52 Albums That Changed My Life, Chapter 52: E is for Everyone

After all the other albums that have been covered, a number of readers may be wondering about who Kirby Krackle is and why their 2nd album, E is for Everyone, is the last album in the 52 albums list.

Well, the answer involves a number of points of my life that intersect including the woman who would become my wife. Hold on because this chapter gets very nerdy and very mushy.

Just under a year before meeting Gen (the wife), I met Kyle Stevens (aka Kirby Krackle) at Toronto’s Fan Expo, the largest comic bok, sci-fi, anime, fandom convention in Canada. I am a gigantic nerd, not only for music but for comics as well. My collection would never be the largest you’ve heard of or even seen but it’s a pretty large.

Reading that back, that sounds so wrong… but I digress.

So I’m at Fan Expo and I happen upon Kirby Krackle’s table, took note of it and look them up on Youtube when I get home. At that point, Kyle has two albums out and a couple of videos including a performance with the then Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics (who is now their Chief Creative Officer) and whom I had interviewed a number of times for my podcast.

I was amazed at the fact that not only were the songs about some really nerdy subjects like Fallout, what it’s like to be Wolverine, Mega Man, and the Great Lake Avengers, but I was also really caught up by the fact that Kyle is a very good songwriter. Many of the songs could easily be slipped on to the radio and in terms of quality, you wouldn’t notice the difference. In reality, while Kyle writes about nerdy subjects, his lyrics aren’t too far off base from a lot of popular songs. I’ve heard a ton of metal albums that have more outlandish lyrics.

The next day, I went back and bought both albums and made sure I interviewed Kyle. He’s a really sweet dude who is confident about his musical ability but humble about them as well. He appreciates his fans and the people who purchase his music. I’ve bought every album since in physical or digital formats.

The thing about Kirby Krackle is that every album is a little different but they all sound like Kirby Krackle. In the case of E is for Everyone, it’s more of a rock album than some of the other albums. “Ring Capacity” for example, is a rocker that gets a good head of steam and keeps going. “Take it From Me,” has a drive to it that I really like and also has this nice harmony that’s in their with the chorus. “Great Lakes Avengers,” a song about a team of super-powered misfits but the song itself has a real bounce to it that I dig.

The second to last song is titled “Dusty Cartridges and Long Boxes,” an acoustic ballad about the nature of geeky love. I know it sounds kind of like a funny idea and the lyrics do have a sense of humor to them but it’s a very sweet nice song that plays as a very important backing track in my life.

So, I meet Kyle, interview him and while I wouldn’t say we’re friends, I’ve gotten to know him a little over the years as we share a few mutual friends. Great dude who also happens to have kindly let me use one of his songs for the theme song to my current podcast.

Fast forward a year later. It’s Fan Expo time again, I’m prepping to cover Fan Expo again and staying with my girlfriend Gen who I had been dating for about 4 months. Gen grew up mainly listening to oldies and classical music but had developed some musical tastes outside of those but when I mentioned that I would be interviewing Kirby Krackle again, she became intrigued and I brought out the CDs to play in the car.

Now the next part is in dispute over whether it happened or not but my wife’s version of the story makes me sound rather romantic and awesome so let’s go with her version.

“Dusty Cartridges and Long Boxes” came on over the speakers and apparently a little ways through, I told Gen something to the effect of “When we get married, this should be our first dance.” She laughed and we just continued talking and driving. Now, there are many women who would have taken that comment after only 4 months of dating and ran for the hills and to be quite honest, rightfully so. Gen however just put it in the bank.

I met Gen when I was at a very low point in my life via a dating website. I had seen her profile, liked it but never sent her a message. Gen had noticed this and sent one to me mentioning I had never said hi. We chatted a little and I explained that at that time, I was unemployed, lived with my parents and wasn’t quite sure what to do with the rest of my life.” In short, I didn’t feel I was great dating material at that moment. Gen mentioned we should go for coffee. That coffee led to a movie, movie lead to hand holding and we’ve been together ever since. She’s as big of a nerd as I am with some overlapping interests like comics and toys but also very much has interests that are outside of mine.

A few years later, I proposed with a watercolor painting of myself proposing by one of her favorite artists and a few years after that, we were married. The first dance? “Dusty Cartridges and Long Boxes.” To this day, still my favorite song and still one of my favorite albums.

So loyal readers, that is it for this column for now. I thank those of you who have been continuously reading it this past year but it’s time for it to go dormant. The idea is that this whole thing is going to be the base for a book that will not only include this but will also include interviews and other things that I’m slowly putting together. Watch this space for more information.

Special thanks to Alan, Andrew, and Nathalia for their behind the scenes help over the past year.

Brent Chittenden

Brent Chittenden is a freelance writer with a gift for the geek. Currently a writer with A Journal Of Musical Things and a podcaster with True North Nerds, he's also written for Comic Book Daily, Explore Music and a dozen other places. Currently, he is the co-host of the True North Nerds podcast. You can find out more at www.facebook.com/bcchittenden

3 thoughts on “52 Albums That Changed My Life, Chapter 52: E is for Everyone

  • December 25, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for this series. I’ve read every one and really enjoyed them. It would be great if Mr. Cross could find someone else to do something similar.

    • December 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Let’s see if we can’t get Brent to come up with something similar for 2018!

  • December 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks Brent, enjoyed it very much. I’d be interested in a bonus week 53 where you touch upon albums that almost made the list for what it’s worth.


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