Through out the years I’ve noticed that I go through phases when it comes to my enjoyment of both listening & creating music.
What often happens is I have a tendency to get super absorbed in work & other hobbies & interests take a back seat. It’s a character flaw I’m working to change, but old habits die hard.
This past year has been eye (and ear) opening in so many ways. 2017 was almost like a rebirth & I’ve really tried to put an emphasis on the fact that you only live once. This is it. So I need to live my live in a way that I have no regrets. Luckily I’m still relatively young enough to be able to basically change the way I was doing everything in my life prior.
It definitely hasn’t been easy & I’m trying to get back into various hobbies/activities that I’ve had a great interest in at some point in the distant past. I’ve decided to take the attitude that this is an on going life improvement quest…and it’s a quest that I will continue to improve opon until the end.
With that said, 2017 was full of what I considered ‘signs’ that I really needed to change the way I was living. I’m not spiritual in any way, but with the shear number of events that had taken place last year, when looking back at them as a collective whole where they all in some way tied together…that couldn’t be ignored.
One of those events happened after going out to diner with friends we haven’t seen in way too long. Afterwards we came back to our house for a night cap & to continue catching up.
My good friend Pete has always had a much great interest/obsession with music than I have had. I do ‘noodle’ around on the guitar & I like to think that I have pretty good taste in music…I mean come on, how can someone that digs everything from Jazz/Fusion to Progressive Rock to some 80’s Metal not have good taste in music.
Pete has always gone on and on about music & I think that me being me I would maybe be tone deaf to what he was saying. He’s mentioned various bands to check out through out the years and I’ve checked out a few of them. Mostly because most of the time I was way to distracted by the shear volume of work that that’s needed to keep a business afloat & would forget what band he recommended.
I know, I’m a self absorbed dick…I’m working on my character flaws as part of my ‘life improvement’ quest & I’ll try to be a better friend going forward.
Well this particular evening I was just happy to catch up & I had already pretty much walked away from the business at this point so I didn’t have that weight on my mind. So, between the living room, studio and my office…all of which have their own sound systems…that by the way… can be played individually or each room can pull from a single source for ‘full house sound sound’…yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds.
Well Pete, being Pete had to show me probably about a dozen different artists through out the night. We started in the living room, then the wife’s we’re catching up, so we went to the office to jam out to some tunes. We fired up YouTube and he proceeded to educate me on some great music that’s out there. After about an hour of jamming out I had about half a dozen browser tabs opened with various artist that we checked out. I know I have terrible browsing habits & consistently have 70-100 tabs open on my 6 LCD desktop. I sum it up as a side affect of my ADD.
At the time, I definitely dug the music, but honestly I had been drinking double Captian’ & Cokes through out the evening and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to really digest some technically proficient prog.
Fast forward to what I believe was Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. I was working late in my office because I had already started to work on getting back into my new career path as a software engineer…still working on that. :/
So, I’ve been pretty much on third shift this past year because I seem to be able to focus better during those hours. I also like the fact that there is also rarely any distractions. Something that’s very helpful when your trying to understand some of this technical software development crap.
So I think it was about 3AM, and I opened up the browser window that still had all those tabs of various artist that Pete had showed me on Saturday. I was sick of the monotonous tone of techno that I had been listening too while coding, so I started to play the an album by Arch Echo.
We had listened to parts of the album but I think Pete kind of wanted to give me a cliff notes version and attempted to have me listen to parts of a couple songs which I dug at the time, but between my ‘slight’ level of impairment & not being able to fully absorb my self into the song; nothing really stood out to me that blew me away…at the time.
Well when it’s 3AM, you have a nice set of over ear head phones, no distractions & in the frame of mind I was in…which was that part of improving the quality of life is by stopping to smell the roses and take in the joys that life can offer…I absolutely couldn’t help but be completely absorbed by the Arch Echo album.
Needless to say, my worked ended at that point that night.
What stemmed from that was even more incredible. Sometime around 5AM, YouTube was on auto play, I had gone back to trying to get something productive done while still being floored by the stream of awesome unique music that was so refreshing & I was totally oblivious that any of it existed…then Polyiphia Icronic came on.
At first I thought, well that’s a cool riff…it sounded at first like a sampled guitar pop song* but about half way through I switched tabs to see who the hell these guys were. I also realized that’s not a sampled guitar. It was like nothing I’ve ever heard. I restarted the track & really listened. I was floored.
*Anyone who knows anything about Polyphia knows that they use Hip-hop, Pop and radio friendly songs to influence there writing as a way of almost forcing themselves to deviate from their super technical prog-metal roots. I find that to be genius and the sound they end up with is like no other, so kudos to you guys…you created one hell of a awesome sound that seamlessly manages to pull off having catchy hooks with virtuoso level guitar playing. Not an easy task & I definitely tip my hat to them for creating such works of art.
I actually had a small carpet cleaning job to do in Westfield that morning before going to bed, so I checked to see if they were on Pandora…they were. The only thing I remember about that job was the number of times I stopped working to pull my phone out to thumbs up a new track that just came on. Turns out when your create a Polyphia station on Pandora your are also blessed with sounds from artists that I was never aware of.
Some of which included: Chon, Intervals,Plini, Scale The Summit, and Sithu Aye.
…To be continued