Tag Archive: introspection


Musical Impact, Musings

I’m taking on music again!

Well, sort of. More like something occurred to me the other day, and, as usual, now I feel the need to inflict it upon you all. Blame Post A Week 2011. It’s one of those weird, introspective, “how the hell did I end up so weird?” posts.

So, here’s what I was thinking: What do the bands someone likes say about them, or maybe their life? Everyone has different musical tastes, but all those preferences have to stem from SOMEWHERE. Is there a certain type of person that listens to a certain band? I don’t know. But if you come along for the ride, maybe we’ll find out.

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All of my favorite bands are rather… odd. For the purposes of this post let’s take a look at my current main four, and furthermore, my main four as I was first exposed to them.

AFI, Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, and Blink-182.

“Oh god! THE EMO. THE EMO, GET IT AWAY!”

HEY. Stay with me here. You want EMO, I’ll get out Dashboard Confessional. You don’t want that, trust me.

It was pointed out to me recently that all my bands are rather theatrical, Panic and My Chemical Romance (MCR) being the most so. What do I mean by theatrical, you ask? And furthermore, who the fuck are these people? Well, here’s some videos to explain.

This is an AFI:

(My most beloved band. I heard this song in an AMV on YouTube and my life was changed forever.)

This is a Panic! at the Disco:

(This is their newest single, unlike the others on this list. Panic has pretty much always been this way, thus, I give you all my current addiction instead of the first song of theirs I heard.)

This is a My Chemical Romance:

(First song and video of theirs I ever heard/saw.)

And this monstrosity is a Blink-182:

(One of the last of their videos I discovered, but everyone knows this song, it seems.)

I lost a few of you with that last one, I’m guessing. That’s okay. You probably shouldn’t be reading this blog if you don’t expect some sort of similar insanity. Hell, I probably lost quite a few of you with the three lead singers in a row that wear eyeliner. Blink is probably the most normal of this lot.

So. What does these guys say about me, the kind of person that listens to them? Well, let’s start at the beginning and take this chronologically, as I discovered them.

BLINK-182

Little known fact: Blink-182 was the first “real” music I ever heard, real being something that wasn’t a formulated kid’s band like Spice Girls or B*Witched and stolen via a friend’s ripped CD. I very distinctly remember lying in bed listening to this and going “What the… what is this?” My tiny little (12?) year old mind was blown.

Then it went away. I found them again a while later, only then realizing what the brilliance upon that ripped CD was called and who made it.

Fast forward to the present. This song is being played the instant I turn 23:

That’s “What’s My Age Again?” It is exactly like the title sounds. I am not inclined to resign to maturity, folks. The idea of running through a town naked for a music video? Sounds brilliant to me. Wanna know what’s even better? Let’s take a whole FUCKLOAD of money meant for a music video, give it away, and FILM WHAT HAPPENS. I went to go see these guys in concert in recent years, and they are STILL this nuts. Completely. Totally. NUTS. This is the shit that keeps me from taking everything too seriously and jumping off a cliff.

Yes, acting like a lecherous, insane teenage boy with no sense of shame and a fucked up sense of humor is part of what keeps my ass alive. Try it sometime. Go do something stupid or just straight up weird. It’s the part of me that likes these guys, that don’t care about being artistic with what I say, that gives you the blunt sarcasm with a liberal sprinkling of swearing you’ve come to expect from this blog. And, judging by the people I saw at the Blink-182 concert, there’s a certain kind person that likes Blink-182: they like rampant silliness. And some of them like pot.

PANIC! AT THE DISCO

These guys and My Chemical Romance were discovered at about the same time. I have seen these brilliant, wonderful, weird guys in concert twice, and was it ever worth the cash. These guys just have a certain sound to them that sounds like the inside of my head. I realize that sounds bizarre, but it is true. These guys win for being strange, poetic, and giving my tiny teenage soul freedom to wear striped jackets and top hats. They were creative and strange without being screamy or coated in eyeliner (well, most of the time) and most importantly, when I bought their CDs, I was taken far the fuck away from where I was.

The mix at the concerts I’ve been to seems to span the weird kids, the “normal kids” and a lot of people in between, but I’d definitely say they lean more toward the strange, artsy crowd. The escapists. The ones that like stories in their songs and bizarre music videos. The ones that see things slightly differently. That certainly describes me.

Of course, these guys aren’t the ones for teenage angst at being different. No, that’s our next stop on the “how music describes the fucked up inside of Sam’s head” track.

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

Those of you that follow my twitter know a little something about me, and it connects to this song:

If you only watch part of one video on here, let it be this one. Please? Just up to the 30 second mark. Where he gets the sandwich thrown at him. Now, feel getting hit in the face with that sandwich. Feel the gross sponginess of the bread, the cold slap of the bologna. Feel the last of your favorite tea being spilled.

Now imagine going through your entire school career that way. And that feeling doesn’t exactly stop when you go home.

Yeah, MCR has a certain type of fan, and it’s the ones that understand this video. A lot of us have anger problems. I’d like to think that most of us disagree with the anti-bullying bullshit going on right now that just makes bullying a joke. You wanna stop bullying? Let bullied go beat the shit out of those bullying assholes on the lacrosse team with our fucking croquet mallets. We are the emo kids that hate everyone, and we feel we’re fucking justified in it. The cult of the freaks is a screwed up one, we aren’t always that sensible, but at least when we’re together we at least have some company when we’re being called fags, freaks, and fuck ups. This is one of the few bands that seems to have a very specific type of person that listens to them, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just strongly indicates some things about you to other people if you like them. Besides, those people that react badly to that aren’t people MCR fans want to deal with anyway.

This band is the part of me that screams “FUCK NORMALICY. FUCK YOU. YOU WANNA STARE AT THE FREAK? OKAY! *Does a dance around the entire free space on campus, sporadically shouting “PENIS!”* THERE’S SOMETHING FOR YOU TO FUCKING STARE AT!”

… I never claimed I was sane, people. Or well adjusted. We MCR fans are just worse at hiding that fact than other people are.

AFI

“How can this be the most recent and the most important?! It’s just your current craze. That’s why it SEEMS important.”

Nope. All the other stuff I knew about in high school. AFI I discovered when I got out of the house. I discovered them by accident (seems to be a common theme with me, eh?) I’ve been out of the house for four years now at college. It’s not really that recent.

AFI is the music I live to. I am never without at least one album.

What does THAT say? Well, I’m strange. The weirdness seems to be a common theme. But what AFI has is something I can find in no other band: It has screaming rage, joy, romance, beauty and sorrow. It is no accident their fans are “The Despair Faction. ” There is no coincidence that at the concert we all screamed “Through our bleeding, we are one.” We AFI fans all seem to have a sadness, be it about us, within us, or in our pasts.

Here’s the thing, though. You got to an AFI concert, it’s not sad. Everyone is screaming and being crushed in the mosh pit, Davey (the lead singer) is jumping around the stage like a man possessed, Jade and Hunter are jamming (the guitarist and bassist) and Adam, hilariously, is the calmest of them, and he’s on the drums headbanging. Not everyone is wearing eyeliner and black, though some of us are. While we all may have something that makes us understand what it is to sing in sorrow, or understanding the feeling that “God Called In Sick Today” we’re not here crying about it. AFI is not music to weep to. It’s music to dance to. Angry dancing, maybe, but still dancing.

Yes, I’m describing AFI fans as lunatics that dance in misery.

I used to have a band that relished in its misery (Blue October, the Foiled Album and before) that I listened to all the time in high school. At concerts we were all pissed off at everything. We sometimes wept in rage.

AFI isn’t like that. AFI is my most important band because it shows how far I’ve come and is a big part of what has brought me this far (the only thing, I think, with more influence over my growth has been my partner, Jess). I listen to it when I’m down not to STAY down, but to fall into Davey’s voice and process. I’m not as sick as I used to be. My depression is slowly getting better. It’s because of my progress I could write the first post on this blog. Suicide isn’t a valid option anymore. I’m still pissy and sad and think badly, but hey, no one’s perfect.

I met Davey, Adam, and Hunter after I saw AFI in concert (Jade was collapsed somewhere in the bus). I got hugs from Adam and Hunter (they offered/were asked first, no crazy fangirl tackling here) and told Davey he saved my life more times than I can count.

The screwed up part is that I didn’t exactly know how or why AFI saved my life until I wrote this blog. I just have to write to process sometimes, I suppose. In any case, there you are. Personal growth and description of oneself through music. Or just me forcing you to listen to my stupid introspective bullshit. It’s really all up to your interpretation.

So, readers. What are your bands? What do they say about you? Fill up the comments section. I’m always curious about the folks that read this, even the ones I know outside the internet already, so get writing. 😀

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Watching Sherlock Holmes (the newest movie) and contemplating what it is about this movie, and about the older episodes of House, that I find so very calming.

Yes, ladies, gentle folk, and those in between, ’tis a trip inside my head time. Do feel free to skip if you’re uninterested, but I will try to make it entertaining, despite its egocentric nature.

As many of you have probably noticed, I have a take on the world that is a bit unusual in some ways, not so much in others. The differences in my mind, in how it works as it processes is in some ways a blessing, some ways a curse.

I am good at school. I can twist and argue things well, which is why I do well as an English major. I have good grades there, not spectacular but a respectable B average after almost four years there. However, this same ability to twist my mind inside out around Kafka’s The Trial and work my way into a character’s emotions like a happy heartworm. For those of you that are scientists out there, ignore that “heartworms” mostly reside in the arteries in the lungs and run with the simile.

However, this same ability turns reality into a nightmare, where paranoia is justifiable by the sheer number of negative outcomes that can be thought up for every action and its reaction. It whirs, an overclocked CPU, taking the smallest pieces of information and expanding it, tracing it’s origin, route to the present, and the many ways it can meander into the future to significance or none, wanted or not. I cannot control when it decides to run off on these tangents– They can be summoned when needed, but once they appear, they cannot be stopped. If this process takes a dark turn, it can end with me turning into an angry, suspicious, cynical, inconsolable mess and there is really no way to properly explain how or why to most individuals. Not only does my mind run in all directions– it has the sadistic ability to convince me that whatever conclusion it comes to is right, or at least has a high enough possibility of being right that it will cause me to worry and take precaution.

My mind has the remarkable ability to synthesize the past, future, scenarios, sensations, reasoning, logic at a speed that would shame a cheetah. Despite the above problems, it does come in handy, and not only with school. A large part of why I am a writer has to do with the fact that if I try hard enough and harness that power, I can hack my way into a character’s mind to the point I feel the stitches of their clothing over my skin, the weight of their jewelry, know the breadth of their shoulders and how they have to move because of their shape and build, their inflections when they speak and the sound of their voice. I know their biases, their fears, their reasoning. Due to this immersion technique, I will pick up moods and mannerisms for whomever I am writing occasionally. Hell, I’ve been told I have a certain expression on my face when I write some of my best loved characters. I can synthesize a person from a touch of perfume, a tea, a turn of phrase. It’s alchemy. Beautiful, glorious alchemy of a god, where I turn not lead into gold, but clay into flesh.

My mind eats input, craves stimulation, and consumes itself when left idle, usually for the worst. My… sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Sherlock Holmes or House, both are brilliant detectives and utterly kick ass at what they do– they can solve things no one else can solve. They also are drug addicted, eccentric, and a complete and utter bitch to get along with.

It is arrogance to compare myself to those two, lowly being that I am. However, even in my most self loathing of moods, I can see similarities. I have a dangerous fondness for alcohol and painkillers that (thankfully) is kept carefully in check and under constant watch by myself and my dearest. I have eccentric tendencies. Where House sets the hospital on fire or Holmes lures flies into a bottle to experiment with how they react to his violin, I have been known to write compulsively on any flat reflective surface I can find and mutter River-esqe nonsense while gnawing my nails and lips until they bleed.

I suppose it is their kinship, perhaps, that is so calming. Their sound flowing of ideas and reasoning, the timbre of their voices as they explain their latest theory. Their own immersions into the minds of the criminals they’re chasing or the patients they’re treating. Or perhaps it is simply the fact that when Holmes and House go off on their flights of reasoning, it ends well. It doesn’t turn around and impale them. Usually. Perhaps it is even more soothing when it does.

Maybe what is most comforting is that for all of the shit that has happened to me, how people seem to avoid me, how I seem to have some repellent air about me, people like me can be useful. Needed. Needed enough that what little relief simply drugging myself into a stupor or worse can provide from the constant tangled blur inside me, I am worth more to the world awake, alert, functioning. Useful enough that someday, I will find where I am needed, much as House and Holmes have. Somewhere I am needed that will keep my mind active, awake, and busy so it does not consume itself. Somewhere that prevents the consumption and destruction without halting my mind or blood completely.

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