Friday, May 31, 2019

Music Review //
Jonas Brøg
"Not Because Of You"

"Not Because Of You" is a song that speaks to me because it is about depression.  If you can tell by the title, the idea behind this song is that those with depression don't always feel that way because of the people who surround them, and I feel that it's a common misperception that people feel like those they know with depression are that way because of them.  The lyrics explore this and I think it's a good concept for those who don't have depression to listen to so they can try and gain a better understanding.

For those of us living with depression... This song just hits too close to home.  I've gone through some rough patches and those in my life would feel responsible, to the point where it would become a fight between us and that just made things so much worse overall.  Imagine having food poison, throwing up and someone is complaining you're being too loud.   People don't seem to understand that you can enter this darkest place when you're surrounded by loved ones and seemingly the happiest you've been in your life.  

Musically, this song reminds me of Blue October at first- and not just because of the lyrical content.   It has this smooth flow to it which feels calming, but as it goes on it turns almost hypnotic with the beat and can perhaps be closer to something like Twenty One Pilots.  Still, it remains a unique take on a pop song and it could (and should) be easily featured on the radio because the sound is so mass appealing.

This is an important song because it could be playing almost anywhere and someone could hear it, wonder who it is and what it's called, look it up and become a fan.  I realize not everyone is going to dive into the lyrics because pop music doesn't always go hand in hand with thinking, but even if some of the people who hear this song learn something from it I think it will be worthwhile for it to be played everywhere.   And plus just the musical aspect of it is worth playing it out of your speakers.  

Music Review //
(EYRST) //

This is such a unique set of songs.   The first song I heard be Blossom was "Moi å Moi", which has these beats and just feels like... I don't know.  It's not quite hip hop, and it's not qutie R&B, but it's something along those lines.  Is this what it was like when A Tribe Called Quest first started making music and people had to write about it?

"Maybe" begins with an intro about going to California to see Joey and then what follows can be described as dreamy soul.  It has that pop appeal but without any major influence I can compare it with exactly.   I would actually really love to hear a duet / collab between Blossom and Tony Njoku, as I don't think I've been this excited about an artist since I heard him a year or so ago.

"Glitch" is a song that makes me think of Mariah Carey and then it goes into this Madonna-like breakdown, so it's within these certain lines but also not easy to predict or define.   "Hope your fingers bleed when you think of me / That's my reality" is an example of a lyric that I really enjoy and why this is more than just the typical lines and rhymes (which makes me wish I was still on AIM with away messages so I could be quoting this-- why don't text messages have away messages?)

For that slow beat type of jam feel, you should check out "LaDiDa", while "Anxiety" starts with some static but turns lighter like Gotye or "Here" (Alessia Cara).   "Cabana" can sound like a record starting, maybe a little bit like Corrine Bailey Rae, and it has some nice beats as well.  "More Than" reminds me of Salt N Pepa somehow and that just kind of goes to show you how diverse this album is.   It is something which I intend to be listening to all summer long (and then some) and it should definitely be on your hot this summer list.

Music Review //
Damon Locks - Black Monument Ensemble
"Where Future Unfolds"
(International Anthem) //

Part of my writing process involves listening to albums which I have downloaded for about thirty seconds to decide whether or not I want to keep them and actually write about them.   When I pressed play on "Where Future Unfolds" I should've simply said "Yeah, I'll write about this" and then put on another album to decide about but I just couldn't turn this one off and listened to it all the way through.   If you listen to "Statement of Intent" and don't feel the same way then not only is this album likely not for you but we might have a problem.

"Statement of Intent / Black Monument Theme" has this spoken word part to open up the album and it's exactly what it says it is-- it is a declaration, a letter of intent.  There is singing, percussion, wind chimes and just a lot of chaos swirling together into one sound and never has a single song quite possibly set the tone for an entire album so well before.  If you listen to this album and can't make it past the first song I would not only question you as a music listener but as a human being.

There is applause, as this was recorded live, and with the soulful singing this touches on some important topics.   It has that feeling where I can relate it with something like "The Boondocks" because musically there isn't a whole lot of room for comparison.  There is a clarinet, but it's not quite jazz.  At times I can feel like it is gospel, but still not quite filed under that genre tag.   Elements within here could be compared with that of Bob Marley, which is never a bad thing, and a child by the name of Rayna Golding opens up the song "Rebuild A Nation" with a powerful solo.

At the core of it all, these are protest songs and while the title, lyrics and a lot of it otherwise may present this as being for a specific race, I feel like this goes beyond all of that.  Yes, it is about a group of people who have been treated differently- wrongly- by another group of people, but it doesn't mean that you have to be a part of that group to listen to this.   This music can feel like a lesson from a history book where no matter the color of your skin you can say that this has happened long enough and has gone too far and it needs to change.

While this has a record and CD release, I'm not sure if there is a DVD for it but as the credits note the dancers I would hope that one day this is released with visuals to accompany the music.   Nothing has been more moving, with such a greater sense of purpose in my lifetime than this album.  Both from the unique music within that it feels like anyone with ears can enjoy and yet isn't really radio-friendly to the word-by-word power of the lyrics, this has to be listened to by all for it can only make the world a better place in which to live.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Music Review //
Franc Cinelli
"Horses" // // //

This second single by Franc Cinelli is called "Horses" and if you can pick up on the theme of his music based upon the first song- "Fly"- then you are obviously paying attention.  With the chorus line of "Set those horses free" one might think the common factor between these two songs is animals or nature, in the way that "Fly" can be about birds, but the truth is they are both about freedom.  I'd imagine Franc Cinelli puts together an album and calls it "Songs About Nature, Songs About Freedom" or something to that effect.

"Horses" has more instrumentation than "Fly" in the sense that several instruments come together to create this sound.  It still maintains that smooth folk genre though, as this can be a little bit closer to something like The Wallflowers than my previous comparison of Bob Dylan (Though there is that connection there as well)   It's just that slow sort of song with sad strings that I really enjoy, even when I'm not sad.

During the music video for "Horses", we see Franc Cinelli standing in a place which you would assume horses would live.  Lots of grass and trees- nature around him but more in a farm / ranch type of way.  There is even a wire fence behind him, which plays the most important role in the video because it keeps him right where he is.  The whole point of the song is to be set free, so he must be somewhat caged.    I would say that the video as well as the song itself are just perfect and I look forward to more music from Franc Cinelli.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Music Review //
Fond of Rudy
"Singapore" //

There was a time when I would've easily said that the first person named Rudy who came to my mind when seeing this was the character in that movie about football.  However, since that movie seems to shift further into the past and the future is now, I can also think of a character on "Bob's Burgers" when I see the name Rudy, so I enjoy that the name Fond of Rudy could be applied to either of those staples in my life.

An upbeat electronic sound and clapping make this song one to put on during the summer time, with the windows rolled down and sunglasses on.   It's somewhere between Owl City and Hellogoodbye-- that sort of rock with pop mixed in, but not overly done or obnoxious.    With parts which break down quieter, this could easily be the dance anthem of the summer.

While the title is sung during the chorus, the song is about a feeling.   It's about being in love, or at least feeling that strongly about someone, and to that end it's just a fun song which should put you in a good mood even when you're not in one.   Also, I noticed a line in here about hearing this song on the radio and, yes, this is a song I wish to hear on the radio one day in the not too distant future. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Music Review //
Franc Cinelli
(Song Circle Records) // // //

I feel drawn to this song because both of my parents can identify most birds just on sight and that's something I've always wanted to be able to do as well, so I've bought books, CDs, binoculars and even a camera to go out into the world and study birds.   But among us all, who isn't really envious of the birds who can just up and fly away at any time?

A light, acoustic guitar part provides a folk feel to this song which otherwise is just Fran Cinelli's unique voice.   In ways this reminds me of Bob Dylan, at other points it can remind me of Jack Johnson, but being how minimal it is and the voice is so distinct that it just seems to create its own mood.

"It's the right time to say I'm getting out / I've had enough".   This song is about freedom, and not just in the sense of being a bird and being able to fly away, but in the sense that you need to break out of your cage sometimes.   There is this routine that we often fall into- and I know this better than anyone- that it sometimes gets to that point where it just doesn't feel right anymore.

We might not all love birds the way I do or feel envious of them, but we can all feel like we're stuck in our ways at times and for that we need a change.   There is a video with the song which is set in the woods where I imagine you could birdwatch but ultimately it is nice also to think about nature and that being our escape because there was a time when we weren't living for the weekends and this might help us all remember that.

Baseball Review //
New Britain Bees vs. High Point Rockers
@ New Britain Stadium
[May 24th, 2019]


Additional Game Day Photos can be found in the Facebook album here:


This year, so far, we attended three different Yale baseball games, a Bees exhibition game against the CT Twilight League and the Bees opening day game.   When we went to opening day, back on May 3rd, though it was raining and we ended up leaving early so between that and the final Yale baseball season of many of their top players, I didn't feel like there was a lot to write about until this game.

We arrived in New Britain around 5:45pm.   We got our tickets and were put in the same spot as for opening day: Section 103, Row B, Seats 1, 2 and 3.   There weren't any giveaways (like "Bobblehead Night" for example) and there aren't a lot of those in general for the Bees this season, which is kind of sad.   As soon as we got in we saw this wing competition they had going on and I saw "Wing It On" which says it's in New Britain but there is also one right across the street from me (They also ended up winning)

Sting was out front and center so Quentin ran over to give him a hug and then take a picture together.   We went into the shop to get the roster folder and Quentin ended up getting a batting helmet.   By the time we got to our seats it was almost game time so it never really ceases to amaze me how the time from parking at the stadium to getting to your seats seems to fly by like we're in some kind of time portal.   We've arrived an hour early for games and it never feels like you're just sitting around waiting.

This was a wild game.   The Bees came back from being down three runs to ultimately win it and the play which you could say won them the game was Jason Rogers sliding into third base on an argued call.   Now, I was sitting on the first base side, so I did not see a clear picture of what happened, but... If you've ever seen Jason Rogers in action before... Well... When the ball was hit towards left and he was rounding second he was maybe halfway to third with the throw coming in much faster than he was running.

My only guess at this point was that he somehow avoided the tag which made him safe, otherwise he would've been clearly out by a mile.   The crowd was cheering the safe call but the High Point Rockers manager was not.  He challenged it, though it was not overturned, and eventually the manager then got into this huge shouting match with the umpire who threw him out of the game.   I've seen managers thrown out of games before but this one kept trying to come back and I thought for some time he might actually start swinging.

On paper, this was a fun bit of baseball.   The come from behind victory for the Bees is everything you want to see in a baseball game because it was just such a hard fought effort back and forth from both teams, who both made mistakes, and seeing the home team win is never a bad thing either.   Aside from the game itself, the first base side umpire gave Quentin a game used ball, Sam Gervacio gave out bubblegum to the kids (including Quentin) and when they threw t-shirts into the stands one landed in Quentin's seat, as thrown by Sting.

Overall this was just a rather enjoyable game of baseball.  I know that sometimes a team can get beat 5-0 or 1-0 and it seems like the same crushing defeat.   People can say baseball is boring, but it is a game of strategy and even so, this was just such a great back and forth game with events unfolding in favor of both teams at times but in the end it was the Bees who ended up winning, which was something worth going out on a Friday night to see.

CD Review //
Emotional Tourist:
A Steve Scott Retrospective
(Arena Rock Recording Company) //

From what I can tell by a Google search and clicking on a few links, this CD came out back in 2012 and is "out of print" which means you might only be able to find it secondhand unless you also stumble upon that distro where I found out that it was something not easy to come by.   In any case, I first heard Steve Scott with the album "Cross My Heat" and as "Emotional Tourist" will teach me (and possibly you) Steve Scott has quite the body of work prior to that album and it is not all the spoken word poetry I relate with him.

This CD opens with a song called "Different Kind Of Light" which has this garage / punk / classic rock feel to it.   The second song, which is the titular track, becomes dreamy and I enjoy the line "Write me off as a minor character" because I feel like it fits me so well.  It's just such a bold statement because people tend to always feel like they are the stars of their own movies.   The song also has this new wave vibe to it with a sax, a little like "Can't Hardly Wait". 

"Ghost Train" is a bit more funky and is about working a graveyard shift.   I struggle to find the exact name I want to compare this with, but it might be for the best because this music has more of a feeling to me that can be related by an image than a particular sound tied to a name.   If you are like me and grew up watching MTV when they had music videos on, you will remember a time when there were videos where they showed artists playing on stage and they had keyboard players in their band... That's what this sound reminds me of most.

"Love In The Western World" has some talking with singing, but it's still funky.   "Sounds Of Waves" has a really funky synth bass line and then the sax comes in as well, whereas "Shadowplay" is a little bit darker.   "Farthest Star" channels Phil Collins while "Come Back Soon" almost feels like Randy Newman singing an ode to Jesus.   "Empty Orchestra" is ambient tones and instrumental and then we go into "This Sad Music" which is dark pianos and then the spoken word I know from Steve Scott. 

"No Memory Of You" is also a poem, there are ambient tones and an audio clip behind it, which by the end we might out the meaning of exactly.   It's this story which could be played out as a short film easily and I do enjoy that about it.   I never really knew that Steve Scott made music like this before listening to this CD so it really makes me want to listen to his older songs as well now, but also I really want to hear more of this spoken word poetry mixed with music because I feel the world just needs more of that as well.   If you can get a copy of this CD (I think it's on Spotify if not) you should listen to it and listen to Steve Scott grow from beloved artist to icon.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

CD Review //
Metallica Is Dead / Heavy Metal Vomit Party
"FOAD / (Groupies Fighting) Tooth And Nail (To Get Backstage)"
(Busey Teeth CDr)

$6 //
Edition of 20 // //

Every song on here by Metallica Is Dead ends with the words "Is Dead", which is kind of cool.    Harsh static comes through on the first song and it sounds like there is this demonic speaking within it as well.    This is what the kids call harsh noise.   Frequencies twist and turn in the wind on "Napalm Death Is Dead Is Dead".   It'd be funny if every title was just some artist who was dead but many of these like "Until It's Dead" and "Battery Is Dead" seem to be directly Metallica influenced (my favorite being "Sad But Dead")

Those vocals and that louder static feel return on 3, as opposed to the more minimal sounds of the second song.   This then goes into those robotic/Transformers sounds as it almost can sound as if it is glitching through.    There are these child-like voices within here as well.   A lighter song also seems to be on a loop through "Sad But Dead" but I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not it reminds you of Spongebob.

We whistle through that static as moans and groans come with it now.   A lightsaber build like Jaws can be heard briefly.    It feels almost like someone struggling to breathe or a swarm of bees and then these beeps and boops come through in that android way as well.   This takes a turn into a true glitching symphony.   Audio clips are spliced in with "Until It's Dead" and they are from Metallica, mainly talking about how Metallica Is Dead.   "Did you take all the soul and life out of the tracks?"  Let's be fair though, "Fuel" shreds.

All sort of chaos is just breaking down on the last Metallica Is Dead song.   Explosions, drum machines and everything.

The Heavy Metal Vomit Party songs all have parenthesis.   Loud, crackling distortion gets things started for them.    It drones on through, a bit like a glitching video game.    The crackling static drone continues on the second song from HMVP.    It just feels like we're trapped inside a wind tunnel with a little bit of that video game Pong sound behind it.    As it fades out on one song, it comes crashing back into the next, growing a bit more electric now on number 9.

Thunder crackles down now and this reminds me a bit of We Also Let Blood.   It gets a little wavy in here, like the beeping of a video game buried under this static void.   Static, static, static on "When Heaven Comes Down (She's Gonna Have A Bad Hangover)" like being caught in that perpetual wind tunnel.   To call this harsh noise drone would be an understatement, but I just picture myself listening to it at work and someone kind of hearing it out of my earbuds and thinking to themselves "What the fuck is he listening to?"  It also really makes me want to listen to more noise like this for some reason.

The twelfth track sort of ends in a fade out like a puff of smoke but then the song in the thirteen spot comes in huge with this bang and has a little bit more of that electronic glitching/screeching behind it but only a small amount where you can hear how it's different from the one before it but not too much.   A large amount of crackling static once again and that might be the best way to describe the second portion of this CD.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Cassette Review //
Unpure Impulse
"Young Hegelian"
(Clear Lake Media Solutions)

$2 // //

Distortion comes screeching through and then shifts into these gasp-slip beats which make it sound like we're going to some place both electronic and dark.   It's a cross between NIN and something from "Resident Evil".    The beats then kick in and really begin to grow into pure electronica bliss.   Heavy breathing now.    Somehow it helps to keep the rhythm as the drums come clapping in.

Though it can groove like a ringtone it can just as easily pick up that pace like "Run Lola Run".    As we drift off into drums and beeps it can also feel quite hollow.    The beats increase the pace and this is just crazy good.   You can kind of hear a voice and then it gets into this place where it feels like a car starting only with a drone.   This somehow feels mechanical.

Shots are fired into a sea of destruction.   It's building with trill but has this steady pace to it.   Electronics like Transformers slip in and really pick things up right before the end of Side A.    On the flip side static whirrs and steady beats create a rhythm you can really move to, like something out of "Trainspotting" perhaps. 

It feels like we're being chased by a monster.   The drums are getting closer to steel.    It just grows into such a great dance number now.   If you don't get up and move to this something is wrong with you.    There is this great bass line and some dings come in to give the music a more serious feel now, like we're working against the clock to stop a bomb from going off or something.

The way the static comes through and then turns into this bass line feels like a video game.  A little bit of "Knight Rider", a little bit of "Fatal Fury" right now.    Into a more squeaky electronic sound now with drum machine beats paving the way.   It begins winding like the Walkman is running out of batteries, I hear what might be a horse and then words come in like hip hop.    It gets into this laser bit with the drums increasing and then comes to an end, just as wild and fantastic throughout the entire time. 

Cassette Review //
Gretchen Snakes
"Family Life"

$10 CAD //
Edition of 100 // //

Sharp electronics, almost like glitching, start this one off as there is this feeling of almost a scraping as well.    These sounds are somewhere between wind chimes and magic.  A louder synth drone comes in now, taking over the sound completely.   It gets a little wavy, a little bit winding, but it seems to stay the course as if launching us off into space.

A loud drop now, into some distorted void, and then the guitars come in with notes like fun rock music.    It feels like it could be punk, but also something like Tora Tora Torrence or The Lot Six.    The guitar riff just makes this song as the drive behind it just feels so cool.     This is just the wildest of the dark rock n roll right now.    I'm getting these Alice In Chains vibes even.

The pitch can change, but it loops on this guitar and it's just something that even the best of the bands with vocals can accomplish so hearing it with this guitar taking over for the vocals makes it that much better.    Things get distorted now, dropping off into the madness, as small twangs come through within it.   A classic rock vibe caught up in the chaos.    Once again though, we end up dropping even lower now.

This feels like we've gone into this place where we could be on "The Crow" soundtrack- just that level where it feels almost goth.    It's sort of along those lines of NIN but there's something else in here and it feels haunted, somewhat scary.   To think of it in contrast to how the guitar was working earlier as well just makes it that much impactful.   Having these songs stand alone is an accomplishment of themselves but considering the talent when grouped together is simply remarkable.

On the flip side we're in this dark space that makes me think a beat will come in and start off a song from NIN's "The Fragile".   This takes us into more melodic guitar notes, which are a less distorted version of Hendrix even though the strings seem to bend.   What I like about this cassette as well, as I think about Hendrix, is that while I've heard guitar-based music before this doesn't have a direct link to them so Gretchen Snakes seems to forging their own sound.

It can begin to drone now, with that sort of distorted sound, which makes me feel like Hendrix, which is a comparison the song has really grown into.    The notes just seem to ride up and down, distorted bombs dropping in a hollow, pale sky.    It's this echoing drone that just encompasses everything.    The notes pierce through now, cutting sharper than before.   Rocking chords now with the banging of the drums bring us into something like what we heard closer to the beginning of this cassette. 

The guitar is just ringing through now.   Scorching.    Static bombs drop.  The synth drones.   It feels like an error drone, but then you can also hear how this is actually guitar notes as they begin to slightly change.   It goes back to that distorted-ringing feeling like Hendrix though and it's just so full of melody.    By the end it just seems to cut off in one grand swoop. 

Cassette Review //

$7 //
Edition of 100 // //

A buzzing comes through, somewhere between a bugzapper hum and a glitch.    This turns into this raw, screeching distortion which does sound like more of a glitch than the previous sound, as it's just this error message stretching out, annoying my neighbors as I increase the volume.   Full on guitar distortion enters now and this one could blow your speakers.   It's shaking.    Whirrs come in and it just has a static drone backing to it.   Sharper now, it pierces the ears when the earbuds are in.

It whirrs in and out like the start of that one song on "In Utero".   I feel like it's taking off now, like a jet engine.    It gets a little deeper now, the revving and then the glow of the glass.   They alternate and this will really mess with your ears in the best possible way.   It has such an electric charge to it.    A crackling now.    It pick up, like lift off, and has this hyper modem sound before it drops down into a more minimal bass.

Screeches take us into this death march that is just insane.    Sharpness now, like a hiss.  A crack, like a whip.  The bomb drops into distortion.   The static is cracking like someone is stomping through it.   It can also just feel like a glitching video game, one with lots of battles.   I'm reminded of the Atari Star Wars game for some reason.   A slow, electric buzz drops into the bass now.  It's got the drone of a lightsaber and it feels like it's cutting.   Screeching like the tea kettle whistle now.

On the flip side we start with tones which give me chills.   It turns into this eerie sense of tones, like something out of "Friday the 13th".    It's that suspense that at any moment something or someone could come stabbing through the sound and into your ears where you live.    It stretches and then sinks down low into this distorted, deep bass type of video game vibe where it seems all things go to die.   I love listening to music that I feel like will upset my neighbors.

Back into that eerie calm and I'm feeling a bit on edge again.   For some reason this also makes me think of Scooby-Doo.    Wouldn't it be rad though if Scooby-Doo crossed over with Jason Voorhees?  If that happened already, someone would've told me, right?  But, I mean, Scooby-Doo typically deals with such innocent crimes, imagine the gang being in a movie where people are being sliced up into pieces and the such.  If this hasn't happened I feel like it needs to now since I put it out there into the world.

A dinging now, a ringing of a giant bell coupled with that electronic insect vibe.   It fades back down again and I can hear my neighbors talking outside.   Hopefully Jason Voorhees comes for them.    A ringing now and then an electric slash through it.   Heavy guitar distortion now and this goes from the suspense of feeling like someone is right behind you to turning around and finding something scary there quite quick.  It's that sharpness piercing through with crackling static and then it all erupts in one gigantic distortion bomb.

As it begins to go back and forth like a saw, there is also this feeling of it growing like a Nine Inch Nails song and the more bass-filled distortion just grows to a larger static field and it just seems like it's a CD stuck on a certain part and it will not get past it, which actually happened to me once in my teenage years with a Marilyn Manson CD (my mom says it was possessed) but anyway... we are back into the suspenseful tones of terror now, which is how it began and also so shall it end.

Monday, May 13, 2019

These Things Take Time ::: An Interview with My Pleasure [Interview # 215]

1) At some point in my life, someone told me to say "My Pleasure" instead of "you're welcome" when someone says "thank you".   Is this what your name is in reference to- that we somehow became a society where we have to shift the focus to accomodate everyone?

1) Your definition of My Pleasure is correct. As for why it is my name and the origin, that’s a secret.

2) Isn't it weird how baby teeth are one of the only things we lose into adulthood?

2) Have you ever seen an X-ray of a child’s mouth? Where the adult teeth in the gums above the baby teeth, just waiting to emerge? 

3) How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?

3) Always struggle to describe my sound to other people. “Weird pop” is usually what I go with, because my influences are usually met with blank faces.

4) Did you really have someone alphabetize your spice rack?

4) Thank You for Alphabetising My Spice Rack very quickly became a live favourite, unexpectedly, but people seem to think it’s about my girlfriend. It was actually my dad.

5) Do you feel there is still an importance for physical media in 2019?

5) I struggle with the idea of a release being ‘digital only’. It would be way easier to do things that way, but for now, I still love the feeling of owning music, whether it be on CD, tape or vinyl, so I don’t think I’ll stop putting mine out physically for a long time, if ever.

6) What roles do you think a record label play for an artist in 2019?

6) That’s a huge question really, but a very basic answer would be ‘guidance’. A lot of musician friends didn’t know how to navigate the world of streaming, for example, and I help them with that through the label. Broadly, it’s nice when the artist can just think about their art, rather than the business of it all.

7) Growing up writing about music at the turn of the century, I feel like it was much more difficult to be exposed to music outside of the United States compared to how much easier it seems now.  What has your experience been like with your music being heard in other countries?

7) Although my music has been played in a number of countries, it’s been easier focusing my efforts on the UK, than spreading too thinly and trying to cover everywhere. Weirdly, most of my Spotify plays come from Amsterdam due to being featured on a number of playlists there. Pure accident though.

8) Have you really seen drugs being dealt in Burger King and more to the point has a song as specific as that ever gotten you into trouble, like a Burger King says "Hey, you wrote that song about us, no Whopper for you!"?

8) The drug deal actually went down in McDonald’s, but Burger King fit the song better, and seemed sleazier somehow. The only person who confronts me on my lyrics is my girlfriend when they’re not romantic enough. Not my style though, man.

9) You have a new EP out on May 17th which is being released as a collection of singles.  How did that come about and are there any secrets you can leak about a new My Pleasure full length album?

9) The thoughts behind the EP was to throw absolutely everything I had at the time at it, and to try to produce a handful of tracks that stood on their own. I think they do. I’m really proud of them, probably more than anything else I’ve done. That positive frame of mind is how I’ll head into album three. But before that, I’ll be covering one of my favourite albums in its entirety, as a kind of palate cleanser before the next studio album. 

10) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ??

10) Shout out to you and your readers, for your support.

Event Review //
Free Comic Book Day / Star Wars Day
[May 4th, 2019]

I'm not sure how often it is that the first Saturday in May happens to be May 4th, but the fact that Free Comic Book Day and Star Wars Day can fall on the same day seems really special to me.   It had been a number of years since I had been to a Free Comic Book Day because I've, sadly, been falling out of comic books.  I feel like it's this combination of me not having time to read them mixed with not being able to find enough that I like to make it worthwhile.   Yes, I'll grab the occasional trade paperback collection from the library or Newbury Comics when I'm in MA, but for the most part I've just not been into comic books as much as I probably should have been these past few years.

The first thing I needed to do when planning out FCBD was find a comic book shop.   There is this new-to-me shop in Southington (not that far) called Boom Tube Comics, so we went there.   I also looked online at the comic books which were being offered as exclusives, to see if there was anything worth going for, and I convinced Quentin to go based upon the Minecraft and Pokemon issues.   I was ready for my own titles, but we'll get to that a little later on.

Quentin has this Darth Vader costume he wore because it was also Star Wars Day (he was the only one in costume when we were there) and I put on a Star Wars t-shirt.   We got to Boom Tube Comics right around 10:00 am- when they opened- and there were already people inside.   They had a table set up with all of the free issues on it and the deal was you got two or three issues just for showing up, but if you spent more than $10 you could get ten of the free issues.   I didn't even really think about what we would or wouldn't get if we only got two or three issues each and just went straight for ten thinking it'd be easy to spend $10 or more.

One of my favorite comic book writers is Chip Zdarsky because of his work on titles such as Howard the Duck and Jughead.   He is currently writing for Daredevil and they had the first few issues of that series, so I picked those up.   I also grabbed the first two issues of "The Might Ms. Marvel" (I had been reading her more recent run and really enjoying it, along with Squirrel Girl and Gwenpool) and then I also saw the first two issues of a Spider-Man / Ms. Marvel team up I couldn't possibly pass up.    I also picked up the trade for the Infinity Gauntlet, which I wanted for some time and figured this was the best place to give my money to for it.

Quentin has picked out a Heroclix blind bag for the Captain Marvel film and while we were waiting in line I saw a Constantine Pop Vinyl on the table.  I picked it up and thought it looked cool, but when I saw it was exclusive to FCBD2019 I knew I had to buy it.    I'm trying not to become engulfed by the mania of Pop Vinyls (I only have one for Howard the Duck and Goose) so I gave it to my better half, who I collect them through vicariously.

For what we spent and what we got, I would call the experience a success.   When we first arrived at Boom Tube Comics there were a decent number of people inside but by the time we were leaving the place was packed to where you could barely move around without bumping into someone.   I really enjoyed the shop and want to visit it once a month to get current issues and, you know, promoting reading for Quentin is never a bad thing either.   I think I'm finally ready to fully dive back into comic book collecting again because Quentin is reading so the timing just seems right.

I'm typing this on a Saturday (the week after FCBD/SWD) with plans to post it on the following Monday, so I will update it about each exclusive issue I read as I read it.   I would love to be able to review the issues I purchased but I feel like I barely have time to read comic books let alone write about them.   Maybe if there is enough interest or if other music people who love comic books want to get together with me we can start a podcast or something.    Now, onto the titles!

Vampirella - Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Dynamite)

When I was in my younger years, middle school if you will, I remember buying a Vampirella comic book because on the cover you could see her butt.   My friends at the time thought it was cool and sort of something that- at our age- we wouldn't be able to buy because this, of course, was at a time when video stores had a section that you had to be 18+ to go into (Kids, ask your parents what that means)   

Somehow, seeing that the new series starts with this issue brought me back to those younger years and, yes, I couldn't really resist picking this issue up.   There is no real reason why it was the first of the FCBD exclusives I read, but I did enjoy it.   There is a modern story in here and a classic one reprinted as well.    What is interesting (perhaps brilliant?) about this pairing is how Vampirella was treated as a character in the past versus how she will be treated as a character now.  

Many things about Vampirella that existed in the past simply cannot exist now.  Right away, the idea that she is to be thought of as being less because she is a woman will not translate well in 2019, but I'm definitely looking forward more to an empowered version of her versus an underestimated one.   Also, I'm not sure how well the idea that sex sells will translate in 2019 because where I was in middle school is a lot different than where we, as a society, are now (Let's just say we're off dialup, to make it brief)

Something about FCBD2019, my past and the future all came together with this issue though.    Part of reading comic books, for me, is reconnecting with that younger version of myself and Vampirella takes me back there.   I'm not sure what other character could have the same timing of a new series being launched, but when the first issue of the new Vampirella comes out I will be reading it. 

Spider-Man Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Marvel)

For several years in a row, back when I went to FCBD every year, it felt as if I was getting the same Ultimate Spider-Man comic book every time.   This story instead has two different parts- the first being about Venom/Carnage which is something that makes me want to get into that new series when I can.    In some ways, this comic book felt like an advertisement but that was okay seeing as how I'm trying to get back into reading comic books it can help to guide me in that way.

The second story in this issue follows Peter Parker and Miles Morales in their quest for the greatest pizza, yet they also have to stop a little crime along the way and of course I enjoy the interaction between the two.   In some ways I feel like this issue plays off of the "Into The Spiderverse" and "Venom" films and that should be enough to draw casual fans in to read comic books frequently about these characters.  At least it worked for me.

The Tick - Free Comic Book Day 2019 (New England Comics Press)

I've seen The Tick at FCBD before but I will never pass up an issue because he's one of those whacky characters I enjoy so much.   There are several stories within this, one is only a page long and is about laundry while another goes on much longer and is about The Tick and Arthur being kidnapped by a collector type who wants to keep them MOC (something I feel has been done before but it's still fun to see)

In the end there is this story in which The Tick can understand wolves and there are dinosaurs and, yeah, this is The Tick so it gets kind of weird but in a good way.   After two series on the small screen (I hope the newest one sticks around) and who knows how many times the comic book has been revived, I think one day I'm going to have to start buying all of the collections of various stories involving The Tick over the years because I just want to be a part of all of this blue insanity.  

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Free Comic Book Day 2019 (IDW Publishing)

It's hard to think that it's been 35 years of TMNT, if only because they have been alive for almost as long as I have.   This is an issue of pieces of stories which can be put together with other issues and ultimately serves as a look into what the Turtles are up to these days.  I haven't really read a TMNT comic book since they joined forces with Batman, but this could help me get back into them somehow, just to see the new characters and fill the void the lack of a television series has left in me.  

Bob's Burgers - Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Dynamite)

Somehow, I ended up with two copies of this issue of Bob's Burgers, but as a fan of the show and the comic books I've read before this, I am not upset.  This is so much fun whether on television or paper.