. . . and gone! The end of the year that is. Of course the anti-climactic non-apocalypse has absolutely ruined our plans for a post-apocalyptic tea, but all's well that ends well I suppose.
As far as life on this end of the computer goes, it goes well, though I'm feeling very much like Wonderland's White Rabbit, but instead of "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!" it's more, "I know, I know, you a proper blog post I owe!" (Sorry, had to twist the gammar there.)
I normally don't make New Year's resolutions--I have a dismally bad record of keeping them--but this year I feel it's not only a good idea but positively necessary. That's right, I need to Make A List. And as I didn't update my Thanksgiving list last year, I will list my intentions for this new year here, mostly for myself; an easy place to look them up when I start to forget. Here we go (and yes, there will be music later):
1. I will WRITE every day. I tried to do it this last year but it didn't happen. This year, even if it is only a paragraph or two (though hopefully more--once I get started I can usually keep going for a few pages at least) I will put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, one way or the other, and WRITE! Book Two of The Glister Journals is back on track and I'm hoping for a later this year or early 2014 release.
2. I will practice MUSIC every day. Not just listen to it or sing along (that goes without saying), but actively practice SKILZ! At least one instrument a day and guitar at least four times a week. Hold me to it!
3. I will READ FICTION every day. Although I am constantly reading something, either nonfiction books, articles, or researching things, I have gone for long periods without picking up a novel, and gosh darn it, I LOVE reading. It has already become my habit to read before falling asleep (although I read somewhere that it's not good for you for one reason or another--but I don't remember) and often if I have time before work in the morning too. So I just plan on keeping that going.
I will even go out on a limb and challenge myself to read 25 books this year. I know that probably seems like a wimpy number to a lot of you, but I really need to WRITE more than I need to READ, so I'm trying to be realistic. I have a lot of older works to catch up on as well as new books that have come out that I'm interested in. My personal library (and books I plan on reading in the future) is listed at LibraryThing and Goodreads, mostly at the latter because it's easier to add them, and any reviews I write will be there also. If you're a member, please stop by and say "Hi!"
4. I will DRAW at least three times a week: just sketching, not necessarily trying to make a finished product, but getting back into practice. It's the one area of my life that has been the most neglected for years now. I will also work toward creating complete pieces, but for now it seems more important to just flex those muscles.
5. (And the MOST IMPORTANT if I am to accomplish numbers 1-4) I will spend less time surfing, rabbit-trailing, digressing, and checking updates on my COMPUTER. It's such a jealous, selfish tyrant. It's time I put it in its place!
6. (Which I will allow myself to include in #1) I will endeavor to post to my BLOG at least twice a month, even if it's just a review Bronze has received, a giveaway that I've opened or interview I've done, or my opinion of music I've recently found or purchased. I hope to hit the road for some events (pictures!) and I have an idea for a regular "retro" category too that I think will be fun.
Exercise? Lose weight? Eat less chocolate? Pfft. As if resolutions have ever helped me with those!
So to start off the New Year, I'd like to share some music--not exactly mainstream or new, but great stuff--that has recently been brought to my attention and which I'd like to bring to yours!
The first band, Roll the Tanks are originally from Massachusetts (lately of L.A) and had their first release in 2008. I really like these guys and look forward to following them. Sound? Well, Elvis Costello was the first thing that jumped to mind (who I love), especially the lead singer's voice, but also The Killers and someone else I'm having a hard time putting my finger on . . . if I figure it out I'll come back and edit. This is off their 2012 release, Roll The Tanks. This is "Toeing The Line," my favorite of theirs right now:
Then there's Art of Dying. Wow. These guys are blowing me away. I wish I had more time in this post to really dig into the sound and substance, but I can't do them justice here. I could easily compare them to quite a few other edgy alternative bands (one of which is one of my favorite bands) with metal/hard rock overtones (yes, OVERtones, not undertones) but that wouldn't be doing them justice either. From Johnny Hetherington's heartfelt acoustic piano rendition of Sorry to the harder edges of the next song, Die Trying, these guys from Canada have my attention! I look forward to seeing them live somewhere, hopefully this year! (Any chance of a Bay Area show guys?)
Finally, a relative young band that is going to bear watching, Red Tide Rising (the link is to their Facebook page) has an Extra Cool factor in having a girl bass player. I'll admit the song reminds me of Staind and I hear a little James Hetfield in lead singer's voice, but it's a great start and I look forward to hearing more. Although they've had a couple of releases, I couldn't find links to other music (help me out guys?) and could only find an official video to one single at this time, but it's quite powerful, Finding Home:
If you like what you've heard from these bands, let them know! Please go to their sites, their Facebook pages, and their Twitters, Like them, Follow them, tell your friends, buy their stuff!
Hope 2013 is a stellar year for you!
Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.
The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com
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