music listography: list songs for your wedding or commitment ceremony

 Easy!  As we had our commitment ceremony/handfasting (before marriage was made legal) in October, 2002.  It was a small ceremony with only a few very close friends present.

  • Grow Old With Me – Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version (that was our first song)
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music listography: list the songs to play at your funeral

Actually I’ve thought about this list a lot.  I want my memorial service to be a celebration and a time for my friends to gather and remember the good times.  I want it to be treated as the kind of listening party that my brother and I used to host in my parent’s basement.  Low lighting, a good selection of beverages and really cool music played at a volume for all to enjoy while having a good conversation.

  • The Torture Never Stops – Frank Zappa
  • Ki (the whole album) – The Devin Townsend Project
  • Grow Old With Me – Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version
  • Kedgeree – Mike Keneally (FUCKING PLAY THIS LOUDLY ENOUGH TO FEEL THE MUSIC AND UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS ME IN MUSIC)
  • Wish You Were Here (the whole album) – Pink Floyd
  • Call it Sleep – Steve Vai

walking the fine line between self-deprecation and self-sabotage

I was talking to my guru and mentor, DB, today and we were discussing how as of late, things have been turning around for me and that the light I see at the end of my particular tunnel is not, as I predicted, an oncoming train, but evidence of a new day’s dawning.

We were discussing on how I have managed to turn my life around from a sensation of being constantly treading water and in danger of being overwhelmed and drowned by oncoming swells to being in control of my own boat and riding on top of the waves.

The conclusion we both came to was that this was because I finally took the time to start building my own boat and actually follow through on its completion.

In essence, I finally took the time to get my shit together and allow myself the chance to succeed or fail miserably on my own.  This would not have been possible in the past as I constantly felt that I needed someone outside of me to kick my ass and force me to get shit done.

Until recently, I never honestly allowed myself to believe in myself and feel that I could successfully complete a MAJOR project on my own.  This all changed in the past two years. 

Why?

Because I stopped walking the fine line between self-depreciation and self-sabotage.

Because after years of therapy and counselling, I began to understand that if I didn’t believe in myself, all the help in the world and support from the people I love and respect in my life, wouldn’t amount to anything.  If I didn’t believe in myself and allow myself a chance to fail or succeed on my own, I WOULD NEVER SUCCEED…EVER.

When asked to describe myself to other folks in creative industries, up until recently, I would call myself the “uber second fiddle.”  As I seemed to do my best work supporting others and trying to make their projects successes.  DB used to take great issue with this description as he was upset that I was placing others ahead of myself and not allowing the spotlight to shine on yours truly.

This point really kicked my ass when he inscribed the following message on the back of my main performance guitar to serve as a constant reminder:  “You deserve to be heard.”  I had honestly never considered that point before in my life.  I still get choked up thinking about it and wonder what is it that people see in me that I don’t/can’t/am unwilling see in myself?

Let’s make no mistake here I’m still uncomfortable in the spotlight.  I am an introvert at heart but I realized that I do have something of value to contribute and that it is important for me to say it.  This blog is part and parcel of this process for me.  I am writing to get used to speaking my mind and, yes, bragging about my accomplishments in life.  The biggest one so far is that I have finally taken control of my life and not stepping over that line into sabotaging myself and setting things back.

Thankfully when I do get in that mind frame, I have a strong group of people surrounding me who aren’t afraid to kick my ass and call me on my own bullshit (thank you DH, DB, ME, CG, DJ and DM2).  I’m trying to be better to myself and allow myself to fail, and succeed, on my own.

Last night I had the opportunity to perform my new songs to a friend whom I admire and respect greatly.  He has built a career performing music as unique and individual as he is.  He continues to record (13+ albums) and tour the world with both a band and as a solo musician.  When heard the new songs, he hugged me and said that these songs NEED to be recorded even if it means my going out to Vancouver and having him produce it, although he knows and understands that they are so personal that I HAVE to do this on my own to get them right.  I was SO honoured, I cried.

I’m showcasing them again tonight for another friend who is building his career in music.  This is a step that is highly unusual for me as I used to be secretive in my creative progress and quite shy about sharing things that are works in progress.  Again, my fear of failure, fear of rejection of my ideas (and in essence, me) and need for perfection in EVERYTHING was an act of self-sabotage that I’m striving to put behind me.

So steps I have taken to get these songs recorded and done.  I am in the process of configuring a computer for recording and performing these songs.  I don’t think I am ready to consider hiring a band to perform this music and I want to be as self-sufficient as possible so I’m looking towards what electronic artists are doing for live performance and realize that their methods can be adapted to suit my more organic aesthetic as much as my aesthetic is evolving to something a little less free-flowing and a little more disciplined.

Thankfully I have an engineer friend in North Carolina and a bassist in Louisiana who have been patient with my incessant questions regarding computer music applications and appropriate peripherals that can be used for live performance as well as recording.  The goal is to create a system that is bonehead simple for a Luddite such as myself to use as well as allowing me to record and perform the songs in finished form live.

I am both excited and scared shitless as I remove one further barrier to the expression of these ideas.

And thankfully I have an army of people behind me that are ensuring I don’t sabotage myself and these songs do see the light of day, both live and hopefully as “product.”  Keep in mind, my aim in this is just to finally express myself and know that I have done it.  What happens after that is gravy folks; and ultimately is up to my friends, family and yes my audience!

I’ll still be self-deprecating; I just want everyone to kick my butt when I cross over that line to self-sabotage.  Please help me keep myself honest!

music listography: list bands you do not like

I don’t quite see the point of this one, it’s so negative.  I try to see the redeeming qualities of any act, however ones I simply cannot handle and do not choose (in essence I actively try to avoid these acts) to listen to are:

  • Justin Bieber – sorry music that is so shallow and trite is like spitting on one’s mind, hopefully as he grows and matures, he’ll have some better song writing.
  • Morrissey – As much as I LOVE the Smiths, I find Moz solo very overbearing and monotonous.
  • Phil Collins – Post “No Jacket Required,” again, he started writing the same song over and over again, hard to believe an extremely creative songwriter and percussionist would fade to bland mediocrity and weak cover songs.

music listography: list a song that reminds you of each lover you’ve had

Oooh an incendiary one!  A short list, that won’t get any longer, in chronological order:

  • Nature’s Girl – The Jelly Jam
  • I Melt With You – Modern English / People are People – Depeche Mode
  • Home For a Rest – Spirit of the West
  • You Talk Too Much – Run DMC
  • Summerland – King’s X / You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder / You’re My Best Friend – Queen / Here Comes Santa Claus (obvious enough?)

music listography: list your favourite music moments in film

  • Stuck in the Middle with You – Reservoir Dogs (the ear scene)
  • Flight of the Valkyries – Apocalypse Now (I love the smell of napalm in the morning)
  • Cannibal Corpse Concert  – Ace Ventura Pet Detective
  • Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon – Pulp Fiction (Mia Wallace OD’s)
  • Battle Without Honor or Humanity – Kill Bill (O-Ren Ishii arrives at The House of Blue Leaves)
  • Jinx – Singles (a song by Tad blows out Janet’s car windows)
  • Sweet Transvestite – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (best character introduction EVAR!)
  • Closer (Remix) – Se7en (opening credits sets the scene for the whole movie)
  • The Banana Boat Song (Day O) – Beetlejuice
  • My Sharona – Dazed and Confused
  • Where is My Mind – Fight Club (when all hell breaks loose inside and outside)

music listography: list music from your high school years

Listed in autobiographical order.

  • The Who (I learned how to play bass playing along to “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”)
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Rush (Geddy effing Lee)
  • Pink Floyd (learned how to play guitar to “Wish You Were Here” and “The Wall”)
  • Led Zeppelin (“Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “The Lemon Song” – enough said)
  • Metallica (“And Justice for All” rocked my world, “Master of Puppets” continued my development on the bass guitar)
  • Guns’n’Roses (ubiquitous and ever present, it was hard NOT to hear and be influenced by their music – Duff McKagan had an incredible bass tone)
  • Weather Report (“Birdland” and the live CD)
  • Jaco Pastorius (1st solo album…incredible!)
  • Queensryche (“Operation:  Mindcrime” and “Empire” combined my love of progressive music and classic metal in a way that validated my musical tastes)
  • Black Sabbath
  • Yes (“Roundabout” and “Heart of the Sunrise”)
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Soundgarden
  • Temple of the Dog (“Hunger Strike” was an incredible song that I still love hearing)