Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I know I am old dammit!. I'm reminded every day by consorting with people who can't remember a time before the internet and those who find it funny that I call CD's "records." It's RECORDED music you idiots. It's made worse when I tell my "first time I did something stories" and it was in the year my subject was born. But I am not old. Even the kids who make fun of me don't think of me as old. And I am not young either. I am in that nebulous in-between stage of life. It happens to everyone, but it is never glorified. No matter how old or how young I seem, I will never, ever, not be seen wearing a cardigan.

This bold statement of intent would have been better if I had stated it when I was 20, but when I was 20 there were no blogs to state it on. You'll just have to trust me. I am a cardigan guy. I wore them when they were hip, when they were not hip, and then when they were hip again. (Fuck, I really am old.) Still, I am a life-long cardigan wearer.

...And now I'm struggling to figure out what my intention for this post was.

Oh yeah! Just because I wear a cardigan everyday doesn't mean I'm all old and crusty. Sure in time I will be old and crusty, and be in a cardigan, but that doesn't mean I'm wearing the cardigan because I'm old, but rather because It's part of who I am. It's my brand.

This entire post could be summed up in one line.

Chris Hill digs cardigans.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My 8 month old daughter is quite a little menace. We put her to bed and she gets up repeatedly. Nothing seems to work. I fed her a bottle tonight and got her to fall asleep on my arm but as soon as I put her in the crib she was crying again. I decided to try a different tactic. I took her downstairs, where I keep my lazy boy. I let her crawl around the floor as I picked the perfect cassette. I should probably explain that I have a music nook in my basement where I can relax and listen to albums and tapes. It's where all my outdated but still awesome music collection resides. The tape I picked tonight was Establishment, the first band I was ever in. Good music from 1989.

I held my little girl and listened to the music her father made 20 years ago. It was a pretty low-fi affair, made on a 4-track recorder, but there is something about it that I still love. My most recent CD was released less than a month ago. It was recorded in a professional studio, yet I could still see the connection from where I was as an artist then, and where I am now. Basically I am, and have always been, a pretty pretentious and morose musician. Establishment had songs about sadness and suicide. There were definite influences from Joy Division and the Cure, and the drummer was a machine. Mercurial Rage is really the grown up version of Establishment in many ways.

In 1989 I spent about 2 months reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It took that long to read because it is a big book, and well, It takes me awhile to read things. I still read pretty slow. I think I read it slowly because I was trying to impress the chick who lent it to me, and also because it was blowing my mind. The book left an impression on me. I can remember being in study hall quickly doing my analytic geometry homework so I could get back into the world of Howard Roark. I would imagine myself as a detached genius whose true soul comes out only in his creations. It was really a lot of bullshit, but it influenced the content of my music at the time. Establishment is not a good name for a rock band, but to me it spoke of the importance of creation, creativity, and the foundations of art as a necessary function of mankind. One of our songs was called Abysmal Altruist which was basically and homage to Rand's notion of individual freedom being a greater good than social equality. My biggest problem today is I still find myself more akin to Rand's thinking than I do with the prevailing logic prevalent in Obama's America. I often feel like an outsider in politics. I'm not a republican, but I certainly am not a democrat either.

I held my little girl and patted her back. I was happy, at peace, listening to me from 2 decades past, express myself through song. Of course there were other members of Establishment. Guitar god Paul Erickson, and singer Joe Allper from Seattle. I really can't rightly speak of them in this simple bloggity post. They each deserve their own. All I can say is, 20 years later, Establishment is still catchy as fuck pop music. I am proud to have been a part of it.

The little girl started to cry again, so I gave her to her mother. I think I need to go downstairs and finish listening to that wonderful Establishment record.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is a transitional period for my life as well as for my blog. My last post was in April. Jeepers! I haven't written in so long. Far too long. A lot of things have happened since April. I will endeavor to make sense of things forthwith.

The previous title to my blog was "Cascade." I began blogging a year and a half ago during a period of intense creativity. Cascade was the title of the record I was endeavoring to bring into fruition with my band Mercurial Rage. The title Cascade was present throughout the writing and recording process of that record and it seemed a fitting title to my blog as well. During that time I also conceived and witnessed the birth of my daughter Ronnie, quit a job I had held for 7 years, and began attending a school for advertising. There have been many changes in my life, changes that need sorting out. I have spent the past year working on the new record, getting adjusted to my life as a student, and becoming a father for the second time. It has been a weird and wonderful ride, but not immune to the pitfalls of gloom and uncertainty. I have tried to keep a straight face but too much change at once scares me.

I haven't written much in the past year because I have been stretched to my limit with work, family, band, and school. Cascade is now released, and it is awesome. That chapter is completed. I made the record I wanted to make. I want to continue to make music, but for now it can be placed on the back burner of my life. The job I took after leaving the cafe has become too much of an obstruction in my life. The daycare costs, and the time it takes me away from my studies and my children have made it not worth the time or energy I spend there. We are poor now, and will only be the slightest amount poorer if I quit. So quit I did.

I have always wanted to be a stay at home dad. This is the perfect time for it, while my kids are not in school yet. I can spend my days with them and then be able to use my nights to focus on becoming the best copywriter possible. (As a copywriter I hate everything I have just written.) This is the time for my to hone my craft.

I have two focuses in life now. Family and school. Without my day job I should have sufficient time to give to both. I have changed the title of my blog to Ad Dad, because that is now the best representation of myself I can provide.