At least I showed up for my show... aka lookin' at you, Brett Hundley...

Ummm, the Packers played?  Well, the defense showed up, at least.  Oh, and I showed up and actually played a fucking show for the first time in, well, way too fucking long...

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS WEEKLY RECAP:

Well, fuck.  I thought the Lions game a couple weeks ago was bad...  Our defense finally steps up their game (I know the Joe Flaccid and the Ravens' offense aren't the greatest test, but our D really did play well despite the "Injury Shadow Monster" claiming two more of our best defenders in Clay Matthews III and Kenny Clark) and Brett Hundley plays like, ugh, this is painful to say, but... Jay Cutler...  Yep, let's take a look at their respective box scores from this week:

 

Brett Hundley - 21/36, 239yds, 0 TD's, 3 INT's, sacked 6 times, 43.6 passer rating

Jay Cutler - 6/12, 83yds, 1 TD, 3 INT's, sacked 0 times, 60.8 passer rating

 

Jay did leave with a concussion (seems like he started with one) so he didn't have time to rack up those additional yards in garbage time like usual, otherwise the numbers would've been closer.  But, man, those lines fucking suck.  I'm not sure who did worse.  Jay Cutler threw three interceptions in less attempts but also threw a TD.  Brett Hundley, well, he was just awful.  I don't think playing the Steelers next week help him either, but at least people haven't watched Brett Hundley do this for over 10 years and still think "maybe this is the year he turns it around..."  So, Brett Hundley has that going for him, which is nice...

 

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:

There's only one thing happening this week in music (hey, that's the name of this segment!) and that is Julien Baker's "Turn Out The Lights."  Seriously, just, what the fuck...  This is an absolutely amazingly sad and awesome record start to finish.  I had heard a lot of hoopla about her first record and gave it a few listens.  I was not impressed but also not unimpressed.  It was, fine.  But Jesus, this album...  I'd try and write words about it but I'm too fucking tired (it's been a long week), and I'd rather listen to this record (one more time before I pass out) than write about it.  So, I will.  I listened to this album on repeat from Spokane to Portland (almost 6 hours) and then from Portland to Lebanon and back (about 1 1/2 hours each way). Just watch this and buy this goddamn record:

 

 

One last thing, thanks again to all those who came out to Conversion Brewing on Saturday and to those who watched via Periscope.  It was my first show in over a year and a half and it felt brilliant.  I didn't realize how much I missed it.  I can't wait to start touring again and doing that on a regular basis.  Lebanon, you were a great host and I can't wait to see you again.

Upcoming show in Lebanon, OR on 11/18... aka the Bears still suck

Lord, thank you.  At least the Bears still suck...

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS WEEKLY RECAP:

 

We did it!  We really did it!  We won a game without our lord and saviour, Aaron Rodgers!  The defense stepped up huge and, naturally, won't get the credit it deserves since it seems Packers fans only love offense, though our last two Super Bowl wins have come on the backs of our defenses both times.  Yes, the offenses played well in them, and in XXXI, obviously, our special teams was off the fucking charts, but it was mostly our D that got us there.  Our special teams Sunday was, well, they were there too.  It's so tough to be on our third long snapper this season, which has to be some kind of record.  Of course, the injury bug, well, it's not exactly a bug anymore, it's probably best to call it the "Injury Shadow Monster" as it has been slowly taking over our players one by one FUCKING WILL BYERS STYLE, continues to ravage us, this week taking our top two running backs including our outstanding rookie Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery after he made a great run.  Do not make a great play as a Green Bay Packer running back.  It seems to doom you the last couple years, suspiciously starting around the same time "Stranger Things" has been on the air...  Hmmm...

 

But, man, did Brett Hundley MAKE SOME FUCKING THROWS.  And, a flat out amazing catch on the other end of that throw by Davante Adams.  Although, it was very irritating that everyone seemed amazed by the fact he made that catch one-handed, but no one commented on the fact that the DB grabbed his other arm so he fucking had to catch it one-handed.  Anyhow, I'm so glad Ted Thompson (and me, as I totally called it and told everyone who would listen) doesn't listen to the fans and didn't even think of giving up on this kid a couple years back when he was struggling with foot and ankle injuries (which, his game is based on his ridiculously quick feet and great foot work/balance).  He's a borderline superstar and probably our most reliable WR, though I think Cobb could be more involved but that's just me.  And, Davante somehow has the cure for concussions in his blood.  I need some of that.  I've had two in the past year due to getting rear-ended while stopped at a red light.  Just sitting at red lights, FUCKING BOTH TIMES.  So aggravating.  Mine lasted over a month each, the second was almost two months.  Davante has a horrific hit to the head and is back to catch the game winner a week and a half later.  Magic.  I realize now that mine are worse because those were concussions #5 and #6 (that I know of) and, more importantly, my brain doesn't completely fit properly into my head making me more susceptible to it knocking into my skull and concussing me.  It's a long story but let's just say I had skull removal and skull reattachment surgery.

 

Sidenote:  how far we have fallen.  At the beginning of each season, I have my brother buy the nflsundayticket.tv package ($100 for a student, $300 for a regular ass adult like me) for me.  Normally, the Packers only have a handful of games not on national television.  Starting a couple weeks ago, when, oh, I don't remember, but something happened and our great and fearless leader, a one, Mr. Aaron Rodgers somehow got hurt (I can't remember who did that to him.  Oh, wait, of course I fucking remember who did this one to him, Mr., nope, not fucking "Mr.," I'll call you Tony Barr.  I even had a good cheer to myself earlier this season when Shea McClellin went on IR...  I know, it's horrible to cheer injuries but that one was even more egregious than Tony Barr's hit.  Fuck 'em both...), we all knew our national television games were over.  I'm so glad my brother can hook me up with a cheap Sunday Ticket package, otherwise I'd be back to spending $50-70 per game at one of the local Packers bars, probably Corbett's Fish House, and hoping they cleaned the grill enough after cooking the shrimp so I don't get sick again.  I don't hold it against them.  How could they know I have a shellfish allergy?  Plus, their perch is so fucking tasty...  Mmmm, perch...  Wait, what was I talking about?


THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:

 

This week, on Saturday November 18th at 8pm, I will be playing my first show in over a year at Conversion Brewing in Lebanon, OR.  It's not a big show and I will be playing it as a duo, not a full band, with Brianne Kathleen assisting me on vocals but I couldn't be more excited.  After all the drama (fights, screaming matches, near lawsuits, sexism, pure insanity and, unfortunately I'm not kidding, deaths) and delays and delays and delays and, yep, you guessed it, more delays, I'm so excited to play again.  I'll definitely be touring soon, but I haven't decided where and when quite yet.  Honestly, a lot of that went out the window when I lost the last 2 months (and wasn't sure how much longer so I couldn't schedule anything) before the album release due to, yep, you guessed it, a concussion.  I'm so glad to have put that behind me but man did it fuck shit up for me.

 

For once, it's been a good week for me, mentally and emotionally.  The discovery of Kava has certainly helped.  But, aside from that things just seem like they're going to be OK.  Not good, but OK and that's better than it's been in a while so I'll take it.  Unfortunately, over the weekend I suffered a minor setback that threw me into a tailspin but it was nothing a trip to Music Millennium couldn't fix.  I found a vinyl copy of an album that has helped me through some (mostly self-inflicted) emotionally dire times:  "Bee Thousand" by Guided by Voices.  For those unaware of this band, I WROTE ABOUT THEM A LONG TIME AGO while going through, or possibly right after a breakup (I can't remember).  For those who didn't read my 3-4 times-a-year blog (bradleywik.blogspot.com) back then, I'll get you up to speed.

 

Guided by Voices is an acquired taste.  I was talking with my brother recently and compared them to drinking Campari, on the rocks, the only way to drink that shit.  Zissou fans get it.  To give you another idea of their strange, beautiful, amazing, heart-string (as if there were such a thing) tugging music, the best song on "Bee Thousand" is called "TRACTOR RAPE CHAIN."  It's a lament surrounding a diminishing relationship that has dissolved because of mistrust.  A place we've all been.  Well, hopefully, some of you haven't because IT FUCKING SUCKS.  But, Mr. Robert Pollard nails the hurt and paranoia and the (mostly) self-inflicted mental and emotional chaos that can ensue.  My other favorite song on the album is, for reasons unknown, but I continually wake with this song kicking in my head, "THE GOLDHEART MOUNTAINTOP QUEEN DIRECTORY."  Yep, it's that kind of band.  They have a song called "KICKER OF ELVES."  Seriously.  So, I'll pass along the same advice I gave to my brother upon his introduction to this band:  sit and listen to the album as a whole and listen to it at least twice.  Don't put it on while you're at work or jogging or doing laundry or whatever, just sit and listen to it (an odd concept these days, I know.  I might be the only one I know who dedicates hours and hours per week to just listen to music.  It's fucking art people, and you shouldn't devalue it.  Sorry, don't want to get to far up onto my soapbox).  I wasn't sure what I was getting into myself all those years ago, but I remember being slightly confused until subsequent listens, in which, I fell in love.  So, fire up the Spotify, Google, Apple Music, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody (god, it's easy to listen to music for nothing or almost nothing these days...  Sorry, getting back down, again...) and look up "Bee Thousand" by Guided by Voices.  You won't be disappointed; unless you take my advice in extremely high regard, have a listen and really don't like them, in which case, you might be.  But, I can't help that, so fuck it.

 

My advice this week is to live free or die hard...  Just kidding, that movie sucked.

Sad face... aka... just fucking sad face

This one doesn't deserve a fucking title...

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS WEEKLY RECAP:

 

Thoroughly outplayed on offense, defense and special teams.  Not good.  Next question...


THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:

 

Honestly (as if I've ever been anything but honest on this blog), I barely remember this week.  It was a fucking blur.  I think I've listened to a total of 2 hours of music this week.  It's just been one of those weeks so I don't really have anything to share with you.  To sum up the week, I tried washing one of my cat's food dishes and dropped and broke it (this is the third one this year) because I couldn't remember what I was doing.  Wasn't drunk or high or anything weird, I was just that fucking out of it.  It's just like that and I feel as though I've let you down.  Sorry team...

 

But, on a good note, I did start writing some new tunes.  I haven't written in a little while and it felt good to get back into it.  I typically don't write songs unless I need or want new songs for a project/show/etc. but I've been feeling stagnant and ready for something new.  I completed the songs for my next couple projects a while back and have been waiting to see what direction I'd like to take for any new songs.  Would they be tunes for the solo record I've wanted to make for a bit?  Would they be songs for the new Brianne Kathleen and Bradley Wik project?  Would they be more Rock N' Roll for the BWC follow up album?  Normally, I'd wait to figure that out but this week I was itching for some new words to sing.  So, I sat down and wrote a couple songs.  I've never been the type to just sit down and write, I've always been a "when the mood strikes" kind of guy.  But, it was fun and it was a good learning experience.  No, they aren't show stoppers, and I might never play them live, but it felt so fucking good to start working on a new project again; whatever that may be.

 

Anyways, sorry for the brevity but I feel like shit and the Packers game didn't help at all...

 

So, I'll leave you with one of the most fucking unbelievably awesome things I've ever seen...

 

What a week. World Series insanity, NASCAR wreckage and "happy" sad music... aka.. just another week for Bradley Wik

World Series thoughts, NASCAR, twee records, oh my...

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS WEEKLY RECAP:

 

Well, Aaron Rodgers IS NONE TOO PLEASED WITH ANTHONY BARR, but he's also pretty fucking funny.  But, he should be pissed.  That hit was borderline legal/dirty but 100% unnecessary.  There was no need to drive a fellow professional football player into the ground shoulder first.  I get that Barr wants us to "GET OVER IT," but I assure you he wouldn't be over it if he was out for the next two months and just had screws and a plate inserted into his fucking collarbone.  Asshole...

 

Brett Hundley didn't look bad this week, though.  Of course, it's the bye week and he didn't play, but nevertheless.  I'm kidding of course.  I believe the kid will be alright.  McCarthy knows how to coach QB's and I love Hundley's confidence.  I keep finding myself wanting to say "Brett" but we all know no Green Bay quarterback is "Brett" besides the one and only.  The greatest ever.  The man who saved our franchise.  The one who brought the Lombardi Trophy home.  Anyways, not too much Packers news and I didn't watch any football this weekend since:

 

A. The fucking World Series in on

B. Sunday afternoon was spent in agony after WATCHING THE NASCAR RACE END LIKE THIS.

 

Yes, I watch NASCAR, and yes, I am a huge Chase Elliott fan.  I always enjoyed his dad as a racer (I was more of a Rusty Wallace fan but it was hard not to root for Bill) but this kid is special.  He's still only 21.  But, he more than likely had this race, Martinsville of all places, one of the most prestigious tracks, one his dad never won at, won and was only a few laps from taking his first checkered flag.  He now has 6 or 7 races that he has almost won or finished 2nd in.  Heart-breaking for the kid.  He even overcame his past troubles with restarts to get back into the lead multiple times.  And then to be cheap-shotted and wrecked from behind, I don't know how he didn't throw a punch.  Denny Hamlin certainly would've deserved it...

 

By the way, what the fuck is this World Series?!  And, yes, THE BASEBALLS ARE 100% DIFFERENT AND JUICED.  I have no doubt about that.  There was a replay of Carlos Correa during game 5 hitting his crazy high fly ball, and after a second or so a look of shock came across his face when he saw it had a chance to get out.  He clearly was happy he lifted it to get Altuve home from third on the tag, but he was shocked to see it go out.  These guys know.  It's their job to know.  As one of the pitchers, McCullers I believe, said pitching with these new baseballs was as if you wrote 10,000 times in a row with a #2 pencil then someone handed you a pen.  You'd notice the difference.  It's their livelihood and they're the best in the world at it; of course they would know if it was different.  Dallas Keuchel said "Obviously, the balls are juiced.  I think they're juiced 100 percent. But it is what it is."  Far too many fly balls are ending up in the seats.

 

Now, I'm entertained by this Series, for sure, especially since the Astros are leading, but this is not the kind of baseball I want to see in the regular season, let alone the Series.  2000 more home runs this year vs. 2 seasons ago.  More home runs than any year during the (ridiculously obvious) Steroid Era.  C'mon...  We're not that stupid are we?  I spent my youth as a hit-for-average, hit-for-location, defensive shortstop so that's what I like to see.  I loved the way the Royals won their series and am still flabbergasted by what Bumgarner did the year before.  Those are my kind of Series.  If baseball is going the way of the NFL, more points/runs and shootouts over defense, then count me out.  It's the main reason I watched less than five minutes of football this weekend and I've been constantly frustrated by a couple games in this Series.  It was very obvious when some of the best pitchers in the world, Kershaw, Verlander, Keuchel, have to go away from some of their best stuff.  They didn't suddenly forget how to throw a baseball, but they can't suddenly learn how to throw a new one either...

 

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:

 

Here I am, sitting at the desk in the...  Wait, I'm fucking home for one of these!  It's my cluttered, old, damaged, a little too dusty, slightly too small and kind-of-uncomfortable desk that I'm writing this from.  This week has been a rough one for a number of reasons that I won't go into, as they are boring and best reserved for my (eventual) therapist.  But, as always, I've gone back to music to help me through.  I learned some cover songs for an upcoming show, relearned some old tunes of my own that I haven't played for probably 6-7 years and leaned heavy into some old "twee" records I haven't spun for years.  So, what does melancholy Bradley listen to to brighten his spirits (or, more accurately, dwell upon his melancholy which makes him feel better somehow) during a rough week?  Let's find out together... (Just kidding I already fucking know.  But, I'll pretend not to so it's more fun.)

 

Camera Obscura - "Underachievers Please Try Harder"

 

As soon as those first descending notes of "SUSPENDED FROM CLASS" hit my earholes, I'm immediately transported back to Madison, WI and the house on East Johnson I shared with Jake, Quinn and Tyler.  It was a crappy, old house but it was close to State Street and cheap enough (barely, well, not really, as we sometimes had to steal food in order to eat and pay rent in the same month) for 4 musicians with part-time jobs.  I'll always remember walking the neighborhood with my Sony CD Discman and playing this album on repeat as I watched the other young kids, mostly students, unlike me, and tried to determine what their life's story was.  In the summer, I would lay on the grass at James Madison Park, or "the JMP" as we called it, across the street and just people-watch.  Yes, there were pretty girls but mostly it was about just experiencing the world outside of the tiny town of Horicon, WI and music was such a huge part of that.  In the fall and winter, I would always wear my hoodie with my jacket so I could smuggle along a couple extra CD's to listen to on my walks.  Just as I did in Horicon throughout my High School years, I would put on my headphones and just walk for hours.  I loved it most when it was cold outside for some reason.  I think it was because it was so peaceful, as Wisconsin in the wintertime is not a time for people to be outside, unless they are weird Asperger's kids who obsessively walk the same route over and over, day after day, listening to the same few records for months on end...

 

Belle and Sebastian - "If You're Feeling Sinister"

 

"GET ME AWAY FROM HERE, I'M DYING" is just so damn good.  "I could kill you, sure, but I could only make you cry with these words."  Well played, sir.  Well played.

 

I remember not owning this record for years.  Jake burned me a copy (Jake is the only person I've met who was more into discovering new, or new to him, artists and albums.  He had WAY more music than I did so I was always poaching and burning CD's from him.) which I played for years until during a move I lost a ton of CD's, both real and burned copies.  I still haven't remembered and repurchased all the albums I lost, so occasionally I'll stumble across something lost from long ago and be filled with the joy of rediscovering some beauty I misplaced along the way.  The Weepies were like that.  Somehow, they didn't make the "twee" music week.  Hmmm...


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Eponymous

 

This isn't technically "twee," as I believe it falls into the "hipster as fuck" category.  The intro track is borderline unbearable but the moment "LET THE COOL GODDESS RUST AWAY" kicks in, sweet Jesus, it is catchy, loose, silly, unintelligible but, most importantly, fun as hell.  This is another one I stole as a burned copy from Jake (later to replace it with multiple purchased copies that I kept giving away to people who said they would "hate that shit."  Some changed their minds, some couldn't fucking stand the singer's voice and never got past it.  Sad for them...) and just played on repeat all summer long.  The JMP, the beach volleyball, the flirting between the college boys and college girls, the seagulls, the smell of Lake Mendota, the small church on the far end of the park, the boat launch, the bench I would watch the waves from for hours, the swingset I'd swing on for the other hours in the day; all that was in this record for me.  It was magical, it still is.  Most people assimilate music to their lives; my life is moments of beauty or darkness dictated by the music.  Time is ethereal yet fleeting and is no way to define a life.  Music is my mileposts, I remember life through records, not records through life, if that makes sense.  Whatever, it's getting late...

 

Goodnight to all my fellow travelers on this long, lonesome, Lost Highway...

By the way, Bradley is an awesome interview...

Bradley Wik Interviewed on Trainwreck'd Society...

 

A while back, before the new album was completed, I did an interview with Ron at Trainwreck'd Society.  Ron had some very kind words to say:

 

"I love music, but more importantly I love songwriting. I am a huge sucker for that beautiful singer/songwriter sound. I am that musically ill equipped sucker who has no artistic ability but has read too many God damned books, and feels like all music should be poetry. Poetry. That’s what it is all about! I’ve never understood some people, even those I respect and adore (I’m looking at you Marc Maron) who can say “I’m not a lyrics guy/lady”. In my brain, I can’t understand that. It’s about the fucking words, man! I want to hear that poetry set to a great guitar sound! Of course, if the guitar sound is not on point, it’s going to be awful. So, I think it all works together. I just put an emphasis on the words that are being sung so sweetly into my ears for my enjoyment.
 
And that is where I bring in the great Bradley Wik. Sweet shit, this guy is an amazing singer/songwriter. I dare say he is one of the best. I got a bit of flack some years ago for calling Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper “the son that Bob Dylan wished he would have had”, but I dare say that Bradley Wik is tied with the genius of Eric (Again, I’m not trying to offend Jakob or his fans, it’s just a descriptor of talent, I love me some Wallflowers). I just love the idea of storytelling in musical form. And on far too few occasions we are unable to witness such beauty in song told as well as the likes of Dylan, Prine, or Cohen in this day and age. But, I truly believe that Bradley Wik is one of those guys that just fucking gets it. They have that emotional response to the world that should be required for all modern day singer/songwriters. Honestly, when I listen to this man, I want to do my damnedest to try and remove the idea of a “singer/songwriter” out of the equation, and just call them artists. What Bradley does with music is no different than what Ralph Steadman does with a canvas. It’s art that moves you in so many different ways. And it should be looked at as such.
 
So with that, please enjoy one of the best interviews we have ever had here at Trainwreck’d Society. He had some incredibly heart felt and warm responses during our digital interview, and I could not be happier to have been introduced to this beautiful human being. Buy his album(s), see his shows when he comes to your town, and goddammit love one another, I know this is what he would really want. Enjoy!"

 

EXCERPT:

 

Your 2012 release, Burn What You Can, Bury the Rest, is still one of those amazing go-to albums that never disappears from my playlists. It’s been a few years, so could you tell us how this record has affected you? Have you experienced much change since the album came out into the world?

I really didn’t know what to expect upon releasing that album. It was our debut record and my first record ever. I was very confident in the songs but secretly I was just hoping we could sell through the thousand or so CD’s that were sitting in boxes in my living room. I know so many talented people who have worked so hard and put all their time, energy and money into an album that sits in boxes, collecting dust in a closet. It’s such a disheartening thing to see. Music can be very cruel as there is no direct correlation between talent, work and success. But, we (with lots of help from my extremely amazing girlfriend) worked our asses off promoting and were fortunate enough to get lots of support for that record in print, online and from radio. The shows very quickly got better (getting paid decent money as opposed to a six pack of PBR and whatever tips we can scrounge up) and we had to get better as a result. The more we moved forward, the harder we had to work to keep it going. It’s sort of cliche, but we had to learn how to be a “real” band instead of four guys who play music, drink beers and do a few shows a month to try and impress girls. But I think the craziest thing was when the record first came out and I was still working at a local paint store, random people would come in and recognize me from the album they bought after hearing us on the radio or my picture on a show poster or article they read, etc. It was weird to be in dirty, paint-covered work clothes and have someone ask for picture. But that will always seem weird to me, I suppose. The album has a wonderful picture of my handsome face on it and someone always wants one when I’m tired and sweaty after a show or something. Go figure.

 

So, your song “This Old House” is a very important song to me, for reasons I can’t even fully express. Let’s just say it this song hit me at exactly the right moment in my life, and I interrupted it as such. But, now that I have the chance to ask you, can you tell us what this song is really about? What was the inspiration behind this brilliant track?

It warms my heart to hear you say that about “This Old House.” My goal in making music has always been to try and give back, at least a little, of what music has given me. Music has been the backbone of my life and I define chapters of my life through music. The Wallflowers’ “Three Marlenas” was my middle school girlfriend and, subsequently, my thirteen year old broken heart. Sun Kil Moon’s “Glenn Tipton” was the breakup from the first girl I ever loved. Springsteen’s “Racing in the Street” got me through the end of the next relationship. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” saved me in my darkest of days. I think my favorite thing about music is how personal it is and how the same song can mean so many different things to so many different people depending on when it passed through their lives and what they needed from it. A relationship with a song can be a very singular and powerful experience. As a songwriter, I’ve always felt that some songs come easy, and you just have to sit down and write ‘em out, but some songs you have to earn. “This Old House” was one I definitely had to earn. As a musician, I could talk about songs, especially my own, for hours on end (just ask my girlfriend…) but I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version. Buy me a couple bourbons sometime and I’ll give you the whole story…

I had been living with this girl for a little over three years. We met in Seattle, moved to New York City together and then headed back west to Portland, OR. We were young. She was just eighteen when we started dating. I was only a year older. She’d had a tough life up until that point but was strong and trying not to show it. We would end up going through a lot together, and the years we spent in New York definitely changed things for us both. Things were already pretty rough when we left New York for Portland and only got worse once we got here. Neither one of us felt a connection to Portland the way we did to New York, and we both desperately missed our old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Our lives were spent looking backwards, which is dangerous. But soon I had a new band and was playing music again. She never got comfortable. The relationship had gotten so bad that I kept hoping she would leave me. But she wouldn’t. We said horrible things to each other. It was obvious to everyone, except us, that this needed to end and we would both be better off apart. Finally, months later, we broke it off and she moved out. I, for emotional (and financial) reasons, had to move out of our apartment. I found the cheapest and shittiest place I could in the neighborhood. I didn’t have a car so I had a buddy help me carry all my shit down the block and up three flights of stairs to the new place. The only upside of the new apartment was that it had a fire escape that I could sit out on and smoke cigarettes and drink while looking out at the city. I never write songs when I’m still very emotionally invested; I want to understand what I’m writing about from both sides. It took months and months to get to that point. But one night, after a couple bottles of wine, I was listening to music and staring at the wall when it finally made some semblance of sense. Looking around, they never fixed anything in that apartment, they just painted over it. I could see nails, holes, painted over outlets, all sorts of damage, evidence of the people who came before me. I started to think about all the life that had happened in that shitty apartment. I wasn’t the first to live there and I certainly wouldn’t be the last… We’d had our good times and our bad times, and like most relationships, it was more likely to end than last forever. We were just chapters in the middle parts of our stories, with many before and many after.

 

To read the full interview, CLICK HERE

Brett Hundley and the year 1997 aka... man, I feel old...

1997 was an amazing year, and I'm not talking about Super Bowl XXXII...  Which, I'm still not sure happened...  I'm talking about all the amazing music.  "I'm a bitch, I'm a lover..."  Nope, not that one...

 

Green Bay Packers Recap:  

 

Well, not a great start for Mr. Brett Hundley.  He seemed very reticent to throw the ball downfield, and when he did, the results were not good.  He did have a good scramble drill throw to Jordy; which I believe was Jordy's only catch on the day.  Cobb, who might be our fiercest competitor, had only 2 catches.  Davante had 2 as well for maybe 10 yards total.  Pretty brutal.  If you would've told me that Aaron Jones, the rookie, who plays with the vision and patience of a top running back prospect, not of one drafted in the 5th round, would have 130 yards and a touchdown, that Brett Hundley would rush for another TD and that we would intercept Drew Brees twice, I would've said we had a chance.  Watching the game, we hardly ever did.  Even the interceptions only came after the Saints walked it down the field twice in a row.  BUT, I, unlike a lot of people, it seems, do not blame the defense.  They played admirably despite the Saints holding the ball for over 13 minutes longer than us (which, was never mentioned during the broadcast.  Seriously, why do you think our defense couldn't stop the run in the 4th quarter?  Also, my favorite broadcast moment of the day, when one of the guys said something along the lines of "Well, the one thing you miss when you lose Aaron Rodgers is..."  The ONE THING?  The only acceptable way to finish that sentence is:  "AARON FUCKING RODGERS!!"  He even has developed his own noun since there's no way to describe the things he does, routinely, that make you forget how to speak.  I started saying this years and years ago, and it seems to have caught on.  The only way to describe the things he does is to say that he does "Aaron Rodgers things."  Before him, Brett Favre would do things that would leave you speechless, both good and bad.  But, what he did was simply "magic." Sorry Majik...  But, Aaron is so talented, not better than Favre, my favorite sports hero ever, never to be topped, EVER, but Aaron is more talented, and the things Aaron does can only be described as "Aaron Rodgers things.") and our offense doing everything they can to thwart a decent showing by the defense.  Yes, the defense couldn't get it done at crunch time, but our offense needed to do ANYTHING to help them out.  Anyways, bye week up and I still believe in Brett Hundley.  He has the confidence and courage I like in a quarterback.  He just needs to throw the ball with that same confidence and courage.  He'll be OK and, therefore, so will we...  

 

p.s. - I am a shareholder so I'm allowed to say "we" when referring to the Packers.

 

This Week in Music:

 

Tonight, I'm at the Best Western Inn/Motel, just off I-5 in Roseburg, OR.  Listening to the late night traffic roll by is soothing, in an odd sort of way.  Sometimes, you get the fancy Marriott in Bend, sometimes you get the BW motel just off the freeway.  I've only heard two cop cars go past, so we're doing OK.  Probably just drunk drivers but here we are.  I've stayed at much better and much worse.  This'll do for the night.  But, while sitting at the local bar attempting to be friendly and polite with the bartender and waitress, who would have fit right in at any bar in Portland since they had no desire to talk with anyone they didn't already know, especially me, and who not once asked if I would like another drink (I deliberately didn't ask for one to see how long my empty glass would be left unattended.  A full 35 minutes until I asked for the check is the answer.  Then, they finally asked if I'd like another.  No, I wanted one a half hour ago, but not now...), I overheard the waitress was born in 1997.  I know this because she twice, very loudly, proclaimed it since she could not pour or serve alcohol to the good people of Roseburg.  Seems like at a bar that would be integral to the job, but apparently they were OK with her just serving grub and standing around half the night watching others serve drinks.  The comment caught me off guard, as she looked the same age as me, but I immediately started thinking about what I was doing in 1997, and, of course, what music I was listening to.  The first part was easy.  In 1997, I was playing basketball and baseball (still too young for football) and just starting to imagine liking girls.  Also, my voice was dropping, years before everyone else, so I was being mercilessly mocked for that; until a few years later when they finally experienced that same awkwardness and I already sounded like a man and mercilessly gave it back to them.  Fucking dicks.  I'd like to say I took the high road but I didn't.  Kids are cruel.

 

The second part of that was much more interesting.  I thought back to records I fucking burned through during that year.  We've already covered MY LOVE OF THE PRODIGY, so let's take that as read and move on.  Goddammit, 1997 was a fucking awesome year.  We had:

 

- the Foo Fighters and Michel Gondry teaming up for "EVERLONG" which is still one of my favorite music videos

- Marcy Playground being fucking weird stoners and one hit oneders (bonus points for anyone who gets that reference), making every little boy, especially this catholic-raised boy, "feel funny" by saying the word "sex" in a song.  MARCY PLAYGROUND - "SEX AND CANDY"

- The Verve being the epitome of British cool (which was way cooler than American cool), well, since Oasis was done making brilliant records by then, after all two of them.  I couldn't stop listening to this shit for months on end.  THE VERVE - "BITTER SWEET SYMPHONY"

- Again, as a young boy turned on by a woman saying the words "naked on the floor," I loved this song.  Yes, it was a good tune, but I especially loved the idea of woman naked on the floor, though I did not know what that would actually look like, yet.  NATALIE IMBRUGLIA - "TORN"

- These fucking guys... Later, in my middle teens, I was obsessed with ska music.  I desperately wanted to play those all upstroke, 1-4-5 chords in a ska band.  It was mostly due to this fucking song which introduced me to how fucking awesome it was when guitars, trumpets, saxophones and trombones met and fucked and made beautiful music babies.  THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES - "THE IMPRESSION THAT I GET"

- One of the songs that, just like the Prodigy, I hated the first 20 times I heard it then fell madly in love with.  Still the dumbest fucking band name ever.  CHUMBAWAMBA - "TUBTHUMPING"

- And, of course, how could I not mention this...  We were all still sad, even young white kids from rural, Southeastern Wisconsin who didn't fully understand...  PUFF DADDY AND FAITH EVANS - "I'LL BE MISSING YOU"

 

But, there were three records I could not stop fucking listening to:

 

1. Rage Against the Machine - "Evil Empire" (from '96 I know, but I was too young for it when it was released.  Probably was still too young a year later, but, oh well.  I could write 10,000 words on this band and probably will someday.  I love them so much)

2.  Third Eye Blind - Eponymous

3.  Wu-Tang Clan - "36 Chambers"

 

I'd like to talk about the last two in particular.  It was quite a divisive year for me and one that I've never particularly recovered from, for a number of reasons.  But, suffice it to say, those were very different records and I couldn't understand why I couldn't love and appreciate both.  Let's start with "Third Eye Blind."

 

I grew up Catholic.  My grandparents were Catholic, my mom went to Catholic school, we did Catechism growing up, were afraid of a vengeful God, were constant disappointments to Jesus, who died for our sins, didn't have enough money to give to God so He would love us, and on and on.  When we moved away from Oconomowoc, the town my mother and, subsequently, my sister and I were raised in, we stopped going to church regularly.  It was nice and allowed me to sleep in before watching Packers games.  I loved it.  Though, to be fair, most churches made sure to end before kickoff as we all know what the true religion is in Wisconsin.  But, when I was 9 or 10, I began to get very curious about all of this "God" and "Jesus" stuff once again.  A new kid at school, Andrew, was very religious and, at that age, I didn't know what I was.  But, he was so sure of his faith that he inspired me to attend his church.  It was a very small gathering, at first, in a local shop.  His dad was the preacher and it was non-denominational; they accepted all, even Catholics.  His dad did music-inspired sermons, using popular music of the day and relaying messages based off that.  I loved it.  I loved music and Andrew's dad seemed like a cool guy, who happened to love Jesus.

 

It was Andrew who "reintroduced" me to Third Eye Blind.  I say "reintroduced" because I had heard those fuckers before and hated them.  I hated "Jumper" and I hated "Semi-Charmed Life" so I couldn't stand these assholes.  That singer fuck was so smug.  So fucking smug.  But, then I finally listened to the whole album with Andrew.  Songs like "How's it Going to Be" and "God of Wine" started to change my mind.  Their next album "Blue" would seal it up, but they could fucking rock and not just be super fucking corny; though, they knew that was the way to make money.  It was smart.  I couldn't stand some of the hits, but the rest of the albums were actually good.  Seriously, even with that smug ass singer fuck.  

 

Truth is I found, and subsequently lost, my religion through music.  His music-driven sermons drew me in and then a multitude of things pushed me back away.  One, I could see the way Andrew's dad lorded over the household.  His family, especially Andrew's mom and sister, were dealing with self-esteem issues that seemed wrought by his father, the pastor or preacher or whatever the fuck he called himself.  It (probably/hopefully) was never as bad but reminded me of the way my dad made us all feel, especially my mom and sister.  I hated him for it and will never forgive him.  That wasn't all he did, but we'll save that for my (future) therapist.  But, I could see the same emotional scars, the same shame and guilt and fear of letting him down in their family.  I started to resent his dad.  I hated when he was around.  The whole family acted differently.  Then, soon after I started to see this, Andrew's dad did a sermon about Pearl Jam and their version of "Last Kiss."  I'll never forget it.  It would be the last time I would go to that church and the last time I'd see his dad.  He sermonized against Rock N' Roll and how selfish it was to want their loved one to stay on Earth and how they lacked faith and how they weren't true believers in Christ and on and on.  First off, it wasn't Pearl Jam's song you fucking asshole.  They recorded it for a fucking benefit record.  Second, if wanting a loved one to NOT DIE is terrible than I'm a terrible person too.  God, I was so pissed at him for ruining religion for me.  Also, for years I couldn't listen to Third Eye Blind as it triggered this all for me.  Eventually, the Asperger's won out and I've compartmentalized it and don't feel emotionally attached to that memory so I can listen to the album again.  "Blue" is a better record but it's very nostalgic to fire up "Third Eye Blind" every now and again...

 

So, Wu-Tang.  I was WAY too young when "36 Chambers" originally dropped but I can't ever forget watching MTV2 late, very late, one night (my inability to sleep normally, not quite insomnia, but not quite not insomnia, started very early) and seeing THIS for the first time...  WHAT THE FUCK??!!??!!  The songs starts off so amazingly that I already fucking shot my wad 20 seconds in.  It gets better and better with each MC until I get to Method Man's verse.  It's so good and so unique and so unlike anything I'd ever heard, unlike anything any white kid from rural, Southeastern Wisconsin has ever heard, and so mind-blowing UNTIL (wait, is there no chorus?  We still haven't had A CHORUS.  What is going on?)...  HOLY SHIT...  1:52 in...  WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ME?  I had never before, and very rarely, if ever, after, heard anything that rearranged my molecules the way Ol' Dirty Bastard's verse rearranged my molecules.  It was so unique and so heartfelt and so angry and so sad and so beautiful and just so fucking amazing that I didn't know what to do.  All the guys in Wu-Tang are awesome but Dirty was a different breed.  It's so sad what happened to him, but he left us some amazing, wondrous music that is hopeful in a weird way.  It's not hard to hear that music was his grounding commonality with us other humans and the rest of life was not his purview.  He was put here for one purpose and one purpose only, but being human, he had to balance somewhere and his brain could not handle life on Earth outside being creative and beautiful.  I get his pain.  I feel worse for those who loved him but could not help him...

 

But, the saddest part of growing up in rural, Southeastern Wisconsin is that no one else loved Wu-Tang Clan the way I did, especially the "friends" I had who I enjoyed Third Eye Blind with.  Not only did they not understand it, and the fact that some people live different lives and therefore have different stories to tell, but they openly and actively shunned it; and therefore, me.  They hated it and it was the devil and they couldn't figure out why I enjoyed it and how I could "listen to that garbage."  I was already mostly done with that crowd anyways, but soon found myself outside my other crowds as well.  My metal music crowd, my country music crowd, my Rock N' Roll crowd (yes, I judge people based on music interest, just as judgmental, I know, but I don't care.  Music is what I care most about) all shunned me as well.  I soon found I had few friends left.  My Punk Rock and Folk music friends never left, all 3 of them.  We stayed close. Apparently, Punk and Folk were more inclusive than other genres.  Which, kind of makes sense if you think about it but kind of not.  Oh, well.  After my old friends tried to fight the only black and Mexican kids (all 2 of them, 1 of each) in our high school and I defended them, eventually punching my old best friend of 6 years in the face, I realized I was much better off without those "friends."  It's lonely to give up friends but it's lonelier to give up oneself...

 

Anyways, it's late and I'm tired.  Goodnight for now and remember:  sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you...

Aaron will be OK, won't he? Won't he? aka please, let him be OK...

He can't really be hurt, can he??  Depression and loss and Aaron Rodgers collarbone...

 

I'm not sure what the proper word is for, as our friends in NorCal would say, "Hella Devastated."  Thoughts and Prayers, of course, to all the victims of the wild fires.  Far more devastating than the Packers season but Aaron's broken collarbone is also causing a large amount of grief back in the great state of Wisconsin.  It's not as important but nevertheless...  It's been such a fucked up year with all the injuries.  In my 24 years of watching football, I can't remember (the drugs and booze probably don't help) a team this ravaged by injuries, at the same positions nonetheless, as the 2017 Packers.  I know, I know, Vikings fans mention they've lost their starting quarterback and running back as well, BUT we all know losing Sam Bradford is not the same as losing Aaron Rodgers.  Only the Patriots losing Tom Brady can compare.  But he's gone.  There's nothing we can do now except trust the process, get better every day, overcome adversity, yada, yada, yada.  I watched Brett Hundley's post game presser and I feel OK about our prospects.  It would be mental to torture myself and expect the worst (as I do with most of the things in my life), and he does seem like a very smart, confident, talented kid ready to make the most of his opportunity.  I think we will be OK.  I really do.  It may sound insane but I feel we'll be in good hands and ready to compete for the NFC North.  I'm not ready to give up, especially to the Vikings.  Fuck that.  We're coming for you.  When the 2013 season ended with Rodgers and Cobb coming back to re-enact the ending of "The Natural," I decided no season was ever really over.

 

Anyways, as I sit in the Marriott Springhill Suites in Bend, OR (a very nice hotel, I might add), I can't help but feel hopeful.  I want to thank all those who tuned in to my Periscope Live "Friday Night is for the Drinkers" Concert Series on Friday the 13th.  The theme was "Girls," as in the 2nd of my 4 part series about the things I write songs about:  Cars, Girls, Drinking and Rock N' Roll.  It ran longer than I anticipated but the topic of "girls" is so broad and covered 2 of my favorite songs ("Lookin' at Luckey" and "Just Like Jon Fickes") plus a live favorite that never made a record ("Johnny and Mary part II" sorry, no link as it's not released) that I couldn't cut down the stories and emotion of playing those tunes.  Also, I know, I know; Wild Turkey Bourbon?  Well, when you're traveling you can't buy the top shelf stuff as you need to buy smaller containers of alcohol, hence, the Wild Turkey; which I am finishing off tonight.  No, it does not have anything to do with those fucking god awful Matthew McConaughey commercials.  I just like decent, high-proof bourbon and my local liquor store doesn't have Knob Creek in pints.  Anyways, it was a fun show and I know I talked more than usual, but fuck you, that's my prerogative, and I'm the only one in the room for the shows, so I get to DO IT MY WAY.  Next PERISCOPE LIVE "FRIDAY NIGHT IS FOR THE DRINKERS" LIVE SHOW IS:  FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27TH AT 9PM EST/6PM PST.  Search "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app or follow on your PC by clicking HERE.

 

As I've mentioned before, putting out this record has been one disaster after another.  Now, that I'm playing shows to promote this fucker, it's no different.  I was concussed for the month before and at least 2 weeks after my official album release.  Couldn't practice, couldn't play for that time.  Then, of course, I injured my left index finger (main guitar playing finger) playing pick up basketball with some younger kids (note:  don't play pickup basketball with younger kids.  They're much more spry and athletic).  I haven't been able to make a barre chord ever since.  Then, last Tuesday, I went to sleep OK and woke up not being able to move my wrist, which, it turns out, is important to playing guitar.  Bad dream, weird sleeping position, who knows, but it still fucking hurts.  My last Periscope show was excruciating and would have been worse without the Wild Turkey 101.  I still can hardly drive, open a bottle, take a shower, etc. without terrible pain in my wrist and finger.  It sucks not being 21 anymore and able to bounce back from any injury in 24 hours and having to deal with this shit.  But, I've no choice.  Hopefully, all this bad luck (the countless fucking disasters and horrible things during the recording process, mixing and mastering process) will yield an amazing reverse karma deal and will end up with me becoming famous, well, more famous than I am.  Hope-fucking-ly...  Speaking of Hope, nope, that's another blog.  Long story...

 

Still, I feel blessed to even be able to record and release my music.  Some fucking kid from Horicon, WI is getting radio play in Milwaukee, Denver, Anchorage, Vancouver, BC, San Antonio, Las Cruces, Boise, Murfreesboro, Piscataway, etc.  It's unbelievable.  If you like the record, don't forget to buy it on iTunes or get an actual CD or VINYL on CDBABY.  And buy one for a friend, or a fucking enemy, I don't give a shit.  Just support independent artists so we/I can keep making wonderful, amazing, fucking mind-bending, soul-fulfilling music.

 

By the way, if you're ever in Lebanon, OR, you should stay at the Boulder Falls Inn.  It's fucking awesome.  Great bar and even better bartenders (skip the restaurant and grab food on the second floor bar).  It has a Japanese Garden, which I love, the rooms are big and comfortable, the toilet capable of handling a big shit, it's brilliant.  Although, the Japanese Garden in Portland, OR refused to hire me because I didn't have non-profit experience, though the job was for a management of personnel position, which I had done for 3-4 years.  Fucking assholes.  They're so much better because their company doesn't make money for shareholders, though they make money just the same as I.  Oh, wait, they're the same.  Dickholes.

 

Fuck it.  It's still a shame that THIS VIDEO only has 19 million views.  Should be 1 Billion.  Or, at least, more than however many Justin Bieber has.  At least Shakira get her due, just watch THIS VIDEO.  Not sure how that is related, outside of the fact that I really like her, and she's ungodly beautiful.  I read in an article how one of her favorite bands was AC/DC, which immediately made me cum.  Just imagine this beauty rocking out to (my favorite AC/DC song) "Big Balls."  In love, hard.  So hard...

 

Wait, what was I talking about?  Not sure and don't care.  I'm just going to watch Shakira videos for the rest of the night.  Bye y'all...

 

Wait, if you're in the Salem, Keizer, Albany, Lebanon, Oregon area, I'll be playing a show at Conversion Brewing Saturday November 18th from 8-10pm.  If you're not, then check out my next PERISCOPE LIVE "FRIDAY NIGHT IS FOR THE DRINKERS" LIVE SHOW on:  FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27TH AT 9PM EST/6PM PST.  Search "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app or follow on your PC by clicking HERE.

 

Peace Bitches!

Back to back, just like the first two Super Bowls... aka The Prodigy and my upcoming Periscope show...

WHA??  BACK TO BACK POSTs?!  YEP, I TOLD YOU I WAS FOR REAL ABOUT THIS SHIT!

 

There's still half a bottle of Jim Beam Double Oak (again, still not as tasty as the extra aged Black, or about 20 other bourbons, but hey, it's cheap), so I'm back.  I forgot that since this blog is now also being posted to my official website, www.bradleywik.com, I was going to write a sort of "intro" blog to warn people before yesterday's barrage of cursing, way too personal insights and a candor matched only by my drunkenness, because, let's be honest, that's what this is.  That's why I started writinga blog and why I continue to do so.  I needed an outlet for the crazy, depressed, deep and dark thoughts that I usually just keep to myself.  And, since therapy is expensive and a blog was free, I chose this.  So, for all those new to this or just learning about my deficiencies, again, probably a little too much drinking, way too much depression (as if any is OK) and my Asperger's are probably the top 3, in some order, I would caution you to proceed if you are sensitive to "blue" language, too much honesty and opinions that are way too strong for comfort.  Yesterday's post was pretty dark and way too revealing, so I'm going to lighten it up on this one and keep it short.  Main point, read no further if you are faint of heart.  If you want to delve deep or affected by one of the aforementioned afflictions and want to feel less alone, as I often do, read on, brave ones...

 

First off, I would like to mention that when I turned on the TV today, the NFL Network was replaying the Packers - Cowboys game, which was the best possible outcome when switching on the 'ol tube.  It could've been more Trump/Russia news or Trump/North Korea news or Trump/NFL news or Trump as a sexual predator news or Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator news, or, on the lighter side (JFK - just fucking kidding), more fucking hurricane news or Puerto Rico news, oh, wait, still not lighter...  Anywhosal, it was the latest triumph of a one Mr. Aaron Rodgers (and 45 other guys).  The very guy that two years ago was criticized for not being "clutch" nor able to engineer a 4th quarter comeback.  Also, the same guy who, only one year ago, before winning 8 straight in spectacular fashion while playing out of his fucking mind, was being criticized for being "done" and past his prime.  Jesus, I get that 24 hours is a lot of time to fill, but come on.  Also, the recipient of that miraculous throw with 16 seconds left, Davante Adams, spent the entire 2015 season being ridiculed by everyone I knew and almost all of Packernation for being terrible, despite dealing with a terrible foot injury the whole year.  Unless they are 40+ years old (Tom Brady notwithstanding), or 30+ for running backs, wide receivers, lineman and linebackers, if a player mysteriously gets worse, it probably means they're fucking hurt.  Turns out that slamming your highly trained body into larger, also highly trained bodies repeatedly is not good for it and may, nope, will cause injury.  So, how about we all chill the fuck out and "just watch, baby."  

 

Sidenote:  who else is as fucking pumped as I am about Mr. Vic Ketchman coming out of retirement to write his once a week reader submitted questions column again?  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Vic used to write a daily, then twice daily during the season, column, where readers would submit questions about the Jaguars then later Packers (when he came to Green Bay, of course) and Vic would answer them.  He was sarcastic, he was funny, he was truthful, he was engaging, he was one of the last sportswriters (Bill Simmons, it's all on you now!) with a goddamn personality.  He has been covering football since the 70's (Steelers back then, lucky dog, during their golden years) and could impart so much wisdom to us maniacal fanatics about football, life or "Caddyshack."  It was my favorite thing when I worked a shitty job at the paint store.  When it was finally time for my lunch (which was never in the fucking summer as it was so busy), I would make my turkey and cheese bagel sandwich (every day for 5 years.  Asperger's much?) and sit down to read Ask Vic in the solitude of the rat infested back room and just lose myself for 30 minutes.  He could pull me out of my daily slog and get me laughing and give me perspective when I needed it most.  Though it's only once a week now, I'm so glad to have him back.  I needed it.  I really did.  If you have never read Vic, please CLICK HERE as soon as fucking possible.  Seriously, if you're still reading and not clicking, fuck you...

 

OK, now that that is behind us, let's move on to some more important shit.  Remember how crazy it was when 10 year old Bradley saw THIS SHIT for the first time?  Of course you don't.  Only I do.  Not only did my brain just fucking break (an Asperger's thing that happens when I can't figure out how something was made.  Until then, music was made by guitars, drums, basses, pianos, keyboards, etc.  This was none of that) but my eyeballs nearly fell out of my fucking head seeing that video on MTV for the first time.  Remember MTV showing videos and playing music?  I'm so fucking old.  I, like I always do, probably because of the Asperger's, immediately wanted to hate it.  It had none of Rock N' Roll elements that I knew so well.  It had no guitars, wasn't about cars, girls, drinking or Rock N' Roll, like all good Rock N' Roll songs are, wasn't comfortable, in fact, it was intentionally uncomfortable, the singer wasn't good looking, it had no shots of the band behind him playing to thousands of screaming fans; it was just... fucking... weird...  So, my Asperger's brain hated it.  I told everyone how terrible it was and I couldn't stop talking about it (which I found out is another Asperger's trait.  Repeatedly saying the same things though no one cares or wants to hear).  It was the worst fucking thing ever, in my mind.  Then, like a month later, I realized I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Then THIS HAPPENED.  After seeing that (the MTV censored version, for sure), my head was officially in a pretzel; I had a pretzel in my head.  I completely lost my mind and flipped sides.  I loved it.  I loved it more than anything I had ever heard.  The next time we were in Beaver Dam at the mall, I took my lawn mowing money and purchased the "Fat of the Land" on cassette.  I listened to that every chance I could.  I remember listening to that tape, and only that tape, every Saturday as I mowed 3 lawns.  I fucking wore that tape out.  But, alas, none of my small town, white, rural, farm-raised friends would listen with me.  I remember a party we had a bit later, 8th grade I believe, where I busted this shit out and everyone got so pissed except for one girl.  They ran over and took the tape out and threw it at me. They were so pissed.  They couldn't wait to get back to the Metallica, Poison, Def Leppard, Winger or whatever the fuck they wanted so bad.  Could've been Tupac as I remember he was a big hit with the young, white, Wisconsin youth who liked to get fucked up on a Friday night at age 12.  Good times...  Needless to say, me and the one girl who also enjoyed The Prodigy spent the rest of the night making out and totally fucked off the rest of the group.  Good times...

 

Oh yeah, I wanted to mention my upcoming Periscope Live Show this Friday, October 13th, at 9pm EST/6pm PST.  I'm currently going through the four topics of Rock N' Roll on my "Friday Night is for the Drinkers Concert Series" which I play every couple weeks on, yep, you guessed it, Friday Night:  cars, girls, drinking and Rock N' Roll.  I did "cars" last week, playing "Drive all Night," "Dance with me Darlin'," "Friday Night is for the Drinkers" and "'66 Chevelle."  Fuck, that video for "Friday Night is for the Drinkers" is awesome.  So cool to have that motorcycle stunt in there, completely randomly.  This week I'll be taking on the topic of "girls," which could be almost every fucking song I've ever written but I'm choosing only my favorite "girls" and the characters I'm the most in love with.  Remember, every song I write is 50% things I've done, 50% things I've seen and 50% things I've made up to make the song rhyme.  So, you know that I know most of these "characters," or, more than likely, knew, as I rarely stay in contact with people.  I'm fucking horrible at it.  When I decide to change something in my life, I just walk away from everything and it magically (read:  Asperger's-ly) becomes something that seems like I read it in a book and it didn't actually happen to me.  It's just a vague memory that haunts me when I can't sleep, or, even worse, when I actually can (SEE LAST POST).  Anywhosal, search and follow "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app or CLICK HERE to follow on your PC.  I'll see you Friday!  Or, I won't actually as you can see me but I can't see you.  Which, is probably good just in case you're pooping while you're watching...

New commitment to this blog and y'all. aka I'm gonna do this shit for real...

You deserve better and I'm gonna give it to you.  Hot.  Wait, no, I just mean.  Ah, fuck.  I mean give it to you, sexually, or emotionally...

 

Sitting here in the Marriott Fairfield Inn in (ha!) Moses Lake, WA watching THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM GREEN BAY'S INCREDIBLE WIN OVER THE DALLAS COWBOYS one more time, drinking some Jim Beam Double Oak (not as good as the Jim Beam Black, but better than the White Label for sure.  We'll know definitively based on how I feel tomorrow morning), OK, well, drinking quite a bit of Jim Beam Double Oak, I can't help but feel lonesome; so I decided to write to y'all.  This Packers win reminds me of THIS WIN and THIS WIN, the second of which I WROTE ABOUT HERE.  Today is good day.  So why am I still so depressed?

 

I remember when I first starting traveling a lot, both I and the people I knew thought it was so cool to be in different cities, staying in different hotels (and often shitty motels) and seeing more of the country all the time.  But, it turns out, like anything, it was both exciting and extremely dull.  It turns out you don't get to see much.  I wish I could spend more time in each place.  The ones I visit often, I find I have more fun in.  I get to see and understand the local landscape, where all the cool bars and restaurants are and it helps me find the places I want to play at next time I'm around.  Some of those cities and towns turn out to be amazing, and some not so much.  I remember seeing Moses Lake, WA on HGTV (yes, I watch a lot of HGTV.  Yes, I like it.  No, I don't feel bad about it.  Chip Gaines and Jonathon Scott = thumbs up, Joanna Gaines and Drew Scott and pretty much everything else on HGTV = thumbs down, but I still watch because I'm too tired and too much a germaphobe to grab the remote and change it.  Also, I'm usually too fucking drunk to care.) and thinking it looks so beautiful, until I realized I've been there many times and I know better.  Yes, there are beautiful parts but I would never move there.  It's where my good friend Jon Fickes grew up, who would go on to make MUSIC LIKE THIS.  But, I love shitty TV.  I need the noise because I'm terrified of the silence and darkness.

 

True story:  I'm fucking petrified of the dark.  I cannot sleep in total darkness.  I lined my apartment with nightlights (read:  I bought two.  I have a small, shitty apartment).  But, it's probably not for the reason you may think; unless you also have Asperger's and are a depressed alcoholic with more issues than Sports Illustrated (remember when you would wait all week for the latest issue and when it came, you would sit in your room and read every word so that you could spend the next week discussing it in depth with all your friends?  Yeah, now that's a tweeter or whatever the kids call it and it's discussed for like fifteen minutes until the next one comes along.  Sad..).  No, it's for a different reason.  You know the movie "Inception?"  Well, that's how I dream; every fucking night.  No joke, it's fucking awful.  It's always a dream within a dream within a dream.  I can't tell you how many times I "wake up" only to find I'm just in another dream.  And they're always fucking terrible dreams that only end with me dying in some horrific fashion, only to start back at the beginning like "Groundhog Day" from hell.  Some nights it gets so bad that I intentionally try to kill myself in the dream, just to get out.  Never helps.  But, just like in "Inception" I always try to find something that is just a bit off, so I can tell if I'm still dreaming.  Sometimes it's the time when I check my phone.  Sometimes it's the coloring of the lights when I flip them on.  Sometimes it's the toilet when I get up to take a piss.  But something usually tips me off and I'm back into the darkness and back into the hellish nature of my dream, until I die and get to start back at the beginning; so I can live it all over again.  When it's completely dark in the house, I can never tell if I'm awake or not and I panic.  I know, alcohol probably doesn't help.  But neither does lying awake all night because you're terrified of the dreams you'll have after you fall asleep.  Is it something a therapist could fix?  God, I hope so.  I need one, but it turns out it's hard to find someone on my shitty insurance who understands Asperger's, which, it turns out, is a whole fucking challenge on its own.  Wait, why did I start writing this?

 

Oh yeah, I wanted to let you know that I'll FINALLY be writing these on a consistent basis.  I know, I know, I've said that before.  BUT, I will be posting one of these every Monday, rain or shine, depression or not (like that is ever a "not"), drunk or sober, full of ideas or just rambling.  I'll probably just want to talk about the latest Packers game and my week.  What was good, or more likely, what was bad.

 

Well, this week it's pretty fucking good, for once.  I saw Feist this weekend.  If you haven't seen her live, she's far more badass, more fucking Rock N' Roll, more guitar Goddess-y, more fucking genre-exploding-ly awesome than you can imagine.  JUST CHECK THIS SHIT OUT.  She's every bit the singer you would fathom from the records, doing shit that others wish they could only think of with her voice but she's an amazingly awesome guitar player and performer as well.  I'll probably always remember her for THIS, but I know I'm wrong and just a stubborn Asperger's asshole.  Which, sounds funny and I should probably trademark.  "Asperger's Asshole" sounds like a fucking hipster band who doesn't understand how debilitating it can be for a person (or, more accurately, the person who loves a person with Asperger's and has to deal with that bullshit).  Or, my Feist is also defined by THIS.  And, of course, it only matters what I think.  God, sometimes it sucks to have Asperger's as I actually believe that.  Just ask my poor girlfriend.  Or, any of the past ones.  Not fun; for them especially.  I've now been asked by every single girlfriend of longer than a month or so if I'd rather be the lonely singer-songwriter and have that story than them.  It's nothing I can do, it just seems that way.  Of course I wouldn't.  I haven't wanted that any of the many times, it just seems that way as I cannot express my level of Catholic guilt/Asperger's not wanting to change anything in a way that doesn't include me being angry and resentful towards people who accuse me of things.  I wish it didn't have to be this way.  I wish I didn't seem like such as asshole, because I'm not, in my heart, but, alas, it certainly seems so, and the more I am pushed, the more I dig in.  Not fun for either of us...

 

Also, I'm feeling like a failure as I don't think I did enough to promote my record release.  Now, for sure, it didn't go poorly and we've been getting good press and initial sales.  But, since I was in a car accident and concussed a month and a half before and up to and through the release, I missed some critical time.  I wasn't right til after the release.  I feel guilty about it and wish I could've done more, but when you can't see, hear or think straight, it's hard.  Concussions suck fucking ass, but I know two things for sure:

 

1.  I wouldn't have not played sports knowing the consequences.  I loved every minute, including the four previous times (that I remember, could be more) that I got my "bell rung" (two in football, one in basketball, which included a torn achilles, and one in baseball, which included a broken nose).  

 

2.  I'm predisposed to head and brain injuries as when I was a baby I had a chunk of my skull removed and then re-connected due to a bone growth deficiency.  Imagine my poor mother trying to keep a two year old from hitting his head on shit, as it could cause permanent brain damage.  Not fun.  Two year olds fucking run into everything.  My mom had to turn our whole house into a padded, blanketed wonderland so I didn't turn out mentally retarded or worse.  God bless her.  Seriously.  I could never imagine the stress she was under as her child had no skull protecting part of his brain for like a year.  I owe her my life and everything.  She's a saint...

 

The guilt I feel over not giving this release my all is intense and I'll probably never forgive myself for getting into a car accident that was 100% not my fault (I was rear-ended at a red light).  But it'll help motivate me over the next year or so to work harder.  I hate feeling guilty, which is why I don't go to Catholic church anymore.  That and the fact that if God wanted us to go to church, He wouldn't have invented Football and Nascar.  Yes, I'm a Nascar fan.  No, it's not just fucking turning left, as people assume.  And I love Bill Elliott's kid, Chase Elliott.  And Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as I've met him a few times and totally got my ass kicked by him go-kart racing.  True story.

 

OK, with half the bottle of Jim Beam Double Oak gone, I should probably wrap this up.  I'd like to claim that THIS WAS ME but, apparently, there's another Brad Wik.  Fucking dick.  Stealing my thunder as being the awesome-est Bradley Wik.  Well, let's be honest, I still am the awesome-est and maybe that is me (the video is inconclusive and I don't really remember high school, so maybe!).  Well, for sure THIS IS ME and I'll leave you with young Bradley Wik singing folk songs in open-D tuning for some reason, while playing at the venerable Cafe Wha?.  Still can't remember why I decided open-D was the best decision since I never played those songs in that key before or after that show, but so be it, it turned out alright.  I love y'all, and I'll see y'all Friday, October 13th (spooky, I know) at 9pm EST/6pm PST for my next live Periscope show.  Search "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app or CLICK HERE to follow on your computer.  Good night y'all. See you on Friday and talk more next Monday...

ALBUM RELEASE AND PERISCOPE LIVE SHOW

First off, I would like to thank everyone who joined in and watched my first ever PERISCOPE LIVE CONCERT!  I appreciate all the kind words, hearts, funny comments and especially the interaction between those who tuned in live.  It was amazing to see @jakebecker make fun of my disheveled (and, I think, sexy) looks, all the people saying "clap, clap" and tapping hearts at the end of songs to make me feel less like a guy with a guitar alone in a room playing music to my phone and a mic, and, of course, @mattysauza with my favorite comment of the night:  "Tommy Stinson loves you."

 

I realize that I'm still learning how to do this and make it as fun as possible for everyone.  I missed a lot of comments during the show, caught myself watching myself on camera and trying to read what people were saying and missing a chord (which not being able to play guitar for the month and a half before because of a car accident didn't help either, but still) and am getting used to playing and talking to myself; which I do all the time, but that's usually only after a pint or so of bourbon, a couple episodes of BoJack Horseman and an hour or so spent wondering how I'm not as famous as I think I am...  Or, what I call "Friday Night."

 

Which leads me to my next point:

 

I am calling these Periscope Live shows the "Friday Night is for the Drinkers Concert Series."

 

Those in the know will get that reference, but for those who don't, stop whatever you're doing IMMEDIATELY and CHECK THIS SHIT OUT!  The plan is that I will do these Periscope Live concerts every other week, with new songs and stories, and various amounts of drinking before, during and after the show, themed to what I am drinking that night (mostly different types of bourbons, but also some scotch, wine and beers as well).  I will be broadcasting from different locations, bringing on some of my talented friends to play/talk about their music, opening up about my personal life, some of the crazy shit I've done while traveling around the country playing music, my struggles with depression, my struggles with Asperger's, and anything else I think of and want to discuss with friends, family and complete strangers via the internet.  Hell, there may or may not be giveaways to live viewers.  You'll have to tune in and see...  Future plans include an accompanying "Friday Night is for the Drinkers" podcast that offers deep dives into and expands on some of the songs/stories, goes back over the previous concert with a look ahead to the next one, and more of the one thing everyone loves:  Bradley Wik.

 

Sidenote:  I love people who love my music (I'm easy) and want to congratulate @mattysauza on being the first to request a song!  I was only playing songs from the new record for the album release so I wasn't able to fulfill it, but @mattysauza rest assured there's a song coming for you on the next one...  Now, it's not TRL but I will pick at least one request (of my songs) per show (maybe more depending on how generous/drunk I feel) to play.

 

Thanks again and I'll see you all soon!  Well, I guess you'll all see me and I'll occasionally see things that you say about me.  More comments, more interaction, more hearts, more making fun of me and each other, I love it all!

 

Remember follow @bradleywik on the Periscope app to stay up to date or CLICK HERE to sign up and watch these shows on your computer.

Go Pack Go! Intro video on Periscope!

Hey everyone!  It's Bradley Wik here and I want to let all y'all know that I posted the first video to my official Periscope account, which can be found HERE or by looking up "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on Periscope.  Videos on Periscope only stay up for 24 hours so get on it and watch that shit!  It's the first Sunday of Football and I couldn't be more excited that my Green Bay Packers (yes, "my" as I am an official stock owner) just defeated the Seattle Seahawks in an amazing and thrilling game.  Unbelievable defensive game from both teams but, alas, my Packers prevailed.  I still haven't forgot the "Fail Mary" game or the 2014 NFC Championship Game that we shouldn't have lost, but that's another post for another day...

 

Remember that THIS FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH at 9pm EST and 9pm PST I will be performing LIVE ON PERISCOPE to kick off our official album release for "In My Youth, I'm Getting Old..." (pre-order available now on iTunes).  I'll be posting videos all week leading up to our official album release on Friday.

 

Friday September 15th at 9pm EST and 9pm PST, Bradley Wik will be performing LIVE ON PERISCOPE.  Tune in to follow Bradley HERE or by searching "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app.

Friday September 15th at 9pm EST and 9pm PST, Bradley Wik will be performing LIVE ON PERISCOPE.  Tune in to follow Bradley HERE or by searching "Bradley Wik" (@bradleywik) on the Periscope app.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH, Bradley Wik will be LIVE... in your living room. Or bathroom, your choice...

On FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH (the day of our official album release), I, Bradley Wik, will be live-streaming an intimate acoustic performance for our fans all around the world.  "How?" you may ask.  Turns out the internet is weird and there's this thing called PERISCOPE.  It's not something we've ever attempted, done or even though about until now.  But, while recording an interview for a radio station in Switzerland, I thought of how limiting playing traditional shows can be sometimes.  Playing shows is only for one specific place at one specific time.  I wanted to play for all our wonderful, amazing fans, wherever they may be.  For crying out loud, my own mother, for instance, has only seen me play three times, IN THE PAST TEN YEARS...

 

So, I've decided this is the best way to spread the love and be with everyone at once; because that's what everyone wants:  to be closer to Bradley Wik.  It will be intimate, it will be revealing, it will contain adult language, it will be one man with a guitar, and it will be what previously could only be seen in select places.  I'm so excited for this!

 

So, the details:

 

Friday, September 15th at both 9pm EST and 9pm PST

If you're already on the Periscope app, look me up at:  @bradleywik

If you're not, you can click this link to sign up and follow me:  https://www.pscp.tv/bradleywik/follow

 

You can watch on either your phone or your computer.  I will most likely be doing these live-streaming shows every other Friday, but, for now, tune in Friday, September 15th for ALBUM RELEASE LIVE-STREAMING EVENT SHOW!  Yes, I know, it's kind of short notice but hey, you've got 20-30 minutes, right?  Look at how handsome I am in a bedroom...  I could be in your bedroom...  Hot, right?

 

 

Look at that sexy man...  Who wouldn't want him in their bedroom?  Well, on September 15th at 9pm EST and 9pm PST you can make that happen.  Follow @bradleywik on the Periscope app or at https://www.pscp.tv/bradleywik/follow

Look at that sexy man...  Who wouldn't want him in their bedroom?  Well, on September 15th at 9pm EST and 9pm PST you can make that happen.  Follow @bradleywik on the Periscope app or at https://www.pscp.tv/bradleywik/follow

What others are saying about BWC... (Also, many thanks for all the support!)

 
"Bradley Wik's "Some Girls (Still Love Rock'n'Roll)" is a really excellent example of what I have controversially (apparently) called the Tragic Woman. As the song unfolds, Wik's deep empathy and understand for the character is evidently clear. The subject isn't a source of objectification or moralizing. Whether or not this woman is real, in the song she is a complex and fully realized human. Straight cis male singer-songwriters of the world, take note: this is how you write a song about a woman."  - Rachel Cholst | Adobe and Teardrops (see full post HERE or click the image below)

 

"Today, Bradley Wik & The Charlatans are proud to release their first single, “Some Girls (Still Love Rock N Roll).” For those thirsting for a fresh rock n roll sound, Bradley Wik is the answer. Raw and unpretentious, the sound harkens back to the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and the Replacements. No gimmicks, no frills. Just pure passion."  - Skope Magazine (see full post HERE or click the image below)

 

Also, I'd like to thank AMERICANA DAILY (click HERE) and our international friends at Leo Swiss Radio (click HERE) Velvety (click HERE) for supporting and promoting BWC!  Thank you all so much and I can't wait to release this album!!  September 15th is coming quick!  Big announcement early next week regarding how all y'all can catch moi, Bradley Wik, and see/hear moi (me?) perform live...  I'll be closer than you think...

 

Single Release/Feature - "Let's Go Out Tonight" - DOUBLE EDITION!!

 
"A Midwest boy searching for the music that once was and that could be once again, Bradley Wik is an outspoken realist and earnest romantic who sings of everyday men and women stumbling through life together."  - The Daily Country

 

"An unpretentious  heartland roots rocker that would make Mellencamp or Westerberg proud, "Let's Go Out Tonight," with its undeniably infectious melody and sweet harmonies, tells the real, relatable story of two people simply trying to figure things out."  - Tara Joan | No Depression

 

Click below for the full articles and to hear this exciting new track:

 

 

Amazing to have this song debuted on two sites!  So many thanks to The Daily Country and No Depression for supporting BWC!  Remember, early next week I'll be announcing SOMETHING AWESOME surrounding how you can see and hear moi, Mr. Bradley Wik himself, LIVE and how I'll be closer to you than you may think...

 

Single Release/Feature of "Lookin' at Luckey"

 
"We’ve got an in your face feel-good rock song by Bradley Wik & The Charlatans today that’ll make you yearn for classic guitar-rock songs to make a roaring comeback. If what we can expect from Wik are songs like “Lookin’ At Luckey” – he might bring the revival all by himself.  - Jake Craney, Groundsounds | July 14th, 2017

 

Check it out here:

Click it, click it good...

 

There's a good quote in there from me about "Lookin' at Luckey" that you can't find anywhere else.  It's one of the few times my quote has been printed in its entirety, which is awesome!  Normally, they take my (way too long) quote and pick a line or two, but click above for my thoughts on "Luckey" in full.  Thanks again Jake|Groundsounds!

Keep an eye out for an exciting announcement in the next week or so!!

 

 

Single Release/Feature of "Some Girls (Still Love Rock N' Roll)" on Enter the Venture

 
"Wik’s songs are snapshots in life, from nights filled with dancing, drinking and laughter to dark nights of defeat." - Isiah Reyes, Enter the Venture | June 21, 2017

 

Check it out here:

Click Me...

We both know you want to...

 

As always, keep a good head and always carry a lightbulb...  Or, share this with your friends, both in real life (using your mouth and words) and online (using your mouse and keyboard, or however the internet works).  Either way is good with us...

 

Song Premiere "Some Girls (Still Love Rock N' Roll)", by Bradley Wik, on OPB Music

Bradley Wik and the Charlatans released their very first single, "Some Girls (Still Love Rock N' Roll)" and they are the featured song of the week by OPB Music.

 

 
The song’s an unpretentious throwback, with lyrics about the pitfalls of playing the part of a rock ‘n’ roll singer.
— David Christensen opbmusic | June 19, 2017

Click to read

you know you want to.

 

Want to know what "Some Girls" is all about?

Get the first listen and song premiere details here: 

http://www.opb.org/opbmusic/article/some-premiere-bradley-wik-some-girls-still-love-rock-n-roll/

we invite you to share this with your social media friends

and thank you for your awesome support.