Sunday, February 21, 2010

i am a emotion junkie(?)

"An emotion junkie"

This is a phrase that I often think of to describe myself, but then totally forget about two seconds after I think of how and why.

I have had many conversations with my friend Justin Price, and they often strike me at odd times- days, weeks, or even years after they occur. I recall one conversation about a band called MuteMath, he was saying how he loves them, and I was saying how they don't really do it for me. I think they are a talented band, for sure, but they don't really have that "thing" for me.

He then said that he thinks it's because they're not emotional, or angsty, sad, or angry for me. I couldn't really tell if he was joking, and we both just blew it off and went on with the conversation. But last night while I was at a bar/club (the Cla-Zel) with my friend's Brian, Scott, and Brian's fiance Katey, it finally hit me what he was saying:

As I was listening to the cool, 80's music stop, and the house DJ start spinning, my mood suddenly went from stoked and happy to something similar to "What is this hell being laid on my ears?" as the tunes went from what sounded like Lil'Wayne to a million other dudes that sounded just like him, I was thinking "This music is so dull. There is no life to it. It's just going through the motions, with not a single ounce of emotion in it."
Then it hit me.

I walk around campus with my music playing, drumming on my legs, slightly to mildly head banging, adrenaline pumping, a smile on my face, not because I want to be entertained on the way to my next destination, but because I want to feel something. I want to feel stoked listening to Oh, Sleeper, Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada. I want to feel excited about life, I don't want to feel nothing.

When I watch movies, I want to feel the same way. I love suspense- because I feel like I'm on the edge of my seat. I love movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Vanilla Sky, The Butterfly Effect, because they are emotional movies. You can't watch those movies and not feel moved and touched by the characters on the screen.

After school, I get in my car, plug in my ipod, and rock out on the way home, because of how it's making me feel. When I get home, I plug in my ipod into my laptop and turn on much mellower music because it makes me feel relaxed and some of it even makes me want to fall in love, or feel like I'm the verge of it (The Album Leaf, Bon Iver, The Civil Wars).

I have my ipod constantly on play not because I want to be entertained by music, but because I want music to move me. I want music to make me feel.

This is why I can't stand typical club music, because there just isn't any feeling to it. Or why I can't watch sports on TV, or just TV in general, because there's just no feeling in it. Yes, TV and sports can be emotional, but they rarely ever actually make me feel anything.

From all of this, I call myself an emotion junkie. From the Chet Early Dictionary, 2010 1st Edition:

emotion junkie: someone who constantly wants to feel powerfully moved in an emotional way. light to mild cases take the place of people consistently moving themselves via mediums such as art, books, music, movies.

So I don't know yet if this will positively or negatively affect my life, but I do know now that it is a huge part of it, and I can't help but wonder if there are other people like this too.

I can count the times where it has been a burden to me though, cases where I will be extremely stoked on life, through listening to music, and be on this huge high- only for something during the day to go horribly wrong. This causes something like a bipolar feeling within me. I got straight from that amazing high to just feeling absolutely terrible in a matter of seconds.

Anyways, this is just how I see it. And my attempt to do a little bit of psychology on myself.

I believe that one of the keys to living the best, and most happiest life you can- is continuously try to understand yourself.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

If Elvis Can Get to Know Fans, So Can You: An Analyzation of the Disconnect Between Smaller Touring Bands, Their Fans, & Why They Might Not "Make It"

I've been to my fair share of shows lately (mainly because TKB seems to be having a lot, not because I'm rich. Ugh.) and I've noticed something that is slightly concerning to me.

There is a total disconnect between bands and the kids that are coming out to support them.

Let me explain:

I understand that a band gets to a certain point and they simply can't take out time everyday to hang out with all the kids that went to see their concert. Really, I do. I also get that bands want privacy, and just want to be treated like normal people (well, that's most bands, excluding Brand New I think? I've heard they will only talk about music).

But when you're a fairly small band, to the point of you are relying on the local bands to get the general portion of kids out, I don't think there is any excuse for you to not be as nice as humanly possible to them. Because really, they are the only reason you can do what you are doing. You're not on MTV, you're not on the radio, you have no sponsors to speak of, no real label support, no ad campaign. You just have your music, your band, and your fans.

So why on earth would you just sit behind your merch table, with your headphones on playing air bass, be outside smoking a cigarette with other members of your band, texting friends back home---doing everything except going up to the kids that came out to support you and showing them how thankful you are that they came all this way to listen to music, and that you hope they even stay for your band, since a lot of them came to hear the locals anyways.

I think this is one enormous factor that is changing the face of music. Smaller touring bands (that fall under the category of bands that have to rely on locals) think that:

a) Because they're on tour, they must be really on their way to make it.
b) Because they're on tour, they don't owe it to the kids that listen to their music to take a few minutes and actually get to know them.
c) Because they're on tour, they have the right to bash the bands that are bringing out the kids for them.

All of these conceptions could not be more wrong. I am sooo sick and tired of seeing these bands on tour not pay a second of attention to a kid. Or to even humble themselves and just SAY "Hey, I know you came for the local band, but I was really hoping you could stay for us- it would mean soo much!"

Bands wonder why they won't ever "make it" and I propose to you that this is one of the biggest problems. They are forgetting that they are not these big rock stars that don't owe anyone anything, and they get far too caught up in the cynicism of music to realize how blessed they are and to make the most out of the opportunity they have.

I feel that if a band truly wants to get to the point where their music pays the bills, they must realize how important the people that are coming out to their shows, buying their shirts, and buying their music are. They need to sport an attitude of thankfulness, as opposed to one where they take everything for granted.

Because (I think) that if you're in a smaller touring band, and don't have it in you to get off your butt, put down your ego, and socialize with the kids at your show- you might as well just not tour, and give up on music as a possible financially supporting lifestyle.

Because as of right now, contrary to what your attitude shows, it is faaaaar from being just about you.