My Classic French Vanilla Sunday Morning 

A mug of piping hot French Vanilla + my black Classic on shuffle = An interesting Sunday morning wake-up call.

“Whiskey In The Morning” – Buckcherry

“Desecrate Through Reverance” – Avenged Sevenfold

“Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” – My Chemical Romance

“Black Anathema” – Calabrese

“Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us” – My Chemical Romance

“I Have To Go Return Some Videotapes” – Breathe Carolina

“Tyranny Of Normality” – Papa Roach

“Halloween In Heaven” – Type O Negative

“Self Pity” – AFI

“Gimme A D” – Parkway Drive

“Another Day, Another Way” – Volbeat

“Mad World” – Gary Jules

“Heaven” – A Skylit Drive

“They Call Us Death” – Calabrese

“Graverobber” – The Damned Things

How clever.

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Tear It Right Out Of Your Chest

I’m beginning to think that either there’s something wrong with other people, or there’s something wrong with me. I know I’ve already established how people can be today, but for some unknown reason, this has me thinking, and asking:

Does the music I listen to suck, or are people just ignorant?…

I’ve been reading music reviews lately on iTunes, which is very rare for me. I hardly ever read reviews because I don’t usually think twice about reading what other people have to say about music. Like I’ve said before, I listen to the kind of music I want to, and don’t pay attention to what other people think about what I listen to. For some reason, I’m partially drawn to the bottom of the screen, below the tracks and recommended albums, where the criticizing reviews ominously rest.

Don’t ask me why I started reading reviews because I don’t know why. It first started when I pulled up Aiden’s Knives. My eyes instantly seemed to travel to the bottom of the page, to what people had written. All of them were pretty mixed. Some saying it was a great CD, others saying it was horrible. More people seemed to choose the latter compared to good. In my honest opinion, it is a short CD, but it’s not bad. There are some songs I can do without, but the ones I can’t do without are really good. The release of the album didn’t weaken my liking for the band. I’m still a fan. Sure,  Knives  is different from their past three releases, but it proves that sound doesn’t really matter. It’s still Aiden. That sort of made me think a little bit, then I remembered that everyone has their own opinion and are totally entitled to it.

The next attraction at the iTunes amusement park that I visited just last month was AFI’s newest release, Crash Love. I saw it on iTunes the day it came out and wanted to see what other people were saying about it. I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews about it. Even though I’d already listened to the whole album, I still had the awkward desire to see what other people had thought about it. My eyes again, trailed down to where the reviews were. The reviews, just like with Knives, were mixed. This surprised me. Crash Love  was anticipated for a while, and I didn’t think it would get the reviews it did. Granted, just because something is greatly anticipated doesn’t mean everyone will find it good. Some said it was good, great even, while others didn’t like it, and were begging for the “old” AFI to come back. I guess this is how some people react to change: They either love it or hate it. I personally think Crash Love is pretty good, different from anything they’ve ever done, but still good. It’s still AFI.

I think this is what truly got me thinking and asking. The last attraction at the iTunes amusement park that really, really surprised me, was Lady GaGa’s The Fame. Once again with my brutal honesty, I’m a new fan to Lady GaGa. I’d first seen the video for “Poker Face”, and didn’t watch the whole thing, but then I fell in love when I saw “Just Dance”. I didn’t think I’d like an artist that was so different from what I usually listened to. It’s just feel-good music. Like the two times before, I found myself overly curious to what other people had to say. Let the mixed reviews pour down like the hardest rain. Like the Crash Love and Knives reviews before it, there were a lot of positive reviews, but at the same time, there were an equal number of not-so-positive ones. It seemed to me like most of them were trying to compare her to other musicians before her, which sort of annoyed me, but that’s always bound to happen. People compare bands/musicians to others all the time, and like I said before, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Whether I happen to agree or not.  Needless to say, none of these reviews changed the way I felt about this newly found, infectious music. I’m still a newly born Lady GaGa fan.

Right at that moment, I was asking myself, Does the music I listen to suck, or are people just stupid? Like I’ve said probably a million times over, opinions don’t sway me, especially when it comes to music. I’m just not moved by what people have to say, but reading these reviews on three artists that I listen to, kind of had me thinking…And I finally came up with a pretty obvious, maybe way too obvious answer: The music I listen to doesn’t suck. Sometimes people can say things that lack common sense, but they’re more than welcome to state their opinions because they have every right to. Plain and simple. I had the thought in my head without really knowing why I was thinking it. I’d already had the answer. It just needed to be confirmed. I think it’s better when thoughts aren’t over analyzed.

Tear it right out of your chest. To be loved. To be criticized. Take a bow.

The Intensity Of A Side-Project Or Two

Whether people like it or not, music is ever-changing. Nowadays, it’s not the same as it was when the band(s) first started. Bands are changing. They’re taking risks, taking chances. Experimenting with sounds that are out of their comfort zones.

Two good examples of this, in my opinion, are AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget in the side-project Blaqk Audio, and Aiden’s frontman Wil Francis with his solo project, William Control.

Blaqk Audio’s sound is just amazing. I know I probably use the word ‘amazing’ a lot when I’m talking about music, but this truly is. The synths that were ever-so-present on AFI’s record Decemberunderground, take center stage on Blaqk’s debut CexCells, an electronic-rock tour de force. Despite the fact that the music is in a totally different direction than what AFI fans are used to, the lyrics are still incredible. The lyrics that are wrapped around every song aren’t the AFI poetry one would usually look to; they’re so much more than that. It’s a side of Havok and Puget that you’ve never seen until now.

Once again, I’ll be totally honest, I didn’t know about Blaqk Audio until I read the article in October’s issue of Revolver. The same article that made me excited for Crash Love. I’d heard the song “Stiff Kittens” once, but honestly never knew who it was. After listening to all of CexCells, I fell in love. My favorites are “Stiff Kittens”, “Bitter For Sweet”, “Cities Of Night”, “Where Would You Like Them Left?”, and “The Love Letter”. I know that I also say that I fall in love when I listen to music a lot, too, and it’s true. There’s a possibility that I’d been potentially heartbroken if I didn’t have music.I think a little piece of everyone would kind of not be there. Music fills a void, whether you know it or not.

JadeListening to Blaqk Audio, then going back and listening to AFI, or going the other way around, it’s just crazy to think that some musicians are multi-talented. Davey’s vocals sound even more amazing than usual, and Jade shows that he is indeed talented in the synth department. One minute, Davey’s voice can go from seductively deep to high-pitched, which became his trademark in AFI, vocals only he himself can pull off. Yes, I know that most musicians are probably multi-talented, but not many musicians can pull off going into a completely different genre and making something beautiful. It takes some talent to make awesome music in one genre, go off into another for a little bit, and emerge with something unique and refreshing. In my opinion, Davey and Jade have that kind of talent. It takes guts to take risks, especially in music, and they’re not afraid to do just that.

It seems like most people are quick to compare Wil Francis’s solo project, William Control, to Blaqk Audio without hesitation. While they may be similar in some ways, they’re not at all the same. Sure, there might be some inspiration with the synths and electronica-like beats, but his debut, Hate Culture, has something about it that’s more brutal and intense.

William ControlThe lyrics Aiden are famous for are taken on by a whole new narrative. Granted, it’s still Francis singing, but it seems like an entire new entity. Every song just seems to be enveloped in contempt, violence, and suggestiveness, while still dripping with trademark raw, severe emotion. It’s the Aiden frontman in a whole new light, one that people may love or hate.

I had no idea about William Control until I read an article about Aiden and their newest release Knives, in the August issue of Revolver. In the beginning of the article, it’d mentioned what it was like for the frontman to record vocals for Hate Culture, and how it compared to recording them for Knives. When listening to the vocals on Knives and then hearing Francis’s voice on Hate Culture, it’s pretty crystal clear that his voice sounds different. Nothing in the extreme category, but noticeably having a deeper edge. An edge that’s all his own, an edge he definitely uses to his advantage.

For me, it didn’t take very long to like, and eventually (for the millionth time!) fall in love with William Control. I’d first seen the video for “Beautiful Loser” on a link from Aiden’s website, and found myself surprised and speechless. In a good way. After listening to all of that Hate Culture had to offer, I found myself developing favorites. Among these are, “Beautiful Loser”, “Razor’s Edge”, “Cemetery”, Strangers” and “Tranquilize”.

Like Davey Havok and Jade Puget in Blaqk Audio, Wil Francis is definitely multi-talented. Anyone who can go from being in a band that takes chances, potentially loses fans because of it, and then goes into a different genre than what they’re used to, while being able to make it all their own is multi-talented in my book. It also doesn’t hurt that he can play a mean guitar. That can never hurt.

It takes a hell of a lot of guts and confidence to take risks and be different. Blaqk Audio and William Control do exactly that.

 

 

Third Day Of My Last Year

It’s Monday. The third day of my last year. I’m starting to really annoy myself when I think that. The third day of my last year…It sounds like I’m gonna die next year or something. How horrible. I still can’t get my head around the fact that I’m a senior, though. Getting past that totally annoying saying that I have to not say anymore…Yes, it is indeed Monday. And this Monday, I actually had fun in gym.

Last night and this morning, I felt, well not the best. Since the weather is deciding to go to from really warm to really chilly, my allergies and asthma were acting up. Not very cool, believe me. I feel asleep on the couch in our living room, which is something I never do on school nights. Well, I do, just not when I’m fully ready to sleep in my own bed. I feel asleep on the couch, with a chocolate brown fleece blanket over me, watching the show Monsters Inside Me. I don’t know if I fell asleep because I was tired or because of the really gross cases on the show. People were getting sick from bugs that were inside them. Actually inside them…I’m surprised I even slept.

I woke up a little later than I’d hoped, but I still woke up. I was feeling better. Still hurting in some places, but I was ok enough to go to school. I took a shower, got dressed, ate, fooled around with my hair, and did an asthma treatment. A big asthma treatment. The same asthma treatment that made me leave for school later than I usually would have, but it wasn’t really a big deal. I could hardly get into school anyway.

I stood there, in front of school, with countless other people, waiting to get into school. It wasn’t raining like it had been on Friday, which was good. It was actually a pleasant morning to be standing outside. If only I wasn’t at school…I watched people cut in front of other people. I didn’t cut in front of anyone, or at least I tried not too. I was just standing there, listening to AFI’s new single “Medicate”. I must have listened to it more than 5 times while waiting in the make-shift lines. A couple more in between classes through out the day. Finally, I made it into school. 20 minutes late, but I made it. My first period teacher was surprisingly ok with the fact that I was late. Others filed in after me a couple minutes later.

Most of this really sunny, chilly Monday was ordinary. All of my classes going by really quick, which is pretty normal because I only have 6 classes this year. English seemed to drag on, though. Probably because we weren’t doing anything. People were sitting there, holding their own conversations, while my teacher took attendance. He said something about handing us out books, but I guess there are more people coming in. Speaking about people coming into class, my French class was insane! There seemed like there were alot more people as oppose to Friday. The maximum capacity is, like, 25 and I think it might have been exceeded or will be soon.

The bell that ended English rang fashionably late, as I’m thinking it will all year. Lunch went by fast. I didn’t get lunch today, even though I told myself I would today. I just didn’t feel like getting up. My laziness for ya. I wished that I’d remembered to take my Amp energy drink out of the fridge before I left this morning. The bell that ended lunch was also, fashionably late. I walked into gym, dreading it a little.

The gym, for some reason, didn’t look as big as it did last week. Maybe the reason why my dread wasn’t so strong as it before. Now, I don’t hate gym at all. I love gym. I love playing volleyball. In my eyes, it’s the best stress reliever. Especially, if I’m having a bad day. I pretend the ball is someone’s head. Always works to relieve stress for me. I sat by this girl from my English class, Mariah, and my friend from freshmen year, Alyssa. After it took my gym teacher what seemed like forever to take attendance, the three of us decided to play ping pong.

At first, I wasn’t too sure if I should play because of my breathing, but it was fine all day, so I figured what the hell? Not the best move on my part, but I know my limits. I know what I can and can’t do. Mariah and Alyssa played a game of ping pong first. I was just watching against the bleachers. When they finished playing, I played Mariah. I honestly didn’t know how good I was at ping pong. I’d never played it to know whether I was good or not. I guess I’m a little too talented, I hit the ball up so high, it got stuck in between the upper part of the bleachers. We asked the other gym teacher if we could go get it, and she let us. All three of us walked up the steps next to the boys’ lockeroom, and found ourselves actually on top of the bleachers. I’d never been up there before, only of my firsts as a senior. After we got the ball, Alyssa and I played a game. Once again, I guess I was good. I didn’t get it up on top the bleachers again, which was good, but I barely missed the ball, either. I was what Alyssa called a “beast”.

Even when we were playing volleyball, two against one, I was still a “beast”. Two on one isn’t fair, but it’s how we played. I wished we had another player, but there wasn’t anyone else I knew and all the other individuals in the gym were preoccupied with their own things, and I’m very shy. People I don’t know + Being shy = Being very, very shy…I wasn’t as rusty as I thought I would be. The last time I’d played volleyball was in May, when my one teacher wasn’t there and my class had to go to the gym. Every serve Mariah hit to me, I hit. I never knew I had such an intensity for volleyball. I never missed a hit, with the exception of the soft ones or the ones that went over my head. And me being so tiny, it’s not that hard. The first 5, maybe 10 minutes of playing, my wrists were red. It didn’t bother me, though. It’s the only sport I’m relatively good at, so I figured at a little pain and soreness is worth it. We played until my gym teacher told us to put the ball up. My wrists were still red. My last bell of the day rang. Fashionably late, of course.

I walked home in the beauty and coolness of the afternoon sun, my wrists still red, still listening to “Medicate”. Today, I surprisingly learned alot. People who seemed like, not nice people, turn out to be ok. French is wayyy too crowded. My art teacher will not be at school this Friday. My English class has more people, and we will slowly, but surely be learning something soon. I write too much when my Health teacher only asked for 3 to 5 sentences. I have listened to AFI’s new single too many times. Wayyy too many times. That’s my Monday.

I guess I’m a “beast”.

 

“You’ve Made Me Perfect”

Yes, I know a couple weeks ago I said that Suicide Silence was my favorite band at the moment, but I’ve found myself going back to a band that’s been around longer and comes from a totally different genre. A band that I just love. The band that is the center of my musical obsession right now is AFI.

I was reading an article in the October issue of Revolver magazine about AFI’s new album, their 8th studio album, Crash Love, which is said to come out on September 29th…I’ll be honest: I’m not a die-hard AFI fan. When their full-length debut, Answer That And Stay Fashionable came out  in 1995, I was only 4. So I can’t say I’m a dedicated, die-hard fan, but I can say that I’ve been a fan since 2003.

I remember I was watching FUSE and I saw the video for “Girl’s Not Grey” for the very first time. My mom was in the room with me, and she had to take a double take, looking at lead singer Davey Havok, asking me, “Is that a man or a women?” Looking back on that day now, I smile and laugh, because I was the one that turned her kinda into an AFI fan. Well, not of their old-school stuff, because I honestly don’t think she’s ever heard it, but definitely of the entire Sing The Sorrow album.   

I didn’t just make my mom a fan of Sing The Sorrow, though. It had a surprising effect on the kids at my new school at the time, most who became my friends. Like, none of them heard of AFI. I had a bunch of buttons and I wore a shirt one day, so they started to get curious about my musical preferences, I guess. Not long after, my one friend told me he was blaring it through the speakers in his dad’s car. That made me smile. It’s just amazing how music can bring people together.

After awhile I thought I’d dig deeper into their older albums. This thought entered my mind after I received their 2000 album, The Art Of Drowning for Christmas a year later. I hadn’t listened to the whole thing yet, so I figured I would, and I’m really happy I did. Their sound was more fast-paced and more energetic. Now don’t get me wrong, Sing The Sorrow is great, but something about Drowning caught me, and held me. Seeing the videos for “Leaving Song, Pt. 2” and “Silver And Cold”,  I sort of  fell in love again with the type of sound Sorrow brought, but that didn’t lessen the hold their older material had what-so-ever. I decided to dig even deeper, and I’m, once again, really happy I did.

Out of all their old albums, I personally like Answer That And Stay Fashionable, Black Sails In The Sunset, All Hallow’s EP (yes, it’s an EP, but it’s still great!) and The Art Of Drowning.

The first time I saw the video for “Miss Murder”, I didn’t know what to think. Their sound was new and different, and it honestly took me awhile to get used to it. Yes, I know how bands usually change their sound to keep up with times and sort of branch away from everything that sounds the same, and I totally respect that. It takes alot of guts to change your sound, knowing that fans will either accept or deny it. AFI did one hell of a job.

After listening to the song a couple times, I fell in love with it. I actually have “Love Like Winter”, “Kill Caustic”, and “Affliction” on my iPod. Great songs. Most people would probably say that “It’s not the same AFI” or “What the hell is this?”. I think that’s just close-mindedness at its best. Yes, the sound of, well, Decemberunderground is different but it’s still the same four guys, doing what they love. The only thing that changed is the sound, and let’s face it, who wants every album by a band they really like or maybe even love, to be just a regurgitated version of itself? I think that Underground is a good album. I mean, yeah, it doesn’t sport the same exact intensity as their previous work, but it has an intensity all its own. Any kind of intensity is good. No matter how extreme or minuscule, it doesn’t matter. It’s still the same band.

…From what I read about Crash Love, it’s going to be more of a “guitar record”. Which means no synths or anything like that. I guess that means nothing like Decemberunderground or any other of their records for that matter. I have a feeling it’s going to be something totally different than anything else out there, as Underground was, but with alot more intensity than Underground. No matter what the sound, it’s still AFI. I’m really excited about Crash Love. I can’t wait til September 29th! 😉

Look what you’ve done to me now, you’ve made me perfect.” “The Lost Souls” – AFI

Still not better than a cup of coffee…But I’ll settle for now

Completely random songs…All playing one after the other, in perfect harmony. The songs on my iPod that I woke up to and strangely helped me get out of bed… 

“Taste Of Copper” – The Vincent Black Shadow

“You Give Love A Bad Name” – Atreyu (originally by Bon Jovi)

“Left Behind” – Slipknot

“Cereal Wars” – AFI

“Girl’s Not Grey” -AFI

“Wasted” – Suicide Silence

“Get Off” – Kittie

“Mouthful Of Poison” – Kittie

“Lip Gloss & Black” – Atreyu

“Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered” – Chiodos

“Bludgeoned To Death” – Suicide Silence

“The Perfect Drug” – Nine Inch Nails

“Ny-Quil” – AFI

“Decode” – Paramore

Never thought so many different genres could be crammed together, without beating the hell out of each other.  😉