The Objects Of My Distraction 

Over the past two months or so, I haven’t really written anything…I’ll be honest…I’ve been ‘neglecting’ my love of writing by not really writing much at all. I used to think that inspiration would just hit and I could write something that came to mind just like that, but that’s the problem…Inspiration doesn’t always strike at the right time, and right now is no exception. Yeah, I’m writing but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m inspired by some force other than myself…No, I’m just determined and motivated to make a change for the better.

I’ll be honest, I miss writing on this little blog of mine. I really do. You’re probably asking why I haven’t been writing and I have the answer…I found myself too busy with work/life/everything in between and unusually unmotivated to write at all…It’s honestly pretty terrifying, going from writing almost all the time, to finding yourself hardly writing at all. I find it kind of upsetting that I put something I adore on the back-burner as such, but I suppose that things you love have to become accustomed to the backseat sometimes.

Now that we’ve established that I’ve neglecting my passion of writing and what not (only to resurrect it back from the flames of its undying glory), let me just say that I’ve kept it in the dark for a good reason…A little thing called Life decided to struck like lightning and insisted on staying longer than expected. Through all the so-called torrents of rain and chaos that come with Life, there are always silver linings and rays of perpetual sunshine. Yes, I know what you’re thinking…Did she really just type that? Truth is, yes I did. It just came to mind and formed into words on this entry you’re reading, but yes it’s the honest-to-something truth.

These past three months sure have been an adventure to say the least. It’s safe to say that I now know what getting seven staples in the back of my head feels like, both put in and taken out…I know that just by that statement right there, the question of ‘What the hell?’ comes to mind, correct? Well, let me make a long, very fuzzy story short…And believe me, it was fuzzy because I don’t really remember it happening. Without sugar-coating any of this story, I fainted at work (how? the world may never know…), thus hitting the back of my head on the cold concrete that makes up the foundation of our lovely stockroom. Needless to say, I was rushed to the emergency room, not far from where I work, and my work day (and week for that matter) was cut short. But the tale will not be complete without adding all the parts that were not so fuzzy, right? Thankfully, I do remember everything after I fell, just not really the actual falling part. Go figure.

The worse part of the whole ordeal was the neck brace and endless waiting at the hospital. Yes, its standard procedure when dealing with head/possible neck injuries that the patient is fitted with a neck brace, which are very uncomfortable I might add. You did hear right…The worst part was the awkward neck brace and all the waiting around, somewhat, if not totally unsure…Not the actual process of finding out that you indeed need staples and that someone is actually going to be stapling the gash in your head closed with said staples. The ambulance ride to the hospital from the store where I work seemed to be somewhat of a blur. I remember being asked multiple times what happened by the EMS gentlemen before and after I entered the ambulance and honestly, I was starting to get frustrated and kind of pissed off…Yes, I indeed know my name, date of birth and all of that. Yes, I know where I work, that I indeed did faint, and that I am bleeding from a gash in my head. All of this I’m fully aware of, just not the full extent of the situation. The very reason why I’m going to the hospital. I can’t say that I blame them though, asking me those questions was just the standard, everyday protocol and I wasn’t really objecting to any of it…Mainly because I couldn’t, thanks to the neck brace and I just wanted to not move at all.

After a series of x-rays and such, I was informed that my head/neck/spine and any other parts of my body that would’ve been affected by the fall were totally fine, and that I could go home once the gash in my head was taken care of. Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, (and the fact that my loving mother and boyfriend were there, making me laugh and being the best distractions…) the only thing I felt was a little bit of pressure from the staples as they were going in. Yes, my mom and boyfriend were both there, keeping me company and listening to me complain about how much the neck brace sucked something awful. 10, maybe 15 minutes give or take some minutes later, I was on my merry little way. In pain nonetheless, with seven staples in my head and careful instructions on how to care for them and that I should be back in about 7 to 10 days to have them removed, but all in all, peachy keen…Peachy keen with a bloodstain on the neck of my pink and black flannel, a promise of whatever I wanted to eat and absolutely no explanation for why I fainted. Yes, you heard right. No explanation. Apparently, my blood work showed no levels of anything out of the ordinary and as far as everyone could see, I was perfectly ‘healthy’. Sitting here now writing this, I still have absolutely no idea what exactly made me faint that Tuesday in November, but it is safe to say that I’m one step closer to getting my health in check and under control, via the reason why ‘healthy’ was written as such.

Let’s face it: I’m not a shining beacon of perfect health. No one is. We all have our fair share of things that are wrong with us and I’m no exception…Now, enough of my droning on and back to what I was saying before…I’m one step closer to getting my health under control because, honestly, if it’s not one thing, it is indeed another. First let me just make a long story very, very short and cut to the chase. I have had asthma for as long as I can remember and I spent the majority of last year being told that I have/don’t have something called Crohn’s Disease, only to find out in November that I indeed do have the illness…

Please, before you continue reading this, don’t feel sorry for me. Please. I honestly hate when people feel sorry for me just because I have health issues. Everyone has health issues. I’m actually beginning to wish that everyone in this world could just be 100% sickness/illness/disease-free, that’s how sick I am of everyone having something wrong with them. People I know that could be used as poster children for perfect health suddenly have some kind of random health issue that you honestly never thought they would have. It’s just scary. The whole world just needs to be healthy already…Yes, I know I’m going on and on and what I’m asking for will probably never happen in this lifetime, but what the hell? It honestly doesn’t hurt to hope every once in a while.

…As I was saying before I went on about my feelings toward health, I have Crohn’s Disease. It’s honestly kind of weird because this around this time last year, I was dealing with it…I just had no idea what it was called and I seriously had my doubts that I even had the said illness. Once again, making a long story short, I had surgery on my stomach last year (one of the main reasons there were practically no entries for the months of May and April) and after that, I thought that I was pretty much cured of any and all stomach issues that had been plaguing me for some time, but of course that wasn’t the case. One minute, I was being told I had Crohn’s Disease and the next, I was being told I didn’t. As it turns out, every doctor looks at things differently because, well, no two doctors are the same. Sure, they practice the same thing, but let’s face it: They all have their own way of looking at things and giving their honest, educated opinions. Why was this such a big deal? My surgeon was completely convinced that I didn’t have the disease because everything came back negative after the surgery, and I honestly agreed with him. I wasn’t really going to second-guess someone who just spent roughly 5 or 6 hours cutting and sewing my stomach back into its correct state of being. My gastroenterologist was still convinced that I had the disease…And sure enough, some odd months later and almost a year after my surgery, I find out that I, do indeed, have Crohn’s Disease…Apparently, I had the intestine-inflaming illness the entire time, the fact that I needed surgery just masked the fact that I had it. Go figure. If it isn’t one thing, it surely is another.

Steering away from all the negativity, it’s safe to say that trying to keep my health in check hasn’t yet stopped me from putting my other passion on the back-burner. Music. Yes, if you’ve had the chance to read one of my many random music posts, you’d know how much I love music and love to write about it. Call it nerdy or whatever you want, but once again, I don’t care. Music and writing are my passions and that is that. These past three months, I’ve found that I’ve definitely broadened my horizons on the music front. I’m always trying to listen to something new whenever I can and now is no exception. There are a lot of bands that I’ve fallen in love with and some that I’m re-discovering, but there are two that I’ve found myself listening to a whole lot lately: The Damned Things and Florence + The Machine. I would go on and on about both musicians and other musicians that I’ve just recently fallen in love with or have been involved with for some time now, but I feel like I need a bigger space to express such findings…Which I fully intend to sooner or later. ūüôā

There are more than likely a lot of other things that have been going on in Noelle’s little world of chaos and excitement…I just can’t for the life of me think of anything else that could be of any real importance right now or appropriately fit in with everything I’ve said so far. Granted, I’ve written things of no significance before and probably pieced different topics together hundreds of times, but still. I’m trying to make a change for the better this year, no matter how cheesy it sounds. As I’ve said before, I love writing and I honestly don’t want to see it become charred on the back-burner again. It just wouldn’t be cool, not one bit. Fear not, possible followers of this blog, there will most definitely be more to read. Without a doubt, there will be more to substance on this little piece of sanity I call my blog.

These are the objects of my distraction…Plently more where those came from, and finding more and more everyday.

A New Appreciation

It seems like it’s been “forever” since I’ve written something music-related. But it honestly hasn’t, it’s just a new year.

I have a new-found respect for music. I have a new-found respect for bands I’d either never heard of, or wasn’t a big fan of before. For some unknown reason, I’m drawn to bands I wasn’t drawn to before, and honestly never thought I’d like. Things definitely changed. For the better.

It’s safe to say that I really like Flyleaf now. I mean, I never fully got into them in 2005 when their self-titled CD came out and everyone seemed to fall in love with them. Strangely, I just didn’t. I’ll admit, I’d fallen in love with “Fully Alive” and “Breathe Today”, but never got into them as much as I would some other band. Call it the rebel in me, but it just wasn’t something I was listening to. Now, that my musical tastes have evolved, along with the help of their new album, I have a massive amount of respect for them. 

I honestly had no idea about their new CD, Memento Mori, until I saw the video for “Again”, and saw the CD on iTunes. When I heard the beginning of the song, I immediately fell in love with it. As it progressed, I fell even deeper in love. Lead singer Lacey Mosley’s voice is just incredible. Her vocals are a lot cleaner and easier to understand. She’s improved on the vocal front, and paired with the rawness of the instruments, it’s just amazing. The whole album is swirling around the need for freedom, while still incorporating their faith and religion in every intricate lyric.

I’m not usually a fan of Christian rock bands, but Flyleaf is definitely an exception. For some reason, I always thought that Christian bands would sing about how their religion was better than every other religion, but that’s not the case with Flyleaf. I guess that’s what I get for assuming. Made an ass out of myself.

Obviously, I’m not as keen on the concept of religion as the next person might be, but music is music, and if it’s good, then it’s good. It honestly shouldn’t matter what type of faith is put into it, it all goes through your earbuds/headphones the same way anyway.

Music is music, and it’s definitely safe to say that I’m a new-found fan of Flyleaf.

The next band on my rather lengthy appreciation list is another female-fronted band, known to the majority of the world as Paramore.

It is extremely safe to say that I love Paramore again. I first fell in love with them when I saw the video for “Pressure”. I honestly had no idea who they were at the time, but the song just grabbed me. I then fully recognized them when I  heard the song “Emergency”. One of my friends bought me the Warped Tour Compilation 2006 CD, and that song was featured on it. I instantly fell victim to Hayley Williams’s one-of-a-kind voice, and the band’s all around sound.

After their debut, All We Know Is Falling was Riot!, and once Riot! came out, it seemed like everyone was listening to them and saying that they were a Paramore fan. Now, I have absolutely nothing wrong with someone who listens to Paramore because I do too, but things like that aggravate me. With the songs “Misery Business” and “Crushcrushcrush” being what everyone was listening to, I stopped listening to Paramore for a while. Call it stupid, or dissing the band, but I needed to be away from what everyone else was currently listening to.

Despite the fact I stopped listening to Paramore for a while, there’s no sure-fire way to ever stop listening forever. Needless to say, it’s kind of impossible not to listen to Paramore, especially since their newest release, Brand New Eyes.

Paramore prove that they’re so much more than the band they were in the beginning. Having dealt with conflicts, and the near break-up of the band, they’re definitely stronger, and the music on Brand New Eyes totally shows it. Hayley’s voice is better than ever, fitting perfectly with the new-found aggression and strength. The videos for “Ignorance” and “Brick By Boring Brick” should be good demonstrations. Proving all the more that Paramore have grown up not only as a band, but as individuals as well.

I congratulate Paramore on finding their brand new eyes and only becoming stronger. Music is music whether you accept it or not.

The next band I have a huge amount of appreciation for is hardcore act, A Skylit Drive.

I had never heard of Skylit until earlier last year. I found them courtesy of iTunes, and figured I’d check them out. Upon my first listen, the element that surprised and grabbed me the most was lead singer Michael “Jag” Jagmin’s voice. His rather high-pitched voice incorporates with drummer Cory La Quay’s screams beautifully. I think if his voice sounded any different, then it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be A Skylit Drive.

I immediately found myself falling into a trance listening to their EP, She Watched The Sky. All 7 songs are amazing, and their full-length debut, Wires…And The Concept of Breathing, released in 2008, is no exception. Everything about Wires is crushing and brutal, while is managing to be incredibly crafted and beautiful. I find myself listening to “Knights Of The Round”, “Wires…And The Concept Of Breathing”, “I’m Not A Thief, I’m A Treasure Hunter”, and “All It Takes For Your Dreams To Come True” countless times a day.

Their newest release Adelphia, has a very different sound than Wires but it only proves that A Skylit Drive can break out of their genre a little and still create something hard-hitting and original. Jag’s vocals are clearly a lot cleaner and seem to be more present than they were on Sky and Wires. The vocals were obviously always there, but now they seem to be the main focus on the album, rather than Cory’s screams combined with the clean vocals.

Despite the mixed reviews I’ve read about Adelphia, my mind hasn’t changed about the band or the CD. The band is truly original, and Adelphia is genius. Every song is its own entity; no two songs sound the same, making them a stand-out among most bands today. The song “Prelude To A Dream” makes me swoon, and “Those Cannons Could Sink A Ship” and “Eva The Carrier” make me attempt to sing along. Not very good, I might add. The beginning of “Prelude” is just amazing. Jag’s voice is so soft you almost can’t hear what he’s singing, and then the screaming comes to proceed into a damn-good song. The lyrics in “Cannons” and “Eva” are both infectious and you’re kind of entitled to sing along because they’re so catchy.

While I think it was pretty hard to top Wires, it’s safe to say that Adelphia does come close. I love Wires, but I’m beginning to fall in love with Adelphia. Only time will tell which one I end up loving more.

Kudos to A Skylit Drive. Music is music, and I’m happy to say that I’m a fan.

The next band on my pretty lengthy kudos list is Every Time I Die.

I’d more than likely seen them a million times before on TV or something. I just never knew who they were. I remember I’d seen the videos for the songs “Kill The Music” and “The New Black” on FUSE and I thought nothing of it. “The New Black” was featured on the same Warped Tour Compilation 2006 as was Paramore’s “Emergency”, I just don’t think I ever took the time to listen. I figured that they were just like any other band out there. Every song sounded like a carbon copy of itself. Once again, that’s exactly what I get for assuming. Made an ass out of myself yet again.

This new-found liking for Every Time I Die came accompanied with their new CD, New Junk Aesthetic. The first song I’d ever fully listened to by them was “Pretty Dirty”, and that song caught me. With all honesty, despite the fact that I had the song on my iPod and all, I forgot about them once I erased the contains and started from scratch. The song that truly hooked and held me was “We’rewolf”. The overall song itself was unlike what I was used to hearing. The lyrics were twisted into some kind of new perfection, and Keith Buckley’s voice was actually pretty refreshing.

I knew absolutely nothing about New Junk Aesthetic until I’d heard the song “Roman Holiday”, and read an article in the November issue of Revolver. Leave it to Revolver to fill me in on things in the music world I more-than-often miss. In the article, it talked about how the CD had a more rock-and-roll type of sound as oppose to their previous releases.

Their debut EP, The Burial Plot Bidding War, as well as their full-length debut Last Night In Town, had the hardcore sound they became famous for. While the albums that followed, Hot Damn!, Gutter Phenomenon, and The Big Dirty still radiated that hardcore/metalcore sound, they also incorporated a Southern-rock tinged sound in the guitar department, and Keith proved to have a killer singing voice, in addition to his signature screaming. Compared to their other albums, Aesthetic is definitely more rock-and-roll, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It still shows how talented they are as musicians, and that they still have the “hardcore/metalcore” sound people usually associate them with, just with a different kind of intensity.

Regardless of how New Junk Aesthetic sounds, where it be rock-and-roll, hardcore, or a strange combination of both, there’s no doubting that it’s well-crafted, with flawless instruments and Keith’s better-than-ever vocals. There’s also no doubting that it’s just down-right kickass. Every song is well pieced together, where one dims off in brilliance, the other picks up the light not shy of a few seconds after. It’s honestly no surprise that I probably go from “Wanderlust”, “White Smoke”, “Buffalo 666”, and “Goddamn Kids These Days” and back again in a 40 minute class period of gym. Those songs alone are that awesome and badass.

I would like to congratulate Every Time I Die for being kickass, and for once again reminding me that you shouldn’t judge a band before you actually listen to them.

The last but definitely not least band on my finally finished, very lengthy appreciation list is the Danish act Volbeat.

Once again, with all brutal honesty accounted for here, I had no idea that Volbeat was even a band until I saw something about them in the back of one of my many issues of Revolver magazine. I didn’t look back on it until I found myself looking for a new and interesting band to listen to, which wasn’t until a couple months ago. Last October actually. It’s honestly kind of weird saying ‘last’ October because it still feels like 2009, but that’s not correct. It’s 2010. But enough about the fact that it’s a new year, back to what makes Volbeat original and one-of-a-kind. 

Like the majority of new bands I’ve listened to, I had no idea what to expect when it came to Volbeat. I didn’t assume I had with Every Time I Die or Flyleaf, as previously stated. I just listened…and I found myself in almost a whole other niche in time. Everything about their sound resonates the old-school music that came before them, and that’s not a bad thing at all. They’re like a violent blend of Metallica and The Misfits, along with a splash of Johnny Cash and Elvis mixed in. I think that most people aren’t drawn to the old-school sound because nowadays it seems like it’s all about the next big sub-genre.

When I first listened to Volbeat, I was taken aback (in the purest contradiction of those words) by frontman Michael Poulsen’s voice. The deepness of his voice sort of reminded me of the vocals of Type O Negative lead, Peter Steele, even though their vocal styles are no way near the same. Despite the partial coincidence, his voice is the most unique thing I’ve heard in a while. His voice wraps around the crushing drums and heavy guitars perfectly, only in a way that he can. Volbeat wouldn’t be the same kind of band if his vocals were different.  

Their latest release, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood is just amazing in every way possible. Amazing is a word I use a lot when talking about music, and when I say it’s amazing, it truly is. Everything about it is fresh and original, while still having enough venom and bite to surprise and entice. It’s not your typical CD by a band that’s sporting today’s latest sub-genre, nothing even remotely close…

Most bands today, with the exception of a great few, are afraid to break away from the genre they’re currently in and take a chance. I have an extreme amount of respect for bands/musicians that break the mold, while still managing to stay true to their signature sound. It’s like, their signature sound combined with something new and innovative, to create something new that’s all their own. The bands that refuse to go out of the box, and crush the hell out of that mold, seem like they’re either scared to lose fans or afraid of what the so-called “scene” will think. They’re not living up to their full potential.

…Volbeat isn’t one of those bands. If you thought their brilliant, fresh sound was only on Gangsters & Blood, then you’re wrong. Their debut CD, The Strength/The Sound/The Songs released in 2005, displays the same kind of bone-breaking mix of rockabilly, metal, and punk, giving Volbeat their one-of-a-kind sound. I honestly never thought about what it would sound like, mixing three different types of music that all had similarities, but now I’m happy to say that I know exactly what it sounds like. Strength/Sound/Songs is a 15-song joyride that’s just as explosive, as it is in-your-face. It has the same brutality as Gangsters & Blood, only it’s more gritty and rough around the edges. Their follow-up, 2007’s Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil is no exception to the originality and impressive sound. According to my iPod, I’ve listened to the song “Radio Girl” off Rebel/Devil over 30 times, and something tells me that it’s true. It’s a great song; the whole album is pretty great.

Out of all three releases, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood is the best. When I first heard “Still Counting”, the first Volbeat song I’d heard…ever, I was in complete shock and awe because of how incredible it sounded. The first thing I heard was the almost Southern sound of the guitar, then the drums came in to coincide with it perfectly. With the assistance of Michael’s branded vocals, the song then totally does a 360 and guitars and drums are leading a full-scale assault on your ears. The title track, “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood” and “Back To Prom”, almost remind me of the 1950s’. Just the whole feel and sound of the songs echo back to a time vintage cars and gorgeous pin-up girls. “Hallelujah Goat” and “Wild Rover Of Hell” beckon to the metal sound that came before them, executed in perfect heart-pounding harmony. “Find That Soul” reminds me of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I honestly don’t know why, but the feel of the song reminds me of the part in the movie where Santa is confronted by the Boogieman, and then the song proceeds to play and that’s when you know that Santa isn’t going anywhere. Call me crazy, but that’s what I thought of when I first heard the song. No matter what the song reminds you of, it’s awesome nonetheless. As is all of Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood.

I take my hat of to Volbeat for being the most original thing this way out of Denmark. Music is music, and I’m without a doubt a Volbeat fan.

I’m happy that my musical tastes changed because if they didn’t, I don’t think I’d be listening to the great bands I just expressed my appreciation for. I’m happy it changed for the better.

Music is the safest haven. When the rain falls too hard to think and the snow falls too lightly to hear a whisper, you’ll always have its comfort.

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.

October Anatomy

Fall. Autumn. The third out of fourth season. Whatever you want to call it, there’s¬†no sure-fire way of denying that it’s here. And it’s definitely here.

It’s the season where everything changes, whether you want it to or not. The mornings are becoming colder and colder. The sun rises later, and is then defeated by the night sky even earlier. The leaves are changing from their crisp summer green to their crimson, orange, and yellow fall counterparts…All this makes you wonder where summer went, and how fast is winter really approaching.

I’ll be honest, I love walking home from school in the fall.¬†From the warm, burning smell that seems to linger in the air, to the changing leaves falling and crunching under my feet. All while listening to the company of my iPod, away in my own world, but still fully aware of the cars and other people walking past. Some of the songs remind me of the season. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s because it is Fall, or maybe because they were actually intended for this time of year. Or maybe it’s just me being me. Whatever the case may be, I still love it.

The festivities are what really get me. I mean,¬†every holiday has their own¬†decorations and treats, but something about Fall decorations and treats makes me¬†feel warm and happy. I know that probably sounds kind of lame, but’s it’s the honest-to-God truth. I love the Pumpkin Lattes at any participating Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, the huge pieces of pumpkin pie, with a very, very generous amount of whipped cream on top, and especially, Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, even though some would say it’s not considered a holiday. Whatever you choose, you can’t deny that getting free candy is a bad thing because it’s not. At least I don’t think it is.

With all this love for the Fall, it makes me wonder where summer went…It seems like it went by wayyy too fast…And remember winter is just around the corner. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Don’t get me wrong, winter can be pretty beautiful, but it makes me think of how close the year is ending already. In less than two months, it will be December, which means Christmas, which then means a new year is drawing closer than it is now.

It’s kind of sad thinking of how such a beautiful season seems to be passing and changing as fast as the leaves. I mean, there’s still another month of Fall left, but doesn’t feel like it. I plan on enjoying the rest of what Fall has to offer, and savor its beauty and awesomeness as much as I can.

Let the pumpkins glow and the candy bags overflow.

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.

“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! ūüėČ

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