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A Love Letter To My Favorite Break-Up Songs
Break-ups happen, you know. And no matter how idealistic or happy you are in the moment, unless you're planning on getting married, you know things don't last forever right? When you're young and in love, or you think you are, things end up getting a little bit rosier. You see things not for what they are, but for what t hey should be. As time progresses and we learn, we notice that our partner might not have our best interest at heart. Maybe they're an opportunist, maybe our ideals never marched in time, maybe we just didn't work. Despite the reason, break-ups are an inevitable reminder that we as humans must move on, whether it's to a new person or to singledom, things change. Every artist and listener wants to write or hear a big, sweeping break-up song. Whether you're crying to Adele while eating ice cream in a bathtub or you're throwing yourself around your crappy apartment while listening to the Arctic Monkeys, one thing is for sure, music can get you through. As a younger person, I relied way too heavily to the pretty rhythms that came out of my headphones. For that three or four minutes...hours, I wouldn't have to think about the mistakes and the failed phone calls. I remember one night, in college, I was sitting on the fire escape of my overpriced apartment looking out into the streets below, and nothing was keeping me together. I had two break ups within two months, one from a 4 year long, slow burning failure of a relationship that started out idyllic and innocent and ended in flames...the next from a rebound that I though I really did love. The next few months would be a collision course to self-destruction, and music was right by my side. We all have those songs that ease the pain, that present our thoughts and feelings more eloquently than we ever thought possible. It's in these songs that we can find the hope that we'll find another person, and the process could start over again. I loved listening to Natalia Kills' album "Trouble" while I was dealing with all of this emotional baggage. It's basically a story type album in the vein of Lana Del Rey or the like, but more edgy and honest. She basically chalks up all of her issues to her own irresponsibility and recklessness. Which, is how I felt, exactly. This song, Saturday Night was the perfect anthem for my feelings, getting out and forgetting about everything was the only way to survive. The tipsy melody and the vivid soundscape made it hard for me to listen to anything else. You know how you get, when nothing else matters but the song in your headphones. You play it on repeat, for as long as your roommates can tolerate. You cry on your floor, you drink, you find something to fill the void. You make yourself up and you hit the small town bars so you can feel like an important person. But nothing matters, because in that moment you feel like the most lonely person on the planet. What you don't realize though, is that the music will viill the void, ease the pain, and before you know it, you'll be better. Another track that made me feel less alone was "Can't Stand Me Now" by The Libertines. Written during the band's break up, it's a musical love letter between the two frontmen, Peter Doherty and Carl Barat. They were living through the song, trying to communicate with the melodies what they couldn't say in real life. The band was no more after the first live performance of this song, until earlier in 2015, people thought it was going to be the death rattle of one of Britain's most promising bands. And it stands to me, as the last call from my last boyfriend, ringing in my ears. The doom of it, you know? It's okay though, we all move on and get stronger, but for a second it's okay to wallow in the melody right? The final song I an remember is this melancholy tune from Green Day called "Rusty James" It's one of my favorite songs of theirs to date. For some reason, the words really connected with where I was coming from. There comes a point in every break-up where you forget about the person you've lost, and you think about yourself. You think about the youth you lost, or the time you wasted, or the fact that you've lost their mutual friends...or you've lost a bit of innocence. To marginalize break-ups as acts soely focused on another person would be foolish, because we know they're an introspective nightmare. We start questioning our behavior and our way of life. We start to wonder if we broke up because we were the flawed one. We start to question our life's path. "When there's no one left around / and you're the last gang in town / and your heart can't even break / when it doesn't even pound." We even question our nature: "Well, if I hadn't screwed this up, maybe I'd have a significant other now. Maybe I wouldn't be alone. Maybe, if I didn't hide all the time, and met more people, I'd be happier." Break ups are a turning point, and as this song suggests, there are a few ways we can go: we can hide in plain sight, cradling our lost memories and our doomed relationships or...we can own what happened, use the experience for good, and try to create a new path. We can place the old memories in a lock box behind our eyes, and traipsing onward, hoping to find someone just as flawed as us, who can replace the music, and ease the pain.
10 Rock and Roll Jams To Replace Your Boring Christmas Playlist
Are you sick of the ho-hum standards usually played during the Holiday season? Have no fear! Your amazing new Christmas playlist is here! Tune in rock out and get rid of those winter blues, because these highly original christmas songs are going to knock your socks off. Get modern, get cool, and get all ready for Christmas! 1. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out / Fall Out Boy This song is everything. And if you've never heard it before, you're in for a treat. Vengeful, cutting and completely clever it's the kind of Christmas song you can stomach over and over without throwing up. Get your Santa hats out, because you've got a new Christmas jam. 2. Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) / The Ramones This punk rock classic is perfect for that moment when you're forced to decorate the tree with family members that don't necessarily get along. You know...all of them. So for your next Christmas gathering...just play them this, "Come on guys. It's Christmas time, don't fight. The Ramones said so!" Right? That's all it'll take. 3. Don't Shoot Me Santa / The Killers I wrote an entire list of all the great Killers Christmas songs. They're seriously all remarkable. I had to include my personal favorite, "Don't Shoot Me Santa" the catchiest, funniest most edgy Christmas song around. Play this video for your friends and watch them fall in love. Seriously. 4. I Wish It Was Christmas Today / Julian Casablancas The lead singer of The Strokes gives you this Dean-Martin-esque Christmas neo-classic. It's smooth and classic, but still has that classic Casablancas sneer. It's magic. So play this for your parents at their boring Christmas party, and just bop along. Because it's kind of like you're listening to The Strokes without offending old people right? 5. All I Want For Christmas Is You / My Chemical Romance This is my favorite version of this song. Your friends are probably all like..."What about Mariah Carey! She's the Christmas queen!" No. Gerard Way is the Christmas queen damn it. Trust me. This is the best version of this song you will hear. 6. All I Want For Christmas / The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O's distinct vocals coupled with this rockabilly vibe make "All I Want For Christmas" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is the perfect song to listen to while you're contemplating your existence during the holidays. Rock music just does that. 7. Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass / All Time Low Much like Fall Out Boy's Christmas tune, All Time Low bring the spiteful part of the season to light. For some, the Holidays aren't a beautiful, golden time filled with presents and chestnuts and all that. For some, they're cold, lonely and a reminder of all the things you continuously screw up. This one's for you. Play it loud, even if you're a Grinch. 8. White Christmas / Panic! At The Disco Let Brendon Urie's velvety smooth vocals lull you into Christmas bliss with this lovely cover of a classic. Probably the most traditional on the list, its something you can jam with your grandma to, and have a little laugh to yourself because it's Brendon Urie not Bing Crosby. 9. The Flaming Lips / Christmas at the Zoo I had the distinct pleasure of seeing The Flaming Lips this summer at the Nelsonville Music Festival in Ohio. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life. The scene was madness: big rock hooks with neon lights, swinging strings of lights, giant balloons, various strains of marijuana smoke flying through the air and the crazy presence of lead singer Wayne Coyne. This Christmas song is nutty, just like the band. It's also the perfect thing to play during one of your young, hip Christmas gatherings...if you have one. 10. Won't Be Home For Christmas / Blink 182 Rock and roll can be bitter business, but the truth is, that some people just can't get home for Christmas and others just don't want to. Whatever your reason for being away from home, you're not alone. You've got Blink 182 to lull you into holiday submission. Which Christmas song was your favorite!? If you like this playlist, or want to make one of your own, be sure to hang around the Alternative Rock community here on Vingle! And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
5 Pop-Punk Classics That'll Help You Mend A Broken Heart
Breaking up is hard to do, and I'm not just ripping that from some classic song. Punk music has been a constant reminder of our teenage angst, our greatest fears and our greatest triumphs. It's always there when nothing else can be. If you're dealing with a break up, make sure to listen to these on full blast. Feel free to sing along. 1. You're So Last Summer - Taking Back Sunday This is a band that never shied away from the emotional. Most of their early stuff centered on break-ups and betrayal because of interpersonal dealings between members. Some messy messy stuff indeed. Anyway, this is the song that's perfect for driving too fast through a park near your house. Make sure you're best friend is riding shotgun because there are some great partner vocals. Best Lyric: "The truth / is you could slit my throat / and with my one last gasping breath / I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt." 2. My Friends Over You - New Found Glory Loyalty comes in many forms, but nobody is more loyal than your best friends. Throughout your breakups and makeups, it's easy to get caught up in the person you're dating and forget about the people who will be with you unconditionally. This is where "My Friends Over You" comes in. Don't forget who takes care of you. At the end of the day, when you're looking for an easy hookup or not...don't screw your friends over for something fleeting and shallow. Best Lyric: "Though you said that you were true / I'd still pick my friends over you." 3. When I Come Around - Green Day There will be people in your life who dump you because you're too lazy, too stupid, too much of a workaholic, too wild, too boring, too...well, anything. You can't let those people get in the way of who you are. Once they leave you, you'll probably be better off because you can get back in touch with who you are, who you want to be and where you're going. After all, when you come around and figure all of that out, they will have missed all of the wonderful things you had to offer. Best Lyric: "You may find out that your self doubt means nothing was ever there / you can't go forcing something if it's just not right." 4. Dammit - Blink 182 It's great when a break-up is easy, but some can get downright ugly. When a former partner starts to slander you, talk mad shit to your friends and manage to rub their new relationship in your hostile little face, it can be hard to keep it together. Just remember that when you run into them (and you will) you have to hold your head high, because shit doesn't last long enough to stay mad. People have their reasons for acting like a dick, it doesn't make their actions correct. All you can do is move on. Best Lyric: "The charade / it won't last / when he's gone / I won't come back." 5. Grand Theft Autumn (Where Is Your Boy?) - Fall Out Boy People have a tendency to surprise you, and not always in a good way. This song reminds me of how you can be with someone and think they are one way, and they end up being completely terrible. We get caught up in the way people appear. This is what leads to relationship disasters. We try to impress these people and we compromise what was good about ourselves. If we believe that we're meant for someone, we'll try to fit into their mold...but some things just can't change. Best Lyric: "You need him / I could be him / I could be an accident, but I'm still trying."
An Ode To Loserdom: Green Day's Dookie Turns 22
I wasn't one of those kids that grew up with punk in their veins. I discovered Green Day in 2004 when I was 11 years old. Had I known what a profound impact their music would have on me, I'd have gotten to know them a lot sooner. Dookie is a record that I discovered around the same time. Though it was nearly 10 years old when I first heard it, it always seemed fresh to me. That's how you know an album is good, it never gets old. Much like the greats before them, Green Day took punk and turned it into a national treasure for kids who were growing up and out in all the wrong directions. I remember days spent looking out my suburban windows, dreaming of something more, something real. Released on February 1st, 1994, Dookie put music and lyrics to a feeling that most of us have when we're growing up: hopelessness, apathy, loneliness, confusion. These songs take place in a headspace where the future is indefinite, life is going by too slowly and yet everyone is bitching at you to move faster. I had never known anyone else who felt this way, until I listened to Green Day. Although American Idiot set the standard for us millennials as the record that defined our generation politically and culturally, there was something indescribably perfect about Dookie, an album that nearly out aged us all. Songs like "Sassafras Roots" and "Pulling Teeth" bring up those awkward first moments of love and wasting time with someone you might not know in 10 years. "Longview" makes you remember the boredom and isolation of being a young person. "Basket Case" became the anthem for millions of kids who were cast off as undesirable, kooky or too off-kilter to function. These feelings ebb and flow, they grow and change, but underneath everything...including 22 years of shit, they're still there. Burnouts and degenerates of every generation can bond over these songs. Whether you're 13 or 35 some of those feelings still exist. I doubt that they knew this at the time, but when Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt made this record they went down in history as three punks from the Bay (my current home) who changed everything. I'm now a 23 year old working professional. I'm still a musician, and I'm definitely still a punk. I still feel left out and lonely. I still have the same irrational fire and guilt for my generation locked away in my anxiety riddled brain, and whenever I put this record on, I remember that 22 years ago three dudes from the Bay felt the exact same way. In 22 years, both Dookie an I have done a lot of growing up. As more and more kids discover the power of this album, the ones who were there at the beginning are starting families, making money and continuing the legacy of their parents...whom they either resented or just didn't understand in 1994. It's funny how life works. It's so cyclical. Now, as I look out at where I've ended up, I have to credit Green Day, and this album for some of it. The individuality I gained through this music has afforded me incredible opportunities. Green Day helped me develop my world view: embracing the chaos, letting go of the future and reveling in hopeless youth. We're still the same people, just in a different time. And life goes on, losers grow up, but the truth still remains...and its in these songs. This album is still a love letter to all the lost kids out there, and 22 years on, as more and more of us find our way, the band included, there's something really beautiful about being lost. By @TessStevens
These Music Videos are Too Damn Long
Okay, not really. I'm actually a huge fan of drama or movie versions of music videos, especially when they actually have some meaning behind it. With Taylor Swift's new posters for her upcoming single 'Bad Blood' it looks like we're going to have T-Swift movie (complete with all of her best friends posing as super heroes? villains?) Here's a list of some artists that have made awesome (loooooong) music videos in the past: Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends An incredible commentary on war and loss and love that will have you sobbing from only one minute in. Lady Gaga - Edge of Glory Always known for her theatrics, Edge of Glory felt like it came right out of some Broadway musical. Also check out her videos like Judas, Born This Way, Telephone, or Marry The Night. 30 Seconds to Mars How am I supposed to pick just one?! These guys are the kings of music videos turned to movies and they are all so incredibly made. I really can't pick a favorite... I attached 5, but check out their entire channel for more! - From Yesterday - Kings and Queens - This is War - The Kill - A Beautiful Lie Michael Jackson - Thriller The original music video-turned movie. It's a zombie romance that has arguably the most famous choreography ever. Fall Out Boy - A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More "Touch Me" The boys of FOB are unapologetically obsessed with MJ so it makes sense that they would pay homage to him with a movie music video all their own. This MV is loosely based on 'Thriller' and is still one of my favorite FOB songs, ever. Pharrell - Happy And then of course there is this: the 24 hour music video that is still going on. Top that, Taylor (but really, please don't)
10 Things You Might Not Know About Green Day
I'm one of those people that just retains random facts about rock bands. I've been contributing to a few Bay Area publications and it got me thinking about my favorite band of all time, Green Day. It's kind of funny. I was born in Los Angeles and have lived all over the country. The greatest part of my time till this point was spent in the Midwest, so it was funny that I ended up in the home of my heroes. Here are 10 things you might not know about Green Day, most of them have to do withthings they did in the Bay Area, so natives of Nor Cal, here we go~! 1. Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt went to Pinhole Valley High School Contra Costa County is known for its refinery towns, but Pinhole Valley is known for their notable alumni Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt of Green Day. It's pretty badass that this tiny high school in Northern California is like...world famous because of its alumni. I mean, they're some of the biggest rock stars in the world. There's even video of the guys playing on the school's quad, a lot like my band used to do. Everybody has to start somewhere. 2. Tre Cool grew up in some damn mountain range, but was originally born in Germany. Those gorgeous mountains you can’t help but stare at on your way north were once home to Green Day drummer Tre Cool who ended up spending all of his time drumming outdoors, because there wasn’t much to do up in that altitude. No internet yet. You could develop a lot of skills back in the day, before entertainment was always at your fingertips and people became perpetually bored. 3. Green Day actually had a different drummer before Tre Cool joined. His name was Al Sobrante. Of course, any Bay Area native would know that his name is a direct reference to El Sobrante, California another small town in the Contra Costa County. It directly translates to “the leftovers” which is what ended up happening to Al when he left Green Day. Tough shit. 4. Green Day's first gig was at a BBQ joint called "Rod's Hickory Pit". 30 friends gathered to hear the first ever Green Day concert. Billie Joe’s mother Ollie got them the gig because she was working there as a waitress at the time. My band used to play at a place called Zeke's Tavern. We'd have our friends and family come out and hang. We'd get paid like...100 bucks for a full set. Split 5 ways. Again, starting somewhere. 5. Billie Joe and Mike started playing their instruments around age 11, Tre at 12. The first band Tre was part of played outside up in the mountains. They were called “The Lookouts”. Tre was by far the youngest member of the band. My first band The Walking Contradictions (of course, named after a Green Day song) started playing when I was 12. The parallels keep on coming. 6. Green Day played with Rancid, Operation Ivy, The Queers and more at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. I have yet to make my pilgrimage to this punk mecca, but I will. One of my dreams as a little kid was to play here...maybe at 23 I will. 7. Green Day released two full length albums on Lookout! Records before Dookie was even thought of. They're called "1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours" and "Kerplunk!". Some tracks that appear on Dookie were demoed during these recordings. See if you can pick them out. 8. The band was actually banned from Gilman for a while. The song “86” off of Green Day’s sophomore release, "Insomniac "was a direct retaliation against people who barred them from returning to Gilman because they were looked at as "sellouts" for signing to Warner Brothers in 1994. 9. Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong have recently created a coffee company called “Oakland Coffee.” It's an environmentally conscious, entirely compostable product that boasts awesome benefits for the Bay Area economy. Green Day is all about keeping it local. Billie Joe even donates money to the East Bay food banks, and lends himself to charity work as much as possible. 10. All of the members still live in the Bay Area. Maybe I'll run into one of them someday. Pretty cool that after all this time and sucess they know exactly where they came from. What bands do you want to know more about!? Tag me in a comment below and I'll see what my journalistic skills can dig up for you. In the mean time make sure to follow my music collection, where you can read about bands, listen to playlists and interact with more peeps who love the same kind of stuff you do.