MP3 ThisFunctionAll - Time To Turn It Off
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6 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Alternative Folk, ROCK: Acoustic
Just a guy from So Cal who failed miserably in life. Until he discovered a new way of maneuvering through the worlds mine fields. One step at a time, and clearly aware of the next! Who would ever think something so simple could complicate so many lives? I tried to follow the (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID) theory on this CD. As well as put all my twisted thoughts, and emotions. It's kind of scary putting all of who you are on a disc, for the world and critics to rate, but I can't live without it. I hope everyone will listen, understand, and enjoy Thank You...
OCWEEKLY (March 13th, 08), by Dave Segal
[Sprawl of Sound] Guitarist/singer/songwriter Chris Cookâs ThisFunctionAll Offers Hopeful Message
By DAVE SEGAL
Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 3:04 pm
Morose By Any Other Name . . .
After hitting rock bottom, ThisFunctionAll offers hopeful message
(Click to enlarge)
ThisFunctionAll: Sad songs slay so much
A little more than a year ago, Laguna Beach guitarist/singer/songwriter Chris Cook and his fiancee, Marsie Wilkinson, were sleeping in an Aliso Viejo parking lot, their makeshift "bed" surrounded by shopping carts.
Cook had been arrested and jailed for selling and possessing meth; the couple had been evicted from their Rancho Santa Margarita home. Today, theyâre still without a fixed address, but theyâre in a decidedly better mind state, clean and working three jobs between them. And Cookâunder the name ThisFunctionAll (a twist on dysfunctional, which describes his upbringing)âhas a new six-song, self-produced CD titled Time to Turn It Off, which converts the rancid lemons of his past into the delicious lemonade of his hopeful present.
Listening to ThisFunctionAllâs satisfyingly glum songs, itâs apparent heâs gone through some serious shit. The 36-year-old ex-punkâhe led the Coachella Valley-based Lung Cookie from 1991 to 2000âhit rock bottom mentally.
"Iâve been to the point where I thought every single thing on the earth would benefit from me not being around," Cook relates. "My [11-year-old] son would have a better life without me. My family. They wouldnât have me dragging them down."
Those punk years were a blur of excessive booze and drug consumptionâand probably some regrettable tattoos. Lung Cookie recorded two albums, played some Warped Tour bills and endured several NOFX comparisons. (Before that, Cook was a professional snowboarder, but a broken leg ended that endeavor, and he joined Lung Cookie soon after.)
After Cook quit Lung Cookie, he worked as a sound engineer for Warped. "I decided I never wanted to hear music again," Cook admits. "There were 113 bands daily on that tour. All the bands I was doing sound for, I didnât see it anymore. I thought the music was lousy.
"So I almost literally locked myself in a room for two years," he continues. "I got heavily hooked on meth. I would play guitar in my room, but always other peopleâs songs. It got really bad when I started making a living with drugsâselling and doing âem. It became such a huge struggle. I finally got caught. In 2007, I was arrested three times. I was enrolled in [drug classes]. I never made it to them. I didnât take it seriously."
In desperation, Cook called his sister, who secured a hotel room for him and Wilkinson. He cut his hair, shaved his beard, took and passed those classes he had skipped, and then got a job as a checker at Pavilions in Laguna Beach. Finally, over the past few months, Cook recorded some powerfully moving songs DIY-style with a lousy, broken-necked acoustic he obtained for free while purchasing 10 guitar strings from Guitar Center.
"I was amazed at how quickly things were turning around. Then my mom told me that one of my best friends whom Iâd grown up with had killed himself. I still donât know what [caused it]. I didnât go to the funeral," Cook says, his voice verging on tearfulness.
"He always wanted me to teach him to play guitar, but I was always too busy. I decided then, I have these feelings and everything thatâs turned around that Iâve locked myself from. . . . I have a lot to say, and I want to say it now. I donât want to hide in a room and pretend it doesnât exist anymore. I want to talk about all the problems that I see. I want people to hear and hopefully understand. Thatâs what got me going again. But I didnât think it was going to come out as good as it did. I was thinking I would have a little CD of my own and for a couple of friends because a lot of it is about the hardships we went through."
Cook has transmuted the pain from those awful times into good art that oozes pathos. Mostly recorded in hotel rooms with acoustic guitar and ProTools, Time to Turn It Off recalls the gently gloomy, subtly orchestral folk-rock of Nick Drake, American Music Club and Mark Lanegan. Cookâs deep, lugubrious voice invests his songs with a well-earned gravity. The minor-key melodies casually insinuate themselves into your memory and stir emotions; they seem destined to appear on quality indie-film soundtracks. (Thatâs one of his goals, and heâs using a service called https://www.tradebit.com to try to place his songs in films, TV shows and label bossesâ ears.)
Creating music is therapeutic for Cook, and his songs effectively convey his message: "Itâs never too late to change. Iâve written hundreds of songs, and [for a long time] every song Iâd write, Iâd say, this is the beginning and this is where I die. The end. I die in every song. I chose not to do that anymore."
Cook has grand ambitions, but heâs realistic about his chances to make a living from his art. "I donât want to get my hopes up and be crushed again," he says. "I donât want to end up in a hole again. Iâm sure Iâll never use again, but I just donât want that rejection again."
I, for one, predict Cook wonât be working at Pavilions much longer.
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