Thursday, September 29, 2011
In a perfect world:
Music lovers live in perfect harmony. They never step on each other toes. Never get into frivolous conversations about bands being "real" music or just "pop" songs. They never say stupid phrases or label anything "Pop music." Music is shared passion and love and everyone sees the value in any form of music(as long as its not little kids in a closet singing bad folk songs aka "Rosa").
And everyone lives happily ever after bobbing their heads to their chosen bands and respects the other music listeners taste in music.
Ah... Yeah, right. Like that will ever happen.
When anything is a passion of yours, it makes complete sense that hours of your life will be spent talking about it, and believe me, I've spent my fair share yapping about good ole music. Most of the time its conversations about how this album is one of your favorites right now, or how you really want to hear that new La Dispute record (WHICH DROPS THIS TUESDAY!). But then every now and then you get in one of THOSE conversations...
You know the ones I'm talking about...
The ones where people get on their high horses and start making extreme proclamations:
"There's no value in Grunge music."
"Country music has no talent in it."
"Taylor Swift is a no talent sleaze bag, who only is famous because of her rich daddy."
You know you've heard these things, and you know, if you're a music lover, you've probably caught yourself saying things like this while maturing into your musical adulthood.
My mouth normally just drops whenever somebody goes into their pretentious spiels about Ms. Swift or Nickelback and the gang being completely untalented. My insides start to tense up and then it happens. My head starts to replay violent things I could do to that person (much like the scene in High Fidelity when Rob's enemy walks into the record store). It drives me crazy whenever somebody says the word "Talentless" when referring to music. If its not your taste, that is fine, but talentless, it is not.
The two I just mentioned, Taylor Swift and Nickelback, I feel I've defended them until I've been red in the face way TOO many times. I'm not even a huge Taylor Swift fan, but she deserves what she has received. She has busted her butt and wrote great songs. Talentless? Wrong. She has way more talent than you mr. pretentious music critic. Now, Nickelback seems to be the pun of many jokes (even ones made by myself), but Talentless? I think not. They have created a sound and they continually put out a product that their fans know and love. Its like buying an AC/DC record, if you liked the first album, you're gonna like the new album.
Hours upon hours of my life have been spent in deep conversation about "real" music, and honestly, I love it. Theres a piece of me that loves just sitting and talking out opinions and either broadening my musical outlook, or helping someone else broaden theirs.
But the thing that drives me crazy...
The thing that I really can not stand...
Is when the fans kill a band.
No, I'm not talking like, Dimebag Darryl style (Dimebag was gunned down at his own show because of a crazed Pantera fan being upset at his departure from said band). No, I'm talking about when the fans become so enthralled with their bands that they become pretentious to the max, letting things fall out of their mouths like, "If you don't like ____ then you don't like music."
If you have never run into this before, then God bless you, but anyone whose been around a hardcore Death Cab for Cutie or Radiohead fan knows exactly what I'm talking about....
About 7 years ago, I first heard of this up and coming band "Death Cab for Cutie" from my big brother figure, Brett McReynolds. He would rave on and on about them and wear their band t-shirts when he worked in my backyard pulling books with my dad and I. So my first impression with the band was a very good one. I was really into my "heavy" phase of my musical journey at that time, so "Death Cab" didn't really interest me as much as the new Stone Sour record or Three Days Grace records did (What?! 102.9 The Buzz was my only outlet for finding new hard rock and metal acts!). But still, my stomach didn't turn at the thought of Death Cab at that time.
Years later, as I was growing up, I kept meeting these "Death Cab" fans. These kids who wore skinny jeans, raved about Sufjan stevens, and had "Plans" all memorized. I noticed a pattern amongst all of these, said '"fans." We would start talking music, they like this and that, and then they'd say, "But my favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie." I would then sigh. "What? You don't like Death Cab?" And then that phrase would fall out of their mouths, "If you don't like Death Cab for Cutie than you don't appreciate music."
Whenever I would hear that I would flip.
Get off your high horse, you skinny jean wearing-coffee drinking-facial hair growing-Ben Gibbard worshipping-baboon!
And I constantly heard it until I was 18 and stopped caring.
But because of the fans... the band was always a turn off for me. Seeing their name, or hearing someone list them in one of their favorite acts, made me look at the people differently (haha as shallow as that is, its true).
I've recently gotten over my disgust for the band. Honestly, they are a phenomenal band that I truly believe can stand the test of time and become something that is remembered. I can't wait to be old and turn on the oldies station and reminisce to Death Cab... just as long as none of their die hard fans are around.
But the fan definitely killed the band for me for a couple of years.
Another band whose fan base is putting a knife to their throat (Not that they need much help) is Radiohead.
Now face it, Thom Yorke and company are brilliant and construct some really great songs, but Thom Yorke is probably the most pretentious musician I have ever had the displeasure to read interviews from. Sometimes musicians should just let their art talk for them. So the root of their fan base's pretentiousness probably does come from the lead singer himself, but it still doesn't justify the actions of their fan base.
One thing I remember the most was when Radioheads label released a greatest hits on iTunes.
In music, a Greatest Hits collection normally means a band is leaving the label and the label is trying to pinch a little bit more money out of them, or that the band is on their way out or on a hiatus. Well a couple years ago, a greatest hits was released for good ole Radiohead and the fans when crazy! I sat and read all of the comments posted on the day of the release. Most of them sounded like this: "Don't buy this!" "The man is trying to put the band down." "Corporate America at best." "Thom wouldn't support this!" They were freaking out about their beloved having a greatest hits releasing. REALLY?! Its just a greatest hits. You clearly already owned their discography, so you have no use for a greatest hits anyway.
I, being the jerk I am, wanted to buy the greatest hits only to piss the crazed fans off.
But decided my money could be better spent elsewhere, like mcdonalds, or by giving it to a hobo.
The last band I'll mention who have fans working more against them then for them, is Acacia Strain. Whereas the before mentioned bands somewhat fall into the same category of music and fans, Acacia Strain is a completely different genre. Acacia Strain is a hardcore band I saw a couple years back on a tour with Impending Doom and August Burn Red. The band themselves are one of the heaviest and tightest hardcore groups I've had the pleasure of watching. They demanded your attention every second of the show and got the whole crowd moving.
But even before The Acacia Strain took the stage, the kids adorning Acacia Strain shirts were already being overly aggressive in the crowd. The dance pits of course were in full swing, but these kids had no problem throwing their arms into people repeatedly as they danced. It was watching male testosterone completely unadulterated and completely uncontrollable and down right scary at times.
The worst of it came when Acacia Strain took the stage. The band on stage was killing it, but their fans were out of control...
I watched as a 20 something year old man came running towards a group of girls that was standing outside of the dance pit, his eyes were large with intensity and his arms were swinging. I watched as his arm made contact with a little girl. Without an apology or anything for punching the little girl, the man continued on his way creating havoc with the rest of his fellow testosterone morons.
I was shocked. I had never seen this type of behavior in the hardcore scene before. Sure its rough, and its tough at times and bloodly lips happen, but there's a brotherhood mentality in hardcore, its a tight group of people who normally end up hugging each other before and after each show. They aren't there to cause harm, to hurt people, not like these kids were. These kids were there to cause as much pain as they could to their favorite band...
As lame as it is, that experience really makes me dislike the band a little bit.
Its not a fair thing to pin against a band. They can't control their fans. They really can't do anything but push out their music and control themselves.
But I find it amazing how much weight the fans really do carry when it comes to how people see a band sometimes.
So that perfect world I was talking about, "Where people always recognize some form of value in music..."
It doesn't exist.
I wish I could say differently, but it doesn't.
And part of me is glad, I love a little bit of debate when talking about music, but when it comes to dealing with pretentious people, I can't do it.
So while you are deep in your musical conversations, and you start to get into arguments about which band is "better", remember that you are representing your said band in your conversation. If you truly want to turn someone on to a band... Don't kill the band before they even get a chance to hear it.
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: You are a Tourist
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Album: Codes and Keys
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Before I begin this review I think there are a couple of things I should address:
First, I'd like to thank Doubleday Book Publishers for sending me an advanced copy of the book "Damned" written by none other than Chuck Palahniuk.
Second, I guess I should fill you guys in on a couple of things before I dive into this review.
The other day I was scanning facebook and saw that the Chuck Palahniuk Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/chuckpalahniuk - Go on "like" it, I dare you) had a number of copies of "Damned" that they were looking to send out to internet bloggers to start getting the buzz around about Chuck's new book. Needless to say, I was super stoked and tried my hardest to get a copy of one of my favorite authors newest book, not only early, but free. After a couple emails back and forth, I eventually came home to a package in the mail from Doubleday books. It is mine for the keeping under the condition that I will help promote the book, bringing us to where we are today.
Now the other thing you probably should know is... I'm a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan. I've completely devoured, 5 of his books over the past year (Tell All, Haunted, Fight Club, Choke, and now Damned). Now knowing a good amount of the people who actually read this blog, this post/review and or Chuck Palahniuk may not be for you. If you love reading conventional pieces of fiction and having a big smile on your face when the book comes to a close... yeah Palahniuk is probably not your guy unless you like twisted things... like I do. So yeah, there is your disclaimer.
Now that we are caught up... Time for the review.
Chuck Palahniuk is either a psychic, has connections with powers above (or below), or is a man of amazing luck. 2011 has been a year that has been so heavily focused on the afterlife that it has taken the world by storm. In the past year, 3 books have sat on the best seller list for a good portion of it. "Heaven is Real" by Todd Burpo, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" by Kevin Marlarkey, and "Love Wins" by Rob Bell, all take on the subject of the afterlife and the validity of the claims we have been told for years and years. It is as if Palahniuk some how looked into his crystal ball and saw that 2011 would be a year with the worlds eyes set on eternity, and he pounced, delivering us his take on the subject in his wickedly witty new release , "Damned."
"Life is Short, Death is Forever" reads the tagline for the newest addition to the wonderful dark corpus (aka book-o-graphy) of New York Times Bestselling Author, Chuck Palahniuk. "Damned" is the telling of little, fat, Madison Spencer, as she begins her eternal rest in God forsaken hell. This hell is made up of cages, flesh eating demons, torture, old stale candies (which is also used a currency) that cake the floors and walls causing a sticky residue, which is why the protagonist warns "Do NOT die while wearing cheap shoes. Hell is... well, hell on shoes" (P. 11). But hell isn't all that humans have made it out to be... Its more of a wasteland for earth, filling its vast landscape with mountains of fingernail clippings, rivers of human excrement, and valleys of dandruff.
As the pages turn, we find the tale of fat, insecure, Madison, to be one of finding reason for her damnation and finding acceptance amongst her new peers and new found captor, Satan. As the time of eternity slowly passes by in her damnation, Madison begins to blossom in her surroundings and starts to see the true adventure and answers to her life that are to be found in hours of recollecting and recalculating life's decisions. Her new found confidence and perspective drives our protagonist to test herself past anything she could have even imagined in her mortal stage, and starts to truly come to life in Hell, while piecing together the mystery and mishaps of her 13 short years on earth.
Honestly, I don't know how Chuck does it. The man in a literary genius.
He brings passion and excitement to the field of literature like no other author I have ever encountered. Countless times, have I heard teenagers and young adults saying, "I didn't like to read... but then I picked up Fight Club," or "...but then I picked up Invisible Monsters." Since the release of Fight Club in 1996, Palahniuk has managed to release some of the most exciting and provocative pieces of modern literature.
Provocative may not even be a strong enough word.
Don't believe me?
Chuck is the only author I have ever heard of that has actually had people passing out at his live readings. In his phenomenal collection of horror short stories, "Haunted", the book opens with a disturbing tale of 3 different boys who suffered traumatic mishaps during their adolescent "sexual exploration" stage of life. Although, I personally found the stories disturbing yet satirically hilarious, up to 30 people passed out at his readings across the country.
All of that to say...
If you are looking to find new life and adventure in the field of writing and literature look no farther than Chuck Palahniuk. In his creation of dark, wonderful worlds, Palahniuk carries us through so many different stages of the human experience with some of the most dynamic and remarkably unique character that you will ever let your imagination place a face on.
Damned is nothing short of that.
In true Palahniuk fashion, "Damned", carries the heart, drive, wit, darkness, and message of his previous releases. You would not be dissatisfied with the next installment from this already phenomenal and awe inspiring author.
So pre-order your copy today!
"Damned" is set to release on October 18, 2011.
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: Jetpacks was Yes!
Album: Bulb Demo's
All pictures found on Google Images
Thank you Doubleday Books for the opportunity to help and support one of this generations finest authors.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
"What's a dad for dad?
Tell me why I'm here dad
Whisper in my ear that I'm growing up to be a better man, dad
Everything is fine dad
Proud that you are mine dad
Cause I know I'm growing up to be a better man
Father I will always be
That same boy that stood by the sea
And watched you tower over me
Now I'm older I wanna be the same as you"
-Yellowcard (Life of a Salesman)
Do you think there is a difference between the way adults act and react with you today and with the way they would have interacted with someone your age about 30 years ago?
Do you think we live in a unique time where that adults relate with the younger generation much easier than any other?
According to About.com, anyone born in the years between 1946-1964 are part of the "Baby Boom." Anyone born between 1965-1979, are considered, Generation X, and anyone who is born between the years of 1980-2000 are considered Millennials or Generation Y.
In the work that I do (Books-A-Million, Books-Are-Fun, Books-Drain-You-For-Life, Arbys), I find that I am privileged and honored to be under the supervision of so called, "Generation X-ers" all the time. Day in and day out I can't help but laugh about the way this generation acts compared to people of my grandfathers generation. They laugh, they curse, they are crass, and they are pushing 50 but still their young selves.
I was very close to my grandfather, but I don't think I remember him much at the young age of 55, but I think its safe to say that he wasn't listening to rock music and still rocking the pony tail then.
Growing up I remember seeing people who were starting to get older and having gray hair starting to turn towards other fashion senses, such as always being seen in Khakis and polo's. But almost every day at my store, I help gentlemen who are 60 maybe 65 and they are still rocking their baseball hats, t-shirts, and jeans with chain wallets! I have men walking into the store with a bag of depends under one arm, old spice under the other, and asking where they can find the Led Zeppelin section.
It truly is awesome.
I feel as if they isn't a boundary between the ages like I've heard some many stories and seen so many movies about. Its as if were being raised by... The rebels.
I started thinking about this concept on my drive home the other day. I had just gotten out of a car that I was riding in with my new boss. We had spent a whole hour drive to our bookfair talking. We talked music, religion, Howard Stern, of course books and many other things. It was awesome. But the part that I couldn't shake was when he was telling me about his experiences at his job at Tower Records. He of course assumed I had never heard of this "myth" of a record store, but I assured him I spent my young adolescence scanning the rows and rows of cds at the Opry Mills Mall Tower Records. He told me that he had actually met Ozzy Osbourne one day. As he was telling the story I could hear the excitement in his voice. He was coming to life telling of this awesome experience he had. While listening to him tell me how nice Ozzy was and how Sharron wouldn't let him have a beer with the Tower employees, I slightly tuned out and heard Howard Stern talking on the radio. My boss listens to Howard Stern religiously on his way to work, so slightly listening to both of these men talk it hit me that these were the "leaders" of this generation right now.
These are the men that are of age to become President.
They are the ones who are leading the next generation.
Even thinking about it now, I can't help but smile. There is a clear cut difference between the way we are interacting with "Generation X-er's" than I believe they did with their parents.
Now I could talk about so many other people, but I have to go with the source. The one guy I know best in this world.
I think it is safe to say that the relationship I (Generation Y) have with my dad (End of Baby Boom Era- beginning of Generation X) is so special and something I will always cherish. I truly believe that our relationship is so awesome and tight because of innate desire a son has with this father, but also because of the tearing down of the social boundaries between generations.
Now my dad is actually apart of the "baby boom" generation by default because he was born in 1961, BUT that makes him the very last couple of years of the baby boom and the beginning of the Generation X-er's. So my dad was surrounded by Generation X-er's his whole life, making him experience and take in the exact same things that they did.
When my dad was born in 1961 to Harvey and Shirley Pemelton, times were different. Men went to work and came home right around the time that the mother had dinner warm and sitting on the table. Families ate around tables back in that day (I know the concept of a table is shocking to my fellow Generation Y-er's, but yes people did sit around a table and not right in front of the tube every night).
Media was starting to boom around that time. Television was starting to become something more common in the American Household. The music was starting to blossom with acts like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones starting to surface and cause change and controversy in the scene. This was something that my dad was taking in as a kid, watching these bands rise and rise and become mega super stars and causing huge influence on the world of music, but it wasn't really a conversation piece between him and his dad.
Now I realize that some people are just different. My grandfather was a country guy, and my dad was a rock guy (Papa- Buck Owens, Dad- Kiss). There are differences and they are all the more intense when you are a kid and starting to identify with things, but I still argue that music just wasn't that huge of a thing for my grandfathers generation. Sure it was there and it was prevalent but it wasn't as monumental and ground shaking like it was for my dad's generation.
Music of course is the first thing I start on, because it is one of the main things me and my dad get to talking about when we first see each other. "Have you heard The Scripts new album?! "Have you heard Taking Back Sundays New Album?! "Did you Hear about the Nevermind Repress for the 20th anniversary?!" These are little things we say to each other all the time, and I now see that in such a new light. I feel so blessed to have a dad that I can just relate with all the time in the field of music.
But there is so many more fields...
Now, I'll keep it light, but I think its safe to say that there were some major changes in the way Sexuality was look at around the time my dads generation was born. Imagine how big of a rift that would have caused between the teens and the parents of the 60's?! This sexual revolution had people of the 60's and 70's experimenting their bodies and sexuality in ways that had not been looked at as "acceptable" before. When the "baby Boomers" starting to act out sexually, I really feel as if their parents(1925-1945 - Silent Generation) probably were very resentful and not accepting of this new look on sexuality.
Either way this caused Sexuality to be thrown into a totally new light for Generation X-er's. This became very clear to me as I was listening to Howard Stern with my new boss. The way they laugh and talk about sexuality is really awful to be honest with you, but its apart of their culture I believe. Now in my situations of life, my dad would never ever ever EVER talk like Howard Stern does, but I think that we are free to joke around about sexuality so much more in my generation.
I love that I live in a time that I can make a "sex" joke around my dad and he can look around to make sure my mothers not around and laugh. I love that we can sit and watch movies like Anchorman and Stepbrothers and laugh and not feel super awkward. I feel as if that were to happen with the baby boom generation and their parents, the parents would be passing out and calling in exorcisms.
But our lives Between the Generation X-ers and the Generation Y-er's somewhat line up. We both experienced a time of High political outrage (X- Protesting 'Nam and Y-Protesting War in Iraq). We've both grown up in a time where media really played a huge part in our lives, but isn't responsible for raising us like Generation Z(2000/2001-Present). And both of our generations were highly affected and still feeling tremors of the drug revolution of the 60's.
Times are different now.
Adults aren't becoming the stereotypical "elderly" like I've always known them to be. Now let me clarify, my dad is only 50 years old mind you, he is not the "elderly" I am referring to. I'm referring to the 60 and 70 year old's I deal with every day at the store.
Older men walk in with band t-shirts and pony tails requesting books on Nikki Sixx. Older women come in buying their exotic romance novels that they've been reading for years. No khaki's or polo's are really in sight.
But those with the Khaki's and Polo's they aren't obsolete, I do see them from time to time, and I admire them.
It sounds bad to say, but I feel as if they are somewhat accepting of their age. They only problem I have with these Generation X-er's, is some of them refuse to "grow up." Its as if we live in a time where men forget to grow up. They still sit and curse real loud in the store and do whatever they "damn well please," but they don't accept that they are aging and maybe should clean up their act because they are not 20 anymore. Don't get me wrong though, I love a many of these types of people. Writer/director Kevin Smith is a hilarious human being who I adore, but there's a part of me that feels he isn't accepting of his age.
But really I can't say too much about that.
Look at my generation.
When we get old and begin putting away on the golf course... were gonna look like a bunch of freaks. All of our tattoos drooping and stretched with our saggy skin, our ear holes dangling from the gauges we should have taken out when we were 40, but didn't.
Were all apart of a unique generation and the way we act will always be completely different from the next one or the one before us.
I feel so blessed to be in this generation.
I am so blessed to have been raised by Generation X.
I love that they have created us in a way that has the "arts" front and center.
I love that they have created us in a way where we can be comfortable to talk about things with our parents.
I love that we have this sense of understanding with each other.
I understand my situation with my dad is very rare. Some of you AREN"T best friends with your dad like I am, but I have to ask.
Did you really try?
Did you really try to sit and relate with your dad and see all that you have in common?
I guess what I'm getting at is this: Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity we have Generation Y and Generation Z. We are alive in a time where there is somewhat of a revolution in the way that kids and parents interact.
I know that I am a product of it, and I love every second of my life.
Thanks dad for making me a bi-product of generation X.
And I can't wait to see what affect I have on my kids,
And I can only hope that I do half as good of a job that my dad did with me.
"When I am a dad, dad,
I'm gonna be a good dad.
Did the best you could, dad,
Always understood, dad.
Taught me what was right, dad,
Opened up my eyes, dad.
Glad to call you my dad,
Thank you for my life, dad."
-Yellowcard (Life of a Salesman)
Media Associated WIth This Post:
Song: Life of a Salesman
Album: Ocean Avenue
All pictures hijacked from Google Images
except picture of Pemelton's at Mecca/Cornerstone Music Festival Taking by Anya Harden probably.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
So before I start on this post, I want to send some props to my daddio. I have been reading his blog, www.bretpemelton.com, for a year now. Its not hard for me to say that my dad was born to write/create. His blog is one of the best out there and if you haven't checked it out, you need to hit it up.
I've also learned so much from him in his writing, and one of the things he has executed the best is his consistency. So I've decided to follow yet again another road paved by my amazing father. I'm gonna start posting every Saturday, a day that does not conflict with Bret Pemelton's day, Monday. I'll end the week and he can start it.
But enough of that, let's talk about what I really came here to talk about!
As most of you know, I am a huge music fan. Music is one of the things in this world that truly moves and inspires me. And as some of you know, the past few months have been another bout of change. One of my many ways of coping with all the "new" that I'm continuously surrounded by, is for me to escape into my music. I'll crawl inside of a record and let it move in me like an embrace of an old friend.
There are a ton of records that I could tell you I've done this with, but I'll only mention a few:
During a very hard time in my life dealing with loss, I crawled into:
The Heat by Needtobreathe
Over the beginning of the Summer and beginning of my change, I fell in love with:
Suburbia: I've Given You My All And Now I'm Nothing by The Wonder Years
And over the past few months, I have really been worshiping and feeling the embrace by the band:
Polar Bear Club.
Since the release of their EP "The View. The Life" a couple weeks ago, they have been playing non-stop in my car and at home.
Last night, I had the amazing opportunity to see Polar Bear Club at The Social downtown.
There is something spiritual about seeing a band that you have been doing life with, especially when you are still in full consumption of their music. Its hard to really explain what I mean by that, but I know there are a couple of you out there that know exactly what I mean. That feeling of intimate connection with the notes flying through the venue. Not only is it a moment of wonderful familiarity, but also being able to stare the vocalist in the eyes and sing the words that move both of you together is just so... so.... spiritual.
But I almost didn't get to experience that moment.
Over the past few days the weather in Orlando has been changing. We are now starting to enter the PMSing moods of Florida weather. Yes, she is still warm all the time, but she decides to shower tears on us daily causing a change in pressure and drops in temperature. With all this change in the weather, my allergies go a little crazy(see even biologically my body doesn't do so great with change!). So needless to say, I was feeling beat up by the weather, and my brother-from-another-mother Josh Graves couldn't make it up to the show, so I was gonna have to go to the show solo. So with the feeling crappy and the lonely aspect of the night, I almost didn't go.
But with the lineup being 4 amazing bands, 2 of which I have really been worshiping and getting lost in, I knew I would hate myself for staying home. So I forced myself out the door.
Thank God I did.
As I approached the venue, I stood in line and asked the kids at the back about where to buy tix at. They pointed me to the front, and then another girl in the crowd asked if I needed a ticket. I told her yes and asked about where the box office was to purchase them. She then pulled out another ticket from her back pocket and told me she had an extra one! I was all smiles, and it just helped start an amazing night.
The night started with a local act, who did a decent job, but the real emotion, the real human-meets-music experience didn't take place until Make Do and Mend took the stage. Within the first 3 seconds, I was bobbing my head and smiling from ear to ear. The music just grabbed you by the throat and demanded your attention and affection. As I watched the band playing there set, I kept watching the vocalist and how he wore everything out on his sleeve, which moved me, but not as much as watching the lead guitarist. Watching the guitarist I was in awe. He completely lost himself in his instrument, even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps. The whole band wasn't afraid to man the stage like soldiers on the front line. Every song was an undeniable force, it just started the evening off just right...
It was undeniable.
It was beautiful.
After their set was over, Balance and Composure took the stage. Now if you haven't listened to Balance and Composure, shame on you. Get off this blog now and return after your ears have been blessed by the sweet tender kisses of Balance and Composure. As I mentioned earlier about records I have crawled into and done life with, their album Separation is another one that has gotten all of me over the past month. Needless to say, their set was magical. I feel very safe is saying, that if you are true music lover, it is very hard to stand still during their set. Their music is so driving and moving you cant help but just sway and bob back and forth to the sweet tones of their amazingly complex and lyrically touching music. Watching them I couldn't help but just get lost in it. Even in the midst of the music, during their set I couldn't help but look up and be completely taken back by the passion they displayed on that stage. These men, standing there lost in their music, it was if they were ignited. Holding their instruments and following their beautifully written music pieces, it was as if they were truly... Alive.
It was breathtaking.
The night struck 10 and Fireworks had just finished a very solid set. It was time for Polar Bear Club.
After tuning and strapping up the lights went down and crowd began to cheer.
The very second vocalist, Jimmy Stadt hit the stage and grabbed the mic the stage exploded. The band started off with their anthemic power house track, "Eat Dinner, Bury the Dog, and Run." When the verse finally kicks in, the alright lit firework exploded even more. All the members of the band were jumping up and down and screaming every word to the song and demanded the crowd to enter into the moment with them.
It was then that it hit me.
Their passion. It was giving me goosebumps.
Every song on the setlist was just as powerful as the next. They took the stage with love and admiration for the craft and wore everything on their sleeves that night. As stated earlier, I was completely taken back by the whole evening. Watching these men, who were my age just a few years ago, I couldn't help but be completely inspired.
Leaving the show, I play backed all the images in my head from the night.
The swaying and rocking of Make Do and Mends Lead guitarist getting completely lost in his instrument.
All the vocalists from every band, howling these lyrics that they feel so passionate about.
Then I thought of the people in the crowd in contrast with those men on the stage... and that's what got me thinking about life...
These guys on that stage, they are no different than any of us on this earth. Sure they are known in a tight circle of people, but they aren't wired differently than you and I. They breathe the same air, and eat the same crap Ramen that we eat.
So why are they not afraid to live a life full of pursuing passion and we are?
One of the most tragic things introduced to the human race was inhibition. I think it is safe to say, today's kids and even my generation of young adults, are scared to live life on their sleeves. We're afraid of being judged, we're afraid of someone seeing all of us...
Which I think is a complete shame.
As I stare at these men, playing this music that moves me so much, I realize this experience wouldn't be as powerful or meaningful to me if they weren't up there just given it their all. Its complete unadulterated passion and love.
That unadulterated passion is like the finest and purest wine, and only makes the product that much sweeter.
I truly believe that this world would be such an amazing place if we just dropped out inhibitions and truly did the things that we love and enjoy with the same amount of passion.
That passion, its contagious.
That passion, its healing.
So this is my challenge to you,
Go out there and drop your inhibitions about showing your passions. Show em. Show the world what you've got and don't be scared. Image what we could accomplish in this world if we just did things full heartedly?!
I know I live in an age where apathy runs rampant through the streets. Marijuana is a huge product for a reason. Life gets hard and people want to escape it.
But I urge you to the do the opposite,
Don't escape it. Take it and live it with unadulterated passion.
I thank God that I am blessed with a life and opportunity where I can chase my passions. Even though I know its going to be hard, and I'll probably spend most of my life working my tail off, I can live out my passions full heartedly and unadulterated. And that thought/realization makes my soul inflate so full that I feel as if my soul is a hot air balloon in the beautiful blue sky.
Guys, lets really live.
Life isn't about accomplishing a task, and then the next one, and then the next one, and then sleeping. Its about taking those tasks, those times with the people, and living them to their fullest.
I truly believe we are where we are in our lives for a reason.
So don't let that reason and
that passion pass you by.
Don't be afraid to fly sky high.
Don't be afraid to live life to the fullest.
Don't be afraid to show your passion.
Don't be afraid to,
"Take Your Grab at Something Great"
-Polar Bear Club
Media Associated With The Post:
Artist: Polar Bear Club
Album: Clash Battle Guilt Pride
All pictures stolen from Google images and proper credit is to to each very talented photographer.
Top picture and all black and whites: Matt Comer
Make Do and Mend Photo: Laurelin Matulis