“Another Plot Twist” – New Single and Lyric Video

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my latest single, a hard rocker called “Another Plot Twist.” Musically it takes its cues from Van Halen, The Who and Ozzy Osbourne. Lyrically, my wife Amy and I drew upon lessons from the Zen Thinking Podcast. We had learned to embrace the unforeseen as a “plot twist,” an adventure rather than a catastrophe.

Lyric video now on YouTube

Here’s the new lyric video. Hold onto your hat!

Single Available on Bandcamp

Just in time for #BandcampFriday, here’s the track on Bandcamp, where you can support your favorite artists and enjoy the convenience of streaming or downloads.

Track is Out on Streaming Platforms

Add “Another Plot Twist” to your favorite playlists on…

Lyrics: 

Another Plot Twist
Lyrics by Jason Didner and Amy Didner
Music by Jason Didner (c) 2022, All Rights Reserved

To hell and back on a roller coaster
In and out the revolving door
Up and down faster than a yo-yo
And then falling off the floor

If they tried to make a movie
Hollywood would not believe
Anyone could really have
Such a story up their sleeve

This is what we're dealing with
This is our real lives

Here comes another plot twist
Keeping us on our toes
Just when we thought we knew
How the story goes

Here comes another plot twist
Rocking us back on our heels
Just when we thought we knew
How we were gonna feel

No way any more could happen
We had our hands quite full
Then we felt a new change coming
The rug was getting pulled

In the hurricane of chaos
We found some inner peace
Angels in our souls to save us
And grant us some release

This is what we're rolling with
This is our real lives

Here comes another plot twist
Keeping us on our toes
Just when we thought we knew
How the story goes

Here comes another plot twist
Rocking us back on our heels
Just when we thought we knew
How we were gonna feel

Tell me how can this be real?

Credits:

Lyrics by Jason Didner & Amy Didner
Music by Jason Didner

Jason Didner – vocals, electric guitar, bass, drums

Produced, recorded and mixed by Jason Didner

(c) 2022, All Rights Reserved

Another Plot Twist - single by Jason Didner

New Album “Salt and Sand: Rock Songs to Heal the Mind” Set for Feb 4 Release

I’m pleased to announce the release of my new album “Salt and Sand: Rock Songs to Heal the Mind,” scheduled for Friday, February 4! Album artwork was expertly created by Lora Ferrie. This artist exceeded my vision for a “split screen” of the salt and sand on an icy highway eventually giving way to salt and sand on a summer beach.

Salt and Sand: Rock Songs to Heal the Mind by Jason Didner. Album cover artwork by Lora Ferrie.

Rock Songs to Heal the Mind

“Salt and Sand” is intended to spark conversation about mental health. I want you to pay closer attention to your own emotional life and those of your loved ones. The album’s tracks make up 3 chapters:

One: Seeing the Obstacles
Two: We’re on this Road Together
Three: Caring for You

Album Launch Concert Online

On the evening of February 4, I will give a streaming concert at Live Streamer Cafe. In it, I’ll perform all the songs in album order. 20% of digital album sales and tips will go to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

You can see the album’s official videos on the Video page of this site.

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Songwriting for Mental Health – A Quest for Helpfulness and Truth

Singer/songwriter Jason Didner writing lyrics about mental health
I frequently replace words in my lyric writing as I zero in on the truth

When I write songs about mental health, I seek ways of sharing a situation of crisis early in the song. Then I share a path to resolution that will unfold as the song plays out – a path my audience can map out for their own lives. Originals like “Run With My Troubles” and “Because I’m Grateful” follow this pattern where I present a difficult mental health situation at the start and propose an action (exercise, gratitude) that makes a difference.

In writing and editing the lyric I’m constantly pursuing the truth – the exact words that most precisely reflect the experience.

Finding the Words

 My newest love song, “Back to Our Bliss,” represents this drive toward helpfulness and honesty in the lyric. My first draft contained the line “And we won’t be going back to the harm we’ve gone through.”

But I came to realize I’m not a fortuneteller. I can’t truly predict that all the harm is over. So, just writing a wish doesn’t make it true! I chose a more meditative replacement for the lyric: “May we learn to be more mindful of the harm we’ve gone through.” This line honors the challenges people still face At the same time, it provides a pathway for living with emotional difficulty while nourishing stronger, healthier interpersonal connections.

I’ve come to trust this process of mining my song ideas and lyrics for the truth I know – either my truth or that of someone close to me. By the time you hear a finished track or see the video of my original songs, you can be sure that I absolutely mean what I’ve written, because I’ve taken the time to ensure the lyrics reflect the truest meaning of what’s in my heart.

Watch this space for the upcoming songs “Back to Our Bliss” and “Distorted.” I’ve begun the process of making demo recordings.  

What’s your process for expressing yourself? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

Jason

Stuck believing your negative self-talk? Start with a simple truth.

“I’m not good enough. I’ll never have what I want. I’m disgusting!”

Do these dark thoughts sound familiar? The inner critic spinning out of control, gaining intensity at the sound of its own thoughts?

Self-help lecturers and therapists have offered a counterbalance in the form of affirmations like “I’m beautiful. I’m powerful. I can do it!” Among my loved ones who struggle with harsh self-criticism, there is a strong resistance to even starting a habit of affirming the opposite of what’s playing in their heads on a loop.

But it may be harder to start at a place of high self-praise when part of you is chronically tearing you down. That’s why I suggest a simple, provable truth may work best here:

I’m human. I deserve compassion and grace.

By simply affirming our own humanity, we can ground our objections to the critic in something we can easily believe, something we know to be true. We can then see the negative self-talk for the distorted lie that it is.

We can add physicality to recognizing our humanity, our realness, by placing a hand on our heart while we say this, either out loud or silently in our thoughts. This connection develops the part of our brain that’s capable of self-compassion. It’s like a muscle that grows gradually if exercised regularly – one that’s atrophied in people who live under siege of chronic, out-of-control self-criticism.

Once you have a bearing on your humanity, you can advance to higher affirmations, but if you have trouble starting, I see lots of value of starting with acknowledging one’s on humanity. I find it soothes me when I fear the negativity is gaining on me.

What do you do to ease your negative self-chatter? Please join the discussion in the comments below.

New Video and Single: Battle

I’m pleased to present you with my latest musical creation: “Battle.” This is the home studio video – actual footage of my recording this track, along with Fred E. Jam, keeper of F-Jam Online Collaboration Studios, who played the electronic drum kit.

The song shares my revelation about how mental health or living with a chronic physical condition doesn’t have to be a battle. It can be a humanitarian mission.

At the same time the video is released, so is the single on BandCamp. You can play the track below.

(c) 2020, Lyrics and Music by Jason Didner 
Produced by Jason Didner, Amy Didner and Fred E. Jam 
Engineered by Jason Didner 
Jason Didner – vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass 
Fred E. Jam – drums, sound design

Lyrics: 

Verse 1: 
I thought this was a battle 
The kind that’s won or lost 
Where raging at the rival 
Brings a victory worth all costs 

But the prize is alienation 
Now that seems a hollow win 
Standing lonely in the ruins 
Of the war I fought within 

Verse 2: 
I thought this was a battle 
With troops on high alert 
Couldn’t trace the friendly fire 
From the part of me that hurt 

Oh, the rage destroys your allies 
In the same flames as your foes 
Your own weapon takes you over 
No matter how it goes 

Verse 3: 
I thought this was a battle 
I could win and earn my peace 
Then I saw myself in terror 
As hostilities increased 

And the anger gave an order 
Show no mercy in this fight 
I asked myself the question 
Could this order not be right 

Bridge: 
It can take all that you got 
To disobey an order that’s all wrong 
To take the heat for seeming weak 
That’s a different kind of strong 

When the rage calls loved ones enemies 
And declares we’re at code red 
And orders me to take them down 
I’ll lift them up instead 

Verse 4: 
I thought this was a battle 
Now I’m learning it’s much more 
It’s a mission to compassion 
For the pain down in my core 

It’s a journey toward forgiveness 
When the rage has had its say 
And the wisdom we discover 
We can’t fight these things away 
But we can live to love another day

I had shared this song with my email subscribers when just the vocal and piano were recorded. If you’d like to get exclusives like this before everyone else, go ahead and sign up below:

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New Video: Because I’m Grateful-Home Studio Sessions

See me recording all the parts for my new song “Because I’m Grateful!” I let the cameras roll while recording the tracks of this new song – here’s the result!

This is my first time ever playing the drums! I was inspired by Wolfgang Van Halen (Mammoth WVH) who chose to play all the tracks on his much-anticipated upcoming debut album. So I watched the Drumeo channel on YouTube and got some pointers to start keeping a beat and playing some fills. I’ve heard drumbeats in my head all my musical life, but hadn’t really tried to physicalize it until now. It’s my “pandemic skill!”

released December 19, 2020 
Lyrics by Amy and Jason Didner, Music by Jason Didner 
Produced by Amy and Jason Didner 
Vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards by Jason Didner 
Mastered with CloudBounce 
(c) 2020, All Rights Reserved

Verse 1: 
I’m grateful that I woke up this morning 
At least that’s what that TED talk said I’m supposed to say 
Still I’m sorry for myself and my brain’s all full of warnings 
I’ll try this attitude of gratitude on some other day 

But then, what if that day could come around this morning 
What could it hurt to thank a loved one or two? 
It might bring a little good to take stock of my blessings 
OK, let’s see what this gratitude thing can do 

Pre-chorus: 
I can feel my mood get a little bit lighter 
As my outlook grows just a little brighter 

Chorus: 
I’m not afraid today to show what I’m made of 
I’m grateful for my love, my child and my pets 
I’m thankful for the support I have 
And the strength I’ve found within 
Because I’m grateful 
Sadness isn’t all there is 

Verse 2: 
Depression can’t have the upper hand this morning 
‘Cause I’ve got a new move that villain has never seen 
When you see what it can do, you won’t call it corny or boring 
See, I’m getting in touch with the grateful part of me 

I’m gonna do it again tomorrow morning 
‘Cause feeling better is feeling pretty sweet 
I’m letting go of the rope - Depression, here’s your warning 
I ain’t fighting today and that don’t feel like defeat 

Pre-chorus: 
I can feel my mood get a little bit lighter 
As my outlook grows just a little brighter 

Chorus: 
I’m not afraid today to show what I’m made of 
I’m grateful for my love, my child and my pets 
I’m thankful for the support I have 
And the strength I’ve got within 
Because I’m grateful 
Sadness isn’t all there is

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