The Summer of Music, Art and Writing

Wow…it seems like every time I write I say I’m going to try and post more, and then I promptly vanish for weeks on end again. I’m having a weird year. Mostly good, but I think that now things have slowed down and I’m not in non-stop panic mode like I was last year and at the beginning of this year, I’ve finally been able to start processing things and I’ve been struggling with depression quite a bit. I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself and working through a lot of stuff though and even though things are really tough at times, I’d still take my darkest times now over the way things were before, because even though I get really depressed, I’m still in a much happier place than I was and am more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been.

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, but I’ve also started writing poetry and stuff again, which feels really good. I’ve written more in the last month or so than I had in the last 11+ years. I thought that I couldn’t write anymore and that the writer in me had died, so it has been really good to see that I was wrong about that.

I’ve also been making a lot of collages in the last two weeks or so, which was always the only kind of visual art this non-artist could create. I always feel best when I’m creating, no matter what form that comes in – writing, sewing, making collages. I’ve also been drawing a lot and though I’ve never been great at it, I really love to draw, so it feels really good to be doing that again too.

I’ve been playing a lot of guitar and teaching myself a ton of new songs. Recently I taught myself to play David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album from start to finish, which I’m really proud of. It was the first time I’d ever taught myself to play an entire album. Playing it has been a great way of relieving stress and working through fear – especially the kind of stress and fear that comes from probably spending a little too much time watching the news. When it feels like the world is in flames, I pick up my guitar. At this point, I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

I’m more myself than I’ve been in over a decade, but at the same time, a much better version of that self. It feels really good. I’m just sorry that between the gloomy times and the periods of intense creativity, I haven’t been around much.

I’ll write a separate post with some of the collages I’ve been making, but I’ll end this post with one of the songs I’ve been playing the most this summer, because it just feels right to show you why my neighbors probably hate me by now…I don’t really care though, this entire album is absolute perfection* and no one heals my soul like Bowie.

*Seriously, if you haven’t heard this album, you really should check it out. It just might be one of the best albums of all time and is definitely one of my favourites. Bowie was an absolute genius.

All Hail Peter Gabriel, Prog Rock’s Geeky High Priest

Peter Gabriel, Watcher of the Skies

Hello there!

If you are reading this, I’m assuming you know me from my former blog, The Pretty and The Kitsch, so instead of introducing myself I’m going to dive right in to this incredibly geeky inaugural post, which is a tribute to Genesis era Peter Gabriel (and Peter Gabriel era Genesis!)

Why write about Peter Gabriel for my first post? Because honestly, you can’t get much more kitschy and geeky than Peter Gabriel in his Genesis heyday. This dude was such an electric force of weird creative genius and his total commitment to the music was incredible and had a huge impact on me from my late teen years right up until today.

Like David Bowie (another of my heroes), Peter Gabriel would often inhabit characters in his songs and on stage; but while David Bowie’s characters were (mostly) human in one form or another, Peter embodied a completely psychedelic kaleidoscope of characters including everything from flowers to lawnmowers. Yes, lawnmowers! Move over, Ziggy Stardust, the talking lawnmower is here!

Me, I’m just a lawnmower – you can tell me by the way I walk.

The Peter Gabriel character that had the biggest impact on my life has to be Rael, the protagonist of the epic concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. That entire album is an incredible journey and deserves it’s own post, so I won’t say anymore on it, except that it is absolutely fantastic and really should have been made into a huge production, like The Who’s Tommy – it definitely deserved it. Released as a double album in 1974, it was sadly to be Peter’s last with Genesis.

While Genesis continued with Phil Collins taking over and Peter went on to have a long and illustrious solo career, in my personal opinion nothing could ever truly top the incredibly creative geeky joy that came out of this fantastic four year period in the band’s history.

Watch out for music. It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you, and connected to what you really are inside. And it can make you think that the world should, and could, be a much better place. And just occasionally, it can make you very, very happy.

Peter Gabriel

I’ll end this post with Supper’s Ready, which is astoundingly long, as only Prog Rock could be, clocking in at just over 23 minutes! This is a strange hallucinatory romp that is funny, moving and slightly horrifying, featuring Peter as a flower – because you all knew I couldn’t mention Peter Gabriel playing a flower without sharing it!

Enjoy! And thank you so much for reading!