Fanifesto: 10 Ways to Fill the Gap Between Concerts.

Traditionally, the winter months aren’t known for their concerts. Travel across some countries is difficult at best when you’re hauling equipment, people hate standing outside in line in the bitter cold, and musicians sometimes go crazy and want to spend time with their families or creating new material. What bullshit, right? Well, you don’t have to go through the agony alone. Here are ten suggestions for beating the SAD (seasonal affected disorder) feels (feelings).

1. Relive the magic through denial. Turn out the lights and put on a DVD or a really nice quality YouTube video if you can manage it. If you only have audio available, try standing in another room so you can tell yourself that your view’s just obscured. It’s just like the real thing but without the late asshole trying to squeeze in front of you.

2. Write fan fiction. If those artists won’t come to you, then you’ll just have to make them. You know, through the written word. The find and replace option on word processing software means that you can even publish your work if the quality’s great enough without having to worry about being sued. Even if it’s really terrible quality, just throw in a lot of sex and it’ll sell. I mean, look at 50 Shades of Grey. (Please don’t really look at it. That’s just a saying.)

3. Binge watch television shows. Chances are your favorite artists have been played as soundtrack music on a show before. If House has one episode with a great musical moment, then chances are that there must be one other episode that has a similar high, right? The only way to find out is to watch every. Single. Episode.

4. Edit your old photos. Sure, you uploaded 200 photos to Facebook as soon as you got home from the gig, but did you consider applying a filter? Crop out everyone else’s hands as they reach for your man! (Stupid sluts.) There must be a way to improve things.

5. Stand outside for five hours with minimal supplies. You don’t want to be off your game just because nobody great is touring. Having nobody to hold your spot in the imaginary line will just make you that much more hardcore. If you need motivation, camp out in front of a store and wait for it to open. May I suggest a local record store?

6. Jump up and down and scream. For hours. Look, the worst feeling in the world is going to a gig and having your legs defy the magical dance party going on within your ears. Keep those legs and lungs fighting fit! You might also want to throw some elbows in case you expect someone to be pushy at your next show.

7. Check out local artists. Of course they’re not going to be as great as what you’re used to, as you tell yourself in your biased mind, but you might be able to brag in a few years about how you saw them for the cost of the beer you drank. You can also convert their fans to your superior obsessions!

8. Set up a fan page. I mean, who cares if everyone’s seen the same photos over and over again? On Tumblr, all you have to do is embed it and then post. Watch it get reblogged without citation! Also, it’s totally cool to steal photos and then put them on Facebook unsourced. You look like the hero and don’t have to share the credit. Watch them bow down to you, and try to ignore how much they want your future husband since you already know what your future looks like. Be sure to tell them about it!

9. Use all the money you’re saving and apply it to something else. You could pay off your credit card debt, but that’s boring. Why don’t you buy the same instruments your favorite artists use, then learn how to play their songs? Someone could get injured at some point. They might need you. You wouldn’t let them down, would you? This could delay touring further.

10. Make some new friends. Haha, no. They don’t get it.

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We Ran: chapter 5.

“Have you ever read the Bible?”

The only clock that we have in the bedroom is on the wall, so I can’t tell what time it is when she finally speaks. I’ve been drifting in and out of sleep for an hour or more, but she’s remained stony on her back, not even leaning in for a kiss or cuddle at any point. I’ve been on my side facing away from her just to get a bit of peace, but now that’s lost.

Holding in a sigh is difficult, but somehow I manage it as I navigate from my left side to my right. She’s still staring up at the ceiling, not even paying me a glance as I grunt and rustle my way to turn to her. Just to try to get her attention somehow, I give the blankets a bit of a yank accidentally-on-purpose, but she just waits for me to stop moving before she pulls them back over her legs, hands smoothing across her waist and then settling back into the same position they’d assumed before.

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We Ran: chapter 4.

I’m not in my bed. As soon as I open my eyes, I realize that this isn’t the way my own ceiling looks. The fan has brown blades rather than white, and the dimensions are all wrong. Of course I know that this means that I am not in the right room and everything else beyond what I see must be wrong, but for the time being, I’d much prefer just looking up and focusing on what I already know. Best not to overwhelm myself with too many details too soon.

“So you’re up.”

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We Ran : chapter 3.

I’ve always thought that it was unfair for women to look so stunning when they feel such pain. Maybe it’s because there’s a part of me that  feels like I can be a hero if only I can wipe their tears away, or maybe it’s just a defense mechanism that kicks in so that I can cope with the  pressure before me. Either way, it’s still impossible to remain numb to the fact that she is crying in her wedding dress.

“It’s because I wore white,” she explains bitterly, her hands clutching at the fabric to create wrinkles in the satin skirt. She pieced together the whole thing herself—the bodice tight and overlaid with lace daisies, the  neckline unfairly high, cap sleeves puffing out to provide only modest comfort and protection from the winter’s bite.

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We Ran: chapter 2.

The machines are taking over all these sprawling farms. As I drive past,  I see the tops of them rising up with more resolve and durability than any crop. Green and red and yellow, they’re meant to be a reassuring presence upon the land. They’ll till, they’ll plant, they’ll harvest, and all that the farmer is left to do is take the carrot and bite into it while reassuring the distributors that it’s fresh. But where are the workers?

I know that I don’t have a lot of useful skills. Apparently these days people want to know that their cars are being looked after by the book, not pieced together by some kid who thinks he has half an idea of what he’s doing once the thing starts up in spite of his adjustments. Everyone’s out for blood and references.

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We Ran: Chapter 1.

A couple of years ago, I was embarking on the manic torture of National Novel Writing Month for the second year in a row. Tired Pony’s album The Place We Ran From had just been released, and I liked the fact that there was some narrative quality infused in the record from start to finish. Some people say, “Write what you know,” but I don’t know anything until I’ve written it. To that end, I decided to glean inspiration from those songs and then build my own story. A heavy debt is owed to that music, though I’ve tried to be as inventive as possible with the outcome. I’ll be posting as I edit. Hope you enjoy!

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