I Don’t Look So Sharp, Now I Got a Heavy Heart

Today’s post is a different kind of heavy.  The title of the post comes from a song called “Heavy Heart”, by an Australian band called You Am I.  I’ve never heard their version of the song, nor have I heard anything from them, as far as I know.  What I have heard, however, is a fan-fucking-tastic cover of “Heavy Heart” by the Supersuckers, which originally appeared on a compilation called Free the West Memphis 3: A Benefit for Truth and Justice (2000).

The whole album is great (it includes a badass cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild” by Seattle’s own Motörhead-esque hardcore punk heroes Zeke), and I highly recommend it, but that’s not why I’m here today.  I’m here today because I have a heavy heart, and that song has been in my head all day.

If you are capable of reading this (or having it read to you), you know by now that Robin Williams was found dead yesterday.  A man who dedicated his life to making other people happy took his own life; that is far too common, and it has had a profound effect on me, for reasons I can’t necessarily explain, or even understand.  The last time I remember feeling anything like this in response to the death of an entertainer was when Joey Ramone died of lymphoma (which happened one day before my 24th birthday), and before that, when Phil Hartman’s wife murdered him in a cocaine frenzy.  Both of those deaths made me sad, but Williams’ death has had me in a serious funk since I first read about it, and I have no doubt that the cause of death is the big difference here.

“The situation is bleeding me, there’s no relief for a person like me…”

It’s being written about and posted on the internet repeatedly, but it’s something that bears repeating: depression is a motherfucker.  I’ve dealt with it since my early 20’s, and it is an ugly, fucked-up monster of a condition.  At my worst, I’ve never actually contemplated suicide, but there have been times when I’ve wished I wasn’t alive anymore.  I’ve gotten (mostly) better, and I’ve managed to (mostly) stay better, but the depression still hangs out in the back of the room, waiting to come and fuck with me all over again.  Sometimes I can feel it back there lurking around, sometimes keeping it away is extremely difficult, and sometimes it even pops in for a visit, but I still can’t imagine being so overcome by it that ending my own life could seem like the appropriate response, and I think that’s what makes me so very, very sad about this.

I hope your soul finds peace, Mr. Williams.  Your presence in this world will be missed.

Another thing that bears repeating: if you are suffering from depression, know that you are not alone.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member, or to someone else who cares.

National Suicide Prevention 24-Hour Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Thanks for reading.  I hope you’ll stay heavy, but more importantly, I hope you’ll stay alive.

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The Number of the Views

Woe to you, oh Earth and Sea: Stay Heavy reached 666 views yesterday afternoon.  It’s a silly thing, yes, but it’s also kind of awesome. I was unable to post anything when I noticed, and the number has gone up a few since then, but I wanted to commemorate the milestone with a couple of songs.

The first one is obvious.  Iron Maiden rules the entire world, and this song, almost as old as me (I was in kindergarten when it was born), is still one of my favorites.

 

The second one is maybe less obvious to most people.  I’ve written a tiny bit about Brujeria before, and I don’t have time to get into them too much right now, but they are fucking badass.  “Seis Seis Seis” originally appeared on the band’s first EP, ¡Demoniaco! (1990), which was only released on vinyl and is long out of print, but it can also be found on their 1993 full-length debut, Matando Gueros, (which is my favorite album of theirs), and the 2001 compilation Mextrimist! Greatest Hits.  Each version is actually slightly different from the others, so I’ma include all of them here.  If you like death metal, grindcore, or deathgrind (but not necessarily metalcore), and you have a sense of humor, I wholeheartedly recommend Brujeria.

From ¡Demoniaco!

 

From Matando Gueros

 

From Mextrimist! Greatest Hits

 

That’ll do, pig.

Here’s to 666 more views.  Keep on staying heavy, heavy people.

 

Miscellaneous Monday: A Few Random Things

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I have way too many things going on in my caffeine-addled brain, and I haven’t been able to focus on any one thing long enough to put together a proper post, so I’ve decided to just throw some of the topics out there to try and clear out some space.  At least one of these items will surely be revisited in the future.  This is in no particular order.

1. I’m ready for banjo and ukulele covers of metal songs to be a thing of the past.  I see them in my facebook news feed all the time, and well-meaning friends often share them with me, but I think it’s a stupid trend, and I’ll be glad when it’s dead.  I don’t care how well they’re played, it’s fucking unnecessary.  If I want to hear a banjo, I’ll listen to “Foggy Mountain Breakdown”, and if I want to hear a ukulele, I’ll listen to that fat dead guy’s cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.

Seriously.  Fucking stop with the banjo and ukulele covers, you goddamn hipsters.

2. I’ve been listening to a lot of Deftones lately, especially their third album, White Pony (2000).  The Deftones were miles ahead of their musical peers in the late 90’s and early 00’s, and this album is a beautiful testament to that.  They took a diverse range of influences (from Anthrax to Hum to the Smiths and beyond) and turned them into something simultaneously ethereal and terrifying.  Album opener “Feiticeira”, the spacey, dreamy “Teenager”, and slow-burn closer “Pink Maggit” are my favorite songs on the album, but there’s really not a bad moment.   Don’t take my word for it, though; listen for yourself:

“I drove you home, then you moved away, new cavity moved into my heart today.”  God damn, y’all…if that ain’t heavy, I don’t know what is.

More to come on the Deftones in the near-ish future.

3. I’m no fan of commercials in general; I don’t appreciate being a demographic, and I just find them to be generally annoying.  I assume we can all agree that Wendy’s commercials are among the worst commercials currently on the talking picture box.  I find that redhead to be insufferably annoying, and I want her to choke on her goddamn artisan cheeseburger, or whatever the fuck she’s trying to sell me.  “Joel, what the fuck does this have to do with heavy music?”  I’m glad you asked.

A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Stay Heavy and I were driving back home from St. Louis, and we stopped in Petersburg, Indiana to try and find a place to eat.  Petersburg, if you are unfamiliar, is a small town in south-western Indiana, is the boyhood home of Gil Hodges, and has a pretty nice Casey’s General Store, a restaurant called Fish Hut Pizza (which for some reason has a whale on the sign), and not much else.  We had pizza for dinner the day before (if you’re in the St. Louis area, I cannot recommend Pi Pizzeria highly enough), and quite frankly,  the name Fish Hut Pizza just baffled us, so we settled for Subway, because we knew what to expect.  The radio inside Subway was set on a lame country radio station, and at some point, a Wendy’s commercial came on, and it went something like this:

Annoying Redhead: Hey, let’s go to Wendy’s and get some goddamned sandwich before the big concert!

Her Dumb Friend: Gee, I don’t know.  We might want to see the opening act.

AR: Who is the opening act?

HDF: I downloaded them.  Let’s check it out!

[loud heavy metal sounds come from his phone]

AR [shouting]: What did you say they’re called?

HDF [shouting]: I think they’re called Thrash Vipers!

AR: Uh, yeah, I think we have time to go to Wendy’s and get some goddamned sandwich first!

And I immediately said to my wife: “Like any fucking lame-ass band those assholes wanted to see would have a metal band opening for them.  Also, fuck that shit!  I hate that redhead so much!” (Note: I love redheads in general.  I’m married to one, and my love for them stretches all the way back to kindergarten, but I really, really do hate that redhead so much.)  Also, I forget the source, but I read something a while back stating that made-up band names always sound stupid and unrealistic.  I agreed with it then, and that stupid commercial provided another great example.

I have more going on upstairs, but I have other things to do today, so I’ll wrap it up here.  Thanks for reading, and remember to stay heavy, always.