List 10 musical artists you like, in no specific order (do this before reading the questions below)
1. Thrice 2. Circa Survive 3. Brand New 4. Daphne Loves Derby 5. The Age of Rockets 6. Fall of Troy 7. Local Natives 8. Radiohead 9. Death Cab for Cutie 10. Muse
What is the first song you heard by number 6?
F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. which is cliche if you’re a tFOT fan since its their most popular song. It was definitely a good first song since it would serve as an intro into the clusterfuck that tFOT is. Their are definitely some greater songs though (EVEN THOUGH ITS SO GOOD).
What is your favorite song by number 8?
Hmm…since I can never agree on favorite anythings, I’d say either “2+2=5,” “Sit Down. Stand Up,” or “Idioteque.”
What is your favorite lyric(s) of number 5?
"Well you’re not brave if you still keep the letters, And you’re not sane if you don’t want to get better, And you’re not drunk if you can stay in your lane, no.
Well you’re not awake, but you haven’t been sleeping, And you hate God, but you don’t believe in Him And you’re not scared, but you’ve still got your eyes closed.”
"Rain loves the flowers for a drop at a time when they collide. Pedals love the dirt and make it strong when flowers die. Dirt tries to love everything but its only dirt.
Just because it hurts, Don’t mean that its love.
You are the punch line to every joke I’ve ever told, You are in coffee and everything I’ve ever loved. You can kiss a million other boys and I don’t mind. You can’t break what’s not real.
Just because it hurts, That don’t mean that its love.”
Definitely got through some hard times with this here group.
What song by 3 makes you happy?
Hahaha. Thats a hard one considering Brand New is just a bottomless pit of angst and depression (woohoo!); poetic and awesomely-written angst/depression, but angst and depression nonetheless. Half the time their music just makes me sad or angry (or both). Doesn’t sound very good does it? Hahaha. Its just interesting how they can pack so much emotion into them. If I were to choose any song though, it would be “Fork and Knife.” Its a little less dramatic and although the lyrics are still a bit of a bummer, its really soothing. Wow, that was a lame, drawn-out, anticlimactic answer.
When did you first get into 2?
It actually took a while to get into Circa Survive even though they’re one of my favorite bands now. I knew about them pretty soon into their career with the release of their first full-length Juturna, but it wasn’t until a good chunk of time passed after their second full-length On Letting Go that I got into them. I can’t even remember what song drew me in or when. Probably “Act Appalled” or “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose.”
How did you get into 3?
I think somebody got me their second full-length Deja Entendu for my birthday or something. I listened to it, but only really cared for a song or two. Then I dated a girl who was obsessed with them. Then that girl ripped Angsty-Teenaged Wes’s heart out and those songs made a lot more sense, so naturally I became obsessed with them.
What is your favorite song by number 4?
Probably “That’s Our Hero Shot.” I think it is the quintessential example of the perfect single. And by that I mean a song that sounds so goddamned commercial/marketable, but isn’t lacking artistically/creatively (ESPECIALLY if you compare it to the sound/feel/subject of their other songs).
How many times have you seen number 9 live?
Never. BUT. I’m seeing them in October with mah lady friend Schmallie Schmavel.
What is your favorite song of 1?
I can’t answer this question. I’m sorry.
How did you become a fan of number 10?
My friend showed them to me on the internet in 6th grade. How the hell he knew about them in 6th grade? I have no fucking idea. They didn’t really get big in America till I was about a sophomore in high school. To me, they were always this really good British band that nobody knew and my friend mysteriously discovered. Absolution is a great fucking album.
How long have you known 9?
I’ve known of Death Cab for a long long time, but didn’t start listening to them until this summer.
Top 5 favorite songs by 5?
"Fearsome, Though We Are" "Avada Kedavra" "Pétales Aiment la Saleté" "Boats and Birds (Gregory and the Hawk Cover)" "Stitches to Show Something is Missing"
Have you met 4?
I met the singer and the bassist. The guitarist just seemed really sad and isolated…which is pretty much what his lyrics are about.
What’s your favorite album by 1?
Goddammit why are you doing this to me. I can’t just pick one.
The Illusion of Safety or the entire Alchemy Index. They’re all so amazing though.
What is one of 7’s best songs?
There was a point when I was absolutely obsessed with “Sun Hands.” Even named a temporary solo project after it. I definitely burnt out on that song over time though. Its still good, doesn’t work me up like it used to though. So…maybe “Wide Eyes.”
How many times have you seen number 2 live?
I have seen Circa Survive 2 times I think. Both have been great. The last time was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Anthony Green stuck his hand in my mouth. Yup.
Which number have you known the longest?
1, Thrice. First listened to them in early highschool/late middle school and hated them. I liked around 20 seconds of “Deadbolt” off the Illusion of Safety, but didn’t really think much of it was great. NOW I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
"That Overly Revealing Post that I Hint to In My ‘About Me’ Section"
Part II (Sophomore Year)
Again, sorry in advance for the length of this (I mean Part II? Really?) (Just finished the post and fuck is that a long post. And again, congratulations to anyone who makes it to the end. I have no idea what you’re doing with your time reading this shit).
And again, if you’re not playing this song over and over while you read this, then you’re not experiencing this the same way I am.
Alright. Sophomore year.
So like I mentioned, here I was in this new city. Didn’t know anybody, lived a good 5-6 miles from the school I went to (and therefore all the people I’d be meeting/hanging out with), and lived a good 3 blocks from the girl who had just ripped out my heart and force-fed it to me that I had dated for 2 1/2 years.
Once every while we met up for coffee. It was awkward. SO awkward. Not entirely because IT was awkward, but because I definitely still had a tidbit (OR RATHER WHOLE SHITLOAD) of that nervous-breakdown-ishness hanging over the whole damn thing. I was a wreck. It was strange. I had never felt that with anyone before. Like, every time we sat down for coffee, my legs just trembled. So weird. So unbelievably weird. Can’t really describe how that felt. Its weird to think that you can be so shaken to your core that you don’t have control over your body.
Anyways, onto school. I have a specific memory. And maybe its somewhat fabricated (as many of the memories we have seem to be)…but I remember walking through campus and thinking:
“Well fuck. I hate school. But if I start this shit here thinking its going to be shitty…well then its going to be shitty. So I better make the best of it and enjoy the time that I have here.”
So I tried. Although I’ll admit that it was off to a rough start. Why? Because the bus ride from my place to campus subtracted a good hour or hour and a half off of my sleep schedule. Every day, every goddamned day started at like 5:30AM. I am not a morning person. Also, I think I forgot to mention that as the school year progresses and winter sets in, the days (and particularly the mornings) in Seattle get darker and darker. It was pitch black whenever I’d go to class as the year went on.
Enough of me bitching.
I had been getting a bunch of emails from the choir teacher on campus who must have had access to my file or something because I don’t know how the hell she found me (I had been in choir all throughout high school). I figured it’d be a good way to meet people.
Thats one aspect about the dorms that I think is very unappreciated. Yes, you have to share a room with a person you barely know. And you better hope that you hit it off well or its going to be awkward as fuck. But its kind of nice how the school throws you into a situation where you have to meet people. You’re instantly surrounded by a shit ton of people who don’t know each other and are in the same bizarre scenario you are. I never lived in the dorms so I never really got that experience.
So I joined choir…and didn’t really hang out with anyone there for weeks. Why? Because I was (and still am somewhat of) a shy, nervous, fuck of a man. So I was pretty lonely to say the least…that is until Jen came along.
Jen was great. Jen is great. And Jen was (is) pretty. Whenever a cute girl asks me to hang out I’m still like, “Wait. What? Why?” and assume that they’re talking to the guy behind me. And I pretty much did just that when and for whatever reason Jen asked to hang out.
I don’t remember much except that we really rushed into things…physical things.
Hmm…I’ll just put it like this…being with someone for two and a half years and then having that kind of trust broken had a lot of unexpected effects. Like I said, so shaken to my core that I didn’t have control over my body.
It seemed that even though I desperately wanted to be over this girl, my mind and my body weren’t ready to move on. It was extremely frustrating. Probably one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever had to deal with. And yet, she understood. And that may not seem like a big deal if you haven’t gone through a similar situation, but it meant the world. To know that in spite of all of that and the overflowing amount of baggage I was carrying…to know that she still wanted to date, spend time together, and introduce me to her friends…it was the nicest thing anyone could do. Just the fact that that didn’t scare her away was astonishing in itself. But thats the kind of girl Jen was…(is).
Although I was a sophomore, I was a transfer student. So…I was pretty much just as lost as the Freshmen and as a result I got along with them a lot more than the sophomores. I remember drinking in the dorms with them a lot. Jen would always take me to these dorm parties to meet her friends.
Dorm parties are kind of funny, pathetic, and great all at the same time. Its a desperate attempt by a few people who barely know each other to meet new people, get drunk to break the ice, all while playing dance and/or hipster music in the background in a tiny enclosed space (but not too loud or you might get busted by your RA).
Oh, how fun. Except, not really. Well kind of.
Because its in those weird moments where everyone is desperately looking for friends, where you’re drinking bottles of the cheapest, shittiest, godawful wine that you kind of realize that you’re all in this shitty situation together. And you take this sort of strange comfort in it. I guess its kind of like the same feeling you get when you’re just starting something out…like when you’re in a band and your playing your first gigs. Chances are you’re lugging heavy gear around to venues that are in Bumfuck, Nowhere. And even when you do make you’re way to a half-way decent place, few people come out. Although things start to pick up over time, you kind of look back on it and realize that the hardships were what you bonded over and almost helped you get to know each other really well.
And I really needed that. I mean, I REALLY needed that. I can’t explain how much I needed that. And I guess thats why I chose this song. I just remember one night laying in Jen’s bed and this song was playing over and over. She loved it. And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel so alone. I wasn’t completely better or over it by any means, but finally for a second I felt thankful for where I was. I had been in a place where I kept blaming myself for all the horrible things I felt, and I felt like I had finally done something right by going to Seattle U and surrounding myself with these people.
I guess thats the cue to mention my band. We we’re actually doing pretty well. I mean, its not like we were packing places (since we didn’t really know anyone), but we were actually getting a decent amount of gigs and people were pretty impressed wherever we went, bought our EP’s, and chatted/hung out with us a lot. This girl named Gaelynn had randomly found us online and introduced us to a lot of people on the Eastside (outside of Seattle). I’ve never really taken the time to thank her for that. I wouldn’t know anybody there (including my current bandmates) if it wasn’t for her. She also introduced us to the guy who would later film our first music video WHICH WAS FUCKING AWESOME. And I don’t mean that in the “we’re awesome” kind of way. I mean it in the, “Holy shit. We are definitely not awesome and somehow this guy made us look not just awesome, but about 1000 times more awesome than I ever thought we could be.” Really talented guy. If you want to check out some of Connor’s stuff, head here: http://www.vimeo.com/9418650
Sorry, kind of a tangent. Point being, things with the band we’re moving (something I had never really experienced in San Diego and it felt fucking amazing). We had to endure a lot of those shitty aforementioned times to get that far though. I really enjoyed it…the other guys…not so much all the time. We didn’t have a car for a while so we had to lug whatever gear we did have onto buses to the Eastside to even practice. It was a lot of work and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how we did it for so damn long. We’d even have to garbage bag our shit when it rained. And this is like a half hour bus ride on one of the busiest busses in the area all while carrying a guitar, a bass, an amp head, pedals, etc. It was a shitshow, but it was an experience.
After a few months things kind of started to get rocky with Jen. I don’t blame her. Hell, I couldn’t even blame her then. She was looking for something more and I just wasn’t in a place where I could give her that. And to be honest, it was probably kind of a douchebag move for me to have let it go that far. I guess I was just hoping that over time I might feel different. I mean, I really wanted to feel different, but I just couldn’t. Everything was still fresh in my mind. It just wasn’t working, so we split. I was kind of worried to be honest. Jen was my best good friend. And even I know thats something you can’t find just around the corner (Forest Gump reference WOW I’m cool). Seriously though, it had gotten to the point where we were spending every day together and thats always kind of a bummer when things like that have to end, whether its for better or worse.
I had hit a wall. It seemed like I was spending almost all of my time in an effort to just be ‘not upset’. Not happy, just ‘not upset.’ It was draining. And in all honesty, the whole body issue made it infinitely worse. So I decided to see a therapist.
I had kind of been against therapy up to that point. I don’t really know why. I think I just perceived it as a weakness or something. I guess I just thought that people should be able to work their own problems out through the help of themselves and their friends, but the truth is…I felt like I had exhausted my friends. I felt like a burden to them. So I went in.
I won’t go into much detail about what the therapist and I talked about, but I will say this: Therapy is fucking great. But its only as great as you allow it to be. Over time I’ve realized that more often than not, I’m more comfortable talking to strangers than people I see often (really good friends aside). I think thats why I love talking to fans so much. Anyways, I went into therapy thinking, “Well fuck, I’m in such a shitty place that I better just put all my chips in and vomit every last thought into this woman’s lap.” So I did. And it helped. And therapist always help you realize things about yourself without really having to say anything or introduce new information. Its always just a re-utterance (word?) of your thoughts accompanied by that moment to look at it from another perspective that absolutely floors you. And much like this song, I wasn’t better, but it helped calm my nerves. She also told me to set aside my obligations from once in a while and really just spend time on myself whether it was working out, just going for a walk, or hanging out with friends.
Now, I’m not really sure how I met Laura…which is kind of funny because we were just talking about forgetting initial experiences with our significant others the other day. But all you need to know about Laura is that she is my ‘homegirl’ (as my current drummer so eloquently put it). I have always been a quiet person. I don’t know why and to be honest, it bothers me a lot and I have to actively work to not be that person. I say that because as a quiet person, I absolutely love and admire those people (and kind of need those people) who are loud, charismatic, and don’t care about people’s reactions. I guess it’s because their loud outgoing personalities work to destroy any barrier that would emerge between us. And in that sense, they can get to know me because then my silence isn’t an issue. They just keep getting up in my face and force me to open up. And Laura was (is) all of these things. And I love her for it.
Get ready for the cheese(y quote).
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
It’s a cliche, but it’s true. I have a hard time remembering specifics (maybe because we spent a large portion of our time getting absolutely shit-faced together, dancing with the passion of a thousand suns, and trying to stop each other from making horrible decisions we would inevitably regret, yet not remember), but I remember it felt good. And not this ‘overly-hedonistic college good’ that I’m jokingly portraying it as, but just…good. I mean…Laura was my best good friend (another Forest Gump reference, really?).
To this day, I can talk to Laura about anything and know that there will only be support… absolutely no judgment or anything…and yet it surprises me every time. She has always been so goddamned supportive of everything I do. Even when I doubt myself. I really couldn’t ask for a better friend.
Again, school was really eye-opening. I remember one time when I went to coffee with my ex-girlfriend I mentioned that I was taking a theology course. And like your typical liberal, she saw it as the Catholic university trying to push its ideology onto me. I have a few problems with that. Firstly, it treats me (or just whoever’s receiving the information) as this gullible empty-vessel of idiocy. Second, I’m pretty damn sure that my professor was an atheist. He never said it outright, but he sure as hell alluded to it a lot.
I remember he talked about how that kind of liberal mindset actually makes it harder for Catholic professors to get jobs at Catholic universities due to credibility issues…therefore leading those professors to teach at other (usually state) universities. Kind of ironic. Not to mention that the first book we read in our theology course was The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins in which the author goes on and endless rant to disprove God (I’m not the biggest Dawkins fan. Good book though).
And it was through classes like that that I really learned to love Seattle University and Jesuits. Because Jesuits realize that it’s okay to hold their own beliefs about faith and not push them onto others. They’ve definitely come along way since that militant shit back in the day (see “counter-reformation”). I mean, at the time, I swear that nearly half of the male population at Seattle U was gay. And it was no secret. The school held events and has clubs for the LGBTQ community, atheists, agnostics, minorities, etc. You name it, they got it. THEY SIMPLY DON’T GIVE A FUCK AND ITS AWESOME.
And beyond that, everyone is weird and/or a hipster (not mutually exclusive). I mean, its changing a bit now since the school switched over to D-1 in sports creating an unwanted influx in the bro population, but its still in the middle of the most liberal, counter-culturally driven part of town. Everyone is just weird. Not to mention that even though we switched to D-1, nobody at the school gives a fuck or even goes to the sporting events. What? A school that centers around education and not sports? What kind of university is that? Certainly not UW. Nope. lol.
I guess I just had a very different experience up till that point in middle school and high school. It always seemed like it was about being into the new thing, dressing like some fucking Abercrombie model, and listening to Top 40 and I just didn’t want to do that. I’ll admit that in Seattle, it sometimes felt (and still does feel) like the opposite end of the spectrum in which everyone is into the ‘not new thing’ (or ironically pretending your into the new thing), dressing like the biggest hipster shithead on the planet, and listening to music no one has ever heard before (overused joke), but it was a nice change of pace from the fit-in-or-feel-like-shit-fest that San Diegosometimes felt like. It was an extremely different change of pace that took a lot of time getting used to, but it was nice.
End rant. Back to the college social life.
I remember one night Laura invited me to this party with some of her friends. And one of them happened to be this girl.
If you had told me two years ago that this girl would put up with all of my bullshit, help me get through some of the hardest parts of my life (not to mention helping me with nearly everything I did/do including school, keeping my sanity, and raising a dog), and still be there two years later (SHE’S BEEN IN BELIZE FOR TWO AND A HALF WEEKS AND I MISS DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITH HER SO MUCH), I would…well I don’t know what I’d do, but I sure as hell wouldn’t believe you. That was pretty anticlimactic.
But how do you think yours truly, Mr. Suave, the tall, dark, and handsome stallion that I am, made my move on such an amazing woman?
I got ridiculously drunk and gave what felt like a never-ending, drawn out, unbelievably inebriated speech about everything that had gone on in my life in the past year in somewhat of a humorous, yet serious tone (…like these posts pretty much. I think watching Scrubs is really rubbing off on me).
It must have been a real turn-on.
Yet she kept talking to me. Why? I don’t know. Hell, sometimes I still don’t know why that girl talks to me with all the crazy shit she hears me say. She even watches anime and war movies with me. Why? It blows my mind on a day-to-day basis. I should probably mention Allie’s name. Well…it’s Allie. And she’s great. And even though we’ve definitely had some rough patches, she never ceases to surprise me in how talented (better than me at everything I do), smart (smarter than me at everything I’m…smart at…?), forgiving, and caring she is. I love her.
(This picture’s actually from junior year but its probably the best one we’ve got. WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE PICTURES TOGETHER?? We need to get on that gurrrl.)
Again, I don’t remember specifics (I’M A HORRIBLE BOYFRIEND OR AM DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S) but I remember that although we didn’t start officially dating till fall of my junior year, we started spending a lot of time with each other. Over the course of the year, I fell into the habit of crashing on the floor of people’s dorms so I wouldn’t have to make the trip back home (I came to hate the bus ride to and from home like a fat kid (or just anyone in their right mind) hates rice cakes). And I just remember crashing in her room all the time. It’s crazy how long ago that all seems. Hmm.
Lets just say I regained control over my body. Hahahaha. And it meant a lot to me mentally as well. It was nice to care for someone again, even if I was still a wreck, back and forth about a lot of things, and probably was not date-able (I have no idea what you were doing Allie, but I’m glad it worked out that way). :)
In other news, Amber Sky Lane (the band) had started to go to shit. Right when things we’re starting to pick up too. It was kind of a shame, but shit happens. We we’re playing gigs regularly (even making some decent money at some of them), had a small, yet growing fan base, and just recorded an extremely professional music video (Here if you want to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZfLbyWYZjg). I guess Bowen and I just didn’t know Dan really well when we all moved in together. Simply put, Dan and Bowen just had really clashing personalities; with Bowen being a straightedge and Dan being a belligerent alcoholic. We really should have seem that coming haha. All in all, it just led to a shitshow of emotions. Not to mention I felt somewhat guilty for Bowen’s choice to move up here, as it separated him and his girlfriend which was incredibly stressful for him (and I knew how long-distance could make things).
It got to a point where it was so heated that Bowen threatened to leave before our lease was up leaving Dan and I with the financial burden (which would later spiral into legal threats/etc), making whatever shitty situation that existed before even shittier. It got HELLA (yeah I said it) awkward around the apartment. I stopped spending a lot of my time there. Once we stopped paying for internet, I had no point to be there and spent almost all my time on campus. It was stressful, but I think I had been hit so hard with emotional shit over the past year that it didn’t really phase me. I got a little frustrated here and there, but wasn’t really upset or torn up with the ensuing fall out of our friendship. It was a shame, yes, but I wasn’t shook up or anything. That felt weird too.
Anyways, I realize this is getting absurdly long, so I’ll wrap it up.
This all led me to a scenario in which I had no idea what I was going to do with regard to my living situation next school year. I had met a lot of people over the course of the year, but was only really close with a couple (…pretty much just Laura and Allie). And although Dan and I weren’t on bad terms, we never really had a good connection (aside from the awesome musical vibe we had on stage. SO MUCH fun at those shows), so I just started asking people if they knew anyone who was looking to get a place off-campus. Thats how I met Trevor. Again, I wasn’t really expecting what the hell the next year had in store for us, but I’ll save that for the next post.
It had been a long year. So much had happened that even a long boring-ass post like this doesn’t do it justice. And as you will find with any place you live, you have an interesting connection with it. I had a lot of shitty times in that apartment in the U-District, but it was my home for a year. I was glad as hell to get out of it, but I don’t know…I guess I had just grown a lot while I was there. I would be living in Capitol Hill (the area my school is in) next year and would finally be far away from the Satan-Bitch, excuse me, ex-girlfriend, who lived blocks away from me. It was kind of bittersweet. I mean it felt liberating, but there was a strange comfort I took in being close to her (even if I rarely saw her). Moreover, moving to Capitol Hill was promising. It was a chance to start new.
…But I’d have to wait an entire summer before I’d experience all of that. So I packed up my things to get ready for the long drive back home to San Diego. I didn’t even say bye to Bowen when I left and if I remember right, Dan hadn’t been home for days.