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Messages - Manimal

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1
Develop Your Story / Re: Emerald Hill Comix
« on: November 11, 2019, 07:29:25 AM »
Chapter 2 : GLORY DAYS


Spoiler

"Well time slips away
And leaves you with nothing mister but
Boring stories of glory days"

- Bruce Springsteen

       “Looking like another sunny day, you know I see some rain clouds coming down across the lake but then I see the sun so it’s all good. All is well, remember back in the 80’s when everyday was sunny? Those were the days, coming up next we have a fresh cut for you. From 1984 it’s Bruce Springsteen with Glory Days!”

       A voice droned from the radio, Ellie switched it off with a heavy sigh. “Once more people misunderstand the meaning of the song”, her eyes slowly darted around as she drove.

       Up ahead where two tall apartment buildings connected by a skywalk overhead. Between the buildings was a small area were old folks sat around, wheeling themselves about and discussing the latest drama. Who’s moving out, who’s moving in, who’s kid is doing what.

       Ellie parked her 92’ Chevy Impala and rolled out the door. The old black car was long and well driven. It had been Ellie’s car since she first started driving and in that time it’d seen a few mishaps. Mostly involving hitting poles and tapping parking cars during risky back outs due to its boat like size. But Ellie still loved the car.
   
       She walked with her eyes downward, the apartments here where often dingy and the tenants ranged from heavy drug abusers, down on their luck senior citizens and a bit of everything in-between. It was city Housing, where tenants would pay a fixed rate based on their annual income.

       As Ellie walked by the smoking area she was greeted pleasantly by the group of old ladies, “Good afternoon honey”, one of them spoke with a smile.

       Ellie nodded her head, “Hello”.

       “Goodness what a pretty young lady, she reminds me of my Grand Daughter!”, a brunette lady seated on her walker recollected as Ellie walked towards the entrance.

       “Which Grand Daughter? The one who stole all your money and served 18 months in prison?”, a bitter wrinkly lady fired back.

       “Oh Heavens”, the brunette replied as she lit another cigarette.

       Ellie greeted a duo of youth in sweaters in the entrance as she buzzed in the number 28. After a few seconds a voice chimed through “Who speak?”.

       “Hi, it’s Ellie just coming to visit.” Silence on the other end until the door slowly buzzed open, creaking along. Ellie looked behind her as the two guys crept in, prompting her to shut the door faster and shake her finger. “Buzz in,” she teased walking towards the stairs to make a quick escape.

    There was a policy of not letting in strangers, but Ellie had in the spur of the moment acted in a way that she feared could’ve got her in trouble. Her heart pounded as she raced to the third floor. She hoped not to see the two boys on her way down.

       As Ellie entered the third floor the smell of marijuana and eggs was in the air. The carpeted floor was covered with cookie crumbs. The walls where brick painted white and each unit was noted by it’s numbers painted by the doorway. 
 
       “Hello I’m Chris”, a short plump man who appeared to have no neck extended a hand as Ellie passed the elevator.

       “Huh….oh henlo”, Ellie awkwardly grasp his hand and continued walking. Her heart pounding as she turned the corner. It was an innocent interaction and she cursed herself for speaking so timid.

       Finally she reached room 309 and knocked on the door. She heard the TV turn off and something bump around. Before long the door opened and an older lady in a wheelchair looked up at her. “Ellie my dear, come on in,” the lady’s weathered face lit up as the young woman greeted her.

       “Up to anything new Ina?”, Ellie spoke, sitting on a green couch in the small living room. The unit had a kitchen, living room with two couches and a TV, two beds rooms, a closet and a washroom. The walls where white and the curtains were merely heavy blankets pinned into the wall.

       “Oh just my normal daily dying”, the old chuckled grimly, sitting back in her reclining chair. She had long grey hair and her hands shook as she sat still. She wore a black and white shirt with a fancy design and a comfy pair of old lady jeans that rode up her waist. She fit snugly in the chair, a peaceful expression on her face.

       “Oh Ina don’t talk like that! You’re only 65 you got a lot of living yet to do!”, doom talk was the constant in Ellie’s visits. 

       The lady held out her shaking hand, “My body is failing me dear, I can’t even play guitar anymore. And I still had sooo much more to show you”

       “It’s fine I’m a natural by now, check this out!”, Ellie grabbed the old Gibson acoustic in the corner and played a G chord, ringing a little out of tune. She turned the tuning pegs to satisfaction and began to play a small finger picking piece. Ellie’s black fingernails gracefully danced along the strings, Ina sat back with her eyes slightly open, observing the girl’s play style.

       “Nice eh?”, Ellie looked up excited.

       “Well the tune might be nice but you play it a little off dear. Why I’d say the fingering is all off, a lot of buzz and a few missed notes. But keep working on it.”. As was typical of Ina she gave nothing but criticism sandwiched with the smallest hint of encouragement. 

       “Ya I guess I’m still pretty *censored*ty at it”, Ellie’s face reddened as she put the guitar back and sunk in her seat, hands on her knees.

       “You are, but keep playing you’ll suck less with time.” The older lady chuckled looking at her TV stand where a few cassette tapes sat.
 
       “Say, did I ever show you the music I made when I was more human than I am today?” Ina asked.
Ellie’s eyes widened and she moved in closer. “No! You told me you where a Folk singer in your day and you jammed around but you never showed me anything!”

       “Well I was going through my old stuff, as best as I can, and I came across these old tapes here,” as Ina attempted to reach for the tapes with her shaking wrists Ellie stood up and grabbed them off the counter.

       “Holy, these are old”, Ellie opened the tape case and inspected the plain black cassette with the words “Ina’s Demoes 1976” on them.

       “Yes I recorded them on an old tape deck back in my better days”, Ina looked out the crack of the window that showed between the curtain and frame with a faint smile on her face.

       “This is amazing I can’t wait to hear these! Thanks Ina! I have a tape player in my car so I’m gonna listen right away!” Ellie was jumping in her seat excited at the prospect of finally hearing her old friend’s music.

       “Here, I’ll go make us tea dear”, Ina attempted to get up into her wheelchair before Ellie shook her head and stood.

       “No no no! You stay right there! I’ll take care of it!”

       “But you’re the visitor what kind of ho-“

       “Ina! I got it! Just relax okay!” Ellie stuck out a finger and walked to the kitchen. Ina watched with a grin as the young lady prepared tea for the two of them. Ina remembered being her age and being as mobile as she was. Despite only being 65 the older lady was stricken with Parkinson’s and various other diseases, the likes of which she barely understood herself.

-------------------------------------------------------- 

       “Yes that was Joni Mitchell’s first great album, but Blue I always thought was a masterpiece” Ina nodded as Ellie sat on the floor flipping through her record collection.
 
       “Okay I’ll try that one out then…and hey, what's this?”
 
      Ellie held up a black and white album with a series of weird pictures on the cover. It was a gatefold inside with a grungy design. It held two records with yellow labels. “Oh that’s The Rolling Stones. You’ve heard of them come on!”
 
       “Ya I have and I’m not a fan but I’ve never seen this album, it looks cool. Is it any good?” Ellie tilted her head in curiosity reading the album’s title, Exile On Main Street.
 
       “It’s okay, give it a try”, Ina said in almost a snobbish fashion.

        “Okay, you never really give me the straight good Ina. Don’t say how good it is or how bad it is. Just, oh ya it’s alright.” Ellie chuckled adding it to her pile of records to borrow. “I think that’s good for now, thanks as always!”
   
       “Never a problem dear, when I die I’ll leave all my records and tapes to you, I love to spread the joy of music”, Ina spoke all too peacefully. Ellie wondered what it was about old people that made them so eager to speak of their death in such a casual manner.
 
       After nearly an hour Ellie got up and left, saying goodbye and walking out of the unit with three records under her arm. There was a glow on her face and a skip to her step, seeing Ina always made her happy. Although they were unlikely friends there was a youthful spirit to Ina that made the two connect. Ellie having met Ina a year ago at the Farmer’s Market when the older woman was selling her baking and playing guitar for extra money at her booth.
 
       As Ellie hopped down the stairs to avoid the buildings single elevator, after a source of great traffic among the building’s six floors, she felt a tinge of nervousness. Remembering the boys she passed entering the building. Of course it was a silly fear and nothing had happened to the girl, but she couldn’t help but feel a nagging compression in her chest as she entered the main floor.
 
       With her eyes down and a hand on her purse she walked quickly to the doorway, nearly walking into an old man and his dog. “Hey careful there!”, the man called out bitterly as he pushed his walker along. Wearing his bus pass around his neck, he wore old stained clothes. Even his small dog looked like it could use a bath. 

“Ah…sorry”, Ellie mumbled picking up her walking pace. 
 
       Suddenly everyone felt like an enemy, Ellie tried to look in the opposite direction to anyone passing by. Her eyes peered to the side as the opposing buildings door opened. Every sound alerted her. “Stay calm”, she thought to herself as she walked quickly to the sidewalk. 

It was there Ellie saw the two boys from before she had closed the door on, sitting in the smoking area with another young man wearing a black hoodie.
 
       Ellie’s heart skipped, she looked around, seeing service vehicles in the parking lot and various people passing by on the sidewalk. She wasn’t alone. She looked for anything in the scenario to make her feel safer as she moved fast. She didn’t know if the boys looked up at her or not but as she bounded down the sidewalk she could feel eyes on her back. In fact, she felt like everyone was looking at her.
 
       She was conscious now of everything, where her sweater sat, the records in her hand, how her purse rubbed against her leg, the pull of her hair bun on her scalp. “Come on” She muttered quietly. There was no reason for her to feel so afraid, but this building had a reputation.
 
       It was less than a year ago two tenants broke out into a drug fueled fight about nothing and stabbed each other to death in broad daylight. Not to mention all the drug busts that she had become numb to whenever they were reported on the news.

       Finally Ellie reached her car, quickly producing the keys and diving into the front seat. She tossed the records on the front seat along with her purse and kicked the car into reverse.
 
       “Oh *censored*!” Ellie hit the brakes quickly, noticing a truck rolling down the lot. Her heart skipped, she had to recollect herself for a second before backing out and driving off. In a matter of minutes her mood had quickly shifted out of random fears. The downtown area was a dump and Ellie feared the time when these crimes would turn to innocent people. In moments like this, she felt like the prime target, even if she hadn’t done anything wrong.
 
       But as she reached the main road and drove off beside the railroad tracks and lake she felt calm again. “Oh damn!” She cursed realizing she’d forgotten Ina’s cassette tapes. Ah, well, she figured she could get them next time.


2
Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: November 10, 2019, 04:18:13 PM »
Harry Belafonte, Calypso 

His records are Thrift Store classics but I never expected the music to be any good. However when I gave Belafonte at Carnegie Hall a chance I was shocked. A powerful and tactically controlled voice to go with dynamic and spicy traditional tunes. I still have yet to get "Matilda" out of my head. Calypso has some really great songs, it's very repetitive and a big sing-along sort of record. I like it best when Belafonte sings unaccompanied. "I Do Adore Her" and "Jamaica Farewell" were the greatest moments, very nice soft songs with beautiful melodies and harmonies. I don't like some of the bigger gang vocal songs like "The Jack-Ass Song" and I don't think the reprise of "Day-O" simply titled "Star-O" was necessary. I didn't like the whole album but I'm quite interested in Belafonte for his extremely unique voice and performance.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ8jv_asOxA

The Songs Of Leonard Cohen 

A monotone and somber album of intense story telling and imagery. Very simple music and vocals but Cohen's wordcraft and imagery is quite impressive. "Suzanne" is a certain masterpiece, the lyrics are absolutely out of this world. I only came across the song for the first time yesterday and it's without a doubt one of the best songs lyrically that I've ever heard. That said I was less interested in the rest of the album as it went on. For me it kept droning on with only a few moments like "So Long, Marianne" to musically break things up. I quite liked "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" as well. I was expecting to like the album more given how amazing "Suzanne" is but it fell short for me.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svitEEpI07E 

Crosby, Stills & Nash 

It's the "classic" Blues, Folk Rock album with the iconic blending of voices that creates an instantly recognizable and signature sound. The songs are loose are full of solid guitar work here and there. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" is of course the classic, but for me the only noteworthy part is the ending "do's". In fact none of this album is all that catchy. I liked "Helplessly Hoping" and "49 Bye-Byes" is pretty good but a lot of the record came and went. Very casual and easy going music, not half as good as Deju Vu. I'm not all that fond of the group's vocal sound anyway.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjd0O5fS41M   

3
Video / PC Games / Re: What video games are you playing at the moment?
« on: November 10, 2019, 04:16:17 PM »
Been playing Modern Warfare

I'm in the cycle, the new game comes out and I play it until the next one. That said I quite liked Black Ops 4 and now I'm enjoying this one. It's the best looking COD by far and the campaign was pretty decent. Atleast we had one this time and it's good enough to play through in an afternoon. I've put 11 hours into multiplayer so far and I like it. A faster paced game but it feels pretty satisfying once you get the hang of it, which takes all of 30 minutes. I don't really like the Create A Class system which is overly complicated and overstuffed. I'm salty that they removed prestige mode. Now, I'm currently only in the 30's ranks but the fun of COD is to level up and unlock things again and again. I'll see how it is when I reach that point, the prestige system was one of the most addicting things about the franchise. 

The maps are pretty boring. I think a number of them are awful and end up being a game of running around until the time limit runs out in TDM. Same old gray and dirty colours. I am happy that normal killstreaks are back and not the silly scorestreaks from BO4. There are still things to discover about how the game is laid out but I strive for something more simple. I liked BO2's class system the most with it's pick 10. That said this game should prove to be more mindless enjoyment I like it so far. 

Still playing Dead Or Alive 6 here and there, I really do like that game. and Gunsmoke on the NES which I've been trying on and off to beat. It's pretty tricky but I find NES games to be most engaging on my brain so I like this one.

4
Music / Re: 2019 In Music
« on: November 07, 2019, 06:49:46 AM »
BAND-MAID kicks the doors down with new video "Reincarnation". This is a ripping track with fierce energy and a classic feel trademark of the group. It kicks, has a great chorus pick-up and a unique solo from Kanami. A really cool song and a video that is really badass as well, this is likely next album's "DICE".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ9dbEVgZcA 

SCANDAL have their third music video this year with "Saishuheiki Kimi". This song has a bit of a different feel with some cheesy keyboards and an autotuned verse. The groove is great and the bass is rumbling. But the song itself I'm a little less thrilled at. I don't really like the chorus or all the effects on Haruna's voice. However the song does kick hard, like "Masterpiece" and it seems SCANDAL are doing something different with their recent set of songs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEnXf3CiPSY

BiSH play it safe with "KiND PEOPLE". A fairly boring and standard song that mixes a lot of different BiSH tricks together into something that feels sort of soulless and lacking. The verse is good, I like the instrumental just fine but the chorus is boring and it's just an extremely underwhelming song. Even the video isn't all that exciting. This is basically 2018 era BiSH back again, I'm not thrilled by this. The ballad that came before was so bad and so painful that I won't even bring it up past that. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l5ZcSr9LCQ

BiS come and BiS go. I think without Pour Lui the group is not BiS, and even then the original generation ran it's course but here we are with the new third gen. That said, the new song and video for "Dead Or A Lime" is pretty neat. It's a spicy tune, I think this 4 member BiS is a lot more interesting than whatever nonsense was going on with the constantly changing line-up and gimmicks of the second generation. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VamRd-U3ew 

ZOC's second single "Dansyari Kareshi" is pretty neat. It has Seiko energy all over it and in the context of an idol group it works pretty well. The track as well is a cool production, I didn't really like it at first but it's certainly grown on me. It's basically a stepped up version of Kusokawa Party's style, and it comes together quite well here. "family name" was a good song but not what I expected a Seiko brained idol group to be, this song on the other hand is more what one would expect. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59q5UB6B38 

PASSCODE's newest single "ATLAS" is ripping. A wonderful track with all the melody and musical variety the group brings. The chorus is fairly standard and sounds a lot like other songs, but the song is really good and there are plenty interesting parts. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q31RlO0tMbQ

5
Develop Your Story / Re: Emerald Hill Comix
« on: November 04, 2019, 07:37:44 AM »
Thanks for reading, indeed I take write what you know very seriously and do just that. I figure, I have my own world that I can share in writing and I love the mundane and small details. So I thought to write a story of my observations about things and share this, since it's my expression. I used to think my life was too boring to write about, and then I realized the joy in the small things that make me and my surroundings have character. This I all realized after KC when I made Post America, and for the first time wrote songs that where genuine and about my feelings & world. I found my expression and now it has carried over to my writing.

I have edited the first chapter again, I'm trying to find something that works. I have been reading the Foundation novels recently so I looked how the text was formatted in them and attempted that, since I've never really been a "writer" of anything but scripts before. and I haven't read books in a while, but now that I am reading again and everyday I am inspired to write once more.

6
Develop Your Story / Emerald Hill Comix
« on: October 31, 2019, 07:40:54 AM »
EMERALD HILL COMIX
A mundane story of normal people getting by in a small Canadian city of faltering glory. Ellie Jakomäki a freshly out of college officer worker grows interested in Warren Wasko, the new owner of downtown comic store Emerald Hill Comix. This is a story of the small worlds of two characters coming together and the little pieces that give the city it's character.


Chapter 1 : COMEBACK

Spoiler
NOTES : This is a very rough draft, I haven't edited it yet, I'm just writing to write again and worrying about making it nice later! Enjoy!

"Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back"

-Bruce Springsteen

       "I threw them all away, I didn't need them", Warren spoke softly, flipping through the pages of the latest X-Men comic. It was the same played out story, given in monthly installations.
       "Then what do you need?", Ellie Jaakimaki asked, leaning over the glass counter. Her brown purse hung down her back and she lightly stomped her black wedge sneaker against the carpeted floor.
       "Enough business to keep the lights on”, Warren replied. “Are you going to buy anything, or are you going to just question me all day?" Warren calmly slid the comic he was reading back into it's plastic board.
       Ellie pouted as Warren turned around to place it in a box on the other side of the counter. She pulled at the strings of her black hoodie and shifted her position. "I'm just curious,” Ellie said. “I've been interested in the kind of person who runs a shop like this.”
       Ellie stood up, looking around at the small but densely packed store. Comic books were neatly organized all along the walls, with newsstands full of new issues and racks of backlog. A section of graphic novels filled bookshelves that made up the back wall.A set of stairs lead to an even busier basement packed with comic boxes. One could spend all day in the shop and not even see every item in the store.
       "You must have nothing better to do with your time. There is nothing interesting about me, and there is certainly nothing I intend on telling you," Warren said as he adjusted his posture on the stool and went back to the computer. He typed furiously on the keyboard as he updated his online stock. Afterall, was a Thursday: the day after new comics were released.
 
       Typically every week he received a new shipment, of which he and a part time employee, paid half by store credit, distributed the issues into bags for all the people who had subscribed to the store. A customer could state the titles they were interested in and have them saved every week, for an extra 10% off. Hardcore collectors would specify which covers they wanted for each comic. In a small community such as Copper Lake, it was easy to get to know the customers and what they wanted.
       A tall old man strolled in through the open door and approached the desk. "What do you got for me this week?" Ellie shifted away, taking a good look at the man before walking towards the graphic novels. She kept an ear open for the ensuing conversation.
       "Let's see, Harold," Warren said,spinning around to the box and pulling out a bag filled with 15 comic books. "You amassed quite a bit. I didn't catch you last week."
       "Ah yes, the weather has been quite poor so I didn't feel like walking over. Otherwise I'd never miss my weekly trip," the old man said, standing with his hands behind his back. He wore an old jacket and dress pants. A beanie on his head stuck up. He was a unique fixture of the downtown area.
       Ellie peered at him through a comic rack, noting his appearance and mannerisms in her head. He took out a coin purse filled with dollar bills and slowly counted his money out.
       "Have you heard the news about that there new Batman movie? They say it's going to be real dark and gritty this time," Harold spoke, smacking his lips with each sentence.
       "They say that every time. I've been let down enough by these superhero movies. They aren't for people like us anyway," Warren spoke dismissively. Naturally the comic store owner was wearing his iconic Batman t-shirt. He could be seen on almost any day of the week wearing the old faded shirt.
       "Yeah but this director, the young fella, Anthony Orb, he seems to know his stuff quite well."
       "They all drop the same lines. Talking about how they took inspiration from the same graphic novels. The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween, Year One. They talk about how they strive for an accurate representation of the character in the modern age, and every single time it's the same disappointment. Batman using guns, Batman killing people, and so on.”
    "This time could be different though, I hear they are going for a more realistic approach with less gizmos and gadgets."
 
       "You're older than me Harold, I'm surprised they keep fooling you this way. It's the same cycle every time and the same movie every time. Haven't you grown tired of this?"
       Harold shook his head and grabbed his bag of newly purchased comics, "No Warren. I keep my imagination alive. My inner child is always excited."
       Ellie grimaced at the last sentence as she peered over from the manga she was pretending to flip through as Harold left the store. She found the conversation oddly interesting, and wished to know more about Warren's stance. She ran a hand through her jet-black dyed hair, fixing the messy bun on top of her head and neatly fixing her bangs which sat thinly over her forehead.
       She strolled back to the counter with a waltz to her step, "So, don't like superhero movies much, huh?"
       "No I don't. They haven't made a good one since Superman in 1978." Warren's eyes never left the computer screen as he hunched over, typing madly.
       Ellie leaned on the counter with her chin in hand, "You're talking like a bitter old man. I reckon you aren't much older than me."
       With a little bit of eye shadow and lipstick Ellie appeared to be more mature than she was, however the curious girl was only in her early twenties.
       "Irrelevant information, are you going to buy anything?", Warren gave her a brief glare before his eyes went back to the screen. He grabbed a bottle of Iced Tea nearby and tossed his head back, finishing it off in a few big gulps. For a guy of his age Warren seemed to adopt the habits of a middle aged man, despite being only 25.
       "No, I guess I'll be on my way. But I'll be back." Ellie strolled off casually, looking behind her to see if Warren's gaze walked her out. But the man was fixated on his work once more. Leaving Ellie all the more interested in the character and his business.

       In Copper Lake the downtown area was mostly run down with new businesses coming and going at a fast rate. There was an effort to try and bring life back to the area with trendy restaurants, clothes shops and record stores. The success rate however tended to be rather low and compared to an areas of higher population like Toronto and Winnipeg there was waning interest in such niche stores.
       However the comic shop still survived, carried on by Warren Wasko who purchased the business in the last days of its original owner Timmy Shustack. Emerald City Comix was the one business that stayed afloat among the ever changing and every degrading downtown.
       A person could seldom walk down the streets without being asked for change or cigarettes atleast once. Landowners held waterlogged run down buildings with no intentions of repurposing them, leaving many areas vacant, boarded up and left to rot. The efforts to revitalize the downtown where mostly fruitless, however many still tried.

       The bell on the door chimed as Ellie entered Speedy’s Records. She looked over to the man behind the desk and shot finger guns at him, “Hey Stebie!”
       “Eh kid what’s happening huh.” The older gentleman sat back in his chair, with his plump form fitting uncomfortably in a red bowling shirt and black pants belted up his waist. The Italian’s greasy hair was slicked back and he wore sunglasses and a golf cap to cover up his bald spot.
       “Not much, not much, just came to flip through.” Ellie magnetized to the new release section. Typically the only spot of the store a regular would bother to look at as the other areas where unchanging.
       Below her two younger boys where looking through the countless dollar bins on the floor. “This is bunk man, I ain’t see no Hip Hop.” One of them whined, pulling his black beanie down over his face.
       “They only stock real music here Terry”, the nerdy looking kid replied, carrying a stack of records under his arm. Ellie looked down with a grin, must have been two high schoolers on their lunch break given the time of day. She remembered being their age and getting into records for the first time and how exciting it was to build a collection.
       These days it was harder to find anything she wanted. She flipped with the hope that the next reveal would be a gem. Everytime she built herself up for disappointment. 
       “Vinyl is making a comeback eh?” the beanie wearing kid spoke.
       “It’s been making a comeback for a decade now, if there is to be a comeback it already happened”, the owner blurted out from behind the desk.
       The kid looked up with his mouth open for a second and then turned back to the records. “Sounds like my Grandpa,” he muttered.
       “Well it’s certainly become more popular since I started collecting, I’d say it’s on the rise.” Ellie chimed in on the discussion causing the high schoolers to look up at her.
       “They always say that, but where is it rising to? It will always be a niche market, it just happens to have become trendy like the cassette tape.” Stevie retorted speaking primarily with his hands.
 
       “What’s a casset tape?”, the dumbfounded high schooler asked to nobody.
       “It’s what all your Disney movies are on dooey!”, his friend fired back.
       “Uh noooo that’s VHS you idiot!” the other replied smugly. “So, you admit to having a collection?” his friend replied even more self-satisfied.
       “What’s wrong with that?”, Ellie titled her head looking at the high schoolers confused. 
       “Oh…I don’t know…nothing I guess”, feeling intimidated the boys turned their backs to Ellie and flipped through the rest of bin silently. 
       Ellie glanced over at the racks and turned to look at the rest of the small store. It was filled with racks and bins of records but nothing caught her eye.
       “Nothing this time, I’ll catch ya later Stebie”, Ellie finger gunned on her way out to which Steve put his hands up and pretended to fall back.
       “Ah, I am dead”, he slumped over prompting a small giggle from the girl as she strolled out.

Ellie walked back to her car, looking to the crisp afternoon sky. A sun that wasn’t blocked by construction. In the city the buildings never stood overly tall, upon observing the entirety of the land from a mountain one could only pick out the old paper mills by the lake and a few apartment buildings as sticking out from the rest. 
       She liked the coziness the city brought, even though the downtown was getting rougher. And yet, businesses still hung onto life and she enjoyed visiting every week. Especially Emerald Hill Comix, a place with a pull and interest she could not deny.

7
Music / Re: 2019 In Music
« on: October 29, 2019, 06:57:08 PM »
Mary's Blood have a new album Confessions. It's a let down compared to the group's past work. It sounds a little dull and many of the songs are pretty boring for Power Metal. There is an edge on albums like Fate that is not present here. "Hello" is a different track for the album, kind of a bass pumping keyboardy dance Rock song. I feel this album is overall uninspired and doesn't compare the rawness and energy of their previous releases. That said it sort of kicks the life on near the end with "HIGH-5" which is a very enjoyable and fun tune. "GO AHEAD & LAUGH" is good also with a cool verse. Them it goes right back where it was with the following two songs. Not much here, overall a forgettable release.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhyVdCnGxpQ   

Andrew Bird's My Finest Work Yet is a pretty solid album. Some really good songs like "Fallorun", "Manifest" and "Cracking Codes" which is a simple but beautiful love song with a big pick-up in the second verse that makes the song sail. It's a pretty solid late career album. Post Malone's Hollywood's Bleeding was pretty safe and listenable Trap Pop whatever album. I enjoyed it but certainly didn't find it memorable, that said it had some fine songs like "Circles" and "Myself". Tyler, The Creator's IGOR is pretty interesting. I don't think it's anything I intend on listening to again but the songs follow pretty unusual structures and it has it's moments. EARFQUAKE is pretty much irresistable and I liked A BOY IS A GUN*, PUPPET and WHAT'S GOOD

the peggies new single "Stand By Me" and "Dive To Love" is damn good. Both great songs from a group who really stood out this year. Love the guitars in "Stand By Me" and the melody. "Dive To Love" is a really nice song also. the peggies absolutely crept up on me with Hell Like Heaven, which given how enduring the songs have been for me, might well be by top album of the year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrmhmP42zcU&list=OLAK5uy_lmstCFQfn-WPynCpvfMZ-hthANLNPpNj8

December will have two massive for myself releases with BAND-MAID's CONQUEROR and Maison Book Girl's Umitouchunokodomotachi. BAND-MAID have been spotty recently. I liked "Start Over" but it won't be on the album and while "Glory" was good "Bubble" and especially "endless story" fell short for me. So I feel their best work is behind them. I mean you don't beat an album as intensely good as WORLD DOMINATION. "anemone" will forever be their greatest song.

Maison Book Girl on the other hand have had two absolutely fantastic singles this year so I have pretty solid expectations for their album given how remarkable their output is in general and how much I like "Kujira Koujou", "Yami Shoku no Asa" and "Silhouette". Their previous album "Yume" was also top notch. I suppose Seiko Oomori won't be continuing her yearly streak, likely for the better. However I do like "JUSTadICE" and "Re:Re:Love" a lot. That said her idol group ZOC's second single "Dansyari Kareshi" I'm not so into. 

8
Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: September 22, 2019, 06:26:24 PM »
Playing the list of plays to go.

Iron Maiden : Sign of the Cross 
Megadeth : A Tout le Monde
Dream Theater : Through Her Eyes
Maison book girl : Yami Iro no Asa
Failure : Pillowhead
At The Drive In : Pattern Against User
Fugazi : Merchandise
PEDRO : NOSTALGIC NOSTRADAMUS
the peggies : Stand by Me
ClariS : Grasp 
Silent Siren : alarm
AZALEA : GALAXY HidE and SeeK
PASSPO : Growing Up
Aimyon : Harunohi
Devendra Banhart : Will I See You Tonight?
Andrew Bird : Darkmatter 
Pantera : Cemetery Gates
Judas Priest : A Touch Of Evil
Metallica : Fade To Black
Prefab Sprout : Life of Surprises
Stevie Wonder : Joy Inside My Tears
The Cure : Pictures of You
The Smiths : Stretch out and Wait
LOONA : Colours
Utada Hikaru : Never Let Go
Carly Rae Jepsen : Real Love


 

9
MR Pub / Re: The Manimal's Unbelievable Gameplay Commentary
« on: September 19, 2019, 06:47:21 PM »
Changing up my channel, I don't take it seriously I just have fun. Restarting it.

This is my longplay of Captain Skyhawk on the NES. 30 minutes, just sat and played. Had fun, I love talking.

Captain Skyhawk (NES) Longplay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsVlM6OuHXE     


10
Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: September 11, 2019, 07:37:44 PM »
A list that plays...the list I made. 

Megadeth : Addicted To Chaos 
At The Drive In : Invalid Litter Dept.
Failure : Stuck On You 
Sunny Day Real Estate : Every Shining Time You Arrive 
Sonic Youth : Wish Fulfillment
Fugazi : Public Witness Program 
PEDRO : NIGHT NIGHT
BAND-MAID : Before Yesterday
Prefab Sprout : Appetite
The Beatles : The Fool On The Hill
George Harrison : If Not For You
Bob Dylan : You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
The Smiths : Rusholme Ruffians
Bruce Springsteen : Two Faces
SCANDAL : Brand new wave
Mika Nakashima : You Send Me Love
Carly Rae Jepsen : Fever
BiSH : Is this call??     
Maison book girl : Silhouette
Iron Maiden : Dream of Mirrors
Metallica : Orion                 
Faces : If I'm on the Late Side
Andrew Bird : Fallorun
Utada Hikaru : Give Me A Reason 


     

11
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2019
« on: September 11, 2019, 07:36:10 AM »
The Carly Rae concert was real good.

I've been waiting for her to come here for 4 years since Emotion came out and it finally happened. The exact scenario I could've never guessed in a million years, but it was quite the time. We got 3rd row and as expected there where a lot of kids who all went up front against stage, but there where some other guys there around my age who understood how great Carly Rae is. It was a high energy performance, she is quite a good performer who brings a lot of quirkiness and life to the songs, she sounded great and the band was very tight. 

Song selection was pretty good. She blasted through "Call Me Maybe" as the sixth song just to get it over and done with, which I was happy about, get it out of the way. The ground was quaking though from everyone jumping around, including a selection of dude bros by the stage who soon got asked to sit down. I was hoping she'd play "Curiosity" but nah. However I was really happy that she did "Cry", which was a stand-out, "When I Needed You", which I didn't expect, "Let's Get Lost", I love the song and didn't expect it to be an encore, "Emotion" and "Gimme Love". "Real Love" was great as the first encore, and the show had a very consistent and fun vibe throughout.   

As soon as she played "Run Away With Me" as the third song everything came into place and it was all good to the end. There where some songs on Dedicated I don't really like such as "Happy Not Knowing" and "Feels Right", although the latter was a good performance. "Want You In My Room" was a good fit and "Everything He Needs". Though personally I'd take "Making The Most Of The Night" and "All That" over them any day. "Fever" and "Store" stood out as, generally great songs, but good additions. I was praying for "Roses" but you know, you can't get it all. "Party For One" and the last song "Cut To The Feeling" brought a ton of energy to the whole place. In general there was just a good atmosphere and feeling throughout the show. Carly Rae was animated and the keyboard dude broke out the sax, got really low during "Let's Get Lost".             

It was a good show, happy to have finally seen her. I've been having to explain to people why she's great and worth more than one stupid song for 4 years, anytime I mentioned her because people always thought I was joking or where just like "what other songs does she have?", so there was something just great about finally seeing her and having it be such a good concert. Like...ya. I dunno, good stuff.

Crazy that there kids in the audience who either weren't born yet or where too young to remember when "Call Me Maybe" came out though. That was a crazy thought I had, like...not an "I'm old" thing just a...wow...generations.

12
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2019
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:17:57 PM »
Saw Iron Maiden last week, might as well write about it. What I do.

Maiden has been a band I've wanted to see for a while, since they are still together in their Piece Of Mind + Janick line-up and Bruce Dickinson's voice has held out. With old legacy acts like this you know what you're getting, sure enough it was a fun concert and the band sounded good. Luckily they are playing old songs so you got a good amount of the classics with an unfortunate omission of "Wasted Years" and "Powerslave". In my fantasy they would've played "Children Of The Damned" or in my super fantasy "Infinite Dreams" but you get what you get. 

Still, when you hear the classic Churchill speech before "Ace's High" it's about as iconic as KISS' "You wanted the best you got the best" concert opening. and the band delivered, I perked the hell up when they played "Revelations" which made me happy, and I was surprised and excited when they played "The Evil That Men Do", to represent Seventh Son. I knew they added "Flight Of Icarus" back so it wasn't a surprise but it was great. "2 Minutes To Midnight" and "The Wicker Man" where both moments of aaaaaaah ya, same with the opening speech of "Number Of The Beast". Man they kicked it with "The Wicker Man", love that song. The best performance of the night was surprising "The Clansmen" and "Sign Of The Cross", even if they aren't songs I care for the band really kicks it when they perform them. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" was also great, I mean it's their best song also so... 

Everyone got bored and a lot of people sat down, got beer, went to the washroom when they played "For The Greater Good Of God". No idea why they put that sleeper in the setlist. The band just blows through "The Trooper" like their sick of it, even if that's when Bruce Dickinson gets up to his most antics. "Where Eagles Dare" was a neat addition, but never a song I liked much. "Fear Of The Dark" was a crowd pleaser, I'm indifferent but it was good. "Run To The Hills" was of course the finale and the best fit song because everyone knows it, everyone loves it, and everyone sings the "whoooooa" part after the solo too early, even me.

I don't see concerts very often, although I'm going to see Carly Rae soon which means I will have seen every artist I can possibly see (obvs can't see BAND-MAID & BiSH) that I want to aside from Bruce. Who I can only hope and pray will perform a normal concert nearby soon. That would be going to church for me. But ya, Iron Maiden still bring a fun show. Is it anything unexpected? No, these bands are so refined and chronographed that it's an art, and it's just a cool thing to see.

13
Music / The Manimal's Music (19th ALBUM COMPLETE)
« on: September 08, 2019, 09:42:53 PM »
Kanttila : Closer To Clarity


1. The Declaration Of Kanttila
2. The Great Dodge Caravan
3. Contingency Plan
4. Cyclonus Bolognus
5. Safety Vest Squad 
6. Who Rules The Knight?
7. Misunderstandable
8. A Couple Of Weird Quirks 
9. 23 Year Old Me
10. My Best Buds Of All Time
11. New World Dinnertime
12. Fender Of Feeling 
13. Prepare For Rain
14. Your Insured Doomsday
15. Ayaka
16. In Your Darkest Hour
17. Our World Inside The World
18. Closer To Clarity 

All songs written/performed by Kanttila

https://kanttila.bandcamp.com/album/closer-to-clarity
             

So this is my 19th album, a rip roaring double album that says who I am now and who I want to be. 

It's a mess. A big cluster of this and that with no real direction. At times it makes sense and than it slips into something random. This album is really just everything I came up with from July up to now. It's not one of my best, but it has it's moments and it serves as a blow-out of everything I have learnt and added to my music since my previous double album Aesthetic 2 years ago. It ends on a rough note with a brutal vocal performance on "Closer To Clarity" which itself is the most lyrically revealing song I've ever written, much like most of this album. 

I would say this set has my greatest lyrics yet, but that's about it. The solos are strong, but the recordings go all over the place. My USB mic broke so I finally began using my Blue Snowball to record everything, so some songs like "Prepare For Rain" and "23 Year Old Me" are recorded with it and it's clear I have no idea where to put it. My USB mic I got used to and figured out how to optimize it since the start in July 2016. But this I have to figure out.

Espeically for acoustic. I intend to make my next album acoustic, tune, lyric and vocal based. To work on my abilities to write tunes (which if you listen to this album you will find my melodies are not there) and to be more confident and present my singing upfront. Hopefully make songs that fit my vocals and current singing better. I need to work on good tunes. I can make a good song, proven by tracks like "New Gate", "Magnus Bridge" and (with help from Lego who came up with the entire vocal melody) "No Reason But My Own". I just need to let my songs cook a bit more. 

So I wanted to get this big 18 track 1 hour long album out of the way to start working up again and go in a better direction. This album is rough, and it has some off moments, but it's reflective of where I am right now in music and life. One of those kinda albums.   

       

14
Music / The Manimal's Music (2 NEW SONGS)
« on: September 06, 2019, 07:40:07 AM »
The album draws closer. I don't think it will be one of my greatest or anything, in fact it seems to lack power and energy in a way. I think due to the mix and also the songs.

However "Misunderstandable" is a highlight and one of my more crafty moments for sure. I am quite happy with this one. and "In Your Darkest Hour" being the first song lyrically of it's kind for me. With a call back sort of outro.

I have better plans for my album after this one. It's time for new things but first I gotta finish this one, only one song left to make and a few left to do vocals on.

Misunderstandable 
https://soundcloud.com/kanttilamusic/misunderstandable

In Your Darkest Hour
https://soundcloud.com/kanttilamusic/in-your-darkest-hour

15
Music / Re: 2019 In Music
« on: August 10, 2019, 06:02:50 PM »
Maison Book Girl's new single "Yami Iro No Asa" is pretty damn good. The acoustics are amazing and after the chorus it brings some more classic elements of the group's sound. The instrumental feels fresh, I love the room sound on the opening guitars and the big change up that shifts the entire mood of the song. Maison Book Girl makes Idol music in a future of rainy empty city streets. Their last single was top notch and this one, is not as good but still pretty solid. Mainly the chorus melody is just strange in this one, but that aside it's another fantastic production. The b-side "Silhouette" is really good, a super mood piece with a lot of sound effects and a sad piano tone. It is a super good song, once more the production quality is insane, it's extremely well put together. If Maison Book Girl release an album this year it could be AOTY, calling it now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Wk1NgS118   

BAND-MAID's new single "endless story" trends towards their more poppy Metal direction that "Bubble" and "Start Over" signaled. The song has some good bits like the entry of the distorted guitar in the first verse and Misa's bassline in the second verse. I think this direction isn't as exciting for the band, the chorus is so similar to "glory" and not as good. Like "Bubble" this song doesn't really grip me like World Domination did last year. That said they have something new coming before the end of the year. I just hope for less of...this. I liked "Start Over" a lot but this song on first listen has less impact and catchiness and it tries harder to be catchy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_S4s8jZQ-A   

SCANDAL's new single "Fuzzy" is sub-par. It's overall a decent track that has the same sort of energy as "Masterpiece", a song I quite liked along with it's nice b-side, but it's sort of indistinct and lacks a certain kick the songs on Honey had. Mami's guitar parts are pretty good, she is the star of the song with her high fretting. It's a perfectly passable track, not bad at all but not great. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOL2W8HOQjA

Ayuni D has a new album with PEDRO out THUMB SUCKER. I should be more hyped, I have only listened once through. It's good but the production sucks. It's way too loud and shrill, the tremble is way to high and the mixing on Ayu's vocals gets old, not nearly as good as how she sounds in BiSH. Overall I think it has a bad sound, "Edge Of Nineteen" sounds insanely bad, but some of the songs are pretty solid. I really like "Night Night" for the verses and "Skyfish Girl". It's not bad but I get tired of it fast, it's too loud and Ayu, while she is a delightfully bad singer, she really sounds awful in a number of these songs. Not too impressed overall.   

 

Still really digging Seiko's latest song "Re: Re: Love", it's damn good. Forgetting and remembering then forgetting again that Carly Rae put out an album. BiSH's "CARROTS AND STiCKS" is still standing out, even if it's not as great and randomly sequenced it has a number of awesome tracks like "O S" that I keep listening to.   

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