Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallow's Eve

Today is a pretty weird day.


Well, it's feels weird because today is the first Halloween I've spent at home since 12th grade. And while it might seem like I'm making a way bigger deal of this than I need to, as soon as my Mom put up the decorations and brought the mini bags of chips to the door I was on whatever the nostalgia-oriented version of the Autobahn is called and transported to my childhood.

I imagine that it's equally weird for my parents because while the last 6 years of my existence feel like a lifetime and I feel like I've changed lots and lots since then, I'm sure it went by very fast for them. I find that the older you get, the faster that time passes. Like remember when you were a kid and it seemed like  forever in between Christmases? And now it's like "Oh shit, it's Christmas already." Anyways, what I'm trying to get at is that those 6 (and if we really want to get into it, like 8 or 9) years went by like *Tim snaps his fingers* that to them. So it's got be weird that their son went from dressing up like Batman 4 years in a row and being amped to go out and get candy to sitting in the basement on his laptop and thinking that it sucks he can't go out and get free candy.

I don't know if it's just me becoming jaded as I get older or the usual "Back in my day..." shtick, but is it just me or has Halloween gotten substantially shittier in the last few years?

I mean when I was younger there'd be a gang of about 10 or so of us 12 year-olds covering out entire neighborhood trying to get as much candy as possible and looking for that elusive house giving out cans of pop so we could wash down what we were snacking on while walking. We'd all gather at one person's house early and we'd be out for hours. Now it seems like parents are so concerned about what their kids are getting and so on that everyone is sheltered from everything I understood Halloween to about when I was younger.

I guess I can't fault parents for protecting their children because obviously that is extremely important, but  Halloween is a pretty crucial stepping stone in a child's social life as well as developing their independence (or at least I see it that way). Because when you're young and going out trick-or-treating for the first time, it's really the first time you're exposed to that many people being out and around. It might have just been me being a little boy and overwhelmed, but my early memories of going out on Halloween with my Dad and sister made the street seem like a giant crowded marketplace of costumes where everyone was having an amazing time. I loved it.

And then you get older and start to trick-or-treat with your friends and all of a sudden it's "Holy shit! (I started swearing early) Our parents are letting us go out by ourselves! And we're getting candy!" And then you go back home and watch Halloween cartoon specials and actually have more candy than you can eat and it's just like "Fuck those jabronis in Stand By Me, they don't have shit on my friends and I!"

Then before you know it you're in 8th grade and everyone in your class is going out together and you just think "HOLY FUCK! GIRLS." and you have a reason to hang out with them and if you were smoother and not starting to get acne you would make a move.

Of course that segways right into high school when you realize that drinking and weed is cool, but drinking and smoking weed is even cooler when you can go out and candy for free and hang around your neighborhood and again, girls.

So if you can't tell by now, I fucking love Halloween and while I'm sure that kids today are probably having an equally rad time, albeit in some different way, I wouldn't want them to miss the amazingness that was Halloween when I was growing.

I sure am a nostalgic son of a bitch, aren't I?

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Look Like Shit (Again)

What the fuck is up!

You should be able to tell I'm going to make a half-assed effort to keep up this blog (Yes, again. Ugh. I know.) because not only have I put a new picture at the top (MAXIMUM EFFORT YOU GUYS.) but I also added another contributer who happens to also be me, just with a new email.

More importantly, Jeff Rosenstock has put out a new album and I feel compelled to write about and we all know this is a fucking haven for music news right?


So yeah, last week Jeff Rosenstock released a solo album without having mentioned the release date or built up any hype whatsoever. Just completely out of the blue. He's done this on the last few Bomb The Music Industry! releases and I have to say I'm fan of it. Rather than trying to drum up praise or excitement, he just lets the music speak for itself and in his case it works because the music is extremely good.


One can immediately recognize that Senor Rosenstock is behind the music not only from his distinctive voice, but also because the music more less follows the style that BtMI! has established over the course of their last few albums (makes sense as several of the tracks were originally intended to make up a Bomb EP that was never finished). Since a bunch of the songs are demos, they're a little more stripped down than what he put out in the past, though there are more than enough drum machines and clear (but awesome) signs of home production to satisfy fans of Bomb's early work.

One thing I've really noticed is how much work the guy puts in vocals nowadays. He's gone from yelling as many words as he can per song (which I loved) during the Arrogant Sons of Bitches to writing less words but putting way more melody into his vocals (which I also love) as was the case on Vacation, all while dramatically increasing his range along the way.

Along with this what is definitely his most interesting choice of cover, and maybe even his best cover, as he chose to do the pop-punk tune "I Don't Wanna Die" (Ai Don Wana Dai?) by the extremely rowdy and awesomely weird Ging Nang Boyz. Jeff has a habit of making the second or third last song a longer/darker number and then following it up with the most epic ender one can imagine that just makes you feel amazing and posi and fuzzy and happy to be alive. In this case "Amen" fills the role of the former, while "I Don't Wanna Die" takes care of the the latter.

I guess it could just be me, but I've spent the last week yelling "The Internet Is Everywhere" and "Bonus Oceans" and it feels PRETTY DAMN GOOD MAN.

To put it shortly, if you love Bomb the Music Industry! then you will love this album. If you don't love Bomb the Music Industry!, then get yer head outta yer ass and download this album. The guy's a genius and this is probably more accessible to you than anything else he's put out.

Album of the year?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Look Like Shit

A problem I have is that I tend to over-think things. Though I can be shy and might not speak very much sometimes, in my head the wheels are constantly turning and analysing everything I see. It’s not exactly healthy and is something that I would avoid, but unfortunately the way my mind works is not something that I control.

The worst part about over-thinking things is that it leads to several bad habits that I would like to avoid just as much. There really are too many to list but the main one is that I keep things bottled up. The link between over-thinking situations and over-analyzing occurrences and my habit of not letting anything out may seem a little bit strained, but let me elaborate.

There are and were many people who I am and was exposed to on a regular basis that I found to be pretty irritating and overbearing. Usually a big part of this would be making a gigantic deal out of things that were pretty minor in actuality. An example would be complaining about schoolwork and acting like it was the end of the world that they had an exam/essay/report/etc to write and also acting like they specifically had it worse than anyone else. In reality everyone at university had a pretty similar workload if not worse than these people (An engineer would have far more work to finish in any given week than a business major.) but this was lost on them. They would often make similar remarks about their love life and such.

As is my custom, I found this people to be extremely annoying and very unpleasant to be around. Naturally I wanted to be perceived in the opposite light of these people, so I tried to do the opposite of whatever they would. Since they let everything out and constantly complained, I started to not let anything out and try to never whine. This is certainly not healthy or recommended but it does have a few positives that come along with it. If you stop to think about it, do you actually like to hear about others’ problems? The answer is definitely no. While I’m sure you take great pleasure in hearing your friends rant and helping them overcome obstacles that pleasure comes from helping your friends out and seeing them become happy again, not from hearing them complain. Straight up, people complaining fucking sucks. So I found that not venting about little annoyances made it seem like I am far more easy-going than I actually am and thus more likeable.

However, with this approach come many more negatives than positives. As Jeff Rosenstock very poignantly put on his latest album “Show me a person who always seems fine and I’ll show you a lying sack of shit”. Everyone dislikes things and gets low because that is human nature and it happens to everyone and that’s just the way things are. So if you have no avenue to purge these annoyances, they start to pile up and get much worse.

This has been the case lately. I’m done school and don’t really have anything to challenge myself like my program did. I’ve been forced to move back into my parent’s house and live in my sister’s room while she is away at school. I have no job and thus no source of income to do things. My band lives in another city that is an hour and a half away by car, but 3-4 hours away via public transit, which is what I am forced to take to get to practice. All this adds up to me often feeling beaten down and tired, despite not having done very much, which is just about the worst feeling you can get.

I have a select few friends who don’t really mind hearing me open up about things, but on the whole I keep it to myself because I feel like I shouldn’t trouble other people with my problems when they already have their own. As a result of this tendency coupled with my aforementioned worries, I wake up in a bad mood with nowhere for it to really go, which leads to days like today:

I wake up still tired, I put on records about being sad, I drink coffee and mope around my house, keeping quiet and trying to find things to do while my mind races around in circles thinking about the things I don’t like but not really finding a way to reconcile them.

Fortunately for me, my 11 year-old border collie has a habit of noticing when I don’t feel so great and he came over to put his head in my lap, stare at me with his gigantic eyes and remind me that at least he wants me to feel good.