If God was lonely and sad... He would borrow my record collection...

             I am one of those types of people with an extremely addictive personality, especially pertaining to music, a form of art that is quickly absorbed into our subconscious, as opposed to, say, books and paintings which take longer to ingest(and are unavailable to me on construction-lengthened drive to work).  My newest obsession, as all music is cyclical in nature and thusly in my brain as well and as soon as it becomes a fully evolved part of my being will be stored with the thousands of other records taking up valuable brain space which used to be home to various and more intellectual topics(which sort of implies that music is not an intellectual pursuit, but for those of us use it to seek a higher understanding of human nature and by that I mean understanding why I’m so fucked up, it most certainly is)such as a working knowledge of calculus(which is useless to me now, anyhow)which has lasted the past two months insofar, aided specifically, I am sure, by my recent bout with a sort of lonely depression is:  Guided By Voices.  For clarity, I must specify that this all started with my re-watching of the entire series of the IT Crowd in preparation for me to fully enjoy the reunion-based final episode.  It reminded me that a long while ago, when I was much busier and not as lonely and depressed, I had heard about forty seconds or whatever, of the song “Game of Pricks”which I had shazam-ed(for those of you from the past, or the far distant future, shazam is a phone app that can listen to music and tell you the name of it)about five times in a row but never went back to listen to it, given that life at the time was much more interesting than searching out new music.  I have learned, the hard way, that you really need to enjoy those happy moments in life as much as possible, since they are always swinging back towards the other end of the pendulum. But before I move on and slather praise upon a band which has already been bukkaked(is that the past participle?  Its not really a word I use in normal life, or ever, until that point, which I felt was the perfect time to unleash it, and I might have fucked it up.) with praise, I must say that the IT reunion/final episode was brilliant.  Everything you could want from a show that’s been off the air for three years.  Everyone did an amazing job at getting back into character after so long, and the chemistry between them was very good.  That is all to say, the opposite of the putrid re-imagining(as its clearly not even close to the same show) of Arrested Development.  I understand they had scheduling obstacles and such, but season 4 FUCKING SUCKED and I don’t care how many people try to tell me otherwise, I watched it with my own eyes and ears and it just wasn’t funny(outside of the one gag which did really get me:  Gob and Michael trying to find a bottle opener for all the Mike’s Hard Lemonade and smash cut to them just twisting off the cap; gotta make those kiddie drinks easy to open.  It was the only bit they didn’t beat into you or over-explain, read:  dumb down for the idiots who loved this shitty new season because they missed the boat the first time, so they wanted to be the first to proclaim their love of it before it was uncool to do so).  But I could go off on a rant on that for days, which I have, segueing into my all-encompassing rant about how hipsters are ruining everything with their love of mediocrity and hatred of anything great, since they suck at everything, and therefore, the reason the movement has gotten so big is that it requires no real talent or skill or personality to be part of it, just an aversion to things that are real and brilliant, and so on and so forth.  Maybe one day I’ll write a book about it but for now I’ll just save it for when I’m drunk at a bar and Fun. or M*mf*rd *nd S*ns or the Lumineers or the Head and the Heart or whatever the new flavor of the month is, comes on the radio and all I can do is rant to keep the noise out of my brain and from slowly eating away at my sanity and my will to live in a world where Fun. exists…

Oh yeah, I was talking about Guided by Voices.  The reason this band works so fucking perfectly for my current situation(remember, lonely and depressed) is that they have the exact right balance of everything I need right now:  they are sad and funny and they have great melodies and hooks and they rock and then they take it down and get all sad and sexy with you(theres the perfect name of a hipster song “Sad and Sexy with You”).  Its everything you need,  and all in one band.  You can put on “Bee Thousand” or “Alien Lanes” or “Vampire on Titus” or rock out with“Isolation Drills”and they nail it, without being too annoyingly sad or too annoying happy; both of which you need but in controlled doses(please see your doctor for more information).  When Pollard sings “I am a lost soul, I shoot myself with Rock N’ Roll.  The hole I dig is bottomless but nothing else can set me free” it fucking kills me, every time.   This is a perfect example of music being a higher pursuit.  Its my own cheap therapy, as I follow another along their journey and, in turn, learn how to verbalize things about myself that I never could which makes me feel less alone in the world, and thusly less strange and fucked up.  I love it.  One of my favourite parts, which you only get to enjoy once, which just might be half the charm, is looking at the tracklist on the backs of the CD’s and imagining what I have in store for my ears.  Immediately upon purchasing “Bee Thousand”(my favorite GBV album, by the way) one song in particular piqued my interest and sent my mind a-reeling:  “Tractor Rape Chain.”  I couldn’t get past what a ridiculous combination of words that was; and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what song would fit that ridiculous title.   And, of course, it is now one of my favourite songs on the album.  Why?  It’s an absurdly insightful song about that moment in a relationship when trust becomes an issue.  There are two distinctly different instances in relationships, that I’ve found anyways, where a lack of trust can kill you.  The first being that moment in which you have to decide whether or not to commit to the relationship.  Its always a pivotal moment, when you’re past the point of just having fun whilst seeing this person occasionally, and you’re in the position of trying to determine just how much of yourself you want to give to this other person, just how many of the walls will come down,  and just exactly what it is that they mean to you or possibly could given the chance.  Its such an interesting moment in life and love, and it’s fascinated me to the point where I actually wrote a song specifically about just that called “Darkness and a Light.”  The protagonist laments this topic, knowing full well that all relationships will eventually fall into two opposite categories, with no real space in the middle, which are:  They are either doomed to fail, “the Darkness,” or can succeed and bring you endless joy and happiness, “The Light,” with most falling into the former, all while going up to the apartment and eventually bedding the lady he can’t stop thinking about.  But enough about me and my brilliance in songwriting…

The second instance in which trust becomes an issue, is further along in the relationship after you have decided to give the old love train another go, when something happens, some event of some kind, that puts that little inkling of doubt into your mind.  In the best case scenario, one would simply talk to the other about it and put the item to rest.  In the worst case scenario, it would eat and eat and eat away at you until it becomes more than reality and makes one hate the other with a deep seeded passion; with most scenarios falling somewhere in the middle, with a fight and hurt feelings, but no intense loathing.  This one is a little harder to explain simply, given the magnitude of variables(what actually happened, previous issues in both said relationship and past relationships of both involved, specific fears of the individuals involved,  etc. etc.) which is why I have touched upon this subject many times in many different songs, but only casually or sparingly, offering no real advice, merely mentioning its existence and the toll it takes on the people involved.  My new, as yet to be recorded, album is peppered with references to this kind of stuff.  And I’m going on record to be the first person to call the album “Brilliant” and “Full of great songs, expounding upon the human condition, all while making us dance and feel just generally better about the world around us” and “Simply put, Bradley Wik is a Genius.”  Shit, there I go again talking about myself, damn narcissistic singers…


Oh yeah, I was talking about Guided by Voices and the majestic wonder of a song that is “Tractor Rape Chain.”  All of that sort of depressing stuff about trust and relationships and the like(which believe me, I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, spending hours and hours and hours trying to it figure out) that I just said, was summed up beautifully by Robert Pollard in three minutes and five seconds…  Three minutes and five seconds!  Fuck!  What an incredible song!  And that’s just one of the many songs, just as amazing, and just as perfect for a guy like me who needs a little guidance right now, wherever I can get it from.  Thank you, Robert Pollard.  And that is why I am currently obsessed with and can’t stop listening to Guided by Voices…