Confessions of a Dangerous Scribe

Spent time writing a new chapter. Sort of channelling my inner Warren Ellis and writing a thesis on the link between the music and comicbook industries — specifically doing it independently. Both things, I geek out about and am a huge fan of... Innocent Creatures being my "love letter" to Reno, Tao Of Rawk is in effect, my "love letter" to music.

I also typed up and posted the the first chapter of Tao online. Randomly just went through my first notebook and was looking for something that was worthy of inclusion — lots of notes and plot points that I wrote down as I started this project. Started thinking of what I want my first chapter to really be. Further developing the mythology of my story and its characters. And now I'm not too sure of how I want one of my main characters ending up — dead, or redeemed...

Just gotta keep writing, to figure it out, I guess.

Writing done to:
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Random thought...
Today, I think we all owe it to ourselves to work a little bit harder today — wether or not we have the day off or not... Work harder at making your dreams come true.


I tried to use my phone to post on LiveJournal's mobile site earlier today. The first entry of my writing progress this year... But the site/my phone is really wonky, and if the cursor leaves the field where I'm typing, I can't get it to go back to where I left off — it just goes to the beginning, and cannot be moved.

I spent about twenty minutes typing that damn thing out, and it was turning out pretty good, in my opinion...

So if I try to attempt this sort of thing again in the future, I'm going to have to post by bloody email... But really, what I want — what I prefer — is just to have a dedicated program (I fucking hate the term App — I grew up calling them Programs, because that's what they are! You Program them to do things. You fill out an Application, and then you never get the job, so...) from which I can get my things done.

I don't like have multiple tabs open on my browser, because I'm used to working on my ancient iBook which has a smaller hard drive than my iPod. I need to make sure I don't crash anything, or have to wait for the better part of an hour for something to open up, or load... And that's why I've been loyal to LiveJournal, because they have a Mac Program that I can open up, create a post, and then fire off. No having to worry if I have an internet connection, because I can save stuff, and there are little shortcuts built into the interface so I can add in links and various other stuff without having to remember if I'm doing the code right.

But that's in the past now... Just needed to get that out of my system — and really, that's all I'm doing with these posts. Letting off a little additional Creative Steam that has built up now that I'm back into Writing Mode. Also, a way of keeping myself accountable to keep up my writing.

I had left off right in the middle of a chapter when I took my "break", and I was really surprised that I was able to pick it right back up again. Wasn't hard at all. That more than anything made me feel like a Real Writer.

Also started typing up the stuff I have hand written in my notebooks, which I'm going to release as blog posts as I go through them. Posting songs as well — gonna start a podcast feed for those.

That's all I got right now. Don't wanna spend too much time looking back — need to keep writing. So that's what I'm going to do right now...

This week's writing done to:

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Listen Up [Pelican]
What We All Come To Need, Pelican :: *[5.0/5.0]
WhatWeAllComeToNeedI am so glad that Pelican released a full-length album this year instead of just teasing us with an EP.

These guys are the best music to write to, at least for me... So now I should be all set to hunker down and write my ass off in 2010. Don't have any excuses now...

Typical genius from this band... Not really anything I can say that I haven't said about them before.

The only thing, is that this has their first song with vocals on it... It's a guest appearance, and doesn't indicate any future direction this band may take. And I think that it really shows that this band still has directions to go in its development. New avenues to explore...

Interesting as always, and inspiring — both in regards to helping me write, and energizing me to play guitar... And that's how I know that the music has really touched me and is something special.

Favorite Tracks: "The Creeper", "Specks Of Light", and "Glimmer"...

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Listen Up [Baroness]
Blue Record, Baroness :: *[5.0/5.0]
blue recordI discovered this band from listening to a year end "Best Of 2007" CD compilation from the magazine Decibel. The song on it was "Wanderlust" from their first album. The Red Album...

I listened to it and fucking loved every minute of it. So when I heard about their second album coming out his year, I knew I had to get it.

Metal — expansive and prog, kinda like Mastodon, but not full-on like their album that also came out this year.

I really like the multi-layerd vocals and harmonies. Makes them more appealing than all the other metal bands that are just screaming and grumbling and growling.

There are some acoustic numbers in here too, as well as instrumental breaks between the songs that just all lead into each other. It really adds to the cinematic quality of this record.

I listen to this and just Need to pick up my guitar and start writing. Start playing some seriously loud, distorted guitar.

A brilliant mix of pop and metal. I am utterly baffled as to why this album didn't get as much attention as Mastodon's Crack The Skye, because this album is seriously its superior.

Favorite Tracks: "Jake Leg", "O'er Hell And Hide", "The Gnashing"/"Bullhead's Lament", and "Swollen And Halo"...

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Listen Up [Lightning Bolt]
Earthly Delights, Lightning Bolt :: *[5.0/5.0]
Lightning Bolt - Earthly DelightsFirst heard about Lightning Bolt from an MP3 on Stereogum. Mixed in between my various public radio and comedy podcasts, I suddenly hear one seriously fucking heavy guitar going nuts, and a madman killing a drum kit. I had never heard of these guys, and they immediately grabbed me by the inside of my brain.

A bass with lots of fuzz and distortion. Harmonized, so there's a synth/manufactured feel to it. And it's just a bass and drums. Two guys... So much energy. So much noise.

Songs ranging from thrash punk to sludge metal to indie experimental noise wankery — and I fucking love every minute of it.

The album is mostly instrumental. Some vocal improvisation, from what I can tell. Not singing, just words that are filtered and fed into an echo and delay.

Some of the songs sound pretty lo-fi, too. Sounding like they were recorded by a boombox in a garage. And that's a pretty good contrast to the other songs that are huge and thick and heavy.

Listening to this really makes me want to start an experimental/instrumental band as a side-project.

Favorite Tracks: "Colossus", "S.O.S.", "Transmissionary", and "Sound Guardians"...

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Listen Up [Karen O & The Kids]
Where The Wild Things Are (Soundtrack), Karen O And The Kids :: *[2.5/5.0]
Where The Wild Things AreThis is music to remember your childhood to. Youthful and energetic. More emotional than you see yourself now. The sounds of nostalgia...

But that's probably more my feelings about the phenomenon that has risen up around the release of the film and its glorification of the book. I was never a huge fan of the book, and didn't have a boner to see the movie — seeing as how, pretty much, it's something completely different than the book.

This is about the soundtrack, though...

I like Karen O's voice a lot, and this sort of makes me think of earlier Yeah Yeah Yeah's — no disco at all to be found here. Almost exclusively acoustic guitars, with live drums and piano.

Not much to the songs, though. Very simplistic, lyrically. A slight experimental edge to otherwise poppy music.

There's not a lot of Meat to this, though. Mostly just background for whatever is supposed to be going on in the movie, probably. They don't want to distract, or stand-out too much... I have a feeling like this album had more genuine "Kid Friendly" moments than the actual film. And it's in that way, it is so much more Real and Respectable.

Favorite Tracks: "Hidaway", "Building All Is Love", and "All Is Love"...

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Listen Up [Volcano Choir]
Unmap, Volcano Choir :: *[4.6/5.0]
UnmapI have no idea who Collections Of Colony Of Bees are, but I know Justin Vernon. Y'know, the guy from Bon Iver...

That's the reason I got this.

Very much in the same vein as the Dirty Projectors. Glitchy, cut-up music that blurs the line between acoustic and electronic. Vernon's voice operates more like another instrument — or sound to be manipulated — on this album. And really, if there was anyone's voice that you could do it with, it's his.

Some nice atmospheric tracks, mixed with quirky up-beat songs. Not a long album at all, feeding into the experimental feel.

And now that it's winter again — snow falling and growing on branches instead of leaves — I can't help but feel the season when I hear Vernon's voice. Soulful. Longing. Peaceful.

Great mix of his voice and the music. Exciting find and something I didn't expect.

Favorite Tracks: "Seeplymouth", "Island, IS", and "Still"...

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Listen Up [Paramore]
Brand New Eyes (iTunes LP), Paramore :: *[3.0/5.0]
Brand_New_EyesI bought this for my wife — not trying to come up with an excuse, or anything, just telling it like it is... I had pre-ordered this on iTunes in order to make sure all of the bonus material remained intact, seeing how iTunes likes to offer stuff for pre-orders only, and then make it vanish for everyone else once it is released.

The thing is, that iTunes won't let you gift a pre-order, so I had to get it for myself, in essence, and then transfer everything over to her computer (which was a bitch, because she has Windows and I have a Mac, and I totally don't understand why her folder organization has to be so anti-commonsense and anti-logic)... It only took me about two months to figure out how to get the iTunes LP interface to work on her computer.

After getting this album for my wife, we listened to it just about everyday for a month every time we were in the car driving. And I love women's singing voices, for the most part, but I could barely hear her real voice at all through the heavy production and vocal effects — reverb and double tracking. Overall, the album has too much production and effects — it doesn't sound enough like a real band... Too much compression, as well. Distortion on some of the songs, making it sound like Amateur Hour.

The lyrics for most of the songs also sounded immature — you can tell she is young, and without a lot of life experience to draw on. Not too insightful or creative with her language, although that is something that comes with practice.

Some of the lyrics also seemed like they were written just for people to sing along to... And I've done that personally with bands I've written songs for — but I'm not really taking myself seriously. They are also not just "sounds", like saying "Bu Du Du Dum."

And to read this, you'd think I really hated this album, but I don't really don't have any problem with it — it's just pop... The song structure is formulaic. Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus... Every. Single. Song.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's just pop. That's how it is... And it just it's that interesting for me to listen to.

Favorite Tracks: "Turn It Off", "All I Wanted", and "Where The Lines Overlap"...

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(no subject)
...please don't let the weather creep into my mood.
...don't let the snow bury my sunshine.

Forlorn memories blown back through the door. Frigid wind, an uninvited guest that always overstays its welcome. Taking more than given. Stealing warmth made within the hearth of my heart.

...just stay warm.
...just stay with me.

Sky a peaceful white flag of surrender to all of us below. Asking us to stop looking up & start looking within. Within your eyes. Within your eyes is my sunrise.

...please don't fall.
...please don't slip.

snow fall is just the start...

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

Listen Up [Alice In Chains]
Black Gives Way To Blue, Alice In Chains :: *[3.5/5.0]
Alice In ChainsLayne Staley was what I never liked about Alice In Chains. His voice... It just bugged me. Also his persona and lifestyle of just being completely controlled by drugs. He was a caricature. A living Rockstar Satire.

The music was also a little too "grungy" for me. Slow sludge metal, but there were a couple songs that I liked. But they just never caught and held me like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

And then they came back with a new singer, William DuVall, using the same name for the band... I've never been a fan of that move.

But I heard the song "Check My Brain", and that main riff — so simplistic and rawk and genius.

DuVall, the new singer, has a voice that's different enough from Staley's that it doesn't grate on me. The music is nice and heavy — some good guitar tones — but the music is still too slow... Just one tempo, pretty much. And on a couple of the songs that breach the five minute mark, it only makes them seem so much more long and sluggish.

And the slower acoustic stuff on this album doesn't move me at all...

It's not metal enough for me. Too grungy. It's just not right — kinda like Goldilocks. Almost there, but not not quite.

Favorite Tracks: "Check My Brain", "Take Her Out", and "Last Of My Kind"...

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Listen Up [Jónsi and Alex]
Riceboy Sleeps, Jónsi and Alex :: *[4.8/5.0]
Riceboy SleepsThis album is more in line with older Sigur Rós albums such as Takk and (), as far as it has less percussion and rhythm elements. More ambient and thought provoking — more conductive to creativity — than the Sigur Rós album that came out last year.

Of course, if you don't know, this is the lead singer from Sigur Rós, Jón Þór Birgisson, and his partner/boyfriend, Alex Somers. And really, this feels to me, more like an extension of Sigur Rós, than a side-project.

Instrumental, for the most part. A lot of strings and droning sounds — woodwinds and synths and probably some kind of ancient traditional Icelandic instruments, or something. Dusty old things that contain the souls of Vikings and melancholic widows...

This is really good. More ammunition to be added to my arsenal of Writing Music... It gets my mind working. Listening, you can't help but start thinking. Mental lighter fluid.

Happiness - Riceboy Sleeps
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Listen Up [Muse]
The Resistance, Muse :: *(2.0/5.0)
TheResistanceThe first single I heard from these guys — "Time is Running Out" — I wanted to hear more. Then the other singles were good, too. So tempted to go out and buy that album — Absolution — but I just never got around to it...

But then their next album came out, and I heard keyboards and synths creeping in there a little more. They had started to tread into some pretty dangerous prog waters — towards sort of Rush Territory...

And it is with this album, that feat had become fully realized.

I could barely make it through the whole way, and there was no way I could even fathom attempting a second listen... People have been comparing Muse to Queen for some reason, and I have not the slightest fucking idea why. The singer, Matthew Bellamy, doesn't sound anything like Freddie Mercury, and I feel like it's a cheat and insult to make that comparison.

The only similarity is the fact that Muse mixes piano and guitar in their songs. So I don't know why Queen in particular was singled out for that association...

This music really has no soul. I didn't feel anything. Seemed too contrived and sterile. Formulaic in its pomposity.

And there's some sort of lyrical theme that I just couldn't make out — who exactly are they "Resisting", because there seems to be some sort of romantic thread in there too?...

There are a couple of catchy rock-tinged songs, but they just can't shake off the taint and ego of the rest of the album.
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-posting update-
... I'm not one for waiting until the new year to do things — and seeing as how I'm going to do away with the music Listen Up posts, for the most part since I won't be trying to listen to as much new music; it won't even really matter, but I figured "What the hell" — I have decided to change the formats of my posts from now on.

Going to do away with the True Type tags and change the layout/template of this page this week... Simplify things a little more and make things a little easier for me to cross-post to my Blogger pages once my novel writing and podcast recording get underway...

And really, there's no reason for me to have to announce this. I just feel like I need to explain myself as both a courtesy and means of maintaining some type of continuity.

That's all from me, right now... I'll continue posting my reviews for this years music until I get it all done. Only 14-15 left... Dammit.

Listen Up
In Prism, Polvo :: *(3.5/5.0)
Polvo-In PrismVery alt-rock, 90's, Pavement kind of vibe. The very definition of "college rock".

I heard about this band from a customer at work... I was working in the music department, covering a break. I answered a phone call for a customer looking for this album. I looked it up in our computer, and read a little about it — but no, we didn't have it at the store.

It sounded interesting, so I wanted to give it a try...

Some of the music seems too "noodley" and over-indulgent to me at times. But it's an extremely fine line between that and what I find to be Interesting and creatively pushing the borders of The Norm. I'm just not sure if I can figure it out, though... It's good, but I'm pretty sure it's not 100% for me...

Favorite Tracks: "D.C. Trails", "Dream Residue/Work", and "Beggar's Bowl"

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