Monday, October 30, 2017

all there is and ever was

hi sorry! definitely warned you all that this month was gonna be bananas, so here we are at the end of october - always my favourite month - and so much to cover, so little time. (also, all the interesting stuff is stuff i don't talk about because it's personal, just so you know. that's always the way, in case you're new here. but everything is such a fun unpredictable whirlwind right now, and that's all very fine with me)

first things first: did the wrestling last night, even though i've been progressively getting sick and it sucks. i wasn't gonna miss the big return of beloved glam-punk zombie princess jimmy jacobs, hell no.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i used to scoff at people who bought signed 8x10s, but now i am become one and i'm oddly okay with it. (once you become a sucker for pretty glam boys in eyeliner, you never quite shake it.)

the other big draw for me was the return of wcw's infamous glacier, and boy oh boy was i ever excited:

the entire show was a lot of comedy and good fun, and exactly what i needed, even with impending sickness. plus, even though i went alone, everyone was very nice, i got some free beers and some phone numbers (hahahahaha ah), and ate some delicious lebanese food to end the night. and i made new chikara friends, too!:

(boar wanted a photo with me, it must be noted. i'm iffy on selfies because i always feel like i look like a weird potatoface but i don't hate this one? it's always a little confusing to me if/when i manage to pull off a makeup job properly.)

in the meantime, as per usual, there has been a lot of drinking, and also brunching:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

that same day of the blessed brunch above, emma and i made some amazing scores at the film wardrobe sale two weekends ago - she got the most perfect raccoon-fur hat and a lilac burberry raincoat for under $200(!), while i got a cute pendant necklace for $10 and a pair of grey leather wrist-length gloves lined with rabbit fur for only $20. if you know me at all, you know that i thrive on accessories (and bags, and coats), so it was a major score for me.

i still gotta stick with the fun stuff, though:

so as for the month of travel and partying and good times aplenty, i've mostly recovered. although i think there's something about the weather and the coming early darkness that's throwing me off a bit - i may be a child of the fall forever, but i forgot that the change of season (particularly in november) can make me melancholy and moody for literally no reason at all. i've been doing my best to shake it off, but so many factors come into play and sometimes i have to just muddle through it. blargh.

in the realm of the positives, though, my main birthday gift arrived a few weeks ago!!!:

yeah, uh, that is....very much a rammstein-branded winter parka.

the band has merched just about everything, and they happen to have winter coats, and i wanted one with the fire of a thousand suns, so i asked for the money to order one for my birthday (they do not come cheap and i still had to pay a bit out of pocket). fortunately - especially with the cost, though i get a discount because i'm in the fan club because ha ha of course i am - it turned out to be a super legit parka. it's pretty bulky, but that gives me enough room to wear a hoodie underneath, and it's fully lined and incredibly warm. plus it has a big hood, a tall collar, and deep pockets, all of which my other winter coat doesn't have. so the r+ parka is going to be my standby for the "fuck you, cold weather" days coming up. (it's worth noting that i walk to work/everywhere else, no matter what the weather, so it's important that i'm outfitted correctly)

also it doesn't hurt that it looks cool as hell, plus it's got the band logo blazed on the back and the patches are neat and all the buttons on it are stamped with "rammstein 1994" (they officially formed in 1994, first album came out in 1995). and i'm going to wear the fuck out of it when it's deathly cold outside. honestly, do you actually think i have any shame left at this point? because i don't.

that said, here's another song analysis because this is my blog and fuuuuuuuuck iiiiiiitttt

welcome to their undisputed goth rock anthem, "mein herz brennt" ("my heart burns").

see, rammstein have a solid track history of starting off their albums with total bangers. rosenrot has "benzin", herzeleid has "wollt ihr das bett in flammen sehen?", liebe ist für alle da has "rammlied" (and you have to crank the fuck outta "rammlied"), and so on - but it's their 2001 album mutter that kicks off with "mein herz brennt", and it's a very fitting opening to the album that arguably had the job to keep their momentum going (their previous album, 1997's sehnsucht, had got them buzz, so their follow-up album had to deliver, especially since it'd been a four-year wait).

the song is essentially a creepy bedtime story, a warning to children about ghosts and black fairies that come to steal your tears at night, with the narrator being one of those demons ("ich hab euch etwas mitgebracht / hab es aus meiner Brust gerissen"). but there's a real bit of artistry to the way the song's composed, and it affirmed what a lot of rock critics started calling rammstein's cabaret sensibilities. mutter elevated their sound past the industrial metal/late-90's eurotrash of their previous two albums, putting a new dimension on what they're capable of as a band (they'd evolve even further on their next album, reise, reise, but that one would be another three years in coming) - and it really started with "mein herz brennt", the first track out of the gate.

it opens with samples of strings and rising synth, and the vocals at first sound like they're being filtered through some long distance, starting with "nun liebe Kinder gebt fein acht" ("now dear children, be careful...") before the vocals fully cut in a few lines later along with the drums, and the song really begins. and geez, i can't think of many other songs where everything melds together so perfectly to make something that's so completely the sum of its parts.

care of keyboardist flake, the synth just soars through every bridge and chorus, plus oli's got a really neat chunky bass line underpinning the verses if you listen hard enough. the guitars are there, but they're enhancing rather than overpowering the melody - it's really the synth and the samples that carry it. also till lindemann, the singer, has this great ability to make words sound like they're being torn out of his throat (it's probably even easier when it's german), and the way he screams "mein herz brennt!!" in each chorus just gets me right in the emotions.

speaking of, there's also an official piano version with isolated vocals that kills me every goddamn time (i'll swear up and down that putting "mein herz brennt" solely into piano & vocals makes it one of their best ballads - the track itself appears on the raritäten 1994-2012 album):

(i'm sorry till looks like a living nightmare here, but that's how it goes - it's a real reminder that he's said he doesn't think of himself as a singer, he's more of an entertainer) additionally, the above version makes it easier to focus on till's vocals and the way he can manipulate his voice (the rolling r's are so epic) - our meister can go from a purr to a roar in seconds. i've never heard anything like it. i trained as a vocalist for a couple of years, and i can honestly say that what he has is a god-given talent. it's not something you could ever learn.

you can hear the live rendition here, from the paris show recordings:

there was a time when i watched it on the dvd, and i don't know what it was - might have been pms, might have been life stress - but i just burst into tears. it was something about the rising guitars and the synth (the crescendo starts at 4:11 in the above) and the sight of till raising the flaring heart, eyes closed, his other hand over his actual heart, that just tore me up inside to the point where i started crying from sheer emotion. and it happened when i saw it live for myself, too - my buddy actually looked over at me in concern because i had my hand over my mouth, trying to hold back the sobs. i don't know what it is. i really don't.

maybe you can see for yourself - here's the current live set rendition (this video's from the 2016 festival tour, but they were performing it the same way this year):

yeah, so, he's gone from raising the heart before it explodes to simply having it explode right on his chest. always pushing the boundaries, our meister.

but even now, i listen to the song, and everything just comes together so well - the pounding drums, the guitars, the synth lines, the bass, the vocals, everything. i've always ranked "mein herz brennt" in my top five rammstein songs, though i'm not entirely sure it ever became a smash hit as a single; the fact of that matter is that mutter ended up being rife with some of what would become rammstein's biggest hits - "sonne" and "feuer frei!" chief among them (with "links 2-3-4" and "ich will" bringing up the rear). "mein herz brennt" may have simply become lost in the shuffle. but it's enduring as hell, one of their gothiest (and, in my opinion, most accessible) rock songs to date, and the best way to kick off what ended up becoming their most successful album.

okay, that's all for now. you know who to call if you need german industrial metal recommendations.

[ music | the kills, "doing it to death" ]

Saturday, October 14, 2017

put em up

returned from buffalo safe and sound and loaded down with american groceries and wrestling merch. all is how it should be.

honestly, travelling for a wrestling show is as good a reason as any to make a little road trip. it's funny how every time i'm on the bus heading to the u.s., it's basically one million flashbacks to when i was always running off after bands in my early twenties, and it never stops being exciting. sure, america is kind of a trash fire right now, but i've never been scared of our neighbours to the south and i was definitely down to see my second ring of honor show this year. so.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

not only did i get to see roh in a super cool venue (with great beer, clearly) in another country, i also got to be there with so many friends and great people, which made the experience even more fun. the roh crowds are some of my favourites - more smarky, far more adults than children, and just much more my vibe, you know? (i mentioned it on twitter, but when the american border guard asked me for my purpose in visiting and i said to see a wrestling show, he kind of looked at me and asked, "big wrestling fan, are ya?" i always sort of love it when they look so surprised.)

here are a couple shots i got at the show:

kushida posing before his match with hangman page. also, referee todd sinclair! wallet club! (never forget wallet club, buffalo friends.)

ray rowe, one-half of the beardo viking tag team of war machine. i didn't get to see the big hosses at the toronto show back in may, so i was way stoked to see them this time around.

mark briscoe learns that it's not the best idea to taunt minoru suzuki, human death machine.

the villain!! marty scurll was on my must-see wrestlers bucket list, so i'm thrilled i was able to cross him off. also, he is a bazillion times more handsome in person (and under the deathbird mask, obviously).

three stages of 1) the elite striking their signature pose and 2) getting engulfed by streamers. (throwing party streamers at posing wrestlers is a traditional roh/new japan wrestling thing, and it's very fun to do.) the crowd was hyped as fuck to see the trio, and the meet & greet line for kenny and the bucks wrapped around the building for a couple hours.

ten boots! ten boots! (comedy spot of the night courtesy of the entire bullet club.)

also, me and my very own daryl takahashi (by far my best birthday gift this year):

i didn't stop carrying my daryl under my arm for the entire night, and it was awesome and hilarious to see everyone react. (there were a few other daryls there too, which was delightful. my people) it got a bit hard to juggle all my stuff - i had both daryl and my bullet club tote bag, and i was also holding cups of beer quite frequently - but i made it work.

also, this:

one of my highlights of the night, basically. (if you don't know, i...don't think i can explain it to you, really.)

it was a pretty long show and i was already running on fumes, so you bet your ass i crashed as soon as i got back to my (actually quite nice) hotel room late that night. fortunately for me, i was able to take all of last week off work for vacation, which meant i had some time to check out buffalo and get some american shopping in. i hadn't been to the u.s. since the final kill hannah show in chicago back in december 2015, so i had a lot of lost time to make up for. (also, big ups to the mighty joe for being my buffalo sherpa, driving me around town, listening to my rambles, and blasting rammstein for me)

clearly i had to do actual buffalo wings from the place that made them famous: well as keeping my promise to carvel's social media manager and travelling out to the middle of nowhere in new york state to get a sundae (the location was a kiosk in a truck stop and they didn't have any fudgie the whale cakes, sadface):

and of course, plenty of good craft beer, because holy shit i love american craft beer so so much. i'm not even kidding, this was the sum total of what i ingested while i was away:

thursday: wings, beer, ice cream donut sandwich (1/2)
friday: ice cream sundae, beer, chex mix

my insides are probably rotting from malnutrition. put all the vegetables in my face, belatedly.

plus, my love affair with the america-only cult supermarket chain trader joe's has been well documented in the past, so thankfully i was able to haul away enough goodies to last me until my potential chicago trip in december (more on that if/as it gets confirmed). there was also the hilarity of me buying three massive boxes of k-cups at target, opening all the boxes up and just dumping all the cups into a bag for easier packing. i'm an old hand at this by now.

at the end of all that, though, i'm really glad to be back home right now. i always love all my little (and big) adventures, but the past week has been a bit of a manic and exhausting travel time for me, so the fact that i can just chill out this weekend at my own apartment in a pile of trader joe's stuff is perfection. back to the real world on monday, but at least i can put it off for just a few more days.

but i feel so lucky right now, you know? i had a bomb-ass birthday week of sorts, i got so many warm fuzzies from friends around the world, it was payday yesterday (yesssss), i have plenty of american groceries and cool wrestling merch, and i just feel really content with where i am right now. sure, there are things i want - there are always things i want - but i can be patient, sometimes.

that's all from me, for now.

[ music | interpol, "slow hands" ]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

sing no more

hi yes i am back. but only briefly!

so i'm hitting publish on this one a little late in the day (i aim for morning publishing usually, but whatevs), but i'm in transit all tomorrow morning after coming screaming back into toronto this afternoon. yes, i got dropped off at the toronto bus station today, went home, unpacked, re-packed, and i'm going to sleep then go back to the bus station early tomorrow morning. considering that i was up at 5 a.m. today (and will be up at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow), i'm basically gonna be running on coffee, fumes, and sheer adrenaline. it's ring of honor tomorrow night!!

so i won't exactly get travel recovery time until saturday; i'm in buffalo all day friday too, for shopping and general mischief. but in the meantime, it's good to be back on the mainland.

birthday was okay, as birthday always is - it can be kind of tricky to maneuver it around the thanksgiving holiday, because it falls on that weekend every year, but at least it's a built-in excuse for me to go home and see my family anyway. plus that means the gang's all here, which means i make out well in the birthday present department:

i love that i asked my dad for a selfie stick - i wanted something easy for him to buy for like $10 at the drugstore or something - and he went out and bought me a legit piece of expensive professional camera equipment. amaze. (i also ended up with plenty of spending cash for buffalo today, as well as some books - the newest stephen king plus meet me in the bathroom and gift cards, all standard and much appreciated)

also, this happens, every goddamn year:

(it's true. hello to all of you.)

and as with every year, i give myself a solid case of indigestion pretty much every night, not just the ones with the massive holiday dinners (and i had two of these, sunday and monday both):

i also always consider it my mission when i'm home to 1) drain as much of my mom's wine collection as possible and 1)a) never say no when offered a drink. this doesn't always lead to the, errrr, wisest choices on my part (take my phone away from me forever), but oh well. it could always be so much worse than what it is.

smash cut to the next day:

(my mom went over the border to pick up a package for me, and since i didn't have my passport on me, she left me alone at a creepy tim horton's. cool cool cool)

fortunately, the weather on tuesday was beautiful and even somewhat soothing to my ridiculous hangover, plus i got to watch wrestling three days straight - a very good birthday weekend for me, all things considering. even though i didn't get out here in the summer like i usually do, it made for some nice hashtag-views:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i'm always reminded how emotionally draining it is to be home, though; don't get me wrong, i love my family and it's good to see them, but like...i'm so much happier and more at home here, in toronto. i had to put in a lot of work over the years to make myself something different from who i was when i was there, and i don't like going back to it. it's like time travel. it's like looking at ghosts. i don't enjoy all those reminders of who i used to be.

anyway, that wasn't a lot but that's still enough for now. roll on to buffalo and friends and wrestling tomorrow and friday!

[ music | rammstein, "ohne dich" (live in paris) ]

Monday, October 9, 2017

time stands still

okay so it's my birthday today and i want to say some things.

i've been kicking around for a while and blogging even longer, so i'd like to think that i maybe know some stuff. i'm halfway decent at giving advice (and a very good listener), so no matter what happens in my life, i always try to sort it out and see what i can learn from it, good or bad. so i've always found that my birthday is a good moment to step back and assess what i've accomplished over the past twelve months.

since my birthday in 2016, i got more into the indy wrestling scene. i saw a ton of the bigger wrestling promotions. i met my favourite wrestler at last (and twice)! i began teaching myself german and seven months later i'm more than halfway to being fluent. i got a rad new tattoo and i finally got my nipples pierced. i'm still at my (now no longer new) job and still enjoying the hell out of it, almost one year in. i made a bunch of new friends and kept up with the old ones. i went to the first out-of-town music festival i've been to since 2006, and i did it all by myself. i had a band bring me back to who i was and their music is still saving the hell out of me, all the time.

of course, i've fucked up a few times this year, too. i mean, obviously i have.

look - there are three things, i think, that are the most important to protect: your dignity, your self-esteem, and your stupid precious heart. so the life lesson i want to impart on all of you today, on my day of birth, is twofold: one, you have to protect those three things with your fucking life. at the end of the day, they are all you have, and they can see you through any goddamn thing that happens. dignity, self-esteem, and your heart. protect that shit. do it for me, okay?

and two, you have to know who you are. you can't ever forget it, and you can't compromise on it, and you can't let anyone distract you from it or take it away from you. you have to always, always know who you are.

but as for me, we'll see where everything goes for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. some big, big things are coming over the next twelve months and i'm ready, i think i'm ready. (i better be ready.)

[ music | cut copy, "hearts on fire" ]

Sunday, October 1, 2017

you or someone like you

hello! it's been a while, been busy.

so, we finally made it: it's fall, thank god. i am at full power in this chilly weather and these long dark evenings. i swear i'm almost overwhelmed at the wardrobe change that fall necessitates, but i'm at least so thankful that i don't have to worry about sweating so hard that my makeup slides off my face or my bras start sticking to my body. (we got off lightly in toronto this summer, i know, but i'm still opposed to the heat in any sense.)

also means i can finally, finally get out the beautiful coats (and long fingerless gloves) i bought back in august:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

this is exactly the look i wanted to aim for this fall. great success! (i wore the black velvet version to a friend's birthday party last night and it looked phenomenal. just so pleased. everybody go shop at pretty attitude! also buy me this dress plz)

for me (and most canadians), october also means travel to spend the thanksgiving holiday with family; this time in a week, i'll be on day 2 of my annual kingston sojourn for thanksgiving/my birthday/my dad's birthday, likely already full of cheese and deep in my cups. i'm outta town this coming saturday, abandoned on the island until the following wednesday, then screaming back to toronto to unpack, repack, get some sleep, and head back to the bus station thursday morning for buffalo. (i've obviously got all of next week booked off work. vacation!!)

in between, there'll be not one but two massive thanksgiving dinners (as standard when you've got a split family), a lot of being shuffled to and from the island, subdued birthday celebrations (i'll be with my family, after all), and so much wine. so much wine. pray for my liver.

and then whew, buffalo: getting in around noon on thursday the 12th, eating all the wings ever with my buddy joe, then checking in to the hotel and getting cleaned the fuck up for ring of honor that night! news is coming fast and furious on what the deal is for the show, but here's the list of talent making appearances, albeit no full match card just yet. i already wailed a lot about how my favourite wrestler, our glorious peacock lord dalton castle, isn't on the card (which is pretty inconceivable), but it's at least nice to see that we're getting to see some wrestlers who weren't at the toronto show back in may. time to cross marty scurll, minoru suzuki, war machine, and toru yano off my wrestler must-see list!

and come on, i get to see the elite wrestle not just once but twice in a span of six months? blessed 2017.

so i mean, all of this is to outline that my first couple weeks of october are gonna be pretty insane, and the rest of the month is looking to follow suit, so i might not have a lot of blogging time. i'll do my best to pop in with recaps of kingston/birthday and buffalo madness (did i mention i'm sticking around in buffalo for an extra day? and that i'm careening around to all my favourite american stores and ransacking them?), but i make no guarantees for the rest.

in the meantime, i always make more frequent (read: daily) updates on both twitter and instagram, so follow along for your regular dose of my bullshit and insanity. also, you can go ahead and subscribe to my blog updates so you'll get a notification whenever i post something. at least, i think that's how it works.

anyway, i'll be back here on my birthday next monday! be good, but not too good please, that's boring.

[ music | rammstein, "wollt ihr das bett in flammen sehen?" (live aus berlin 1998) ]