Monthly Archives: January 2012

“Something I Can Never Have”- Nine Inch Nails and My Eating Disorder

(Note: This post is sort of dark in nature. I am sorry, I will try to post something happier tomorrow)

As I have repeated many times on this blog, Nine Inch Nails is and probably forever will be my favorite band. And I have not posted one of their songs since AUGUST! Granted, it was a seven post series on their third album, The Downward Spiral. But I recently (aka a month ago) I was listening to NPR and Terry Gross was interviewing Trent Reznor! Now, I have listened to every interview Trent has ever given (that I could find on youtube) and this one is by far the best. For one, it was over 35 minutes long, probably one of the longest. And Terry Gross is one of the best interviewers I have heard. She asks the right questions, but is so polite and considerate of whom ever she is interviewing.

If you want to listen to it, and I highly recommend it, here is the link.

Most of the interview was about “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” because Reznor and Atticus Ross composed the soundtrack to the movie. The soundtrack is amazing by the way. Here is my favorite. I didn’t think anyone could best Led Zeppelin’s version of “Immigrant Song,” but Reznor, Ross, and Karen O did.

However, towards the end of the interview, Terry Gross started asking about NIN and the future of NIN. This is the part of the interview where I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, Reznor didn’t outright say that NIN would tour again but he did bring up a something that resonated with me as much as his music. He talked about that if he played those older songs, (many from The Downward Spiral album when he too was experiencing his own downward spiral into drugs and depression) it would be hard for him to revisit those bad times that are so connected to certain songs.He also discussed how these songs have changed in meaning over time.

Trent Reznor, 2011

Today, when I listening to NIN’s first album Pretty Hate Machine, I realized that even as a listener some of NIN earlier songs are very emotional to listen to because of things that have happened in the past. When I first listened to “Something I Can Never Have,” I was severely relapsing with my eating disorder: exercising 7 hours a day, eating very little food, and worrying constantly about what I looked like and how much I weighed. I knew I was headed down a bad path that would probably lead to the same outcome as a few years earlier–hospitalization. At this time, the lyrics to “Something I Can Never Have” echoed this thought of a “perfect body” that I could never have (“I just want something/I can never have”). But the lengths that I was going was scaring me (“I’m down to just one thing/And I’m starting to scare myself”).

Today I am better, though probably will never be fully recovered. I still strive for something. It is not to have the “perfect body” but rather self-acceptance. I know now that my life will not be “more perfect” if I lose weight, but I still strive to lose the self-hatred and self-doubt that I still battle with on a daily basis. This song will always remind me of the bad times. I guess you could say it acts as a “fading fucking reminder of who I used to be.” But I will still listen to it even if it is through tears. Not just because it is beautifully crafted and Reznor’s voice is amazing (as always), but because it also reminds me that I never want to go back to that place. I want to slowly and surely release myself from the eating disorder that has plagued my life for over nine years of my life. I want to move on and capture that something that I have never had–self acceptance.

ll

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Filed under Eating Disorder, Industrial, NIN, Terry Gross, Trent Reznor

“Heart-Shaped Box”- Nirvana

Even though my friend Matt always says the best grunge band is not Nirvana but rather Bush and the only reason that Nirvana is so popular is because of Kurt Cobain’s death, I have to disagree. For one, they are an amazing band and that has nothing to do with the fact that Cobain sadly committed suicide.  Additionally, Cobain’s voice just fits the angst-filled lyrics and distorted guitars that is grunge. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is by far Nirvana’s most popular song. It was featured on Nevermind, an album that changed the music scene not only in Seattle but around the world.

But I have already talked about that song (and about my love of flannel shirts). But my new favorite Nirvana song is quickly becoming “Heart-Shaped Box” from their 1993 In Utero, right before Kurt’s downward spiral. It is one of their slower songs, but it allows Kurt’s voice to shine through the distorted background noise.

Many people say that this song is about Courtney Love and Cobain’s relationship. But I really disagree. The lyrics fit well with the theory that it is about a child with cancer. And the music video sort of fits with that take on the lyrics. Though the music video is layered with meaning, many layers which I am just starting to understand.

Overall, it is a great song and the chorus will probably be stuck in my head all day long.

Hey! Wait! I got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Hey! Wait! I got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice

Nirvana: Good or just hyped because of the death of Cobain?

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Filed under Grunge, Nirvana

“This Is War”- 30 Seconds to Mars

Did anyone watch the 90’s tv show “My So Called Life?” It starred young Claire Danes as a outsider high school student. Through the one season, it addresses many hard topics (unlike many shows today) such as alcoholism, homelessness, and homophobia while still keeping the audience wanting more from the well-developed cast. I found the show last year and over a week watched all 19 episodes. I was drawn in with the superb acting, well-plotted storyline, and believable characters. I was sad when I realized this show never aired a second season, nor did any of the actors (besides Claire Danes) really continue in the TV or film business (or at least movies or shows that I was familiar with).

"My So Called Life" Cast

Last week though when I was searching Youtube for new artists, I found 30 Seconds to Mars, a band featuring Jared Leto. At first, I knew that I knew that name from somewhere but couldn’t place from where. But soon, I remembered that Leto played the love interest (Jordan Catalano) of Danes in “My So Called Life.”

Jared Leto

Apparently, 30 Seconds to Mars formed in 1998 and has had some hits in the past (that I was of course unaware) such as “A Beautiful Lie” and “The Kill.” However, the song that caught my attention was “This is War.”

It really does makes you think about the life we sometimes take for granted, a life that we feel is inevitable and unchangeable. What would happen if it changed? What would happen if something so fundamental as modern warfare would become impossible. Would this be for the better, creating a world where leaders would discuss problems before resorting to violence. Or would violence just regress to simpler means of harming humans. I don’t know, but the video and song does a good job as raising these questions.

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Filed under 30 Seconds to Mars, My So Called Life, Rock

“Be Our Guest”- Beauty and The Beast

I am still on break from school (I know, my college gives us 5 weeks off). Thus, I am extremely bored and getting a bit annoyed by my parents. But a few days ago, my mom and I went to see a movie, and I now remember why I will always cherish her. At this point, a little back story is needed. When I was 2, my mother took me to my very first movie in theaters– Beauty and the Beast. A few days ago, we revisited my first theater experience by going to see the “remastered” Beaut and the Beast on the big screen together.

As we were sitting in the seats waiting for the movie to start with all of the young children squirming in the seats around us, all I could think of was how much my mother done for me since I was two years old. She has helped me with academics, friendships, relationships, and insecurities. Without her, I would not be preparing for my last year in college. Without her, I would not be graduating and pursuing my dream job. Without her, I would not have the self-confidence I have recently obtained. So, thank you Mom.

And since this is a music blog, here is my favorite song from the movie.

What is your favorite Disney Movie?

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Filed under Disney, Movie

“Call It What You Want”- Foster the People

Okay, so I featured Foster the People before but I NEED to talk about them again since they are rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands. Although many people know them because of their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks,” they are missing out if that is the only song they listen to. People compare Foster the People to MGMT, but I think this is an unfair comparison. I love MGMT, don’t get me wrong. But some of their songs are so-so at best. I literally love every song on Torches, Foster the People’s first album.

My favorite song on the album? Oh, don’t ask me that question. It is too hard. But right now I am in love with “Call It What You Want.” If I were to describe it in one word, I would stay that it is a song about non-conformity. It is a song declaring that the world is way too concerned about gossip, looks, and what people think about others. This over-concern then gets in the way what people say, do, and eventually think. I would definitely check out the lyrics.  My favorite verse…

You’ve taken your words and you take your judgments
And stick them onto everything
If it don’t conform to what you were born into,
Then you run the other way

And, like “Tighten Up” by The Black Keys, the music video makes the song even better. How I interpret the video is the three band members Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink, and Mark Pontius are all doing crazy, fun, and “non-conforming” acts basically the whole time. Every action would be deemed “inappropriate” by society for an adult to do: bouncing on bubble wrap, sticking your head in a fish bowl, playing drums in a bath tube, putting lipstick on as a guy,  …etc etc. These actions are mirrored by the “Foster the People Girls” who walk together in a pack, fauning over the band or the other girls in black that all dress alike and move simultaneously.

Clearly in this video, non-conformity (and Foster the People) wins. This video is fun and whimsical but at the same time demonstrates, along with the lyrics, that conformaty is dull. Being yourself and thinking for yourself is much better.

Since I have gushed long enough about my love of this video, what is your favorite part? Mine is by far when they create their own “light show.”

And, I am not even going to talk about how attractive they are. Lets just say, I have already ordered two posters of the band for my dorm room. ::blush::

ll

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Filed under Foster The People, Indie, Pop, Rock

“Tighten Up”- The Black Keys and an life update

I AM BACK!!!

Sorry for the break from posts (and basically from all things related to blogging). Lets just say the last weeks of the semester were stressful. But finals are done and I ended up passing all my classes, including Physical Chemistry. But the most amazing news is that I got into graduate school!!! For you that follow my blog regularly or actually know me in real life, I finally got word today that I am accepted into a great MD/PhD program. Basically this means that next year, I will be embarking on a 8 year journey to obtain a doctor of medicine and biochemistry. Crazy? Well yes. But I am so excited!!

Okay, so enough with the update about my life. Back to the music!! And boy do I have some music I want to share. My parents decided to put in a surround sound stereo system in the basement right after my brother and I left for college. How nice of them. Though, it does mean that I have basically been living downstairs listening to music very loudly.

I thought I would start out with a group that I have just recently “discovered.” The Black Keys have been around for a while (since 2001), but really became mainstream after their 2010 Brothers Album was considered one of the best albums of the year. “Tighten Up” is from Brothers and it is amazing. Dan Auerbach’s voice coupled with Patrick Carney’s percussion and both on the guitar produces this sound that is uniquely The Black Keys.

Not the most visual exciting album cover, but one of the best I have seen. The tongue-in-cheek-ness of this cover just highlights the quirkiness of the groups music.

Although the song is addicting by itself, the music video makes it even better. The actors that they got to play Dan and Patrick’s sons were great. And the parallel actions of the grow adults and the children almost had me crying in laughter. From Patrick and his son giving the bird, Dan and his son swearing in disbelieve, and the girl and her mother coquettishly playing with their hair, it was a great visual for the lyrics of the song.

And maybe it is just me and my love of nerdy guys talking, but does anyone think Dan and Patrick are sort of geekily hot?

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's poster for their SNL performance

 

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Filed under Alternative, Rock, The Black Keys