As a music supervisor, I’m constantly consuming music, sometimes at such a high volume I don’t even sit back and enjoy the good music I find. I just grab them, log them, and hope that I can use them in a scene or commercial at some point.
But, there are a few moments when I find a song and add it to my “Personal” playlist.
One day, I was surfing the web, jumping from one music blog to the next and I found this band “Daughter.” There was no picture attached to the post. It just said “Candles by Daughter.” Not even sure why I hit play.
The sound of the guitar came in and made me feel like I was walking through a place I wasn’t supposed to be. A place where no one could see me. It was this voyeuristic feeling that kept me listening. Wanting to look around. In comes this delicate, fragile voice, singing but really talking in a way that resembled conversations I’ve had with myself. Those inner voice conversations. You know, like when you speak in choppy short hand and it all makes perfect sense to you but when you try to explain it to someone else, it just sounds foolish.
Elena Tonra’s inner voice makes perfect sense to me. After five minutes, I felt like I knew more about her than most of my friends. In fact, I think I learned a little bit about myself. It’s amazing when a song does that to you.
On, “The Wild Youth” EP. The sparse cinematic production by Igor Haefeli and Remi Aquilella paint the perfect picture behind Elena’s lyrics.
Once you fall in love with them like I have… Check out the “Youth” (LoveTheBrother Remix) where he builds a shockingly organic bridge between folk and dubstep.
Story by Brian Caesar
“I told you to get out of here” the stranger said under his wet poisoned breathe as he ferociously grabbed the bottle from Jon’s fear stricken hand. “Take it.. it’s yours, just leave us alone.” Before the sound of the cork hitting the ground reached them, the wine trickled down his impure jaw to further tarnish his fraying white shirt as he rushed every drop he could between his tobacco stained teeth. “Listen, you have your booze, now GO!!” Eden demanded as he brought his eyes to meet hers for the second time. The sound of his lips smacking off of the green-cylindered opening and a groan gave no indication of his intent. A piercing ring engulfed Jon’s sense of sound as the bottom end of the glass container shattered against the side of his skull, causing a pool of dark blood to pour from his ear.
In and out of focus, he gazed at the possessed man as he set off towards the one soul that he would ever want to devote himself to with the remaining jagged edges, he felt as if he slipped into a dream and was watching out of the eyes of another. His pain and fear had completely gone, and a fire was sparked, enraging deep inside him. He could hear a growl from his chest as he watched his pale thin fingers stretch to become a set of branch like blades and the smell of flesh become a craving he could not control. Before their eyes could meet, Jon was granted the rewarding vision of pure pain from the man’s face and the cowardly howl from beneath his breath, as his teeth seeped into the broad neck of the stranger.
Eden stood in disbelief with all sense of sound unable to reach her tongue. She saw a plea for help in the eyes of the now half dead man, as the shock of what was happening in her line of site overpowered her. Subconsciously, her empathy began to take control. As she reached her hand out, to put herself in the way of the man’s harsh misery before this could be considered a full out murder for her husband to be, the daggers from the wrists of the hostile animal stroked her face guarding its prey from any intrusion. Her lifeless remnants collapsed to the firm soil below without an ounce of reaction to the pain she embraced, yet causing enough heartache for Jon to regain control of his body.
Finally being granted the ability to release his grasp of the drunken man, Jon ran to his love to see if he could bring her back. His tears trickled into her open wounds only causing the blood to run thin for moments. He swung his head in search of any possible help but found that at this time they were only now alone. His augmented cry for assistance was ignored by the lake waters and reddened tree leaves that fell around him. His eyes only shut for a moment to let the tears escape their ducts.
Jon awoke to the smell of burning cedar and soot. He saw his tear soaked Eden smiling back at him with a love reborn. “We have killed to be here Jon.. right here where we should have been those years ago. This is our house, the one on Homebrook Road that we dreamed of one day raising our children in. This is where we have always belonged.” Jon saw the stack of wet news papers fall to the ground to his right. Each had already appeared to have been turned to Page 8. Eden starred at him in pure fulfillment and granted Jon with this relief as well. For this was the first time he was able to smile since that night at Park Lake. Without any struggle, he broke himself from the steal chains that held him captive. He reached for his love and embraced her with a longed kiss. They closed their saddened eyes and he said “I understand.”
I watched from another crack in the wood covering a rear window that I had found, similar to the one that Jon had seen me through before. They held each other tightly through the moments that they were engulfed by the flames that surrounded. They say that “death comes in threes.” I can now consider myself a voucher for that belief, for I lost every ounce of humanity that night right there with them.
I grieve with an overhung halo of guilt… for what happened outside that house before the fire that night was not at all Jon’s fault. He was under the duress of a passion stolen. What he could usually keep inside without even realizing it, was only released when the love he would never let go of, was unforeseeably shattered again in front of him.
Who could blame him for what he had done? I certainly couldn’t. No.. no.. He is truly a cherished soul and will be loved for lifetimes to come. Yes, they say “death comes in threes” but I believe this faith should be extended to birth as well. For that night at the lake, we were all born into something new. In my eyes Jon Bafrer will always be a great man.. for I am the wolf that bit me.
Story by Brian Caesar
His eyes drifted away from the deepened focus of Eden’s as the drunken man approached from the grass hill just to the right of the Park lake. His demons had obviously made this figure their prey as his trembling limbs stumbled to gather his indented silver flask from the path in front of him. The bourbon spilled to the floor as the sorry excuse for a being collapsed his chest to the ground to catch every drop he could. Eden and Jon watched as the man whimpered and screamed about his life circumstances.
Taking every last ounce of his will power he brought himself to his knees meeting Eden’s gaze from far away. When what seemed to be his shame, drew his glance away he was caught by the gaze of yet another angel present to him that night. The half way consumed bottle of dark red that Eden still had remnants of on her perfectly full lips, laid on the bench next to them drawing his complete attention. He stared at it with a victorious smirk rounding out his dark 5’oclock shadow as if he had finally come across water following days in a desert.
Grabbing his coat from the ground, he stood straight and quickly made his way towards the two of them. “What are you looking at?” the man grumbled to the soon to be wed couple. “I am.. I am still a man.. and.. you.. then.. I have every right to be here. Who do you think you are? This is my lake.. you .. get OUT of it!!”
As the man grew closer, Jon’s typical reluctance to quarrel led him to frantically gather the items that they had brought for their evening out. “What are you doing Jon” Eden stated with complete disregard for the possessed man approaching. “We should go.. this man is obviously not well and there’s no telling what..” Eden interrupted with counter against the stranger “You need to get out of here! Go be drunk somewhere else.. leave us alone!!” As he glanced towards the man approaching, Jon saw a devotion to the drink that resembled that of his father before he had passed, a soulless thirst for a remedy to fill a hollow heart. “Eden stop.. this man doesn’t look quite right.” Jon begged as he grabbed Eden’s hand to haul her towards a rapid departure, but before he could bring her to her feet, there stood the tall shadowy figure blocking the path in front of them.
Story By Brian Caesar
Through the constant ringing in his ear, Jon could faintly hear the resonance of screaming voices outside, ever so slowly opening his battered eyes one by one to a single beam of light that stretched across his face. He could see the dust glistening in the air as it circulated seeming as if he was glimpsing heaven’s angels from above. His arms were bound and cold with what could only have been steal chains and with every small attempt to fight his aching body loose, he was pinched by the splinting armrests restraining him in his current prison. “Break up the boards and seal up those windows tight” to Jon, the first attainable tone from outside stated as the hammering sounds began their relentless knocks against the cabin walls around him. “Pour till those cans run dry.. and don’t slow down, nightfall is coming!”
The last remaining bit of light went out briefly when a silhouette from outside quietly peered in at “the victim”. Jon could see only a small bit of the white of his eye. With the darkness that surrounded him and the awful pain that filled his weakened muscles, he couldn’t help but hope that he was in a dream. He began to whimper “please wake me up!.. what the hell is happening here .. sir please help me!!!” The shadowy figure removed itself, revealing its humanity as Jon could now see a tear roll down the pale face of his silent visitor. “Please”.. Jon gasped as the last glimpse of civilization was stolen away by this stranger with a board and nail.
His senses seemed to broaden themselves in the moments the room went black. Through the commotion outside Jon could now make out the creaks of the settling wood as his chair stopped its rocking across the hard floor. He could hear the perfectly timed drops of the blood from his bound arms hitting the ground and trickling beside him. Jon could smell the wet cedar piled behind that had taken on a musky scent after being overcome by mildew. He could make out the decaying odor of an elderly man who must have once lived there. The discoveries of his environment made for a quaint distraction until they were descended by the feeling of a cold puddle touching the bottom of his naked feet and were soon accompanied by the stinging smell of gasoline taking over the room. “Help!! ..Someone help me” he cried as a small wave of an orange glow presented itself through a seam at the bottom of the door he was facing.
As the flames began their crawl up the bulky red curtains, the room became visible by the smoke filled luminosity. He found himself able to make out a familiar shadow standing before him. “Eden?” he asked with a newfound glimpse of hope in his tone. He was calmed as the now discernible figure made her way towards him. “Oh Jon,..Jon my love..God , I have missed you. I couldn’t find you after that night at the lake. ” His swollen lids combined with the cavernous smoke filling the room blurred her , but through his memory he could make out every single crevice. “Eden.. Oh my god ..I love you.. how did you get here.. what is happening.. we have to get out of here.” His voice filled with a grave fear, not for himself, but for the harm of losing her again. “We can’t leave Jon, we are taking responsibility for what we have done.” “what are you…I don’t understand Eden.. please.. help me get out of this chair.. please help!” She stepped closer splashing gasoline that trickled down a steady stream on the ragged floor below on her leg. “Do you remember what happened at the lake that night?”She continued her approach as Jon exhaled a deep sigh of frustration. “uhh.. umm.. I don’t know!.. I’ve tried and tried but can’t seem to quite remember.” She grasped his blood drenched hand. “Try harder Jon.. you must try harder” her serene voice commanded. “Uuumm.. you.. you.. you were staring at my eyes.. and the moon was above you and..then.. then you said ..” Jon watched her undersized fingers as she slowly pulled her hair back behind her ear and knelt down in front of him. His heart sank as he could now make out the thick blood-lined ruptures that were pulled from her once angelic face. The growl of an all too familiar being quickly came to mind as she whispered to the hair draped over his ear..“With no one left around… who are you?”
Story by Brian Caesar
Jon approached Roy just before his afternoon deadline to ask if he could leave work early. “Yeah, you do look a little green Jon, everything ok?” Raising his eyes to find the first time in weeks that his almighty editor was staring him directly in the face, Jon replied “I’m just feeling a little under the weather. I think maybe this Park Lake murder is getting to me a bit.” “It’s getting to all of us Jon.. look at this!” He pulled some wrinkled scribble from the interview of an officer that had been taken that morning. “It seems they found some more of the John Doe’s remains in front of a cabin down on Homebrook. That’s only 7 blocks from here!!” Jon still couldn’t help but be amazed that he was being considered a colleague.. maybe even a friend to Roy at this very moment. He could tell that Roy’s corporate facade had decayed in the brief moments that the questions of potential familiarity with the victim overcame him. “They found a torn pair of slacks and a leather pouch with a pool of blood inside it. This looks like this might be the most vicious murder this town has ever seen. I just hope they catch this guy before he gets someone else.” Roy grabbed Jon on the shoulder further assuring his new found acceptance of his subordinate. “You, go home Jon.. get some rest, but just make sure you lock your doors… and I’ll see you in the morning buddy.. ok?” With one last pat on the back, Roy made his quick exit down the hall bellowing out his bottom ended rasp “Renginski.. where’s that page 6??” Jon grabbed his jacket and keys from his office desk and began his journey home.
His decision to take the long route towards the police activity that imprisoned the streets adjoining the neighborhood that Jon had come to know, finally gave him the time he needed to calm himself from the recent abusive echoes that stirred inside. The mountainous tone of ascending horns from the cars of the remaining officers that were only now making their way to the nearby crime scene provided a break from the thoughts he was so desperately trying to escape. He couldn’t help but feel the excitement that he used to have as a young boy as their unified sound would pass by over and over again. He remembered his mother grabbing his forearm every time a blue and white with a circling siren on its top would roar down the road. “That’s none of your concern” she would say again and again as he would plead in broken whimpers with her “but mommy I just want to see..”
He still felt the phantom grasp of her fingers so tightly wrapped around him, the sharp tips of her nails indenting moon shapes on his now aging skin. He knew however that no one at this time was holding him back, and the curiosity consumed him. Before he could even realize where he was, like a moth to a flame he was drawn in like the rest of the gazing flock that were attempting to catch a glimpse of what was behind those splintering barricades.
Jon was only able to make it a few feet into the crowd before the detectives, hiding under their fedoras, started their verbal attacks on what were they were referring to as “the peasants.”The gathered crowd blocked the entrance for the late arriving uniforms to make their way in. The frustration held the wheel to the fury they held in each of their shadowed eyes. Jon could barely make out a word from the mouths of the officers before the endless forest of screaming heads started to condense itself. The sunlight above the backs of the seemingly giant people was closing in as the white wooden sign that read Homebrook caught Jon’s gaze in the brief moment before he was forcefully knocked to the cobblestones. He reached out to catch balance, letting go of the silver pocket watch he hadn’t realized was collapsed in his hand by force of habit. He scampered as quickly as he possibly could, attempting to get it back into his possession. It was as if a crossing moment of silence occurred… just as a truly indecent gesture was let loose from someone’s mouth at one of those high society soirees, the commotion above ceased to exist, augmenting the cracking sound of the time piece across the stones below. Sadness and shock were amongst the first emotions to arrive in Bafrer’s broken heart as the silence grew deafening but they were quickly consumed by an irrepressible hatred. He stared at the broken remnants that were piled in his palms and paralyzed with anger, closed his eyes.
He could remember the rhythmic splish-splash accompanied by the angelic voice of Eden calling out to him as she attempted her backstroke in the Park Lake that night. He stared at her warm glow as the moonlight outlined what he could only label as perfection. “Jon” she called in a warm seductive voice, holding its sound in such a beautiful melody. “Jon” she called again, as if it were a lullaby to a newborn. Her voice caressed his chest, as he took this moment to pull the gift that he just received from his love from the pocket of his jacket. He opened his hands, to gaze at the inscription inside. It seemed, however, strangely unfamiliar, as he didn’t recall it’s scripture. Focusing on the fading word “Murderer”, his smile vanished, as if never there. The glass holding in its ticking hands started to dissolve and pieces started to shake loose to the grass below. “Jon!!!!! Jon!!!” The disposition of Eden’s voice had changed dramatically pulling Jon’s attention to the lake. “JON!!! JON!!!!PLEASE!!!!!” He could only franticly stare into the blank water searching for her as the cries were carried further away. A snarling sound, similar to that of a vicious stray, approached in the distance behind him growing closer with every inhale. As it’s sound grew deeper and more intricate in definition, a louder call came from directly behind him forcing Jon to shut his eyes for a brief instant. “JON!!!!!!!!!!” The scream bled its cruel pitch into what seemed an unending echo of a howling creature.
As Jon began to grasp his true bearing, the grief he had felt combined with an uncontrollable rage born from the recalled emotions of love lost began to take its toll. He stared at the broken pieces of his symbolic pendant and a redness entered his eyes . The small space that Jon’s body took up was being stolen bit by bit by the surrounding mob that engulfed him. This only compelled his anger further, unleashing something inside him that no one could ever have imagined possible.. and to this day Jon will never recall.
Story by Brian Caesar
The shrill he had heard the night prior continued to eat at him, growing inside with each approaching step. It deafened the senses until the crowded streets became nothing more than a serene lull around him. The movements of the pleading beggars he passed on his way down York Street became just a ripple in what seemed a calm stream erasing the bedlam that surrounded. The true madness of the world he has come to know all so well had vanished, except for the brief moments in which he was instinctually forced to blink, when he could faintly hear the white noise of the everyday getting lost in the gentle breeze that blew whispers through thick hairs that draped over the curves of his ears. He fought to think “what could make such a sound?”
Jon Bafrer was the writer of “Self Help for Everyone Else,” a weekly page eight advice column of the, once praised and now deteriorating, Winston Chronicle. His day typically consisted of repeatedly sorting through endless heaps of letters that rolled in from the days passed, each containing the mundane, redundant questions about relationships, financial problems and countless other issues that Bafrer had not one ounce of interest in, and hoping to find one of the bunch to write some ambiguous response to. While he had grown quite accustomed to the ritualistic act of tearing open each saliva bound packet, he still managed, at times, to split his own skin as well, sometimes even convincing himself it was intentional. With every slight nick to the calloused tips of his fingers, he was harshly reminded that he let his dream slip right through them.
He believed he, at one time, had a purpose.. a calling…something that propelled him forward with each and every day. He felt it was his true destiny to have the world he had suffered through for all of these years, one day give him the respect that he so greatly deserved. Now the sunlight of every waking morning was just another burden to his eyes.
He had great aspirations, to conjure the thoughts of his soul on paper… to change everything. He planned to write the one book that gave every person who had ever trickled spite from their horrid mouths behind his frail arching back, or those who were cruel enough to even throw a quick fist in his direction for no reason other than to gain the respect of their peers claiming him as “an unsuitable” to their standards, a new light to glimpse the profound Mr. Bafrer with. He promised himself this reward in time, but this time grew further away as he only became a thrall to the work on his column, torn between the glory of vengeance and the bitterness of remorse on a daily basis, continuously reading each desperate prayer from the same people who tortured him in the years past.
Only when the final drip from his French Press had ever so slowly reached the floor beneath him, Jon had awoken from his reverie not only to find the mess he’d made, but to his editor standing above with the day’s paper in hand. “Jon have you seen this?” ..flicking out the creases of the tightly packed pages to fold to a particular section. ”Says there was a murder by Park Lake last night…only found a trail of blood out of the park and half of a slipper at the scene with the some leftover remains inside” He pulled the pages whole to his thick framed goggles to take another gaze at the black and white snapshot of what from Jon’s limited view appeared to be of shoes on a road. “…. can’t even identify if it’s even a man or a lady!! Alls I know is.. that much blood… there’s no way in hell this person could have survived this. I mean what in god’s name could have happened to the rest of the body? Who could have done something like that? Says right here: neighbors report hearing a terrifying scream and loud cracking sounds at or around the time of death. Sounds pretty gruesome huh buddy.. you’re probably really glad you got it easy around here, always hunting for the next big break in emotional turmoil.” Roy’s refusal to look down while he let lose a slender chuckle brought a slight sadness to Jon, which was quickly masked with an evidently invisible smile in response. “Anyway listen Jon.. I need to up your deadline to 3pm today because of this Park Lake case. I’m gonna have a slew of shit to sort through this afternoon, once more of the facts come in and I’m gonna be all wrapped up …so.. you think that’ll be a problem, Jon?” Still, catching the spreading liquid from the hardwood floor sighed the words “Nah Roy.. no problem at all.” “Good..good.. Then.. just put it on my desk when it’s done.” Roy had managed to slip from the room as Jon pointed his finger and uttered the words “you got it”, speaking only to a silhouette vanishing through the translucent glass that surrounded the office. Jon pulled the harshly worn pocket watch from his vest, and opened it. “11:52” wiping the last of the wetness from the worn wooden floor… ”Plenty of time.”
As he looked closer at the fading piece he noticed a single leaf of tobacco caked into the engraving inside. He remembered the moment he was given the watch by his at one time, fiancé, Eden Thompson. They had spent the night in front of Park Lake, catching lightning bugs and making up ghost stories while sipping red wine from a bottle and sharing cigarettes on the embankment.
With a smile that seemed slightly restrained, she pulled the watch from her bag, laid it in his palm and closed his fist tight around it. “It’s a gift” she stated, squinting her light eyes and pulling her soft straight hair behind her ear… “A gift that I wanted to give to you ..as a reminder of who you are Jon.” He looked down and uncurled his fingers from the circular object that lay in his hand. “And who am I?” Jon asked, with a smirk and an all familiar awareness of what he was about to hear. “Who are you?.. who ARE you!!? You, Jon Bafrer, are my inspiration.. my muse.. or whatever the male version of that is” slipping into her short giggle that had a way of making the surrounding lights just a bit brighter. “You are the most handsome man, the kindest, gentlest and most loving human on Earth, not to mention the most brilliant writer of his time.“ With a slow breathe and a push of her hair behind her ear she slowly knelt on the ground to face him at eye level. “You are the man I am going to marry, the love I will search forever for, and the person I cherish most in this world. Don’t ever forget that.. even while you’re writing for that dumb paper. They’ve no idea what they’ve got, and one day soon they will see the true you. When they come at you with some nonsense like that again, I just want you to reach into that big head of yours and think of this exact moment.. when it’s just the two of us and ask yourself, with no one left around, who are you?”
Jon smiled back as he gazed into her glimmering eyes, finally reaching the moment of calm he’d been waiting for that night. As he stretched himself closer to embrace her ever so subtle lips, a sharp shrill called out from above the hill tops. Jon turned quickly to find the cause of such an unbearable sound only engulfed by the moonlit darkness. “Let’s get the hell out of …” Jon, swiveling forward, found his arms empty only to notice the pocket watch still in his right hand. Another howl escaped the black walls behind him. His heart began its flight before his longing for Eden let him flee. With a growing snarl vastly approaching behind, he found his hand grasping the leg of his office chair and the now opened pocket watch reading 12:01.