Monthly Archives: July 2014

Songs from my Basement

This isn’t my typical subject matter when it comes to this blog, but it is a subject that I probably speak about in real life (because I don’t credit the digital world as being real life) more than anything else, and that’s music.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Music can define the soul of a generation.”  I can’t say if it has defined my generation, but it has definitely defined my soul.

When I was 15 I thought I was punk rock and cool, and spent a lot of time listening, or pretending to listen to music that really didn’t speak to me.  I want my money back for the MXPX and New Found Glory albums I purchased.  So embarrassing.  I abandoned those bands when they became uncool, and turned to the next new trend in music which was “hardcore.”  This genre went on to have 1.4 zillion sub-genres that I can’t keep up with and don’t even know what they mean.  The same unforgiving cycle happened with those bands, they became uncool to like, and I quickly abandoned them for a more mature music taste.

The next “cycle” that peers seemed to be gravitating toward was the whole singer/songwriter movement.  Is everyone still orgasming over Bon Iver?  Don’t get me wrong, there are few things better than a raspy voice over an acoustic guitar, but I am VERY picky within this genre, and I think that most of it is boring and over produced.  If you’ve heard one Ray LaMontagne song you’ve heard them all.  I suggest John Moreland’s, “In the Throes” album, Will Quinlan and the Diviner’s “Navasota,” and  Sarah Jaffe for some good americana, singer/songwriter music.  I could name a bunch more, but I’m digressing.

I wasn’t finding new bands to love and this was not okay.  Music is an integral part of my being, my ultimate muse, my guide to life, my rock, and I was falling apart because I didn’t have new inspiration.  I discovered The Dear Hunter’s “Act III” album just in the nick of time, and it reminded me of what it feels like to feel music.  Casey Crescenzo is probably one of the most underrated songwriter’s out there right now, but I digress again.  See what happens to me when I start talking music?!  It just spirals out of conversational control.

The point is, when new music wasn’t coming along, I went back to my roots and rediscovered some old music.  So without further adieu, here are some bands, albums and individual songs that I abandoned for years, but just rediscovered and believe that they sound as good now as they did fifteen years ago when I first heard them in my mom’s car.

These are in no particular order.

1.  The Deftones- I would put “White Pony” in the top ten (possibly top five, but I’d have to really think about that before I can fully stand by such a momentous claim) of best rock albums of the last two decades.

2.  Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary (full album)- Same claim as above.  This is not an opinion.  It’s fact.  So if you disagree with me than you’re simply wrong.  It’s amazes me that this album was released in 1994.  It sounds 100% relevant to today’s rock music scene.

3.  The Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream (full album)- This album is art.  Listen to “Mayonaise” on PROPER speakers and let it take you on a ride.  You’ll come out of the 5:49 song slightly different from how you went into it.  How did I ever forget about this album?

4.  Jimmy Eat World- Bleed America (full album)

5.  Silverchair- “Emotion Sickness”- This is a song that I’m more obsessed with now than I was in 2004 when I got the album just because I had a crush on a boy who liked the band.

6.  Sparta- Porcelain (full album)

7.  Modest Mouse- The Lonesome Crowded West (full album)- Just shut the fuck up if you don’t like this album.

8.  Alkaline Trio- They’ve never stopped being cool in my book, and they’ll always have a spot in my heart because of that particular show that I discuss in Adventures of Touring.  They do something that the other bands of that time and genre couldn’t/can’t pull off.  They write great lyrics, they’re tight (musically speaking), not every song has the same exact chord progression and their sound has depth.

9.  Norma Jean- “Memphis Will be Laid to Waste”- Fuck yeah!  So hardcore and awesome.

10.  Thrice- A friend sent me this video not too long ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=949X-FHj62k (careful females… you’re about to get wet) and this is the video that got me to dig up my Thrice albums that I hadn’t listened to in probably a decade.  A true rediscovery.  Now I love these albums as much as I did when I was 16 wearing converse and studded belts.

11.  Nine Inch Nails- “Something I Can Never Have”- I have never been a huge fan of this band, but I liked this particular song when I was younger and again, after years of abandoning it, I listened recently and I still think it’s gorgeous.

12.  Brand New- I never gave them a true chance back in 2003 when all of the “emo” kids were wearing Brand New pins and t-shirts, but I shouldn’t have judged the cover because now I think that they are great.

13.  Vaux- “At Your Will”- Songs that sound like they’re going to build up to something epic can be either hit or miss.  This one is a big hit.  It forces you to feel.

14.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs- “Maps”- There was a sliver in time when everyone was in love with this song.  It still holds up.

15.  Finch- What it is to Burn (full album)

16.  Chevelle- Wonder What’s Next (full album)- When this album came out, I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I liked it because it was too “mainstream” to be cool.  It stayed in a box, hidden away with a bunch of other CD’s that I was embarrassed by because I was a teenager and for some reason gave a shit when a peer said, “you like Chevelle?” with a superior tone.  Fuck that.  This album is so good.  Sorry, Chevelle.  You deserved better from me.  I’d like to add that their new album is fantastic as well.  Probably their best since this one.

17.  Neutral Milk Hotel- “Two Headed Boy”- Nothing you nor I ever create in our entire lifetimes, will even rival the brilliance of this song.  Sorry.  I may have just killed a dream or two.  Consider it my bold statement of the month.

18.  Recover- EP- I always liked this EP because it sounds like they recorded it with four tracks and in someone’s living room (which they probably did, come to think of it).  It does have a slightly immature sound, so I wouldn’t say that it’s timeless, but I think it holds its’ own within the genre.

19.  Underoath- They’re Only Chasing Safety (full album)- Again, it became very uncool to like Underoath, and I’m okay with that.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan, but I think that this one album is fun and it does something for me.

20.  Dinosaur Jr- “No Bones”- Listen to that little guitar lick that repeats throughout, and tell me that that’s not timeless.  This band is sexy.

21.  Fiona Apple- Tidal (full album)- You simply have poor taste in music if you don’t like this album.

22.  Iron and Wine- “Jezebel”- I’m WAY over the Iron and Wine craze, but this one song will never get old.

My homework to everyone is to go have an epic music session alone tonight, and get back to me on some bands/songs that you have rediscovered.

 

 

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Part 2 of 2: Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 12

…to be continued…

So I drive the child home and I was not planning on exiting my vehicle, but somehow this gem must have convinced me. I don’t remember the details. He tried to get me to go up to his apartment, but that was not happening. So we were walking around his apartment complex, which seemed like a good idea because it was giving me time to sober up before driving home. Of course this led to the kiss because why not?  I’m willing to exploit myself in the name of a good story. We were kissing for a couple of seconds when he stopped and said, “by the way, my name is….”

My first thought as he’s saying this sentence was, I don’t give a fuck what your name is! But then we get to the end of the sentence and he says, Fat Face. Obviously, that’s not a direct quote, but he has the same goddamn name as my Fat Face. The whole reason I was in this mess was because I was pissed at Fat Face, and now the child had the same name as him. I couldn’t do it anymore and I literally starting laughing in this poor kid’s face. He didn’t get it, so I just said, “Of course your name is______.” He still didn’t get it, so when in doubt, smile and nod. Which he did. Good boy.

Then he attempted for the third time to get me up to his apartment, which I will admit, I now considered because this whole situation was just becoming more and more entertaining, but I do have some level of self-respect. I ended it there, I think I gave him a friend pat on the shoulder and said goodbye.

Little did I know, Fat Face was on the other side of town, basically doing the same exact thing as I was.

The next day Fat Face called me, and I thought it was going to be to apologize. Of course not!  He was calling to ask if I knew any remedies to get rid of hickeys.  Fist of all, no.  I have never had a hickey in my life because I think they’re incredibly tacky and disrespectful and I don’t put up with that kind of behavior.  Second of all, I’m still mad at you!  Thirdly, who the fuck are you letting give you a hickey you schmuck?  She better be flippin’ hot! Fat Face doesn’t take things too seriously, so normally he wouldn’t give a shit about a couple of hickeys on his neck, but it was the day of his high school reunion. I took pleasure in this.

He begins to tell me of the events leading up to getting his neck mauled, and I find out that he too went out after our war of words, he too somehow got to talking to someone who he was not into and she too was a child. Just like my child, Fat Face’s child tried to seduce him, but was turned-down. To Fat Face’s honor, for a guy, he is capable of showing amazing restraint even when he’s intoxicated. I wasn’t planning on telling him about my previous night’s escapade, but when he told me about his, it was all too much of a coincidence and I had to let him in on it.

To top it all off, while my two boys have the same name, my name also came up in his night out too! In his half-assed attempt at stopping their make-out session, he tried the excuse, “I have a girlfriend.” She wasn’t buying it.

“No you don’t.”

“Yeah I do…”

“What’s her name?”

“Caitlin.”

Of course, my name was the first one that he thought of.  Not thirty seconds after claiming to have a girlfriend named Caitlin, he receives a text message from me which she sees. Brilliant. I couldn’t have planned the parallels of this night if I tried. My text came immediately after I left the child, and it was my drunk way of trying to be mysterious and take a stab at Fat Face. It just read, “I hope you’re entertained.” God I was being dramatic.  Fat Face probably just rolled his eyes at my text and then continued his make-out session.

He never thinks that the situations him and I consistently get ourselves into are as hilarious as I do, and this time was no different. He laughs, but then he’s just like, “Yeah, cool Cait.”

Later that night, to get even with him, I would crash his reunion. They were at the “after party” at some dive bar on the beach. Before I got pissed at him, I was encouraging and hoping that he’d “re-meet” someone. After his asshole statement from the night prior though, I was now prepared to sabotage. I love Fat Face no matter what, so had he sounded like he was actually having a good time and asked me not to come, I would have respected that regardless of my current disdain for him. When he called me however, I could tell that he needed his partner in crime to spice things up.

When I arrived, I immediately began Mission Embarrass Fat Face. I was yelling through the bar lies like Fat Face had herpes… he was recently incarcerated for having sex with a minor… that he had three nipples, anything that came to mind. I was also pointing out his hickeys to everyone. I was being so obnoxious.

Fat Face is always a good sport though, and he didn’t give a fuck, so he was just laughing and joining in. It basically turned into a Cait and Fat Face performance, and people just started staring awkwardly the way you do when you’re watching two apes fondle each other at the zoo. We were shouting obscenities and literally gleeking whiskey onto each other’s faces.

I went to the same high school and was the class just under him, so I knew a lot of the people there.  A few of them I of course have mild history with, so that made things even more interesting. When a couple of people asked if Fat Face and I were now dating, I told them that we did for a little while, but then shit got weird when we found out that my mom’s great uncle’s nephew is Fat Face’s dad, so it just didn’t work out. I couldn’t tell if these people actually believed me or not, I was just impressed with my improv skills.

Once it became clear that we had officially scared everyone away from us, we went down onto the dance floor that had ZERO people on it, a fucking ugly cheap disco light thing, god awful music playing and a random hoola hoop on the ground. Of course we went on to make utter fools of ourselves by white people dancing together and attempting to hoola hoop, then integrating the hoola hoop with our god awful dancing.

After sufficiently embarrassing ourselves enough to call it a night, we left and decided to walk on the beach for a while to sober up before driving home. In true Fat Face and Caitlin style, we stripped down to our underwear and jumped into the Gulf. I can’t believe we did this because it was dark, so we obviously couldn’t see into the water and that’s always terrifying, but he always brings out the adventurous side of me.

Once we both made it home, it must have been around 3:00am, and I texted him saying that he is now obligated to come to my reunion next year. He said, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” I told him no, there’s no option, to which he responds with,

“Don’t care. Passing out.”

God I love him.

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Part 1 of 2: Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 12

I hate anonymity, but I’ve been participating in it recently, occasionally giving the boys that I write about pseudonyms so that their ex’s or girl that they flirted with one night over a pitcher of beer and a soccer game, don’t get offended.  I guess me giving them bullshit names, is my way of not cock-blocking my friends.  But come on girls, stop getting pissed at guys just because they have a story that doesn’t include you.  It’s embarrassing.  So because I’m annoyed right now that I have to practice restraint, I am going to give my friend the pseudonym “fat face” for this entry.  Generally, I would call him “My Love,” a name we’ve been calling each other since 2003, but he pissed me off, so he’s not getting the nice nickname today.

I’d like to note that Fat Face is not at all fat.  He’s actually quite good-looking and I like picking out ties for him because he has a good fashion sense and when he’s feeling especially sweet, he’ll even let me pick out his outfit.

Him and I always have a lot of fun together.  Whether I’m making him play Monopoly with me, or we’re hoping fences and jumping into high school pools at 3:00 in the morning, we always have a great time.  We have been hanging out a lot because at the moment we’re both single(ish), we live in the same city, have a self-destructive personal life and put up with each other’s obnoxious tendencies, so I’d say he’s my partner in crime.  He’s also one of my best friends.

When we were teenagers, we had a whole group of friends who would rally together and participate in these slightly illegal, yet harmless activities such as spray painting city light bulbs, climbing on roofs and planning underground Beta fish fight clubs.  The rest of the “crew” have gone on to have fully functioning adult lives, and Fat Face and I are the two who still blow bubbles and giggle at the word vagina.  I’m sure our inability to settle down is due to our deep inner discontent, but this is something we choose to ignore for the most part when we’re together.  We just have too much damn fun to bother with gross discussions of the true reasons of why we push everyone away.

This screenshot perfectly sums up our friendship:

IMG_0130That is a very brief explanation of our most recent history, maybe I’ll get into our more advanced history some other time, but for now, we’re talking about what he did to piss me off, and the sinful events that took place after.  While on the phone with him the other night, he said something that was probably true, but I was not trying to hear it right then.  It was something along the lines of me always getting myself into ridiculous situations because I “welcome” them.  He went on to just dig himself into a hole, including statements such as, “I’m entertained by them though!”  I basically took it to mean that he doesn’t take me, or my life seriously.

“Fat Face.  Fat Face.  Stop talking.  I’m hanging up on you.”

“No!  No!  Don’t hang up.  Please!”

“Yes, I’m going.  You’re making me mad.”

“You know that’s not what I meant!”

“Whatever.  Bye.”

Of course, we were kind of laughing, even as we were yelling at each other.  He knows me well enough to know that I just needed a night to settle down and that by tomorrow I’d only be 60% mad at him, so he let me go.  I was planning on a low-key night, it was 10:00pm and I was sitting at a Starbucks instead of a bar.  After Fat Face ambushed me with that however, I felt I deserved a cocktail to unwind from the mental uneasiness he so graciously offered.  I brought my book to a nearby bar, sat in my spot and ordered a Beefeater martini with two olives.

20 pages and 20 ounces of gin later, and I was humoring this guy next to me, pretending to listen as he discussed something relating to baseball I think, and something relating to his dog, which I definitely didn’t give a shit about.  This went on for about a half hour, but once he busted out the iPhone to show me pictures of his damn dog that I didn’t ask about, I gave myself a Caitlin pep talk.  It went something like this:

Why the fuck are you talking to this guy?  You know you’re just humoring him because you’re bored and pissed at Fat Face.

After my pep talk, I decided to actually look at the guy whose time I was currently wasting.  He was a child.  This kid must have been freshly 21.  Okay, now things were getting interesting, I thought.  Fat Face is always getting himself involved with little girls who still take bathroom mirror selfies, and the kid I was talking to was their male counterpart.

Once I discovered the irony, I was eating it up.  I began to actually make eye-contact, asked him what his dumb dog’s name is and even went as far as to inquire about what it feels like to have been born in the ’90s.  In hindsight, it was obviously my way of lashing out at Fat Face’s statement.  You think I “welcome” my ridiculous situations?  Well watch this!

Just call me Ms. Maturity.

The child and I got up to go outside, and he was carrying a fucking duffel bag.  Immediately after that hilarious discovery, which I of course called him out on, I found out that he doesn’t have a car.  Even better.  Here I am, a 27-year-old professional, (sort of) about to make a bad decision with a kid who carries around a duffel bag, has no car and wears pink button up shirts.  “So does that mean I’m taking you home?” I asked.

“Yes.”  Oh God.

To be continued…

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