Top 15 Albums of 2009
1. Paramore brand new eyes
2. Dr. Manhattan Jam Dreams
3. Tegan and Sara Sainthood
4. Freelance Whales Weathervanes
5. mewithoutYou it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright.
6. Closure In Moscow First Temple
7. Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything To Nothing
8. An Horse Rearrange Beds
9. Every Time I Die New Junk Aesthetic
10. Brand New Daisy
11. Regina Spektor Far
12. Surrogate Popular Mechanics
13. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster III
14. Miniature Tigers Tell It To The Volcano
15. All Time Low Nothing Personal
As Cities Burn Hell Or High Water
Company Of Thieves Ordinary Riches
The Decemberists The Hazards Of Love
Emery ...In Shallow Seas We Sail
A Fine Frenzy Bomb In A Birdcage
The Fold Dear Future, Come Get Me
fun. Aim & Ignite
Meg & Dia Here, Here, and Here
Owen New Leaves
P.O.S. Never Better
Say Anything Say Anything
Thursday Common Existence
Need More Time With...
Anchor & Braille Felt
Between The Trees Spain
The Chariot War and Rumors of War
The Dangerous Summer Reach For The Sun
Dashboard Confessional Alter The Ending
He Is Legend It Hates You
New Found Glory Not Without A Fight
Showbread The Fear Of God
Silversun Pickups Swoon
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!
Taking Back Sunday New Again
Top 3 EPs of 2009
1. Lydia Hotel Sessions EP
2. The Honey Trees Wake The Earth EP
3. Death Cab For Cutie The Open Door EP
2. The Matches
4. As Cities Burn
5. The Matches
6. The Honorary Title
7. He Is Legend
Most Anticipated in 2010
She & Him, Secret and Whisper, Ivoryline, Anberlin, I'll edit this later.
A little after midnight, I was leaving the library on campus and the first song to come on in the car was "Planning A Prison Break" by The Receiving End Of Sirens - the first song I ever heard of theirs. I figured I could drive a little longer to give the song an honest listen. That lead to listening to their whole discography instead of starting the book I should be reading to have finished by 9am. They are one of my favorite bands; I owed it to them and to myself. They have the substance practically every band seems to lack these days.
Then, I remembered... they called it quits in March of last year, so I searched back to find the post where it was announced. What do you know...
A year ago today, I walked into my dorm room, opened Firefox and found this post on my homepage. I immediately went outside, called my brother, and told him the news. I think he is the only other person who appreciated them like I do. Afterall, he is the reason I even started listening to them. I remember wanting to cry, my voice was shaking out of shock.
The Receiving End Of Sirens, today is about you. You're greatly missed from my life, but I hope you're doing well.
Four months ago, you would hint at being attracted to me. Two months ago, that changed. Now, you hint at how much I've changed.
Do yourself a favor and don't ever wonder why that is. Want an answer? Look in the mirror.
It's called self-preservation. I'd like to cling on to whatever is left of myself that I didn't already give to you. I think you of all people would understand that. I can't bring myself to let my guard down to you again, even if you are the one person I want to do that for.
It's almost like the one night I drove thirty minutes to see you when I was upset. I didn't want to cry in front of you; I don't like people seeing me weak. The one tear that did fall, though, you held my face as you wiped it away. You pushed my hair out of my eyes and put your arms around me. "I'm here for you," you said.
Whenever I feel the urge to cry, I can feel your fingers under my eyes, ready to catch those tears. And then, just like that, I lose that feeling to let them fall.
That describes exactly what it is like to be "myself" around you. In my mind, we are the most perfect of best friends. When I see you, I shut down. I don't want to be weak again. I don't want to be hurt again. I just want to be me. Again.
It's freezing outside, literally. My windows are raised up as the wind gusts past the screen. I'm sitting on my bed looking at my reflection in the window, and what I see past it is a silent, cold world outside. Sigur Rós is playing as the wet snow collects on my car below, and I feel at home.
It's been three months since I've felt this way. Funny how times change.
For those who wondered who did Lydia's artwork for Illuminate, it was the wonderful vocalist for The Honey Trees - also known as Becky Filip. Her voice is like no other. You'll adore them soon, if you'd just give yourself that chance.
Words. mewithoutYou's ability to cure my everything. Driving down the highway at night in the middle of winter with my windows down, especially when it is raining. Genuine people. My independence. How bright my future is. Anticipation. Creation. Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival. Airports. Wayne's World. Word association. Strangers who smile back. My parents. The relationship I have with my brother. Foxes. Cinnamon Eggos with a scoop of coffee ice cream on top. Carelessness. Memories. Overcoming a weakness. Art. Tattoos. Piercings. Italian food. Flaws. People-watching. Strong female vocals. Free-thinkers. Driving aimlessly. Soccer. Volleyball. My past. The little things. People who are nice for no reason. Photographs. Laughter. Infinity. How much more intimate music is when heard through headphones. Discovering a new favorite band. Fear Before. The unknown. Horses. Changing someone's life. James Frey. Being a morning person. Being a night person. Surpassing one's expectations. Learning through experience. Sleep. Lyrics that just fit. Catch For Us The Foxes. Eliot's Fair Grounds coffee shop in Norfolk, Virginia. Bodies of water. Being in a strange city. Dresses. How much of an impact the sun has in the middle of a cold winter. The first snow of the season. Living vicariously through someone else's happiness. Change. Foreign films. Best friends of the opposite sex (more namely, my best friend of the opposite sex). Inspiration. Waking up to text messages. Having something to look forward to. Dreams that seem real. The smell of Borders. Blue Duck (my iPod). Forever 21. Saying "right on" far too much. Being girly. A new attraction. Hearing songs for the first time in years yet still knowing all of the words. Hot showers. Feeling the good kind of anxious. The idea of living with my brother and my best friend in a few months. Yorkshire Terriers. No drugs. No alcohol. No cigarettes. Relativity. Staring at the sun. Zooey Deschanel. Pugs. Being treated how I deserve to be treated. Making someone smile. Realization. Living. A perfectly made Cinnamon Dulce Latte from Starbucks. Drums. Growing up. Being told "You look familiar". People who go the extra mile. Feeling accomplished. Starting a new journal. Making this list. Getting to know someone. Having control. Having a backbone. Reliving my teen years through old mixed CDs. Snail mail. Aaron Weiss. Starting a new book. Sunsets that look like the cover of Sleepercar's West Texas. Being the one person someone confides in. Questions. Having all the time in the world. New beginnings. Undivided attention. You.
1. Lydia Illuminate
2. Sigur Rós með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
3. Fear Before Fear Before
4. Death Cab For Cutie Narrow Stairs
5. Anberlin New Surrender
6. Alive In Wild Paint Ceilings
7. Secret and Whisper Great White Whale
8. The New Frontiers Mending
9. She & Him Volume One
10. City and Colour Bring Me Your Love
11. Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
12. drmanhattan drmanhattan
13. Sleepercar West Texas
14. Damien Jurado Caught In The Trees
15. The Academy Is... Fast Times At Barrington High
Top 3 EPs of 2008
1. Manchester Orchestra Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind EP/DVD
2. Stars Sad Robots EP
3. Ellington More Like A Movie, Less Like Real Life EP
Albums I Would Love If Given The Chance The Sound of Animals Fighting The Sun And The Ocean
Ray LaMontagne Gossip In The Grain
Norma Jean The Anti-Mother
Copeland You Are My Sunshine
The Faint Fasciinatiion
Jack's Mannequin The Glass Passenger
Lovedrug The Sucker Punch Show
Dear and the Headlights Drunk Like Bible Times
Family Force 5 Dance Or Die
Fall Out Boy Folie A Deux
Saddest Break-ups of 2008
1. The Receiving End Of Sirens
2. The Starting Line
3. The Format
4. The New Frontiers
5. Far-Less (?)
Best Lyrics of 2008
Death Cab For Cutie, City and Colour
Best Vocals of 2008
Jón Þór Birgisson (Sigur Rós) and David Marion (Fear Before)
Most Anticipated in 2009 mewithoutYou and Manchester Orchestra
I realized all I've gotta do is love people and if I find my contentment in serving people, and giving, and loving - then it's not dependent on what people's response is. You know? You don't say, "she's gotta love me back or else I can't be happy," or, "she's gotta marry me," or, "we've gotta sell this many records or I can't be happy," or, "I've gotta have this kind of house or I can't be happy." It's more like, no, I've gotta love people. And I've gotta love God. And that's always possible. -Aaron Weiss, mewithoutYou
Those words just reconfirmed my wholehearted love for that band and everything they stand for.
Why do you stare at me?
You stare at me. I want to know why.
You already know why.
Yes, you do.
No, I don't.
You do, you just want to hear me say it.
Tell me why you stare.
I took a deep breath.
The first time I saw you, my heart fell. The second time I saw you, my heart fell. The third time fourth time fifth time and every time since, my heart has fallen.
I stared at her.
You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Your hair, your eyes, your lips, your body that you haven't grown into, the way you walk, smile, laugh, the way your cheeks drop when you're mad or upset, the way you drag your feet when you're tired. Every single thing about you is beautiful.
I stared at her.
When I see you the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There's nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops, and it is a beautiful place, and there is only you. Just you, and my eyes staring at you.
When you're gone, the World starts again, and I don't like it as much. I can live in it, but I don't like it. I just walk around in it and wait to see you again and wait for it to stop again. I love it when it stops. It's the best fucking thing I've ever known or felt, the best thing, and that, beautiful Girl, is why I stare at you.
Top 15 Albums of 2007
15. Sigur Ros Hvarf/Heim
14. Saves The Day Under The Boards
13. Thrice The Alchemy Index: Vols. I & II - Fire & Water
12. As Cities Burn Come Now Sleep
11. Four Year Strong Rise Or Die Trying
10. Far-Less A Toast To Bad Taste
9. Sullivan Cover Your Eyes
8. The Weakerthans Reunion Tour
7. Every Time I Die The Big Dirty
6. Dear And The Headlights Small Steps, Heavy Hooves
5. The Receiving End Of Sirens The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi
4. The Graduate Anhedonia
3. Anberlin Cities
2. Stars In Our Bedroom After The War
1. Circa Survive On Letting Go
10. All Time Low So Wrong, It's Right
9. My American Heart Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather
8. Just Surrender We're In Like Sin
7. Fall Out Boy Infinity On High
6. The Chariot The Fiancée
5. The Starting Line Direction
4. Minus The Bear Planet Of Ice
3. Paramore Riot!
2. Bayside The Walking Wounded
1. Jimmy Eat World Chase This Light
Top Songs of the Year
15. Saves The Day "Getaway"
14. The Weakerthans "Night Windows"
13. Bayside "Duality"
12. Four Year Strong "Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die"
11. The Graduate "The City That Reads"
10. Far-Less "I Hope We Swim (Oceans)"
9. As Cities Burn "Empire"
8. Every Time I Die "No Son Of Mine"
7. Sullivan "Fire Away"
6. Automatic Loveletter "Parker"
5. The Receiving End Of Sirens "Swallow People Whole"
4. Dear And The Headlights "Grace"
3. Anberlin "Dismantle. Repair."
2. Stars "Take Me To The Riot"
1. Circa Survive "Kicking Your Crosses Down"
15. January 20, 2007 - The Norva (Norfolk, Virginia) - Thursday, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Murder By Death, Heavy Heavy Low Low
14. November 6, 2007 - Jammin' Java (Vienna, Virginia) - Automatic Loveletter, Between The Trees
13. May 28, 2007 - 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) - The Faint, Services, Berg Sans Nipple
12. August 11, 2007 - Peppermint Beach Club (Virginia Beach, Virginia) - The Receiving End Of Sirens, Emanuel, Hopesfall, Goodbye Tomorrow
11. February 23, 2007 - 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) - Anberlin, Bayside, Meg & Dia, Jonezetta
10. October 16, 2007 - 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) - Circa Survive, Ours, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Dear And The Headlights
9. December 21, 2007 - Greene St. (Greensboro, North Carolina) - Sullivan, Far-less, A Clerestory
8. December 4, 2007 - The Ottobar (Baltimore, Maryland) - Spitalfield, The Graduate, The Forecast
7. November 30, 2007 - The Norva (Norfolk, Virginia) - Brand New, Thrice, mewithoutYou
6. August 14, 2007 - Jammin' Java (Vienna, Virginia) - Manchester Orchestra
5. July 24, 2007 - Virginia Beach Warped Tour
4. June 18, 2007 - Rock & Roll Hotel (Washington, DC) - mewithoutYou, Manchester Orchestra, The Snake The Cross The Crown
3. October 28, 2007 - 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) - The Weakerthans
2. October 20, 2007 - 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) - Stars, New Buffalo
1. March 14, 2007 - Sonar (Baltimore, Maryland) - mewithoutYou, Sparta, Aloha
5. Waking Ashland The Well
4. The Academy Is... Santi
3. Cartel Cartel
2. Boys Night Out Boys Night Out
1. Emery I'm Only A Man
5. The Blood Brothers
4. The Early November
Bands I Should Have Listened To Before 2007
As Cities Burn
Lyricist of the Year
Anthony Green (Circa Survive)
Vocalist of the Year
Stephen Christian (Anberlin) and Anthony Green (Circa Survive)
Bands I Tried To Hate To Spite My Brother
The Devil Wears Prada
Most Anticipated in '08
Death Cab For Cutie
Saves The Day
The Sound Of Animals Fighting
It's amazing how much a simple line from a song can sum you up.
I've been thinking about myself a lot lately - not in a selfish manner, but more so reflecting on who I've become over the past 19 years - and I must say, I'm quite pleased with how I have turned out so far. If anything, that is one of the best feelings, knowing you've gone so long succeeding as a person. Never have I given in to something I don't believe in. Never have I given myself or anyone I love a reason to be ashamed of who I am. It's beautiful to have people in my life who encourage my attitude and my ambition daily; they are really what keep me going.
I have a backbone.
I have the capability to stand on my own two feet.
I have the strength to say no.
I don't search for someone to complete me.
I am independent.
I am invincible.
No one can break me.
A fear of mine - what if all of this success as a person will lead to failing in life? I have been thinking about my future, and I can't help but wonder how I'll turn out when I finish school and am out on my own. Is the degree I'm pursuing the answer? Will I find out too late that Psychology isn't the field I am meant to work in? I want to help those who need it, but what if my answers aren't enough? Or what if I don't even have the answers? Scary to think of, and it is merely a possibility.
Those faces in this town that left four months ago are slowly returning. It's nice to run into familiarity, but it sure is a reality check that some things, no matter how familiar they are, will never be the same.
There are places I'll never go that I need to go to.
There are people that I'll never meet that I need to meet.
There are people I know in places that aren't here,
And, right now, I'm not okay with that.
It's 1am, I am listening to "Motorcycle Drive By", and the rain is tapping hard on my window - beautiful.