Tag Archive: music


…I don’t believe in fairy tales…
…In love with a zombie…
…Love like winter…
…No one suspects at all…

So, I’m sitting up, feeling sick. Curled up on cold porcelain, my insides revolting from CHICKEN, of all things, NOT the bloody Taco Bell I had earlier, I’m going into one of my states of catatonia.

This will be another one of those posts rather akin to my “Watson, using only musical theory…” post, so those of you that didn’t like it, do feel free to skip this one.

Music is said to have a curious effect on people unlike any other stimulus. It can evoke emotions with nothing more than sounds– not so much that the sound is connected to an event, like with scents triggering memories, but that sound itself is a language our brains seem coded to understand on more than one level.

Some people say music keeps them alive, but usually it is those that actively produce music. I rarely hear someone say that simply listening is what saves them, it is the creation of a tapestry of sound from nothing that seems to be most cathartic. If you ever get in the same room with a great musician, watch them as they play their instrument. They may connect to their audience, they may look at you, but they don’t really seem to see you, and if they do, fuck is it uncomfortable. The intensity they possess while doing their passion is positively unnerving.

Occasionally, however, I do meet an individual that is like myself. Massive music connection, seemingly random things thrown in here and there, and an inability to go through a day without listening or your life just feels empty. I sometimes even meet them on another level: we each have music that simply does something to us. Sometimes, even despite our best efforts to dislike it.

For example, take “Wonderland” by Natalia Kills. I’ve never been one for Alice In Wonderland, save for Zenoscope’s take on the tale. In many ways, the ideas have been said many times before, and probably said better– after all, it is a love song. Yet, after I heard it for the first time, something stuck. Something under my skin itched, something was missing. I watched the video. I then watched the uncut version of the video. I’m back to listening to it. Something in it simply settles into my head and lulls me into a state akin to being tipsy, or to being under the influence of painkillers… my eyelids get heavy, my eyes pass out of focus and my mind runs off to make its own connections to what the lyrics mean. For this particular song, my mind climbs all over the jungle-gym of connections that makes up my ideals and thoughts on love and partnership and my relationship with Jess, and how a relationship is like a type of fucked up dope that makes the world go away. If I’m not actively guiding my attention back to reality, I’ll stay wandering around in my red cloak with the Jabberwocky threatening my bodily integrity until the song ends.

At times, it can be a bit dangerous, let me tell you. Hell, it’s sometimes songs that start the trains of thought that tend to eat me and make me stay awake for hours– Hell, it was Judas’s fault that this particular post was written. Despite my wanting to look at Gaga and go “I really don’t care about you reconciling yourself with your religion” there’s still something in the song that hooked those velcro barbs to the nerves in me. Even gritting my teeth and going “DAMNIT, GAGA, YOU’RE GOING OFF THE DAMN RAILS!” something is bothering me about that damn song and won’t let me go. I hate the style, and yet here I am stuck listening to it. Maybe it’s my perverse fascination with the hypocrisy of religion and what is considered “blasphemous,” but I doubt it. If that was it, I’d snicker at it a few times, but I wouldn’t have a compulsion to listen to it again. And again.

It’s sometimes days or weeks later that I discover why it is that a song clicked so well with me and why it won’t leave. Sometimes it is because it reminds me of something so strongly, sometimes it’s because it evokes an overall feeling, sometimes it’s a piece of the lyrics. It was only fairly recently I discovered why “Prelude 12:21” and “Miss Murder” stuck so well:

“This is what I brought you/This you can keep/This is what I brought/You may forget me/I promised you my heart/Just promise one thing/Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep”

“…Hey Miss Murder/Can I make beauty stay/If I take my life?/”

Other than those two songs making you think I’m seriously depressed, they also carry expressions of my depressing/sociopathic views on love. I do carry the belief that should the only one for me, my person, my match leave me, all I ask is one thing: Do come back once more to see me, even if it simply is to close my eyes on my death bed. Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep. Then you get into my mania with Miss Murder: Okay, so you’re murdering me by leaving and destroying the thing I care about most, you and my relationship with you, and while it makes me a selfish prick, I’m eying that knife over there and wondering if I can avoid feeling the loss by stabbing myself in the chest. If you’re dead, technically, your love was just interrupted. No one broke up with anyone, another circumstance broke you up. So I didn’t fuck up and drive you away. YAY!

Hey, stop looking at me like that. Van Gogh cut off his ear and gave it to a prostitute. I admitted I’m being a selfish, psychotic prick with that previous bit. Van Gough thought it was just fine to give a severed limb and was annoyed when the chick ran away screaming.. Of course, that was probably due to the long term effects of lead poisoning, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that due to music’s ability to do this to me, it makes for a fantastic way for me to cope– the only problem is that only certain songs manage to have the full effect, the rest are just distractions. It is at that point I turn to other things to help take my mind off things more completely… like blogging nonsense at three in the morning about my musical listening habits and the meanings therein.

Also, for those of you still concerned for @DrHowl’s safety/sanity, do feel free to warn her to leave before I lock her in a closet and start calling her “my precious.” However, if you’re one of those people that takes something like that seriously coming from me, this blog may not be the best of places for you. Take a spoonful of salt with what I say in regards to violent outbursts, and for maximum effectiveness, take said spoonful on the rim of a tasty margarita. Do that and suddenly, things will start to make a lot more sense around here.

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.

—-

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. 😀

Gaga did coke. Hemingway, Stephen King, and Poe were raging alcoholics. Countless other artists have died from drug overdoses or been steeped in some sort of illegal substance for at least part of their lives. It leaves whack jobs like myself wondering if to be great, I have to develop some sort of substance abuse problem.

Of course, realizing how stupid an idea that is, my mind went wandering for another explanation. Best I’ve got is that a whole hell of a lot of people that create greatly influential work are troubled. Troubled at best.

What leads those with depression and troubles to the arts? Maybe it’s the only thing we can do to escape our pains and troubles.

I’ve got pretty much nothing for this week’s blog entry, and for that, I apologize. There’s been too much other shit going on– too much drama and other bullshit none of you want to hear. School is always a problem. Family is always a problem. Money is a problem for everyone right now.

When I said I was thinking I needed to develop a substance abuse problem, maybe I was looking for an excuse. House has his vicodin (or did) and Holmes had his heroin. Hell, from what I’ve heard, Alexander the great was an alcoholic and he took over half the goddamn world.

Me, however, I am not great. Just fucked up. Fucked up in ways that my professors are starting to notice that I’m not quite normal and starting to worry about me. Not normal in ways that interfere with my school work and classes. Much stronger than needed reactions to certain types of events. Discovering “triggers.”

Thankfully, I’m too poor to afford most drugs. And those I can, I don’t want. I don’t want any of them really– my body couldn’t take it, as fragile as it is. So I’m stuck with what I can do: Hide in plain sight, staying inside my head, and playing Resident Evil and whatever other survival horror games I can get my hands on. I can murder the monsters in the dark there. It makes the specters here easier to bear.

Title of Post: Lyric from “We Are the Kids from Yesterday” by My Chemical Romance.

“Well now this could be the last of all the rides we take
So hold on tight and don’t look back
We don’t care about the message or the rules they make
I’ll find you when the sun goes black

And you only live forever in the lights you make
When we were young we used to say
That you only hear the music when your heart begins to break
Now we are the kids from yesterday…”

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