We’ve put together an album of music we recorded over the last couple of years. We decided to let you DONATE whatever amount you want to get the full album (ten high-quality MP3s + album art). Use the donate button above or click on the ‘Get Our Album‘ button on the menu bar to take you to the album page! This donation goes directly to Doug to help him survive living below the poverty line with a disability. It’s a struggle since he cannot work due to his condition, so every little bit helps!Share this post:
As many of you know, Doug and I are big believers in the power of music as therapy, but we also love music as just beautiful art to enjoy and feel good. Creating music takes it to another level and can truly become a life’s passion. For parents, getting your children into music can change their lives in very positive ways.
At Mom Loves Best, a site for new mothers, there is an infographic that explains the benefits of music for babies and kids. Well worth a look!
Click to read the original article…
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For as long as I can remember music has been my most constant companion. In fact, several weeks before I was born, my parents went to see a horrible musical adaptation of the 1933 book “Lost Horizon.” Apparently I might have been the only one to enjoy this dog’s breakfast of a flick (whilst still in utero, LOL!!) Not that I can actually remember any of this from nearly 45 years ago, but my mother told me many times throughout her life that ‘I was really kicking up a storm on that fateful evening!’ Both of my parents were immense music lovers, although my father’s musical tastes oddly lent themselves more to his parents’ generation. As my mother’s musical leanings were slightly more hip, as a toddler we spent countless hours together listening to her records. We also spent an inordinate amount of time perfecting our very anachronistic versions of Elaine Benes’ classic dry heave-inducing dance moves!!
As I grew older and my various issues moved to the foreground, music quickly became the one thing that I could truly rely on. I received a transistor radio for my seventh birthday, and this is when I first began to build my unbreakable bond with Rock and Roll. Artists such as Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Queen and Elton John were some of my early favourites. As the years passed i gradually moved on to tape recorders, ghetto blasters, Walkmans, and Discmans; as the technology steadily evolved, so too did my musical evolution. As a teenager I became fascinated with Jazz-Fusion, Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal, all vastly UNDERRATED genres as far as I’m concerned!!! I think that I gravitated towards these genres the most because of their complexity and often interesting time signatures. Return To Forever, Jean-Luc Ponty, Allan Holdsworth and Herbie Hancock are among my preferences in this heady musical realm.
Throughout my twenties and thirties life presented me with a relentless series of difficult challenges (sick parents, stressful living conditions, unfulfilled self-expectations and an overall sense of general malaise.) During these emotionally-stressful times, building my musical collection became my primary goal/coping mechanism. While this might seem petty and pointless to many, FOR ME, it provided an essential reason to carry on living. To date my musical archive probably numbers close to 10,000 pieces, likely split evenly between cassettes and compact discs. As much as I enjoyed seeking out and collecting this TREASURE TROVE, the downside is the amount of physical space it takes up and the exorbitant storage fees which occur as a result!! Yes, I could perhaps make the switch to streaming and the like, but I am far too attached to the tactile physicality of my collection to ever even surrender an inch!! I guess we all have our own particular version of a sin tax! Mine won’t kill me, but I just might eventually be found one day under a towering pile of musty ‘n’ mouldy CD booklets!!!
It’s often said that people on the Spectrum can develop a very strong bond with music. I shudder to even think what my life would have been like if I had not gone down this melodic path. Sadly we seem to be living in a time in which popular music has basically been reduced to an endless AUTO-TUNED parade of Ikea-approved, FACELESS zeroes and ones!! Hopefully I will live long enough to see a return to a greater appreciation of/for legitimate musical talent, and that REAL/TRUE ARTISTS will receive both their Artistic and Commercial Due(s).
In closing, here are my 5 favorite songs about music:
- “I Love Music” by the O’Jays
- “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC
- “Long Live Rock” by The Who
- “Magic Power” by Triumph
- “Keep Playin’ that Rock & Roll” by Edgar Winter’s White Trash
In our first episode of 2018, we start with a short and fun guitar jam, which highlights the mood for the new year. Doug is feeling much better, and after receiving the love and generosity from some of our friends and listeners, he’s entering the new year on a wave of positivity.
The bulk of this episode was recorded on January 2nd, which happened to be my birthday. Doug contacted me and said he had some things to say that should be recorded for the show, so I went ahead and recorded our conversation. For Christmas, I got Doug a Fender Squier guitar and a Fender amp. His acoustic guitar, though a beautiful instrument, was not totally filling his void for musical expression, and his last electric guitar had to be sold last year for financial reasons (plus it ended up not being the guitar he thought it would be anyway). In any case, getting a Fender back in his hands was enough to trigger a positive psychological change.
We mostly talk about music and guitars in this episode, but the underlying tone is one of hope. Doug talks about self-care and how to try to stay positive by surrounding yourself with a strong support system.
In this episode, we discuss dreams and dreaming. What are dreams? Can they give us insights into our subconscious? Doug’s recent nightmare ultimately had a cathartic effect for him, bringing him closer to family. It was immediately followed by a very positive dream where his mother was a focal point. Each dream had a profound effect on his mood, but are these dreams just thoughts being processed randomly by the sleeping brain with no set intention?
We also touch on lucid dreaming and binaural beats. Being able to control your dreams is an often sought after experience, and some binaural recordings are meant to help your brain reach that state. But can this be dangerous? Anecdotal evidence shows that some of these recordings can trigger intense nightmares in some people, which can lead to psychological trauma. One has to wonder if “brainwave entrainment” is worth it.
Lastly, we discuss recurring dreams and Ed talks about one recurring dream he had as a child and what it might mean.Share this post:
It was a long day of recording when we did this episode. But the reason is because we were having too much fun putting together a little song clip for the show’s intro. What song? Hint: see the title of this episode 🙂 After 8 hours of fooling around on guitar and trying to make remote music recording work (latency is not your friend), we finally got to talking.
The good news is that spirits are still high and Doug is still on the positive side of things. Of course, he is still concerned about relapsing, and treads lightly to try to avoid known triggers. The even better news is that the healing process between Doug and his family has started! He had two very good talks with his brother and sister, and the newly opened lines of communication promise to be the bridge that reunites them fully. Hooray for family!
We also discuss the importance of refocusing one’s energies into the right channels. By changing negative patterns into actions that advance the good in one’s life, normalcy can slowly creep its way back. It takes work and is not easy, but it is a powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone with a mental illness.Share this post:
This week, we first discuss how Doug’s mental state has improved and what he has been doing personally to make sure he can stay in a good place. This includes proper diet and supplements that help replenish the brain of important nutrients. His donated guitar has also helped bring music back into his life.
Yes, we return to the topic of music and music therapy as we each go on to list our top 10 favorite songs of all time. We go through each one and explain what it means to us, why it’s on our list, and how it makes us feel. With Doug’s great knowledge of musical artists and rock history, he even goes into some details about each artist, many of which had to deal with their own mental issues or dependencies.
We learn that many songs we discuss are rooted in past experiences, which is why we love to listen to them when times are good, but also why they can sometimes be hard to listen to when our mood is down.
Doug’s Top 10 Songs:
- Matte Kudesai by King Crimson
- Let Go The Line by Max Webster
- Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
- Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire
- Time by Pink Floyd
- After the Love Has Gone by Earth, Wind & Fire
- Hammer to Fall by Queen
- Europa by Santana
- Woman of the World by Michael Hedges
- Still of the Night by Whitesnake
Ed’s Top 10 Songs:
- Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I-V) by Pink Floyd
- Pride & Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
- 5:15 by The Who
- I Just Want To Celebrate by Rare Earth
- Aguas de Marco by Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim
- With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker
- 25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
- Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
- Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
This week we discuss Doug’s recent one-word Facebook post, “Goodbye”, and how that cry for help showed him just how much support he really has. The struggle for mental health is best fought with loved ones who can support the sufferer when they need it most. A single word to show that no one is alone in this struggle can save a life. Thank you to our listeners and our friends on Facebook for all the love, encouragement, and concern. It means everything.
Some outside factors came together all at once to form a nearly perfect storm of bad news that helped spiral Doug down the staircase to severe depression. Starting at 3 minutes and 24 seconds into the show, Doug gives some details about how close he really came to ending it all.
WARNING: Possible Trigger Alert! If anyone listening is particularly sensitive right now, please know that this discussion might contain possible triggers, so please be cautious and either save this episode for another time, or skip the section between 3:24 to about 7:30.
The good news is that Doug is currently feeling much better, partially due to the outpouring of support, which included the donation of a used acoustic guitar. This will help bring music back into his life, which is some of the best therapy a suffering musician can get.Share this post:
Hello Unhinged listeners! Due to Ed traveling this week, we won’t have a show ready this coming Tuesday. So our next show will be released on Tuesday, March 7th. It’ll be worth it! What will we talk about? Music!
Music is powerful. The lyrics, the melody, and the instrumentation all play a part in shifting mood and emotion. We are affected on a unique and personal level. What makes us cry? What makes us happy? What songs do we avoid? Join us as we dissect what songs affect us, and how.Share this post:
We continue the discussion about “Having” vs. “Being”, but this time we welcome special guest Mitchell Drew (rocket scientist, idealist, avid concert-goer) and ask his thoughts on the subject. Are we losing out on experiences in real life when we interact with our mobile devices? Or are those virtual social interactions just as valid? Are we sacrificing a full real-life experience for the ability to record the experience on video to preserve the memory?
With three guitarists on, there’s no way we’re not going to mention music. We already know how powerful music can be for mental health, but when music makes us cry, the medicine can be painful and quite healing. Also, find out who has a Spotify playlist specifically designed to make them cry. 🙂
We also talk about how healthier foods can mean a healthier brain. Science tells us that certain types of foods can help promote brain health. A few tweaks to your diet can start you down the path to wellness if you know what foods to avoid (aspartame), and which to seek out (omega-3’s). Self-awareness is key… you have to acknowledge yourself to be able to improve yourself.