It is strange the way that we associate music with memories.
It is like a strong perfume that is impossible to disassociate with an era.
There are songs I cannot listen to because I was sad during the month it was in my playlist, or even because I feel that I have moved on from that time period. I now listen to a song knowing that one day, likely very soon, I will have grown out of this small era and will associate the song with the general mood of the month.
Small things in life change rapidly, including the clothes you choose, the breakfast you eat, your daily routine, the people you talk to, and the music you hear. Listening to music from a different era of mine often makes me feel uncomfortable, even if it was a good era, simply because I am not there anymore. It reminds me that times have changed, even if it is month to month.
Sometimes I regret listening to the same four songs day after day on my drive to school because I know what I am building. It will be a memory for my future self to listen to and reflect.
The automatic association of music and memories is hard to shake. They are not implicit memories, it is the general tone of the era that went unrecognized until you hear the songs and realize the moment has passed.
Music is everywhere, even if you do not realize it. It could be playing in a shop you are walking by, or it could be someone playing the trumpet on Hollywood Boulevard.
There are so many different genres of music, for example, pop and blues. Radio shows like Kiss FM and the Heat predominantly play popular songs, like Good Days by SZA. You can find any music genre of your liking on the radio. Music streaming sites such as Apple Music and Spotify allow listeners to create playlists to their liking.
Listening to music one thing, but making it something else. Being able to sing a song or play a chord on the guitar is another feeling. Making music is so moving and beautiful. Even if you are not good at it, making music is an art form. Depending on your mood, for instance, sad music is a very different mood than happy music.
Music is all around us, and it is being made and listened to every single second of every single day.
The fembots. An early sign of the objectification and sexualization of the woman in pop culture.
Ironically, “FEMBOTS” is the title of her strictly female artist playlist on Spotify. It’s still an early adaptation of a playlist that has the potential to go down in user oliviarosebrown5’s history as the best of her creation.
Once a month, I find myself grazing over the 20 playlists that each have their own emotions: pain, reminisce, serenity, pure joy.
My feminist playlist was something that came to me over the years. Artists and songs that represented what it meant to be a strong woman were scattered over my several playlists.
I found Eryn Allen Kane with Leon Bridges,
Janet and Whitney with Michael,
And Maggie in a junk drawer of alternative music.
Each of them deserved to have their voices heard with clairity and without that pressure of male artists.
“Fembots” is filled with female artists that taught me what it meant to love music the way I do. And not only that, they taught me about… life.
The eerie yet poetic nature of Chloe and Halle as they ponder human impatience.
Amber recreating a masterpiece with a new perspective while still preaching love’s power.
Janet understanding that we don’t understand what we have until its gone.
The confidence in being lost and letting ourselves be free from conformity is from Sabrina.
Jamila offers “A Psalm Of Self-Love.”
The female artist that I have loved since I was a little girl dancing in her underwear has taught me more than what is reflected here but that’s for me to keep in my back pocket.
Although I could make an entire blog post (honestly, a series of blog posts) on the perfection that is Rihanna, today I’m talking about something she said in her interview with Vogue.
In her interview, she recounted a very famous speech that Drake gave while introducing her as MTV’s Video Vanguard recipient in 2016.
“Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part. I don’t like too many compliments; I don’t like to be put on blast,” she said to Vogue writer Chioma Nnadi.
In other words, Drake made her pretty uncomfortable. This very public expression of unrequited feelings made by one celebrity to another is manipulative and harmful. For one, Drake chose to do his manifestation of his feelings in a moment meant to honor Rihanna’s decade-long achievements in the music industry, but, instead, he took away all the sentiment in that speech.
In the wake of Rihanna’s belated response, people have come to Drake’s defense saying he was simply trying to get out his feelings. If he truly had Ri’s intentions at heart, he could’ve expressed his infatuation with her after they left the stage or virtually any other private setting. So, no, it wasn’t a spur of the moment reaction, but a cheap way of revealing his crush on Rihanna in hopes that she won’t immediately reject him.
All in all, I simply think Drake could’ve handled the situation a lot better. Now, the 2016 VMA’s will go down as “that time Drake said he loved Rihanna on TV.” It will never be a celebration of Rihanna’s boundless talent, (those killer performances, though!) which is what she definitely deserved.
Music is one of the most important things in my life. Ever since I was a kid, waddling around my kindergarten, I’d be singing along to songs I didn’t know the lyrics to. As it turned out later, I was a horrible singer, but that didn’t matter as a child. It made me happy.
My first favorite song was “Fight for your Right to Party” by The Beastie Boys. I obviously had no idea what it meant, considering I didn’t understand a word of English at that point. But it was the energy and positivity in their voices that got me. My mom told me it was a little too aggressive for a six year-old girl to listen to, but, you know, that really didn’t bother me.
The first instrument I ever learned to play was the violin, mainly because I was obsessed with this kids TV show about young Mozart. Well, I wasn’t very good at it, and my siblings always complained about that “awful noise” whenever I practiced, so I quit after about two years.
But even after that I was really into music. I’d memorize my favorite songs, film music videos with my friends and siblings, we’d perform our own version of “Mamma Mia!” to our parents- all that cringy stuff.
In tenth grade, I started playing the piano, because I wanted to be able to play all of Twenty One Pilots’ songs, since they are my absolute favorite band and I really can’t sing. Apparently, I am not musically talented at all, but, again, that doesn’t really bother me. So I started playing the ukulele. I’m pretty sure it is one of the easiest instruments to play, because even I have mastered some songs by now. And that really says something.
Being able to successfully play music, all by myself, with only a couple YouTube tutorials and UkuTabs.com (literally the most helpful website ever) I gained some confidence. So, when I got bored over last summer, I decided to take a drum lesson. The drums have always been my favorite instrument in a band, they’re so unique and mentally and physically difficult, and to be honest, my favorite celebrity is a drummer so that might have played a role in it as well… I got to use my neighbor’s drums in his basement, that was hopefully a hundred percent soundproof, because I had no idea what I was doing. But after hours and hours in that hot, stuffy basement, I at least learned how to keep a decent beat. There are few things that I’ve experienced in my life that feel better than hitting the drums as if my life depended on it.
When the new school year started, I joined garage band. It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m so thankful, too, since there are already two really good drummers in the band, and they still accepted me, even though I’m pretty bad. But even playing a basic beat in the very back of on stage with a group of such talented others filled me with so much joy and new confidence. Also, apparently, “girl drummers are bad-a**”.
That same year I also started playing the guitar. I’m a really slow learner, and I’m still pretty bad at it, but I love music so much, everything about it. As long as I get some pretty sounds out of it, it makes me happy. As long as I’m not perfect yet, I will keep practicing. That might take a while though.
Probably the most important things I lost in the fire last winter were my guitar, my ukulele, and the school’s drum set. Whenever I felt down or needed distraction, I’d listen to music, and whenever I really needed to feel better, I’d play it on those instruments.
This sounds like such a cliché, but music has always been there for me. I’ve always had great friends in my life, and a sister whom I could tell almost everything. But there are some times where I don’t want to talk to anyone, and don’t want to hear anything, except thetuneofmyfavoritesongs.
June 22, 2014 still remains a clear memory in the back of my head.
It was my first time ever going to Vans Warped Tour, and for being a middle schooler obsessed with Mayday Parade and All Time Low, it was a dream come true for my emo self.
Something about Warped Tour is just more magical than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve been to too many concerts to count on my fingers and toes, but which concert is one of my favorites? Definitely Warped Tour.
Warped Tour was beautiful in every sense of the word. So many different people were there. Girls with colorful neon hair, and boys with stretched ears and tattoos over their arms and backs. There were little kids on their parents shoulders, screaming the lyrics to every heavy metal song that played. Worries never existed at Warped Tour. Everyone was happy, and that happiness was contagious.
The crowds were huge and endless. Everyone constantly pushed to the front, crowd surfers were above my head every few minutes, and band members were jumping into the crowds encouraging everyone to let loose. There were no rules at Warped Tour. Everyone was accepted there, and it was accepted for everyone to go crazy.
The cross-country music festival has been going on for over twenty years. Bands like My Chemical Romance, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, and so many more started there before they were even famous. It hasn’t just been a place that has made my dreams come true, but it has jump-started the careers of so many bands that I love more than anything in my life.
When I first went to Warped Tour in 2014, I remember waiting in line to go in, and I ended up seeing the drummer of one of my favorite bands walking through the lines selling cds. When I walked inside, I ran straight to the main stage when I heard “Check Yes, Juliet” playing by We The Kings. Shortly after, I found the singer of We The Kings signing autographs and giving hugs to people for free. I saw over ten bands that day, including Linkin Park, a band who just decided to show up for that day and perform a set. They only performed one Warped Tour show ever in the history of the tour, and I was there to experience it.
Then I went to Warped Tour again in 2015 with my best friend. It was over 100 degrees that day, and I almost passed out in a mosh pit from dehydration. I stumbled out of an Attila crowd covered in dirt head to toe, and I went through three water bottles before I regained enough energy to jump straight into another crowd for another band.
No matter the location, Warped Tour was where anything could happen. I was in the crowd for Black Veil Brides when I got a text from my friend telling me she met four different band members just walking around. That only happens at Warped Tour, because the bands who go there have such a strong connection with their fans that they just walk around the festival they’re performing at. There’s no overwhelming paparazzi, or security guards following the members around, and there’s no one making the band members uncomfortable.
That’s what made the music festival so special for me. There was a connection between everyone there. There was a connection between the bands and the fans, and connections between strangers. Even if you didn’t know the person, if you sang with them at one set, the connection was there. In 2014, I left my sister to head into the crowd for Falling In Reverse. There I met a guy who I rapped along with to “Bad Girls Club” and “I’m Not A Vampire,” and I knew every word to those songs too, and I still do. But we were there, complete strangers horribly belting out the lyrics to two amazing songs, and I still smile at the memory years later. The connection was the music all these strangers had gone there to see.
Warped Tour has always been a second home for me, and I always hoped that I’d still be attending the festival when I was forty, or that I’d be going to the festival with my college friends. Sadly, 2018 is the last full cross-country run of Warped Tour ever.
When I found that out I was heartbroken. I had only gone to the festival twice, but they were some of the best experiences of my life, and I regret missing the last two years. After this year, there’ll be no more Warped Tour. No more memories to create, but the ones I made I could never forget.
However, I’m going to go to all the Southern California dates. I will run as fast as I can in the circle pits, I will hug all the band members I can, and I will sing my heart out while the sun sets over the horizon behind the stages. I will crowd surf to the front, and I will probably fall several times attempting it, but it’ll be worth it one last time.
Summer can’t come soon enough, but once it does, and once I step into the fairgrounds where Warped Tour is, I’ll never want to leave. I’ll never want it to end.
It had been five hours since we started our drive, but my sister and I were just as energetic and excited as we were the second we got into the car.
“In two hours we’ll meet them. Isn’t that weird?”
I think about what my sister just said, and yes, that is so weird, so exciting, so incredibly exciting. In two hours we’ll be talking to the members of one of my favorite bands, Judah and the Lion. Two more hours, and then our exhausting weekend trip will be more than worth it.
“I can’t wait! The show is gonna be so amazing!” I said, anticipating the rush you get from when the first beat drops at a concert, kicking off the screaming and cheering in the crowd. “Look! I’m shaking!” my hands were actually trembling, aside from being shaken on the bumpy highway.
Isn’t that weird though? Imagine being famous. People would pay to watch you play music, to talk to you, and maybe get a picture and a signature. It’s so unnatural if you think about it. But so amazing, not gonna lie.
Once we arrived at our hotel, we checked in, got ready, and rushed straight to the venue, to find a pretty long line before the entrance. But that didn’t matter, because my sister got us VIP tickets for my birthday, which was honestly one of the best presents I have ever gotten.
After a little time, we were let in. We went up those beautiful stairs within those carefully embellished walls, ending up in a small room with cozy lighting, and a bunch of banjos and guitars on one side. My sister and I sat down on the floor in the front, so did everyone else.
Then the band walked out, and there was a general awe in the air, cut by the clapping and excited chattering of the people.
“Thank you for coming!”
Ahh! Wow. No, thank you!! I was so. Excited.
They played a song, a mix of folk and rock and hip hop. Then we asked them questions, and they asked us questions, and it was all so fake and wonderful.
After that, we all took pictures with them.
As I walked up to them, one of them introduced himself.
“Hey, I’m Brian!”
“I know!” I said. Of course I know.
We all hugged, and took the picture, and apparently they figured by my accent that I wasn’t from here.
“Where are you from?”
“I’m from Germany!” I said, in disbelief that Judah just actually talked to me. Wow….!!
They actually asked me a couple things, until the photographer told them it was time to keep the line moving. Dammit!
My sister and I were both stunned, and we spent the next hour talking about what just happened, and defending our spot by the barricade, of course.
The venue was so beautiful, with a gigantic chandelier and wooden floors. The opening bands were amazing. But nothing even came close to the actual show. I mean, a band that has nine banjos on stage has to be good.
I knew every single word. Almost, at least. I yelled along to the lyrics the entire time, and, I must say, it really made me lose my voice and it still kind of hurts to talk, and though the ringing in my ears persisted for hours after the show, and though we had another six hour drive ahead of us the next day, it was all more than worth it, and I will never forget the time I got to meet Judah and the Lion.