Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Please I beseech you!

Okay, I know I didn't post my Top Artists this week. I haven't even taken the initiative to scrobble my iPod. However, take it from me, all I listened to last week was Butch Walker and Ryan Adams. And listening to music has taken a backseat during my commute to the books I'm reading - I'm still completely enthralled in the George R. R. Martin epic series (of which I'm now on book two) and I'm ginormously less enthralled with the way the Twilight series is going. I seriously hated the second book, New Moon. Most of you readers told me to just read the first: you were right. But here I am, reading the third. I maintain that once I start something I have to finish it, and New Moon was so amazingly BORING that anything had to be better than that.

But let me halt my rambling a moment to talk about music again - I promise, there's a point.

There are various objects and their interaction with our senses that bring back memories; everyone knows this. The smell of an ex-boyfriend's cologne, the scene in that one movie that you watched and giggled with your best friend on the couch, and probably most effective trigger: music, songs, lyrics. And there are times where that means something awful - where the first chords of that one song that used to mean so much to you (and someone else) comes over the loudspeaker in a store and you're flooded with all these feelings you've tucked into the deep, dark abyss of Never Again. And sometimes that song is really, really good and you get ANGRY that it was essentially stripped from your life. Lucky for me, one of my ex-boyfriends chose Lifehouse's "Hanging By a Moment" as Our Song. I don't miss it. (Or him.)

THEN there's those music-triggered moments of nostalgia that can fill you with glee. I've kind of micro-touched on this before, because, really, it happens quite often. Last night, in the midst of a couple of down-in-the-rut days, I was completely enlivened by a trigger from years ago; it's not what you might think, and I have no shame in admitting, that the All-American Rejects' music makes me really, really happy. Last night we went to see them live at Irving Plaza.

Jesse is old friends with the Rejects; Motion City Soundtrack have toured with them several times. Jesse did a lot of reminiscing last night as well. Him and the guys retold a story about their first tour together many years ago, when the Rejects were opening for MCS at an Iowa show, and not one person showed up. They laughed, they drank, talked about possible future collaborations or tours and had a good time catching up - which, while they were doing it as friends, I was thinking of my own music-infused happy thoughts.

I remember buying the Rejects' first album in the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on one of my college spring breaks with Kells right next to me. I hadn't even heard "Swing, Swing," their radio single at the time, but it had been suggested to me by someone (I don't remember who) and I had this urge to buy it. I loved it, of course. I went to their shows, I bought their merch. My first All-American Rejects show in college, I believe in 2003, was my first Motion City Soundtrack show. I obviously fell in love with MCS as openers.

As I watched them open with "Swing, Swing" and play songs off their first album, I was reminded of those times and when I would dance around in my room or turn the stereo up really loud while driving. I haven't personally listened to them in a long time, but all the words came flowing back last night. I remembered the times when Erica and I would put on "Move Along" and get ready to go out, and pump our fists in the air together and jump around at live shows - I saw those girls there last night, too. The Rejects are a veritable hit parade, and the songs make me HAPPY.

I'm doing a poor job of articulating all the transformative power their music had over me last night. It may not have even shown, as I was sitting in the balcony, bopping my head - but I was smiling, and meaning it, and loving how sometimes music (no matter how cliche this sounds) really is just what you needed.

Jiscilla took this photo of me fist-pumping during AAR at Hammerstein Ballroom in 2006.


  1. Ah music triggering memories... that wonderful curse that is my life and perhaps the single greatest road block to me staying over you know who... On a related note... one of those many many nights of me moping around listening to music that makes me indirectly miserable is exactly why YOU told me about AAR in the first place back when you lived across the hall... and then we went to see them during the last month of senior year... that's not weird it's symmetrical.

  2. you are so right at the memory triggers, and the minute i read all america rejects I was brought back to a grunge party my friends and I had back in the days jumpin around singing swing swing....I love LOVE LOVE memory triggers like that.

    For me, new moon was actually my favorite...sort of, its the one I reacted emotionally to the most.
    I just identified with the heartbreak I guess

  3. I completely understand what you are saying. Music is constantly playing in my head or on my ipod. A single mix of songs can bring back the vivid memories of a certain time of my life. Just the begining of specific songs can make me incredibly happy or cause me to break down. With my last BF, mix tapes ruled our relationship. He shattered my heart and ruined music that was part of my everyday life. BUT I also have mixes from amazing parties and road trips with friends.

    I secretly love the All American Rejects also. I remember buying their first album.

  4. Many of my CDs bring back memories and some of them bring back seasons.

    There are CDs that feel like summer and winter.

    The Killers CD Hot Fuss, for example, feels like winter.

  5. The Rejects definitely trigger nostalgic memories for me. I think they're actually the reason I ever met the Motion City guys as well. But so many memories involving the Rejects and now I think I have to go listen to them while I work on my new badass resume.

  6. Oh! I just saw your comment on my last blog. Josh has been touring with Mayday Parade forever. I flew into Kansas City, MO and went to Des Moines, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and then they had two nights in Chicago.

    Aaaand he might either do merch for We the Kings next or tour manager The Maine. Either way, there's a chance that I'll have to wait until February/March to see him again. =/

  7. I love it when other people "get it." :)

  8. rick - oh, how well i know you. i totally remember that night! and it was so fun :) miss you!

    chele - yay for happy triggers! that's also the great thing about opinions - they can differ! glad you liked the book; it felt like torture trying to get through it for me!

    liz - ruined music is so sad. so so sad. hope you can reclaim some of it. at least there's tons of music in the world, right?

    amber - i totally get the season thing! the killers have a few memories attached, as well. i remember my college friend dave telling me he liked this new band and he got MTV2 $2 Tour tickets to go see them, and it was goign to be taped. He brought me along, it was The Killers, and they were amazing. I cherished those songs because when they exploded, all my friends remembered me telling them to listen to them! yessssssssss! victory!

    angela - you know the mcs guys?? oof to touring. it happens though, and the guy just has to be worth it. :) it's funny, we probably have a lot of friends or acquaintances in common, given the "scene" our bfs are in. ha.

    jen - totally :)

  9. Ha, I feel so lame replying to comments RIGHT AWAY right now. But class was canceled so that is my excuse.

    We probably do know a lot of the same people! We should talk sometime. If you ever get bored, my AIM is soangelasaid.

  10. angela - haha! don't feel lame! whatever! that's awesome that class was cancelled. i'm still at work :/ my aim is jessicaxmaria :)

  11. Lifehouse... Relevance factor of what?

  12. My first All-American Rejects show in college, I believe in 2003, was my first Motion City Soundtrack show

    funny. my first AAR show was also in 2003 and coincided with my first MCS show as well... infact, if you think about it that way, AAR brought us together... :P

    glad you're feeling better. i was gonna comment the other day about being blue, but your tuesday post didn't allow comments (???)....

  13. Love this post!!! Funny you mention AAR! They come RIGHT after Alkaline Trio on my itunes and sometimes I just let it play through at work. Well I sit there the other day and I'm like "Wow this is such a great album."
    I remember in college I would play it all the time driving around and people would be like OK no more. And then it got STUCK in there and it's all I could listen to. It's so funny how albums can remind you of times in your life . Fall out Boy "infinity on high" reminds me of my crazy ex boyfriend, MCS "Commit this to Memory" reminds me of my first internship and when I was sold on their awesomeness. I could go on.

    Now I want to make a throw back mix!

  14. Ahh the night of the last much fun

  15. el adam - there is no relevance factor!

    erin - woo AAR! yeah, i was feeling a bit blue, but i'm all better now :) i disabled comments on the last post!

    kristen - your cd got stuck?! that reminds of how i met your mother! hahahaha also, amazing! IOH reminds me of the time right before meeting jesse, when things were a bit crazy and i had a total anti-dudes anger month. ha. and commit this reminds me of college, too!

    cdecks - i know!!! i was looking at all those old pics. miss you :)

  16. i don't think i've ever heard (read) that particular feeling described so eloquently. you have a way with words. :)

    i totally remember when that leopard print hoodie was all you blogged about, haha.

  17. Weird, I didn't even think you were born yet when the first AAR album came out.

    Also, this blog post doesn't talk nearly enough about the afterparty... most specifically ME. Hugs, Jonah

  18. I hate when an ex steals a song. I can't listen to the Arcade Fire without wanting to cry.

    I totally fist pump to AAR. I think we are music twins.

  19. uhmmm jealous of your life? yes i am. also my roommate's friend from TREOS was the tour manager on the last Motion City tour... uhm, small world/blog world? little bit.

    also i love all american rejects (we are such original emos togetherrrrr)... and the biggest artist that i cannot listen to because of too strong memories is Copeland and that is super effing sad because that band is amazing. but nope, the memories associated with it are actually traumatizing. so listen to Beneath The Medicine Tree for me because I can't.

    amazing post.

  20. amanda jo - you remember the cheetah LAMB hoodie! yeah!!!!

    jonah - oh right. where you were clutching the paramore live dvd and couldn't wait to go home and watch it. that would have made thrilling blog commentary, now that i think of it. darn!

    ginny - yay for music twins! boo to exes.

    bethis - BRIAN?! BRIAN SOUTHALL?! Um, yeah, I link his blog to the left! he's a good dude!! GREAT dude- craziness. oh, copeland. that one can seem especially sad. BOO EXES!