Tag Archives: Handwritten

THE WRITER’S BLOCK

How many times have we heard of the Writer’s Block? Does is actually happen? Is it a cheap excuse to hide the fact that you feel lazy about writing? Is it another urban legend? Let me tell you something:

(SH)IT HAPPENS.

Writer’s Block happens more than wished, honestly, in fact it could be classified into different  types, depending on the causal factors. Let’s see…

Lack of inspiration

Doesn’t matter how much time you spend in front of the empty sheet, nothing comes out. No ideas, no words, NOTHING. It’s exasperating. What the hell is going on in my mind? Has all my creativity vanished? Am I not good for writing anymore? Will this block last forever? And so on. Terrible feeling!

Too much to say but you don’t know where to start

There are many ideas and concepts you want to talk about, it’s like a constant brainstorming in your mind you are unable to organize and even less to find the starting point to do so. You feel so overwhelmed you just star delaying the moment to start writing.

 writers block

Stuck in the middle

This type of block can be related to the previous one, but I prefer to refer to it separately.

When you have eventually defied the mayhem of ideas and start writing, sometimes words are poured easily so the text is taking shape and is being built easily, but there are sometimes that this flow stops suddenly, and what seemed to be so good, now it doesn’t look so powerful or consistent, and you start questioning about trying to amend or rewrite some parts or just throw the whole piece to the bin.

The sense of wasting your time invades you and makes you feel very frustrated.

Emotional state and external factors

If you are an organized person, probably your topics are already planned, but you can’t control your state of mind and soul, right? Otherwise  you wouldn’t have developed writing skills. The way I see it, this has to do with creativity, passion and lots of imagination. I’d like to think of amateur writing as a kind of art at a very early and immature state.

Sometimes  you got much more interesting plans than spend some hours writing, or you’re just distracted, or tired, or drunk or whatever.

Nevertheless, what I’d like to remark here is the proper emotional, the very same that sometimes turns out to be the greatest source of inspiration. It can also pull you away from writing, due to excess of both sadness and happiness. When the first case happens, you’re so down you just want to die on the couch, and if you’re experiencing an episode of euphoria, it’s hard to go down to earth and write a little. If this block has to happen I only hope it’s due to something pleasant.

type writer

There are also these other external factors which can contribute to the writer’s block, starting from stress at work to money issues, arguments with the closest ones, family problems, friends who need your support, long phone calls, hangovers…

How can we face this situation?

That’s a great question.

I’ve been experiencing myself some kind of writer’s block this week. I’d say it had to do with my personal state mainly. My hormones were crazier than usual, last weekend was marked by an insane night which was very hard to recover from and had this mood in super low spirits as the main side effect once the physical hangover was gone, it’s been a very busy week at work with lots of incidences to cope with, I’m gonna be quite short of money again since I signed up my new contract for 6 months with the company I’m working for and wages are short, Norma Jean Magazine growing extraordinarily and super fast, with me and Andrea overwhelmed by the impact of the last articles, and the response from our followers…I’m so exhausted I’ve been falling asleep  in front of the computer almost every night.

I always write down the topics I want to talk about, but if I’m wasted I cannot concentrate, and it’s hard to stare at the empty screen in my computer unable to press a single key to start a story. it’s depressing.

So, again, how can we overcome this block? The key is your mind. If yours is too busy, you won’t be able to write shit, nor even your shopping list. You need to isolate all those thoughts and troubles first, in essence, you need to take it easy and relax. Release all the wrong energy you keep inside and let it go. Switch off the computer and move away from your desk first of all. Thus, if you are into sports, go running, if you don’t, have a walk and get lost for a while, if it’s raining go to the movies, if you feel you home has turn into a cage, go outdoors, have a beer or smoke a joint, call someone, listen to 5 albums straight, get laid or masturbate…your main target is to feel relaxed and relieved. Anything goes, as long as you don’t bother anyone.

The Writer’s Block can happen to anyone, but it’s the task of oneself to cope with it and move on. I’m not very happy about what happened last week, considering writing is some kind of therapy to me, so I will try to isolate from external influences which keep me away from writing.

Good luck to all those who are currently experiencing such horrible situation. Don’t panic! There’s always a way out.

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012

digging-through-vinyl-records-lp

This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.

BestRecords2012

Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!

ABANDON JALOPY – DEATH & JOY

What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/27/album-of-week-12-death-joy/

CANCER BATS – DEAD SET ON LIVING

One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/04/27/albums-of-week-16-1965-dead-set-on-living/

 

LUCERO – WOMEN & WORK

Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/21/album-of-week-11-women-work/

MARK LANEGAN – BLUES FUNERAL

blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/02/13/album-of-weeks-5-6-blues-funeral/

JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS

Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/05/31/album-of-week-21-blunderbuss/

ORANGE GOBLIN – A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/12/12/album-of-week-48-a-eulogy-for-the-damned/

THE HANGMEN – EAST OF WESTERN

EAST OF WESTERN

This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.

LANA DEL REY – BORN TO DIE

I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/08/30/the-day-i-surrendered-to-the-hype/

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – HANDWRITTEN

 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/07/18/i-knew-handwritten-wouldnt-fail-me/

CALEXICO – ALGIERS

Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/11/14/album-of-week-43-algiers-calexico-on-stage/

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/10/17/uncle-neil-and-crazy-horse-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world/

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!

I KNEW HANDWRITTEN WOULDN’T FAIL ME…

Morning of any given Tuesday. Apparently there’s nothing outstanding related to this day, leaving some personal memories aside. Oh well, yes! I had an appointment scheduled for fixing my motorbike after one year and a half parked and forgotten. Yep, no comments.

My morning coffee has been sweetened thanks to the announcement of the availability of Handwritten, the fourth album by the guys from New Brunswick, in streaming, via NPR Music. Needless to say, my world has immediately taken a break for playing the album entirely for the first time.

I said to myself to avoid bad quality leaks belonging to bands I love. It’s a hard commitment, but sometimes I manage to accomplish it. This time this wasn’t a leak but an official premiere of the album, thus I had to give it a try.

As you can imagine it was impossible listening to it just once, and well, let’s say I haven’t played anything else today, but The ’59 Sound when pushing my poor motorbike towards the garage. TGA have made my day.

I posted the first single, 45, when it was launched. After listening endlessly, I still think it’s definitely to become one of their greatest anthems, very complete, very TGA, catchy intro, super rhythmic and intense melodies.

I’ve listened to Handwritten 5-6 times today, and once I finish writing this, I’ll forget about the album  till I receive my Deluxe copy, whose ETA is due to August the earliest, depending on shipping.

After digesting 45, I couldn’t conceal my excitement and the expectations were too great. To be honest, this uneasy feeling of considering failure as a possibility never brought out. From the very beginning, since I saw those captures at the studio, with the vintage Telecasters, the classic amps, the band attitude… I had good vibes regarding this new album. And seems that I wasn’t wrong.

Guess when you listen to a new album, your attention is unconsciously focused on the first songs, and then you get kinda relaxed. First half of Handwritten is simply brilliant. Today I can tell I’m already charmed by Handwritten, Mulholland Drive, Too Much Blood or Desire. I might change my opinion in two weeks, who knows? It’s not big deal anyway. First impressions imply excitement, happiness and certain degree of euphoria, as to distort the senses a bit, truth is that I’ve enjoyed the experience and the album has cheered me up quite much.

The Gaslight Anthem is not a band of virtuous musicians, they’re actually quite limited, and on live performances this is quite noticeable, however, quality in their compositions, the formula, their style clearly influenced by many artists I’ve already mentioned and they also admit to be inspiring, the story telling of the songs, their hardworking philosophy, and the positive energy and intensity they spread, all these features are what make the guys from New Jersey grand.

I think they’ve made it again, delivering a great album which has nothing to envy to their previous work. They found the path and easily keep the track, because they’ve already found themselves, and are aware, we, the fans, have finally found them.

Brian Fallon, Alex Rosamilia, Alex Levine and Benny Horovitz perhaps are not yet aware of having trespassed the boundaries into the level of the classic bands and he legends, and I know it’s 3.30AM and you think I’m talking nonsense and should go to sleep immediately, but I know what I mean. The Gaslight Anthem is one of the few bands which will survive the hype and if they stay tight and don’t fuck it up, they’ll be active in 15 years from now. You know the expiring products seem to dominate the world nowadays, well, these guys joined for long consumption .

Once this said, now it’s just a matter of time, on one hand to have the physical album in my hands, and on the other, wait till their next visit in November. The wait is gonna be hard.

45, A PLACEBO FOR THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM COLD TURKEY

Time again to refer to one of my hottest bands nowadays, The Gaslight Anthem.

Since the beginning of this blogging experiment, I’ve been constantly praising their talent, written posts about their albums, and been following their track closely.

Some months ago via Twitter, the band was confirming they were starting recording a new studio album. It was via Instagram when I was acquainted with the actual recording in Nashville, thanks to Brian Fallon’s captures, and finally about a month ago, the name for the album was confirmed: Handwritten. Love the name, short, stricking and vintage.

While both American and European dates are being confirmed, not only as Soundgarden’s supporters but also headlining, we’ve been waiting till today to know that July 23rd is the official release date of the album.

In the meantime, as an advance, barely 6 hours ago, the new single was introduced by Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1, as a worldwide premier.

I’ve been running some errands this evening and came back home three hours ago. Needless to say the single, 45, was available everywhere on the net, thus I’ve played it around 1-12 times already.

The verdict, quite predictable, is positive. I am absolutely delighted.

45 – THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM

On one hand mixing and production are impressive. All the parts are clearly balanced, and very real and raw at the same time. I’m particularly enjoying the drums a lot, super intense, job done with cymbals is brilliant, and guitars very clear, are pretty catchy. On the other hand, chorus is likely to become a new anthem, the body of the song follows the classic pattern, and Fallon’s vocals are fantastic.

 It is definitely what all the fans were seeking for, after such a long wait, with The Horrible Crowes project in the middle. We wanted the band, we wanted and anthem, and they didn’t fail to deliver, 45 is an awesome single, a sweet fix of The Gaslight Anthem, a placebo to temporarily relieve us from the withdrawal, which actually gets us more in need, and hooked, because now we need more, much more, and we’ll have to wait for more than 2 months.  Argh!

BASTERDS!!! 😉

Sure it was worth the waiting, and expectations are now greater than ever. Got this feeling that Handwritten will mean the peak in their career. We’ll see…