Dear Patti Smith,

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Unless I had made the commitment myself, I don’t think I would have ever understood even a semblance of what it means to be a working artist until reading your memoir Just Kids.  The commitment and application of a life of art is daunting, sacrificing, but rewarding, carefully elucidated throughout your memoir.

It overwhelms me to think about all of your influences as you grew up, as you formulated opinions. From the Irish mythology told in your family’s home, to the avid reading you did on your own, it is clear you felt more connected to your art and more empowered as an artist by conceptualizing the context and portrayals of your artistic influences. Thus, I loved how your memoir is a tribute to your relationship with Robert and to your evolution as an artist. Your sense of your artistic influences is like an incredibly large and contextual archive that sits in your mind, able to reference any poet, philosopher, or writer who spoke to your soul. Pick up the book and turn to any page, and nine times out of ten, Patti is referencing one of her many influences: “I picked up the Beat anthology and found, ‘The Beckoning Sea’ by George Mandel… I read him softly, and then at the top of my voice… spitting out Corso and Mayakovsky and back to the sea, to be pushed off the edge by George” (Smith 177).

You were wary you wouldn’t be adequate enough to join their conversation, but over time, you gained the confidence of an artist. You understood how your work is informed by your influences but your work is transformed by your unique touch, mind, and voice. The memoir writes like the process of your creation: practice, devotion, passion, and production, all intermixed with feelings of fragility, vulnerability, and instability.

It is truly a humbling experience reading your memoir.  Even though you and Robert were in a state of persistent poverty trying to survive, your meta-awareness of the purpose of your art was a reminder to me to not put so much credence in my feelings of doubt or worthlessness as a writer. Patti, you have enabled me to see the larger picture and hold that vision close to heart: a vision of trials and triumphs, of being as high as I am down, but a vision involving the drive and desire to create, and continue creating.

Patti, your memoir was not only a reminder to envision the meaning and significance of the creative process, but to remind me to be busy creating all of the time. Creative thinking in our society is not perceived as valuable like scientific thinking, and a creator can feel bogged down by the pressures to darken the creative lens. Society wants us to live linear and predictable patterns of existence, but it is truly the artist, the creator, that shakes shit up. Finds faults. Discovers fallacy. Points out hypocrisy. Without artists, the very nature of what it means to be human would begin to die and distort into some mechanistic homo sapien form. The artist’s life is that of spontaneity and adaptability.  It is an abstract existence that is viewed as wrong, even dangerous. But, Patti, you remind us all with your voice that it is necessary to our being to express through creation regardless of any pressures or negativity.

One of my favorite lines is a lesson you learned from Robert: “I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth” (Smith 200).  This idea resonates with me in how I go about daily life, finding synchronicities amongst the contradictions, but finding more clarity and honesty in the ugly – in the hidden. Your acceptance of sickness, poverty, hunger, and despair all manifesting at the Chelsea Hotel contrasted by your determination and ambition to create, illuminated for me how capable humans are of finding that pearl within the unbearable chaos of life. Patti, you helped me to realize I must practice awareness and practice the genuine struggle to conceptualize these observations with creative writing, poetry, and art. I consider you to be one of my most recent but greatest literary voices, among the voices of Christina Rosetti, Virginia Woolf, and Sandra Cisneros.

Thank you, Patti Smith, for sharing with the world your truth in this art piece I will cherish from this day forth.

 

Sincerely,

Rachel

Dear Musical MD [with Jaimie Welbourn]

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Dear Musical MD,

As the end of the semester nears, I’m feeling completely burnt out. I’m unmotivated to do any of the usual activities in my daily routine. I would really appreciate if it you could point out some music to help me push through the last three weeks. Specifically, some songs to study to or pump me up for a big test or manage time better or get through a workout, etc., anything that will cure my enthusiasm problem.

Sincerely,

Musical Motivation Mandatory

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Dear enthusiasm deficient student,

This lack of motivation you are feeling in every aspect of your life can seem like burn out…but there may just be gold on the other side. Check it out: you’ve made it this far, just a couple more weeks of classes, and then poof! You’re outta there! Imagine if Isaac Newton was all, “Nope, I don’t feel like working on anything today, so I’ll just stare at the inviting wallpaper instead.” The man didn’t discover the basis for gravity by twiddling his thumbs, hoping that in the last minute problem-solving juices will begin flowing and the resulting effort will flourish into complicated proofs. No. He got pumped. Now, the outcome of his process was quite undefined from the beginning, unlike yours, which is clearly outlined in a syllabus smirkingly handed to you by your lovely English professors. Come on now, you knew this was coming. As you are at the lowest point of motivation that music discovery even seems lost in translation, I can help you there. In the future, pretend the last month of school is a 26-mile marathon: the beginning is fairly moderate – nice even; the middle is tests you to put all that logged mileage to work; and the end is you asking for divine intervention to take hold of your fatigued body and mind and get you to the finish line. Instead of angels swooping in to carry you and your neon-clad Nike feet to the finish line, somewhere, deep within the tendons and twitch muscles of your being, is a fiber called strength, embodied in your ability to push when you think you can push no further. To dream when you feel you can’t dream anymore.

This is where this playlist will find you: in your darkest hour. Crying-in-the-shower music is not characteristic of the song choices in this playlist – it is intended to spark fresh idea/energy/motivation/rhythm! Part of your motivation rehab will be to listen to each of these songs and decide for yourself if i’ll be a song you do homework to, blast during a workout, etc., which will also help enthusiasm deficiency by allowing for those creative juices to flow again.

AND remember,

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Cheers!

  • Flume – Sleepless
  • Flume – Holdin’ On
  • Phantogram – Howling At The Moon
  • Julien Blend – Atom
  • Kimbra – Gold Mine
  • The Chemical Brothers – Escape Velocity
  • Daft Punk – Revolution 909
  • Janet – Feedback (So So Def Remix)
  • Nina Simone – Feeling Good
  • Ta-ku – Higher
  • Tiësto – Work Hard, Play Hard
  • The XX – Intro (long version)
  • The XX – Tides

Music Era: 1970s Rock

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Music Writing Prompt:

In your opinion, which time period was the most important to music? Which era of music directly affected all music that came after it? This can be multiple genres or one, but pick an era that changed all music that followed it. Examples: late 70’s punk, disco, new wave, mid 50’s rockabilly, mid 80’s hair metal, hip-hop, indie rock, etc.

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In my opinion, the rock of the 1970s is killer and continues to be my favorite decade of rock music. This era was characterized by some of the greatest progressive rock, blues rock and hard rock, as bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath emerged.

This music genre choice is definitely influenced by my dad, as he was always keen to blast many 1970s rock albums, especially Pink Floyd’s album The Wall in the pickup.  This album was so heavily rotated that my youngest brother one time told his kindergarten teacher in school: “Hey, teacher – leave those kids aloooone” – a direct quote from the track “Another Brick In the Wall, Pt. 2”.  When he told us he got a little in trouble at school and explained the reason, we all died of laughter. On Pink Floyd’s self-titled album of 1973, the songs “Eclipse” and “Time” speak to me on levels that emit both nostalgia and dreams for the future. Pink Floyd does a great job at leaving many thought-provoking snippets of philosophy or spirituality within a psychedelic beat of prolonged guitar riffs. I will forever be entranced.pink floyd

Another rock group of this era I will always be enthralled with is the band Rush. Achieving mainstream success starting in 1977, Rush was adding bass pedal synthesizers to their constantly molding and complexly composed cacophony of more progressive rock style arrangements. Their clear science fiction and fantasy influence due to some of the bandmates passionate interest comes out in songs like “Necromancer” and “Closer to the Heart,” the latter’s whose lyrics portray an understanding of passion as intellectual:

Philosophers and ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
You can be the captain
I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart

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I especially love how Rush’s lead vocalist, Geddy Lee, has a voice that is not stereotypically hard for rock, but very feminine and high-pitched. The group’s diverse inclusion of sounds, like reggae and synthesizer can best be heard in their song “Spirit of the Radio” which is in the video below.

Then of course there is Tom Petty whose self-titled album with The Heartbreakers in 1976 climbed the charts and eventually went gold, popular in many parts of the world including the UK and the U.S. with its songs “Breakdown” and “American Girl” making the Top 40 chart in the U.S. Tom Petty is a multi-talented musician who is not only a vocalist but also plays the electric and acoustic guitars, as well as the keyboard. I am in love with the group’s album You’re Gonna Get It.tom petty

“Time of My Life” –Dirty Dancing

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If the chemistry doesn’t do it for you, their dancing sure should. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey as Johnny and Baby in the film, “Dirty Dancing,” pull off a performance to rival the ages. “Dirty Dancing” was not intended to be a major box office hit, but it was created on a low budget. But people went wild, and I’m sure it was mostly for the sexiness of the headlining dancers…like WOW. Truly, the charisma and emotion conveyed by the actors Swayze and Grey via their dancing partnership makes their performance at the end of the movie to the track, “Time Of My Life”, indelibly remarkable.

dirty dancingBrief plot overview: Baby is a 17-year-old girl, heading to the Peace Corps after the summer, but finds herself following her parents to a snooty, indulgent, high-class resort for the summer. In an effort to escape the stuffy atmosphere, she discovers a secretive dance party scene where people are both playful and sexual in dance – even dirty. There, she sees Johnny Castle, who is a lively talented dancer, and decides she must find a way to dance with him.

In order to enter the exclusivity of Johnny’s dance sphere, Baby aims to gain the trust of its members, especially Penny, his main dance partner for performances.  Baby secures the funds for Penny to have an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy after the waiter Penny slept with told her, “Some people count, and some people don’t.” Because Penny must deal with the pregnancy, she cannot be Johnny’s partner for the looming performance at the resort, so Baby becomes Penny’s dancing substitute. Most of the film is Baby learning to dance through trial and error, all the while taught by Johnny himself. Eventually, Baby learns to dance quite well, so that forever more, “no one puts Baby in a corner.”

Trust me: watch the movie, and you will guaranteed feel the magic of expression through dance. The final scene, where Baby and Johnny dance to the song “Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, is spell-binding. The tension of their dancing relationship builds into this final dance scene. It is an acting performance of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey that is inspiring, joyful, glimmering and confident in their love. The song, “Time Of My Life,” is ripe for this scene, as it makes the old, snobby, resort folk aware of their uptight and critical behavior, and by the last minute and a half of their performance, the geriatric individuals are grooving alongside each other.

Baby’s coming-of-age story is at its pinnacle when she is having the time of her life learning and dancing with Johnny.  The audience feels involved in their process of discipline and endless practice, bound by their growing expression of love.  Their characters express the profound connection of movement that has the ability to transcend differences and connect souls. How they both share themselves, at first guardedly and then increasingly more open, is the common experience of love, unique to all.  “Dirty Dancing” speaks to many different people both for its coming-of-age story and the process that is learning to trust in one’s emotions and passion. At its peak in the scene revolving around the song “Time Of My Life”, audience members are better able to realize how they, too, can open themselves up to the expression of their dreams.

“Reveal Your Musical Soul” Questionnaire w/ Hanna Maddera

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Like any great BuzzFeed post, the questions regarding the topic are sometimes barely relevant to the outcome of the quiz. Unlike those quizzes, this one aims to ask the quirky but pertinent questions to get a glimpse of the core of one’s musical soul. Please enjoy reading quiz-taker Hanna Maddera’s answers (in bold) as she shares with us her musical preferences. Alas, her musical soul is revealed at the end.

1) Which of these venues do you prefer to hear your favorite artist live?

A. A garage

B. Large amphitheater

C. Coffee shop stage

D. Dance hall

2)  What is something you would feel while listening to classic rock?

A. Nostalgia

B. Melancholy

C. Euphoria

D. Disgust

3) If you were to write a song about something, it would be about. . .

A. Sociocultural issues

B. Breaking up

C. Identity crisis

D. Finding/discovering spirituality

4) What do you hate most?

A. The government

B. Nothing – hate’s a strong word

C. My ex

D. Not being outside in nature all of the time

madeleine wallace meigs

5) What is your ultimate listening device?

A. i-Pod

B. Car stereo/sub woofers

C. Record player

D. No device, but live music as much as possible

6) What is your favorite instrument, if you had to choose?

A. Vocal chords

B. Bass guitar

C. Drum set

D. Trumpet

7) When you discover some band/artist that is absolutely incredible and speaks to your soul, you:

A. Don’t tell any living mortal

B. Share/post their music on all of your social media sites

C. Listen to them singularly for an entire month, day and night, until you’re so sick of their music that you warn people not to waste their time like you did, declaring their music could never measure up to ____ (insert freshly-discovered-artist-before-ruined-by-over-listening-here)

D. Begin a cult following of fans, who discuss literally everything about them

8) If you could blast back to the past, you would love to take on the trend of:

A. Tall, poofy hair, heavy make-up

B. Grunge, tights, black

C. Flowers, bell bottoms, LSD-laced bandanas

D. Frumpy skirts, bobs, hair gel

9) If you were an element, you would be:

A. Earth

B. Air

C. Fire

D. Water

stunning liquid drops 5

10) When you are in the crowd at a small concert, you are:

A. Watching from atop the balcony, the ultimate spectating position

B. Occasionally brushing the lead guitarist, while touching the edge of the stage

C. Staking out the bar to watch and absorb

D. Right in the midst of it all, aware of both the crowd in your immediate sphere and the energy of the band members

11) When you need to listen to music in order to do other things, that other thing is:

A. Cleaning house

B. Doing homework

C. Working out at the gym

D. Cooking dinner

12) Your room has ambiance because:

A. The pirate flag on your ceiling

B. Your exotic fish in a tank of an antique clock

C. Motion-activated disco ball

D. You and your friends’ drawings/art on the walls themselves

13) If you could bring your music to one point in time for the betterment of mankind, it would be during:

A. The Dark Ages, screw, “Ring Around the Rosie”

B. Ptolemaic Dynasty (3-30 BCE) – Library of Alexandria sure couldn’t compete with the Crystal Castles!

C. The Viking raids and conquest of the late 700s-800s ACE

D. When man landed on the moon…

14) You like music because of its capacity to:

A. Create or activate social change

B. Unify all kinds of different people

C. Be in the present, forget about time

D. Bring up hidden emotions

15) If there is the option to alter your state of consciousness, it is with:

A. Marijuana

B. Coke

C. Alcohol

D. No substance

16) If you could go backstage for one group of the 90s, it would have to be:

A. Tom Petty

B. Outkast

C. Red Hot Chili Peppers

D. Nirvana

17) Preferred artistic medium:

A. Pen and paper

B. Colors of pastels, pencils, watercolor…

C. Digital !!!!!!

D. Graffiti

18) If you’re up and moving to music, you’d like to be:

A. Madly solo dancing

B. Swinging those hips (or lack of) to the beat, all smooth-like

C. Moshing

D. Partner dancing`

19) In your music, you like to discern:

A. Music composition and form

B. Quality of beats

C. Diverse use of sounds, instruments, mediums

D. How it challenges you to grow toward a better understanding of “good” music

20) If you could be one animal for a day, you would be:

A. A mythical flying horse

B. A bioluminescent deep-seawater creature

C. An arctic penguin

D. A Galápagos giant tortoise

And your musical soul is…

90s Alternative Rock – Your musical style favors the different, even bizarre reneditions of sound.  A reflective soul that can crave the nostalgic, you find yourself most content when surrounded by beautiful friends in an intimate environment, united by similar values – whether it be anti-patriarch ideals or simply resonating with each other’s histories. I believe these lyrics speak to your nature: “Opinions were like kittens/I was giving them away” by Modest Mouse in their song “Out of Gas.” 

Empowering Love Songs

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This is not a sap playlist or one intended to bring tears of sorrow, but a compilation to shed light on the ways you incorporate and exude love in your own life. A listening experience with the intention of being both thought-provoking and uplifting, I believe many individuals will find different ways to connect to these songs. From the sultry, jazz vocals of Elizabeth Shepherd, who wrote all of her songs on the album Rewind while she was eight-months pregnant, to the French group M83, whose song “Kim & Jessie” could be exploring both agape and eros love – three themes of the numerous manifestations of love are persistent throughout the playlist: truth and honesty, vulnerability, and beauty.  So, listen to these songs while walking your roommate’s dog, enjoying conversation with dear friends, holding the gaze of your lover, or while simply alone in your head space… hopefully it proves to add joy and variance to your day.

                                              . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“You Got The Love” by Florence + the Machine remixed by the XX

Hot DAMN. This song interpreted by the dancers in the music video is perhaps one of my all-time favorite XX songs and favorite dance videos in general. Together = masterful. Careful – you just won’t be able to listen while sedentary.

“Feeling Good” by Elizabeth Shepherd

Originally sung by Nina Simone, Shepherd conveys a lighter tone in comparison to the powerful synthesis of Simone’s bold voice mixed with the heavy instrumentation of brass, piano, and violin. Shepherd’s version could be listened to while gardening with the bees or sipping Chardonnay with a good friend or loved one.

“Fall In Love” by Phantogram

An experience awaits…prepare to submerge deep underwater into the cool, synthesized sounds of Phantogram. The lyrics can obviously mean an array of things, but even though the literal interpretation is negative, the beauty lies in the partners’ companionship even while one is clearly more in need of help than the other “Fall in me, I’ll let you bleed.”

“Kim & Jessie” by M83

Off of their album Saturdays = Youth, M83 aimed to tribute 80s music while focusing on the experiences of teenagers. “Kim & Jessie” premises with, “They have a secret world…they’re crazy about romance and illusions,” so you, listener, are bound to find some sense of nostalgia in this 5.23 minute song.

“Love In High Places” by Kimbra

If you haven’t listened to Kimbra’s newest studio album, The Golden Echo, I highly recommend you do it right now. For this song in particular, make sure you have bass capacity to fully take in her unique blend of sounds. Love is emitting from exotic places within the spectrum of human emotion: “Find me in the midst of your desire…Find me in the dry earth, in the rain.” The son ends with the lines, “Love will surely break your heart, Then set you free,” conveying the duality of being in love. To love someone is to allow the other to find freedom, however, this kind of love is so powerful and can be so self-sacrificing it hurts.

90’s Hip-Hop

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Who’ Erykah Badu?
Seriously?! The queen of soul, the re-envision-ista of “Amerykah”, the woman who empowered other women, especially black women while rapping hip-hop like it’s religion – Erykah Badu.
Oh…
Here – listen to this. [Hits play on Badu’s album Baduizm to get a taste of her unique blending of hip-hop with rhythm and blues, album circa 1997.]
Can I burn this?
Of course…!

Not an uncommon interaction between Angela and I, who was one of my close friends growing up and who was and continues to be very imbedded in seemingly alternative sounds and styles of music across many time periods. In middle school, her die-hard obsession with anything hip-hop, such as Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest, purveyed throughout carpool rides to school and naturally would ingrain into my psyche, until I began to pursue hip-hop music and other genres on my own. It was also the first time I owned an i-Pod – the Nano – a huge upgrade from the single disc mp3 player, which spurred the frenetic energy for music discovery and listening.

I definitely had my slip-ups, on this quest for great music. One time my friends and I were checking out the soundboard in Southwest Sound that premiers up-and-coming or seemingly unheard of artists, which in retrospection should’ve been a careful warning. An album’s art stood out to us because of its darkness and foreboding thematic imagery “Gazing at the Moonlight.” We all took turns listening to different tracks and decided it was awesome and we needed this to be our anthem for a while. Until, we left the music store with the CD and a couple days later while listening to the album each on our own, came to the same conclusion – what the hell were we thinking? His music was straight creepy, and difficult to listen to – from Pans in the Kitchen to Chris Dolmeth [you read that right]. If ya didn’t know who I’ve been referring to, the one and only, Hopsin, was the rapper whose album had manipulated our senses, the guy who wears shark-eye contacts and reportedly isn’t making music anymore. However, his album served as a point of evolvement in the understanding of hip-hop.

But back to the discovery of good hip-hop. Enter Classified. Straight out of…Canada, Classified’s “Hitch Hikin’ Music,” got me hooked on beats and the intricacies of increased temp, down tempo, the fusion of beats with instrumentation all smoothed together with rapped lyrics…eargasmic. The greatest song for people like me who want to understand the process and improvisation of making hip-hop is his song, Beatin’ It – “Just give me a sec’ – I gotta make some beats. Yo, plug that in over there. Turn on the turntable, let the needle scratch the record. I’ll find the right sound. I’m used to coping under pressure.” He describes how he’s making the track while turning it into a completed beat with rapped lyrics – it’s brilliant. Yes, Classified is a white hip-hop artist living in Canada but much of his music surrounds similar themes and desires of black rappers in America.

“Black Star” a compilation of the dynamic hip-hop artists Talib Kweli and Mos Def was my introduction to the possibilities of the genre and its lyrical genius, and why hip-hop as a culture is “black”. Beats mixed by Hi-Tek were the foundation for the masterminds of Mos Def and Talib Kweli to produce songs like, Definition, Thieves in the Night, and Astronomy, 8th Light, although the entire album needs to be listened to in proper sequence over-and-over. Below are the lyrics for Astronomy, 8th Light off of their album “Black Star” :

[Talib Kweli]
Black, my family thick, like black strap molasses
Star, on the rise, in the eyes of the masses
Black is the color of my true love’s hair
Star’s are bright, shining, hot balls of air

[Mos Def]
Black like my baby girl’s stare
Black like the veil that the muslimina wear
Black like the planet that they fear, why they scared?
Black like the slave ship belly that brought us here
Black like the cheeks that are roadways for tears
That leave black faces well traveled with years
Black like assassin crosshairs
Blacker than my granddaddy armchair
He never really got no time to chill there
Cause this life is warfare, warfare

Beyond this album, I invested in their separate productions – Talib’s “The Beautiful Struggle” and “Eardrum” and Mos Def’s “Black On Both Sides” – which were just as mesmerizing and contributive to my love and admiration for hip-hop.

Guest DJ: Jaimie Welbourn

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Our guest DJ is Jaimie Welbourn, who is joining us from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where she’s a student studying English Writing.  Jaimie is an accomplished musician, having played the flute for three years, guitar since she was 12 years old, and piano since she was 7 years of age.  She has articulated her five songs of choice based on school as a marker – from childhood and elementary years to middle-school, high-school, the beginning of college, and today.

Welcome Jaimie. To start the theme off with your childhood years, what is the song you chose?

Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven

I chose this one because my beginning years were very sheltered and my oldest brother, Brad, plays classical piano, so all of us as younger siblings had to follow in his footsteps because my parents were like, “You play piano? Well let’s force them all to play the piano.”  It was either my brother’s classical music or my mother’s gospel and Christmas music – that’s all I got during childhood, from ages 0 to about 11.  That was it.  It’s either Christmas, Christian, or classical – the big C’s of my childhood.

Were you a regular attendee at say a Church during this period?

Yes, I was forced to go to Church and Sunday school and youth group. Good crap.

Did you ever perform in any of those situations?

I did very briefly play guitar at a church called New Hope.  We played a couple of times before the littler kids, and then the whole thing just kind of fell apart and became defunct. Go figure.

Why Moonlight Sonata?

Moonlight Sonata is one of the only songs I can play the entirety of on the piano, out of the whole two songs I remember, that is one of them. I picked that one up because my brother had it sitting out on the music stand, and I was like, “This looks easy enough to play.”

Do you know the message of Moonlight Sonata or the reason Beethoven wrote it?

It’s a very pretty song.  It is one of those loner songs.  If I remember the story correctly, Beethoven wrote it because he was sad because he couldn’t get a girl, so musicians haven’t changed much in the last hundreds of years.

Holiday by Green Day

As a fresh middle-school student with the utmost love for Green Day, what did you think of the sudden popularity surge of the band due to the release of their album “American Idiot”?

I think they’d incurred so much fame that it just kept on coming. Songs from this album were definitely around a while.

Tell me about your affection for Green Day.

They were the first band I discovered.  This isn’t Christmas or Gospel but the music I want to listen to.  And I think coming from that really sheltered home, that punk rock, “fuck authority, we’re gonna be rebellious,” was everything I craved. Not that I’m punk rock at all, but that was what I loved.  They’re also the ones who inspired me to pick up guitar.  After I heard that album, I was like, “I’m going to go steal my brother’s guitar and I’m going to learn this song.”  This was the first full song I learned on guitar.  I mean I would play chords like of, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door but this was the first song in its entirety that I learned. It was mostly Green Day for middle school.  But then there are the three pillars that include Fall Out Boy and My Chem. I always hesitate to tell people that those are the bands I love because people are like, “that is such a middle school thing,” but I feel like you carry those bands with you throughout your life. I don’t care if people think my music taste isn’t sophisticated enough.

That rebellious nature of “fuck authority” is like, “fuck people who judge my music taste.”

Yes. Punk rock all day. Moving on, as we may of lingered too long.

Satellites by Sparks the Rescue

For high school I chose Sparks the Rescue as the band.  I went to one of their concerts and it was like the most fun I’d ever had at a concert.

Where was this concert?

The Marquis Theater in Denver on February 18, 2012. I still have the ticket stub.  And we actually met the them in line, because the lead singer was passing around flyers because they were not headlining.  They were opening for another band that was really awesome, but we had come for them. In line they were like, “hey, check us out,” and we were star struck and only said, “we love your music,” or something, and the left and we were like, “dammit! We should’ve asked for pictures.”

The experience was a really fun, end-of-senior-year moment, where you have these great friends, your moshing, and it’s awesome.

The song I specifically chose, Satellites, wasn’t played at the concert because it’s more of their acoustic-y kind of crap. It’s the most played song on my i-Pod, which is kind of wrong because of numerous i-Tunes crashes that reset the count.  I think it’s also because I was trying to learn it on guitar, so I was playing it over and over again to try and learn the notes by ear.

Had you been to many concerts up until that point or was this one of the few?

I am glad you ask because I was considering going from a concert standpoint for this list. I only went to Christian festivals, because that was what I was allowed to go to.  It wasn’t until I turned 18, and it was senior year that I could be like, “you can’t tell me what to do. I’m going to go to concerts.” In 2012, I think I went to five concerts. Road-tripping to concerts.

Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas

Is Kansas considered a Christian band, though?

I don’t know.  I know they’re old school, classic rock, but I don’t know if they have any religious affiliations.  I hope not because that might ruin it for me.

I was thinking “Son” is synonymous with Jesus…just kidding.

[After some research on the world wide web, it was discovered, that guitarist Kerry Livgren and early band members of Kansas, were not religious, and when “Carry On My Wayward Son” was produced, there was no religiosity identified.  However, Livgren did fully convert to Christianity by the early 1980s, as band the band dispersed for different reasons, such as dispute over creative direction or seeking other music opportunities and pursuits]

Why Kansas?

It’s not Kansas specifically as a band, but it was the start of college, and I was at Western Washington University and I was going through a classic rock phase, where it was all of the typical classic rock songs and that one was at the top.

I am about to make an assumption, but did playing this song assuage any feelings of homesickness?

It was a kind of weird experience because I really loved being there but at the same time I knew I couldn’t stay.  I knew I loved it there but it wasn’t worth a payment of 40,000 a year.

The song is also on one of my favorite T.V. shows.

Which one?

Oh god, I didn’t want to go into this. Have you watched Supernatural?

Yes, yes!

That was how I dealt with needing privacy in college.

 Alright, so the last choice for “today” is…

Raise Hell by Brandi Carlile

I think I chose this one specifically because back in 9th grade, this girl, Holly, and I were trying to start a garage band. And, she wanted to do a cover of one of Carlile’s songs, and she had lent me the album and wanted me to burn the cover. I did – just that song. I listened to the rest of it and thought, “she’s so country. This is crap,” and just disregarded it and only burned the one song. I’m so upset I didn’t take the whole album.

I think at the beginning of high school I thought rock was everything and everything else sucks, but by the end of high school I thought, I should listen to other things.

So this song for you represents change, from when you were very stubborn and particular to listening to music more openly.

I think it demonstrates my growth in tastes.

Do you still have any intention to be in a band?

Are you asking? Do you want to be our drummer?