An open letter to a stranger

This is a bit long and contains some profanity. I implore you to read it though, it’s sincerely meant and for all to read.

Hey, how are you?

I’m writing from my desk when I could be, arguably, doing more important things. However, I believe that this may be one of the most crucial things I ever could do … writing this letter to you.

I remember becoming excruciatingly aware of the passage of time a couple of years ago but none has rivaled the year that was 2016. I could bitch about it to no end, about the mistakes I made and how increasingly small I feel in this yawning old world that knows how to squeeze happiness out of a soul as much as it knows how to inspire an all-consuming will to live simply by existing in all its majestic beauty.

Sounds really poetic, doesn’t it? You know, poetry isn’t all pretentiousness, not all the time anyway. It’s the insincere assholes with some underhand agenda and something to prove that spew nonsensical drivel, giving the rest of us a bad name.

What did you learn from the past year? Did you pet many dogs? Got braces?  Did you get that promotion you toiled after? Or did that jerk with the broad white smile grin his way into the spot?

I hope you quit smoking, if not I’m tempted to send you what a smoker’s internal body cavity looks like. Yeah, go on looking disgusted and fed up with the well-meaning but unsolicited advice. It’s just … I want you to know that somebody out there cares.

Look up

I’m sorry that your brother/sister/mother/father died. I mean, I wouldn’t have known them personally but that new absence is a black hole in the fabric of your reality and I know that shit isn’t light, yeah? I remember when my grandad died three years ago, at the viewing before we took his empty vessel to the burial ground to be cremated into the open air … one of my grand-uncles told me to be strong. What he meant was “don’t cry”.

What the actual fuck even? I’ll tell you what I did. I cried. I cried because I don’t flow with that stoic shit. Because my grandfather was one of the most important people in my life and I hardly knew him. Even when I’d lived with him up until that last day. I did know that alcoholism screwed up what could have been a more promising life past his post in the riot squad.

But that was sixty years ago. The man I knew suffered withdrawal from the bottle, pissed and full of vinegar one day, and peaceful and jovial the next. He evened out eventually, but then came the mild assault of Alzheimer’s and the more prevalent Parkinsons that got worse after his fall. I laugh a little because the man could still quote Shakespeare off his head. He was a decent human being that made mistakes and paid for them. We moved on and lived as best as we could, but looking back today it was a half-life and the waste was mine. It was all of ours.

So when I was told to be strong … Continue reading “An open letter to a stranger”

You can’t beat timeless: The Killers

It’s mind numbingly difficult to point out a singular musical influence that hit me upside the head, there are lots of those. Know what I mean? Maybe one day I have a stable mental list like Def Leppard, Dire Straits, Gorillaz, Durran Durran, and so on. Then there are the days I can’t even.

But if you asked me what bands have kicked me in the solar plexus, I could count them off one hand and have fingers to spare. They had me seeing stars on impact and there is a part of me, a questing part of me, that hasn’t looked back.

One of them, as you can tell by now, is The Killers. Frontman (and sometimes bass) Brandon Flowers, in particular, is a magnetic son of a bitch and I say that with much affection. There’s a perpetual faraway look on his face I’ve yet to see on someone else.

The rest of the band is not to be neglected. We’ve got Dave Keuning on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mark Stoermer with bass, backing vocals and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. on drums and percussion. Together they make magic, transcending beyond what I though Indie Rock meant and felt like.

One of my uncles introduced me to them seven years ago, along with a good number of other artists that have shaped my tastes to this day. I recalled being torn asunder, put back together again and afterward, I could see a new corner of the world that was previously unknown to me. The Killers were the first set of musicians that got me. I witnessed grown-up sentiments that I was just beginning to understand, they sang me to knowledge that I’m still trying to truly comprehend. Weirdly, I felt embraced.

A shot from Read My Mind back in 2007. This a bloody masterpiece of a song. Inspired the young Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots.

There are so many pain numbing, euphoric numbers, that at first, I thought I’d include a cult classic like Mr. Brightside that tells of unrequited love (as I understand). But personally, I felt the more recent Shot at the Night best illustrates that untouchable charm Flowers got going on, not to mention it makes the 80’s geek in me rejoice. Untouchable yet it had me, arguably a grown woman, in tears. Continue reading “You can’t beat timeless: The Killers”

The Little Fears get published!

The following is a reblog from Little Fears, a fellow WordPress site that’s guaranteed to make you snort hot beverages or simply laugh out loud. Without fail, there’s an amazingly creative illustrated pun every day brought to you by actual little fears like Spectre, Hydra, Yuffie, Serpent and the gang. Peter Edwards, the Illustrator, has a book in the works that’s full of January’s entries and I am so excited! Go on over there and see what the fuss is about.

You noticed the decrease in grammar and spelling mistakes right? We had an editor attack our tales. I have been asked on social media if I am going to release the Little Fears as an art book. Well, yes, I will. In a couple of months time I hope to release the Little Fears in full paperback form. But for that, good grief did I need an editor.

Slightly exciting in the mean time though, Little Fears – January. The collected Little Fears tales of the first 3 months. Currently on pre-order, available from the 22nd of March.

£2.99 for the UK on Amazon.co.uk

$3.65 for the USA on Amazon.com

I get about 70p per sale due to image size and bandwidth used on Amazons end. So if you fancy having us on your tablet or kindle, you can help fuel the illustrator on cups of tea.

If you want to wait for the paper edition, I can tell you it will be closer to £10 due to the colour images, and will be available in May.

If you just want to support the Little Fears, you can also head over to our Patreon page, where for as little as $1 a month you can contribute to Hydras food bill.

Thank you for being a wonderful audience and allowing me to indulge in my scribbles and stories on the internet.

Last week in music

Lorde in her Green Light official vid. Via Billbord.com

 

Hey, people of the Interwebs. I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Yesterday was Phagwah, the Indian celebration of spring. That’s the one with all the coloured powder and buckets of water, although for these past few years I’ve withdrawn from that play.

Did you see the moon though? Her singular edge was crisply defined; gone was her bone whiteness, overcome by a pale orange haze. Of course, when we’d been making this observation a pick-up drove full speed into the fence. I live above a shop, and there were people out and about at the time. No one was hurt, thankfully. The driver had stepped on the gas instead of the breaks.

Anyway, last week had been a busy week for me in terms of music, as is common when I’m a miserable mess, music is the cure … er and distraction too, eh? I found myself rediscovering some old favourites The Kooks especially, BB Brunes (French rock band), Steve Perry (prev. week) and some Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lorde (Green Light has been on repeat ever since its release eep!)

Also I made a new find of Anthony Strong, from the Paris jazz scene. In his album “On a Clear Day” he covers several of the classics. He has one of the most perfect voices for jazz vocals I’ve heard, there’s such an effortlessness to how he sings. Here are just a few of the videos that have been in the background on loop. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Last week in music”