Metallica – Live S**t: Binge & Purge

[Post #543 | Daybook #13]

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to METALLICA’S 3-disc live set Live S**t: Binge and Purge, recorded and released in 1993 (the Mexico City portion of the box set). Tonight I was bopping around Spotify looking to cue up Metallica’s instrumental songs (“Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”, “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, “To Live is to Die” and “Suicide and Redemption”) to use as a soundtrack for a brief stint of writing when I scrolled to this particular live concert recording I’d been shunning for so many years. I jumped right to “Creeping Death” in the track listing and what I immediately noticed was how much better the live songs sounded twenty-five years ago compared to modern times. Not because of the band’s performance or anything like that. No, it’s because back then their guitars were tuned to E-Standard tuning (A440) rather than the E-Flat tuning they’ve been using the last fifteen years or so (I believe since the St. Anger “Madly in Anger” tour in 2003, at least). These days when I hear modern live versions of their songs it’s a bit of a bummer because the majority of the songs sound off — because they are off, by a half-step, or semitone in musicology terms. I’ve been listening to Metallica for thirty-plus years, so it seems only natural that when a fella puts on the music of the soundtrack of his formative years that he’d want it to sound like it’s supposed to sound at least in terms of the original tuning, even when it’s via a concert, live or otherwise. [End old man rant].

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The Drive

[Post #542 | Daybook #12]

Driving. Something I’ve been doing a lot lately just to get to a place of solace where I can get out of my head (or more accurately, get into my head so I can un-clutter it). When I need to do that I tend to drive out into the country (I live in the suburbs, sandwiched perfectly between the urban and the rural) and I’ll usually play music of a deep or moody nature to soundtrack my travels and hopefully inspire my contemplativeness while also prompting me to sing. Is there a greater joy, really, than singing? I mean aside from playing guitar or drums? No, I can’t think of much.

At any rate, below is a picture I snapped last week of one of my driving excursions. The sky may or may not have matched my inner mood.

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Bookworm Ruckus At It Again

~ Daybook #11 ~

The picture above doesn’t do it justice (not wide enough) but it is an image of the graphic novels section at one of my local public libraries.

You know you have an incurable book fetish when you find yourself unexpectedly rummaging the shelves at the dollar store looking for unlikely gems. #AlwaysBeReading folks.

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A Perfect Date

~ Daybook #10 ~

The wife and I had a rare night out sans children last night and what we had to show for it was a nice Mexican dinner (with dessert — fried ice cream) at a place we’d never been to before, and the other thing we had to show for our evening was an armful of books because as bookworms our evening consisted of trips to two different bookstores, Half-Price Books and Barnes and Noble. A total of seven books — 3 books for her and 4 for me. Though we definitely should, it might be a good thing that we don’t procure books more often from the bargain bin/clearance and half-price stock, otherwise we’d have fare more than we have space to accommodate. Amid the bargain finds I also finally nabbed Normal, the new novella by my main man Warren Ellis that was originally serialized in 4 parts digitally last summer/autumn.

At any rate, according to my better half, this was the perfect kind of date, dinner and books. I owe her a margarita next weekend, though.

Daybook 9 | Sunless

According to the weather app on my phone yesterday, we are in for a long stretch of virtually sunless cloudy-covered days here. A stunning monochromatic overcast threatens to oppress all that exist below it. Such is Winter in the U.S. Midwest, which I suspect perhaps mimics that of the United Kingdom, the way you hear them tell it. Ugh! What a miserable backdrop for anyone’s existence.

This reminds me of what I wrote in the first ever Journal Juice entry called “Overcast” on December 9, 2014.

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Daybook 8 | Giving Her Whiplash

~ This is a #daybook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker chronicles yet another random day event ~

So yesterday while driving in my car, my 2016 Honda Civic EX Sedan with the lovely wife at my side and we’re listening to the music streaming from my iPod via the Bluetooth feature.

As often is the case I had the pod on shuffle for a random progression of songs. Now you must understand that ever since I was a child I’ve always pursued a variety of styles of music. I am truly one of those people who believes that variety is the spice of life and when it comes to music, music geek that I am, you could say my musical tastes and consumption is all over the map. The wife, my partner in life for 12 years, knows this about me better than anyone. Seriously, playing disparate types of music is something I do almost as much a breathing. She should be more than used to it by now. She should be so well adjusted, jaded even.

Yet, apparently she had a momentary lapse of regarding this because she somehow managed to be taken aback by a certain artist flowing into the next.

The first song was “X-Ray” by THE NOISE, a precursor project featuring Canadian R&B/Soul singer Abel Tesfaye, best known now as THE WEEKND. (A few songs before was “Church” by Atlanta hip-hop superstars OUTKAST.)

So those smooth R&B/Soul sounds flowed directly into “Desolation” by one of my favorite metal bands LAMB OF GOD.

Her words to me, prompted by the abrupt change in genres: “You’re giving me whiplash!”

What can I say? It’s how I roll. Literally.

I guess she forgot her neck brace.

Daybook 7 | Writing Space

~ This is a #daybook entry on #ruckology In which Brandon L. Rucker chronicles a random event from his day ~

So today I am again writing at the local public library in my small city, a place of refuge and solitude. You may be wondering: “Well, if you’re a writer, don’t you have a study or office at home?” Why, yes, I sure do. And I do spend an inordinate amount of time in it on a daily basis. However, a home office is a very familiar and comfortable place. It’s a very crucial writing space to have, make no mistake, but it can also be a place where every so often you can become too comfortable and complacent. Not to mention there’s just something about home that lends itself to distractions and disruptions. So I’ve come to realize lately that it’s good to regularly escape one’s domicile for a writer’s refuge at a relatively quiet place of study like a public library. There are two big libraries to which I have membership, and one of them has private study rooms in which you can setup your workstation. That’s what I’ve been doing the past couple of weekends and today I actually got up early enough to make sure I got the most coveted room in the building, the one that’s always occupied by someone when I arrive, but today was not that day.

I have to say it’s amazing how fast time flies when holed up at the library writing or reading, compared to how slow time passes at the day job during the week. This is just something I need to make a regular habit of doing because at home I get a bit restless and start welcoming distractions, or conversely when I’m locked in inevitably something or someone in my home requires or outright demands my attention. Or more likely the case, absolute silence is not achievable. Still, I am very grateful for my private writing space at home, which prior to three years ago didn’t exist when our family dwelling was a mere two-bedroom apartment. I can’t imagine ever going back to a time where optimal writing space is an elusive thing.

Hopefully all you fellow scribes out there have suitable writing space as well.