Starting up a brand-new blog is a weird thing. In college, I took an English elective called "Digital Writing," which we affectionately referred to as "Blog Class," and Blog Class taught us that your first entry should tell the audience who you are and what the scope and content of the blog will be. But, when I was dating around a bit before I met Andrew, I always dreaded the first (two, or three, or five) dates where the other person didn't know anything yet, so you had to ask and get asked a bunch of questions. I always wanted to jump ahead six months and get to the part where "where did you grow up? what do your parents do? why are you wearing horseback riding breeches in public?" weren't the bulk of the conversation anymore. So, here, I'll leave those things to the bio section in the left-hand sidebar.
But this is a first entry. Can I cheat and leave you a little piece I wrote about a month ago? I sent it to my boyfriend with the subject line "I WROTE A THING" and prefaced it with, "I got bored and I remembered how I told you that one time that I was going to trying writing instead of wasting time on the internet when that happened. So I just wrote a thing and it wasn't even hard!"Because, really, that's my goal for this blog. To stop feeling sorry for myself when I get bogged down in work, to use my downtime for something that feels productive, and to spend a few hours each week writing so I can stop saying it's something I used to be good at.
So without further delay:
Sometimes I get a little jaded with the current state of music. It’s easy to do: all the new pop-punk bands sound like a reincarnation of New Found Glory, which I liked enough to buy at Walmart when I was 13 and like enough now to revisit once every couple months, but don’t need repeated too often. There’s a new story every week or so about someone else in this scene being accused of sexual abuse, and I don’t need to hear any more about how women are marginalized in the punk world, simply because they are a minority there. Yesterday, my boyfriend noted that he was “bored” with music right now, and I thought, “Yeah, maybe a little.” Because some days lately, I haven’t even felt like taking my headphones out of their drawer, so I go the whole day with my coworkers’ chattering as my soundtrack. But then, today, I heard a new song by Better Off that someone on the internet had claimed was the best thing to come out of the pop-punk scene in a long time. And that’s saying something, because I REALLY love The Wonder Years, who may or may not technically be in the same genre, but who I firmly believe are breaking boundaries with every song off of No Closer to Heaven that comes out. This Better Off song was excellent, and it reminded me of how I felt when I first heard Pentimento’s “Stuck Forever,” which will be on their forthcoming LP2. I remembered how I wasn’t excited by a lot of the albums that came out in the first half of 2015, and I worried for a second that I wouldn’t be able to fill up a Top Ten or even a Top Twenty list for the year. “Stuck Forever,” and now this new Better Off song, “This Day Will Never End,” made me realize I just need to be patient, because the latter half of 2015 is going to blow me away, I just know. The Wonder Years, Pentimento, Better Off, and Beach Slang are the big releases I’m looking forward to, and I have about 12 shows on my calendar for September through November (and there’s nothing like live music to break you out of a rut).
Just now, in an after-lunch slump (does everyone have this problem around 1 pm every day?), I put on an old favorite Menzingers song, “Sunday Morning,” whose chorus is stuck in my head roughly 1/3 of the time. In one of their most memorable, and most singable moments, the line “Don’t worry, brother, this will blow over,” is repeated a handful of times. I’ve been having a hard time looking past some irritating inconveniences in my life lately, and I’ve been feeling like I’ve missed out on the whole end of summer because I’ve had my nose to the ground, buried in all the details of these silly logistical annoyances (another question: does moving ever not totally knock you on your ass?). So this line was particularly resonant today, and I ended up with a bunch of goosebumps and my fingers flicking through Google Calendar to find a free day when I could go get the lyrics tattooed on myself (may or may not happen: stay tuned). And I thought, you know, music is the one and only thing I’ve ever considered getting permanently etched in my skin, because it’s the thing I turn to when I need advice, or the auditory equivalent of comfort food, a distraction, or to feel at home. How can I be jaded when I think of it that way?
Graduate student taking a break from grants and manuscripts to wax poetic on music.