Recommend a Song

I listen to a lot of music, but I can still get hung up on things I already know I like. I don’t want to be complacent, I want to sample a little of everything, or as much as I can. I may not like it all and even when I hate something, I like trying to see it from a perspective that isn’t my own. I like diving in, fully experiencing it without preconceived notions. But obviously, I’m not the best source to suggest new things to myself. I have biases. I have likes. I am, no matter how much I try to avoid it, stuck in my ways.

So if it’s not too much trouble, I would appreciate some suggestions. Preferably music because it’s easier to listen to a song or three, than it is to read an entire book. But if you have suggestions for comic books, poetry, an essay, an entire album, movies, tv shows, and even books, I’m happy to check them out. I can promise to listen to the music, or read or watch something short, but if you suggest a book, that might not happen for a while (unless it really captures my imagination and I put it to the top of my 200+ book list).

Hopefully I get some responses. If you want me to review the thing you recommend in a separate post, I’m happy to do that. Or I can just comment back. If you just want to drop a suggestion off and forget about it, I can do that too. Whatever you want, I am willing.

I’d like to do this regularly, and even have a back and forth, with me suggesting things for anyone willing to participate. But for that to happen, I need responses. So I’m crossing my fingers. Thanks for reading either way.

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Recommend a Song

A little personal: Dealing with frustration

Sometimes I’m not sure what to do with frustration. I’m embarrassingly proud of how I deal with failure, I kind of enjoy it in some way, so maybe I’m just a masochist. Anyway, failure is alright, it’s inevitable, but repeated failure ad nausea, gets tedious. It’s banging your head against the wall. Do it once and it sorta sucks, do it 500 times and you start to really feel bad, or are already concussed.

And so I feel concussed. And upset. Or whatever the definition of frustrated is, I feel that. I like to use synonyms to look like I’m saying more than I am.but all I’m saying is, dang it, I’m frustrated. This isn’t so much about how to deal with frustration, it’ll pass. I’m aware of this, and advice isn’t really necessary, I just need to let time take care of it.

But knowing that soon, a few hours, a few days, I’ll feel better, doesn’t help right now. It just doesn’t. Like knowing a broken arm will heal doesn’t make the experience of watching your wrist snap any more fun. When my wrist snapped, I wasn’t too concerned about how nice it’ll feel in a few months, or even how nice the meds will feel in a few hours. It was just overwhelming pain.

So what’s the point? I don’t know. I guess I’d say the point is to rant, say something with little content (what’s new?), and help the time pass moving me closer to relief. Or maybe feel a little comfort in knowing someone out there relates. So I’m holding this frustration and not sure what to do with it. I suppose I have to hold it until someone takes it off my hands or I find a nice place to set it down.

Thanks for reading.

A little personal: Dealing with frustration

What does it mean to be happy?

Am I getting better?

These are massive questions, aren’t they? How do you go about answering them? I personally have little belief in myself to adequately think of a meaningful answer to either question. But why not have fun with it? I think in a vague way, I am getting better. It has more to do with acceptance than improvement. I’m not sure my mental state has changed all that much, but I think my understanding of it has improved and I’ve come to accept what are generally thought of as “negative” emotions will always be in my head. It’s not that I like them all the time, there are times when it’s almost unbearable, and I haven’t redefined what the emotions are. I’ve just separated them from inherent judgments. Sadness isn’t inherently bad. Anger isn’t inherently bad. Depression isn’t inherently bad. Feeling any specific way isn’t inherently bad, or good. Happiness isn’t always good, either. We tend to forget that fact until someone mentions that hedonistic pleasures makes one feel good. Then we usually reframe happiness to mean deep, lasting, fulfilling happiness. So it’s clear not all pleasurable states are good. So why should all “negative” states be bad, besides the fact that other people tell us they are?

But because I’ve accepted the feelings does that mean I’m getting better? Well, taking the question to mean am I getting better mentally (closer to happiness, the subject of the first question), no. My feelings have not improved. They haven’t changed much at all over the last handful of years (or more). I am no closer to happiness than I was when I was in the darkest timeline. But I’ve grown to appreciate the darkest timeline. Instead of deciding it’s bad, I’ve decided that I can use it for myself. To learn. The best I can say about darkness is it’s a good setting for adventures. Sometimes it’s too easy to see in the light.

 

 

 

By the way the first two lines (including the title as a line) are taken from a song by Sorority Noise called Mononokay. It goes something like this:

What does it mean to be happy?
And am I getting better?
I used to make excuses for myself but it’s not the weather.
I need to rid myself, of my anxious tendencies,
But I have to accept my head for what it is to me.
I’m not super human,
Well I’m barely alive,
But I would kill to leave my house and not be afraid of the outside.
So I started thinking,
It’d be so nice,
To not have trouble sleeping,
I haven’t slept in nights.

 

 

 

 

* This was meant to be a little more lighthearted, discussion post after the vague personal entries of this week. Not sure I succeeded.

What does it mean to be happy?

I wrote a poem about someone I never knew

At first I thought I understood,
A man covered in glory of the mind.
Made real by effort and intellect.
A giant casting shadows on cities.

Until that man became a woman.
Just as large and strong.
Overpowering my definition of me.
I shrank and regrew in her hands.

And they combined.
Idolatry, sexuality, love, respect.
A separation and rejoining.
Expanding ever outwards, the possibilities of life.

I wrote a poem about someone I never knew

Up Late

The hair on my face is growing out of control,
Trying to catch up to the top of my head,
Relaying the suggestion,
That I don’t have it as together as I’d like.

When the look of my face will match my mind,
I’m worried about the implications.

I can or I can’t.
I can know what I can’t do.
And I can’t do much anymore.
But you believed in me,
And destroyed my faith in the process,
while I destroyed you.

I’ve had to apologize,
For the unanswered calls,
Because I can disappear,
Better than I can talk.
And when the moon stops appearing,
I know I’ve gone too far,
As I hallucinate day for the rest of the week.

But I’m lost without a destination.
Clawing my eyes out to simulate sleep.
I don’t want to see anymore.
I can remember what it’s like to dream,
The world had so much life.
Without the chaos,
Consistent,
Coherent.

Up Late

Why can’t we be the indie flick playing at the discount theatre?

I can build a fireplace,
For us to meet at night,
When the weather’s fine,
Or threatening.
I’ll be on my knees,
Waiting for the time to come.
I’ll be begging you,
Take me when you go.

Now is the time for us,
To figure ourselves out in the dark,
Alone and aware of,
All the hate coming our way.

We take what we please,
But no one ever notices.
We say what we mean,
And hold on to the factory.

I’ve been reading for hours,
You’ve been sitting right next to me.
Our thoughts are our own,
And it’s alright what it will bring.
The next morning you’re hanging,
Up pictures that summarize our life.
Humming along to,
A tune I made late last night.
A song all about you,
You laughed at my stupid rhymes.
Holding my hand,
Throughout the wasted time.

You’re my wasted time,
I’ll hold on as long as I can.
When we fall in the void,
I’ll be glad that you’re by my side.

Why can’t we be the indie flick playing at the discount theatre?

Variety is the spice of life

That’s what everyone says. And everyone is a liar. Fine, I’ll concede that it may well be true that variety is the spice of life but almost no one practices it. That being the case, maybe I should call everyone in the world a hypocrite. That seems reasonable, right? But on to my point. Even something simple as music. Everyone you talk to says they have eclectic taste or “I listen to everything.” Which makes me want to politely punch them in the ear. Do you listen to any punk? How about post-rock? Can you even name a math rock band? Metal? Swing? Big Band? Jazz? Blues? Classical? Ska? East coast hardcore? Surf rock?

Listening to all types of music is genuinely a difficult thing to do. There are so many styles of music, diving into each genre requires effort and time that few people have (unless you’re a music reviewer). So to those of you who pretend to “like a bit of everything” there are more genres than rap, radio rock, pop, sing/songwriter, and dubstep. Do you truly listen to noise rock? Props if you do, it’s a niche genre.

I love the fuck out of music and I listen to a fair amount of it, usually around 50-90 new albums every year. A lot of those albums by bands I had never heard before, but I don’t even listen to a fraction of the genres out there. I’d struggle to name a bluegrass band. If I could name a couple, it wouldn’t mean I listen to bluegrass, it just means a few bluegrass bands happen to make music that’s similar to what I enjoy. “What’s that mean, idiot?” Don’t be rude, voice in my head. It means that there are some bluegrass bands that might make angry music, or fast music, or catchy hooks, or write introspective lyrics, etc. The bands make music that hits on a bigger, more general, theme that describes the kind of music you like. And that’s okay. I typically like live guitars and drums, so if a hip hop collective makes music using those instruments, I may end up liking them, but it’d be silly for me to say I listen to hip hop because of that.

It’s okay to not enjoy 99.99% of a genre of music. There is no dubstep I have ever heard that I am a fan of. That doesn’t mean I’m closed-minded, it just means it’s not for me (or dubstep is truly, truly garbage. You be the judge.).

In conclusion, I don’t listen to a bit of everything. But I listen to a lot. Here’s a shortlist:

Pop

Rock

Math Rock

Post-rock

Power Pop

Punk

Ska

Indie

Acoustic

Instrumental

Classical (a little)

Blues

Chamber Pop

That’s a decent list. It spans multiple genres that barely resemble each other, but I still wouldn’t say I listen to everything.

And here’s a shortlist of what I don’t know anything about or don’t like:

Grindcore

crust punk

Sludge metal

top 40

Big Band

(most) Jazz

Avant-garde

Probably your favorite bands

Vocalists (Adele kind of stuff)

60s Garage Rock

Hair Metal

If you really do listen to all those types of music, and the millions I left off those lists, then you deserve an award of some sort. I’ll build you one from scratch. You’ll probably hate it.

Variety is the spice of life