The Profits of Boredom

Ironic sounding title, but I owe a huge bit of gratitude for “boredom”

I starting writing because I felt, probably unwarranted, that I had found everything that could express my views on life. When I found myself restricted to a wheelchair and, with the kind of damage to my brain that lead to epilepsy, I started to write. It started with my views and opinions based around what happened so I could become okay with it myself, because it was very unexpected. Then, I started writing to fill my time. I really do not care if other people like what I put on the screen if I am entertained by it.

Thankfully for me, there is an interested community for what I have written, and it seems to grow with every release I make. It is a kind of masturbation: a way to relieve myself of my artistic drive, now that drums and touring are no longer an option.

I recently found writings I did when I was in high school. There is one, in particular, that I plan on cleaning up and creating a narrative around. As it stands right now, it is nothing more than a snapshot of where my mind was over ten years ago. In a way, the piece was my introduction into the world of fiction writing. I remember that I just finished reading Dente’s Inferno, and I absolutely played the “I’m 18 and I am deep” card, but I still enjoy the basic premiss, and still use it as a type of template for what I write.

Now, am I still writing exactly like I was back then? Hell no. I would write simple journal entries as entities that never actually existed. Most of them are just depression fodder and fed my need to express my distaste for the world as a whole. Now, I strive to explore a side of the human psyche that may not ever get expressed. I want people to look at situations they are in and think about how, if they were a little more detached, they might react differently. I want to expose human flaws and call into question the societal norms that we all feel pressured to display.

***
So, I wrote this piece all because I was listening to the band with the greatest name of all time, “…and you will know us by the trail of dead”. I got into this band when I started working in a record shop and was looking for something new and not scream-y to put in the store payer. I did some research, and found out I could play that band with the amazing name. I was initially caught off guard with how ’90’s alternative they were. They were kind of that band I did not know I was looking for. I started with the album “Source Tags & Codes” but any album they released is joy to the ears.

Please allow my digression: I was going through all of my music when this song came up. I immediately loaded the full album and wrote this all out. My point being, music very much influences my writing style and mood.

Side note: this link is for the vinyl, and I wish I had that. If you purchase it (or already own it), let me know how amazing it is.

~PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Bree Harrison

Bree and I go back a number of years. Early me playing drums for the Twin, anyway. She was that girl with the expensive camera, pushing her way to the front of concerts, trying to get fantastic photographs of bands. She was very good at taking pictures. To my knowledge, she never monetized the practice, but she could have.

I digress.

So, as I was saying, I saw her around long before I talked to her. She started hanging out with members of my band. Me, with the license, got to know her over driving her from the concerts back to my vocalist house. She grew on me, much as a fungus would grow on a rock.

No, that analogy paints a bad picture. Let me try the metaphor again.

Her and I became quick friends. We both rarely slept, and would spend many nights exchanging solum looks while we helped people through many different stages of inebriation. We both had a similar outlook on life, friends, music, and family. I am not saying that her and I had the same woes, but we would find the same things funny.

Like Katie, I considered Bree a sister. Unlike Katie, Bree lived in the same town, and I would see her almost everyday some months.

She moved across country to BC a number of years ago. Between that event, and me getting sick, I have only seen her a couple of times in the last few years. I miss her dearly.

I also have to mention that SHE DONATED $100! I asked her swiftly if that was on purpose, she assured me that it was, though temporary as her work was seasonal.

So, I conclude with: FUCK YOU, BREE! I love you and I hope we can spend time together soon.

Thanks to her donation, the next ansP releases will be back to back months. So, to clarify, September, October, November, and December will all see releases. We’ll see what the donations are like, and I’ll see if releases continue in this pattern for the new year.

what have i done?

I have rewritten You’re Not Dead for the re-issue due this year. Friessen Press has this thing where you have to pay for re-issue for hard release every two years. I understand it, but, fuck me, is it worth it?

I’m going to go with a ‘yes’ on that question. Like I mentioned, I have rewritten much of it. Most of which was editing grammar mistakes missed by the editor. Some of it was fixing continuity. It was fucking hard having to reread bits and relive other bits. Especially because I am adding an afterwards.

To be clear, my epilepsy has been since day one in the hospital. To ignore it is to ignore part of what the story is trying to tell. The only problem is that it fucks with the timeline by several years. My initial plan was to just highlight what I went through in the ten months, but to truly tell the story I am trying to tell, I have to push everything to nearly 3 years later. I am worried that it is going to get off topic. My worst fear is that it will come off as ramble-y. Check that: more ramble-y that it already was.

Other interesting note: I am sorry to anyone who got a copy in the state that it was in. I have found so many bloody stupid mistakes that I cannot even blame on epilepsy. Mistakes like using the wrong ‘their’ or talking about hw the Hero walks to the car, opens the door, then finishes his coffee and makes his way to the car.

Yes, I know it was my first attempt at writing. I know that I have no clue what I am doing. Yet, I cannot shake the feeling that I am a COMPLETE FUCKING MORON at times.

ON A FUN SIDE-NOTE THAT FINISHING OFF CALLING MYSELF AN ILLITERATE MORON!

I started planning my second book. I had a talk with my publicist. I mentioned how I am terrible at writing one long narrative and find it much easier and I have more fun writing short 1000 word stories. He thought that I should consider releasing a book of short stories for my next project. After finding old story prompts that I wrote back in high school, I can say that I am actually excited to start a venture into this plan!

I have updated my Patreon so a small monthly donation of $5 will guarantee that every two months you will receive a PDF containing whatever I am working on next. Please, consider giving to that. It will help me feed the animals, pay my rent, and make sure this blog stays open. I would love to thank the donators I have had so far. Without them, you would not be able to see this update.

This weeks recommended listening is Chon. Lovely four-piece that combines metal and jazz. I am probably going to be yelled at for putting it that way, but I do not really know how else to describe it. Musicians will cry, everyone else will be swooned by the beautiful sounds.

update; most . of what I talk about above is no longer relevant. More news in the coming weeks

Have You Not HEARD? Part II

I realized on Thursday that this was being posted on October first. Happy spook-month, everyone!

This is a series of blog updates where I either remind you of bands you forgot, or show you things you may have never heard before. Every album listed here is one of my favourites, and I will try not to bring up duplicates from other lists I have done.

Bloc Party :: Four
This band confuses me. I am very aware that they are far from the scope of the mainstream (or, were huge at one time, anyway), but no one seems to talk about them. I have been made well aware that they are terrible on stage, but that does not change the fact that Four is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. Hard-hitting, spiteful, dark, yet beautiful.
Recommended listening — We Are Not Good People

Boards of Canada :: Music Has the Right to Children
Yes, I admit, this is a strange album that not many people would be interested in. It is electronica, but very much background ambience. Brought to you by the same record label that brought Aphex Twin and Squarepusher to the world, this exists in a kind of strange vacuum that could be considered Adult Contemporary, but it is far too strange and fantastic to be degraded in such a way. (I’m sorry if you like Adult Contemporary, just not my thing)
Recommended listening — Wildlife Analysis

Broken Social Scene :: You Forgot It In People
To set the record straight early: I really hope that no one has actually forgot this band. Seriously, when was the last time you listened to this album? Not recently enough is the answer. Interesting Canadian Pop-Rock, with an impressive collection of vocal artists and very talented musicians.
Recommended listening — K.C. Accidental

Broken Social Scene Present: Kevin Drew :: Spirit If…
Strange, honest, jangly… this album contains everything that could be considered great in the early-2000’s Canadian Indi scene. It contains one of my favourite songs ever recorded and, for the last decade since its release, I rarely go a week without treating myself to this forgotten gem.
Recommended listening — TBTF

Dear in the Headlights :: Small Steps, Heavy Hooves
I feel so badly for this band. They were released on Equal Vision in 2005 and were quickly overshadowed by the emo and hardcore movement that was taking place at that time. Ignored by the masses, the world dejected one of the most talented bands to ever grace our planet. Good from beginning to end, please do yourself a favour and give it a fair listen. Do it for you.
Recommended listening — Sweet Talk

Deathmole :: Present Peregrine
This is a fake-not-fake band. Jeph Jaques created Deathmole as a joke in a comic he writes, and then used the opportunity to flex his creative muscles musically. The result is a very interesting take on the Djent genre. As far as I am aware, the drums were all programmed. I must say, he did a fantastic job on them despite that fact.
Recommended listening — Personal Charm

Death From Above 1979 :: You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
My friend Kevo and I did a rendition of “Turn It Out” for a school pep-rally over a decade ago. The album dropped back in ’04, and I think we performed it ’05? Does anyone remember, or have a link? Was there ever a video taken of this? I would love to see it. That occasion stands as one of the first times I tried to sing and play drums: and I forgot the words half way through. It was awesome.

OH YEAH, THE ALBUM. It is Punk with just bass and drums. Hard, strangely funky, a lot of fun. I don’t put it on often, but I am always happy when I do.
Recommended listening — Turn It Out

Hot Hot Heat :: Future Breeds
Fun. Fucked. Amazing. I love this album. (I just noticed just how much of this list is Canadian, and I am far from sorry about that.) This album is a great example of what you can put in music that will annoy people, yet still do incredibly well at the end of the day. Phenomenal lyrics that hide time and key changes masterfully. Something else I feel like I should mention: the vocals are much less obnoxious than they were on earlier releases. I am not saying that they were bad, back-in-the-day, but they were grating if you could not get behind them.
(secret: if you want to see a drummer cry, get them to drum along to this album. It sounds simple, but it’s noooooot)
Recommended listening — JFK’s Acid

The (International) Noise Conspiracy :: A New Morning, Changing Weather
I will be candid here, I hate this band. In my eyes, this album was fantastic, Survival Sickness had some good tunes: THAT’S IT. You may recognize the singer as being the front man from Refused, but he does NOTHING to that caliber. Not that he should, however. This album is a strange combination of Surf-Rock and Punk: it worked once, at least.
Recommended listening — Up For Sale

Lullabye Arkestra :: Ampgrave
This band is strange. Like, proper strange. Just bass and drums (on stage, anyway), and they were very artsy. The drummer was from Do Make Say Think, and his wife was on bass. They put on one of my favourite live acts I have ever seen. It was awkward, fun, loud, and inviting: you felt like they wanted you there, and everyone else was your good friend. Really recommend listening to a few songs off this album before you jump to a conclusion.
Recommended listening — Unite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maximo Park :: A Certain Trigger
This album means more to me than it probably should. I picked it up randomly when I was still working at the music store on a whim. I was immediately caught off guard by how much I enjoyed it. It reminded me of The Smiths, without sounding anything like them. They are one of the tightest bands I have ever heard, and the lyrics are very ridiculous, but still important.

Random personal story: when I was fresh out of the coma, and finally starting to realize the world around me, I identified with the song “Apply Some Pressure” in a morbid way. Something about the way the singer keeps repeating the phrase “What happens when you loose everything? You just start again. Start all over again.” It just resonated with everything that I was and still am going through.
Recommended listening — Apply Some Pressure

(Of course, I would point out the song that keeps the album close to my heart.)

AMENDMENT TO MAXIMO PARK: After listening to “The Queen is Dead” I no longer agree with my Smiths comparison. I do hold true to the fact they sound like that era. The Smiths are their own beast, and few bands will ever be able to recreate that sound reliably.

I am not here to tell you what you need to listen to. I just simply need to remind the world of these artists and/or bands. If you do not love them, as I do, that is okay. I still want to make these exposés every once in a while. As I have stated in the past, I do aim to do a music update at least once a month. I have not done one since June 25th, and I am not proud of that. Please, share this list with your friends. Tell me if you found something awesome, or recommend something that you think I might like!

The Potential Move

Natasha and I are looking to move house. We are looking into Hamilton because we are not having a good time in Burlington. I think it is a positive move, even though I have little nice to say about that city. It is her home town, there are a lot more places to work, and the cabs are less ridiculous.

I am also starting to look for a real job. Maybe through the police in the civilian branch. I need to do something other than look after the dogs and cat all day. Mind you, I am writing another book (as stated in the text interview) and I have changed the way I am writing it. I am very excited.

Long story short, I am going to be very busy over the next month and a bit. I am also very exited for all of it. Yay, living life again!

~June :: The Worst Month

I don’t like generalizing whole months as one thing. No month is inherently bad or good. This June, however, was especially amazing in how it kick my ass, and it is not over yet.

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I had a seizure on the first and on the fourteenth. I scarred the shit out of my fiancée, and spent far too long in hospital. Never a fan of hospital stays, medication, or loosing control, I lost all independence for a total of t=24 hours collectively. Normally, this is where I say “one good thing that came about is…” but nothing good came of the event. I am fine, if you were concerned, but very embarrassed. I am actually very reluctant to even bring it up, but I started this blog with transparency in regards to my health. Therefore, seizure notice!

On the evening of the 18th, my cat (Hank) jumped from my balcony and fell seven floors. Wee spent over 12 hours trying to find him before we saw a note in the foyer talking about a small, orange body that was disposed that morning. That was devastating, as can be assured. There are a million excuses. None of them, however, bring my best friend back. I loved him. I miss him. He will forever be missed.

On a less depressing and more annoying part, I am about to celebrate one year of You’re Not Dead being released. I have only moved 95 copies (at time of writing) and I am not sure if I will sell any more this year. Thank you to anyone who bought/read it. I am just disappointed that I did not reach my goal of 100 copies sold in one year.

Eh. First world problems.