|Posted on January 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM|
Hey everyone! I know I neglected the site for the second half of 2020, but if you follow me on Twitter/YouTube, you'll know that I've still been active lately. Let me start off by catching you up on everything I've done content-wise since my last update:
I was inactive for several months after my Valentine's Day videos were posted in the spring, but with the 20th anniversary edition of Hybrid Theory being a big deal later in the year, I decided to cover She Couldn't and the Hybrid Theory EP songs (I still have to do Carousel and Part of Me). I'll be uploading as frequently as I can throughout 2021, hopefully on a more frequent basis than this year.
-Updated both What I've Done and Bang Three, they're a lot more simplified now with the guitars in Drop C tuning removed. I gave the What I've Done stems from Guitar Hero another listen and came to the conclusion the lower notes I was hearing were just the general bass frequencies produced by layering the rhythm guitar tracks the way they are.
-Slightly updated Guitar 1 in In Pieces.
-Updated 1STP KLOSR with the recently-revealed info (courtesy of Ken Marshall of the Humble Brothers) that the late Saki Kaskas played guitar on the track. He also posted a behind-the-scenes YouTube video for the remix, and when he plays the audio back it follows along with the Pro Tools session where you can see the individual tracks. I ended up adjusting the guitar count/layering because of this. I also made the equivalent updates to One Step Closer (Humble Bros. Remix).
-Updated She Couldn't slightly, I had a couple notes wrong in the main guitar part.
-Changed the intro to Step Up so it isn't all on one string anymore, and also updated the pre-chorus/first half of the bridge (3-note chords instead of 2-note chords).
-Made more changes to the clean guitar section in the middle of And One.
-Changed the tuning on Carousel and made adjustments to the whole song accordingly.
-Apparently I updated SOMETHING in Part of Me, but I can't figure out what. Might have just been some stuff in the description.
-Made a new section for the Forgotten Demos disc from the Hybrid Theory 20 box set. I moved She Couldn't to that section, as well as what had previously been the "Zomba Sampler Version" of Rhinestone. I also added tabs for Esaul and Reading My Eyes in that section, as they're either identical to previously released versions or use the same instrumental track.
-Removed the live-only tab for "Be Yourself," renamed it so it's now the live version of Pictureboard, and moved it to the Forgotten Demos section.
As you can see, I've largely focused my efforts around HTEP/demos stuff in conjunction with the HT20 release, along with a couple things from the Minutes to Midnight era (I still need to record a few songs from that record).
I also have a fairly large guitar update in the works, I've just been dragging my feet on finishing it. I'll get that done ASAP. Check out the My Gear page too, I constantly update that whenever I acquire something new, so I'm sure that looks different than it did in June. Most notably, I bought a new PRS and sold my Ibanez RG during the summer, I forget if that was before or after my last update though.
In terms of reflecting on 2020, in a semi-relevant manner...I know I've talked about my mental health a bit in the past. Like many people, this was a hard year on me. I thankfully never had any finanical issues related to COVID-19 - my wife and I both transitioned to working from home without any downtime in the spring, and both of our jobs actually experienced growth this year, unlike a lot of others. I've been back at work in person since July, which puts me at pretty high risk of exposure to the virus (my school is up to about 160 students compared to 10 instructors, and our lesson rooms are pretty small). I had a couple scares, but thankfully have remained COVID-free for the duration of the year. Hopefully that continues as the vaccines start to roll out, and sometime in 2021 things will start to be somewhat "normal" again. I had another non-COVID-related health scare earlier this month where I suddenly developed severe pain in my left side and had to undergo a bunch of tests that had me dreading the possibility of cancer (lymphoma is VERY prevalent in my family, I have 4 relatives who have died from it and 3 of them were younger than 30). As it turns out, I have a somewhat unusual variation in my cardiovascular system called a retroaortic left renal vein ("RLRV"), which isn't especially dangerous, but has been known to cause flare-ups of pain in the left side, along with chronic fatigue, slightly elevated resting heart rate, slightly elevated blood pressure...A.K.A. a bunch of things I've been dealing with for years that I never thought were connected! It's good to have answers, sucks that any pain it causes will just be something I have to deal with though.
Between the health scares, the general state of the world because of the pandemic, the general state of my country due to politics, and at times, the general state of my home area (I live close enough to Minneapolis that I could see the smoke from the fires during the George Floyd protests - I spent a lot of nights worrying about a lot of people I know in May/June), my mental health probably sunk to the lowest its been in at least a decade, and maybe ever, this year. I started going to therapy for the first time in my life in June, and started taking antidepressants a few weeks later. I don't say this as a way of expressing that things are still bad though, more that I finally got around to taking care of myself in a way that I should have started doing years ago. Depression is always a moving target, but I think I've found a good balace of medication and therapy for the time being. I have more energy, I'm on a somewhat normal sleep schedule, I don't feel like I need a nap every 3 hours just to get through the day, and while I still deal with executive dysfunction a lot, I'm more motivated than I have been for a long time. I HOPE that what this means as it pertains to my work on the website and my videos is that I won't fall into patterns of being active for a few weeks at a time and then disappearing for several months like I seem to do a couple times a year. I know problems aren't just magically going to solve themselves when this shitshow of a year ends when the clock hits midnight tonight, but for all the ways 2020 tried to drag me down, I'm glad I made it to the end of it. I'm ready to work hard next year, and more importanty, get back to enjoying what I do instead of looking at it as an obligation that seems like it requires too much effort.
I'm glad I got through this year. I hope you and your families all staying healthy and safe, and I thank everyone who's ever stumbled upon this website and found it useful in some way.
Good riddance, 2020, but thanks for giving me a reason to get my shit together both personally and professionally.