An evolution of taste

I am currently uploading a few of my old CDs to my iTunes. Now I’m reminiscing about how my music taste has evolved. Care to join me?

The first song I called my “favorite” was “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson. I wanted her CD, Autobiography, so bad, but never bought it. Instead, I purchased Lindsay Lohan’s Speak, and every Hilary Duff CD available when I was in fourth grade. I danced around my room and sang into my hairbrush.

Jesse McCartney showed up in sixth grade. I bought Beautiful Soul that year and watched Disney Channel every day with hopes he would show his face. I died inside every time this music video showed during Disney Channel commercials: Because You Live

Avril Lavigne snuck in after that. Finally in eighth grade, a friend introduced me to YouTube. I went on to find this:

…and everything spawned from there. Flyleaf wasn’t far behind for me with “I’m So Sick.” Lacey’s voice is just so…different. Their latest album, Memento Mori, is one I can listen to over and over and not tire of it.

Then things got weird. My brothers’ (and friends’) tastes in music severely influenced mine. Seeing AFI on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown on Saturday mornings could make my day. Especially with “Love Like Winter.” I wanted nothing more than to meet Davey Havok and Jade Puget.

Bullet For My Valentine followed, with Marilyn Manson not long after. “Tears Don’t Fall” by Bullet For My Valentine became my new “favorite” song.

I’m not ashamed of anything I listened to during younger years. It meant something to me at that point in time. Each listen brings back a different memory.

For the record…

My favorite song now is “Rain” by Breaking Benjamin (and has been since, oh, ninth grade?), though I have several close seconds.

My favorite music video is, and will forever be, this one (especially from 2:07 and on): The Leaving Song Pt. II

Now I listen to anything and everything.

Marina is a dreamer

There are 6,080 songs in my iTunes. A majority of it them are by The Beatles and Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, recently I have added more to my collection.

I used to be the biggest fan of bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Escape the Fate (I even met them once) and LOVED Marilyn Manson. I still listen to this music from time-to-time, but I haven’t even bothered with Escape the Fate’s new album. I think this shows just how much I have grown up over the past few years. I put all of my band tee shirts away, and the only one I wear is my newer Beatles shirt. Even my Emily The Strange stuff has been shoved in a drawer; those tee shirts don’t get hung up anymore (though I am currently wearing my Emily yoga pants – they’re so comfy!).

Anyway, I’ll get to the point. Now, the top six artists that I have listened to for the past two years (according to last.fm) are The Beatles, Paramore, Tilly and the Wall, Flyleaf, Imogen Heap, Eisley, The Bird and the Bee and Vampire Weekend. Things have changed, huh?

I have quickly transitioned from being completely closed-minded when it comes to music to listening to anything and everything. I love almost every genre (though screamo does give me a bit of a headache now). Recently, though, I’ve become an indie girl. It’s catchy and I cannot help it.

So, I recently expanded my iTunes library even more. I downloaded tons of Florence + The Machine, Adele, I Blame Coco and many more. However, I knew that I was onto something the moment I listened to a song by Marina & The Diamonds.

Since downloading her music last week, I have listened to her 148 times. She’s all I listen to on my iPod and all I have on CDs in my car. Her sound is just so different from anything I have ever heard before. She’s completely original and creative. Her music videos are INSANE (and I usually don’t watch music videos, but I had to see what hers were like) and her music is just so damn catchy. Her lyrics are completely blunt and awesome; she’s not afraid to express what she thinks. She’s beautiful and talented and does not have to dress like a slut to make it so her music is popular.

From “Girls”:

“Is there any possibility
You’ll quit gossiping about me
To hide your insecurities
All you say is ‘blah, blah’

Girls they never befriend me
Cause I fall asleep when they speak
Of all the calories they eat
All they say is ‘na na na na na’ (na na na na na)”

My favorite song of hers (though it sounds odd) is called “Hermit The Frog.” I think that I’ll be obsessed with her music for awhile. I can’t wait for more CDs to come out.


Except Nickelback, of course

I used to be genre specific. Well, I’m definitely not anymore. Thanks to my best friend, I’m really into country; a genre I used to put away in disgust. Now, I’m open to anything. Except Nickelback, of course. *shudders*

For example, I have 114 songs in my iPod’s “Recently Added” playlist. Therein lies the art of some more Vitamin String Quartet, The Beatles, Thomas Newman, Inara George, Psapp, Feist, A Fine Frenzy, Miike Snow, Snow Patrol, Au Revoir Simone, Bishop Allen, Architecture In Helsinki, Taio Cruz, Rihanna, Timbaland, Regina Spektor and Boys Like Girls. I don’t care anymore. Give me something, and I’ll listen to it.

For track practice the yesterday, we had to go out on a long run. Since I seem to be lacking in the running partner department, my best friend gave me her iPod Touch (knowing that taking my 160GB on a run with me would kill me and that I didn’t bring in my old 4GB nano), set me up for her playlist to play and then sent me off on my way.

She’s country (like Jason Aldean’s song). Downright country. She lives on a farm and in their barn, the radio is always attuned to the country radio station. In the morning, she watches music videos on CMT, when she comes over to my house she switches our kitchen radio to 106.5 and in the car she always changes it to her station. She’s the reason why I am into country music now, but my run with her iPod surprised me even more. I listened to every song on her playlist of choice that played, and found that I could tolerate – and even possibly liked – every song that played. It carried me through what would otherwise have been a long, lonely and painful run (let’s just say that Emily needs new sneakers). It was still painful, but it didn’t seem nearly as lonely or long.

I’ve got artists like Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Sarah Buxton and Lonestar on my iPod. At this point, I can go from Marilyn Manson or Every Time I Die to Lady Antebellum on shuffle without even blinking an eye. I uploaded every CD I owned from when I was little onto my computer and now have all of them on my iPod (yes, this includes Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado and Dixie Chicks).

I honestly just don’t care anymore. Music is meant to bring people together, not tear us apart. I will always love bands like Escape the Fate, Bullet For My Valentine and AFI, but they are taking the backseat for a little while. I’m busy exploring other genres and broadening my taste in music. It’s a wonderful thing.

The butterflies have risen!

You know how you have to be in one of those moods to really appreciate artists like Marilyn Manson, Eyes Set to Kill and Every Time I Die? Well, I’m in one of those moods. I had Persephone going on shuffle, and she was doing pretty good until an ETID song came on, and I realized that I am in the mood for them today. I don’t know why; it’s not like I’m cranky or anything at the moment, now just seems like to right time to listen to something that is so beautifully screamy. I just can’t describe it.

I’m feeling pretty damn good, actually. The butterflies are alive again within me (you’d have to be a regular reader of my poetry to understand that reference, and I am the only one that fits in that department) and they flitter and flutter every once in awhile to remind me that they’ve been released from their cocoons once more.

So, there’s this guy. Well, actually, there are several guys at the moment, but whatever. He doesn’t even go to our school (and plus I know the ones from G-Town could never click with me…and the one that actually could has a girlfriend, even though he agrees with me on that subject), and yet for some reason I have a good idea about him. See, I’ve known him practically my whole life. The last time I saw him, he was shorter than me and kind of geeky. Okay, really geeky. We just didn’t mesh. Now, we received a Christmas card from them, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I don’t really know if he’s my type, but I’m willing to find out. He’s tall, not anorexic-esque skinny, but nicely shaped and he plays hockey. Yeah, the hockey thing is what won me over. I like a guy who can play a real manly sport (that ISN’T football).

I told myself yesterday that if he came online in the facebook chat thing, I would say hello. Well, he came online. My heart started beating faster, but I didn’t do anything. Instead, I just kept clicking “Home” to distract myself with the posting of meaningless statuses by my other “friends.” I think that if we were to start hanging out, that’d be pretty cool, regardless of the driving distance between us. It’s only, like, an hour, so so what? Once I get my license I’ll be able to make that commute.

But, I’m not promising anything with anyone. I noticed several different guys making eye contact with me at the dance (will post pictures later, I promise!) and I became attached to one and realized that I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him, too. I don’t want to date anyone, I just want to go on dates and see how it is. Kiss a few guys, take in a few movies, hold a couple different pairs of hands; that’s all I want. I’m back to the “he likes me, he likes me not” thing again, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. This time, I’m not going to sit around and wait for something to happen (with the one exception yesterday!); I’m going to do something about it if I want someone that bad. I’m going to drop hints and be flirty and cute in a subtle way and play hard-to-get. This is what’s fun about being a teenager; fun that I’ve been missing out on for years because I was always stuck solely on one person.

Well, watch out. Have you ever felt that pitter patter of your heart when you see someone walk down the hallway? I have, and it’s not focused on just one person anymore.

It’s Blitz!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPods and the fact that I can download new music in a second, but there is still something so satisfying about purchasing a new CD or vinyl. The last time I went on a big CD shopping spree I bought MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, Tilly and the Wall’s O and Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2. Three CDs in one trip is a lot when you figure that you have to make the time to listen to all three enough before you buy another CD to add to the collection.

For Christmas, my brother bought me Flyleaf’s Memento Mori. Album versions are always better and this was proven when I compared the quality of the songs on the CD to the versions I already had on my iPod. I thought the songs sounded great on my iPod, but they sounded even better coming from the CD.

I borrowed my boyfriend’s copy of 1997’s On The Run and have yet to even pick it up and listen to it because I went crazy buying CDs yesterday (well, not to too crazy by some people’s standards, but crazy for me).

My brother and I went to FYE and I went up and down the CD aisles looking for a trace of Tilly and the Wall, The Bird and the Bee, Eisley or Silversun Pickups. Instead, different CDs caught my eye. I picked up a copy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz! that was only $9.99 and kept it in my hand. On the way down the aisles I picked up Marilyn Manson’s The High End of Low, some Huey Lewis and the News, Radiohead and Garbage. In the end I decided on Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Garbage and Radiohead – the last two being cheap used CDs that I had wanted but never wanted to pay the full price for.

The reason why I rarely listen to CDs anymore is because of this: http://www.last.fm/user/xEmilyBemilyx

My friend got me hooked to last.fm and I eagerly started to build up my profile and play count (I failed to realize I could have scrobbled in what I had already listened to on my iTunes from years previously – if I had realized that I would probably be up into the 20,000s by now). What I listen to on my iPod transfers to the website to count toward my play count. This is the reason why I never listened to CDs. All I wanted was to build up my play count. But, now that I am nearly at 10,000, I feel satisfied enough to listen to the CDs I bought and not worry about it counting toward something. Though I thoroughly enjoyed listening to lots and lots of music in a short amount of time, I knew I was listening to it for the wrong reasons. I had even stopped listening to records; something I had enjoyed.

I’m done listening to music for the wrong reason. Now that I’m at 10,000 plays I feel satisfied enough to dabble into my record player/CD player/radio once again and not worry about finding my radio hookup for my iPod so that the plays count for something (what I listen to on my iPod can count for track plays once hooked up to the computer). I’m going to keep listening to the CDs I bought and not give a crap.

(I want) total honesty and fearlessness

My Trendy Wendy notebook that I did my math homework this year and last year is no more. The spirals got all messed up and made it nearly impossible to turn the page of the notebook without ripping the page out. I retired Trendy Wendy and her brother Todd and dug through our school supplies basket for a new Algebra II/Trigonometry notebook to do my homework in. I unearthed a green College Ruled spiral notebook and packed it in my bag to take to school the next morning.

Yes, I did homework in it, but I noticed that the closely spaced lines made writing between them more inviting for me. Smaller print means more words can fit on the page – it’s a no-brainer. So, for the past couple weeks or so, I haven’t been paying attention in Trig (and I’m sure that my average has suffered a little if not immensely). Instead, I’ve been picking up my pen and getting lost in words I have written. Poetry’s always been my forte, but until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t been writing any new material. Now, thanks to this green notebook, I haven’t been using my laptop in school as much. Instead, I’ve been distracted by the beauty a clean, white page can provide. Just knowing I can fill that blankness with words makes me want to write all over on every page. So, that’s what I’ve been doing.

The green notebook isn’t for Trig anymore. No, I unearthed a new notebook for that subject (this time it’s red!) and have been using that instead. I’m letting this plain old green notebook help me stretch my writing abilities. I’m writing everything I can (it’s all poetry, mind you) even if it ends up sucking. At least I’m getting everything out of my head.

Lately I have been trying to write beyond my comfort zone. I’ve always kind of written G-rated poetry subconsciously. Now, my most recent works hold a new, deep and hidden meaning that it will take a reader several read-throughs to figure out what it’s truly about. Some of my recent poetry could be rated R or PG-13 at least. I used to be cautious about what I wrote. Now I find myself wanting to write about everything that I hold in my mind, no matter how vulgar or inappropriate my thoughts are (and let’s face it, every mind thinks vulgar and inappropriate thoughts sometimes). One of my most favorite poems is by this poet called C.B. Trail. He obviously didn’t care what the reader thought when he wrote “Sonnet”:

This is for the afternoon we lay in the leaves
After it had been winter for half a year,
And I kissed you and unbuttoned your jeans
And touched you and made you smile, my dear.
And of all the good things that love means,
One of them is to touch you there
And make you smile, among the leaves,
And feel your wetness and your sweet short hair,
And kiss your breasts and put my tongue
Into the delirium between your soft pale thighs,
Because the winter has been much too long
And soon will come again, when this love dies.
I will hear sermons preached, and some of them be true,
But I will not regret that afternoon with you.

I love his honesty and just the truth behind this sonnet. I have had some of my friends read this poem, and their first reaction is “ew! That’s disgusting!” but me? I think it’s beautiful. I think the way it was written is beautiful. I don’t necessarily think that the act displayed in the poem is beautiful (though, what in love isn’t beautiful?), but the way it was written is just phenomenal. Total honesty. Total fearlessness. I want to write like that. I don’t want to be reserved with my writing just because I’m afraid of being obscene or inappropriate. Marilyn Manson’s song “mOBSCENE” has a line that goes “Be! Obscene! Be be obscene!” I’m going to be totally honest with everything I write to get my point across, and if it means being obscene in the process, so be it. I’m willing to take the risk. This green notebook is helping me stretch that ability and is nursing it to reach its full potential. I write how I feel instead of how I pretend I feel. I make up stories in my head and then write them down in poetic form. I create magic with my poetry.

So, I’m trying to be open-minded with everything I write. Even if I think it’s horrible, I keep it. Even if I think a subject is a little iffy to write about, I do it anyway. I’m broadening my horizons. I’m making way for the new – so, out with my old ways and techniques!

Here are samples of my random thoughts in poems from school days (I’m keeping this G-rated here):

You Don’t Know Me

I appear miserable all the time
angry, sad, never happy
to you, this appears to be quite the crime.
Oh, how you don’t know me.
I’m filled with laughter and smiles
and I know, laughter you can’t see
but even though I run miles and miles
I don’t think you know me.
You think you know all my quirks
and what I like to be
the truth is, I’m not the queen of jerks
which shows that you don’t know me.
For as long as there is air to breathe
nobody – nobody – will ever know me.

I would tell you how the sun rose
but I’ve never seen its birth.
I know that the light slowly grows
and gradually heats the Earth.

All I know is when I wake
her silky rays reach my eyes
I know there is no mistake –
I’m in the right place when I rise.

I would tell you how the sun rose
but you’re asking the wrong girl.
This secret, nobody but her knows.
We’re both little girls in a big world.

Alone,
hated,
discombobulated.
She’s alone,
hated
and discombobulated.
I…
I’m alone,
hated
and discombobulated.

Surrounded by millions, thousands, billions
she smiles for the camera constantly.
She’s mocked and her popularity’s docked
all around her, bodies are flocked.
She looks in the mirror, but cannot see.
The flashes blind her temporarily.

She faults in her footing, cameras still shooting
capturing a moment that lives on forever.
She’s harassed and so embarrassed…
never did she ask for this.
She looks for her shoe, but cannot see
the flashes blind her temporarily.

She never has that moment, the missing component
to calm herself down completely.
Not missing a beat, she’s again up and on her feet.
She struggles, but won’t admit defeat.
She walks on, but cannot see…
the flashes blind her permanently.