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.
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.
I usually take off the Christmas season because I do not want to bother everyone with depression and philosophical arguments for why life is both tragic and amazing, but I feel like writing something. In spirit of not doing what I normally do, I want to highlight probably the most technical, and brutal, album in my collection. No, it’s not death metal, and I am sure that someone would argue that I have heavier and more technical, but I still feel like this album needs more attention.
After the Burial have done a lot more than I have. I think they are kind of amazing, and I do not see enough love for this group. It is probably because they are in the “scene” part of music, somehow. i will never understand how that could be.
The first track is the most brilliant introduction for this band. Berzerker opens with a blistering dueling guitar riff that would make Van Halen’s jaw drop. From that point, it’s nothing but the most orchestrated chaos for the next 5:30.
I am proud to say that I figured out the drums in this song at the pique of my abilities, but that was after many hours of failing. I probably never figured them out perfectly, but even the version I had crafted was close enough to be nearly as impressive.
The song has an amazing ‘bop’ to it. Starting around the 2:50 mark, the swing being demonstrated will get even the most ardent haters of this band to tap a toe. That goes on for about 30 seconds, before the heaviest bits.
After a beautifully crafted flourish on guitar, a devastating breakdown that does not follow any conventional musical crafting. Then. a reprise of the first bit of the song before quite literal chaos reigns over the last minute.
Fuck, that’s only song one and I have already written that much. I will not be writing about the rest of the album, but that first track is a great example for the ear-bleedingly good time you are in for.
No, this album is not for everyone. It is a perfect example of what conventional metal can do. It is heavy. It is technical. It is brutal and loud. I never have to put my headphones too loud to enjoy the sounds. I mean, I DO crank the volume, but I don’t have to.
I don’t give enough attention to the bass, but this video gives an idea of the musicianship portrayed in this song. Please, watch and enjoy. (There are no vocals, so go this route if you do not wish someone screaming at you)
Before I started writing this, I had assumed that this band was a five-piece. The “dueling guitar” that I mentioned, is done by one guy. Fuck me, this band somehow got MORE amazing.
This is just conjecture. I need to make that clear before people rip me apart for voicing my opinion on the song asking for studies or facts around what I say.
People always seem to point out that this song is promoting rape and rape culture. Then, out come the ravenous defenders of “classic” holiday songs to proclaim how the song was never intended to reflect that sentiment.
Am I here to say that either side is right or wrong? Well, I am neither educated enough or vested in the battle to say either way. I do have a point that I am going to dive into, but I am not going to say either side is correct or wrong.
The song was intended as an innocent exclamation of feelings. It is meant to be “cute”, and is not intended to support an abhorrent behavior type.
To state that someone should not feel that way about the lyrical content about that song is a bit deaf to their opinion.
Let me explain in harsh terms. Trigger warning, by the way. I am going to talk about sexual exploitation and taking advantage of gender-roles.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The song talks about a woman being trapped in a house by the weather, and a man trying to convince her that it is way too hazardous to venture into the cold. If taken on face value, it can already be disseminated into two camps: either the man is actually caring and stating that IN HER BEST INTEREST, she should stick around until it is safe for her to go into the night. OR: the man is trying to coax the woman into staying because she wants to sleep with him (in his mind).
The issue, as I see it, is that it sounds patriarchal. It sounds almost creepy and forceful. He speaks, at length, how it’s dangerous. Being the listener, the only side you hear is his. One would be forgiven in thinking that he is exaggerating the state of the weather for nefarious means.
The other way to see it is that he actually has the woman’s interest at heart. He does not want anything bad to happen to her and, therefore, very much intends to keep her safe.
To shoot down either interpretation someone displays assumes history. Maybe, the person crying rape is someone who has actually been through something similar. Maybe, they are just projecting. Projecting does not make their feelings surrounding the song less important to consider. All because someone does not agree with your perspective does not make them wrong.
If a song or situation makes someone uncomfortable, do whatever is in your power (or whatever is needed of you) to fix it. If you do not have any control, listen with a compassionate ear.
On the other side of things, if you think the song is about unsavoury things, do not be a dick about it. If you’re in a store and it comes on the speaker, the employee helping you probably has no way of changing the music. Your friends have no way of doing anything about it. Hell, in big-box store like Walmart, even the managers have no way of changing it.
What you can do is voice your opinion calmly. Yes, the song has become more and more problematic. Ideally, it would just be stricken from playlists and be left to vanish in the annals of history. Yes, you are aloud to be upset about it. However, if you are sitting on your social media of choice and someone mentions to someone who isn’t you how they like that song, let them be. They are allowed to their opinion as much as you are yours. People like things other people don’t all of the time, it’s not going to make rape or sexual exploitation okay all because that song exists.
If you are assuming that this is justification for your actions, you’re a parasite on this realm.
Unfortunately, we cannot punish the past for their exploitative actions. We live in a world where the horrible things of the past are almost celebrated in today’s day-to-day. All we can do is try to survive, and try to make everything as palatable for those around us.
Words to live by — Don’t be a dick. Love other people.
I hope this is a good idea: I have this thought that talking about mental stress, in any capacity, is a good thing. If I am wrong, I will pull this down.
My thought process is that more conversation about anyone with mental issues will help everyone who deals with them on some level.
I have, for a very long time, dealt with my own mortality. I actually feel guilt for being alive.
Now, that does not imply that I am depressed. I actually feel this way whether I am having a good day or not. I am constantly thinking about how I am squandering aspect of life, even when I am doing everything right. I have released more albums in a period of 10 years than most people will in their entire lives. I have written a book. I do a PodCast, and I have produced a number of songs. I am married to an amazing woman. I have three beautiful dogs, and a cat that is amazing. Even this blog could be seen as an accomplishment, though even on paper, I don’t see it as anything special.
I feel constantly hounded by the fact that I am heavily in debt. Things I do don’t get the attention that I think they should. A large part of that is my examples are ludacris to live up to. I have constant reminders from other YouTube personalities, musicians, and writers who have great success and reach limits unheard of by history.
The biggest component is my health status. I get daily reminders that I am not walking. A close relationship tells me often how my seizures are self inflicted, and I believe it even though I know that they are not.
I am trying, but I feel as though that I have done this all to myself. I then start to feel horrible because there are people (friends and otherwise) who have died before they could do anything eternal. I feel as though the system wasting it’s time on me is for not. I am literally living my life because other people want me to for them.
That is something never talked about: how we don’t get reprise from life. Even on a day off, we have to make sure that we do X and Y for ourselves so we can get back to doing things to “better” humanity. It does not help that, because I am over 30 years old, I have signed a collection of confidentiality agreements to prevent my doctors explaining certain things to family and friends.
Couple this exhaustion from life with my disdain for existence, and I am having a hard time. I AM NOT DEPRESSED, but I am feeling trapped and pulled thin. I make morbid jokes because I find them hilarious. I talk about killing myself, NOT AS A CRY FOR HELP, as a way to express emotions at that time and date.
I tell everyone that I love them, because I genuinely do. I am going to start signing off every PodCast with “I love you” because I don’t hear that being uttered enough.
I know I said that I am taking a break, but I really needed to get that out.
I love you.
I have an actual delema that I have faced for the last little while, but I have not voiced it (to my memory). This year, on the twelfth, I turn 32. The last time I flatlined was seven years ago on the twelfth. So, my issue is simple: am I 32? Or should I go by the more morbid timestamp of 7?
I mean, I say morbid, but that implies that I have reservations about that fact. I died. I’m okay. I would say that it’s common, that everyone goes through that. I am not sure that is the case, however. Neither of my parents or my brother have. In fact, I only know of a handful that have the ability to say that they have ever flatlined in their life.
Let’s go over the horribly happy list of me not dying! (keep in mind, this is just what I have been told.)
– I was born not breathing and didn’t for a full minute after being born.
– I apparently died on my way from Brantford to Toronto.
– I died on my birthday when I was in hospital.
Now: should I be more disturbed at this list than I am? No, I don’t think so. I would make a sash and have them as badges if I could. Scream at me for being fucked if you want, but I take a great deal of satisfaction that I have the tenacity to survive all of this. I just feel bad for every person reading this right now: you have to deal with me for a long time.
Now, do I want to push my luck? Do I have a great deal of disrespect for mortality now? Do I view myself as immortal?
No. If anything, I am a bit more paranoid of certain events now.
I wonder if I have literally pushed my body through what I have left. Maybe, next time I won’t wake back up. Or, I’ll reach my final form of a potato? I have no idea.
My external hard drive dropped off my desk today. It died, and all my music was on there. So, that’s approximately one terabyte of audio gone. I am not happy about it, obviously.
It’s not news that I usually hate not having physical forms, but what I don’t advertise is that I have a love for my library of digital audio. There is something nice about having all of the music I enjoy at my fingertips.
As far as I can tell, the files are still there. I just need to bring the device somewhere to have them extracted. So, I guess it’s not all horrible. It’s just inconvenient.
BITCH BITCH WHINE WHINE.
How are you?
The strangest thing has happened over and over again.
I will post something: a picture, a status, a video. Someone will post a comment asking if I am able to do X now, or if I am “better”, or something to that effect, and imediatly people start telling me that I’m okay and shouldn’t be too down on myself.
I am NOT cursing those people out. I am not shaming them for trying to get ahead of negative thoughts or actions. I am NOT ungreatfull for the kind words that are never rude.
I am mildly worried that people think that I am having a harder time than I really am.
I want to make it as clear as I can: I am okay. I am doing things to improve my life day by day, but I am very aware of what I will never be able to do again. I sustained brain damage thanks to the surgeries to save my life, so I will probably never be able to drive again. As far as walking goes, I am making strides in other parts of my body which prove to me that I have not strengthened the muscles I need to walk yet. Muscles like the ones at the sides of my core, for instance. I did some bending the other day, and noticed the struggles I was having to bring my torso back to centre. I have been doing not–sit-ups since, and have noticed a tonne of new advancements in other areas.
My current mental slippage has little to do with my physical being. A Millenial struggling with the economy, politics, and disability in society? Weird! Never would have figured myself someone with a cause, but here we are. Thirty-almost-two and still figuring out shit.
I have my next PodCast half-scripted, and I hope to record it soon. I also made a huge mistake in my next book, but have since found a way to use it to my advantage (I think…). I hope to have that part all settled in the next month or two. In the meantime, I will just keep myself sane by listening to old favourite songs, watching stupid videos online, and writing my thoughts out to the aether.
So that break was not as long or as dire as I thought it was going to be. I moved, yet again, and did not have my computer monitor for a very long time. My dad wanted me to use a TV as a monitor, but I explained to him that the brain damage I have is on my optic nerve and I cannot focus on a screen that big. He understood; and after almost a week of searching through boxes, as well as literally building parts of the house, we found it! Now I can regale you with tales from the parts of Ontario that people don’t even drive through!
I have been holding back a little bit: I still have to finalize some bits for health care, and I alluded to the fact that I have not written anything for the last week. The health care stuff I am in a bit of a holding pattern until tomorrow (the 20th of October) because I have a meeting with a social worker. I want to see if I can figure out some personal stuff before I start sweating the little things I.E. my health. I am greatly excited to see if I can do some sort of non-profit stuff out this way, as I might be the only 30 year old in a wheelchair who hasn’t lost a limb. My unease in saying that dictates how hidden that issue is, and I am very excited to explore and assist where I can.
As far as music and I go, I think we part ways for now. At least until I get a more reliable and faster internet connection. The fact that my upload speed is under 3mb/s is mildly embarrassing. Yes, download speeds are a bit better, but I have scripts and recorded dialogue and audio-fun that I want to share with the world! At least we have something here.
I am going to start this of with a warning. I don’t plan on getting too dower or bleak, but this is a very triggering topic for some. If you are someone who has a tendency to get upset by talk of suicide, depression, or the state of the world, consider this a warning and remember that I love you. Call a help-line, talk to a psychiatrist, or get hold of a friend. You can even just leave a comment with a statement as simple as “help” and I will make sure to reach out.
Also, this is not a request for help. This is not a sign of warning, nor is it an answer. It’s more of a series of ideas and questions posed as a blog. I am not an expert, and I do not pretend to be. Again, resources are available if you need them. The one thing I am very passionate about is that talking to someone is, not just a step, the best step. That includes morons, like me, on the internet with too much time on their hands.
Okay. You have been warned. This is the last line that I will post before launching into my thoughts. I promise you that they will be upsetting to someone, and I refuse to be sorry for them.
If you couldn’t tell from that 3 paragraph intro, I have a lot of thoughts on depression, suicide, and mental health in general. Again: I am the furthest thing from a professional, and I have never been diagnosed as depressed. If that is a deal breaker for you, have a good day.
When I say that I have never been diagnosed with depression, I mean that in the most clinical definition. Am I depressed? Almost definitely on paper. The thing that keeps me from confirming the suspicion I have of depression is a sense of irony. It would almost be too perfect if I am depressed because my outlook on life is so bleak. I don’t care what happens after I die; I am dead. I cannot believe in an afterlife no matter how hard I try. I guess one could argue that I lead a hedonistic life, but that term seems too definite to me.
If I refuse to define my life as headonistic, how do I define it?
Well, I would say that I live a life of insecurity and stats. I obsessively watch things like YouTube subscriptions, video view numbers, stats of interactions with Twitter, and fancounts on FaceBook. I will spend the next week obsessing over the engagement that this post receives, as I have with every post I have made to this site over the last five years. The first AND last thing I do in a day is look at book sales, which haven’t shown a single number in three months at this point.
I have tied my worth as a human being to a series of number and engagement ratings. I hide my personality behind paywalls and am constantly disappointed with how poorly I am doing according to the numbers today, as opposed to seeing how they may have increased over the last year. The other day, I noticed that I lost two followers on my Twitter a month ago (the one stat I don’t keep up with) and spent hours re-reading the 40 or so posts I have made since they vanished to see what I might have done wrong. Damn, there is a chance that they were never real people. Alternatively, there is a chance that they WERE real people that realised how pointless Twitter is and disabled their account to go do something cool, like eat a sandwich.
I have a hard time disassociating likes, followers, and view numbers from accomplishment. I should be proud of the fact that I have 10ish releases of music and a book under my belt, but I find myself hung up on how I am very broke, rely on family and friends, and am very broke. Ironically, money is something that I cannot attach myself to. I have had the same Patrons forever. I appreciate them very much, but I don’t plug or push donating to that because I am trying to make stuff without relying on that. Even though I do have three dogs and a cat that would like to be fed.
So far, I know that this post has seemed like waffling. Those opening paragraphs seem like nothing more than fodder to keep the morbid few reading further into this post, but I swear there is a point to all of this. I cannot talk about my own mental shortcomings without defining where my head is at the point.
Back to my point of “who cares what happens after you die?” That is actually something I have been struggling with a lot as of late. Therefor. I have very little regard for life. I cannot find a reason to care about what happens after I die. If my identity gets taken, if my book gets plagiarized, if my unreleased work gets finished by someone else and published under their name: I will be dead and therefore cannot reap any benefit or dismay that it might generate. If anything, I do not have to deal with the fallout and heartbreak of it not going as well as I think it should.
So, if I have this very “selfish” view on life; why keep going? If I am so convinced that there will be no repercussion that I have to deal with, why even risk the heartbreak? I should be willing to take my own life. I should be already dead. I should die quietly and make sure that I go in a quiet manner to make sure that I matter as little in death as I did in life.
I’m curious about what tomorrow brings. I’m curious about what I can accomplish. I’m curious about what my friends will do, and if the things I have (or my friends have) done will matter in the long run.
If you can’t find reason to live, just remember that the reason could be as simple as what the butterfly effect might bring in the next moment.
That might sound stupid, juvenile, or even selfish; but it helps me see tomorrow. Yes; I have a wife that I love very much. Yes; I have my family, friends, and possible prospects in writing. Yes; I have a small collection of people that might read this line. I love all of you very much, and I appreciate you coming to my articles. I know that I have been a bit more rambly as of late, and much less directed. I am sorry for that, but please remember that I appreciate you.
I started writing a piece about optimism and pessimism the other day, and it got me asking whether or not I even have happy music in my 36-day-long collection of songs.
Knowing that I could never go through all 36 days worth of music, I pulled a few that may or may not be happy.
Dresden Dolls — Good Day
I know it seems like I picked this song based on name alone. It took me a couple of listens to figure out whether or not it is actually happy, however. I kind of feel that it is more cynical than not happy? If that makes sense? It is basically an anthem about how strong someone is in the face of a brutal breakup that would potentially render someone uncontrollably depressed. So, a final verdict? If we are going on the A) B) options I have given myself, I would have to say happy.
Deftones — Teenager
Very symbolic, and alludes to tragedy instead of happiness. It is a song that seems to be about moving past pain and abandonment. To say that it’s pessimistic is undermining potential readings of what the poetry of this piece could be.
Deer & the Headlights — Sweet Talk
I fucking love this song. Not happy at all, and does not even pretend to be. Musically, it could be argued that it sounds “boppy” and aloof. The heartwrenching lyrics are about seeing an ex with a new lover for the first time since you separated. Juvenile? Very much, but a very relatable situation for most of us. What holds this song apart from most in the pessimism group is that it doesn’t really give the listener any sort of reprise, or even an alternate way of looking at the situation. Can I call it happy? Hell no.
Cursive — From The Hips
The most cynical song I think I have come across in my life. It is trying to make an argument that the pinnacle of human interaction is sex. The singer alludes to the idea that sex is the only time we are all truly honest and without alternative motives.
Braid — Do You Like Coffee?
I may be biased by my love for the black substance that is the subject of this song, but I would confidently put this in “optimism” pool. The song tells a tale about seeing someone for the first time in a long time. It could been seen as bitter-sweet, but still optimistic.
Livestalk & the Bodies — Pourvous
I actually forgot about this one until I asked a friend of mine about what they would recommend. I’ll probably get to their suggestion, but I want to point out the irony that one of, if not my absolute favourite song that I played on is incredibly happy-bordering-on-cute. (Don’t tell Kevo I called it cute). A song of love, confessing all manners of appreciation for all parts of the narrator’s partener. Plus, this song has the most amazing piano line written and did I mention that I love it and I played on it and I didn’t write the drum line but I wish I did am I rambling without punctuation I am so sorry.
Broken Bells — The High Road
As a fan of the bands The Shins, of course I came across this gem. The best parts of Danger Mouse cira 2010, and released just before Modern Guilt by Beck, this album combines and jangly guitar that The Shins were known for, and the trip-hop grooves that Danger Mouse produces so well. The name, and parts of the lyrics, lead one to believe that it is going to be a happy song. When you really listen to it, however, you notice that it is about someone burning out after living a great life. So, as most of the other songs on this list: cynical, at best.
The Fratellis — Flathead
EVERYBODY DANCE! FEEL HOW GREAT THE GROOVE IS! BEAT THE PISS OUT OF EVERYONE!
*ahem* This song is great. I will never get a bigger smile on my face than when I’m analyzing this one, but it hides a dark secret behind the bombastic chorus’ and bigger-than-life transitions. It’s alluding to the idea that people are two-faced at best, and horribly spoken about at worst.
The Junction — Untitled (Revised)
This song is not a great example of the album, but it remains one of my favourite pop songs of all time. I have a very hard time deciphering lyrics at the best of times, and this song is a whearwind of metaphors and complicated prose. I THINK that it’s happier than most, even though if fits very nicely in a dark sounding chasm.
The Tokyo Police Club — Bambi
This song is a coating of blunt opinions and a harsh tone over joyous celebration of youth. Maybe I am biased because of the fantastic keyboards coupled with how happy the keyboard player looked while they performed this one day, but I will forever see this as an optimistic song.
WHAT IS MY CONCLUSION? Happy lyrics are possible. Non-cynical lyrics are possible. Music is an expression of the musician’s soul, and it is easier to dwell on the horrible rather than the best of times. Hell, that Livestalk & the Bodies song is the only one out of the full album of fifteen that might be mostly unhappy.
Now, all of this conjecture is just that. I admit that I am horrible with figuring out lyrics meaning on the best of days. There are probably of happy songs. Hell, I didn’t touch ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky, Of Montreal’s entire catalogue, or C + C by Tom Vek.