the other night I drove past my grandparent's house and saw two cars in the driveway--my grandfather's large truck and the Cadillac my Nonna owned while she was alive.
I thought back to when my mom, with a quivering lip, told me that my grandfather officially had to take the keys away from my Nonna. She was getting too old to drive and he had a clear enough head to make that decision for her. She would never drive herself anywhere again.
My grandfather is approaching his mid-80's, but he only just retired this year for medical practice. He's pretty self capable between tending to his giant garden or taking care of his dog or going hunting or sailing his boat. However, it was was my Nonna who started to slip first. She worked up until a certain point, but with six kids spread out over 15 years, she eventually became the doctor's housewife. She volunteered around town and was the famous local artist in the area, constantly in the newspaper for her talents. Eventually smoking got the best of her and let Emphysema take her lungs and old age take her mind. Trips to the hair dresser or the food store or to the shore became difficult for her. She started to travel with a friend and then she eventually was escorted by family members.
I think about that day a lot. The day when someone had to make a life changing decision for her. She probably barely noticed. At that point she was having normal days and flighty days. She'd either be very aware or childlike, not really focused on things going on around her.
I think was saddens me the most is that one day that might happen for me--The day that I may no longer remember how to do some simple things as driving or using the phone or making dinner. There will come a time when our kids will get the best of us. We stop remembering how well we played the game. They'll whisper to their friends, "They won't know the difference" or perhaps, "They have no clue what's going on." And maybe we won't. Rationality eventually gets the best of us and soon imagination drifts away as fast as our youth did. We'll have grandkids and mix up their names, possibly with out own kid's names. They'll stamp their feet in frustration or just roll their eyes and not bother to correct us.
Isn't it strange how with age we are supposed to become smarter, wiser but it lasts only briefly until we return to a childlike state? I fear it. I fear aging and loss of imagination. Of growing up and forgetting the tricks and ideas of youth. Of the desire to be better than those who came before me. I want to hold on to it and keep it forever. But we can't. Time is always passing.
“Are you serious?” She said
“I never should have let you in my head
Who the hell do you think that you are?
I see you climbing over innocent hearts
I’ll say exactly what I feel”
“I’m not impressed at all
You really want to know just what I think?
I’m tired of always being second best
Get out and find that pseudo-comfort somewhere else”
We fall to miscommunication
And in that moment I might die
I’ll let you go
If you really mean it all this time, but you didn’t know
I felt misleaded in my mind
I won't comment on this band, but god damn this song. These lyrics.
Where was this song in 2008-2009 when I was losing my mind?
I'm remembering all that was left in the past. The good and the bad.
What did it all mean in the long run?
I'm not saying that I regret it. I genuinely think that certain events and people have shaped me into what and where I am right now.
And right now I'm happy. I've been growing up.
It's just these little reminders that sometimes creep up on me.
I'm sure I've written about this before but, have you ever shared a song or album or artist with someone you've cared about and then have your relationship end or be ruined for some reason or another? It sort of soils all the magic and meaning of the music when it's all over and normally it takes a long time to wash away all of those memories tied to it.
I wont list the specifics, but this place has caused me to re-affirm my loved for certain things and cause a new-found dislike for others. Like I said, some things just take time to mend.
Just looking at the mid-year Top Ten lists I'm realizing why this year in music hasn't been very enticing to me....it's chalk full of releases from artists that I don't care about, for one reason or another. I guess my favorites already had their album releases last year or just couldn't cut it with their new music this year. However, it's only July so I'm expecting better things. Two out of the 3 albums on my current AOTY list are by artists I've only started listening to this year so, perhaps there's still hope. Perhaps I'll keep trolling to Members Only forum for better releases.
A couple of weeks ago, I took the advice of a friend and decided to attend this for the price of $10
The lineup of Waking Lights and Mansions was absolutely perfect. Mansions had an am explosion, but recovered nicely and put on a great set.
As for Ace, I've been on the fence about Gold Rush. In the first few album listens, I was only impressed with 2 or 3 songs. Fortunately it only took an awesome show for me to finally embrace it with open arms.
The setting was extremely intimate with only Ace onstage playing all the instruments to a delay system so it would sound like a full band. The crowd was full of die-hards, singing nearly every word to every song. Several guys were openly hitting on him and/or shouting inappropriate things, including a typical "Free Bird" request, all of which Ace rebuttaled in the most awesome way possible. The entire show felt like an episode of MTV's Unplugged and I loved every moment of it. In the end, even Ace said it was one of the most fun shows he's played in forever. I agree, Ace, I agree.
Someone taped "Ever So Sweet" which perfectly captures the feel of the entire night in one song. Enjoy.
Also, he encore'd with "Sunday Drive"
If it's not too late for you, definitely check out this tour. Great set-list and probably the most intimate side of Ace you'll get aside from him playing in your living room.
I'm down to blogging once a month. I guess it's true what they say...when things finally fall into place, you're less inspired to write. It's the heartbreak that keeps us spilling our guts.
Sometimes I think of things to blog and then the thoughts dissipate as quickly as the way they came in. I'll try and work on that. This blog was supposed to be more about the music than my personal life anyway.
As for a recap of what's been going on:
Bamboozle came and went and it was much better than last year. Saw The Movielife, Wiz Khalifa, Bruno Mars, and the TAYF TBS Lineup for the first time ever -- all had truly awesome moments and I remain a fan.
Watching my favorite album played in it's entirety by one of my favorite bands with some of my closest friends was surreal. It greatly hurt my heart that Adam Lazzara took the stage whilst sick and with little to no speaking/singing voice. Thankfully I was with people who sang every word loud enough to make it an enjoyable experience.
Extra Bonus Points: Spending last week with AbsolutePunk's favorite Aussie: KissTheBottle. It's been two years since we've hung out and this was under much better circumstances. I miss him already.
I plan on traveling in the next few months: 1 stop to Florida, Two stops in Georgia. Though I hate airplanes now more than ever, I'm excited. I like the feel of new places and food and the warm sun. I'm especially excited for summer.
As for shows, I saw Young The Giant in Brooklyn last month and was blown away. It was something that I almost backed out of last minute and I'm glad I didn't. What a perfect show that didn't even include an encore. I highly encourage you to check them out. I'm wondering if anything will top that this year.
Next wee I see Sleigh Bell for the first time since Free Fest last fall and I'm ready to dance my face off.
I guess in many ways life is still the same. I have endless bills and a list of materialistic items that I really want to buy. Family and friend struggles come and go.
Work is work....it has it's ups and downs. I just wish it would allow me to grow more. I'm three years older and I'm still doing the same work. I wish something would come along that would lead me to the next step. At least we still share some laughs, good food, and occasional adventures. So...there's that.
Nothing in life is perfect or certain, but sometimes you meet some who allows you to feel that that's possible down the line. I'm happy in that aspect. I waited a long time for something like this to come along...to be able to feel this way for someone and feel it back in return. Of course at times I'm deathly afraid that life is going to play a cruel joke and ruin it all, but for now, I'm happy.
I don't miss the heartache. Some of it got me to this place and I can't hold a grudge, but other instances I truly wasted my time and emotions for no reason. I refuse to go back to that place. I must forge forward.
Next blog will be more of my old style. I hope everyone is well or at least trying to get to a point of great achievement.
The other night while I was snuggled up, a la cinnamon bun style, in bed I was browsing iTunes and saw a link for Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. At first I thought this was just a bunch of punks trying to be coy and naming their band after a great 80's/90's white haired comedian that we're all familiar with.
Oh no, this was the real deal. The real Bluegrass deal. In fact, some have said:
"Steve Martin Is Bluegrass Music's New Ambassador" - AOL's The Boot
Anyway, I listened to some of the tracks, many of which are collaborations (including one with Paul McCartney) and they're good. Pretty pretty good. And I'm not the only one who's noticed since he's already won two Grammys for his work.
I think things are going okay right now. I think I've found a legitimate reason to smile nearly every day.
In the last two years, I really had lost myself. I constantly felt like I was drowning...being swallowed up by negative influences around me. I kept trying to swim to the surface, but I was only able to tread water for so long. I didn't recognize who I was. I hated how I looked. I hated my daily routine. I felt like I was losing touch with friends. I got involved with guys that broke me down and drama that still stings to this day. I felt like person who normally lit up a room had had her spark burned out. I think I reached a point where I nearly had lost everything that, at one time, made me feel alive and invincible. It is only when you have lost it all, that you truly have everything to gain. Two or three times in my life I've gone through a serious personal overhaul. I ultimately shed the wounded, broken version of my former self, only to fix myself for the better.
Perhaps it sounds trite, but, I'm trying to make things work. I'm in my mid-twenties and it's time to start solidifying my strengths and abilities while still managing to enjoy this little thing called youth. Of course there are the ups and downs: health issues, family issues, friend issues, relationship issues, money issues. There are nights when I can't sleep and days when it takes every ounce of my existence to get out of bed. Nothing is truly perfect...perhaps just ideal at times. But that's just how it is. Ups and downs molding and shaping us. The bad showing us what the good really looks like and the good making us forget, even for a moment, what the bad is really like. So I'll try and take it all in, as best as I can. One day at a time.
I'm no optimist, just someone who's currently inspired.
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
---- Mumford & Sons
Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting close. If I'll soon walk into everything I've wanted and waited for.
I feel like I deserve this.
I'm not a saint by any means, but I feel like I've dealt with enough crap and heartache to actually deserve a silver lining for a change.
I guess we'll find out soon enough.
or I'll just have to wait longer.
I learned a lot about falling in love when I fell out of love
I learned a lot about being a friend when I was alone
Well I played with fire, I burned it all down
I've made more mistakes than you can count
- tigers jaw
These lyrics remind me of growing up.
Not in the adolescent sense, but in the quarter-life crisis kind.
I woke up one morning and during my daily routine I decided to do a look back on my past. I sought out things that meant a lot to me and things that truly broke me down. I sort of came to the same conclusion after reviewing both.
For better or worse, it's over.
Certain things happen at certain points of your life. They either break you down or build you back up.
They each form the various molecules that make you what you are today.
For better or worse.
We all experience grief and joy in our gains and losses.
Sometimes we even build great empires and then watch them burn to the ground.
But they challenge us, and if we're strong enough, we move forward.
Never forgetting the feelings, but hopefully learning from the mistakes.
And sometimes we cling to those moments for years and years.
Not sure how to learn from it, not ready to let go at all...for it would mean letting go not just of the bad, but of all the good as well.
But in the end, sometimes letting go of everything is the only way to moving forward to something much better.
And that is the greatest and hardest lesson of all.
So, these lyrics weren't just relevant to my past, but to today and tomorrow.
And so we build it up and burn it down.
We enjoy, we suffer, we rebuild.
For better or for worse.
I have to say it now or the fear inside me will truly manifest itself into something dangerous.
I am truly afraid to let my guard down.
I don't quite know why it's come to this, but it exists. I'm scared for myself. I'm scared to open to break down the walls, To invite someone in. Yet, I sit on the other side feeling afraid, lonely, and resentful.
I want people to come in, but I can't seem to open the door. Instead, I pace and worry and overthink it all.
But unexpectedly someone comes along, unlike the others. He is a rarity. Someone who represents what little good still exists in the world. He waits outside my window.
I feel immense fear. I am constantly haunted by the past and how it broke me down, forcing me to build these walls. If I never try, if I never talk about it, then maybe nothing will go wrong.
The fear is raising up inside, paralyzing me. Preventing me from moving forward.
It wasn't always bad. There were some good ones. Some that never wanted or intended to leave. They opened their hearts to me, but I eventually turned them away. I was bored. I couldn't feel it in the way that they needed.
And then there were the bad ones. The truly bad. The ones that took my trust, my heart, and my light and burned it out as fast as they were able to take it.
They wore masks of a good thing and by the time I realized that it was a facade, it was too late. There were usually casualties from it--Lost friends and confidence that I could never get back.
And me...I was hurt worst of all.
I don't know what's become of me.
I feel tension rising in my chest. I can't break down the walls. I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle another mask. And yet, I've had the good before at some point---the best life can offer. So happiness can't possibly be non-existent...Why can't I just let him in and take a chance? Maybe this is everything that I ever wanted.
He waits patiently as he offers smiles and kind words--Words and feelings that I haven't heard or felt in years. I try and smile back, the anxiety rising in my chest. I hope he doesn't notice. I hope he is truly one of the good ones.
I want to believe. I want to open the door. I want to experience the good.
Because this is my time. I've waited long enough.
I never incorporated my AOTY/EPOTY/SOTY/EOTY List. I'm not sure anyone even cares anymore.
However, I'm documenting it on the slim chance I'll need to go back and check it out at the end of next year for reference. Yes, there's some obscure pop stuff in there. I refuse to deny that side of me...besides, most of you expect it anyway. EP List will eventually be in it's own entry.
Given that the last album had a very specific message and took nearly two years to complete, Valencia’s third release was bound to be a total surprise. I had no idea what to expect and in turn, I was completely blown away. While, WANARTB is about loss and mourning, DWAG is about what happens after the dust of that tragedy clears and what of you is left standing—sometimes it’s an even greater darkness that you weren’t aware existed. With the arrival of their new drummer, who brought lots of new ideas to the table, Valencia took their previous sound and expanded it totally beyond my expectations. By incorporating a variety of new instruments and vocals arrangements, there is no limit to what they can do anymore.
Favorite Tracks: Losing Sleep, Somewhere I Belong, Dancing with a Ghost
Neon Trees had a lot of internet and MTV buzz behind them at the beginning of this year and when I finally listened to their hit single “Animals”, I understood why. A combination of Muse and The Killers, the songs are infectious, fun, and addicting. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on two different live sessions from the band and by seeing them in a raw space, made me appreciate their sound even more. This was the album that I could turn on at any time of the day and not get bored with a single track. By far the breakout band of 2010.
Favorite Tracks: Animal, Your Surrender, Farther Down
Though Sigh No More was released in Europe at the end of 2009, I hadn’t had the chance to get my hands on it until this year. This album brings forth a sound that I wasn’t quite used to…a sort of ambient folk sound that develops into an epic symphony. My imagination goes wild when I put on my headphones and turn up the volume. Sigh No More is completely inspiring and the perfect musical story to take on your travels.
Favorite Tracks: Roll Away Your Stone, Sigh No More, The Cave
4. The Audition - Great Danger
5. Sleigh Bells - Treats
6. Envy on the Coast - lowcountry
7. The Republic of Wolves - Varuna
8. Four Year Strong - Enemy of the World
9. Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
10. You Me at Six - Hold Me Down
11. Young The Giant - Young the Giant
12. Artist vs Poet - Favorite Fix
13. Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
14. The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
15. Vampire Weekend - Contra
16. Matt & Kim - Sidewalks
17. I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business - The World We Know
18. House of Heroes - Suburba
19. Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away
20. Seabear - We Built a Fire
Favorite Songs of 2010
1. "Animal" - Neon Trees
2. "My Body" - Young the Giant
3. "Roll Away Your Stone" - Mumford & Sons
4. "Numb" - Envy on the Coast
5. "We've Got A Situation Here" - The Damned Things
6. "The Dreamer" The Tallest Man on Earth
7. "Dancing with a Ghost" - Valencia
8. "You Ruined This" - The Audition
9. "Block After Block" - Matt & Kim
10. "Baby Steps" - I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business
11. "Something Personal" - Bright & Early
12. "It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now" - Four Years Strong
13. "Car Crash" - Artist vs Poet
14. "What You Know" - Two Door Cinema CLub
15. "Fade" - The Narrative
16. "It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now" - Four Years Strong
17. "Cousins" - Vampire Weekend
18. "Saving Grace" - The Maine
19. "Woolen Blankets" - The Republic of Wolves
20. "Runaway" - Kanye West
21. "Zebra" - Beach House
22. "Love is For the Middle Class" - House of Heroes
23. "Your Love Is My Drug" - Ke$ha
24. "Love the Way You Lie" - EMINEM Ft. Rihanna
25. Just the Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
26. "Grow Wings & Sing" - Oh! The Story
27. "OMG" - Usher
28. "Maybe We'll Make It Summer" - Sweatshirt Weather
We'll thank whoever's in charge here that this year
didn't treat me so bad.
The day the ground starts to get wet,
everyone that I've ever met has an away message that says,
"Faintest snow keep falling." New diners are packed out
with old friends. We're overwhelmed but unimpressed.
Haven't really been into The Wonder Years this year, but this song still rings true...even if I'm 25.
Can't wait to get snowed in with some of my favorite people and share good food and drinks.
this thing was the reason I met you
and you are the reason I wrote the words
and it is the reason we are ruined.
It'd be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.
I'm guessing that if you looked up jealousy in the dictionary- there would be a picture of me.
I miss these entries.
They were the only thing that used to keep me sane.
This is relevant. This is me.
This is what I couldn't say to you.