Cyclical

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It’s actually been awhile since I’ve been ensconced in music so (and since I did a post on here, apparently!) Blaring it from my speakers endlessly, at home and over headphones alike. Thankfully no complaints yet from my old-lady neighbors. Let’s hope it stays that way! In response to my laments in my old post; no I can’t keep up with the kids anymore. I have to have a whole regimen in place and be careful and pay the price, yadda-yadda-yadda says Elaine. But just because you can’t keep up like you once could doesn’t mean you can’t still hold ‘your own.’ Once you lose that, I imagine, you’re really fucked irreconcilably for reals though, ha!

One of my favourite vocalists singing about short-term memory…

Multiple things lead me back here to full-on music obsession time and time again, and every time it’s such a relief. It’s like coming home to some enjoyment in life one thought may have been lost for good.  Fearfully avoiding coming to terms with some death one dreaded for so long. Those periods where I’m somehow less enthralled by music are the darkest and most troubling of days for me. Leaves me all cut up…. But it’s not this crunchy and groovy!

PS it stinks liking anything popular. Not just due to the embarrassment factor, but being unable to get tickets to live shows. Thanks a lot, PUP. “I fell for the bullshit. And then I started falling apart… What a goddamn bummer. What a waste of my energy…. I know better. I know better than that!” Sounds like it’s way too much fun to be in PUP. I love the part about having never had a day job. Punk dreams of an office minion! Yes. I’m too old for this stuff, but just try to stop me.

I recently made a playlist of much of my favourite heavier post-hardcore etc. things, so I’ve been rocking out to that. This song gets me every darn time. Oh Title Fight, please put out another Floral Green for me and come play Toronto. One of my all-time favourite songs of all-time now.

A new wave group posed the question, “You can only buy The Cure’s Disintegration or Depeche Mode’s Violator, which do you choose?” So there I was listening to Violator for the first time in ages, floored as ever by its pristine 1990 production value. I’ve been singing Sunny Day Real Estate in the bath again too. Caring not it once prompted someone to proclaim, “That’s the whitest thing I’ve ever heard.”

I’m also at an impasse, yet again. Does it ever end? I can finally somewhat safely say that that thing I once said routinely, that stuff “feeling like high school” never ends, may no longer be the case. Now I’m in my mid-30s stuff feels more like my 20s than high school thankfully, ha! It’s all a blur anyway. It’s just the emotions that are triggered somehow, sometimes. 

Today someone caught a typo. The table in this document was from 2021 – the future. I said I guess we’re suppose to learn from it then. What can it tell us? Because we sure enough don’t learn everything we’re supposed to from the damn(ed) past!

I usually don’t repeat myself on here with the music and videos I post (sentiment, that’s another story, ha!) Today I’m hearkening to some faves and the past and the present so I’m being a big sloppy. Can’t be bothered with or hung up on boring notions of cleanliness, propriety, or perfectionism ALL THE DAMN TIME.

The Hot Snakes certainly weren’t. But their shit is perfect anyway. The best kind of perfect is the kind that happens without exerting effort. Effort can be overrated and lame.

The scariest times at times are those when we worry we’ve wished for something for so long, that now that we don’t, it will inevitably occur. It’s impossible not to worry about things going terribly wrong when they start to go well, because experience provides the evidence that this is inevitable. It’s just the nature of life and living. We strive so hard for these ridiculously brief stints of pleasure and success. Only to have to struggle for it, sometimes for years, again. And when we catch that breath of fresh air, we are so certain it will be stolen by some wicked thief. And it is. But focusing on that strips us of the few and far between joys in life. Sometimes a life we never wanted. Or didn’t want most of the time, at any rate. When that turns on its head, that’s quite the surreal trip. Life. A thing to want. WTF.

Cynicism begone! It’s a weeknight and I’m wasting time, hooray! Things are going swimmingly right now. Is it distracting? Is it exhausting? Sure. But it’s worth the price paid. Is it wise? Well… who can say? And as for my leaning, well to that I sat one can’t be wise ALL the time. Life is about balance, guilt-free. Sometimes we go so very long without it. Sometimes we think we’ve left our old selves entirely behind, and mourn the loss in some indirect way, only to have it revive itself and unsettle us again with its unnerving presence. Passion, what a powerful force it is. Laying dormant for years like bedbugs! Maybe not the best simile, ha. You invite one into your bed, and do everything in your power to eradicate the other! Though I suppose both can evoke fear. The kind that sends crabs back into their shells. Wonder what other crabs would think of YCNI:M. This one likes it!

Sometimes you’re reminded why you did the things you did. Stuff you second guessed as possibly bad decisions reveal themselves to have been the right ones. Situations you ended up in that you were convinced were wrong, detrimental to your future, evolve into the right thing, right place, and arguably, the right time. The conspiracy theory becomes lame and cheesy and you’re like some old lady trying to deny such old lady notions.

Mike Krol put out such a great album too. It was all I listened to for months, and capped it off seeing him live.  He was even better than last time, which is kind of beyond me. I thank him for the opposite of a chain reaction of mental anguish. I think his album ushered in all things good and pure. Less cocktails, more Mike Krol. Sometimes this song is my new anthem, but other times it isn’t, I suppose. I’m not sure that I will ever trust enough to get married at this point, but I would marry my beloved Mike Krol in a heartbeat and end the rhythm of our hearts breaking on-and-on-and-on-and-on. Willing to bet he’s some kind of Pisces, Taurus, or Virgo.

Younger old-me comes around to hijack older new-me, but at least I’m aware. Self awareness, that blessed and cursed thing. Stuck between the rock that is paranoia, and the hard place that is realism. It’s funny how things clamor around at once, and the things on the up and up bring a high that, nerves and all, can be so intoxicating, while simultaneously sickening. So very emo. People say “get out of your head” but to them I retort, “where else can I go?”

I recently said that winning is so rare in life. Someone said it was depressing. I said it’s a realistic, I’m a realist! As I had so many times in my youth. They agreed it was true, but that the truth was depressing. And it often is. But such is life! No point pretending otherwise. Better to face facts.

“What else can I do? Can I let it go? Can I let it fade?” We did some lyric guessing game, and I said I only know lyrics to obscure heavy music. This guy I work with hated it, ha. I get that. The truth is, I don’t know the lyrics to all my heavy music, unlike my post-punk or brit-pop. Anyway, after that, someone said Blight and I remembered this, my favourite Trail of Dead song. Such fond memories of Trail of Dead live and their three drummers and the one I was with too. One of multitudes of Jean Francois fellas I’d met in Montreal. But the one that stuck the most, thanks to all the awesome music he shared. Probably the most pristine drummer arms encountered ever too, with all those blue veins tangled throughout such ultra-whiteness.

I’ll be reviewing two new releases from two of my favourite Toronto artists too. A bit of a shift in gears, seeing as I’ve been all rock and now some gothy synthy stuff. Looking forward to seeing these guys in April (along with Moaning) too. Though three shows in one week, two of which are on far from ideal nights (Thursday and Sunday) is risky business.

I’m also officially old now that I concede to go see cover bands play. I was so opposed to them back in my day, but now I get it. I can’t ever go see The Smiths live. Or the White Stripes. And they’ll play all the songs I want to hear too (mostly, still haven’t heard “What She Said” my destructive youthful anthem) so why the heck not? Just a shame there is no nostalgic, asexual, waif of a dreamboat Morrissey at the helm. Still, I’d rather that than go see Marr on his own, or god forbid, Morrissey the nutjob himself now.

“Same boy you’ve always known. I guess I haven’t grown.” I love that line about, “Hope you know a strong man who can lend you a hand lowering my casket,” too.

No. No beloved back-pocket flowers, or a full-on branch, but this is classic nonetheless. What a fetching freak he was. Unlike no other! One thing that hasn’t changed in over half my life, I’d still go back to 1983 and be 19 or so and try to have my way with the young Moz. The stuff dreams are made of. Too bad I still can’t control mine, and my nocturnal hours are filled with nightmares. At least it’s not boring, I guess. Maybe the night the nightmares stop is when I really need to be worried.

Some things never get old

While others do all too quickly!

So just listening to one of my favourite songs of all-time. Yes that’s redundant, but the point bears emphasizing.

Anyway this is the only song that I both must dance to and must almost cry too too. The perfect man is the one who doesn’t hold either of those things against me and dances along and comforts me instead of scolds me or walks away from the tears. There is such a creature. Believe it or not. Such a stirring, beautifully sad song. It really wraps the wonder of NewOrder up with a perfect bow like no other song too.

And no, it may not be the wisest thing to listen to the real thing when I’m about to see a modern day rip-off in some ways tomorrow. But it’s subtle. We aren’t talking early Muse’s blatant rip-off of Radiohead. For good measure, the post that turned me off contributing to my beloved YouTube comments. I’ve rarely used the word retro since! post-punk, post-punk, post-punk – are you happy now YouTube commenting nazis?

This brings me to my last post, I’m seeing Cold Cave tomorrow and can’t wait to see what stylish frock he’s chosen to wear. I have half of my own chosen, but have to find something to go with my sweet mid-90s style Diesel mini skirt that looks grey and denim but is actually a bit metallic and has a built in white pleather dual-buckle belt. Very britpop. The store was playing Republica among other things to boot.

I also saw the Hot Snakes and it was such a magical, special evening it warrants its own post. So hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that sometime soon. I had to send them a love letter of thanks after. I think I rendered them speechless, or maybe I seemed too softee for them. If so, I totally don’t hold it against them. While there is g(oth) and e(mo) in me, the Hot Snakes fall under neither and are a beast of their own. They really don’t fall into any of the other more easily categorized categories that comprise my tastes. I’d say their ability to release the rock-of-the-ages effect in me is a bit akin to my early love of DFA, but Hot Snakes are unencumbered by the sexiness that went along with it, and as such free of any associated negative memories that went along with that soundtrack for me.

Hells yeah they played that song. I had actually quoted this song when I asked my accompaniment to go with me to the show. So when they sang it I turned around and sang that line to him. “Don’t go to Harvard, don’t go to Yale. Your disposition will only make you fail.” He didn’t like when I said it. I said of course he’s smart enough to go to such schools… but he wouldn’t be happy there. Who would want to anyway? He’s way too cool and belongs here with me so he can go with me to Hot Snakes shows and the like!

Hot Snakes are just straight-up, hardcore cool. There is something so very simple (yet complex) about them and it warms my heart so! Yes. I almost wept after. But just like the last time I saw them, the show itself was too immersive and fun for me to weep on the spot. Thankfully! I’d look like such a wuss. Though in some ways, I am. I’m some kind of hardass, badass wuss hybrid. Battery powered? I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore. I am clearly in no position to start talking about Cars. Though I was just talking about how Gary Numan is more stylish than ever (vs. Robert Smith wearing that nasty Maple Leafs jersey when I saw The Cure!) Gary Numan has such a monopoly on the goth crowd too.

Gary Numan is really owning that Grandfather of Goth title. Who is the father in that equation? I’m not sure. But god, I hope it’s not someone like Trent Reznor. Yet again. Someone once revered who I don’t like thinking about anymore. I try to get behind every new Gary Numan album but never give it enough of a chance. I would love to see him live again though. Such dramatics and theatrics. And sweet outfits.

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I missed a few free shows, including DFA which I had to jump through hoops to get tickets to, but it’s no loss. I think my days of live DFA are behind me now, said sadly. Jack White also came to town and I have yet to check out his new album, but I don’t think it’s for me. What about this? No going back, I suppose. His first wife was much cuter/cooler too. You’d be hard-pressed to find a White Stripes fan who disagrees with that statement. I may be even a bit more biased as she looks a lot like my sister-in-law, the biggest Jack White fan I know. It is a shame I missed the White Stripes.

The next thing I have tickets to isn’t until Johnny Marr in October. I heard the show I wanted to go to and also jumped through hoops to try to get tickets to (to no avail) was not great. I haven’t followed his solo career either, but will have to check out the new album when it’s out in five days time.

It’s almost more of an obligatory thing for me it seems. I know Marr and Morrissey are meant to be together and never will be ever again, but if I have to go see one of them, Marr would be the way to go, I suppose.

This is not a post about Radiohead, damnit. I don’t even listen to them anymore.

I am wishing for some new music that does it for me. It really makes a difference having such things. The new DFA was nothing to write home about, nor the new APTBS, or Odonis Odonis. Those were three of my fave bands ‘of the now’ gone right there. Greys is a more complicated story, but no longer on my list or playlists anymore either. Not even the old stuff. Same with Dirty Nil. New Meat Wave was meh as well. Mama nooooo! Not the meats too!

True, I’m lucky I had the new Hot Snakes album. I have to give some time to the new Get Up Kids EP. I am utterly disappointed in Iceage. So upsetting I can’t even go there. It worries me that once a band goes one way there really is no going back. I get that, as in life as a person the same is often the case. But argh! It means the same ill fate for Title Fight, which I found out about too late.

Regardless, only one album too late and thus they still played a lot of his near-perfect album when I saw them live. This (and their other two early ones, especially Shed which my dearest Walter Schriefels produced!) got me through one of the hardest years and losses in my life when my dad was sick. This is the kind of song you have to just keep turning up, and up, and up. This guy has the perfect hardcore mouth too. Freakin massive to let all that angry emo-tional angst rip. That’s what I like to see/hear!

Apparently there’s this too. But let me ask this: what is Interpol without Carlos? They recently played this song on the Colbert show. Clearly they are no longer worth seeing live, that’s for sure.

I’m glad I got my fill back in the day. I probably saw them four or five times. That’s about as many albums they put out after I stopped following them because they all sounded like lack luster versions of what they’d already produced. Anyway, I will say that I don’t blame bands as it’s not easy to strike that oh-so-delicate balance of their early energy without repeating themselves. But oh-too-often they choose to repeat the lower-energy stuff that follows their early masterpieces. *cough* Radiohead.

It’s a shame in a way I don’t have time to review stuff anymore. It forced me to check out new bands, give them a chance, try to see them in a positive light, and often resulted in some new interests and cheap shows to get out to. That said, I wasn’t actually ever crazy about writing the reviews.

True enough, I invest heavily in bands much like I do people. Thus the lesson to NEVER get a band tattoo, as much like getting the name of someone you love ink-needled into your skin, one day you will need to cover that shit up and it won’t be cheap or painless. I actually put off my tumbleweed this spring, but all in due time. Once the big bucks start rolling in again, the tumbleweed will be rolling onto my arm!

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Anyway, with the deep attachment I have to music I love and associated deep reverence and respect for the bands that create it, being disappointed and wounded and being left with nothing to look forward to does seem to strike me particularly hard. Especially since music is so very near and dear to me and is one of the few things in life that is capable of making me my happiest. It makes sense though. Much like relationships, you want excitement, passion, familiarity, trust, security. You want it all and it’s about as rare to find as a band that reliably delivers album after album.

When there is a shortage of exciting new music, one fears that thing called age is finally messing up more than one’s body. One’s ability to keep up with the kids, stay up late, do crazy things. It still happens, but the recovery time takes much, much longer. It isn’t all bad though. As the body ages the frustrating fieriness calms a bit. And if you’re someone that had too much to begin with, that really isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

(Such a bitter irony. As it’s just that that happens and changes a band’s sound from one I love to one I can no longer get behind. I guess I’m happy for the guys as people, but as musicians, it still saddens me so).

Cold Cave and Hot Snakes warming my black heart

It takes a special kind of one-handed man to rip off one of my nearest and dearest artists, NewOrder, and get away with it, in my books.

Thanks to you Wesley Eisold, for putting out a new release from one of my favourite artists that I can get behind this year.

Thanks to the Hot Snakes for the same! Can’t wait to see both of them live in June.

Cold Cave gets bonus points for his stellar style. Looking forward to his outfit! That says a lot, it’s rare for me to start a sentence with those three words.

Transitions are always tricky. Goodbyes are too. As I stand at the precipice (lame expression somehow to me) of this next chapter of my life, I’m optimistic and having a soundtrack to go along with it always helps.

The only thing standing in my way is freaking Adobe and my PC ways. Damnit. Typical that the thing I stand behind and am most comfortable with has to infinitely complicate things. So typical there should be another word for it (and I’m fairly certain there is).

As for the Hot Snakes, thanks for coming to Toronto again. Not thrilled about the Phoenix (one of my least favourite venues thanks to my stature and the layout of the place) but I don’t blame you for not wanting stick around these here parts for two nights to do the Horseshoe again. My therapist would not like that my favourite song on your new album has to do with drinking too much either. Not my fault. I guess that’s on you. Booze fuelling the best track.

Thankfully I have someone to accompany me to this show, so that I can get there all early ass to claim a decent spot and still get to go get drinks and go to the washroom when I have to.

Hot Snakes get bonus points for how much their music ‘slays’ live and how Rick Froberg is the perfect embodiment of looking like he’s been to Hell and back (and probably has). Legit mofo, that one.

While we’re on the topic of summer releases, thanks to the Get Up Kids for probably not disappointing me with their first EP in seven years. The lead single may sound a bit more like it’s for kids than I’d like, but I remain optimistic there too. There Are Rules was a surprising success for me.

No thank you to WordPress for whatever the heck is going on with my good ole blog. Making me work for it! It refuses to put in the line breaks I beg it to and it won’t embed my videos like it’s supposed to. Manually making me put in the HTML code, come on. Thankfully I have a coding class, so I knew to look into it. The videos… I have to now copy all the code from YouTube too.

I refuse to pay for this site that no one reads when I don’t even use it much and I’m already paying for my ‘professional’ one. This is even more vexing now that I’m a technical writer and know the value of white space and line breaks etc. Thank goodness I’m not being evaluated on this and I’m likely the only one reading it!

Define reality

Reality: A thing that is harsh and cold. Destined to hit. Mostly unwavering. The rare and brief wavering only makes its ferocity all the worse once it sets back in.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it is this. More so in the past two years than ever before in my life. I hope it doesn’t continue this way, but fear it is destined to.

New albums from most of my current favourite bands (APTBS, Odonis Odonis, Soft Moon, Hot Snakes, Preoccupations) may all disappoint. The albums that have come out or the preceding singles have not done it for me. What to do when all your favourite things cease to impress? When all the people who once did, on the same niche page as you, are long gone too?

Pervasive disappointment and a wish to resign (not an option, of course). Your aging body aching all over. And time-consuming, frustrating work. That only reveals itself to take the time and effort it does once you get in there and poke around. And no one understands the complexity of it. You’d like to see them do it quicker. Is this the future? Well, you need to make a living, somehow.

You’re born into this life. You don’t choose it. Then you’re forced to trudge away. Until one day it trudges over you one final time.

Some may think the turmoil of their 20s could be the worst of things. But as you age, try to face facts, try to get out of ruts, things get increasingly difficult. Sometimes with no chosen family of friends. You have no time and choose the isolation eventually, even when options come about. Can’t be bothered. Prefer your freedom.

Negative connotation all over positive feeling. Maybe it’s good if they’ve worn you down over time though. Shaking your head at your younger self. Invested too much too often. Given years of one’s young life to things that didn’t give back. At least coming out eventually with standards, even if you know most men, scratch that, boys, can’t meet them. Or even come close. At least you know the respect you deserve. Unfettered and free to be who you choose. Listen to what you choose. Not be pressured into anything for fear some immature brat (who only gives half of himself and doesn’t value the 1.5 selves you give) will get cranky.

But then years can go by with a shortage of people you care immensely about to share experiences, excitement, opinions or laughs with. Few can live up to what you once had, at any rate. No one with time and then one day it’s you that thinks it’s no longer worth the time. As your own family ages and you fear the loss of them.

Interlude. This is actually the only long I seem to really like on this album, maybe because I’ve played it a bunch of times on YouTube when it comes up. I really like this video. Though this band sits weird with me with this chick’s recent allegations against that nasty man though. Men. Are they finally going to get some come upens for how poorly they’ve treated women? The accepted norm a whole gender was powerless against. I don’t even look like one of these chicks and I’ve been misused and abused for years. It’s part of why I’ve lost interest.

That’s some bleak stuff. This is what happens on a long weekend yearned for litrally (intentional spelling error, I want it said like some British people say it) ages that was meant for collapsing and socializing, turned instead into another complicated, time-consuming tech writing project. With a week of double work and dread ahead.

Change is supposed to be difficult. Change is supposed to be good. You can’t avoid anxiety, risk, progress, challenge. But it certainly would be nice if you could!

Wrists protesting all the while. Wishing they were on a beach or in some woods instead. Writing, lazing, sunbathing (in the shade preferably).

It would be better with some fantastic new music to get by on. But instead, no awesome new music to help ease the pain or pass time. It actually needs no help passing, but slowing it down would be magic I would pay many moneys for.

Damn bands these days and their only putting out 1-2 albums (if you’re lucky) before they no longer do the thing you loved them for doing. Devastating. Thinking back to my next tattoo being covered up this spring, I realize that love for a band is like any other relationship. You’ll likely no longer be a devoted follower, though you gave it all your heart and valued them so. And you’ll have to walk away, like you always do (at least it tends to be you, not them). Sure you’ll check out the new single, but eventually you won’t even download the whole album. Let alone drag your butt out to their shows. One day there will be no more shows I want to be in Toronto for, and then I can move out to the country.

At least there is this. The subject of what may very well be the last album review I trouble myself with trying to write. And can’t figure out how to phrase the essence of Interpol as there’s a lot more going on than that. Though I suppose I’ve already tackled the rest.

My industrial age

Between walking through the tunnels between subway tracks and what is shaping up to be a year of (new) post-punk, I declare 2018 my industrial age. Lovin ma life for a moment, WTF.

My newfound affection for my super cool (yet comfy and cute) steel-toed work boots coupled with my contract at the TTC is reviving (or at least reminding me of) my (long dormant, like so many things within me) love of industrial things. So many doors I want to go through! So many mucky things I want to check out. So many rusty things I’d love to take pictures of. I referred to it recently as getting my first industrial-photography hard-on in a very long time.

I didn’t want to leave the tunnels, coated in soot, the dearly departed squirrel (from who knows how many years ago) was no deterrence. After two days of being traumatized by stories of injury and death due to subway unsafety, either from not following rules, or due to those yet to be developed, had put me off some. But once I was down there, it was a blast.

I don’t mind how dirty my hood got. I struggled for a moment with not clearing off my nifty new clean boots after they were intentionally stepped on by a coworker. A rite of passage, another told me! He looks like Bowie’s long-lost cousin, so I actually couldn’t possibly be more touched. The name of his retro-punk band is fantastic too. Suicide pact survivors. I bow to him with respect. My respect isn’t the easiest thing to earn (or maybe it’s too easy, I’m not exactly sure, though I do know I’m picky and particular when it comes to deciding if someone is seriously cool).

Having a train go by less than a foot in front of your face is pretty invigorating. Only slightly terrifying, though if it was going faster I could see it being far moreso. Even at the 15 km/hr it got my heart rate up.

From other technical writers, to trainers, to the super green co-op students in my class, I have  enjoyed the many people I’ve already met. I like hearing their stories, how they got to where they are, their hopes and dreams (or what they once were) in addition to getting a sense of them personally. They all have unique personalities and it’s nothing like starting at a typical new office so far. The real work has yet to begin, and my real team yet to be met in the context of work (I’ve met a few of them already, me and my groundwork, anxiety’s best friend), but I’m hoping things keep rolling the way they are. Slick and smooth, or grimy and clunky, as they should be in a train-in-a-tunnel context, I suppose.

The Soft Moon has a new album out in February and a show in March.

Preoccupations have a new album in March and a show in April.

Cold Cave and Trust may also have new releases too.

And I’m doing my first review in well over half a year for these newcomers to the art-of-old-made-new game. They may not look the part at all, bunch of super-young super-hipsters, but they’ve got the sound down pat. Smack dab.

So there is no shortage of new atmopsheric, dark and gothy post-punk! Let’s just hope it doesn’t suck. A lot of these artists are on their third or fourth album, and they’ve managed to continue to hold a place in this difficult listener’s black heart thus far. All this coupled with my industrial looking wedge rubber boots is making this really feel like my industrial year.

Who says you need people to have fun? (Me, usually, actually).

Thankfully I’m well equipped for this industrial age, drenched in perpetual lonliness and cloaked in black and grey. And it’s a true Canadian winter, so painful cold and all-around dreary days abound. Dark tends to be my light, so I’m hoping for a bright (figuratively!) year ahead. Of course, this may not last, so I thought I should commemorate the sentiment while the surge of joy and optimism coarse through me, like that poor squirrel before the 600 V power traction rail got to him. Yeah I know what it’s called. It’s not always the third rail, so that term is inaccurate apparently. It’s cool knowing such things. I really look forward to learning more and hope I manage to crush my job and win my boss’s heart over with my wit, charm, and stellar work ethic. Just need to find my way around that nastiest of nasty softwares.

In a lot of ways, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been, and longer than I’ve ever been as such. Yet things seem to be turning around. Ramping up. Dare I say, soaring?

Here’s to hope (and dread and gloom too). The higher the heights, the harder the crash, bang, (ka)boom. But for now, I’ll coast along up here, trying to battle my usual theme song. Doing a decent job, but I’m old (and wise enough?) to recognize that it’s early. Yet.

 

off-topic (when everything is supposed to be on)

And particularly troublesome, as old-me has come back to haunt me. And old-me was not only almost always off-topic in a sense, but also proud of that overall sense of being.

Strike plus an odd encounter at a reunion show for a band I wanted to see for a decade and thought I never would, brought a lot of the past up. Near suffocating in intensity. There was nostalgia, regret, and a million other emotions all at once. Unsettling and off-kilter and balance obliterating – it was all of those. It felt like the umpteen-thousandth mid-life or identity crisis I’ve suffered. On the cusp of trying to reinvent myself to be successful. To pretend I’m not any of the creative or emotive things I once was, and am only the cold marketable ones I felt I should embrace.

And it makes me wonder, will such disconcerting crises ever end? Maybe if one day, certainty comes to pass. At this point, however, it’s kind of a myth to me.

Zombie of my former self is wreaking havoc on present-me’s best intentions. Rendered incapable of studying, I just spent some time justifying the (accidentally) inappropriate domain name for my professional blog.

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Starting with how my first gmail account (from back in the days when you had to be invited to Gmail by your uber-elite techy friend) took its name from a Stephen Malkmus song, “Vague Space.”

Do you want to know where it stands right now?
Do you really care what, when, why, or how?
I came to crave your spastic touch
The honest way you move is too much
Before we can change we could levitate
Erase mistakes of the forest greats
Fermented minds could make them shake
Permission granted for the wolverine stakes,
A Love to tear you off
The formless matters of the brain
Inequality of the drifting chain
A moment I could learn to love
The salutations to the levels above
We’ll split the difference, call it quits
This is no new romantic blitz-krieg
Pull off the foil and watch it break
A whisper’s crushing all the sympathy gates
A Love to tear you off

And from there, going on to include a link to one of my favourite Pavement songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inEf09Yh-84

Can you treat it like an oil well
When it’s underground, out of sight?
And if the sight is just a whore sign
Will it make enough sense to me?
Pretend the table is a trust knot
We’ll put our labels down, favors down
I’ll watch some yards of twine unravel
And you’ll never get it back
It’s what I want (it’s what I want)
It’s what I want (twine comes down)
It’s what I want, it’s what I want
Don’t you know, I could make you try
Make you try, make you try, make you try
Well, I’ve been down, the king of it
It is all I have, I’ve been down
And I could wait to hear the words
They’re diamond sharp today
I could open it up if it’s up and down
It’s what I want (it’s what I want)
It’s what I want (twine comes down)
It’s what I want, it’s what I want
Don’t you know, I could make you try
Make you try, make you try, make you try
Well, I’ve been down, the king of it
It is all I have, I’ve been down
And I could wait to hear the words
They’re diamond sharp today

Like so many things in the days that have recently come to pass and wreak havoc on poor, unsuspecting, me (with my over-functional messed up amygdala that hijacks and runs the rest of my brain to ruin), this domain-accident led to guilt. And that old familiar need to explain where I was coming from (despite knowing it never gets me anywhere anyway).

Malkmus’s lyrical abstractery is very anti-tech comm. And even more so, anything vague is supposedly the absolute antithesis of all things tech comm (which is what my blog is for). As is anything inconsistent, casual, cool etc.

Yet, to be honest, I’ve seen little evidence of other professionals in this field living up to such claims…. It seems like a lot of talk and little walk. I’m losing some of my faith.

Which makes me think of this song. Which my dad really loved.

possibly my favourite song. yeah, ‘ever’

I just put this on and thought “If I had to die and hear one last song, I’d want it to be this.”

So yeah. It’s hard to pin a ‘favourite’ song by one artist, let alone entirely. But in this moment and many, I’d have to say this is the winner. B-side off  YCNI:M’s “17” single (2005 – 8 years ago, but still  impressively new, really, in the context of the history of music). A song called “Undone.”  Unfortunately, this track exists like nowhere online save for snippets, and WordPress won’t allow me to upload it (THANK YOU VERY MUCH FREESPEECH BLOGGING). Also one of my favourite’s off their album Ignoto. The other b-side on the single is ‘ace’ as well. Anyway not that anyone gives a crap, but if so, I’d be happy to email you the song.

Best I could find online is this lame obscenely teasing snippet: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/17-ep/id60588278

I think what does it for me with emotive music of this sort is the utmost singability that just feels like therapy in a way nothing else can. A sort of painful and pleasurable letting it out. When no one but the artist seems to understand what it is we are going through.

Milohhhhh. I think the most therapeutic part of this song is the “I’ve come to realize” repeat bridge followed by “Now it’s over, I can walk away”. What a great death-song of such epic proportions. The volume at which I’m playing it is likely to get the neighbors who I perpetually feel sorry for, to finally complain perhaps. But it is, afterall (two words that SHOULD BE ONE), a Friday night. So they aren’t allowed, right?

Friday nights are for getting drunk. For being alone (by choice or otherwise. after forcing someone to let you buy them a couple of drinks) and feeling alone. For feeling misunderstood. For feeling too much. For being emo. For being a pain. For being in pain. And for trying to patiently hang photos in a straight line. When it’s what you are worst at. And when there’s no one to see them but you still care (or tell yourself you do, at any rate). Any project that’s not the dreaded writing, essentially.

Turns out not much has changed music-wise. The best music is rare and obscenely hard to obtain. I just ‘purchased’ two ‘cds’ online for the first time in literally aeons because that was the only way I could get my hands on the likes of  obscure post-hardcore goodness like this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ti8_pK9nC8
Thanks to Paul Mullen my never-to-be husband for turning me onto this and giving me exactly what I needed – old-ass music I like that is new to me. They just don’t make ’em like they used to. So says the old-lady that still gets I.D’d EVERYWHERE she goes.

‘new’ things don’t always have to suck (though they often do)

Pulp2

After listening to a few rather disappointing tracks off the much-anticipated My Bloody Valentine album, I was pleased to learn the following: Pulp have made a ‘new’ song available. My standards were pretty low once I heard it was a b-side from their last album We Love Life, a wussy collection of wussy somewhat old-people songs hardly worth listening to more than once, in my humble, picky opinion. I was surprised to hear that the song happens to be somewhat of a throw-back to the best days of Pulp. Not 100% but I will settle for an 88% as age has taught me to appreciate what I can get, when and where I can get it.

The disco-tinged effort makes one hopeful of things yet to come. Fingers-crossed Pulp will miraculously choose to play a show in London close to where I will be staying in mid-August. I would pee my pants three times and love it. Fingers even more crossed that the band will release an album of equal impressiveness in the not-so-distant future that will involve Russell Senior. As Senior is to Cocker as Marr is to Morrissey.

http://www.nme.com/news/pulp/67904

cake=booze=epic (p.s. take your vitamins)

So recently I turned 29. I didn’t want cake because I was dieting for the week (due to my first real date… ever kinda. But in about 5 years officially). But then I saw Three Olives’ Cake vodka in the LCBO with ma friends; I was ecstatic, and that became my cake. Not just a smidgen of the eve of my bday, but the day of, and after too much that day because I didn’t feel like eating much, though I said I’d hold off, I ended up having some tonight (my late night as I don’t start work til later, and it’s about a million degrees in here and wasn’t up for my normal exercise routine).

Paired with dancing to new wave (which I haven’t in way too long) I’d have to say Cake booze makes me happier than I’ve been in a long time. And happy to be alone and all this too. Does that sound bad? Not to me. Life is great. When you have cake. And it’s booze at the same time. It tastes like cake and when you lick your lips it’s like icing was on it. Hard to mix – I’d say just with ice and a splash of water or milk of some sort (tried it with pineapple juice – fail). The fact it’s hard to mix is good in a way, as due to its sweetness it’s higher on calories (79 per ounce vs. normal vodka’s 55).

I also recommend dancing when you have it. With people OR alone. This cake is a party and a half. Never before could I have predicted turning 29 (yikes) could make a girl so happy. Even low on love and friends.

Just when I thought I was a) in need of a new drink (move the heck over apple martinis) and b) over sweet drinks… LIFE! Just when you think you’re not who you once were at all and mourn part of that loss, cake comes around and boozes you in the face. And it’s bliss. Pure bliss. Even when you’re consumed by no longer being who you were anymore… Cake comes around and shows you, you are.  Some things should change,  but some of the ones you wish wouldn’t (but fear have) well maybe they haven’t.  So stop your moping. You’re not 30 (QUITE yet). And that last year of your 20’s you thought would be focused on regret may be filled with excitement for the future instead. Cheers and a half to that, cake-face! (Yes, Cake will make you talk to yourself! But who better to talk to, really?? You are fab-u-lous!)

http://www.threeolives.com/new/flavors

P.S. Just when you thought you would never get your act together and force a horsepill multivitamin down your throat daily, you also found these. So good it’s hard to only have two a day!  Things are really looking up and up!

Thanks to proofreading Rexall flyers I found out about these!

tryin to relax (emphasis on tryin)

A plant that gets too involved and is encroaching on one’s space. A tropical setting. Birds in the distance. Then bombs are dropping in the distance. Fireworks we think. But the sounds are too sporadic. Then it’s a calm South Western evening. A skunk stinks up the place. And the smell miraculously disappears.

Violet’s a rock star, and when she’s not, she’s a detective. I said I didn’t know where the water kept coming from, just that I kept drinking it. She figured out she was the one fetching it for me.

Pierre is the calm one. He is always taking it easy. It drives me nuts. Since I try so hard to relax. I keep saying “I’m just out here trying to relax” and everyone says “You are!” and I say disbelievingly “That’s what everyone keeps saying…” When someone asks what I was in relation to the detective, alll I can say is “I’m just the guy in the corner doin nothing but trying to relax.”

When Violet is a rock star she throws things around her bedroom in her leather jacket. She bumps into things. She makes me laugh. We tell her to settle down with her rock star ways. Pierre says it’s a good thing I took my leather jacket off or we both would have been raising hell. “What about the music, it’s not about that anymore!” Pierre says to Violet. She says she’s all worn out and washed up, as she flops on the bed. We tell her she’s learned things from travelling the world. She should be wiser than us now. “The women, the drugs” she says and stares at the ceiling. “Damn grid vision” she says. I scold her “There’s more to life than just staring at the ceiling! Get yourself together!” But when I look up I realize the ceiling is pretty interesting too. But not as interesting as my tree across the street that keeps me grounded. That looks like willows that looks like static electricity that looks frozen that looks like nothing stable but makes me feel safe all the same.

Everything shakes and nothing looks real. Pierre says what we’ve ingested isn’t poison. He defends the shriveled things that tasted like feces. The reason my stomach feels like shit, according to Pierre is because “it’s like eating a vegetable from another country you’re not used to.” It’s nothing like that. He says, “Drink some orange juice.” I say, “What the hell is that going to do?” I am numb and go from feeling a warm desert breeze to feeling nothing at all. “It’s good for you.” He asks me if it’s cold out. I can’t feel a thing. Moments later I’m freezing.

Violet finds a piece of origami paper. Then the directions to a toaster oven. Our minds are all blown. Where’d that come from? We debate whether I gave her one or not in the past. Pierre says Marc has a toaster oven. I say he has a baby. “A baby and a toaster oven… woah. That’s just too much.” I think of his fake teeth. His fixed teeth. Whatever it was that happened to his glowing white chicklet teeth. He was upset no one mentioned they’d noticed the change from the decrepit enamel things that once disgraced his face.

I ask Violet what’s the deal with this plant beside me, which I refer to as ‘this guy’. Pierre is annoyed and says “that guy is an attention hog.” Though moments before everyone felt bad for him and I had said, “I’m sick of everyone feeling bad for him.” Violet comes out and shows the plant who’s boss. I ask her where she got it. She said it was a weed. It was tropical. “Which is it?” I ask her I ask her. She looks freaked out when I say, “Well you should know, it’s your plant, you put him here!” It’s the truth though. And then she says, “I don’t have such a complicated history with him as you do.” Which is true. Though that history only started less than an hour ago. Which feels like a lifetime ago.

Every time someone suggests we’ve gone forward or backwards in time I tell them, “Shut the fuck up!” I’m the elder out on the porch keeping it cool while inside the kids are jumping on the bed. I tell everyone I’m wise and they tell me I’m younger than them. But I’m not the one looking at shit to freak myself out more. But later I will regret that I didn’t. While the madness goes on I sit outside and try to ignore them, though they’re having more fun, I’m just happy to not be losing my shit, or worried I’m a thought that will cease to exist if I forget about me. I just sit slumped in my safe corner on the balcony. Trying to relax. Drinking some water. As if it will help reclaim my sanity.

We all agree Dr. Who is cool and that Violet’s memoirs on her rockstar days “To the Southwest and Back” sounds like a title of a Rupaul book.

Violet’s mom has two kinds of peas. She’s growing them in these big fields. “Two kinds of peas! That’s crazy. I mean, I guess there must be a bunch of different kinds of peas. But two… that’s a lot!… I like peas.”

Then there’s the pirate/coconut. I ask, “Well what is he, a pirate or a coconut?” And Violet says he’s both. He’s complex. Everything is complex. Violet was a rock star but was also really nice. Now this. Then she asks if he’s a pirate or a bandit – I say “You should know, he belongs to you!” Again that freaked out look. Then I touch him and he feels like Styrofoam. Half an hour passes where we discuss if he’s a pirate or a coconut or a bandit, and in the end we don’t know his profession but he is a piece of Styrofoam that wants to be a coconut, and he is a head on a stick in some dirt, and it’s cool he’s in the dirt. He wants to be a coconut, because he came from the shore, and that makes sense to all of us. As much as anything can in this state.

Once I’m inside I wondered how I managed to stay out on the balcony so long. But when I was out there, I couldn’t possibly brave the indoors.

We are all glad we didn’t go to the park. No one wanted to go to the park in the end. People would have thought we were freakin crazy. And we were.