Saturday, February 21, 2015

Progress Report

I have digitally published my first EP! Entitled Progress Report, this is an attempt at instrumental story-telling, specifically, the encounter between our protagonist, the Snail, and the Manic Widow. Aside from "instrumental," it's very hard to classify, as each of the songs are of different styles and fusions of styles. There's elements of classical, orchestral, industrial, dance rock, blues, trip hop, and alternative rock woven through this as a whole, but mostly it uses piano, acoustic and electric guitars,  a couple of bass guitars, strings (emphasis on cello), a classic studio drum kit, a house drum machine,  and some synths to do so. It definitely showcases my history as a metal musician and a pianist, and that I grew up to the sounds of '90s alternative rock.

In the story, the two main characters are, of course, aspects of myself. The Snail plunges resolutely onward to an unknown destination (that's me, plodding through life, of course) until it encounters the Manic Widow and allows itself to be distracted by her tumultuous personality. The Widow is a post break-up version of me, and this is EP is very much about entering and maintaining a rocky relationship and the wreckage it leaves behind. For six years, I lived with and loved a man who remains very dear to my heart, who I also want to destroy at my worst moments. We were "married" after three years, same-sex marriage not being legal in Oregon at the time, and it was and remains the happiest day of my life. It was a beautiful neo-pagan hand-fasting ceremony that led to life together in a beautiful home (with three other adult housemates, as is common in Portland). From there, old problems took on new life and new problems threatened to tear us apart. I shan't go into the details here, and needless to say, our marriage fell apart. But for some reason it just couldn't be an amicable break-up and we couldn't friends, and things continued to get messy until I finally moved out of state. It reminds me of the Dresden Dolls song "Truce," where Amanda and her former lover have divided up states and continents to be able to live in a world where the other exists.

There are days (and in fact my FaceBook status used to say) I pretend I was widowed. In many ways, the person who broke my heart and sent me fleeing across the continent was not my husband. My husband died and this person took his place in a fiendish real-life body-snatchers plot to destroy me, from the psyche outward. For after this failed marriage, I nearly drank myself to death and ended up in the hospital for an extended stay. Physically and psychologically, I'm still recovering from that failed suicide.

But all of this ends up being "A Minor Distraction" in the journey of the Intrepid Snail, who continues onward, even if it continues onward with the Blues in its tiny little heart (staple my hand to my forehead here to let me properly express the depth of my sorrow). I hope it all makes for an entertaining listen. I certainly enjoy it, and sometimes listen to it on a loop or let it sing me to sleep. Maybe you can join the Widow in her one-woman dance party and then she won't feel so absurd and alone.

This EP is also currently available for free download from BandCamp. Simply point your browser to

Safe Journeys and Pleasant Nights be to you all!