Posted in Journal, Music

August 22, 2017

Hi y’all. Here we go. 

I was born September 5th, 1993. Kurt Cobain was still alive and grunge music was all the rage. I had no knowledge of drugs, alcoholism, rehab, anger, anxiety, and depression. All I knew was how smile, laugh, and occasionally poop.

Then came the pre-teen years. I felt a lot of things and all of them I couldn’t explain. I was constantly shy, pulling my hair out, and frustrated. I felt misunderstood and alone. I felt hurt. But oh how I tried. I tried to be happy, blend in, and pretend that nothing was bothering me. It didn’t matter all the hell I was dealing with at home; I was a Christian with a roof over my head and friends and family who loved me. 

Then I heard the song ‘Rooster’ by this band called Alice In Chains. I didn’t much understand the meaning of the lyrics, but I knew I liked the song and I wanted to hear it a lot. Then came Nirvana. Everything changed. 

It took a while before I heard Alice In Chains again, but when I did, it was ‘Down in a Hole’. I was older and the lyrics hit harder. I loved the singer, I loved the music, and I loved the song. I needed to hear more. Of course, no one in my family knew who they were. I brought up the song about a rooster that wouldn’t die, and they all thought I was talking about an immortal rooster. I was annoyed to say the least.

It took some time before I found about Layne. That not only was he an amazing singer and writer, but also a troubled soul. All the hell that he went through, and at the end of the day, all he wanted was to help people out of the darkness that he couldn’t get himself out of. 

Layne passed away on April 5, 2002. Eight years to the day after Kurt Cobain. Both of them were vocal about their struggles with their depression, drug use, and pain. They both were also vocal about trying to stop others from going down the same road they did.

I obviously didn’t know Layne personally, but I’ve seen the videos and heard the stories. He was a sweet man, had a big heart, hated Nazis, had compassion, and wanted to leave the world a little better than he left it. He would’ve been 50 today. Thank you Layne. Thank you for your sense of humor, your wise words, your art, and just letting us get to know you for the little time that we had with you.

I hope you’re with Mike, Kurt, Chris, and Andrew now. Resting easy and rocking out. You were my first piece of light in tunnel filled with darkness. You helped keep me on the straight and narrow when all I wanted to do was quit. The more I learn about you, the more I wish I would’ve gotten a chance to meet you and thank you in person. 

You will always live on in your lyrics, our hearts, and the many wonderful memories you created. 

Happy 50th Birthday, Mr. Man
“My bad habits aren’t my title. My strengths and my talents are my title” 

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Posted in Journal, Music, Real Life

July 20, 2017

Hey all. I’m breathing.

Today’s post was supposed to be in honor of Chris Cornell since today is his 53rd birthday…but then Chester. 

I’ve been trying to find words for the both of them all day and I just can’t. It doesn’t make sense and it hurts so much. How are you supposed to feel when people who helped you fight your own demons, couldn’t defeat theirs?

I remember crying in my room to Linkin Park and just praying for a better tomorrow, but also being happy that there was someone out there who understood. When Mike and Chester rap and sang it felt like they knew my pain. They were relating to my problems and reaching out. Soundgarden was from the 90’s and we made their songs our own. Linkin Park’s songs were our song. They are our generation. 

Soundgarden let me know that I’m not the only person who struggles with day to day insecurities and anxieties and I’m not the only person who has those thoughts. They, along with Nirvana and Alice In Chains, introduced me to a world of people who find finally understood and accepted me. I could listen and sing along to those songs and feel normal. I didn’t feel like the freak that the outside world made me think I was. 

With Linkin Park Chester sang and screamed about everything that I was too afraid or ashamed to talk about. Middle School is hard enough on it’s own, but throw in family problems and the constant want to throw yourself out of something made it ten times harder. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone or that anyone, besides my favorite bands, would understand. Linkin Park understood and they talked me off that ledge. 

Slowly I started to open up and get help. I was able to help others. I was able to find a positive to dig myself out of the depression and anxiety holes I would get myself into. I became more hopeful and I wanted more out of life, I started to realize that my life doesn’t have to just be pain and tears. There’s beauty in everything and that I could experience all of it. No matter how dark it got, there would always come a day when the light would shine again. 

Then one day I woke up and one of those lights went out. No one knows why and no one understands and it felt like someone had taken all of the air out of my lungs. I cried and cried, but I remembered his words and his songs and I started to feel myself come back to life again. Then, just as the wound started to heal, another light went out. Just as unexpected as the first. He was there, he was happy, and he was performing. Then he just wasn’t. They went the same way and that’s what hurts all the more. The second passed away on the first’s birthday so that’s an even bigger double whammy. 

This is gonna take time and it’s always going to hurt. I won’t ever be able to say this to them, but hopefully they’ll be able to read this. Thank you. Thank you for being my voice when I didn’t have one. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face when it had been gone for months. Thank you giving me a second family and a place to call home. You both helped me put the blades down and pick the pen up. You helped me find a voice and believe in myself. I am going to miss you forever and you’ll always live in my heart. I love you forever and I’m going to keep trying my best and living my life to the fullest.

Rest with the angels Chris and Chester 💕

Posted in Music, Uncategorized

October 11, 2016

This post is honor of some friends of mine who just released an amazing album and had an awesome album release party: P-Funk North.

To those of you who aren’t Plainfield or North Plainfield natives probably have no clue who I’m talking about. Well let me clue you in.

P-Funk is reggae band placed out of North Plainfield, New Jersey and have been together since 2013. Their sound is a mixture of early of Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, and something all their own.  Their album ‘Buds Won’t Break Your Heart’ (which was produced by Weilhouse Productions) captures not only the energy but also the fun that is always vibrant and alive at their live shows. With lyrics that make you laugh as much as think, this album is something for everyone as well as something everyone needs.

Dave’s raspy/fun voice transcends your mind into a place of relaxation, as well as, a part of your state of being  that needs to be awoken. Joel’s guitar playing is something that the best dreams are made of. Between him striking the cords that make you feel something deep within, and him playing the cords that make you feel like you’re on vacation his guitar playing is a major part of what sets the tone for the album; making it different from certain Generation X reggae albums. Pat’s drumming (live or on the album) never fails to make you feel it in your bones.

Besides hitting every mark perfectly , his drumming makes you wanna get up dance. Together they make a group of not only true friends (which shine true on this album and on stage) but also true musicians. Musicians on a mission to bring true music back as well as songs that not only make you feel good, but make you think about the world we live in.

Do yourselves a favor and buy the album off of Itunes or listen to it on Spotify. It’ll do your mind and soul a world of good

P-Funk North consists of:

Dave Sloyan on bass and vocals

Joel Oviedo on guitar

Pat Tucker on drums

The album features

Bruce on the trumpet/flugehorn

James on vocals

Lou on trombone

and

DJ Redrum on turntables

‘Buds Won’t Break Your Heart’ was produced by Weilhouse Productions

Posted in Journal, Music, Real Life, Uncategorized

August 7, 2016

I figured that I’d share one of the very best days of my life with you guys today, because it just happened to be a year ago this very day. It was the day I met Jon Foreman.

It was Satuday and I had stayed up all night the night before and woke up extremely early because I was just too excited. I was finally about to see Switchfoot. I’ve been a fan of them ever since I heard The Beautiful Letdown and have been listening ever since, but this…this was my first show. I was actually going to see them live. I scrambled around to shower and get dressed, printed out my ticket, and practically ran to the train station.

The entire ride from New Brunswick to Asbury Park I was blasting Switchfoot (which is honestly no different than other day, but this time it had more significance obviously) and quite literally bouncing along to every song. I had so many things running around through the my head. “What if I get to meet them?” “What if I get to hug them?” “Would they let me hug them?” “I’ll finally be able to thank them!”. I had no V.I.P pass but I was chalk full of hope. 

Of course I arrived hours before the show so I was just walking around Asbury. Visiting friends and hoping to at least catch a glimpse of the band. I didn’t get a chance to but I still had fun wondering around aimlessly and discovering new places to hide on the beach. I kept watching the clock (which of course made time go slower) and when it was finally time for them to open the doors to the show I ran as fast as I could to the Summer Stage. I could feel in my bones that this was gonna be one of the best if not THE best show I’d ever go to. 

I got in, got a spot, and stood there happily waiting for the show to start. I had been walking around all day and my adrenaline was pumping. So much that when I finally stood still I realized how tired I truly was and how sore I was. I started to freak out. “This can’t be happening now” I thought “I’ve been looking forward to this show since I bought the tickets in February!”. I went from slightly freaked to slightly annoyed. 

I decided I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I fainted right then and there. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing the band I love so much. I forced myself to get it together and mustered up all the energy I could. There were two bands before Switchfoot and they were really awesome, but I was trying to save up my energy for Switchfoot. That didn’t work long cause it’s physically impossible for me to hear music I like and stand still. 

Finally. Switchfoot. I lost my voice after the second song. That’s how loud I was screaming. I forgot how tired I was and how sore I was and in that moment life was amazing. I felt amazing. I cried to a few songs, danced to some, and sang along to all. It was amazing. It was the best show I’d been to (not counting my dad’s shows. He rules all).

Then their set was over and the tiredness set in again and I knew I wouldn’t make it through the last band (I’m really sorry NEEDTOBREATHE. I really did want to see your set). I was on my way back to go see my friend to pick up my stuff so I could catch the train when I remembered: Jon Foreman does after shows. Well sometimes anyway. I was now on a new mission: see a Jon Foreman after show. I sat with my friend watching for updates to see if there would in fact be one. Having a drink or two and nodding off.

Then finally the tweet came. There would in fact be an after show. He said the place and I shot up and out of the building hoping to see Jon before he had to go up. I know Jon Foreman is not Switchfoot. Switchfoot is made up of five amazing men and I love them all to bits, but Jon’s solo stuff has also seen me through some really hard times. All I wanted to do was thank him ask him to thank the band for me. Also pay him cause when the Wonderlands came out I illegally downloaded it cause I had no money. 

As fast as I ran I stopped at the wrong and spot missed out on seeing Jon. I was bummed. So bummed. I guess it was written on my face because a girl came up to me and asked me what was wrong. I explained the whole thing to her. She grabbed my hand and said clear as day: “you’re meeting Jon”. She started running and pulled me behind. Once we got there he had started performing so I thought I missed my shot again until she started getting me to the front and told me to poke him and she started calling his name. Soon people started asking why and what was going on and I told them I just wanted to thank him and soon enough everyone was calling him and telling him to stop. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

He stopped, looked around, and looked down at me. Was this really happening? Was I actually in front of Jon Foreman? I was just standing there looking like a deer caught in headlights until Jon said “hi” and I shakily got a hi out in response. I started going a mile a minute and he stopped me and told me to stand on the bench with him. This was happening. I was meeting Jon. I was suddenly aware that my last drink was a Jack and Coke and I felt very self conscious. 

I managed to get out that I wanted to thank him and Switchfoot for all they’ve done and that I more than likely wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them. I asked him for a hug and he said of course and gave me a huge hug and I asked if I could get a quick picture and he happily allowed one. He told me to introduce myself to everyone and I said my name. Suddenly very aware of the time and that the last train of the night would be leaving soon I told him that I was extremely sorry but I had a promise to keep to my mom and had to get home. I told everyone goodnight, jumped on the bench, and raced to the train station.

The picture he and I took together has been the wallpaper on my phone since that night and I have no intention on changing it anytime soon. I still owe him money though (I’ve got you next time Jon). There has yet been a night that tops that night and to this day it still means the world to me. Jon and Switchfoot will always mean the world to me and I’ll never be able to say thank you enough. 

Posted in Music, Uncategorized

Music Entry!

Okay, so music is a HUGE part of my life. If I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life writing I would probably be managing bands. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get bold and do both! Until then here are some really amazing bands you should check out! You’ll love them I promise 🙂

– Lions Among Us
– Nobody Takes Vegas
– This Season’s Color
– Such Great Heights
– Sailing With Ghosts
– Drop The Anchor In
– Sirens
– Consider Me Dead
– Dear You
– An Honest Year
– Goodmorning, Gorgeous
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You might know the next few bands I’m about to name, but I still think they deserve more recognition 🙂

– Sleeping With Sirens
– Pierce The Veil
– Of Mice and Men
– DayShell
– The Summer Set
– Mayday Parade
– You Me At Six
– Go Radio
– We Are The In Crowd
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That’s all for now. Please, please check these bands out. I love them and think you will too 🙂

Also, please comment and tell me what you think!