If heads were hands, surely they would be screaming too.

My hunch about the box of CDs at Phog being empty was wrong. It’s still pretty full. So if there happens to be anyone left out there who wants a copy of the newest album, Phog is the only place to get it for the time being, at least until Dr. Disc reopens at their new location on the weekend.

Four days in a row now I’ve been getting these terrible headaches. I don’t ever get headaches unless I oversleep to the point of absurdity or wake up with a bad hangover. And neither of those things tend to happen anymore. They’re not quite migraines — no nausea, for one thing — but they’re the kind of pulsating headaches that prevent you from doing much of anything until they pass. So I guess they live in the hazy middle ground between “normal headaches” and “earth-shattering migraines”. They always seem to come on at a particular time of day, and they’re always the same in terms of location/severity. The only variable is how long they stick around for. It varies from a quick little love tap to hours of misery. Strange.

The only other time anything like this happened to me was about six years ago. For a month, or maybe a little longer, I got these daily headaches that put me out of commission for as long as they lasted. They came out of nowhere. I went for specialized eye tests, had a CT scan, saw doctors, had x-rays done, and no one could figure out what was causing them. After a while I started thinking I had a brain tumour.

The only explanation anyone came up with was tension headaches, and yet this was one of the most stress-free periods of my life. I was working on GROWING SIDEWAYS and enjoying the music I was making more than I had in a very long time. This was before the crack house hell of 2007, so my sleep wasn’t yet a problem, and I was working regularly. I liked the work I was doing. I was completely at peace with the unusual lack of any sort of romantic ambiguity in my life.

There was no tension to speak of.

There wasn’t much for me to do but keep popping over-the-counter pain relief medication and try to ride it out.

Then one day the headaches just stopped coming, and they never came back. Until now.

These headaches are the same as the old ones. The pain is in the same place. If anything, they’re worse this time around, and they tend to last longer. And just like before, once they come on, doing much of anything aside from going to bed and trying to get as comfortable as possible isn’t going to happen.

I wonder what causes these things. I’m not eating or doing anything out of the ordinary, and my sleep is in pretty good shape right now, as far as it goes. Maybe it’s some higher power’s idea of having a bit of fun at my expense every six years or so, giggling while I claw at my face and swear. Maybe it’s a side-effect of having so much music in my head, and my brain’s way of saying, “Get it out! Get it out now!”

Progress on this multiple-CD set slowed down a bit because of this (how’s that for a brain shooting itself in the brain?), but today’s headache was a bit more merciful than the last few, allowing me to get some work done on yet another new song. Right now it exists as acoustic guitar, bass, drums, some rough vocals, and a bit of harmonica. Still needs some more meat on its bones, but it’s getting there. I’m thinking it might be time to break out the old scrap metal again for some percussive accents. It’s a pretty catchy, hook-filled song, so it’ll be interesting to see how I can fracture and fragment it a bit without losing the catchiness. I thought I’d experiment with recording the drums using one LDC at a bit of a distance and then double-tracking it. While it was an interesting sound, it didn’t feel like it worked very well for this song.

Somewhere in there I’ve also managed to devour the first three seasons of The Wire in spite of those headaches. Only two more to go and then, sadly, it’ll all be over.

More news a-comin’ soon.

5 comments

  1. your headaches are caused from stress and when you remove the stress your headaches will stop…great hand by the way.

  2. No no no, come live with us…say a week?…(maybe you should give it 3 weeks, you have a pretty strong brain)

    If that don’t fix your brain (or at least warp it properly) you’ll eat good food.

  3. have you been listening to britney spears or jonas brothers cds or watching danceing with the stars ? that always give me a headache..you need to put on your headphones and crank out some bob hopes greatest hits it fools the brain into thinking your dead and stops pestering you. but don’t be surprised if you start drouling its a miner side affect that only last a few days and if need to just go to red lobster they will give you a free bib so you dont get your shirts all slobbery….I hope this helps and good luck….

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