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.

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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.

 

 

Defective little dreamcatcher Pt. 2

All has not been fine and dandy in Noelle’s little dreamland. No sir or madam it hasn’t. Three days ago, I said that I thought my dreamcatcher was defective…Now, I think it’s truly is defective.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a massive headache and gasping for air. Not something that I do very often when waking up. Not something that happens really at all. I had just woken up from a bad dream. No lie. A truly bizarre dream.

It started with me being at my friend Melodie’s house, except it didn’t look anything like her house. The inside was really cramped, and it didn’t look how I remembered. Granted, it’s been 4 years since I’ve been inside her house and it probably does look different now, but not like it did here. Out of nowhere, her boyfriend Tyler is there. He looked different. His hair was longer. The last time I saw him, it was short and blonde (probably his natural color…it’s been too many colors to count), and I doubt his hair grows that fast. They suggested that we all go see the fireworks, even though it’s clearly past the 4thof July. I decided to just go with it, and hope for the best.

The next thing I know, I’m sitting with Melodie and Tyler on someone’s front lawn, in what looks like a development. Which is totally weird because there is no suburban development of any kind by where either of us live. There were a couple other people sitting with us, but I had no idea who they were. Just then, I felt something in my tote bag. I didn’t remember having my Jack & Sally tote bag at all at Mel’s house. I reached in and found my cell phone, except it wasn’t my cell phone. This phone was dark red, the same color as my hair. I hit the screen of the new phone with my thumb, revealing that I had a new message…The message was from my ex-boyfriend.

In it, was an assortment of different pictures with words overlapping them. There was some random poem, an “I love you”, roses, and a merry-go-round, all in black & white. I was totally puzzled because I knew he would never send me this, especially since we’re not in a relationship anymore. I was going to show Melodie but thought better of it. The next message was even more unusual. My thumb touched the screen, and I saw his face. He was talking. I turned up the volume and heard what he was saying. “I love you. I want to get back together. I’ll change…I love you.” I just looked at the screen, dumbfounded. It was just so weird. I kept looking at the screen until I felt the phone vibrate again. It was another message with him talking again. This one was quite different, though. “I hate you. You ruined me. You ruined every chance I have at love. I hate you. I hate you.” He never told me he hated me when we were together. He never told me he loved me, either. Granted, we weren’t together for really that long. It was, like, a serious mood swing. Completely unexpected. I didn’t know what to feel or think.

All of a sudden I was in this room. It looked like a back room of a house. A line of computers against one wall, and couches and chairs scattered around. What’s up with computers in my dreams? Maybe it’s because I use mine almost every single day…It was really dark and I’d just received another message, but I couldn’t hear it or see it that well. I tried to turn up the volume, but it was already up to the maximum. Out of nowhere, I started to see and hear things. I was talking to a freakin’ lamp! The next thing I know, there’s a fire in the room, and I’m standing right there. The couches and chairs go up in flames, right where I could’ve sworn someone was sitting. Someone who looked like a cop, but probably wasn’t, came into the room and found something under one of the couches. It was a skeleton of what looked like a small deer. I started to cry. I knew that someone was sitting on that couch when I came in. They didn’t go anywhere. I knew they were there. I wasn’t crazy.

The next half of my dream was weird, but in a goofy way. I was walking by the flower shop by my house with a puppy, but it wasn’t my puppy. My puppy is pretty big for being a puppy, but this puppy was the size of a regular one. A big one, but a puppy nonetheless. I was just walking with it, when I saw one of my relatives (the same one from the Christian Bale dream in Pt. 1), my neighbor, and a family friend. All three sipping tea next to the flower shop. They surprisingly didn’t say anything to me, which I thought they would. I continued to walk on with my puppy until I reached my house. When I walked through the front door, there were five people waiting for me. Three women and two men. All five were heavily tattooed, and pierced. Their tattoos and piercings looked very good on them, though. Some people’s tattoos/piercings don’t look very flattering on them, but not in this case. They all looked very beautiful, even the men.

The women were modern-day pin-up girls or at least that’s what they looked like. Perfect, smooth, sleek hair dyed dark purple, dark blue, and red, respectively. Make-up, but not too much, just enough to show the true beauty of their eyes and lips. Black high heel Mary Janes, black skirts, and different textured corsets adorned the three women in front of me. The men were modern-day gentlemen. Black straight-legged pants, a little on the skinny side, black Converse, black button-down shirts, and black fedoras graced the handsome men.

After looking at the five people in front of me for awhile, I began to wonder why they were in my house. Could it be something I was wearing maybe? A black Tripp skirt, with matching corset, black Doc Marten’s, just enough eye make-up (so I don’t look like the walking dead!), and my dark red hair looking perfect and strangely really pretty…I looked kind of like a smaller version of the three women. Minus the tattoos and excessive piercings. Maybe that’s why they were here. I heard them talking about tattoos, and I would be 18 in a week…

Then I woke up. Gasping. From what? Absolutely no idea. The first thing that I could think of was that I was gasping from the fire, but that was the first part of my dream. I was way past that in my little dreamland. And what about my killer headache? Trying to figure out why those beautiful, excessively tattooed and pierced people were in my house? I couldn’t think of any other reason than the latter. The lack of sleep I’ve been getting could be the reason as well. I have no idea. I think, sir or madam, that this proves how my dreamcatcher is defective.

Chocolate and interesting documentaries are sometimes the worst things to consume before bed.