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18 September 2005 @ 08:58 pm
Song title: Shelter From the Storm
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Blood on the Tracks

I guess I fell in love with Dylan by complete accident about four years ago, going into my Freshman year, when I saw "The 60s" on VH1. "Like A Rolling Stone" stuck with me for the next two years. I visited the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland two years ago and heard again "Subterranean Homesick Blues". I guess that started the love affair really. I was ridiculed severely for my adoration of Dylan. I know that is voice isn't the most harmonious thing in the world, but he's got such style and talent. His music changed people, hell, changed music. As a lyricist, he is spectacular. Blonde on Blonde gave me shivers, but my favorite album is probably Blood on the Tracks.
I bought the album at a used music store by my house in Arlington for 9 bucks. The guy that works there, a corpulent man in his 30s who has a soft spot for his teenage audiophiles (he took a liking to me, I think, when I came in dancing to Yes, which he said he hadn't seen since the seventies), saved it for me b/c he knows I like Dylan. "Shelter from the Storm" he said, shifting his weight on his little stool "is your song. I don't know why, but I think that it descends to you from the ages." I was with the guy that I was at the time head over heels for, who shared my love for Dylan. He squeezed my hand and we frolicked off to go be music addicts at a coffee shop and argue about George Harrison's later productions.
In any case- a year and a heartbreak and a few Dylan books and cds later, here I am, telling you my sad ass tale. So there it is. "Shetler From the Storm" my first addition of a track to this wild mix tape.
-hannah-
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Those to Come, The shins (which oddly reminds me of dylan)
 
 
05 July 2005 @ 04:27 pm
Song: The Girl With the Vagina Made of Glass (right click save as to download)
Artist: The Billy Nayer Show
Album: The American Astronaut Soundtrack

This song reminds me of a time when I really had absolutely no money. I could only do things if it was free or very cheap (like the price of train or bus fare). I used to go to movies that the Village Voice showed for free when I got the chance. They used to put ads in the paper every Wednesday when the new edition came out saying where to be to get free tickets. I went to a lot of these but the coolest one I can say by far was The American Astronaut.
I was waiting on line for tickets for "Corky Romano" (See? Not a very good selection of movies but hey beggars can't be choosers.) and someone handed me a postcard for The American Astronaut. I had never heard of it before and had no idea what it was about. The card proclaimed that it was the best indie movie of the decade and described it as "Laurel and Hardy directed by Salvador Dali." What does that even mean? I had no idea but it was free.. and my friends wanted to go so I went too.
We got to the theater it was showing at, a small art house theater in the village, and there was already a long line. We were all pretty skeptical about how good the film would be. We got inside and the director/star/one of the musicians on the soundtrack said a few words before the film started. The movie started and in the beginning it looks like an old sci fi movie so I was already kind of wanting to leave. It totally changes to a comedy soon after. My 3 friends and I were hysterical and looking at each other in disbelief that this movie was so much better than we expected.
One of the best parts about this movie is the soundtrack. My favorite part in the movie right after seeing it is when the villain of the movie sings a song about parties. "We'll throw up our hands and yell party party PARTY!" He sings this right after he massacred a whole planet of people. The absolute funniest song in the movie though is The Girl With the Vagina Made of Glass. When we left the movie theater all we could do was sing this song over and over again while laughing. We tried to explain the movie to the rest of our friends but it's a very hard thing to explain without making it sound stupid. You just have to see it. The fact that no one knew this movie (and they still don't unless one of us has showed it to them) makes it feel like it's our special movie. It was just for us and something that we all connected with together.
This was the best experience I've ever had with seeing a free movie and the song will always remind me of how my friends and I bonded over that movie.
 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: The Postal Service - Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix)
 
 
23 June 2005 @ 10:17 am
I'm a geek. I can't deny that. For a long time, I've wanted to be what I've seen the most, a character in a movie with a soundtrack. I wanted to be the hero who turned villan and redeemed himself just before the end. Which is why my music of choice when I'm in a mood is usually Star Wars.

"Duel of the Fates" is a very powerful peice that I enjoy alot. I sometimes compare it with "Imperial March" as to something that gives me a sense of strength and certainty that I might not always have. A feeling of being what I used to picture myself as being. The man who was once good but now despised. I feel that goes back to how I felt in HS.
 
 
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Linkin Park - Numb
 
 
15 June 2005 @ 07:02 pm
song: little 15
artist: depeche mode
album: violator

i was weened on new wave. my dad thought it was really funny to keep me up all night. just because of that talking heads song "keeping baby up all night." my mom would try to put me to bed, but then she would pass out and i would wander downstairs where my dad would be hanging out with his band and i would just hang out until the wee hours listening to music. not much has changed, in that respect.

i remember the day my best friend in sixth grade came over to my house with depeche mode's "violator" album. depeche mode was my uncle's favorite band, so i'd heard them before. but i pretended as if she was the one who "found" them. anyway, we just laid on the floor in my room and listened to the whole thing. i don't think we said much of anything the whole time. that album totally kicked my ass. it still does.

then, someone gave me "music for the masses" for my 15th birthday. and holy crap. that album was even better than "violator." needless to say, from then on i was totally obssessed. the song "little 15" was kind of my anthem that year. i'm sure at the time i had no idea what dave gahan was even talking about, but i was pretty sure he was talking to/about me. i was 15!! hello! anyway, to this day, that song, that album makes me think of myself when i was figuring out how to be happy. i didn't have a very happy childhood, but i pulled it together in high school. and much of that had to do with the music i was listening to at the time. even though - technically speaking - bands like depeche mode, the cure and the smiths were "depressing" they made me happy. they were my little secret. no one but me and my 2 friends knew about them. they made me feel cool and somehow better about myself.

i think on some level music is still like that for me. it makes me feel like i fit in, even when i like the kind of music most other people don't. and "little 15" is kind of emblematic of that feeling for me - that feeling that music is there for you, even when you feel totally out of place.
 
 
Current Mood: drunkdrunk
Current Music: depeche mode : little 15
 
 
08 June 2005 @ 07:08 am
Song: The Luckiest
Artist: Ben Folds
Album: Rockin' The Suburbs


This song always reminds me of the first of many trips Dana and I took to Atlantic City. Even though it's little more than a strip of schmaltzy casinos and a once candy colored boardwalk that has long since faded. It's not much to look at, but it has become one of my favorite places on earth because of the feelings I'm able to revisit everytime I return. A feeling I get a quick flash of everytime I hear this song.
"The Luckiest" reminds me of being in the first seedy motel we checked into together off the strip at three A.M in the cold pouring rain. A hotel where nobody at the counter spoke English and all of the U.S.A Todays on the counter were a few days old. We got our room in a moment of exhaustion and desperation, but agreed it would only be for a few hours sleep. When we got up we would check out of the Pakistani Bates Motel and look fancier digs on the the boardwalk in one of the casinos.
But I was with Dana, and we were still so new and we were away from home together for the first time flooded with surroundings and feelings so new, exciting and scary that I couldn't sleep even though my body felt exhausted.
I didn't want to disturb Dana with bright lights or fidgeting muscles so I got out of bed and made myself a shitty pot of coffee on one of those travel pots they have in most motels and set myself up at the desk to write.
This was pre-Ipod and I remember I had only brought along half a dozen CDs with me and one of them was Rockin' The Suburbs was the only one whose tone meet with those silent blue/gray early morning hours so I wound up listening to it over and over again. While I wrote, and wrote and wrote feeling so unblocked, happy and confidant in WHAT I was saying and how I was saying it. And I knew, it was because I was there in that tiny room, hiding from the rest of the world with her. I felt complimented and complete - but at the same time, with every resurgance of this feeling I also felt the converse, when I would look across the room at her from the distance I felt so small because in that moment I wasn't "with" her.
I hated thinking about that. I hated the thought of spending a moment in my life without her now that I knew how amazing it felt having her in my life and in my heart. Now that I knew how perfectly she felt in my arms or how making her laugh or seeing her smile when she greeted me at the door filled every last corner of my mind until I couldn't think or talk. It was just this series of involunentary reactions a smile, a quickened pulse, pins and needles down my arm. Every cliche in the book. Every cheesy love song on the radio suddenly filled with sagicity. I hated that even though it was still the first few hours of the trip, it was going to end in a few short days and we would be home and back to our routines. Away from these moments in this little bubble of our universe we created.

Ben Sang -
"I don't get many things right the first time
In fact I'm told that a lot.
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and the falls
brought me here...
Where was I the day before I saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday and I know
That I am, I am, I am the luckiest."

I hated that I hadn't told her I loved her yet, because I knew, in that moment that I did. More than that I hated that Ben Folds in all of his corney southern glory, in his accentuated drawl managed to nail exactally how I was feeling in that moment. And he did it with a thousand times the elegance I could ever hope for.
I still wanted to try though. So I sat down and wrote her a love note on a scrap of legal paper and tried to stuff it in the zipper pocket of her hot pink kangaroo sneakers - but the piece of paper was too big, so I had to copy it over in a handwriting so small it made my hand cramp. Every second feeling more silly, more desperate, more certain, more in love.

All of this happened while she slept.
I could only hope that when she woke up she was half as certain about us as I was.
 
 
Current Mood: happyStill Pretty Lucky
Current Music: Ben Folds: The Luckiest
 
 
 
Song: Pur
Artist: Cocteau Twins
Album: Four Calendar Cafe

My father died in July of 1997. I was 25. Without going into family history or melodrama, we weren't close. My parents divorced when I was 12, at which point he became very distant to me, and by the time I was 22, we were both well too aware of how one failed the other. In 1997 I was beginning to accept that this was how it would always be, I just wouldn't be one of those guys who had some strong father/son bond, or any sort of familial bond with my dad. I knew, in time, it wouldn't matter.

But then he went and died. I was a junior in college, and when it happened I was in class. My older brother called my house, and my boyfriend answered, and became resonsible for bearing the news to me when I arrived home. And for a person who I hardly thought about, because it had to be that way, because he didn't like who I was, his death hurt more than I ever imagined it could.

When my boyfriend told me, Cocteau Twins' Four Calendar Cafe happened to be playing. It's such a great mix of ethereal songs, both light-hearted and gripping.

Just like in High Fidelity, all I wanted to do once I had sat there awhile and processed the death was have sex, so I could feel something better. My boyfriend was a bit hesitant, but he went along with it. When we started, Pur came on the stereo.

Liz Fraser (the singer) has never been able to understand, because she'll sing in Celtic, or she'll even sing the damn words spelled backwords, but in Pur, she's pretty clear. And yet the words don't give much (if any) meaning to that moment when I learned my dad died, there's something in the song that lends itself to symbolizing release, separation, growing up. I guess for me, it was having no choice but to move on without my dad, knowing he died with nothing really resolved between us.

I'm not trying to be a "come pity me" downer, because I'm okay. Really! But the song still gets to me :)
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Cocteau Twins
 
 
07 June 2005 @ 06:02 pm
Song: Livin' on a Prayer
Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Slippery When Wet

I grew up on MTV. my dad thought he was a rockstar, managed bands and brought me to rock shows when i was 2. he also thought he invented the idea for MTV. music has always been a huge influence on my life, and it all began back in the day when i would watch music videos with my family. the one that stands out most vividly for me though, is "livin' on a prayer." i knew that song backwards and forwards. my brothers and i would sing along at top lung capacity. we knew the EXACT MOMENT when the key changed and the video shifted from balck and white into color. slippery when wet was the first album i ever owned. as in, i got it for my birthday when i was in third grade and i listened to it non-friggin-stop for probably a year or more. to this day, songs from that album make me stoopid happy. i know it's not GOOD music, but it was MY music. it was on MY MTV. and this was the sort of thing my family did together. we would fight over almost anything else. the last slice of pizza or who had to do the dishes would lead to WORLD WAR THREE and/or WWF wrestle-mania for resolution, i seriously still have the scars. but the thing we could always agree on - and today is still the only thing we all truly have in common - is a serious love of music. we could all rock out together, and well, that's alot... for love.

yeah, we were poor. yeah, we were crazy, rambunctious and maybe not even so clean all the time. we had bad haircuts and wore hand-me downs. but the baileys had love and talent and music and passion. my family has always been and will always be the most imortant thing in my life. even so, i rarely think about my childhood, especially not the good parts. but bon jovi makes me remember the good times.

plus, it always makes for a great night of karaoke. so who can argue?
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
03 June 2005 @ 01:55 pm
Song: Goldfinger (click to download)
Artist: Ash
Album: 1977

When I was younger I was one of the dirty rocker kids who cut school to go to someone's house and get drunk. The year that I was 14 my family moved to a new apartment that was on a quiet family oriented block. The house had an alley way next to it where the surrounding houses had their garages. This alley way was mostly used as a hangout place for the kids of the neighborhood. Some of those kids were my 2 neighbors, Liam and Irene. They lived in the house on the other end of the alley. I used to call it the bizzarro house because it looked just like mine but it was at the opposite side of the alley. They were the perfect teenagers, the opposite of myself. They both went to private religious schools, got good grades, were virgins, never drank or smoked, and spent a lot of time in church or with their family.
Despite the fact that we were so different, I became friends with Irene and Liam. I started hanging out with them more and more during the first summer that I lived in that house. Liam was on the track team at school and they invited me to go with them to some of his meets. I did go and while there I got to meet a lot of very smart, very good kids. I liked them and I felt like maybe I could fit in with them if I wanted to. I started bringing a few of my friends to the meets too.
I made friends with one guy named Pierre who happened to have a huge crush on Irene, the friend who brought me into this scene. After talking to him on the phone and trying to help him with his crush issues we became close. I have always been the type of person to make a mix tape for a new friend or ask them to make me one. We exchanged mixes and he put the song Goldfinger on my tape. I loved it immediately and asked him about it. He had gone to Ireland with school and found this band called Ash who hadn't been popular at all in America but were a huge success there. I had one of their promotional singles and realized that it was the same band that I liked. It was hard to find any information about them here back then so I never found any of their stuff until Pierre put their cd on to a tape for me. (Haha how old school!)
I felt bad for him because he was crushing on my friend so badly but I knew that my friend wasn't interested. I tried to gently ease him into accepting that but he wouldn't listen. He asked Irene to be his girlfriend while in my house after a track meet. She said no of course, and he was crushed. I kept in touch with him after this but he was too embarassed to face Irene. He was older than me and was graduating high school that year.
I was invited to his graduation party but I asked if I could bring Irene. I wanted them to work things out and face each other so that things wouldn't be awkward anymore. They agreed and made up but we all pretty much lost touch after he graduated. He went to Johns Hopkins to study medicine and we went on with our lives.
I moved away so I don't talk to Irene anymore either. This song will always remind me of the time in my life when I hung out with kids who belonged on Felicity or Dawson's Creek instead of with degenerate metal head drug addicts. I got to see how the other half lived, the good kids who were going to make something of their lives. The "Future of America" kids. Even though it was just for a few months it was an experience I will always remember. Ash has been since then and will always be one of my favorite bands. They've also let me bond with other people which I'm sure I'll write about sometime in the future.
 
 
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Billy Corgan - DIA
 
 
01 June 2005 @ 08:11 pm
Song: Crazy Train
Artist: Ozzy Osborne
Album: Blizzard of Oz

The summer I was sixteen I had amazing dellusions of Rock and Roll granduer. I had spent the previous spring toiling away in my first band a muddy cover band named "Ecletic". We were anything but impressive - we were all still learning how to play our instruments and how not to blow out our ear drums. We religiously poured through tableture books and back issues of Guitar World magazine trying to bang our way though several Led Zepplin staples and whatever that issues grunge song de jour was. We drew our band logo on every markable surface that crossed our path. No notebook, desk top or eager to please classmates backpack in our school was safe from the wrath of our sharpies. Our lead singer Tim went so far as to carve our bands name on his forearm with a pen knife which is horrifying for me to now look back on now as an adult. To think of what it must look like now 12 years after , and how he explains the lack of pigment more crooked than even the worst of prison tattoos to his two children. But at the time, it was totally bad ass. His heavy metal attitude, dedication to the band, the fact that he chained smoked Marlboro "reds" and had already been drunk twice in his life made us feel like rock stars.
He was our lead singer for four glorious months... and he never once sang into the mic. He used to do a lot of growling and snarling of lyrics and he took a lot of cigarette breaks (and he had a bitching curly mullet) but he did not do a whole lot of actual singing. He always said that he didn't want to wreck his throat... he was saving it for our first show. A show that never Happened, because our guitarist Joe was grounded for poor grades in math - which is totally the high school equivilant of having a band memeber go to rehab.
During this time, Joe and I became very close. We would hang out in his basement and listen to CDs on his boom box - trying to learn new songs down to every last note of their solos. Some where in his basement we moved a little away from the Black Sabbath, Metallica and Green Jello (fuck yeah they were green jello back then) songs that were ALL Timmy wanted to cover... and were finding tracks on Radiohead’s Pablo Honey, Smashing Pumpkins Gish or Lemonheads albums that we were really having fun playing. God forbid Timmy find out. He would have kicked our asses and insisted we play Ugly Kid Joe’s - I hate everything about you, the only song he would actually sing, one more time
Pretty soon, Timmy stopped coming to pratices as often, and I started inviting other friends to come and jam in Joe’s Basement. Jesse who loved the Beatles and the Queen but better yet - HE SANG! INTO THE MICROPHONE! Justin who bled Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana - John who was the living carnation of the muppet Animal. We played together and we had fun. Joe and I felt like musicians. Timmy felt left out, and told us off after he caught all five of us in Joe’s basement listening to Paul Mcartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” before pratice. He looked at us as though he caught us eating german shit eating porn. He stormed out, only to call us from a pay phone up the road 15 minuets later to melodramatically quit the band.

That’s how my first real band Shagg (with two g’s) was born.
We knew how to play songs, so we felt like musicians...
But we didn’t “Rock” , not for awhile at least.
Timmy was the rock.

Hearing Crazy Train always reminds me of him and the spring I felt like a high school rock goddess.
 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: Black Sabbath
 
 
01 June 2005 @ 08:13 pm
Song: The Everlasting Gaze (click to download from YSI!)
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Machina and the Machines of God

Since this is almost the 5 year anniversary of a huge turning point in my life, I decided to choose a song that reminds me of that time. On June 5th it will be exactly 5 years ago that I had a very successful open heart surgery. I was going in for what was supposed to be a valve replacement. Before I went in I spoke to numerous doctors, counselors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians. I was faced with the hardest decision in my life to date. I had to choose to have my aortic valve replaced with either a pig's valve or a mechanical valve. There were benefits and drawbacks to each choice.
The pig's valve was not very durable which meant that I would have to have it replaced every 8 years. This meant going through the stress, trauma and possible death of open heart surgery every decade for the rest of my life. The benefit of choosing the pig's valve would be that I would not have to take any heart medication. I had been on medication for about 3 years at this point, and I hated it. It gave me side effects and limited some of the things I could eat, drink or physically do. Another benefit was that i could have children and wouldn't have any complications with this valve. I was 19 at the time so I was not worried about that at the time, but I was being forced to think about it. Within the next 8 years would I want to have children?
The other option was the mechanical valve. This choice had drawbacks and benefits as well. The benefits of it would be that I would not have to have it replaced unless it malfunctioned (which is rare). I could lead a healthy life with normal physical activity. One of the drawbacks was that I would have to be on medication to thin my blood for the rest of my life. The blood has to stay thin so that it doesn't clog up the machine. I would also not be able to have children. The freakiest drawback was that I might be able to actually hear the machine inside my heart pumping in my own head. Would I want to be stuck with the tell tale heart forever?
In the end, after I talked about it with my family and friends, I decided to choose the mechanical valve. The main reason for me choosing this was that I hated the thought of facing surgery every 8 years and putting everyone I love through the stress. I wasn't even scared the day I went in for my surgery because I was numb. I listened to my favorite band of all time (Smashing Pumpkins) on my headphones in the car ride to the hospital. While I waited in the prep room in a paper gown and slippers they asked me to remove any of my piercings. I took my nose ring out and gave it to my mother. I asked her if she could do me a favor when (if) I wake up from surgery.
Me: "Can you put my headphones on me when I wake up?"
Mom: "Ok. Why?"
Me: "If I wake up.. the first thing I want to hear is my favorite band in the world. I know it sounds silly but their music has been there for me for 8 years and I want that to be my celebration of being alive."
Well my surgery was more than successful. I didn't have to get a valve replacement at all. They were able to repair my own aortic valve. My mother screamed as soon as I opened my eyes "You made it! You still have your own valve, they didn't replace it!!!" I was of course numb from the neck down literally. I could not move because of the anesthesia but I was so happy to hear it that I cried. The second thing I heard was Billy Corgan snarling his return at the world of music from his critically unsuccessful album Adore. The first line of The Everlasting Gaze which was also appropriate for my cause "You know I'm not dead!" So this song reminds me of why I'm a strong person and that I was lucky not only to survive but to come out of it with just a patch job instead of a part replacement. :)
 
 
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Current Music: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Me and Mia