Justin King

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Last Active 12-13-13 10:07 pm
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10.16.14 Life Is Really Good: One Year Later10.16.13 Life Is Really Good.
08.26.13 Recs Like This?

Life Is Really Good: One Year Later

Because I'm a cheesy bastard, I thought making a one-time to my last list might be a bit fun and possibly uplifting to some, as well as bringing a few smiles to my own face as I recall the events of this past year and their relations to their musical accompaniments.
1Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith

I want to preface this by saying this man was an absolutely phenomenal musician, and he truly left his mark on the music world. All of his albums are absolutely brilliant, and belie the normally bright and happy-sounding music by being so remarkably cynical. Elliott became my favorite musician over the course of the year as I delved further and further into his discography, and it actually didn't appeal to me as I am now, but how I used to be when I when I was going through a depression. I was cynical and bitter, but I never showed it.
Afterimage of Autumn

Also through this year, I discovered a massive love of Black Metal, and this album is by far one of my favorite releases in the genre. I honestly don't even really know what made me cling to the genre so much, as in the past, I had never hated it or anything like that, but there weren't many bands that had appealed to me. This album was far from the one that changed my opinion on the genre as I'd already gotten very heavy into BM, but this is one of the best in the genre, in my opinion.

This year, the band I was working with at the time of my previous list had disbanded, and not entirely amicably. We were all moving in different directions, and I felt like I was lagging behind. I struggled a lot this year with finding acceptance with where I am in life compared to my peers. This kind of self-deprecating thought process is honestly most likely what brought me to love BM and rekindled my passion for Death Metal.
4The National
High Violet

However, after my previous band had disbanded, my girlfriend had been getting me very much into Indie Rock and Folk bands, so I started writing material influenced by The National, Gregory Alan Isakov, Elliott Smith, Modest Mouse, and Cymbals Eat Guitars under a solo project I had titled He's Dead, Jim! (I'm a Star Trek nerd) and had quite a bit of fun with it, as it was a huge departure from what I used to play.
All We Love We Leave Behind

Relating to Converge, my dog Bannon, despite being the best damn dog I've ever known, made a big mistake. On the last day that I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law, I kept getting a call from an unknown number, and I just don't ever answer numbers I don't know. But a few hours later, my father called me to tell me that my dog had killed six of our new neighbor's goats and almost bitten the man that owned them because of how excited he had gotten. The police gave us an ultimatum: Put him down or send him away. One of my cousins, who is severely obese to the point of being unable to take care of himself, wanted to take him, but I knew it just wouldn't work. Bannon would have run away and possibly hurt something else. Later, we found out that my cousin stays directly across from a very poorly secured sheep farm, so we can take a wild guess how that might have turned out. We had to put Bannon down, and it was one of the hardest drives I have ever had to endure. He still looked so happy just to be around the family, and I knew my dog wasn't dangerous at all, he had just gotten worked up and didn't want to stop. But he was only just over a year old, and he would only get stronger and harder to control if he were to go into a frenzy again. He passed with every person that loved him most around him, and he went peacefully, but it doesn't make me feel any less guilty.
The Funeral of Being

The anger I felt at myself for not being there to prevent it from happening made me a little bit of a hermit. I really didn't go out much, but I delved into writing Black Metal. I essentially became one of the one-man bands that are so frequent in the genre, but I can honestly see why they do it all themselves. When you isolate yourself like that, you don't want anyone around to have to share those feelings with.
Metaphorical Music

As Spring came on, my anger was mostly gone when I realized there really wasn't anything I could have done. I started to listen to a listen to a lot of Hip-Hop, especially instrumental artists, Nujabes and Uyama Hiroto being my favorites. The sound was so much brighter and uplifting, even when it was meant to be dark. I even wrote a few instrumental Hip-Hop tracks, inspired highly by this record. I may end up doing something with them, but for now, they're just testaments to letting go of something I couldn't have controlled.
8Discordance Axis
The Inalienable Dreamless

I began to go back and forth between my Black Metal, Hardcore, and Indie Rock projects, and I yet again renewed a love for a genre I hadn't paid much attention in quite a while, Grind. I ended up tossing away my strictly BM and Hardcore projects, as I knew I no longer wanted to just stay within one genres confines. As I got more into Grind, I mended fences with my old bandmates, and we created a new band, mixing BM, Grind, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post-Metal, and Death Metal. Writing heavy music has always come somewhat naturally to me, and it's always been incredibly fun to write, but I never really blended so many influences before.
Grape Blueprints Pour Spinach Olive Grape

As the year progressed, I got a job working in a grocery store, and I met some great new people. It all felt like a breath of fresh air, and it made me put a lot of different methods of writing to my music, to where I even began incorporating elements of Math Rock to my He's Dead, Jim! project. My guitar style became a lot more free-flowing and fun for that project, and I could actually find myself smiling as I wrote music again. I wasn't trying to sound like anything for once. I was just letting every idea I had out on the fretboard, and it was liberating.
10maudlin of the Well

One of the most brilliant albums I finally decided to give a listen this year. It really demonstrated that I wasn't just being an idiot by throwing so much into my music, that eclectic influences can meld well as long as it's done tastefully. I'm not just writing music as a release anymore, I'm writing it because I love doing it.
11The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream

One of the albums I listened to celebrate getting my job. It is a shitty job, and it makes you genuinely start hating people, but I like who I work with, and my boss loves me because I actually do my work really well and I take it pretty seriously. But this job is getting me on my way to moving out with my girlfriend next year, so I sure as Hell won't complain.

One album you just listen to when you want to relax and let yourself breathe. Mine and my girlfriend's anniversary was on the 15th, and we danced to Alison just as we did to Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley the year before. Never have I felt so happy as when I'm with that woman. She always knows exactly how to make me smile, she loves music just as much as I do, she's gorgeous, sweet, caring, kind, and above all, she's genuine. What you see with her is exactly what you get, and I love that. She's unpredictable in the best ways, especially with her sense of humor.
13Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada

One of the albums that I always listen to on long drives. The ambience of this EP is phenomenal and it's amazing to get lost in as you drive down a highway for thirty minutes. I finally got to enjoy driving as I got more comfortable in my own skin again, and I found that calm, relaxing music is far more fun for me to drive to than most. I know that driving doesn't seem that important, but to me, it was a big step into getting out in the world again after isolating myself for a few months.
Leaves Turn Inside You

Another album I am floored by when I hear it. It's an album that if I ever hear one track come on from it, I have to go back and revisit the whole album. Since my anniversary was yesterday, I spent nearly the entire day with my girlfriend, and we showed each other quite a bit of music. I knew she would appreciate this album because of how much I like it, but I didn't expect for her to legitimately like it nearly as much as I do. I always told myself whe I was younger that when I met the right person, she would drastically change my taste in music, and Kindal has done exactly that for me. Just this year, I developed a love for Noise Rock, Indie Rock, Black Metal, Alternative, Folk, Math Rock, Post-Rock, Industrial, Hip-Hop, Drone, and others. Before this, I never would have ventured outside Metalcore and Hardcore and variations of Metal. I wasn't closed-minded, but I just didn't connect to them nearly as much as I do now.
15William Bonney
Good Vibes

And so I send all these good vibes to all of you on Sputnik! I know this list is a tiny tadpole cheesy and highly unnecessary, but it made the man behind this computer screen smile a bit as he yet again realized just how much can change in a year.
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