Solo road trips. I love them. It is my time to explore or re-visit natural beauty…sometimes in silence, but often with music. To me, there are few things more inspiring then driving off to the unknown, getting lost…and listening to music.
When I first started driving, I would take off to the back roads of rural Pennsylvania with my music blaring on the stereo…windows down and EVERYTHING was beautiful. The cornfields, old wooden fences, clouds, dirt roads, trees, the rocks…the subliminal white plastic bag from American Beauty.
I would pretend that I was in a movie, and the music was the soundtrack to my life.
This album has been part of my library for years, but only in playlists. This is the first time I’ve listened to this album as a whole. This is my 20th day out of 261 week days of the year. It has been an incredible start to this musical adventure.
A few years ago I began writing about every album on my i-pod (there are 795 of them-I may be a music hoarder). I stopped after 3. I started to realize…there was a lot of crap on my i-pod, and it just wasn’t worth my time. But, I still wanted to write about music, and my experiences, and how it has shaped my life. I think this plan is more solid. I’ve got a lot to share, so bare with me! At times, it might be hard to read, but it is all real…and it comes from the heart ❤ Music is nothing without heart.
Track 7- “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl”
Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me
Music, just like any other art form, allows one to see the world from many different perspectives. Evoking the memories of our past, and encouraging broader horizons, music eliminates the idea of “time” and lets us just breathe it all in. BREATH IT IN people! 🙂
Take an hour of your day, put on your favorite album…and just soak it in. Listen to the lyrics, and relate. Listen to the instrumental, and understand why it was put there. Follow the notes between the tracks… clear your mind…and enjoy.
❤ You! Do that…and report back on Monday for a new album!
This was the evening that I freaked out because someone was rolling a joint on my parents’ kitchen table… I learned to laugh about it the next morning as we all tried to make egg sandwiches without opening our eyes due to our extreme hangovers. I over cooked the eggs, and turned them into bouncy balls that we threw around the kitchen at the crack of dawn…howling in laughter. We were a bunch of dumb kids trying to cause a ruckus in Amish Country, but we genuinely loved each others’ company. We partied till the break of dawn…dancing to sweet tunes, and driving through the back woods of the Susquehanna river.
“Demon Days” had just come out the year we graduated from high school. I was a young adult working two jobs and going to school online. On the weekends, we would caravan with cases of beer and a portable speaker to a place we called “The Rock”.
To get to The Rock on a hot summer night, we had to park our cars on a back road and hike through the woods with our flashlights, cross the train tracks, and climb up a cliff that overlooked the beautiful Susquehanna river.
Once we got there we would crack some beers, and listen to the silence for a little bit. You could see the lights of the train come around the bend. It could have been the beers (I didn’t do acid), but that was one of the first nights where I felt a strong connection to nature. I felt at peace on top of that rock, and I felt really lucky. I loved my friends, and I loved sharing these experiences with them.
The guys would jump off the side of the cliff into the water, and we would all freak out…worried that something would happen to them. The girls would dance, smoke cigarettes and share secrets. When we were partied out, we’d stumble across the train tracks holding hands and eventually would make it back to our cars to go home, sleep for a few hours and then call each other up for the next adventure.
Track 13-“Fire Coming Out Of A Monkey’s Head”
Once upon a time at the foot of a great mountain, there was a town where the people known as Happyfolk lived, their very existence a mystery to the rest of the world, obscured as it was by great clouds. Here they played out their peaceful lives, innocent of the litany of excess and violence that was growing in the world below. To live in harmony with the spirit of the mountain called Monkey was enough.
To the crew ❤ I love you guys.
Demon Days in an excellent album…another concept album. Apparently I have a thing for concept albums. Enjoy!
Dog poop brown Chevy Celebrity…better known as The Snoopy Mobile. My Dad inherited this beast of a vehicle from his grandfather (my great grand father- Pap pap Smith). He named it The Snoopy Mobile because he would pick me up from my musical theater practice for “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” in 8th grade.
I was Snoopy…
and terribly embarrassed by my Dad’s ugly car. He thought it was the greatest thing ever, and loved that I was mortified.
We’d be driving home, past the cornfields and the buggies. We’d sing along to Dylan…making fun of his voice. I loved that, and I loved that my dad loved music. I started to forget I was sitting in the front seat of the most hideous car ever created.
To really appreciate Dylan, it took until after my Dad passed away in 2008. This album became a staple. Dylan’s whiny voice (like sand & glue) became a comforting memory of the special times with Dad. Weeks went by where this was the only album playing on my i-pod.
It reminded me of everything.
On the whitewashed porch of our little cape cod in Pennsylvania (visiting from San Diego) during a mid-day thunderstorm, I was on the bench listening to this album. (We had a swing for awhile, but it finally met its demise after too many of us were trying to touch the roof above the ceiling with out feet). I time traveled to lima bean picking season.
I dreaded lima bean season. That meant that I couldn’t hang out with my friend Kaitlin until all the lima beans that were picked from the garden were shelled, soaked and packed away in the freezer for winter. I’d usually end up begging her to come over and help me shell lima beans. There were probably a few times that she spent the night and ended up helping me pick strawberries the next morning…true friends do your chores for you 🙂
Shelling lima beans may have been a chore for me, but it was like a party for my parents. Our grandparents would come over, extended family, and then even friends. We’d all sit out on the porch with buckets of beans and colanders. The screens, tucked behind sun-bleached lace curtains, were always open to the kitchen where my mom was giving the beans an ice bath, and music was blaring on the boom box.
I’ll look for you in old Honolulu San Francisco, Ashtabula Yer gonna have to leave me now I know But I’ll see you in the sky above In the tall grass in the ones I love Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.
We also recorded our own version of the Star Wars soundtrack, and made our own dance routines to the Mortal Combat Theme Song…
My neighbor/best friend (Kaitlin ie. Katers Potaters, Ralphy, the other half to my best friend heart necklace..) and I would include him in our monthly performances we put on for our parents.
The most memorable being: the time he performed “Bad Boys, bad boys…whatcha gonna do?” in his over-sized black leather jacket and stunner shades. He was probably about 6 years old at the time.
We even allowed him to participate in our debut performance of “Misty Mummy” where we tied a sprinkler onto a tree branch in Kaitlin’s backyard…and walked through it like Mummies to our very short piano composition (I think it was about 5 notes long). Performance Art at its best.
Kid CuDi was an artist that my brother introduced me to. After my Dad passed away, we would get pretty bummed out, go for a drive together and listen to this album. We didn’t really have to talk much. The time shared together was comfort enough, and the lyrics on this album were encouraging. They emanated strength, which is what we needed most to push on.
At the end of the day my momma told me don’t let no one break me let no one break me At end of the day, day, nobody, nobody, ever could stop me ever could stop me At the end of the day, day you can’t regret it if you were trying if you were trying At the end of the day I’m walking with a heart of a lion yea
But, the album wasn’t just another rapper rapping about how he is better than everyone else (though he does not stray from sharing his ego). His lyrics are romantic, imaginative, and dark. He brought something new to the table.
I’m something different in all aspects Don’t want a woman just to love her assets
I admire you brother, for the man you have become, and all the times you put up with my lame music video ideas 🙂 Remember that time you wrote that sweet rap lyric? Chocolate bunnies are better than my hunnies? hahahaha 🙂
Welcome to Day 16! Time to get funky fresh… 🙂 Trombone Shaaawty! Trumpet solo…
Come on! Come on!
If you decided to listen to this album, you’ve probably had trouble keeping still all day! I know I have..especially after two cups of coffee and these firecracker tunes!
Heather & Chris. Two amazing people in my life. Their music game is on point. This album being one of the great shares 🙂 Though, I really should be representing them with Robert Randolph & The Family Band since I 3rd wheeled it twice with them to see that fabulous band on stage at The Belly Up & Humphrey’s By the Bay. Those stories are for another day.
This album though…is just such a treat. Which sums up pretty much every outing I go on with Chris and Heather. They always have some sort of new tune for me to listen to, and it is awesome.
When your friends come over and dance for an hour with you in your living room to some ridiculous funk album…or put a 1000 piece puzzle together while jamming out to some great tunes, you know they are keepers.
There are a lot of us who are caught up in this hell we all live in, Content with being blinded by rules and judgment. We live in a world where it’s more okay to follow than to lead. In this world being a leader is trouble for the system we are all accustomed to
2008 was a whirlwind. I had only been in California for a few months. I had barely turned 21. I started interning at a small Interior Design firm, my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I was finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree online, and I was living with the lead singer of an Irish Punk Band called “The Bleeding Irish“.
I was at a pub almost every night of the week…clapping along to Irish Folk tunes, and swooning every time I heard my name placed in a lyric.
I took all of his money and it was a pretty penny. I took all of his money and I brought it home to Mealzie. She swore that she’d love me, never would she leave me. But the devil take that woman for you know she tricked me easy
I loved the music. It reminded me of my parents’ jam sessions they had at our house when I was little. Listening to my mom playing fiddle, and her friends on guitar. The kids would all curl up on the floor, and sometimes we’d sing along.
When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, it didn’t really register. Looking back on it, I felt a little selfish. I was so absorbed in my new life in California. I flew home to Pennsylvania at least 3 times that year to see my Dad. Every time we talked about what I was doing in California. I complained to him about my relationship, and how sad I was. The last time I spoke to him was the first time in my life I had ever heard him cry. I was sprawled out on the back patio at my place in California, telling him over the phone how upset I was for being judged at my work for what I was wearing. I was having a tough time fitting in, and he told me how ridiculous it was. A few days later I got the call to fly home. He passed away that summer. August 26th, 2008.
That same year, I had some of the best times of my life. I had met some amazing women, that are still my friends today. I experienced humanity from the piles of cards and flowers that flooded through my door. I strengthened old friendships, and became even closer to my girlfriends in California. And, I listened to A LOT of music.
Being on Warped Tour was an interesting experience. I was already struggling with random girls befriending me to wiggle their way into the band’s pants. When I wasn’t at one of the shows, I’d get messages explaining how my boyfriend was seen in a car with another woman…or a random apology from an unknown number. Instead of confronting him, I denied it and put on a face at all the shows. I loved being at the shows. It was an escape, and it was everything I had dreamed of when listening to MxPx as a little girl. I was living in a fairy-tale of some sorts, and ignoring the red flags around me.
The Bleeding Irish was the BBQ band, which meant that they had to lug around a giant BBQ and cook for everyone on the tour. I’ve never seen more interesting characters walk through a lunch line. Jeffree Star the youtube sensation was there…still not really sure why. So was Katy Perry? It was nothing like I expected for Warped Tour (but…Say Anything, Against Me! & The Bronx were there to make it tolerable). There are plenty more stories from that trip to share later.
2008 was also the first time I listened to The Real McKenzies. The #1 perk of dating a musician, is the music of course. It never ends. Whether we were jamming out in the car, recording a song on garage band together, going to local shows, or playing Kumbaya at the fire pits on the beach…there was constantly music in my life. This album was played over and over again, and I loved it. It wasn’t until years later that I realized The Bleeding Irish had actually taken one of the songs from this album and wrote their own lyrics to it! Blasphemy!
Track 7- “Wild Mountain Thyme”
Well the summer time is comin’ And the trees are sweetly bloomin’ And the wild mountain thyme Grows around the bloomin’ heather Will ye go lassie go
Bagpipes! Aye! 🙂
Track 9- “Scotts Wha Ha’e”
Scots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’e Hear the voice of Scotland, Scots wha’ ha’e Scots wha’ ha’e Scots wha’ ha’e Screamin’ from the Highlands, Scots wha’ ha’e
To the weekend! Who knows what is in store for my Monday morning commute! 🙂 I’m sure it will be something great! Perhaps a lil’ Trombone Shorty?
4th grade. My cousin Christy was in a hardcore band called Ivan & The Reds. That was my first introduction to punk music. I was pretty close with my cousins on my Mom’s side of the family. We spent a lot of time setting up elaborate games in my grandparents’ time-machine basement. We’d go through my grandma’s closet and come out smelling of moth balls, but dressed in fur coats and sequins. We were a creative bunch, and I was (being the youngest at the time) the guinea pig.
I looked up to my cousin’s a lot, and was really fortunate to have them as a part of my childhood. I especially admired my older cousins Christy & Katie. Christy listened to punk music, and Katie taught me how to roller-blade. Katie was born in the Philippines, and took over her mother’s bubbly & fun personality. Christy was artistic and wise beyond her years 🙂 I loved (love) them both very much.
As I mentioned before, Christy was in a band called, “Ivan & the Reds” where my older cousin Mike (her brother) played bass. Christy was the lead singer. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Adorned with studded belts and baggy pants, she would toss her long curly red hair around the stage and scream/sing with passion. At one point, they were playing a music festival with MxPx…which is where it all started.
Christy played MxPx for me…and I was instantly in love. I became infatuated. I listened to this album over and over again until the CD started skipping. I developed my first crush on a boy, and imagined him singing the lyrics to me.
4 years later (8th grade)…as if my brain couldn’t fit any more MXPX in it…Christy took me to my first Punk Rock Show at The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA. It was MxPx, and their little opening band…Good Charlotte (ha!). I wasn’t so much into the opening band, as I was so excited to see MxPx perform! Not to mention, Christy had scored backstage passes from her PxPx (Pokinatcha Punk-their mascot) membership (which I later become a member of and ultimately results in my destiny to move to sunny San Diego, CA)…so I was going to get to meet the band!!!! (exclamation points x infinity because that is how I felt in 8th grade).
When we got backstage to meet the band, I was scared out of my mind. These were my idols. I felt like I had so many things I wanted to tell them, but didn’t want to look like an idiot….so I said absolutely nothing. This was the first and only time in my life where I was literally star-struck. Mike, Tom & Yuri were there sitting next to me…asking me how I was doing…and I couldn’t say one word. I wish I had a copy of our picture to show you, because it is beautiful. I was wearing a tank top with clouds all over it…My head was literally floating in the clouds… I was on cloud 9. Clouds.
The show was incredible. Mike and Tom did this awesome guitar/bass swap…they jumped on the speakers…they played every song that I loved (which was all of them so it wasn’t hard). I jumped and danced around like it was nobody’s business. I felt more alive than ever, and it was awesome.
I remember going home from school (9th grade), stealing this album out of my older sister’s room, laying down on my bed, and listening to this first track on repeat. I guess it was my first real attempt at musical meditation. I was accepting the fact that sometimes you hit a road block, and you have to let go and carry on. High school was a weird time, and very confusing because I wanted to be so many different things (one of them being an artist). I went to school with a lot of very talented kids, and I often felt like I wasn’t good enough. I had a creative mind, but lacked technical follow-through. This was one of the many songs that got me through that frustration. Relatable lyrics to a confusing world.
I’ve got to mention that Beck did everything in this song. He played every instrument! That’s right, Kanye. This gangly little white guy is the tits.
Lazy flies all hovering above, the magistrate puts on his gloves And he looks to the clouds all pink and disheveled There must be some blueprint, some creed of the devil inscribed in our minds A hideous game vanishes in the air, the vanity of slaves
Every girl had a teenage idol…mine was Brody Dalle. Up until listening to The Distillers, I didn’t think girls did punk rock. Sure there were plenty out there (Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Siouxk, Debbie Harry), but Dalle’s voice was something else. She just sounded so bad ass, and I wanted so badly to be bad ass.
I feel pretty bad ass now, maybe not in the way Brody Dalle was bad ass…but I have lived a pretty bad ass life thus far.
Enough with the bad asses…
I have been truly fortuitous to have such a wonderful and supportive family. I spent a lot of time with friends from broken homes that experienced it all, from drug addict parents to physical & mental abuse. Punk music brought us together. It allowed me to vicariously experience the pain and anguish they were going through that a lot of the time went unexpressed. It taught me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. For some, things never got better. Others have grown up to be incredibly successful people, and never forget where they came from. I have tremendous respect for that.
So, next time you think about punk music, remember that it isn’t just about a bunch of stupid kids doing stupid stuff… it is a raw form of expression that a lot of these kids relied on to get through the day. Sure the lyrics are crass and the instrumentals are often careless, but it is genuine.
❤ Rest In Peace to the eminently creative people I have met along the way that took their lives amidst depression. Your friends all miss you greatly. ❤
The first time I listened to Muse, I thought it was Freddie Mercury. I thought maybe he pulled a Tupac, or had been reincarnated as Matt Bellamy. As you probably know, neither of those theories are true.
That being said, this album just breeds everything the former 3 rock geniuses have conceived.
It’s a concept album, just like The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars.
It’s science fiction…again, see above.
It is politically charged (more-so Bowie & Reznor)
Matt Bellamy sounds exactly like Freddie Mercury
The art and technological inspiration-Reznor
Industrial rock vibes-Reznor
I love the concept of this album being the takeover of technology and a little 1984– big brother is watching you. The rise of technology is exciting, until it begins to hinder society rather than provide. Eventually it creates a higher power that turns all into “Drones” following the path of least resistance.
Absent gods and silent tyranny
We’re going under hypnotized
By another puppeteer
And tell me why the men in cloaks
Always have to bring me down
Running from the ghosts and shadows
The world just disavows
I think we can all agree that it is pretty powerful how the rise of technology can make communication so effortless, and allow everyone to hide behind a screen. But, In turn we lose compassion for others due to the lack of human connection.