Pitter patter on the roof top?

October 30, 2009

My week has been sad, and to top it off I found out my guitar teacher is moving back to New Jersey with his family. I feel really sad about this because it has been a while since I have practiced and taken lessons, a month at least, and now I find out that I have wasted my time. I figured I would start back up at the beginning of 2010 and keep guitar lessons as a constant. I know I have learned the basics and can explore new things on my own but who do I have to jam with now?

My lungs feel heavy in my chest now and music hasn’t been giving me the same cleansing feeling lately. If my mom really is right, I want all these new things to be great. I want Taylor to be my friend, I want to hang out with the writer Jenee more, and I don’t really know what else. I just want to sit in the little coffee shop, One More Cup, and think things over with a hot white chocolate mocha.

October, you have been greedy and rainy. You have taken my aunt Sherry, and though we are still in contact, I can no longer make a run with her to Barnes and Noble. October, you have taken away Anne Winter, but with this loss there is no “coming back”. And now you take away Joe, my guitar teacher. My mom says there must be a whole lot of “new” on the way but I can’t help but to cry.

On the other hand, I am very glad today is Friday. Fridays always give me relief. School is getting easier, but I don’t want it to become too boring because without a challenge I am nothing.

I was listening to my Monster EP I bought at The Almost’s concert a couple weeks ago and I am a little disappointed. I am afraid Monster, Monster will not live up to Southern Weather‘s debut. But oh how I love Aaron Gillespie’s voice. “Dirty and Left Out” practically saves me as well as Cinematic Sunrise’s “Umbrella’s and Elephants”. I could sing you the words if you’d like.

And I know once the clouds shed their tears
I know that I’ll be okay
I know that I’ll be okay

In all this chaos we found safety.

October 27, 2009

Funerals are never an easy place to walk in to.

Last Thursday I was devastated to hear Anne Winter had passed away. Well actually, it was Friday morning I heard about it. I entered the auditorium and my friend Antoinette ran to me and gave me a hug. I pulled away and looked at her and asked, “What’s wrong?” “Didn’t you hear?” she replied, with a question. “What?” I asked again. Antoinette told me my friend Max’s mother had died last night.

 “That’s a mean joke!” I said to Antoinette. Honest, I really thought she was kidding me. Antoinette has a way of convincing people her fibs are real. But this was matter was very much real. – I swear it still feels like an awful dream. You hear people say that a lot but you don’t really feel numb until you experience something like this.

 Another friend of mine told me it was suicide that had taken sweet Anne’s life. Depression is a monster and I feel so terribly sorry for whoever it takes over.

 My mom called the school Friday afternoon and sent me an ‘urgent’ message. I called her back, but I already knew what was wrong. I could tell she had been crying when she answered the phone. I whispered into the phone for her to come pick me up. My mom did pick me up later but a group of kids, including me, who had grown up with Max were called into the counselor’s office first.

 After my moods had been hitting such a high it felt like my mood had suddenly hit a low. Fast. – I cannot remember my eyes feeling so swelled up from crying, ever.

 Anne was such a beautiful person inside and out. She was some of the most light I had ever seen. Really, I didn’t know Anne that well but I knew her well enough to see all the good she did for everyone. From organizing school PTA meetings and carnivals, to making new parents feel welcome; owning an independent record store, and helping new musicians get their start (in fact The Get Up Kids played in her record store); and loving everyone, especially her children and Mardi Gras. Anne had a way of making you do things you wouldn’t have normally have done, while at the same time not forcing you. Anne always had some cool activity planned if you came over. She talked to the quiet people and got to know them. Anne was the coolest person and mom you could ever meet.

 I didn’t think I would cry at the funeral today because I had done so much crying this past weekend. One of the men to speak said, “Turn to someone in the room and ask them how they got to know Anne Winter.” I turned to a woman next to me and she asked how I knew Anne. I said I have gone to school with Max, and still do (for seven years actually). Though I told her how I really got to know Anne.

 One year, I think I was in fifth grade; Anne invited me to a New Year’s Eve party. The party was great. We had all these fantastic games and activities planned out, like playing Chubby Bunny and Meow, to spraying the boys with silly string. The thing is I didn’t know anyone at the party other than my younger brother so I was quiet at sat at their kitchen table alone. Anne came over and sat next to me. She smiled and asked what kind of music I liked. I told her The Plain White T’s. Anne told me she liked that band too. Then she taught my brother and me how to play a card game called Spoons. I kept messing up but she was patient.

 In the middle of telling the woman this I started sobbing. People kept trying to comfort me, but I wasn’t trying to make a scene. I mean, if I felt like this then what must Max and Eva (his younger sister) feel like?

 I have decided if Anne could be so loving and bring so much light then I should try to be at least half as good as she was. I mean it.

I will keep singing to myself the songs that replay in my head.

October 21, 2009

I wish I had a soundtrack to my life. Or that I could pick out the perfect songs for the soundtrack of my favorite movies or soon-to-be-movies. I have so many fragmented ideas it drives me insane. I could think of a completely fantastic idea for a story and then I don’t know what comes next. Or I don’t know when this is supposed to happen in the story. It just feels rushed and I really do not have much patience.

Right now I am writing a silly story about a girl named Adalae. I had been writing a different one this past summer about a boy named Kyle, but I am not sure what happened. I just haven’t taken the time to open up the file on my computer and edit it. I have decided though to stay committed to these stories even if I don’t revisit and add to them each and every day. I want them to have and ending and a title.

Yesterday night I saw Where The Wild Things Are with my mom and two younger sisters. It was such a great film, it made me cry. Gosh, and the boy who played Max was just about the cutest thing! I love it sooo much! Though my favorite Wild Thing, the quiet ram-looking thing didn’t have much to say. Only in the end did he say to Max, “When you get back home, will you say good things about us?” Either way, it was a really sweet film.

After the movie was over we walked into the Target entrance and searched the music section for the soundtrack. My youngest sister was already humming along to some of the tunes which was pretty cute. Though, Target did not have the soundtrack, I found A Rocket To The Moon’s new album On Your Side and my mom grabbed the New Moon soundtrack instead.

In other news- I found out that Cage The Elephant are coming to town two days before my birthday. In fact, they will be playing at my favorite venue on a Saturday night and tickets are only ten dollars! My mom said she would take me and get me there early. I’m pretty darn stoked! Oh, and Owl City is coming back in January with Lights and I think I am going to that show too. I have quite a nice life.

Song of the Day – “Have Faith In Me” by A Day To Remember http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#have%20faith%20in%20me%20a%20day%20to%20remember

I’m glowing and fading at the same time. This must mean something good.

October 20, 2009

You can often find me smiling to myself lately. Just over little things, really. Like last night I came home from a babysitting gig and my dad handed me this book of papers crudely stapled together. When I saw the cover, I instantly remembered it. I had drawn this book of Asian girls in something like the first or second grade and had made a collection of them. I drew them as beautifully as I could and gave them each a list of hobbies.

While I looked over each page, I had this big grin spread wide across my face. I laughed at the names I had given my drawings. As racist as this sounds, I tried to give them really ‘Asian sounding’ names, it was pretty ridiculous. I was laughing so hard I started crying. It was a good thing, too because I was ready to cry a set of happy tears anyway, but this way I could hide those silly tears. Then my parents and I remembered another character I used to draw. His name was Master Monkey. He killed people. I would draw this monkey with a top hat and there would be a pool of blood on the floor and a picture of his victim. — Gosh, this makes me burst with laughter.

And take right now, this moment, for another example. I am listening to “What’s My Age Again” by Blink-182. The beginning of that song is so great, I can’t even describe the feeling that builds up in my gut. Though, it’s the same with any good song you want to stop and listen to and remember. In the words of Charlie from The Perks Of Being a Wallflower, “I feel infinite.”

Lately I have been feeling pretty great. I want to document some of these moments on paper (like in my empty journal) but then I realize these things are just too long to summarize. And you know, if these things are important enough they won’t blur into every other day like they usually do.

(Right now I feel so strung out on these songs.) Songs of the Day – “Tigers and Sharks” by You Me At Six and “What’s My Age Again?” by Blink-182. http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#tigers%20and%20sharks%20you%20me%20at%20six

My bright is too slight to hold back all my dark.

October 10, 2009


Last night I saw Brand New with Manchester Orchestra and Sybris. It was really a great concert. The sound was stellar. I felt like I could close my eyes and feel at home. Almost everything that happened last night was worth remembering. I won’t try to relive last night, but I will always remember it. Sometimes it will probably seem distant, but maybe in another year I will see Manchester Orchestra or Brand New again and remember.

When I got in line outside of the Uptown Theatre I thought I was hopeless. I was at the end of a fairly long line, and I wanted to at least be able to see Jesse Lacey’s face. Though, when my mom and I got inside the theatre and found floor standing seats I felt a million times better. I wasn’t trying to be too greedy because I know there are bigger fans of Brand New than me, but I was pretty close. Once again my mom pulled me to the side of the stage where the crowd is generally shorter and not so many people fought to get in front of us. I was in the fourth row.

When I looked around, the theatre was set up to look like a little city from the olden days. Think of a theatre fit to present one of Shakespeare’s plays. Picture a theatre with the castles and balconies, the red velvet curtain held up by gold rope, and when you looked at the ceiling it looked like the sky. I swear it’s one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen.

Sybris came on and I was surprised at how much I liked them. Sybris has a female lead singer. Listening to some of their songs, some of the edgy chords from the guitars my mom pointed out sounded similar to Dead Confederate. But Sybris had a sound very much their own. Think of Alison Mosshart’s vocals for The Dead Weather, but with a raspier tone.

Manchester Orchestra was absolutely fantastic. I cannot believe how many followers they have in Kansas City and how energetic the crowd was. Everyone was screaming the lyrics and pushing back and forth. Two kids behind me where constantly jumping up and down. It made me happy to see how much fun everyone was having. It got annoying when the girl’s ponytail whacked me in the face, but otherwise I loved the vibe. The lead singer seemed so sad. His lyrics seemed like he was saying he had an ache in his heavy heart. I could feel it in his lyrics. People kept shouting, “We love you!” I don’t own any of their albums yet, but after last night I promised myself that when I have the money I will go and buy ALL OF THEM. The acoustics in the theatre were so great, it made everything sound better. (I like my music loud.) Manchester played almost all of their songs from their new record Mean Everything To Nothing. But my favorites were, “Everything to Nothing”, “The River” and “Shake It Out”.

As Manchester Orchestra left the stage, their fans screamed for one more song. No, they didn’t play another song, but the crowd began to push forward. People started shoving and when you are stupid and wear a long sleeved shirt and a hoodie to an indoor venue when you plan on being close to the stage, like me, things get a little hot. “Push forward!” a kid kept yelling. I tried to push back, but nothing was working. I couldn’t keep it up so I told my mom I wanted out. She looked relieved. But when we tried to shoulder our way out, it didn’t work. So instead we got lifted by a bouncer. He told me to turn around so I did. He lifted me up and sat me on the metal railing then he pulled my legs over the railing. It was weird having everyone look at me, but it was for the best in my case I suppose.

We walked back and sat down on the floor. It is much easier to breathe fresh air when you aren’t in an enclosed space. I could smell excessive amounts of beer on some people’s breath and clothes. I could even smell a little pot. And even though these smells are disgusting, in a way they are almost comforting to me. After all, it is a familiar smell of a concert but not necessarily an indoor one. We probably waited around for thirty minutes when the lights went out. Everyone was screaming with excitement and I couldn’t help but let a few girlish screams escape my mouth.

You are probably curious with what song Brand New opened with, and unfortunately I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you this because as much as I love Brand New’s music, I haven’t had the time or money to go out a buy their new record and become acquainted with it. I couldn’t be called a “true” fan, but I know Brand New’s older music quite well. I can sing along with it. It feels like the melancholy soundtrack to my life. — Brand New played a few more tracks from their new record Daisy. I kept hoping Brand New would play a song, any song, from Deja Entendu, when finally they did. I screamed at the top of my lungs when I heard the introduction for “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t.” Then after everyone had calmed down for a minute, Brand New launched into “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades.” I was jumping around and I could feel a few people’s eyes on me, but this is my therapy. I was finally somewhere where everyone likes the same music as me and we are all enjoying it.

It made me really happy to see a couple next to me singing along. I knew they were so stoked to be there. This couple was different than the others. They weren’t kissing and feeling each other. They were the couple that knew every word and were singing along together.
Jesse Lacey told us he that he had woken up sicker than he had been in a long time. He said that he might not be able to hit a few notes, and I was almost worried Brand New was going to cut the show short, but thankfully they didn’t. Jesse sounded amazing. His screaming was better live than it was on the recordings. It was much more raw. I could barely see the stage and there was just about no hope I could have gotten one good picture (even with as many exposures and settings as I used). Even though I saw Jesse’s face very seldom, I saw his blue hat and smiled to myself. (I like his hat with flaps better, but any hat will do.)

Brand New had the creepiest set I had ever seen. Sometimes there would be a black and white video playing on a screen behind them. There would be old scenes from movies and pictures. The lighting was either white flashes or an off yellow. Though most of the time the theatre seemed pitch black. When Brand New played “Jaws Theme Swimming” I went insane. I was yelling so loud my voice got lost with all the others. “In car outside, we stalk the idle kind. If you’re leaving just let me know.” We paused our singing and came back in with, “Tobacco and peppermint, dusting the finger prints, a film in her eyes from the glow.” My favorite part of that song is the chorus, “And we learn as we age, we’ve learned nothing, and my body still aches.”
Brand New sang all of my favorite songs. But the best one was most definitely and infinitely “Jesus Christ”. When that song came on I really did close my eyes. Everything about that song is perfection. The lyric, “My bright is too slight to hold back all my dark,” is one of the most brilliant things I have ever heard. The music written for Jesse’s lyrics melts me. — Brand New closed their show with “At The Bottom”.

I promise myself that I will remember that night. I will remember it and eventually experience one of their shows again.

Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere

October 2, 2009

Last night I saw Owl City. I haven’t been listening long, but the show only cost $5 for minors. I didn’t have school the next day so I figured, why not? I like Owl City enough, and that’s all that matters.

It was a waayyy bigger turn out than I expected, and I was surprised to see so many guys there. The doors opened at 7PM and I got in at about 7:30PM. The first two bands from Kansas City were both complete shit. I won’t even mention their names because they wouldn’t be worth listening to. This was an outdoor show and I was freezing. My teeth would chatter in the 50 degree cold every now and then. Folding my arms against my chest helped a little as well as all the body heat, but I was still cold.

I started off like in the sixth row and slowly, but skillfully we managed to worm our way to the second row. (Though, I don’t imagine it is much of a burden to anyone since I’m only 5′ 1 and my mom is only 5′ 3.) People shifted and we moved into the tight spaces. Eventually, we were on the right end of the stage looking up at the stage check for Owl City.

— Ha, you won’t believe it! There was crowdsurfing! The sad part is they didn’t expect it so they didn’t set up a space to catch them. So the bouncers ended up having to pull the kids onto the stage. Though, as soon as Owl City started they wouldn’t let the kids onstage. The bouncers would motion to the crowd to put the crowdsurfer down.

Owl City was great. Adam was spastic and energetic. He would dance and whip his head around. Sometimes he would lie on the floor of the stage and sing, then instantly jump to his feet. He wore this big grin across his face while most everyone sang along to their favorite Owl City songs. Before Owl City played “Vanilla Twilight” (which is my personal favorite) Adam said, “If you came here to slowdance, here’s your song.” That song made me so happy! I even recorded a little bit of it.

My other favorites were “Strawberry Avalanche”, “Hello Seattle”, “The Bird and The Worm”, and of course “Fireflies”. Owl City played almost all of their songs. Their set ended a few minutes after midnight. I saw the small merchandise tent was empty because they had sold out of everything. I suppose I’ll order something online….

Cheers to Owl City and Adam Young!

(Thank you mom for accompanying me once again.)

(You can also see this post on my other blog: http://thehumanbean.tumblr.com/post/202615613/pour-me-a-heavy-dose-of-atmosphere)

Owl City