How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 3

 

Okay, let’s wrap this shit up real quick, okay? Parts 1 and 2 here and here. I’m gonna try to be more brief just so I can get this out on time for people to actually use. If you are an artist represented here, don’t worry, I love you, just sometimes I’m not good at things.

Dr. Awkward

My love for Doc Awk is well-documented. Along with the previously mentioned Kabuto the Python, Doc Awk was part of a new wave of incredibly talented nerdcore artists that shook up the scene and injected some much needed new life.

What You Should Buy:

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Ranking Dr. Awkward’s albums would be pretty tricky to do, but there is no doubt that Blank Pages has the best album art. Damn, that’s dope. Blank Pages also works as a good primer to Doc Awk, expertly balancing his nerdy raps and socially conscious raps, but without the heavy weight of finality hanging over the proceedings that is found in Last Gen. “Now Hiring (ft. Schaffer the Darklord)” is the most enjoyably geeky experience on the album, telling the story of a superhero and villain meeting up, but through the medium of Craigslist ads. Catchy and brilliantly envisioned and conceived. On the other range of the spectrum is the absolutely devastating “Alchemy“. No one in the entire nerdcore game has quite the same pen as Dr. Awkward, and when he’s on, as he is for much of this album, he is truly unbeatable.

What I’m Going To Buy

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I really can’t explain why I never heard one of my very favorite rappers do an album about fucking Zelda, but I haven’t. This shall be corrected forthwith! Let me make this clear, it’s an album of The Legend of Zelda, specifically Ocarina of Time I believe, and not necessarily about engaging in sexual intercourse with the titular character. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if that came up.

Fatty

Like most non-cis-male nerdcore artists, Fatty isn’t the most well known, but they are a force to be reckoned with.

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Aw shit, I’m just now noticing the iron throne is made of pencils. Shit, I really should look at album art up close more often. Or maybe I should get my eyes checked. My work will be giving me bennies in a couple months, and visual is part of the plan. Maybe I should have those looked at. Hmmmm.

Fuck, anyway, Old Bad Habits is an absolutely terrific album that you should buy right now. It’s short, it’s sweet, there’s no filler and it’s almost entirely killer, get it. “Sweetie Pi” incorporates the first 50-odd digits of pi into neurotic story of love won and lost – it’s truly phenomenal. “Where We Left Off” is a heartbreaking track about the loss of a brother to a mysterious disease, and it… wow. It really is something else. Shatteringly specific, but also universal in emotion. A tour de force in under 5 minutes. And “Accio (Nerdy Girls)” has some of the most clever nerdy rhymes in history, along with lines about coping with dysphoria – “My dysphoria is scary, huh? / What’s mines is yours – the Moria the merrier”. And that’s not even the most clever line in that song. It is fantastic. Buy this album.

What I Will Buy:

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I haven’t heard Daily Heroic at all yet, partly because Old Bad Habits is so good I’m kinda worried to try out Fatty’s earlier stuff. The time for such fear is over.

OldStyle

A brother-sister duo turning classical music into poppin’ chiptunes. Yes. Of course. Obviously. Nine times.

What You Should Buy:

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The eponymous and so far only album from OldStyle is six tracks of baroque music turned into modern chiptune dance hits. It’s incredible. I’m really not that qualified to say more than this shit always gets me dancing, and it’s good, and I like it, so maybe give it a buy? Yeah! I am a professional reviewer!

What I Will Buy:

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DJ Cutman is one half of OldStyle, and is a prolific chiptune artist and video game remixer. Chiptune Hero, Volume 2 is a short and sweet collection of tunes that I will be purchasing along with OldStyle, since I had previously only listened to both via streaming. Highlights include the gameboy soundfont cover of “I Need Your Love” and discovering the odd beauty of that accapella “Mmmmm Whatcha Say Song” done as a chiptune.

The Megas

I love Mega Man. You already know this. As with many things, what made me fall in love with Mega Man was the music. The Megas are somehow not the only band to make character-focused rock operas about the NES classic series, but they are the only one on bandcamp, and also, I actually like The Megas a bit more than the also superb Protomen. The Protomen have incredible musicality and epic scope in story telling, but The Megas craft more intimate, easier-to-follow stories, all set over great covers of the classic NES soundtrack original songs. These songs work great on their own, or muttering to yourself along with the music as you try to beat Quickman’s stage without the Time Stopper.

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Mega Man 2 is the best classic series Mega Man, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. Likewise, Get Equipped is the best Megas album, or at least the best one to start with, just like the game its based on. Every track is solid rock n roll fun, with lyrics that love to paint a portrait of a deeply conflicted an ironic existence for these 30-year-old characters. I’m gonna be honest – I’m running out of steam for creativity and writing today, sorry. I have many thoughts about The Megas but maybe you will get to read them some other time. The Airman song is great, the Bubbleman song is strangely moving, and the Quickman and Crashman songs are both fucking excellent. No links for you, just trust me already. Damn, probably shouldn’t have finished that week-old can of hard rootbeer at 4 in the afternoon.

I’m gonna buy this:

Here is a link fuck embedding things like a fancy person: https://themegas.bandcamp.com/album/history-repeating-blue

Wow I am really really tired sorry everyone.

Lastly if you like Electroswing go check out Odjbox. Get the free Swamp Stomp EP and buy the excellent Oak Sessions.

http://music.odjbox.com/album/swamp-stomp-e-p

http://music.odjbox.com/album/oak-sessions

goodnight

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How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 2

Let’s get to it! Go buy some great music and support liberty. But not too much liberty – you should buy exactly what I tell you to.

Bowman

Picking up where we left off, Michael Guy Bowman is a Homestuck alum, and one of the most prestigious and talented alumni from the music team whose name isn’t Toby Fox. Accomplished with both instrumental tracks and singer-songwriter work, Bowman has focused on the latter in his solo career, releasing consistently good and often great albums. His music stylings range from album to album, but never drift too far from some semblance of folk and/or rock.

What You Should Buy:

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His debut album, Ithaca might not be perfect, but it’s damn, damn close. A youthful optimism infects the whole album, and it’s chock-full of toe-tapping tunes and good times. From the first song to the last, there’s a relentlessly fun driving energy, and this disc easily ranks up with Fishboy when it comes to my favorite albums to belt along to. It’s hard to recommend single tracks without recommending the whole album, but “Come With Me” has the incessantly catchy quality beholden to all great folk ditties, “Cerulean Skies” has a wonderful 70’s rock feel and is a delightfully pissed off and anarchic view of the music industry, and “Rodeo Clown” is one of those songs that captures something about yourself you always knew but could never put into words. It’s 7 bucks, I guarantee you will have a good time. Buy it.

What I’m Buying:

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Despite his more youthful appearance on the album cover, Hush is Bowman grown up, his optimism traded for a jaded sense of resignation. The music has shifted accordingly, becoming less Elton John, more David Bowie. His songs still go on weird tangents, but instead of a love song to an experimental airplane like in his debut album, there’s a song about anger from the point of view of a baby who hasn’t yet learned object permanence. Where songs would be hopeful, now they are worried; songs about relationships are now about paranoia and desperation, rather than the easy fall of first romance.

Hush is not nearly as fun of an album, but Bowman ultimately has more to say and holy fucking shit I just noticed for the first time that the hand is semi transparent and i never noticed his lips before and that is freaking me out dude

But yeah, this album has some great shit – I especially love “Synchronize” – and I’ve devoured it via streaming services, but now I’m finally gonna buy it. In fact, I’m considering just going whole hog and buying the whole discography. I already own one of the albums, but what the heck. Enough of the things I’m planning to buy are less new music and more music I am guiltily finally purchasing for reals, so might as well blind buy myself some new tunes.

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats may not be strictly nerdy, but they are kind of like a more somber, melancholy TMBG in terms of having an equally enthusiastic cult following. I also learned of them through Moral Orel, a fantastic short-lived Adult Swim show (the third season really has to be seen to be believed) created by the guy who played Starburns on Community, and writing this sentence is so nerdy I’m going to have to give myself a wedgie.

What You Should Buy:

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Beat The Champ is a concept album about professional wrestling, but this is a Mountain Goats joint, so it’s actually about death and mistakes and lost love and abusive fathers. Because Mountain Goats. And it’s absolutely wonderful. It might not have the same emotional resonance that the tightly focused arc of The Sunset Tree had, but it’s brimming with passion and ideas. Each track is a character study and a vignette, sometimes of real wrestlers, sometimes of true archetypes. There is a very cohesive sound to the music, but many different feelings are found, from the unapologetic blood luster of “Werewolf Gimmick ” to the unapologetic hero worship of “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” to the unapologetic wistful reverie of “The Ballad of Bull Ramos“. This album may not quite be stubborn and relentless, but it’s relentless stubborn in being unapologetic. This album is also

What I’m Going To Buy

I’ve devoured this album via streaming, so I’m gonna splurge and get the big fancy vinyl edition. I can’t wait to wear out my needles playing the first half of “Heel Turn 2 ” over and over, a song which, coincidentally, debuted on an episode of…

Welcome To Night Vale

While not music per se, internationally famed podcast WTNV sells recordings of their live shows through Bandcamp.

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The Debate is an essential piece of Night Vale weirdness, and not a bad place to start if you want to get a taste. While there are technically some spoilers if you intend to start from the beginning, there’s really nothing too major, and there’s not that much back story needed – there’s a strange town that is currently having an election. The candidates include a literal five-headed dragon and the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home (played by Mara Wilson, the kid who was Matilda in 199 ). Strange, sad, and funny things happen during the course of the debate. Also, the main host, Cecil, has a terrifying doppelganger who may or may not show up at some point.

It’s a great hour of radio play, and the musical interlude is one of the very best of the whole series. I’ve found that it contains just the right mix of political satire, political optimism, and pure bizarre fantasy escapism in these trying times. Also it’s literally a buck. What are you doing. It’s literally a dollar for well over an hour of great content. Just do it already, you’re making me look bad.

What I’m Buying:

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The Investigators is pretty much the only Night Vale live show I haven’t experienced yet in some way! No idea why I never got around to this one, but whateva. I have no idea if it will be good or not! But Welcome To Night Vale has such consistent quality that I’m betting it’ll be a pretty good time.

Mammoth Thunderpower

A band I accidentally found years ago when trawling through the “wizard rock” tag on Bandcamp.

What You Should Buy:

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This album has a song on it called “BONE THRONE”, and another track called “DEATH OF THE WIZARD”. In case you couldn’t guess, this is a metal band. I have said many times before that I am not nearly well-versed enough in metal to distinguish the good from the band, all I know is that the I AM THUNDER EP is cheesy goofy fun, and well worth your three bucks.

What I Will Buy:

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I may have bought this already! Or maybe my old roommate did. I don’t know. I’m gonna buy it again, because BONE THRONE. Wait, no, they have merch, okay, instead, I’m gonna buy this incredible “Death of The Wizard” t-shirt that comes with a free download of the EP, and probably never wear it in public unless I am dragged to our local satanist-themed vegan strip club again by my well-meaning friends:

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Yes, all of that is really happening.

Aaaaaand that brings about the end of Part 2. Part 3, the final part, should be up in a few hours! Go out there and get buying, my wand carriers.

How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 1

So, tomorrow/today/very-hopefully-not-yesterday, whenever I actually get this post up, Bandcamp will donate all of its proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who have quickly become one of the most important and stalwart opponents to the current President’s reign of terror. The fine people over at the Wizrocklopedia will have something up giving you some ideas on great wizard rock you can purchase on Friday, February 3rd. I originally planned on doing something similar, but if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you already have a decent idea of what I’d say.

tl;dr – pick up your classics that you haven’t gotten around to yet, like HatP, DatM, Lauren, Whompy, etc; then dip into some Deluminators or Tianna or Seven Potters. I’ll put links here when I feel like it – you have google, right? Oh and the HPA has all of its charity comps up, grab those too.

But I’m not here to talk about those today. Instead, I am going to take one of my extremely popular excursions outside the world of wizard rock, and give some recommendations of other great music to purchase on the website Bandcamp.com. Almost all of these albums are somewhere in the nerdy music sphere, and many have tangible, if tangential connections to wizard rock. For each artist, I am going to give two recommendations – firstly, the album I think YOU should buy. Secondly, I will talk briefly about the album that I am going to buy! I am a Snob that puts thon’s money where thon’s mouth is.

If you end up purchasing any of these, please let me know, I’d love to know what you think! Enjoy, and if you have the means, please take this opportunity to support independent artists and independent speech.

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The Kübler-Snob Model of Dealing With Grief, Part 1

So, this week I was graciously invited to take over posting duties on the great twitter account, Women of Wizard Rock! I didn’t have a real plan, was probably gonna do HMS Wolfstar because of course, maybe do some Sectumsempra, some other lesser known stuff. There certainly wasn’t a theme or point to be made. And then 11/9 came along. I, like all of you, have been slowly processing, reacting, and coming to terms. In fact, I completely forgot about my twitter shift until the day before, so distracted was I.

I quickly realized I wanted to do something about the election, something about… resistance? Or hope? Or… something?? As with most of my election reactions, I couldn’t decide on the precise tone I wanted to go with. Was I angry and ready to smash the state? Was I grieving? Was I hear to heal? To be healed? To be honest, I… I still don’t know. I’m just… kinda flailing around, doing whatever I can, because flailing is still better than lying dead. This is when the idea hit me to do my own version of the 5 Stages of Dealing With Grief, not really for any big reason but because it seemed kinda funny and kinda funny things seem in short supplies these days.

Anyways, each day, after the tweet for the day goes up, I will post a brief article talking more in-depth about the song and why I chose it for this particular slot. To that end, yesterdays tweet:

I was having trouble figuring out what to do for stage one of the original model – Denial. Some songs came to mind, like “I Watch You Slip Away” by Split Seven Ways, but none of them really fit that well. And as I continued to think about it, denial really didn’t seem like the proper description of my election reaction. Maybe there was some for the first couple hours of Tuesday evening, but we had been told to expect an early Trump lead with a definitive Hillary resurgence to cap off the night. It wasn’t really denial, just a betrayed set of expectations, a feeling that morphed into a sense of numb bewilderment. Of hurt, anger, disbelief, and confusion. And instantly, “Full Moon” by The Curse Breakers came to mind.

I’ve talked a bit about Jessie’s work before here, but not as much as I probably should have. She was one of those people very active in the wizard rock MySpace community back in the day, and her profile pic was ubiquitous in many comment sections. She also ran a competently produced if short lived wrock podcast that I quite enjoyed. However, I would place her biggest claim to fame as her ability to take Garageband jingles and turn them into something completely fresh. And I’m not talking about Garageband loops, but the jingles, those 30-second bits of premade music, more designed to be used for stingers in iMovie and menu music in iDVD than as a base for a song. But by chopping and screwing these corporate-designed tracks, The Curse Breakers made a full album of music that sounded at once intimately familiar and startlingly fresh. As someone who spent their early college years basically living inside if iLife 09’s GarageBand, I’ve always had a huge fondness and appreciation for Jessie’s editing feats. A good musician and a great community member, and an excellent way to start off the week.

AND THEN I found the above video, which is just… wow.

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WSO.

When It’s Dark, When It’s Stormy

As I type this, I don’t know who will be the next President of the United States, but it seems like it will be Donald Trump. And I don’t have great words of advice. I’m not a poet, I just criticize them. But I am an asshole, and like an asshole, I can tell people what to do. So here’s what you’re going to do:

Tomorrow, no matter what happens, you’re going to list at least 7 people. And you are going to tell each of those people that you love them. You are going to tell them why. You will ask what you can do to help them, and offer your support. Tell them in person, call, twitter dm, skype, whatever. Just let them know. #7ActsOfLove. This is your homework for tomorrow. If you are low on spoons, that is okay. Do what you can to help yourself first. I’m a Slytherclaw – self care in all things, it just makes sense.

Later I will make a list of good songs to listen to during this time. In the meantime, remember these words from my favorite song ever written:

And the damage you’ve done, we will mend it, the world can still be beautiful! And we will defend, for we are friends. And friendship you can’t kill!

We’re wizards. We will party forever. This night? This night will end. And in in the daylight?

In the daylight we fight.

Update on Things and Stuff

Hey all! I’m back from LeakyCon and it was a time. I will have many articles about many aspects of it coming up, as well as other planned and announced content. However, LeakyFlu has put itself inside me for the first time, and has manifested as a bizarrely aggressive cold where I am constantly coughing and farting at the same time. I also just started a new job, and there is still some emotional decompression I have to go through before I can trust myself to write effectively. My guesstimate would be a couple weeks, but I’m also telling myself I might finally do NaNoWriMo (to completion), so who knows. In the meantime, however, here are some articles you can expect to see in the future!

  • Overview on the wizard rock at Leaky – don’t expect anything as in-depth as my Wrockstock articles because I have since learned that it’s better for everyone if I just enjoy myself at wrock shows and write about what I can remember afterward
  • Thoughts on the good stuff about my wizard rock panel
  • An article about the failures of my wizard rock panel
  • Listicle about good things at Leaky not included in the above
  • Listicle about bad things at Leaky not included in the above
  • Some way of making the panel accessible to people not there? It was not recorded, and reactions to it have made me reconsider simply dumping the script online. This will take some thinking and time, so bear with me, non-Leaky attendees.
  • If not worked into the above article, a post about the different things originally planned for the panel that had to be cut due to time and various other factors.
  • Slowly transcribe in pieces my interview with Lauren Fairweather in a manner that hopefully takes less than three years.
  • Slowly transcribe in pieces my interview with Brad Mehlenbacher in a manner that hopefully takes less than three years.
  • Finish The Hit List – specifically by doing a Prince’s Tale review, a look at Tonks and the Auror’s early work, a real review of 1975, and something with the Parselmouths – I’m currently toying with an article about comparing and contrasting what Brittney and Eia brought to the table, and what made Kristina a good linchpin for the two different eras of the band? But I’m also not convinced with my ability to write such an article well, so who knows. Also, maybe an HatP article, but I’ll prolly just retcon that article about their short songs into a Hit List post.
  • A technically non-wizard rock article where I yell about The Cursed Child for awhile
  • There is some serious work that needs to be done on the site itself – get the domain back, update the tagging system, various planned aesthetic refreshes, etc. Don’t worry – the general look of the site is pretty much here to stay for the foreseeable future, but there’s some real ease of use and archiving problems with how I’ve structured this blog. So that will be something I get to at some point, hopefully before my 7th anniversary in May!

Also, while it was fun on the run up to Leaky, I had the dubious benefit of being unemployed, so I’m not sure how well I will be able to keep up the three-article-a-week trend I had going. Lastly, I have some non-website related wizard rock business I’m slowly working on. I can’t tell you much about it, but I can say that I’m excited about it, and it will almost definitely lead to arguments. Which you probably could have guessed already.

Wrock Snob out.

Drunk Dive: The Mudbloods

insert explanation here

So I was gonna write an explanation when I was sober nfuibut fuck uit. I have done many a drunk but after this paraghraph I go BAAAACK IN TRIIIIIIIME BEFOREthe drinky. Point is I listened tol the entire musddbloods discography bar the liv album liver l;ive live album and took a shot of firewhisey whiskey every three songs. Why? Because, apologies to Whomping Willows, The Mudbloods mosty sound like wizard rock band that you want to get drunk to. And I was right. And I really needed to familiarize myself with the mudbloods canon and this seemed like fun a fun and entertaining way to do so.! Okay enough of drunk now me now go to past sober me:

Here we go!

Shot 1

It’s weird, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to “Cho Chang” all the way through. But I HAVE heard the Blibbering Humdingers’ parody many times, and it took me a while to figure out why this sounded weird. I even checked to make sure this was the original, and not a new recording for The Complete Potion, before I realized I was expecting the sounds of the Blibs. While I appreciate the hell out of the point being made by the parody, the basics of the original are all really solid. Catchy, fun to sing along with, and a super groovy breakdown. For the first song on their first album, it quickly established The Mudbloods as a new and unique voice to pay attention to.

I got a whole can of toffee peanuts for 2 bucks at the supermarket. They are quite yummy!

Holy shit, “Daytrip to Hogsmeade” starts off fucking bizarrely. “I like candies!” Whoever says that does a very good creepy child voice. I’ve always been fond of wizard rock songs that mimick the bar song soundscape. The Quaffle Kids did a good one about the Common Welsh Green Dragon, and I think Catchlove did one about Dumbledore on his EP of the Month Club disc? I would find out for sure but I’m distracted by the line “I like candy, I like drugs”. I rewound to make sure I heard that correctly. …Was that it? Very little lyrical content in this song, but it succeeds as a soundscape and evoking a real sense of place. Certainly not a song to jam out to, but if you had it on in the background on a roadtrip while having a really good conversation with your roadtrip partner, it wouldn’t offend. The “WHEW!” at the end is fun.

Really digging the piano in “Ginny and Me”. Oh come on you can’t okay nevermind I thought he rhymed “today” with “me” but it was an ABAB rhyme scheme. I mean, he still rhymed “me” with “me”, but okay whatevs. So far the instrumentation is the best part of this song – driving and fun. The drum fill at approximately 2:35 is nice. And then it stops all pretenses and goes to another extended musical break, which is quite nice. The bit afterwards is cymbal overload though. The HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE ONE “TURN MY HEAD SO CLOSE TO SEE A SMALL LIGHT KISS UPON MY CHEEK” THIS IS THE BIT IN THE WROCKSTOCK NAME THAT SONG CONTEST THING I NEVER GOT BUT I HEARD THAT LINE SPED UP AND CHIPMUNKED SO MANY TIMES JEGUS KRISTOS I’M SO ANGRY.

I’m glad I made it a shot every 3 songs, because drink whenever there’s an extended musical break would be a fucking lethal Mudbloods drinking game.

Shot 2

“Ode to Broom or I Want to Tell You I Love You But Don’t Know How” is the first of the Mudbloods oh dammit i got dill mustard on my desk gimme a second I gotta clean this up. Okay yeah anyway it’s the first song to show their penchant for humorously long names. I should do an article where I pit their titles against Whompy’s titles because he’s had some of the best as well. This title is good, but it’s definitely no “Fang, Stop Peeing On My Trunk”. I like how simple the piano is after the interesting keys work in “Ginny and Me”. Rounds are a lot better in person or in church, so the first half isn’t great on mp3, but sounds like it’d be a lot of fun live. But holy shit the sudden “LET’S GO” and switch from very very simple instrumentation to electric guitar is amazing. It captures the feel of the firebolt nearly as well as that hilarious freezeframe at the end of the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. And then going back to the simple round version to bring it home, with the best harmonizing of the song. I officially dig this song. It’s been Officially Dug By The Wrock Snob. Totally would love to hear it live, though.

“Voldemort: A Love Song” has some things to prove, since it’s far from the first to do a Voldy love song – heck, Tom Riddle and Friends made their entire career off of Voldemort love songs! Well, actually, since this album came out in 2006, this might actually have been the first Voldy love song, but since I’m famously super late to the Mudbloods party, it’s new to me. So how does it hold up? Okay. I super appreciate that it’s a jazz standard lounge song – lack of genre diversity is a huge problem I have with wizard rock, and this joins Celestina Warbeck’s work as one of the very few songs to fit this style. The Mudbloods pull it off a lot better too – the whole “Go ahead and bring in that guitar now” is some great emulation of the genre. And the guitar solo is nice and totally totally fits with the slight buzz I have going on. It really made me feel like I was in a smokey club with a couple friends (but not best friends) nodding my head appreciatively and trying to ignore the fact that I have work/a big test tomorrow. Unfortunately, Adam’s voice is much better suited to harmonies and just can’t quite pull this experiment off.

“Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. No sentence, just “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. That is a title. “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. I think that “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron” is a good title. An example of a humorously long title is “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. It’s interesting to see someone besides the obvious use “bah bah bahs”, and in a much slower, less counterpointy way. Speaking of patronuses, fuck that Pottermore listicle about animagi and their relationships with patroni. Like, there’s things I like about new Pottermore, but the listicle bullshit is not one of those things. “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. I hate that it ends with the tease about Dumbledore being an animagus it’s super bullshit. By it I meant the Pottermore listicle, not “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron”. Unfortunately, the most interesting thing about “Concerning The Dementors On The Shore of the Black Lake or If The Dementors Should Take Me in My Sleep Give My Invisibility Cloak to Ron” is its title, though I do like the weird synthesizy stuff in the later half.

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THIS IS NOT A REVIEW: 1975

On May 5th, 2012, I had my first seizure. I was on a field trip with my community college art class to the downtown galleries. The group I was with visited a coffee shop/venue/gallery that had previously hosted wizard rock concerts, was at the time hosting some bored hipsters and a series of paintings depicting WWII airplanes with sharks instead of propellers, and is now sadly closed. We looked at the paintings, made some notes, and prepared to leave. As we left, I suddenly felt strangely sick to my stomach and told my classmates I had to run to the bathroom real quick. As I rounded the corner towards the venue’s graffiti-covered bathrooms, I suddenly lost my vision. And then I hit a wall. And then I blacked out.

I came to as paramedics took my blood sugar with those little pricky thingies and wheeled me into an ambulance. They asked me my name, age, insurance provider, etc. I answered, or at least I tried to. Syllables poured out of me like maple syrup out of a ten year old jar found in the back of the pantry – slowly and eventually, but only with great effort. Haltingly, I tried to explain my situation. I could think just fine – or at least, relatively fine for having blacked out in a hipster art gallery on a Thursday. I knew what I wanted to say, but my body was not accommodating. I would eventually realize that certain sounds were especially difficult for me. Any hard consonants that required use of the tongue – t, d, etc. – were impossible to say for weeks afterward.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably know by now that I like to talk. A lot. So this was pretty much my own private hell. My brain was processing everything as fine as it ever did, but expressing myself verbally was suddenly intensely difficult. So I undertook tests. I had ’em all – CTs, MRIs, EKGs, CRTs, MRAs, ROUSs – if it was a vaguely brain or heart related test, they did it. They never did test my soul, though. Huh. But after three months of tests and speech therapy, I was pretty much talking normally and we were no closer to an answer. It was another six months until I had another episode. This time I had been roughhousing with my roommate. I fell to the floor, unable to move, unable to even draw in breath. As the oxygen faded from me, I suddenly began twitching sporadically, air entering my lungs in infrequent trickles.

Hours later, in the emergency room, I finally had a diagnosis – a rare condition known as Conversion Disorder. It’s a stress-based malady that can build up over years before expressing itself symptomatically. Its symptoms also vary wildly – from aphasia to seizures to full body paralysis. And here’s the catch about it being stress based – long periods of extended exposure to stress can cause you to have CD, but an event doesn’t necessarily come from a specific stressful trigger. Stressful situations increase the likelihood, yes – I’ve had events at conventions, work, and awkward family gatherings. But I’ve also had a seizure at a roller rink. I’ve had many walking down the street. There was a time when I was having a petite seizure a few times a day, and a big, on the floor one a couple times a week. I once had a seizure trying to open a door. An automatic door.

There is something unexplainably terrifying about knowing that at any time, without warning, you could suddenly lost control of yourself. Worst of all – it’s not just you who is put in danger. I’m not exactly a short person, and my elbows are closer to bony knives than functioning biological joints. I also used to work extensively in childcare, a field I had to leave due to the fear that I would injure a child. This is all not to mention the stress and fear that friends and loved ones are put through when you’re walking in the park, having a lovely conversation, and you suddenly fall the ground, writhing, convulsing, and scaring all the children (and confusing most of the dogs).

As the years have gone by, I’ve divulged more and more of my life through the character of the Wrock Snob, as the already meaningless differences between the character and myself got even smaller. But while I’ve talked openly about my sexuality, and more recently, my gender, I haven’t talked about my disability and neurodivergence much here. But sharing the above was the only way I knew to adequately respond to the song “Stranger Danger”.

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Malfoy Manor Tweetstorm, Part 2

Here’s part 2 of my tweetstorm from the epic Malfoy Manor show a couple weeks ago! When we last left off, the poetry slam portion was wrapping up, and we were getting ready to hear a muggle chiptune band!

I seem to remember trying to tweet at Bandersnatch Cummerbund directly, but not being able to find his twitter. Otherwise, this tweet is kinda useless.

Though now its seeming like that won’t be a thing because the geek beat dude doesn’t want to work on New Years, which, fair efuckinough.

Guess I’ll just have to go in person, then.

I am a snob of simple tastes.

I’m still a little miffed that no one told them I was intrigued. I SAID TO DO SO DIRECTLY.

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REVIEW: We Are Magic

While I’ve touched on her great EP, I’ve been criminally negligent in not really discussing much of Tonks and the Aurors’ stuff on this site. Well, as part of my on going Hit List, it’s time to finally rectify that by reviewing her third full-length studio album.

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