A Love Affair with Finding New Music

My favorite thing about music is the experience of sharing it. Whether it be posting on social media about my new favorite band, listening to a new song with a friend,  or going to a concert, the occurrence of it is pure and communal. When I was in high school, I was was the person going to local shows every weekend and finding bands that I loved in my little suburb in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’d come back to school on Monday mornings excited* to share my new found love with my friends. So much so that I think they got a little tired of it sometimes.

One of the most memorable moments I had like this was the first time I saw Twenty One Pilots at a venue called The Attic in Dayton, Ohio. Myself and a group of friends had gone to see a couple of other bands we’d seen before but little did we know we were in the beginning stages of what would soon become one of the next great artists of this era. Even back when the band was a three-piece, before Josh joined the band, there was something special about them. I don’t think I ever had jumped and danced so hard a a local show. They had a special presence that couldn’t be ignored. I remember leaving that night to go home and thinking that they were going to take over the world someday. Here we are, six years later and the duo we all know and love have won a Grammy for “Best Pop Duo”. I bring this up, not to be one of those people who were “I knew them before they were famous” but because this was one of the first instances where I just had to get the word out about this band. I wanted as many people as possible to fall in love with them the same way that I did.

As an adult with responsibilities and obligations (yuck!), I find it harder to get out to local shows and have this sort of connection again. I rely on a lot of music recommendations from friends and I’m  on the other end of things. I feel like looking for music on my own accord can sometimes be overwhelming. There’s so much music out and so much of it is good too. Platforms like Spotify do a really great job with helping you weed through the clutter. Every week I’m always really excited to see what’s on my “Weekly Discover” playlist. I’ve found a handful of songs that I really connect with and have saved to my own playlists. However, I still think the best way to find new music is through your friends. Every few months or so I post to Facebook and Twitter to have people send me who they’re listening to right now. I find that eight or nine out of ten times the recommendations are really great and diverse. It allows me to expand my interests and diversify my music palette.

In attempt to share more recommendations with more people, here is a playlist of what my friends are listening to currently:

 

 

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Swim for the Music that Saves You

So here we have yet another, “long time no post”, post. I want to say that I have a valid excuse for not posting as much as I had planned other than “I wasn’t in the mood” but that’s truly all it’s been. The last few months have been some of the most mentally challenging I’ve faced in a long time, if not ever. I wanted to take a moment to write down my thoughts and feelings about everything that’s been swirling around in my head. It’s a bit scary to be opening myself up like this on the internet, but I think it’s important for me to be honest with myself and where I am emotionally.

As you know, I graduated from college last May. This should have been an incredibly exciting time in my life. No more exams! No late night cramming sessions! No more awkward forced group projects! While all of this is true and a great part of being a graduate – nobody tells you that sometimes your life can come to a quick halt. I didn’t have a paid, full-time gig lined up after I graduated. I continued working in retail and interning to learn as much as I could. This was fine for me for awhile, but then I noticed that I felt stagnant and my career wasn’t moving forward like I’d always planned. Before I knew it, December rolled around and I felt more lost than I’d ever had in my entire life. There was nothing “wrong” with me from the outside. I was still going to my retail job and still working the internship and everything seemed fine. On the flip side, I was disconnecting myself from my friends because how I was feeling on the inside was a completely different story.

Everyone tells you that post-grad life is hard, but I never expected it to be this hard. Getting rejection email, after rejection email for job opportunities truly began to wear me down. I began isolating myself from my loved ones because I was tired of telling them about the failures that I was experiencing. I had never been the failure. In high school I was in AP classes and involved in student senate. Even more recently my last semester of school I made straight A’s, worked 2 jobs, had an internship, and ended my college career with a 3.6 GPA. You can imagine what it felt like to have the sudden 180 degree turn in my life. Coupled with the never-ending “how’s the job search going?” questions, I felt like it was never going to end. Up until about three weeks ago I was barely keeping my head above water when I hit rock bottom. I experienced the worst panic attack of my life. I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring from my eyes, hands from shaking, or the feeling like I could throw up at any moment. When I looked around I felt as if I had nobody I could talk to because I’d pushed them all away. That’s when I knew I needed to make more of an effort to change.

I went to therapy for the first time last week. It was completely nerve-wracking not knowing what I was about to walk into. It felt good talking to someone who was an objective third party. They told me that it was okay that I didn’t have everything figured out at 23 and it was okay to not have a plan. While outside forces are keeping me from returning to this therapist, their words truly reminded me that I’m going to be okay, and that I need to take a step back to love and care for myself. I began to outwardly seek ways that would feel better about myself daily. Whether it be sticking to my daily beauty routine or finding that perfect song or playlist that gets me motivated I know that I’m trying to give 110% no matter what. While I definitely wasn’t healed overnight, I’m working on being okay with where I am right now. Some days are better than others, but I’m getting there.

Below is a playlist by Hannah Hines that’s been one of my favorites for the last week. I hope that someone else can enjoy and use it as much as I have.

 

The First of Many…

This is where it begins. After several years and too many failed attempts, I finally feel like I have my life together and can start a blog…..

HA, who am I kidding. I don’t think I’ll ever have my life quite that together, but what fun would that be? Answer: it wouldn’t be. However, I think it’s important to realize that you don’t have to have your life together to start a blog and that’s the beauty of it. I’ve been a college graduate for 3 and a half months and I don’t have a full-time job. I work part-time in retail to pay my bills and I have a part time internship doing public relations with a music marketing firm. Sometimes it feels like I’m never going to “make it” in the industry. Every job posting I come across feels like an unpaid internship willing to “pay” you in experience or college credit. Even better is when the others are for an executive position that requires 30 years on the job experience and an impressive resume to back it.  It’s been time for me to take matters into my own hands. Hence the blog.

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I guess the driving force behind this was that I didn’t want to get stuck in a rut without having some sort of attachment to music. I didn’t want to lose sight of the passion that’s kept me going for longer than I can remember. The first show I went to was the Believers Never Die tour in 2009 with Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, and Cobra Starship. I was a freshman in high school riding in the back of my friends mom’s minivan on a Friday after school to Columbus, Ohio from Cincinnati. It was a 2 hour-long drive and there was nothing but rain forecasted for the night but I couldn’t have been happier. I was seeing my favorite bands for the first time with really good friends and nothing else mattered. That night I jumped and danced harder than I ever had before and I couldn’t have felt more at home than I did in that moment. Thus, the obsession with live shows and finding new music spiraled out of control in the best way.

(Actual photos of 15-year-old me and my friends at BND ’09. Check the JAGK hoodie and heavy eyeliner streaming down my face from the rain.)

I hope that this blog can be a vehicle for me to talk about the artists I love, shows I’ve been to, and generally a way for me to talk about music. Here’s to many many more of these and all the new music that I haven’t heard yet.

 

Now Listening: Blush – Moose Blood
Photo Credit: Boys Like Girls 10 Year Anniversary Tour @ The Vic (Chicago, IL)