My favourite album of 2013

I don’t keep up with current music the way I used to. That happens in your 30s when you’re not in the entertainment industry. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.

When I heard that Monster Magnet (Wikipedia entry) – one of my all-time favourite bands – was releasing a new album and doing a North American tour, I got a little excited.

Here’s how I told Sean:

Texting with Sean about Monster Magnet
Good thing I know how to get caps lock on my phone.

By the time I got home from work, Sean had already purchased tickets to the show. He’s good like that.

I listened to the pre-released tracks online, put the release date into Google Calendar and scoured music blogs for any information I could get on Last Patrol. On release day, I purchased the album from iTunes as soon as I got home from work. I’ve played it constantly ever since.

An aside: Tracking and learning about music (and everything else) is so much easier in the internet age. That really makes me appreciate the work and effort music (or any pop culture) superfans put into their fandom pre-web. Zines and tape-trading took more effort and likely cost more when you don’t include computer/smartphone/internet costs (since those are used for more than supporting your fandom). Think of the postage costs alone!

The concert date rolled around and I was getting a little worried. The show was on a Tuesday night and it was going to start late. Going to work after a late night isn’t as easy as it used to be. Sean and I arranged for a friend to babysit. I was looking forward to having a night out with Sean to see a concert that I was really excited about.

My early morning after a late night never happened. The show got cancelled the day before it was scheduled to go on. Suck it, influenza. Sean and I were both  disappointed, but probably not as much as the guy I saw on Facebook. He said he was flying in from Thunder Bay just for the show. I really felt for him – I’m not sure if he was able to cancel his plane ticket.

Sean has recently gotten back into vinyl and he’s been expanding his collection. As much as I appreciate digital music and its portability, rock music sounds so much better on a turntable. Sean picked up the vinyl version of Last Patrol, and the gatefold really makes the artwork pop. This record was pressed on orange vinyl, which makes it extra cool. Sean’s turntable is set up in our mancave and I snapped some pictures of the album last night (click for larger image):

Monster Magnet's 'Last Patrol' on vinyl
Rock music really does sound better on vinyl.

Have you read this entry and still not looked Monster Magnet up on Youtube? Here’s the official video of the first single, ‘Mindless Ones’. If you like your rock music heavy and with a bit of trippiness, you will like this.

Do you pay attention to music? How do you keep up with your favourite bands? Tell me about the music you love.

My nerves are made of steel. Except when they’re not.

All the talk from the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Twitter today has me thinking back to a rough time in my life.

In 2007, I wrote about the issues I had with anxiety three years earlier. Go and read that if you want to know what happened. I still stand by the statement that I wouldn’t wish that level of anxiety on anyone. I barely ate for months and had constant stomach and digestive issues. My brain was cycling so hard between “Shake it off” and “WTF is really wrong with me?” that I was always exhausted.

I’ll never forget looking Sean in the eye and saying to him “Maybe I’d be better off if I jumped in front of the train”. We had been married for less than six months.

I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t really want to jump, but my brain was just so tired of all the cycling.

I was on a platform at Bloor station on the way to the doctor’s office when I told him that so he physically guided me up to the escalators and made sure I was on a southbound train. I wasn’t sure if my doctor would tell me to tough it out with the new prescription she had given me less than a week before. When I saw her, she must have seen something in my eyes that told her I was Not Okay. I am grateful to my doctor for seeing that in me and guiding me to treatments that worked for me. I am grateful to Sean who had to live with me during that time, feeling helpless that he couldn’t help beyond hugs and soothing words. I am grateful to my parents who fielded my early morning phone calls talking through what was wrong with me. I am grateful for friends, family and colleagues who told me they had been through similar issues and made it out okay.

Talking about it makes it less scary. You are not the only one.

I’ve had occasional issues with anxiety in the nine years since my breakdown. They have never been as severe, and I have better coping skills to deal with them. Knowing that it is anxiety and it will pass makes a huge difference.

I am a worrier and overthinker by nature. Worrying is not the same as anxiety but it can lead that way. If you feel yourself losing control, please reach out for help. People want to help and more people have been there than you think.

The song I used in my 2007 post, The Right Stuff by Monster Magnet still inspires me. I don’t want nerves of steel all the time but nerves of tinfoil are far worse.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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