I had hoped to make this post yesterday, but I’d been pretty busy at my mother’s place. Probably just as well I didn’t, because I was pretty distracted, and honestly didn’t have much to talk about. Yesterday’s title kindof says it all: “Now Everyone Knows That When a Body Decomposes”. It’s a line from the late, great Harry Nilsson’s ‘Think About Your Troubles’, a song I know best from a little heard cover by the late, great Jellyfish.
My point is, I wasn’t feeling too good. My back was sore as hell and I was fighting off the usual chest implosion I suffer there, despite some pretty heavy use of my inhaler, a device I rarely needed previous to this season, it seems. I was going to write something and post it come hell or high water, but my sister saw the title and gave me the WTF look that sort of put me off. I realise that my sister isn’t always the best judge of these things, but as all I had was a title, I figured perhaps she had a point.
All of that to say Sorry. If you were waiting for me to post something, or actually stopped by to check, I’m sorry. I’ve been pretty regular with the posts lately, and while I don’t plan on formalising it as some sort of daily challenge, it’s more or less worked out that way for the last month or thereabouts, and that suits me fine.
So, what shall we discuss today? I suppose I should rephrase that to read ‘what shall I talk about’, but I do like to think that this is some kind of dialogue, despite the fact that almost no one ever comments. What I can tell you is, it’s 5:53 AM, I’m listening to classic Journey with Steve Perry and Gregg Rolie. I have the pre-Perry stuff as well, but somehow, today felt like an arena anthem day. I need the sweeping dynamics and elegiac themes to get the blood pumping. Patiently is a perfect example of this:
I like music that works this way, taking you from soft to heavy, or vice versa. A lot of modern bands played around with loud-soft-loud dynamics in the last decade, but it was really perfected in the 70s, and honestly, I can think of very few bands after the 80s that ever used it as deftly. Dream Theater and Big Wreck come to mind, as well as Sound Garden and Live, but they were all mostly taking their cues from those same 70s masterpieces I’m referring to. We all have a lot of the same records in our collections, and are driven by the same dynamic push and pull.
The most recent examples of dynamic music are a little too subtle for my tastes. An old friend of mine, a record producer and class A drummer by trade, told me that he and his production partner agreed that the problem with modern bands like Arcade Fire is that they’re dynamic music for the Ritalin Generation. All these kids who were brought up in a medicated bubble of calm, so their music perforce has to be more sedate; Even as it verges on climax, the song backs down and politely moves on to the close. I don’t know for sure if I agree with my buddy or his friend, but it does explain some of the same problem I have listening to the latest crop of bands. Only the most outlandish of them really managed to get through for me. I already miss Fall Out Boy, and am terribly glad Blink-182 is back.
I don’t resent modern rock music. I welcome all comers. I just have certain needs, and can’t help feeling disappointed when modern rock and pop outfits fail to take up the standard and march with it to the next hilltop. To me, they seem to have gotten stuck in the valley, without the strength to get the flag up the hill. It’s kind of sad. I don’t think I’m any sort of master in this regard, but even I have tried to achieve these sorts of dynamic shifts in my own music. It’s hard not to want to when you can’t get the sound of it out of your head.
I suppose I should end this post with something about my writing schedule. I’m not sure how much work will get done today, because I’m tentatively expecting my drummer to stop by to go over some stuff and maybe lay down a track or two with a stripped down version of his kit; probably not, as he’s showing resistance to the idea of not having his full kit involved. We’ll see.
However, I still have three books to finalise and publish this month, and frankly, it’s a lot of work that I’m not enjoying much at the moment. Just not in an editing mood right now, but someone’s got to do it, so it might as well be me. The first book I’m hoping to get out the door this month is ASHES: Infinite Redress, the last of the novellas for this year. This will be followed by The Bride of War and Terminal Monday, though I suspect Monday may actually be ready first, which I find peculiar, since it took longer to write. I suppose I’ll save it til last, even if it is ready first, just so I have something huge I can release around Christmas.
Then it’s on to the New Year and the next phase of my supposed career as a writer. You know, the bit where I become phenomenally popular and well-paid. 😉 Or, you know, the guy with the most ebook titles not being read by anyone in the free world. I’m sure we can all guess which is more likely.