it just that I really enjoy the feeling that the album leaves me? Is it repetition? Timing? Singles? Not the singles?

As I write this, I am listening to Mudvayne. Specifically, the end of all things to come. I love this album, and have since its release back in 2002. 16 years of pleasure? One would be forgiven in believing that it is a favourite. Not one song is of lesser quality, minus the last song, and the tone is the brilliant oppressive feel that I look for in so many things. The lyrics, which I usually do not pay any head, are fantastic. I can confidently say that it does not even enter into the top five.

Of course, surprise to no one, Cursive’s Domestica and Bibio’s Ambivilance Avenue will always hold the top two spots. I really cannot choose which of those two win the battle.

Why those two? They both speak to me on both an artistic level and a personal level. Both albums forgo traditional focus in their own ways. Cursive in its deconstruction and self-depreciation. Bibio in its adaption and twist on contemporary and modern music.

Now, why do those albums win above something like Melody’s Echo Chamber? You see, an argument could be made that this versus Bibio would expose how a whole genre similarity and demonstrate how different artist could tamper with music tropes to create something different but similar but fantastically unique. My arguments over why Bibio is fantastic could be applied to why Melody’s Echo Chamber (2012) is better in someways. In fact, it would be hard to have one without the other.

I believe the difference comes down to a lack of disappointment, but in a very strange way. Bibio released, following Ambivilace Avenue, what I consider to be two of the worst albums. They had a lot to live up to, granted, but they fell flat in every respect. I have only heard the first release of Melody’s Echo Chamber. Melody Prichard has an album coming up this year, and we will see if Bibio gets dethroned, but the lack of releases makes me forget about this album. I look at my list of Bibio currently, and remember how far he has fallen. I realize that is a strange way to quantify my love for AA (I am sick of my computer saying that I spelt everything wrong, so AA it is) but that is the way I do it.

Cursive’s Domestica is much clearer why I love. Yes, Sparta’s Wiretap Scars is very similar in the feel. That album is also very close to being in this internal debate. What it lacks is the honesty and the brutal self-actualization that Cursive brings. One listen to Radiator Hums and you will understand what I am talking about.

Although, I will concede to Wiretap Scars having the best ending of any album ever.

Well! That was a much needed ramble! This debate had been going on in my mind, so I though that I would write this without any planning or debating. I hope you enjoyed my recap for 2017 (AKA: the worst year I have lived in my life so far). I have an idea to talk about winterizing wheelchairs for this, the season to stay inside with coffee. I hope that I can string that together and get it to you by next week.

Also, I am financially fucked. Please consider donating to my Patreon to help me keep this site open for another year, I would really appreciate it. Remember, just $2 and I will post about how we have met, OR, I will post a story about dragons. Really, it is up to you, but I thank you for reading this far regardless.

2017

So long, you fucking year. I have had enough of you, and I have never had such ill will towards a year. Even the almost-year I spent in hospital was better than this one, on a political level.

I got married: that was the ONLY good part. Calling it a good part seems like a mild understatement.

So, yes: some of you know that I have been working on my next book. I am pretty sure I mentioned it somewhere in here (here being on this site) and it is going very well. I feel like I am getting close to the end of the first draft, though I am aware that I need to make a few tweeks and additions here and there. Some people have been fantastic enough to read it over and give me opinions. The overall verdict seems to be positive. Either that, or people are just afraid to say ‘give up and get a real job, cripple!’

Overall, I have put about 100 hours into writing so far. I have found old ideas buried deep on my hard drive that I am planning to flush out for the one after. That’s right: I am already planning the book after. Deal with it.

The one thing I am nervous about is my transitions in this new work are harsh, but they are meant to be. I like the sudden change in tone that I have achieved thus far, but I am afraid that, without explanation, it will be too jarring for readers. With that said, the few people that have read it over so far do not complain about that. I am being reminded over and over again that my spelling and grammar could be better. I think I speel well enough, but its hards to edits your own werk.

<insert crowd laughter here>

Other good things that happened this year include: me hitting 100 sales of You’re Not Dead (I really did not think that would happen) and the ten years since my last All Cut Up album came out. I feel that it is the most complicated recording I have made. (over the years, I have seen to have lost the album art. Anyone, for some reason, have it?)

So, let’s recap the good. Got Married, my first album reached the level of being retro, and I did better than I planned and independently selling my first book.

Now, the shitty things.

My best friend (Hank the cat) fell to his death in June.
I wound up in hospital on two occasions following two devastating seizures, the result of which was me being diagnosed as epileptic.
I hit rock-bottom financially and will have to declare bankruptcy in the new year.
Though not bad, music this year did not excite me like it did the year prior.
Willow (my new cat) climbs and destroys everything, thus Christmas will be without a tree this year if my wife and I cannot figure something out (I am writing this on the 19th and, therefore, do not know what is coming up for the season).

There are many more shit things, but even writing this is depressing the fuck out of me. I will schedule this for the last day of this year.

On the music note, I did not even pick up 10 albums that came out this year to make a top 10. I do not even have a 25 most listened to on iTunes because I played the same few songs over and over, and always listened to the whole album. (My list goes Braid, Braid, Braid, Cursive, Cursive, Gorillaz, Braid…)

OH YEAH! I started my Patreon back up recently. Please consider donating something. Also, I noticed that I have offered writing a story about combating dragons for donators who give $2 or more. I have not decided if that will be fighting against dragons, or dragons who fight. Write me and leave an idea of which direction I should go.