Compared to 2012, I feel like this last year has just blown right by.
There’s been some funky ass shit that’s gone down during 2013. What was weird was seeing all of it happen around me. There were marriages, there were divorces, there was victories & losses, doors closing but new ones that opened.
So on a personal level, I didn’t mind 2013. I was going into the second year of my degree full of beans and eager to learn. I was told going in that the second year was hardest year out of all of them. The past year was certainly a reminder that life isn’t always easy, but it also isn’t as difficult or as hard as some of the challenges I had faced in 2011 & 2012.
School started off with an interesting tone. To explain this better, I pathwayed into the BHI Music Business Degree from the Diploma Program. So I was coming up from the ones “who didn’t get into the degree” and even though the Diploma in 2012 was a damn fine achievement in itself for me who had never had any further education, I still feel like us Diploma students who migrated across were the underdogs and we had something to prove.
One of those things turned into one of the craziest achievements of my life so far.
We have this class where we’re supposed to work with an artist (several in our case) to help do something to further their career. The full story of this is a blog in itself and this blog is already going to be very long anyway, so I’ll talk about the basics of it now and get to the crazy stuff later in the blog.
We team I was in basically set out to produce a split EP with what started out as three artists but turned into two. We found to amazing bands who were happy to work with each other on the project, and we went forward to make this happen.
My own musical career was going to take a crazy turn in 2013. I just had no idea in what ways or how.
At the beginning of the year, my band “Shut Up & Choke Me” embarked on a project to raise money for Tash, our female lead vocalist at the time, for her marathon race across the Simpson desert. The Big Red Run was a fun project for us all. Even if it was a bit rough at times. We were writing new material and rehearsing hard every sunday. When you work saturdays and have a split between work & studying subjects like Contract Law & Accounting during the week. I began to find I was getting crazy busy.
There was a payoff though. I got to go to Adelaide. I played my first set interstate. I was shit, I kept speeding up and going fast because I was so excited to be playing on stage in Adelaide in front of friends I don’t often get the chance to go out and see, but damn that weekend was amazing.
There’s this great dive-bar in Adelaide, Shotz. The floors are sticky, the drinks are cheap, you get hungover as fuck if you drink the cheap pints of coopers because legend has it – the pipes for the coopers taps are dirty, and the music is amazing.
I got to hang out and dance with my friends, and then the next thing I know, two of them are engaged (congrats Sean & Chloe). We drank, we were merry, we wound up at a Hungry Jacks at 3.30am, I ended up back at the backpackers I stayed at at around 5.00am, showered, napped for an hour, got up and went back to Melbourne by Car.
Somewhere in the music wise, I got to have a hit out with one of my older bands, Virgin Sound. I remember playing some great music with them. Shame things never really got habitual, but I wonder how well I would have managed doing two bands, the EP and school..
We also took the fund-raising to the Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne. It was a venue I had always wanted to play at. What wasn’t taken into account was the fact that it was an afternoon gig on Mothers Day. I managed to somehow pick up the job stage managing that day, as well as backup sound engineer. It was a busy day and I didn’t get to call my mum up until after 6pm at night to wish her happy mothers day. I look back at that now and question why I didn’t look out to see what occurred on that date, because I feel so bad I did that to my Mum.
Around this time, I started reaching out to friends and making some time to go out and hang out with people. I loved making excuses to go out. Lets go to see a movie at crown casino, lets stay out till 4am singing Karaoke.
School continued, we worked towards getting the EP done. I was learning all sorts of shit I didn’t think I could wrap my head around, staying up till 2am writing reports for accounting, slaying away trying to remember case information for law.. I got lost in those few months before the semester break.
Next thing I know, Tash messaged us via facebook and told us she was leaving the band. We were all kind of floored. We kept going and went on to find a new singer. But.. I’ll save that till later.
By this stage, my friendship circles were lighting up with things like
“HEY, We’re getting Married”
“I’m Marrying my best friend!”
“Hey Gwak, i’m going to be a dad”
“We’ve set out wedding date!”
I had a few moments mid-year, and i’m not afraid to admit this, where I was going “HOLY FUCK, it’s 10 years since I left high school, and I’m back at school, everyone else has already done these marriage or baby things (even the ones who have been together for fuck all time)” and I kinda freaked out for a little while there. Even though I was following my dreams and pursing Music still, and amazed I was doing well at school and had all of these exciting things happen, I still felt like I was falling behind compared to my peers.
Then, Podcasts happened. For as much music as I listened to over 2013, I think I listened to just as many Podcasts. Nerdist, radiolab, Sex nerd Sandra, Talk is Jericho, SAS, Dr Karl.. anyway, Sex Nerd Sandra had a good one called “Looking for Love” which, I think was a good “here, this is direction you should be looking in, don’t panic”.
I felt better about being single.
Didn’t stop me from jumping onto OkCupid and setting myself up a profile to see if I could find a date. Currently, no I haven’t had any luck. But hey, I’m trying.
The Bar I met a lot of my friends at, Pugg Mahones closed. That was sad.
Second semester of school, I kicked a bunch of serious ass.
Got myself some good connections with some people in the industry and got myself some amazing marks along the way.
The EP project i was working on sent me to Sydney.
I had a meeting with Richard Kingsmill @ triple j.
That was super crazy. I got to pitch music to triple j in my second year of uni. What the fuck. We ended up launching the cd, it was ok, but I know what to do next time to make it even better.
One of my better moments was getting fantastic grades at school. It was a good exclamation point on the successes of the year i’ve had.
At one point I was drunk after my elder sisters wedding writing a paper in a hotel room frantically trying to meet the deadline. I got a high distinction on that paper.
I also left Shut Up & Choke Me, which probably won’t surprise many of you, but It was done with the right intentions for me. I need to start making more time and make more of a focus on me. That’s not a resolution, that’s a life choice. I’m looking forward to getting a few things in my life sorted so I can function well in the future. I’ll be playing music again, but for now, this is what i’m doing.
It wasn’t a bad year, just one I learned a lot during. Life is what you make of it, and I made 2013 a good learning year.
Normally, I’d have also written TOP 5 this or TOP 10 that, fuck that system. What I’m going to talk about is what i think was the best, and I won’t limit myself.
Sound City Players – Real to Reel
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Los Campesinos! – Lost Blues
Arctic Monkeys – AM
The Mercy Kills – Happy to Kill You
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Silver Linings Playbook
Kick -Ass 2
Sons of Anarchy
Orange is the New Black
BEST EVERYTHING ELSE
Kick-Ass 3 Comics
Scott Pilgrim Volume 4 Remastered
Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover (youtube)