Johnny Cash – “Starkville City Jail” At San Quentin
So what was supposed to be a weekend respite for creative reasons turned into a bit of something else. And if I want this record/project to be honest – even if it’s only for myself – then I want to put the truth out there. The plan is to get back to recording this journey in some format and cadence, but I need a few days to understand what that has to look like.
Portishead – “Roads” Roseland, NYC Live
The original plan was to start taking a few weekends off, and relegating this to evenings during the week. The reason was the music cutting into two of my other creative commitments: the work I do for Nine Circles, writing reviews and hosting/editing/producing the site’s podcasts. The editing/producing side is a fairly recent development, and something that I found I really enjoyed. Although the representation here has been fairly small, metal is a large part of my life, and getting the chance to work with the great team over there has led to a lot of positive experiences in my life I want to continue. So getting a weekend break to catch up and get something out for the site was a priority I wanted to reinforce, but in truth it was the smaller piece of the reason.
David Bowie – “We Are the Dead” Diamond Dogs
The real reason is my music, the music I want to create. I set a goal to write and release my second album this year as Necrolytic Goat Converter, and while I love the systemic order of how Consuming the Tangible is arranged, it’s hard to get into the frame of mind to write the weird hybrid of DSBM and heavy metal that makes up the core sound. This one is hard to write for a number of reasons: it has a very personal concept behind it, and it is (drum roll, please…) the last original music I’ll be writing under that name (there will be one more album which is a re-record of the demo and early singles). So I want to commit to it, and weekends are the only time I really have to do that because of work and family obligations.
Mahavishnu Orchestra – “You Know, You Know” Inner Mounting Flame
And so we come to work.
I’m writing this post on a cool fancy Dell 2-in-1 laptop that doubles as a tablet. Small, compact, and fast as lightning. It was provided to me Monday, April 1st as part of a refresh in my company, a tech/software company I’ve been with since 2015. Monday afternoon I was in back to back meetings getting the company’s second quarter mapped and planned out so our teams of developers could hit the ground running. I left late, with about a dozen things left to figure out the next morning.
The next morning I walked in early to see a meeting with the head of the division. 30 minutes later my entire management team, senior director, and myself were given our 30-day notice, unless I wanted to reapply for a lower position managing a single product. For the last 16 years I’ve steadily worked to build a career in a sector that was the exact opposite of where my passions lay, and in the process get financially comfortable enough that I could explore those passions in a way that was exciting while still focusing on what was (and is) most important in my life: my wife and son.
And in the last two days I’ve spiraled into a depression that is physically painful. And I can’t think, can’t create, and can’t be the person I want so desperately to be for my family. There’s a sense of failure, of ego bruising that I imagine is expected in a scenario like this. What I wasn’t expecting was the stinging, raging pain in my head, my stomach. Or the paralysis. I’ve been to therapy, and I’ve had episodes but this feels like being dead and aware of it and trying to process why if death is a release it hurts so much.
ISIS – “The Beginning and the End” Oceanic
I don’t know if that makes sense; I don’t know what to do at this point. So I’m going to take a little time to figure it out, and get to a place where things have a semblance of order, and I’ll come back here. Music has always been a huge part of my life and my identity (why else would I be doing this project?), and I think for the moment I’m going to stop and listen to what my heart is telling me to instead of what this project is telling me to. All of the music that defines me can be found here, and make up the track headers for this post:
Be seeing you.