Tag Archives: have a nice life

Electricity Is So Mainstream

I started this post on the 12th of January, the day my electricity was re-connected after being cut off for 5 days. Things kinda didn’t go according to plan. On the first night it was off, I was in my room in the darkness and all I could think was I really need to hear some music, and there was something I came here to say afterwards, but didn’t quite manage to finish the post.

The first thing I need to say is that if you have contacted me about a review (and many have), please accept my apologies if I didn’t respond, and most particularly if I did and haven’t written anything yet. In some cases it may be too little too late, but I’m hoping I can still listen and write for them over time.

My life doesn’t suck, by the way, it’s just not particularly easy at the moment, and yes – as the opening of this post may indicate – it’s a business/finance thing, which is unrelated to this place but the one thing it’s affected is my capacity to listen to music and write about it the way I had been. I hope this makes sense to everyone out there, but before things got a little complicated for me in other areas of my life, when I listened to music, I went to where the music was….and when I came back, I brought “souveneirs” (just a fancy way of saying “blog posts”, really).  Right now, the difference is when I listen to music, it takes me home.

I miss the other way.

Anyway, I also want to say a very belated thank you to the awesome Arvel Hernandez (Endless Nest) and Evan Hydzik for making it possible for me acquire Fringe – it was worth the wait – such incredibly moving music – and I am blessed that others went out of their way to enable me to hear it.

So, back in January, the power was off, and on the first night (that sounds unintentionally biblical, but perhaps here follows revelations!), I craved just to hear at least one song, one note… I don’t have an MP3 player, by the way, all my audio devices are powered by mains electricity. Except, I remembered that just before I moved into this place, and was staying with my brother and that other hopeless yobbo, I bought an SD card for my phone so I could transfer photos to the computer, but I had saved one song to it.

Lucky for me, my phone was charged, and so for about 20 minutes I was in my room, in the dark, listening to Bloodhail by Have A Nice Life on my very tinny phone speaker.

It was a strange experience.

A very (very) long time ago, I was meant to write something about the solo music project by HANL’s Dan Barrett, Giles Corey. I didn’t obviously, but one thing I did do was buy this…

That’s a pendant bead (hence the drilled hole at the top), made from seraphinite. I bought it because it reminded me of Giles Corey, in essence, and I had planned to use it in a necklace or something (unfinished – surprise). It’s the tombstone shape, the dark shapes like hollowed skull eyes, the almost black/grey washed out colour, in part, but more importantly it’s the finer details. The feathered texture, the fractured lines within a solid stone, like calcified and imprisoned broken wings…it’s full of ghosts, some of them dark, some of them light. That’s what I saw, anyway.

And you know, when I was listening to Bloodhail that night, I realised that here on earth, unluss you’re buried in something¹, there is no such thing as pitch black.

S4E

1. Just to clarify, I don’t mean dead and in a casket, I mean unless you take the light of the world away from yourself, even in the darkest moments there is light from somewhere.


Woe Betide: The Things I Do When I Can’t Sleep

The title is pretty self-explanatory. Up late, couldn’t sleep, subsequently decided to amuse myself by using online movie maker Xtranormal, which is similarly self explanatory. All you have to do is choose a set of characters, a background, and type things for them to say. For whatever reason, I decided to use the lyrics from Have A Nice Life‘s song Woe Unto Us (from the Time of Land EP) as the basis for a conversation between Einstein and Napolean, with…. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of the results. First, here’s the song in question.

 

Einstein’s script is the lyrics, Napolean’s script is whatever the hell I could think of at the time. Or, where I couldn’t think of anything myself, quotes, which I’ll attribute properly in a minute. You may also note that Einstein speaks with an American accent, while Napolean speaks with an English accent. The reason for that is rather practical – there are German and French accented voices on Xtranormal, but even when I typed in plain English, they made no sense at all.

The “care” quote is by a dude called Doc Childre, from a book called The How To Book of Teen Self Discovery. I altered it slightly because the voice couldn’t quite enunciate the words properly when left in the same sequence as the original, which is:

The more care you put into your life, the more life will care for you, bringing you fun adventures, great friends, and real inner security. Caring is just good street sense — So, Judge less and unstress, Care more and high score.

On a side note, where was this Doc Childre when I was a young, angry teenager? If somone had said that to me all those years ago, I woulda been like “whoah, this Doc totally gets me and is speaking my language – caring isn’t just cool, it’s street smart!” And that rhyming slogan at the end is just slick.

The other quote comes from Betrand Russell’s Philosophical Essays:

Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.

Which may have been heavy at four in the morning if I wasn’t busy fiddling with the timing of Einstein’s blank stare to the other quote and trying to figure out how to get Napolean to point at the trees and not the bench. o_0

 

S4E


Of Course Everyone Wants to Know What I’m Listening To

Pillars and Tongues - Lay of Pilgrim Park

I was much quicker on the mark with this one. By which I mean the latest recording of Pillars and Tongues, released back in February.

Called Lay of Pilgrim Park, the release is limited to 500 vinyl pressings (with a complimentary download) and also available to purchase as a download only. With the magic that I thought their Daytrotter session was, as well as the album Protection (album? the four tracks do have a total running time of about 50 mins, but I suppose whether you consider that an album or EP is a minor detail), I had pretty high expectations for the new release, and I most certainly wasn’t disappointed. Pillars and Tongues  have their craft finely tuned, and Lay of Pilgrim Park is the perfect evidence for it.

The LP can be purchased from the Endless Nest store as well as from Midheaven, where the album can also be purchased in digital format.

Autistic Daughters - Uneasy Flowers

I’ve also just developed a keen fondness for Autistic Daughters, a recommendation on the basis of my resurging interest in P&T, as well as a recent liking for Natural Snow Buildings and fellow Kranky label-mates To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie. On that basis, the rec definitely has merit, but Autistic Daughters stand apart as unique. Blending similar elements, Autistic Daughters are mellow, blues-y and downright seductive.  If you consider the three aforementioned artists – and are familiar enough with each of their sound – you may have a decent frame of reference with what to expect from Autistic Daughters. Then you’ll listen to them and they’ll exceed those expectations. I heard two songs from their 2004 release Jealousy and Diamond and immediately sought the quickest way possible to acquire both of their albums.  (The other being 2008’s Uneasy Flowers).

I resorted to purchasing them in digital format, of course, but owing to my preference for hard-copy I’ll be replacing them with CD versions. Possibly obsessive, possibly a pointless exercise, but I think it was worth it just to be able to hear them post-haste. 😉

Invisible Elephant - The Lights Go Out

I also made a nifty discovery on the site Bandcamp, called Invisible Elephant. I went there looking for something new and interesting, and I think I was pretty darn lucky to have found it as subsequent visits have failed to turn up anything to pique my interest. (This may have something to do with the rather non-existent search engine/terms. The only way to refine a search is by genre tag. Depending on the tag, this turns up vast amounts of artists and albums that would take hours to wade through, or only one or two that have picked such an obscure tag the only way to find it is by browsing all tags and picking it if it sounds interesting.  Or if you already know the artist you’re looking for. I find that somewhat annoying and think more options should be made available for casual browsers. But enough about my demands). Invisible Elephant’s album The Lights Go Out is a dreamy blend of post rock, shoegaze, psych and folk, which is more than worth the free download. I’ve rabbited on quite a bit about in various places so I’ll leave it now with a succinct: Grab it here. (That’s an order, not a dare ;)).

Have A Nice Life - Time of Land

Lastly, thanks once again to a recommendation, I was directed to take a peek at Have A Nice Life, currently offering a 4-track EP called Time of Land for free download here. I have it on decent authority that these tracks are much in the same vein as their album; rather, if you like the artist these songs will offer you something a little more, while not something much different. That’s ok with me, as if this EP is a good indication of what the album Deathconsciousness sounds like, I want it. 🙂 (Think: shoegaze, industrial, post-punk, psych… Appetising combo).

S4E