Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Music Saves Lives (The Point of it All)

"At their very beginnings, some lives are destined to be saved, or else they will be cut tragically short."

This was the first line of a paper I wrote last year about a meaningful experience in my life.

I've come to find since writing that paper that there was never one experience that changed my life but several that saved my life: several nights of falling into the comfort of notes of songs, immersing myself in lyrics, and surrounding myself with the love that resonated through my empty room from my speakers.

If you never read another of my posts, please take the time to read this one.

I have told this story and will tell it again and again through my career.

I want to be a writer, because I want to help people.

I want to make people feel that they belong, that someone out there cares about them, and that they can make it through whatever this world may shoot at them alive-- The world can fire, but one can evade the shots. I feel as if it is my duty to carry on the legacy of what completely changed and - I will say it- saved my life. That is, music.

To me, music is among the most powerful things in the world, and I want to be a music journalist, because I have felt the full power of music and want to pass it on.

In May, 2008 the website was launched. This site showcases stories from fans of the band My Chemical Romance that tell how the band has changed, saved, or positively influenced their lives. My story was among the first featured, and I would like to share it with you here.

My Story

Asking me how My Chemical Romance saved my life is almost like asking me my birth date. It's so ingrained in me that, literally, the day I found MCR was like a re-birth, or-- perhaps- the birth I should have had.

I was always a lonely person, an only child and a friendless child. I never quite fit in even at the youngest of ages. Imagine this: a seven-year-old girl trying to explain to her mother why she doesn't want to have a birthday party, knowing at that young of an age that the other kids would not attend...

I lived my life in quiet solitude for fourteen years; then, I finally hit a bottom and no longer wanted to live. The year 2004 was definitely the worst of my life, and I-- at that time- had every intention of its being my last. Little did I know at that point that Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance was feeling the same helplessness.

One day, I sat watching the TV. All the videos of my favorite songs passed my numb senses; then, a video caught my attention: "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" - it was such a simple song, but it heightened my interest when I had lost interest in almost everything. The song made me feel something when I thought I would never feel again.

I immediately began to research the band and saw that, though this group of men was older than me, they were all outcasts and they encouraged the lonely and underdog to stand up for himself. They gave a positive message, and I took it fully to heart.

Their music gave me something to which I could relate; something that spoke to me and seemed to put my feelings into metaphor, a sort of audio friend.

Through them, I have learned to stand up for myself and for others, I have been given a voice that will never be silenced again, and most importantly, I have been given a will to live, and a hope that I someday can help people as they helped me.

Thank you, My Chemical Romance, for saving my life and others' lives.

Link to story

The video that changed it all:

Thank you guys so much for reading.

"Never let them take you alive"


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Those of you who saw The Dark Knight in theatres also had the treat of feasting your eyes upon something else that was lovely and comic-book related during your movie experience. You, unless you stumbled in late in the dark and probably spilled popcorn on some poor, unsuspecting nerd who thought you did it on purpose, saw the trailer for The Watchmen movie, which is scheduled for release in March, 2009 by Warner Brothers (and 4 days after my birthday, at that).
Why is that so special? Well, Watchmen, a 1980s graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, has been highly regarded as a turning-point publication in the comic book industry- changing views of the traditional "comic book hero." So, this film is "kind of a big deal."
Some will only see this movie because of the hype, others will simply want the phenomenal soundtrack that is in the works (featuring My Chemical Romance's cover of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row"), but some will appreciate this for the amazing graphic novel upon which it is based. Nevertheless, Cassie is predicting wonderful things, even if that means I think it's wonderful while the rest of the world exclaims their protests and disappointments. The Watchmen characters themselves are no strangers to this, anyway.

New trailer for the Watchmen from Spike TV's Scream Awards:

By the way, that extremely fitting song being played in the background is "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" by The Smashing Pumpkins, which was originally featured on a Batman soundtrack.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Stare at the Sun" - Thrice

"Stare at the Sun" by Thrice has the tiny honor of being among my favorite songs. It is powerful enough to bring me to tears almost every time I listen to it, and today I found new meaning in it when thinking of it in the context of my Difficult Dialogues concerning Religious Beliefs class. In our previous class, we spoke about empiricism vs. romanticism. I tend to not take a religious view on anything, but nearly 100% of the time, think romantically about the world around me and beauty and that it is beyond scientific reasoning. In our last discussion in class, we thought of what scientific dissection of things we can find beautiful can do to our own perceptions of how beautiful they are to us personally. I find myself ridiculously conflicted and wanting more than a scientific reason for the things I feel, and I think this song describes that feeling perfectly.
So, for your enjoyment, I give you:

"Stare at the Sun" by Thrice

I sit here clutching useless lists,
keys for doors that don't exist
I crack my teeth on pearls
I tear into the history
Show me what it means to me in this world
Yeah, in this world

'Cause I am due for a miracle
I'm waiting for a sign
I'll stare straight into the sun
And I won't close my eyes
Till I understand or go blind

I see the parts but not the whole
I study saints and scholars both
No perfect plan unfurls
Do I trust my heart or just my mind
Why is truth so hard to find in this world
Yeah in this world

'Cause I am due for a miracle
I'm waiting for a sign
I'll stare straight into the sun
And I won't close my eyes
Till I understand or go blind (till I understand or go blind)

I know that there's a point I've missed
A shrine or stone I haven't kissed
A scar that never graced my wrist
A mirror that hasn't met my fist
But I can't help feeling like I'm

Due for a miracle
I'm waiting for a sign (waiting for a sign)
I'll stare straight into the sun
And I won't close my eyes (and I won't close my eyes)

Due for a miracle
I'm waiting for a sign
I'll stare straight into the sun
And I won't close my eyes

It's funny how something one has loved for so long can gain new meaning over and over...


PS: I'll never grow up, I'll never grow up, I'll never grow up.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Hey, guys--

Most of you have probably heard about audio-scrobbling, and, but for those of you who haven't, here's the deal:
Last.Fm is a website that can document what music a person is listening to using audioscrobbler technology and compile it so that users can see how musically compatible they are with others when visiting their profiles on the site. As the user listens more, the site begins suggesting artists that are similar to the listener's preferences in music as well as events the user should attend locally and even with whom the person should be friends. You can also make nifty widgets such as this listening quilt from my profile:

Neat, right? So why not start scrobbling now?

Well, you may get picked on for the music you listen to, and I know you all have guilty pleasures... But, who cares? Forget guilty , be proud of what makes you happy! Now, friends, go forth and scrobble!!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

One of the Many Reasons (Frank Iero)...

...why I love My Chemical Romance. The video for which I will later provide a link was taken at Projekt Revolution in Tampa, Florida on August 11th, 2007, which I attended, and which also happened to be singer Gerard Way's 3rd "soberversary," as we in the MCRmy like to call it.

This video was taken by Youtube user Musicislife428, and though I do not know exactly who that person is, I know she had to have been standing very near me for this footage to have been shot. This is rhythm guitarist, Frank Iero at the end of "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" doing what I feel is one of his most admirable and common actions- being one of us kids. I was right in front of him when this happened, and I think you can see my hand a little bit in the background of the video. Anyway, watch:

"Projekt Revolution 8/11 MCR Im Not Okay..Frank is Awesome"

Frankie's birthday is coming up in two weeks- this Hallowe'en. So, this is my early birthday tribute to his amazing-ness. I think there will be more to come.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The College that Stole Halloween

I'd like to thank you, Ohio University, for bringing more attention than is average to Halloween (I've heard you should start these kind of rants on a positive note).

Here's what I would not like to thank you for:

Halloween to me is this: it's appreciating Bela Lugosi, it's scary movies and haunted houses, it's showing off my creativity with a costume, it's trick-or-treating, Frank Iero's birthday, and being able to dress the way I do and have it considered normal for a day. But most of all it's the sense that one can be anything he or she wants on Halloween; it's beautiful and empowering. I know I am not alone when I say that -yea, sometimes when I put on a costume I feel powerful. For instance, you probably feel a little bit different when you're wearing a business suit than your regular attire, eh? You do. Don't lie. You may even feel better than those around you. The point is; Halloween can be what an individual chooses to make of it and of himself or herself, and it can be almost enlightening, but Ohio University--
Well, the general OU population seems to have other ideas...

Apparently, we have this party. Apparently, said party is HUGE. This party is all I have been hearing about this week; this party and it's... reputation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to a person's doing certain things- do as you wish, but it's not for me, and it's not the idea of Halloween I want to have. And instead of grasping this holiday's chance to be creative and to express oneself, the most I have heard about costumes is along the lines of this: "OH MY GOD, THE SKIRT IS SO SHORT; WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE MY COSTUME!"

To each his own, but- MY GOD- would I love to just see someone else with a nice appreciation of a good old zombie or vampire or two.

Here I am, the creepy girl with the vampire on her door and bats in her room, and it's almost as if those around me don't know why I have such decorations. The party is the only thing about Halloween that matters after all, right?