Mar 092017
 

One of the hardest things I have been doing recently is cutting back on concerts in order to save travel money. It sucks but the one good thing is that there haven’t been very many must-see bands coming to town recently. 

I did sacrifice a road trip to see Dance Gavin Dance last weekend though. THAT is how devastatingly bad I want to go to South Korea.

But then I saw Foxing was playing at Cattivo and I had to go, just for sure would not be able to live with myself if I slept on that one. After listening to them for several years and finally seeing them in Cleveland last fall, I have been dying for a replay. 

Henry is not a fan. He’s not even impressed by the trumpet. But he sighed and agreed to go with me because he is Oppa Supreme. 

We went straight after work on Tuesday and he bitched the whole time because Cattivo is located in one of his least favorite parts of town (he hates hipsters even though he has a beard and wears flannels and slouchy beanies—oh wait that’s lumbersexual. I’m confusing my stereotypes again). 

We stood in line surrounded by high school girls talking/screaming about bonding in the bathroom while pooping, vaping and Vining. I saw Henry leave his body and go back to THE SERVICE at one point. 

And then Conor, the singer from Foxing, came out and the ringleader of the high schoolers stopped him and gave him a drawing and then made him recreate a picture he took with her  last year. 

“I look like an egg,” she said, examining herself in her phone’s screen. 

 “Me too,” Conor said. 

“He said ‘me too’!” the high school girl screamed in this cocky tone and have I ever told you that I hate when people repeat shit someone said while that person is standing right there. I think it must remind me of someone I hated in high school I DONT KNOW I’m drawing a blank. But I hate that, regardless.

We stood in line for a good 45 minutes after doors were supposed to open. I’m not a fan of Cattivo. 

When the doors finally opened, we went inside just to show our IDs, get a wristband, and then GO BACK OUTSIDE to stand in line again? You can believe that Henry muttered out loud about this for the next half hour and then another guy who may have been almost my age was also complaining about it so then they had a moment where they complained about it to each other and I was just like “kill me.”

(She said kill me!)

I commented that it smelled like standing in line for a haunted house. 

Henry considered this briefly and started to half-heartedly agree. 

“—-in 1997,” I finished. 

And then he shot me that fierce “you’re an idiot” glare that will probably be frozen on his face when he does. I guess he didn’t agree with me anymore after that?

Some kid behind me started to vape and I was ensconced in fruity fumes that I couldn’t quite place and then Sandy texted me because I sent her a picture of a guy in line that I thought looked like how Ethan would look if he went to the same shows as me and she showed it to Ethan who disagreed and said I’m racist, so then I couldnt stop cracking up and now I wonder if someone else from that line also blogged about their night and mentioned the mom-aged broad in line who was trying to take clandestine pictures of people while laughing alone and her burly mountain man companion who complained about everything and was flicking his AARP card in and out of his wallet like it was a switchblade. 

Sorry. I’m running on 4 hours of sleep and lots of Kpop-dance adrenaline. 


Finally we got to back inside and downstairs where the shows was being held. 

Because I was so grateful that henry didn’t make me go alone, I let him sit down in the bar area even though it meant that I couldn’t see very well. It was just as well, because I ended up getting drunk off  two beers and then crying about Bigbang. Because this is me. 

I spent a lot of time sitting back and people-watching  which is when I noticed that I’ve been seeing a shift from 90s grunge to 80s alternative/new-wave as far as clothes and hairstyles go at these shows, and I don’t hate it one point. There was a dark Corey Haim aesthetic happening and I felt so hopeful, like perhaps there was where I belonged. I always rue the fact that I wasn’t old enough in the 80s to experience the club scene. 

Um, and then Joy Division started playing overhead and I had an out of body experience. I didn’t go to the Service though like Henry does when he leaves his body. 

I went to Robert Smith’s house. We had tea. Except that I was drinking mine while watching him from behind a bush. 

The opening band couldn’t be there because they couldn’t get into the county (thanks, TRUMP) so one of the guys from the second band, Yohuna, played an endless set which essentially sounded like just one long, exhausting song with minimal vocals and lots of gratuitous reverb and look, it was fine – even beautiful at times – but it was boring as fuck. I was tired and emotionally numb from work and needed something to make me woke, you know?

Henry hated him but I wouldn’t go that far. It would be good to have on in the background while you’re working on a coloring book of stained glass windows or writing your Will.

Luckily, there was some middle-aged (OMG THATS ALMOST ME) Yinzer (NEVER WILL BE ME) couple in front of us who drank so much that henry became obsessed with keeping track (I’d ask him what the final tally was but he’s — can you guess? —sleeping.)

Yohuna was fine. 

BUT THEN FOXING!!!! 

I know what you’re thinking: “But Erin, don’t you hate trumpets?” Fuck no. That’s banjos. I hate banjos. 

They opened with a new song that’s never been performed live! (This was the first night of their tour!) I haven’t been able to stop thinking of that song ever since. It’s haunting me. The goosebumps I had on my arms were no joke and henry can attest that the tears falling from my eyes were not Crocs. 

According to some dude on YouTube, the song is called Nah Man. I can’t wait to hear it again, fuck. 

My favorite song by them will forever be Rory, and that’s what they closed with, which felt religious. Church on a Tuesday. Why not. 

But I’ve already posted that video on here before so here is some other person’s video from that night, of The Magdalene. Also a stunner. 

On the way to the car, I said, “I have tears all the way down my neck!” And Henry mumbled an exasperated “Oh my god.” Boyfriend will never get it. 

Tear-jerking music and Henry bitching: everything was as it should be. 

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Feb 032017
 

Things have been fantastic in Little Korea (that’s what Glenn calls my house)! I mean, everything else ranges from so-so to poo-poo, but I love being home these days, learning Kpop dances, trying to read Hansul, inhaling the stench of gochugaru permeating from the kitchen.

Honestly, open our refrigerator and see all the traditional Korean kitchen staples!

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Which is why I think Henry doesn’t mind my new lifestyle as much as you would think. Henry is just really great at adapting to whatever phase/crisis I’m going through (Chooch is just really good at ignoring it altogether.) And if there are three things Henry FUCKING LOVES to do, it’s: cooking, grocery shopping, and watching instructional cooking videos on YouTube. So learning the ins and outs of Korean cuisine is a challenge he’s happily accepted.  (I don’t think he likes it when I call him oppa, though.)

And I love reaping the rewards! Henry makes some bomb jjigae! And I get to use chopsticks everyday!

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Henry’s Hallyu Hell….or HEAVEN?!

We hit up the Asian markets every weekend and sometimes Henry even goes without me during the week, WTF?! When I found that out, I felt cheated.

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Chooch is only interested in the Asian candy and ice cream, and is known to yell things like, “I wish Korea never happened to you!” to me. Chooch hates when I like something before he does.  However, I heard him in his room last week singing Black Pink so what’s up now, Chooch. I hear you.

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Henry made me bibimbap for dinner last Sunday and I cried because it was so great and brought back memories of when I used to order that all the time at Ginza, back in the beginning of our relationship when we used to eat all sorts of international fare because we didn’t yet have the pickiest child in the world.

Exotic fruit salads back in action.

Henry treats himself to Samancos after eating his Korean dinner. He bought these FOR HIMSELF and when I ask him to share, he yells, “You have a box of B•B•Big in the freezer!” Well yeah, but I want something that’s not mine.

And now Henry’s mom is suddenly very interested in my new k-diet. When she was at our house last week, she sat enrapt on the couch hanging off my every word. Then I made her watch some KpopX routines and I pointed out my bias during a BIGBANG live video. She considered what she was watching and then said, “Yeah. I like this better than our music here. I don’t know what they’re saying, but I can tell they’re at least saying something. Unlike AMERICAN music.”

And there you have it. Judy’s kpop review. Maybe next time she’s here, I’ll live blog her reactions to Red Velvet and EXID videos.

***

Aside from food, we’ve been watching tons of Korean variety shows, especially the ones that have had BIGBANG on, because welcome to obsession. And you would think Henry would reject this, retreat to the bathroom and watch Blacklist on his phone in peace, work some more on the curious ditch he’s digging in the backyard….but no, he sits down and ACTUALLY LAUGHS! Sometimes he gets irritated if the subtitles aren’t good, which only means he’s afraid of missing out on something good.

Lately, we’ve been watching a lot of Running Man, Weekly Idol, Infinity Challenge, and the BIGBANG making-of reality show and every single time, I say, “He really is fabulous” when they refer to G-Dragon as the fabulous leader in the opening credits. And Henry just nods like it isn’t the 10th time he’s heard it this week. Anyway, last night’s viewing inspired this convo:

Henry: I read that Se7en is the reason things changed for celebrities in the Korean military.

Me: OMG you’re reading about Kpop on your own time?!

Henry: …what? No…on someone else’s time.

And then he mumbled something about wanting to know more than me.

Later, we were getting ready for bed and I noticed Penelope (see also: Peen Lop, Jon Benet, Penis) perched on my dresser.

Me: if Penelope was a member of BIGBANG, who do you think she’d be?

Henry, muffled by sleep: I dunno.

I thought for sure he wouldn’t answer, but then…

Henry: Taeyang.

Me: Good assessment! What about Drew?

Henry, no hesitation: Seungri.

Me: OMG I WAS GOING TO SAY THAT TOO

And then Henry mocked my laughter and fell asleep.

***

I guess this was my subconscious New Years Resolution. Like how some people quit smoking, I wanted to quit being the person I was in 2016 when all the shit happened. And I  just happened to be getting back into Kpop aerobics toward the end of the year and it all just kind of fell into place. All these Korean vlogs started playing on YouTube after I’d finish up a KpopX workout and before I knew it, I was learning about sasaeng and tteokbokki, and watching Canadians give a tour of their Korean apartments, and realizing that holy shit BIGBANG is so much more than just music for fun KpopX routines.

And then the next thing I knew, I had imprinted with Korea. A whole country this time. That’s how empty my heart is, it needs a whole entire country to fill it.

When Boots comes home and starts stomping around and slamming doors and fighting with his new roommate (some younger guy and they fight about the same shit he fought with Phyllis about: $$$$ and friends, or lack thereof in both cases), I giddily blast kpop so fucking loud and pretend like I’m South Korea and that motherfucker in North Korea.

And now this is honestly one of the few joys I have in life, and I am fucking bear-hugging it so step off.

***

I will conclude with this week’s Friday Video pick, because I felt everyone in my little group here at work needed some cheering up:

But even better, here is a video of MY BIAS G-DRAGON dancing to Cheer Up, which Amber2 and Lauren both said cheered them up even more than the actual song because G-DRAGON.

But then Amber mused, “Wow. I like his nude turtleneck. What look is he going for…like, Michael Jackson and….old office lady?”

And it was at this point that I had to remind everyone that he’s a fashion icon so BACK OFF.

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Jan 212017
 

Remember that time I promised Henry that if he went to see Circa Survive with me at Stage AE, we could go upstairs and sit through it because I know he’s old and feeble, and I’ve seen Circa Survive approximately 87 times since 2005? But then we got inside Stage AE and I realized that I left my ID in the car and there’s no reentry and the upstairs is 21+? And they don’t give a fuck if I have gray hair if I don’t also have a drivers license they can shine their dumb flashlight on? And then I suggested that I could just show them the green wristband from the show I went to a week earlier that said 21 AND OLDER all over it and Henry was like DON’T BE DUMB THAT WON’T WORK so then he had to stand and complain the whole time?

And also when we accidentally got there an hour before doors opened because I thought they opened at 6 since I’m used to earlier shows and then we had to stand outside for an hour in the rain but luckily we were one of the few people who got to stand under an overhang because we were literally the fifth people in line like Super Fans?

Yeah, that was last Tuesday night and Henry is still mad about it, haha.

When we were standing in line, I saw one of the guys from Primer and Grayscale! Henry was like, “Go say hi” in a tone that implied he realized it was a dumb suggestion because I don’t talk to musicians. I’m Erin R. Kelly, remember? My voice box tumbles out of my kooka before I can even say hello to someone in a band.

And then I made him buy me a Blue Moon, which he did, grudgingly, and then goaded me the whole time I was drinking it because there’s an old man in a red shirt whose only job is to walk around and spontaneously card people who are drinking and I was like, “HAHA yeah right” but then I saw him do it with my own two eyes and I started to get super nervous about it because I literally watched him nab an underage couple and escort them off into a secret room AND THEY LOOKED OLD ENOUGH TO BE DRINKING so what if he didn’t care that I’m literally a 37 year old mom?!

I kept making Henry hold my beer so then he was mad about that too.

Then we saw our photographer friend that we met at the Hotel Books show except that he’s not actually our friend, just someone I had a 10 minute awkward conversation while waiting for Diesel to open their doors and then I’ve seen him at probably 4 shows since then and we act like that never happened.

I AM GREAT AT MAKING CONNECTIONS.

I gotta be honest, I was really excited to see Circa Survive because this was their On Letting Go 10th anniversary tour, but I would have been just as happy being home, watching Bigbang videos which is how I know this obsession is real. Please send help. I actually started crying about it in the kitchen this morning. My life is confusing. Emotions are weird.

Anyway! I was also stoked to be seeing Turnover again!! And of course they were wonderful. I love my Run For Cover bands.

I've been dying to get you dizzy.

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You guys, they played Danny Elfman’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure theme in between sets and it was bliss. The last show I saw at Stage AE was Thrice and the house music was SHIT. Have I told you lately how much I dislike Stage AE? I always feel so cold and unwelcome there.

😂 #henrysbigadventure

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After Turnover was MewithoutYou and to be honest, I haven’t paid attention to their career in probably 10 years, but I still thought that perhaps Henry would enjoy them.

In a shocking turn of events, he did not.

Sometime during their set, two annoying broads beamed down behind me and you know how once you zero in on a sound, it’s ALL YOU CAN HEAR? Like someone crunching on a bag of chips nearby? Well, this happened to me and one of their voices. She had that god awful vocal fry, you guys. WHAT IS WITH THAT. And a nasally vocal fry at that.

“Like, On Letting Go like totally changed my life,” she fried away in a monotone to her friend, and my shoulders immediately crunched up to my ears. And then I could barely hear MewithoutYou over top of her frying pan of sizzling ear-sounds. And when she said, “Can we squeeze in here?” to the lady next to me along the railing, I looked at Henry and said, “Please, you have to switch places with me when Circa Survive comes on because she’s going to ruin the whole show for me. PLEASE.”

And when Henry wouldn’t do it, I physically moved him myself so that he was now my vocal fry barrier.

According to Henry, she didn’t talk through the whole show, but her friend who was actually the one standing next to him, had really long hair extensions that kept hitting his face and arm and making him itchy, so that’s another thing that he’s been angry about all week, lol.

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Oh man, but then Circa Survive came out and as soon as that angel-faced Anthony Green started singing, the tears fell from my eyes like water balloons. I didn’t bother wiping them away because I knew there would be more, and there were: four entire songs worth of them. But then I was OK!

I love this album too, but unlike Vocal Stir Fry, it didn’t change my life.

That was their first album, Juturna. They did a 10-year anniversary tour for that too, but it didn’t come to Pittsburgh and we couldn’t feasibly travel to any of the other dates, so I’m still kind of bitter about that. That album is everything to me.

Still, it was a beautiful night and as usual, I felt blessed to be in the same room as Anthony Green. He’s a living legend to me. Such a powerful, veteran voice in my scene. I can’t believe I’ve been going to his shows for 12 years now!  This was the biggest one yet (aside from Riot Fest). Usually Circa plays at Mr. Smalls, which is much smaller than Stage AE.

I cried through the first four songs real hardcore-like.

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When oppa disappeared briefly, I assumed he had just slipped off into the bathroom to cry about his shitty life, but when he came back he had a tour poster in his hand. Oppa really does love me after all! (Or else he just really secretly loves Circa Survive and wanted the poster for himself—both of these options are a stretch.)

It was a good night though. Henry rarely goes to shows with me anymore, and it was nice to not be at one alone for once. IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A DATE. Except that I was mad he didn’t wear a beanie. I like when Henry-oppa wears beanies. 

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Jan 192017
 

Let’s just get right into it, the ten albums that defined my teen years in no particular order.

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This album! I was obsessed, so obsessed. Literally none of my friends could understand why I loved it so much, but let me just say that I’ve own three copies of it in my lifetime because I kept playing it out so hard. “Can’t Get Enough” and “I’ll Be There” were my favorite jams on it. If I hear either of them right now, I’ll start to cry. I know — there’s a thing that rarely happens!

(Really fun side note for no one but me, Bigbang’s “Café” reminds me SO MUCH of El DeBarge that I started feeling like I was legit 15 again the other day when listening to it and Henry was like “Well you act 15 so you might as feel 15 too.” He didn’t say that, really. But HE WAS PROBABLY THINKING IT. Anyway, El DeBarge has been on my mind this week so that’s why I decided to do this dumb list thing that everyone else was doing.)

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Like…le duh. Creepin’ on ah Come-Up was also my jam, but this album start to finish was something that I really connected with. Which is weird I guess, because I was a suburban white girl, but you have no idea how much soul I had back then, you guys. When my friend Christy got her drivers license, I begged her to drive me to Cleveland so I could try to see them; she refused, but SPOILER ALERT: I got Henry to take me in 2003 and it’s surprising we’re still together after that fuckarow. I did get to see them in concert in 1995 though, at the Palace in Monroeville with my then-boyfriend Russ who embarrassed me by wearing a NIN shirt. Also, there was a shooting in the parking lot afterward. Also, my aunt Sharon drove us (and also my friends Erika and Jameelah). So fucking cool, yo, rolling up in your middle-aged aunt’s car. But yeah, Bone was a huge chunk of my teenage years, for sure.

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This came out during the tail-end of my teen years, but it sent me down a path of alt-obsession. I had it so bad for OLP for years and years, until Mike left the band and then they shifted from being that weird, quirky alternative band to safe, radio-friendly generic band. But holy shit, the amount of times I scream-sang along to “Superman’s Dead” in my 1995 Eagle Talon, you guys. Those were the motherfucking days.

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Probably not a surprise to anyone who knows me, because I have never one to hide my affinity for soft rock. Phil Collins not only was a huge part of my teen years, but also my early childhood…and present. Hearing any of his music from the 80s conjures up the happiest memories of my Pappap. I finally got to see him live when I was in high school, at the old Civic Arena, and it was mind-blowing.


Even though my relationship with Psycho Mike was tumultuous at best (did the “Psycho” in his name ruin that surprise?), he definitely broadened my musical horizons. When we first started dating junior year, I primarily listened to rap (gangsta) and r&b. He had me listening to Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, and Hayden in no time. But the one that really affected me was Billy Bragg. I will always owe Mike that much.

(I also listened to a shit of soft rock then too, and he was the first person my age I ever met who would actually sing those songs along with me. We loved us some soft rock. Whaddup, England Dan & John Ford Coley?)

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I “bought” this through Columbia House or BMG without knocking much about her, other than I had 12 free CDs to choose and needed one more. THIS ALBUM IS EVERYTHING. I had all this insane mood lighting in my childhood bedroom (obviously where my love of lights and marquees come from) and I would throw this CD on my 6-disc changer and just cry and cry.

MY LIFE IS SO DIFFERENT NOW. I just use Spotify or an actual record player.

Or YouTube. Whatever gets ‘er done.

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“Come Undone.” That fucking song. I remember it so vividly because my bed placement. It was against a different wall when this album came out, and so anytime I hear any song from it, I’m looking at my old childhood bedroom from that specific perspective of sitting on my bed, and it’s so weird because my bed wasn’t against that wall for very long.

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This is still a go-to for me! I listened to this so much in middle school and that Mummy Calls track is still THE MOTHERFUCKING JAM. If I ever find someone dumb enough to marry me, we’re dancing to that shit. Henry bought me the vinyl last year and I cried.
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I don’t know guys – I had a thing for movie soundtracks. But this one opened the door to Elliott Smith for me and it will always remind me of when I moved into my first and most beloved apartment, before things went bad. This was another album for the tail-end of my teenage years, but it has definitely stuck with me. And those Danny Elfman tracks, though.
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And the biggest “duh” of them all.
BONUS!
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This Sade album goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned Duran Duran, because of the placement of my bed. Don’t ask. Furniture location is apparently a thing for me.
Also, I’m sure I will wake up at 3AM and think OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT “________________”
(Speaking of 3AM….I was SO TOTALLY INTO Matchbox 20s first album, LOL I don’t care. Hate me.)

 

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Jan 162017
 

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After an entirely too long concert hiatus—seriously, the last one was in December!–I went to see Pianos Become the Teeth at the Smiling Moose after work last Thursday, and it was a particularly shitty day at work too so I love when it works out like that. Makes it feel even more therapeutic, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Yeah, you do.

Since this show was at the Smiling Moose, I didn’t even bother asking Henry (or anyone else) to go with me. I love the Smiling Moose and have no problems blending into the wall there. However, the dumb doors didn’t open until 6:30, which meant I had to hang out downstairs at the bar, being sad and lonely with my hastily-ordered beer (Pumpking because I needed to quell my nerves fast). Look, I’m sure no one even gave a shit about The Girl Sitting Alone at the Bar, but I fucking hate it. I’m a social drinker and like bullshitting with people over drinks, but everyone around me was either engrossed in their own private conversations with their actual friends, or sitting next to their actual friends and scrolling through Facebook because this is where we are as A People.

Such social creatures.

I vacillate between SOMEONE TALK TO ME and NO DONT SEE ME, because I just never know what I want. To be left alone or to be harassed? That is the question. 

Anyway, while being acutely aware that some of the guys from Pianos were sitting right next to me (and looking at their phones), I ordered a second beer (a Hoegaarten, which Henry gets a lot and it tastes like floor cleaner to me so I don’t know why I ordered it so let’s just call it panic) and chugged it just as the clock hit 6:30.

SEE YA, AWKWARD BAR!!

I felt much more at home upstairs with the other loners who were standing around looking lost and praying for the first band to hurry up and get on stage. It was at this point where I realized that I honestly haven’t listened to much American music in over a month. K-pop has legitimately taken over my life. It’s like when the elective becomes the major. And I’m not even sorry. THERE’S ROOM FOR ALL GENRES IN MY LIFE.

But yeah, it was all BigBang in my head in between bands playing.

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My people. This crowd was really great. I liked them a lot. I mean, from a distance. Because, don’t touch me.

The first band that played was a local band, total emo revival, the type of band with vocals that almost seem secondary to the music at times, like another layer of instrumentation in and of itself. They were raw and, well, you know, emotional. I loved them from opening to closing note, but I couldn’t understand for the life of me what their name was each time the singer said it.

I even, gasp, SPOKE to the two girls behind me to see if they knew and even they were like “Shrug.”

Turns out, they were Curse Words and I’ve seen them before….

Oops.

But in my defense, I go to a lot of shows….so.

Second band was Primer & Grayscale from Beaver Falls and I was again pleasantly surprised at how lovely they sounded. There’s no good way to say this without sounding like a hater so please know that I don’t mean this in a terrible way, but you know how sometimes the local opener sounds just like…The Local Opener? Maybe a little bit amateurish and rough? A little garage-y? These two openers did not have that at all and I couldn’t have been more pleased at the line-up. Plus, only two openers?! Thank you, Drusky Entertainment. This old bitch wanted to be home by 10.

Primer & Grayscale – obsessed.

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Nothing significant happened in between bands. When I saw some of the guys from Piano get on stage to soundcheck, I squeezed my way up a little bit further and then sent Henry a flurry of texts reminding him of my existence and filling him in on the all the things he was purposely missing.

I’m pretty sure he probably slept the whole time I was at the show. Henry’s dream life, realized.

Anyway, it wasn’t even 9pm yet and Pianos was about to start playing. I was scanning the room wildly, looking for their singer Kyle, but then I became aware of the guy gripping the mic stand, not moving, totally taking Kyle’s spot….until I realized that holy shit, that was Kyle! Gone were his long locks that curtained his face the other 3 times I’ve seen them live. He looked like…just some tall, thin guy. I guess I never really paid attention to his face before!

But who cares. Long hair or not, his voice was still trembling with the feels and I felt my heart begin to inflate from that sad, flattened state the last month had left in it. And I was once again glad that I came out to this show even though I didn’t have anyone to go with me, because really, it’s so much better this way. I don’t have to worry about if whoever is with me is going to enjoy the band, or if they want to leave early, or if they want to start talking over top of the band, or if they judge me for weeping like Henry when he forgets his gochugaru* coupons at home.

*(We’re a Korean-only kitchen now, you wouldn’t understand.)

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I was sitting next to him at the bar and decided that we definitely imprinted. I giddily told Henry when he picked me up and he said he’ll be my flower girl for sure.

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SHORT HAIR DON’T CARE. I mean, maybe he cares. It didn’t come up during in between song banter, though.

It blows my mind that a band with this caliber of talent and musicianship is only playing Smiling Moose. They deserve more attention, more love, more recognition. So do me a favor and watch this video (I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on here at least 3 other times in the last 3 years because it’s my favorite), soak up the words, float on the beautiful music. And then if you still think I listen to shitty music, then by all means, continue to make fun of me for it. I don’t care anymore! Kpop has buffeted my sensitive feelings with a cotton candy cocoon, you guys. Ridicule just gets caught in my candy-coated web like a surly, mean-spirited old fly sent by those dickheads at Pitchfork and then I eat it with my new Korean-speaking mouth.

(Ugh, I only know like 5 words so far, but that’s three more since the last time I checked in with you!)

I also really like Ripple Water Shine but that video is about a dog dying and aren’t we all depressed enough?

🎹🎹Like a sister who's finally had it.

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I love nights like this. Even when I don’t have mean ol’ Henry next to me, grimacing at the sounds he doesn’t understand.

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Dec 162016
 

When I was making a Spotify playlist for my Christmas party last weekend, things got weird. It happens every winter: I subconsciously veer off into my goth origins, and before I could stop myself, the playlist began to fill up with  Greatest Funeral Hits and dark synthpop dirges.

Type O Negative’s “Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” was playing while I searched for my favorite Projekt Holiday compilation tracks to add—Projekt is/was a goth record label and I used to buy all their comps because I was a comp princess—and Henry scoffed, “Seriously, Erin? People have had the worst year of their lives and now they’re going to leave our party in tears.”

I MEAN I WOULDNT GO THAT FAR, HENRY. I had Carly Rae Jepsen tracks on there, for Christ’s sake! But I get it. I gotchu. Not everyone likes to stew in a morose marinade like I do. And truthfully, there was a lot of Cure up in there—and not the happy, radio hits, either. So I remedied that shit by adding some Kpop to the mix. Because how sad can you be with Kpop gyrating into the room while you’re eating handfuls of cheese slices and trying to work up the nerve to ask Henry if he ever killed a bitch in THE SERVICE.

While I was adding my fave Kpop hits, I felt inspired to check YouTube to see if any new developments had happened with KpopX. I hadn’t been working out with them for awhile because they weren’t adding anything new and I was getting bored with the old routines. LONG STORY SHORT, there were new routines, but not only that, I discovered K-KARDIO!!! Holy shit, KpopX has a competitor! So I’ve been back to Kpopping all over the house again and Henry and Chooch are currently embroiled in an intense frown competition. Henry hates how the Kpop songs get stuck in his head, and I’m like, but that’s the best part?

Anyway, during my K-Kardio exploration, I realized that the main choreographer looked very familiar, and it’s because SHE WAS ONE OF THE KPOPX INSTRUCTORS. Holy shit, Jessica left KpopX!?!?

I became worried that there was a rift with her and Maddie, and the creator of KpopX, but then I saw that Maddie still follows her on Instagram, so whew.

I was so excited to share my discovery with Henry, who completely shouldered past me and started doing things he considers “more important” than KpopX, like paying bills or….I don’t know, what are important things? I’m 13, remember.

So then I was like IT’S FINE, MY WORK FRIENDS WILL CARE. But Glenn did not give me the reaction I was looking for, and Todd was just like, “Crazy girl is talking to me again, help.”

Their punishment was that this week’s Friday Video pick was Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb,” which is one of my favorite KpopX routines! I hope that it stays stuck in their heads all weekend long.

Amber2 and Sandy seemed to enjoy it though and now they both want a “Dumb” stamp, so hopefully Santa is reading this.

P.S. I kind of like K-Kardio better than KpopX, OMG please don’t tell Maddie!

P.P.S. OMG also I think that Maddie and Jessica might be sisters?!

P.P.P.S. Henry just asked me what “Dumb Dumb” is about and I’m like, “….you?”

P.P.P.P.S. Here’s my Holiday Hangs playlist if anyone cares. I even put a Krampus song on there for Chris and Monica!

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Dec 142016
 

It was starting to feel like it had been months since I’d been to a show, maybe since the last one was so terrible. The Citizen show at the Rex couldn’t have come at a better time. This will probably be the last show I go to this year, and I had no doubt that it would be DIVINE.

Citizen decided to do a short tour to coincide with the Something In the Way festival that they’re scheduled to play tonight in NYC, a festival with all Run For Cover bands in the lineup—oh how my heart aches. I would love to go to that! But seeing Citizen headline a small Pittsburgh show was nearly as good.

Henry booted me out of the car outside of the Rex, without giving me any money. I mean, I did my chores*, so what the fuck, Henry?!

*(I washed 1/3 of the dishes in the sink; I always leave behind plastic tumblers because I hate washing those, anything sharp, and things that require actual scrubbing.)

My routine when I go to shows alone is:

  1. Pray my ticket is at will call (if I didn’t have it mailed to me)
  2. Make a beeline to the bar and nervously ask, “WHAT KIND OF WHEAT BEERS DO YOU HAVE, JUST PICK ONE FOR ME BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW.”
  3. Find a dark hole to fall into where no one will see me, talk to me, look at me, judge me, care that I’m there.

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On this night, I opted for whatever this thing is in that picture. Except that the bartender kindly reminded me that it was cash only, which I didn’t know because somehow I always have cash when I’m at the Rex except this time – BLAME HENRY. So she sent me off to the lobby where the ATM was sitting all innocently, except that it refused to accept either of my credit cards, so I had to ask the bouncer if there was a trick I didn’t know about, at which point he came over and coolly took my card out of my hands, blew on it, flicked it, kicked the side of the ATM, and….it didn’t work.

“There’s a PNC a block down on the right,” he shrugged, giving up after 30 seconds. WOW MY HERO.

Also, every bouncer looks the same to me. Is that rude or…?

Anyway, I got my dumb money and then Henry bitched at me later because instead of walking to the PNC, I panicked and stopped at the first ATM I came across and then paid a $3.50 service fee and have you met Henry? He’s one cheap motherfucker.

My beer was waiting for me when I got back, and I found myself wondering if it was even worth the hassle of the ATM odyssey. But…anxiety. It’s the “walking in” part of going to shows alone that’s the worst. I’m OK after that, but a little alcohol never hurts.

 

The Rex has a very small balcony, so I took refuge up there in the shadows, sitting alone on a stool and forcing Henry to text me until the show started.

There were about 5 other people up there with me, mostly inoffensive, but I knew I was just biding my time and would eventually make my way back downstairs before Citizen.

The first two bands were local: Same and Yrs. I had never heard of Same before, and they were OK. But I’ve definitely seen Yrs on lineups of tours I’ve been interested in, yet have somehow never managed to see them. And also managed to not know they’re from Pittsburgh. They were good! Definitely a band I would seek out in the future. Someone screamed, “You have a very interesting voice!” and the singer was like, “I know.” They had good stage presence and kept me from being bored, which sometimes happens when I’m just like, waiting and waiting to see the band I came to see.

Shortly after Yrs ended their set, I gifted my seat to the boyfriend of the girl sitting next to me, because I had spotted the perfect spot near the stage and I didn’t want to risk waiting any longer. Dizzy Pleasure Club started playing right as I made it downstairs, and I quickly slipped into a spot along the right side of the of the stage, where not a single motherfucker bothered me for the whole rest of the night.

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I had to pee so bad but didn’t want to lose my spot. Looking at this picture makes me feel like I have to pee again.

Dizzy Pleasure Club was a last minute addition to the line-up. They’re from Baltimore and are made up of various members from Turnstile and Angel Du$t, so I was interested. This was only their 3rd show but you would never know it!

After the first song, the singer deadpanned, “We’re going to play 4 more songs for you….because we only have five songs.”  Ugh, it felt good to laugh with a bunch of strangers. EVEN THOUGH I HATE PEOPLE. I confuse myself sometimes.

Anyway, I was really into DPC.

"We're gonna play 4 more songs for you…because we only have 5 songs" – Dizzy Pleasure Club.

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AND THEN FINALLY CITIZEN. They make me feel like I’m 17 again, full of energy and hope, and I wish I could wakeup every morning to them playing The Night I Drove Alone at the foot of my bed because that song makes me want to throw myself against the wall.

Because Henry gets so annoyed that I ALWAYS record this song when I see Citizen. 😍

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This was the 4th time I saw them this year: headlining show at Altar Bar, Bled Fest in Michigan, and then Riot Fest in Chicago. But this night topped them all. It was the closest I’ve ever been able to get to the stage for them, and the crowd was just amazingly perfect — MY PEOPLE. It never seems to matter that I’m there alone once the band starts playing, because we’re all friends at that point. We’re all there to scream along to a band whose lyrics cut us to the core, remind us that we’re alive, make us feel like we’re all a part of something bigger. It’s easy to forget what that feels like when you’re sitting at a desk in a sterile office all week, or getting ready to declare on your psycho neighbor, or being degraded online by people who don’t share the same social views are you. All these things build up and you start to build those walls around yourself like you’re fucking Mexico and then suddenly you go to a show and your band starts to play and it’s like…FREE AT LAST.

💗Citizen💗

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I’m always hoping that one day I’ll either coerce a friend to like a band that I like, or maybe actually MAKE A FRIEND at a show, but at the end of the night, it doesn’t matter. Because for those 2-3 hours, no one in that room is a stranger. We’re all on the same side and it’s fucking amazing. I hate when it ends.

I love you, Citizen. You ruined my left contact from all the tears you produced, but it was worth it. <3

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Eventually, this high will wear off, and then I’ll just have to wait for the next show to breathe life into me again.

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Dec 022016
 

I always say that I’m picky when it comes to girl singers, and even looking back on my childhood, my mixtapes were predominantly filled with testosterone. So I decided today that I would share of the femme voices that do currently appeal to me, because I’m sick and have little energy for much else.

  1. Petal: because Kiley Lotz is fucking precious. Also, Run For Cover is the best record label that ever labeled.

2. Julien Baker: because just literally thinking of her makes me cry. I started to say her name once to Henry and actually got choked up, which made him say, “OMG” and roll his STUPID BORING EYES.

3. Carly Rae Jepsen: because you knew she was going to be in the mix! Seeing her live (and meeting her, OMG MY HEART) last February was one of the few things that made it to the GOOD column of 2016. Sometimes I wake up and feel so sad that she’s not my BFF. </3 LOVE HER SO MUCH, YOU GET TWO VIDEOS.

4. Angel Olsen: Like her name implies, she is a goddamn angel and why haven’t we rollerskated together yet? (Side note: this was my pick for today’s Friday Video at work and Lauren said she is also now in love with her and also Glenn mumbled, “I like this.” Sometimes I win, you guys!)

5. Fisher: because 1999 vibes. I think I first heard of her back then because of the Great Expectations soundtrack, and then I bought “One” from CD Baby and played this motherfucker out. It was one of my “lay on the floor and cry into my cup of Manischewitz” albums. I saw her once ever, at Club Café with Henry in probably 2002 or something, and cried through the whole thing and then had to stop myself from falling into her and calling her “Mom” while she signed my CD.

6. Paramore: because I could listen to Hayley Williams sing Henry’s grocery list. And not to be That Guy, but I have been a Paramore fan since the first album (“Conspiracy” was a ringtone on my pink Motorola Razr, lol), when they were a scene band, and Hayley just gets better and better. For a while there, I would have to turn the channel anytime Zedd’s “Stay the Night” came on the radio because I would start crying – there is something about her voice that makes me feel like a bag of bricks has been dropped on my chest, and I mean that as the greatest compliment. Anyway, “Decode” will forever be my favorite Paramore song, and I especially love the Unplugged version because her voice is SO RAW AND FULL OF SADNESS HELP ME I’M CRYING RIGHT NOW.

7. CHVRCHES: because Lauren Mayberry’s elven space-voice paired with synth is like a dream come true for this synthpop fool over here. (Synthpop is my favorite music genre, thanks for asking.)

        8. PVRIS: because Lynn Gunn sounds      like no one else and mesmerizes me every time I see them live. The last time I saw PVRIS, I wept so hard that I gave myself hiccups what is wrong with me OR IS IT ALL JUST OH SO RIGHT? 

OK, that’s all for now because I feel like I’m losing consciousness. #WhenErinHasaCold I expect that you will watch each and every one of these videos! Lol. J/K. DO OR DON’T, I DON’T CARE, UGH.

P.S. Now that I’m thinking of it, Zedd’s “Clarity” ft. Foxes also made me ugly cry a lot when I would hear it on the radio, probably because IT REMINDS ME OF DUMB HENRY.

P.P.S. My all-time favorite female singer is Barbra Streisand, no shame.  #Babs4Lyfe #guilty

 

 

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Nov 302016
 

Some of us do this thing at work where we share music videos on Friday morning. It started mostly as a means for me to force-feed my work friends all of the scene music I obsess over, and then Amber1 will retaliate with a boy band and Amber2 will send something featuring Michael Bolton on a horse, and then Glenn will be like, “Hold on, how do you spell Engelbert Humperdinck?” I think Todd fired back with some Paula Abdul “Rush Rush” action one time though and it felt kind of nice to be 12 again. And then Lauren won with TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART.

(The original, not that Nicki French snooze fest.)

Anyway, I’m sitting here alone at 11:30PM on an average Wednesday night, the Penguins just lost 3-5 to the Islanders, and my throat is starting to mildly hurt which in my mind means I’M DYING, when my friend Lizz Snapchatted me this video, and now I am laughing so hard by myself that I’m crying actual tears from the Women on the Edge collection, thinking of me and my work friends dancing like this on Friday as we share videos with each other.

TIME TO LAUGH MYSELF TO SLEEP.

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Nov 272016
 

Last Saturday was such a day of highs and lows that I have been putting off even summarizing it because I get so angry and then happy and then angry and do you see how this is a cycle!? But here it goes.

  • It started out on a high. I woke up and listened to music, which is my favorite thing to do. Weekend music is the best because I’m not in a rush trying to get ready for work or whatever, so I can just be LEISURELY with it and really hear it. We listened to the new Saosin record, and by we I mean me and Drew. Drew loves the record player.

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  • And then came a low! One of my friends on Facebook posted about the Hamilton/Mike Pence debacle. I commented, saying something about how Trump’s tweet regarding it was probably the funniest thing I’ll read all day, and there were maybe two or other people who commented as well. No one was particularly heated with their words. But then, THANK GOD, some dude rolled up and started off his comment with: “I only see women commenting here, so I as a man shall interject.” He went to essentially offer nothing of importance or value, but thanks man, for reminding me that my vagina renders my opinion useless! Seriously, what the fuck is wrong people. My friend’s post had literally nothing to do with gender. NOTHING. I am so easily ruffled anymore that this actually came close to making me grab a hammer and go hogwild on gender barriers. I started to reply to this asshole’s comment, but then stopped and asked myself: “Is this worth it? Do you really want a bunch of Facebook notifications ruining your evening?” No. No, I didn’t want that. So I closed out of Facebook and Henry gave me a hug and muttered something about “Please don’t lop off my penis, please remember I’m not one of the bad guys. I am a feminist. I PAY MY DUES EVERY DAY BY LIVING IN THIS HOUSE WITH YOU.”
  • Henry and I met Blake and Haley at the Smiling Moose for dinner. This is one of my favorite places, with some really grade A company, so this automatically goes into the “high” column. I was still kind of simmering over the mansplaining incident, so I had TWO BEERS and if you know me, you know that I’m not much of a drinker anymore (drinking made me fat as fuck in my 20s). I had two pumpkin beers because I’m still taking baby steps. However, I finally had Pumpking after years of being told that, as someone who can barely gag down a Summer Shandy, I wouldn’t like it. WELL JOKE’S ON YOU FOOLS BECAUSE I DID! It also made me pretty drunk, though. And also if you know me, you know that me being drunk can go one of two ways: adorably precocious or FUCKING BELLIGERENT BIOTCH.

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  • Which leads me to the ultimate low of the day: the Hands Like Houses show at Diesel, where I was a FUCKING BELLIGERENT BIOTCH. Now let me make some excuses for myself here, because I truly believe that my environment had a lot to do with my intolerance for humanity. Diesel sucks as a music venue. It’s a nightclub and should only be used as such. I had one good experience there and it was last June when I was at a show with only 20 other people. It was chill as fuck. This show was way too crowded for this venue, and also it started an HOUR EARLY with NO NOTICE, so by the time we got there, not only did we miss the first band (Out Came the Wolves) but all the decent spots were taken. Also, since the show was on a Saturday night, this brought out all the fair-weathered concert goers who were mostly there to party and get drunk, and apparently Diesel wasn’t relegating the drinkers to the upstairs area like most clubs do. Nope, they were ALL AROUND ME, sloshing their Bud Light around and putting my surly face in the background of all of their salacious Snaps. By the time The Color Morale came on, I was so angry that I was shouting at people and making angry, intense eye contact at the Tallest Guy In the Room who felt compelled to STAND ON A PLATFORM in front of me. I HOPE HE THOUGHT I WAS A WICCAN BECAUSE THAT’S THE VIBE I WAS GOING FOR WITH MY WITCHCRAFT GLARE. And then it was time for co-headliner Our Last Night, who I have seen twice before and they do nothing for me, and by this time, it was so crowded that I couldn’t breathe and so many people were scream-talking around me and I just kept running my mouth, and running it and running it and running it, and Henry was giving me  the “Please, not here, not now. Please don’t make me take a punch for you. I only LOOK rugged, but 16 years with you has turned me into a pile of buttercream and craft patterns, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME BE A MAN.” I knew that I had to leave. I love Hands Like Houses, but I was honestly losing my fucking mind, standing in that sleazy pit of Big Night Out yinzers and so I looked at Henry and said, “We need to leave. Like, now.” And Henry did a little twirl before happily leading me out of Diesel, but not before I loudly scoffed, “THIS VENUE SUCKS” as we walked past the asshole in charge, who apparently admitted that he knew for hours that the show’s time was pushed ahead but was “too busy” to update the Facebook event page. Fucking amateur.
    • Two small highs happened though, one was the numerous times I got to see my Aussie baes in HLH milling about behind the scenes and I got all day-dreamy thinking about them taking me home to Canberra with them, where I could relive the week I spent there in 2000. And the second was when Garrett Rapp from A Color Morale was being accosted by fan-bros right behind Henry, and I tried to push Henry into him while shouting, “HENRY THERE HE IS! TELL HIM WHAT YOUR FAVORITE SONG IS!” And Henry’s frown grew so large that he was able to step into it like a pair of pants and disappeared into the world of Leave Me Alone.
  • On the way back to the car, we past the old Schwartz Market, which was full of art now. I slowed down a little to get a better look, at which point some hippie woman smoking in the doorway said, “Come on in!” and grabbed me by the arm and led me through the door, at which point Henry was like, “Yeah, I’m good” and stood outside by himself while I was given a cup of HOT APPLE CIDER and a delicious vegan pumpkin pastry while learning all about the For One Peace Cooperative, a group of amazing creative-types who hang out and make art while also doing things to bring the community together, like organizing coat drives for the homeless, etc.  I was in the for about 30 minutes I guess, talking to Joe—he appeared to be the leader, and he showed me a watercolor technique using coffee filters, because he has multiple sclerosis and it’s difficult for him to hold paint brushes. I told him about the horrible experience I had down the street at Diesel, and he said, “Everyone stumbles in here for a reason.” I’ll say. It happened so fast that I can’t even remember now how I went from casually looking in the window to eating their food. And then, as I was signing up to be a part of their group, Joe excitedly told me that soon they’ll be cleaning up litter by the river. “Women are getting jumped by the river,” some guy mumbled around bites of vegan food. “Yeah, that’s fucked up,” Joe murmured, looking at the ground. “But, we’re not sending her to the river alone!” And then looking back at me, Joe reiterated, “We’re not sending you to the river alone. We”ll be in groups, and it will be during the day, of course!” And I just laughed because I already loved my new crew. When I met up with Henry and excitedly recounted all of this to him, he just frowned and muttered something about a cult. “You wouldn’t understand, Henry. You had to be there,” I said dismissively. “It’s about community.” Henry looked at me, all aghast, and cried, “You don’t even like community!” Yeah, that was the OLD Erin. But now I’ve been saved now I have a crew. I even let Joe hug me and I liked it. I’m basically a hippie now.

After I got my tattoo Wednesday night, I was walking down Carson Street waiting for Henry the Chauffeur to pick me up, and one of the guys I met from the co-op walked by. “Hello!” he said cheerfully, and I was like, “OMG HI YOU REMEMBER ME!” because I have this complex where I’m certain no one ever remembers me, even less than a week later. I was so excited to tell Henry when I got in the car!

“Who!?” Henry asked. And then, “Oh.” Whatever Henry. He’s just allergic to tie-dye, I guess

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Nov 192016
 

I had been tossing around the idea of attending this year’s Four Chord festival because I can always use a good music festival in my life, but I was mostly interested in seeing all of the smaller bands. I don’t know why, but somehow in the last 10 years, Mayday Parade has not managed to charm me, so I knew for sure if I went, I wouldn’t be staying for the whole thing.

But then my work friend Debby came over to my desk one day last month and was all, “Hey, you know how mu niece is dating that guy in that band? Well, they’re playing—-”

“Four Chord Music Festival!” I enthusiastically blurted, because as soon as someone broaches the topic of music, I go from nodding off to be super-caffeinated/high-alert/auctioneer-voiced.

Long story short, Debby said that she would ask him if he could get me tickets, because she lets the band crash at her house when they’re in town. And he said yes! And Henry said, “That’s great but I’m not going!” but man, even though I would have to go alone, this was something I needed in my life right then, you know? Alone time with music. It was going to be fine.

I wasn’t sure if Debby was going to give me physical tickets, or if this was going to be a name on the list type of thing, but then she went on vacation before everything was ironed out and I was low-key panicking. But then the day before the show, she got my number from a co-worker and said that everything was OK, just go to will-call and I’d be fine.

So last Sunday, on the way to Chooch’s piano lesson, Henry dropped me off at Xtaza. Henry’s kind of like a soccer mom these days, you know? Dropping me and Chooch off here and there and then getting to spend his child-free time at the grocery store.

So, I get to the window. Doors opened about 30 minutes prior to my arrival, so there wasn’t a huge line. Just a few people behind me. A few people behind me who got to hear me TOTALLY GET SHOT DOWN.

The ticket guy was so smirk-y about it too. “Nope,” he said, flipping through the list. “No Erin Kelly.”

I just quickly said, “OHOKTHX” and then dipped on out. 2016 has taken away every last bit of fight I had left in me, so I wasn’t even about to try and argue or even smooth talk my way in.

Instead, I texted Debby that there were no tickets for me, and then sat on a loading dock, trying not to cry. This was the worst scenario for someone like me: I’m a nervous wreck about EVERYTHING plus I was there ALONE and now I just looked like some washed-up groupie who thought she was entitled to free entry.

I was preparing to just pay my way in when Debby replied to me and said that she texted her niece’s boyfriend and he said that my name should have been on the list and that he was going to talk to the promoter, and told her to tell me to stay there, that they were on their way.

So I continued to sulk outside of Xtaza, while all of these people walked by on their way to Four Chord and I was so sad because they were all there with friends and not LONERS LIKE ME.

Anyway, Debby advised me to try again in a few minutes, so I waited for TWENTY minutes because I was so nervous that it was going to happen again and I didn’t want to be that asshole! The ticket guy sighed when he saw me, because he knew that my name was now on the list. There was another guy there with him this time, possibly the promoter, who laughed and said, “Pays to be persistent!” as the ticket guy grudgingly scratched out my name and mumbled about getting a wristband at the door.

KTHXBYEEEEE.

God, that felt satisfying!

It was 1:00PM at this point, and I had missed the first band, but whatever. I needed time to gather my bearings since I hadn’t been to this club probably since 2008, when it was Club Zoo. Henry and I used to go to a ton of shows there back when it was Metropol, especially back before Mr. Small’s was around to provide a much better show experience. Xtaza is just way too nightclubby for my liking. It’s hard to get a good spot, the balcony is VIP now (it used to just be 21+ back when it was Metropol) and it’s fucking cold as shit in there. I kept my jacket zipped all the way up to my chin and I was still shivering.

The place was still pretty empty when I got there, since it was so early and most people probably were only interested in the main, national acts that were playing after 6pm. It went straight to the bar because my nerves are sometimes popping off when I’m alone at a show, and I was having a hard time adjusting to the darkness of the venue and couldn’t shake the disorientation I was feeling. But, even just ordering something at the bar proved to be a challenge for my high-anxiety self. I didn’t want liquor and I couldn’t see what beers they had, so I panicked and ordered a YUENGLING because that’s what the guy next to me had and I DON’T LIKE THAT KIND OF BEER. So then I went and stood by the railing and had to discreetly hold my nose while I took large sips because I just wanted it to be over.

This is what I was doing while Smile My Dear was playing on the main stage. They were OK! Nice, local pop punk. I was feeling it.

I was thankful that the transition from main stage to second stage was smooth and painless. You basically just turned around and walked a few feet and then you were at the smaller stage set up by the entrance. And there was only about 5 minutes in between each band, which was a blessing because it meant less downtime for me to stand around awkwardly looking like I was lost and maybe crying.

The first band I saw on the second stage was Check Engine Light from Long Island and I loved them lots like tater tots! I started excitedly texting Henry about them and he was like “Ok.”

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It was during their set when I started to calm down a bit and just really let the music do its thing. I was determined to make the most of my day alone, to not let anyone ruin the vibe, and to keep an open mind with every band there (ugh even the two ska bands which I did not like but I won’t say that they SUCKED because I just really don’t like ska so my opinion is biased).

Immediately following Check Engine Light was In Your Memory and I was heart-eyes right from the start. They reminded me a bit of Nonpoint and letlive. and I giddily sent Henry a video.

“Who’s that” was his response and I don’t know why he bothers to ask because HE TRULY DOES NOT CARE.

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In Your Memory 💗

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Skashank Redemption was up next on the second stage and I will admit that I did not move from my spot because I JUST DON’T LIKE SKA. I can’t really put my finger on it but I think it’s just that it’s too happy and trumpet-y? I don’t know. The Jamaica Ska scene in Back to the Beach is THE ONLY PART OF BACK TO THE BEACH I DON’T LIKE.

So no, I don’t endorse this band.

But the next band to play on the main stage won my heart: Look Out Loretta from Jeanette PA. I was already looking forward to seeing them based on their band name, which is something that Mike Lange uses after a Penguins goal  FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO AREN’T PENS FANS, BOO.

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<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=4199829923/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” seamless>WKND GTWY by Look Out Loretta

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I really liked these guys a lot, a lot, a lot! Which is weird because I don’t like the any of the bands listed on their Bandcamp under the “for fans of” section, lol. You just never know with me. It depends on my mood.

After them was Worst Kept Secret from West Virginia. They were metal and I enjoyed it but I know that Henry would have hated them. I need metal in my life here and there, you know?

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I was really looking forward to Modern Chemistry because we saw them at Riot Fest in 2015 and I vaguely remember liking them but also I think we were eating good donuts during their set too so I could be projecting my donut euphoria on their music? The Four Chord program said they sound like Circa Survive, and I for sure would have remembered if they sounded like Circa Survive.

As soon as they started playing, I was able to confirm that no, they don’t sound like Circa Survive. But I did like them a lot! They were very pleasing alt-rock and I wish they had gotten a longer set time, but it was still enough to leave a memorable impression on my dumb brain.

However, I listened to them on Spotify the next day and it didn’t resonate as much with me as it did live.

Here’s a sampling of Look Out Loretta and Modern Chemistry, which you would know if you just read the caption of the Instavid, but here I am doing the work for you:

Head Injuries was next on the small stage but I wasn’t feeling them so I went back over to where I was standing by the main stage, and that’s when I realized that this was like the third time that day that I kept accidentally standing next to someone’s dad, like I was subconsciously missing Henry or something.

Patent Pending was next and this was another band that, on paper, I should not have liked at all because they were PURE POP ROCK. I realize that I was at a festival that specialized in pop rock, but I am pretty picky with that genre. I tend to lean more toward the serious pop punk bands….or maybe that’s not the best way to explain it. Maybe I should say that it’s the joke-y pop punk bands I don’t like. I enjoy The Wonder Years, State Champs, Real Friends….bands of that ilk. I’m probably speaking an alien language to you right now, but together, we can get through this dirty toilet bowl of a blog post. We’re almost there!

This was the first time, four hours in almost, that a band spoke up about the election. The singer was basically like, “I want to believe that we’re all on the same side here, and none of you look like douchebags, so….” Political stance aside, these guys were incredibly entertaining and I did all the things they told us to do and if you know me at all, you know that I won’t go through the motions of jumping or doing jazz hands unless I’m a true fan of the band telling me to do these things because I’m 37 fucking years old and sometimes a bitch just wants to lean against a railing and causally nod her head.

But yeah, they had me doing all the things because their energy was infectious. INFECTIOUS. And then they had a song about not putting off your dreams any longer and I was like THIS IS A SIGN and I felt so inspired and stoked and once again grateful for Debby getting me into this damn thing.

Whoever would thought I would like a band that sings about Mario and douchebags. This band was A+, would see again. They were so much fun!

Finally though, it was time for Let It Happen! I was really excited to see them because anytime there is any connection like this one with Debby and her niece, I get so interested.

I have to say that out of all the bands who had previously played that day, Let It Happen was the most fashonable. This was my first impression. My second impression was that they are really funny and have good banter. My third impression was that they are LEGIT! How are they not more well-known?! According to their bio, they’ve been around since 2009 but I never heard of them until last year when Wendy was all, “Haha, some band is staying at Debby’s house, you have to ask her about it!” and it turns out they were actually playing a Hit the Lights show that night that I hade been considering going to because Tiny Moving Parts were also playing and I love Tiny Moving Parts and am I losing you again?

SORRY, I GET ALL TANGENTICAL.

But guys, I urge you to listen to Let It Happen!

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They’re from Cincinnati and said that Pittsburgh is prettier, so LOL Christina.

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They had some very die-hard fans in the crowd, so that was fun to watch. I would for sure go see them again, and now I’m kicking myself for not going to the Speak Low If You Speak Love show they played at last month at Smiling Moose, because that would have been a beautiful venue to see them at. I love Smiling Moose. I do not love Xtaza. Xtaza is cold.

They were totally worth enduring a day alone among strangers.

Eternal Boy was next and it was big deal because the singer—Rishi—is the guy who organized Four Chord. Eternal Boy used to be the Space Pimps which is a band that pretty much anyone who was even remotely a part of the local Pittsburgh scene over the last decade should have least heard of. And again, another band that I might have been quick to dismiss if there was an option to see a different band on another stage, but I’m REALLY GLAD there wasn’t because they were great. Rishi at one point was like, “I have a mic and you don’t” and went on to voice his disdain for the current state of things, and then dedicated the next song to minorities, LGBTQ, women, and anyone who feels at risk, and then apologized on behalf of this idiotic country, at which point I lost my shit and just sobbed like a baby because I’m a woman and probably about to be on my period.

Right guys?

Any band whose tag line is “music for the nostalgic and broken-hearted” is right up my alley.

Keep Flying was the last band to play on the small stage and they were mildly ska-ish but I tried! Oh lord, did I try. I also tried to buy a fucking Four Chord shirt but the credit card thing wasn’t working by then so it was cash only and HENRY ONLY GAVE ME $15. And that was just because there was supposedly a food truck outside just for Four Chord but then there was no re-entry, so…..?

By this point it was after 6. I watched a little bit of Hawthorne Heights for old time’s sake but shit, I was so cold that I was actually shivering and standing with my hands tucked under my armpits like I was some kind of bro, and I was beginning to get dizzy because I was hungry and I can’t even just be hungry without a side of MAJOR DRAMA AND THEATRICS. So Henry and Chooch came and got me and we went to Eat n Park where I ordered the salad bar and ate with my jacket on because I COULD NOT WARM UP.

I had so much adrenaline coursing through me for the next several hours, as I excitedly recounted to Henry and Chooch all of the bands I saw that day, but then 9:00 rolled around and I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even watch The Walking Dead.

What a great day. <3

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Nov 122016
 

Holy shit, another day, another bleeding-heart emo girl blog post! Woo!

When Balance and Composure announced their fall tour, I was really bummed to see that Pittsburgh wasn’t on the list, but my consolation was that I’d get to see them before that at Riot Fest, so I should just take that and be satisfied and stop whining and pouting and talking about how disappointed I am and just grow the fuck up and get over it right? Sorry, I think I’m mixing this up with SOMETHING ELSE. #presidentialelectionPTSD

So Riot Fest came and went. I got to see B&C and it was great! It was only my second time seeing them live, which is pretty crazy considering they’re pretty popular in the scene I follow. But they were always one of those bands that I liked but not LOVED. I used to get them mixed up with several other bands that I felt the same way about: liked it when it came up on a playlist, but never actively sought them out. Then I saw B&C open for Circa Survive one time, I think it’s been about 2 years now? Almost. But it clicked for me that night. I got it. Seeing them live changed everything for me and I heard their songs an entirely different way—with my heart. This is why I skipped out of Bob Mould’s set early to ensure I got a good spot near the stage for B&C at Riot Fest last September. They were at the top of the list for me that weekend, you guys. Ask Henry: he had to hear me WHINE LIBERALLY about it all fucking weekend.

Still, I thought I would be OK missing their fall headlining tour, but then their new album was released in the beginning of October and MY LIFE CHANGED. If it’s possible to imprint on an object, an idea, a concept….well then that’s what I was experiencing.

So my rational, adult-like CONCESSION when it seemed like going to Cleveland on a work night just wasn’t viable, especially with the super fun unexpected expenses we’ve had to deal with over the last month when the automobile gods pointed their golden socket sets* at us.

*(I dunno. I googled “tools to work on cars” and supposedly this is important to have.)

Oh, and then our fridge has begun a slow, frustrating death. I LOVE BEING AN ADULT!

And still there I was, in the midst of all of these annoying life nuisances, clutching onto Henry’s leg, begging him to take me to Cleveland to see Balance and Composure. Like, for real begging. I’m not proud of it but MUSIC MAKES ME DO DIRTY, SHAMEFUL THINGS. But Henry was all, “STOP WHINING. THE PATRIARCHY HAS SPOKEN.”

Finally last weekend, Henry could stand it no longer and said, “FINE, WE WILL GO TO CLEVELAND. YOUR VOICE HAS BEEN HEARD.” See?! DON’T STOP FIGHTING FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. Just keep poking and prodding on every social media platform. I pestered him from all angles: text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (he got an actual video of me saying PLEAAAAAASE and crying), and Twitter. Don’t ever stop campaigning for what you believe in. APPLY PRESSURE. BE PUSHY. FLIP OVER A CAR.

OK, don’t actually flip a car. Leave that to the hateful people.

***************

Thursday finally arrived and it was the one positive thing I had to look forward to that week. That didn’t stop me from ranting until my mouth was foaming like Cujo, but even that felt good. To just talk and talk and talk (and punch the inside of the car door a few times). But once we arrived at Beachland Ballroom, it was time to let the healing begin. And I was so calm and heart-eyed from the moment we got in line outside, and I didn’t hate anyone. Not even Henry.

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I was glad that we got there before doors opened because I have The Nerves when it comes to venues I’ve never been to before, so it was helpful to be one of the first people there and have a chance to get my bearings. I liked it right away! Just one nice, big open room with a really cool bar—I got some kind of pumpkin sour beer and it was OK and anytime I drink a new beer, I have to text Lisa to tell her about it because she’s my life manager. Lisa said that sour beers are like the new trend, but I wouldn’t know.

It didn’t taste like pumpkin, but it definitely tasted like sour.

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Johnny sounds like a huge prick!

OK OK OK the first bad was Mercury Girls and they were fine! Girl singers makes me say “eh” usually but this one was pretty cool, she had a nice 60s beach vibe to her voice and it was lulling me into a peaceful state. I liked it. Henry said “eh” and then shook his head, but fuck Henry. No one cares what the white privileged male likes. Except for most of the country, apparently.

Fuck you, Henry.

During their set, JON SIMMONS AKA THE SINGER OF B&C, walked past us and I internally began to die. I slowly turned around and mouthed “OH MY GOD” to Henry, who just rolled his eyes in response. I think his belly probably flipped a little bit too though because Henry isn’t so straight that he’s unable to recognize dreamy guys.

I was almost as excited for the next band as I was for Balance & Composure — FOXING. These guys have eluded me for years. I don’t know how I have such a knack for missing them every time they come to town; I think the last time was last April when they were here for Broken World but all the bullshit with my grandparents’ house had me so exhausted that I ended up not going.

Oh my fucking god, I knew it was going to be great, but not THAT great. They fucking killed it and brought the entire room together when the singer spoke his piece in between songs, about how it was his birthday, but it was the worst birthday of his life thanks to how shitty this election had turned out.

“For the next 40 minutes, let’s just pretend like it didn’t happen.” And then you could barely hear the start of the next song over the uproarious agreement. Solidarity. That’s the only good thing that has come from this, realizing that my scene is full of such compassion. Even Henry said he wasn’t mad about it, and this is the guy who was so disgusted in 2004 when we went to see Metric and The Stills at Mr. Small’s, and the singer from The Stills got political on everyone. I mean, if not for that, I might not even have any recollection of The Stills.

When Foxing is like, hey for the next 40 minutes let's pretend like it didn't happen. 💗

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And when they played Rory, I wanted to start hitting myself in the head right along with the singer.

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I just asked Henry what time B&C came out and he mumbled, “10:30. I know that because I kept looking at the time.” This show started later than most shows we go to, and Henry was quietly stewing over this, since we still had a 2+hour drive back to Pittsburgh afterward, LOL. Luckily for Henry though, there was an empty table nearby, so he got to lounge and nod off during their set while I resumed my patented “YEAH I’M HERE ALONE, SO WHAT” stance.

But you guys, you guys, you guys, they opened with Midnight Zone and I thought my heart was going to come tumbling out of my kooka. THAT SONG. This isn’t from the Cleveland show, but it is STILL SO HOT, HELP ME JESUS.

HIS DANCING, STOPPPPPP MY HEART CAN’T TAKE IT.

There was a girl next to me who was so into it that she was doing some weird kind of country line-dance, and I was like “get it, girl.” It was awesome. She was so happy to be there and we smiled at each other at one point, and I love connecting like that. Mostly because it doesn’t involve words or touching.

FEELINGSSSSSSS #balanceandcomposure #beachlandballroom #lightwemade #tinyraindrop

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“Tiny Raindrop” is my go-to B&C jam and hearing it always makes me so happy – I love that song so much I wish I could wear it! Like just put my arms right through it and wrap it all around me like a soft beautiful pashmina.

  • Midnight Zone
  • Spinning
  • Void
  • Tiny Raindrop
  • Postcard
  • When I Come Undone
  • Mediocre Love
  • Quake
  • For a Walk
  • More to Me
  • Is It So Much to Adore?
  • Lost Your Name
  • Reflection
  • Tore You Apart in My Head

I feel like I’m missing something, but the set was so on point, the whole band was flawless, the crowd had so much energy—I felt so grateful to be there. How did I get so lucky on the boo-thang front? Henry is the best boo-thang I could ever ask for!

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And he bought me a tour poster because god forbid our walls have any open space left on them.

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If there’s anything that’s going to heighten my sensitivity and inability to stop tears from pouring from my eyeballs, it’s a good show. This was such an incredible night. Going to shows gives me life, and I will never ever ever take this for granted, especially not the road-trips that Henry takes me on to see bands he doesn’t like and sometimes even hates. But he at least admitted that he likes Balance & Composure and that even though he did nod off in his chair a few times, he swears he actually paid attention the times he was awake and thought it was “good.”

The only downside is that the show didn’t end until almost midnight and, after stopping at Sheetz to get food and a mega-caffeine boost, we didn’t get home until sometime after 2:30am. I won’t ever sleep as a passenger out of solidarity to Henry, but man, I wanted to succumb to slumber in a bad way. It was actually painful.

But so motherfucking worth it. I still have chills thinking about it. <3333

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Nov 012016
 

I listened to this song yesterday ALL DAY LONG ON REPEAT. Synth pop/darkwave/coldwave is the music that resonates the most with me, contrary to popular belief. (I love my posthardcore and emo but this is the shit that really cuts me to the core.)

The Black Queen sounds so much like it should have been on the label A Different Drum back in the late 90s, when in actuality the debut album just came out in the beginning of 2016—it’s the side project of Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan) and Joshua Austus (Telefon Tel Aviv, ex-NIN & Puscifer) and it absolutely reeks of rotted, decomposing beauty. 

Anyway. This song in particular makes me think it’s 1999 and I just moved into my house and have tons of candles around me as I lay on the cold hardwood floor, drinking cheap Manischevitz and crying.  BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I DID BACK THEN. 

AND THAT’S WHAT I DO NOW TOO. 

Except that now I have way less room on account of acquiring furniture and psycho cats who will likely start a fire if I lay out candles on ground-level and a dumb Henry  who will yell at me to grow up and get up off the floor. 

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Oct 282016
 

Sometimes I go to a show and feel like a whole new person when I leave.

I was already planning on going to the Joyce Manor show at the Rex on Monday, but  I was nervous. I was relatively sure I knew what the crowd was going to be like, and that I would probably be fine, but I was going alone and was I ready to jump back in so soon after such a miserable night in Columbus?

LOL, yes I was ready. Sure, I was still furious but I wasn’t going to let a bunch of drunk Ohio bitches ruin every ensuing show for me. So Henry dropped me off at the Rex after work and I stood in line with all my people, and I felt like this was where I needed to be. Around all these people who were there for the same reason as me.

Decent humans.

And guess what — some of them were drinking, but because everyone was there for the music and not to drink their faces off while making rhythmic vagina offerings, there were no tense situations or people to brand as douchebags or assholes. The whole night felt like one, long, stress-relieving sigh.

As such, I don’t have much to report!

But let’s get the one and only downside tof the whole night out of the way, and its a pretty mild, non-complaint: I didn’t love the opening band, Crying. They’re a Run For Cover band, so I didn’t stumble into this blindly by any means; I knew what to expect and I had a feeling that seeing them live wasn’t going to push two puzzle pieces together in my brain, making me magically fall in love with them. But, I didn’t necessarily dislike them, either! It just wasn’t my style of music (kind of lo-fi, 90s twee…I don’t know, I’m not good with this type of music!) but I really honestly did enjoy watching their singer—she was fucking adorable and gave good, awkwardly sincere banter. Maybe one day they’ll click for me, and make the Run For Cover puzzle in my heart one are closer to completion. 

Whatever that means. 

And then: The Hotelier.  I stood to the left of the stage all night and no one bothered me. No one loudly spoke about sports or their relationships or Luluroe to their friends while the bands were playing. No one was mean or hateful. It was just a bunch of people who were super intense about these bands, all in one room together, sharing one long, special moment.

I have wanted to see this band for awhile now and always miss them. But tonight was my time and it was a goddamn delight. 

Even the singer of the Hotelier paused in between songs to comment on how attentive everyone was. I could honestly hear people around me breathing, that’s how quiet it was in between songs, like we were in church, hanging off every note and word.

The Hotelier is everything. 💗

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If the Hotelier gave GREAT spiritual foreplay….

…then Joyce Manor brought the motherfucking homily. 

That room fucking blew up with emo passion-crackers when the opening note of Heart Tattoo was strummed and the crowd never lost an ounce of verve after that. 

So many fists in the air, so many stage divers, so many earnest singalongs. I felt like I was home, with my people, taking a fucking Communion wafer right on the tongue. 

Chooch just rolled his eyes at my post-show hyperactivity.

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^^^Fuuuuuuck. 

I can’t tell you why….maybe it’s one of those feelings or concepts that has no corresponding word in the English language, but I left the Rex that night feeling like something had shifted inside me, like I had just experienced pure, unadulterated beauty at the same time as several hundred other people, and we all knew it. 

Sometimes I go to a show and feel like a whole new person when I leave, and this was definitely one of those shows.

****


Snagged this limited edition tour screenprint on my way out (only 30 were made!) and when I got in the car with it, Henry was like, “Oh boy, another poster closer to living in one giant dorm room.”

He doesn’t get it. Not like you do. Or do you. Tell me you do. 

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Oct 252016
 

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I wish I could properly explain the wrath I dealt with back in May when Chooch realized he was going to miss a headlining Summer Set show in Pittsburgh because we were in Michigan for Bledfest (something that only I wanted to do and Henry and Chooch got stuck going along for the ride and hated every second of it). “But it’s cool because you’ll get to see them at Warped Tour!” I reasoned, and Chooch seemed pacified by this.

And then there was more, even greater wrath in July when we realized that The Summer Set was only going to be on the second leg of Warped Tour, so Chooch would have to miss them again. 

And then there was no Pittsburgh date for their fall tour, but there was a Columbus show that fell on a Saturday so Henry and I felt it was worth it. Look, The Summer Set is not necessarily a band I would go out of my way for, but Chooch is really taken by them, for whatever reason. And who am I to deny my kid the pleasure of seeing one of his favorite bands? I mean, look at how bent out of shape I get when I have to miss seeing one of my favorite bands!

If you read my lame-o live blog post, some of this you already know. Like, the fact that Henry booted us out onto the curb and then went carousin’ around Columbus for….litter boxes and ginger tea. Henry knows how to live it up.

The venue was the A&R Music Bar. I’ve never been there before and I get really nervous about taking my kid to venues I know nothing about. But…the show was all ages, so I figured we’d be fine. Here in Pittsburgh, most of the venues won’t let you bring drinks out of the bar area, so I assumed it would be like that here too.

But no! It was a fucking free-for-all. The bar wasn’t separate all, and while I imagined the crowd would mostly consist of underaged girls, there actually seemed to be more adults there.

Drunk adults.

All over.

Being rude.

Standing in front of Chooch.

Talking over all of the bands.

I was just really rubbed the wrong way almost immediately and had this dire urge to have Henry come and get us and then we could just go do something touristy or…I don’t know…go home. I hate when I get those bad feelings! And I just couldn’t shake this one at all.

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Chooch and I were so hateful of the crowd that we opted to go out on the patio and hang out with the all of the smokers, even though it was about 40 degrees out. We could actually see the stage better from out there and the sound wasn’t muted much at all.

That dude up there in the white shirt was the opener. I think his name was Chase? No. It’s Hudson Thames. I pretended for a second to be committed to the art of blogging and actually researched that shit.

Um…Hudson had a great voice! But I wasn’t entranced.  And then after his set, he took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd, like OK Tacky.

William Beckett was next. I had no idea he was on this tour, and when he walked past us when we were standing in line, I was like, “That guy looks familiar” but then figured it was just because he reminded me of someone who would have been in a Sid & Marty Kroft television show, and didn’t think about it again until we were inside and I was buying Chooch his 374872389465th Summer Set shirt, when I looked over and saw the guy again, and then my eyes drifted to the side of his head and I noticed all of the William Beckett merch on the wall and realized that oh shit, that’s William Beckett from The Academy Is… what the fuck is he doing opening for the Summer Set?!

We only stuck around for two of his songs because, ask Chooch, we were surrounded by drunk broads with really annoying voices. I will never understand why people pay money to go to a show and then stand with their back to the stage scream-talking to their friends. Like, just go to a regular bar for that, or have a fucking house party. I guess I just don’t get it. MAYBE BECAUSE I’M TOO SQUARE. I’M SO SQUARE THAT I USED THE TERM “SQUARE.”

After William Beckett, Chooch and I went back inside, on a quest to find somewhere decent to stand where he could see and we wouldn’t be inadvertently wrapped up in a Snuggie of drunk douchebags. We ventured further and further up toward the front of the venue until we were next to the side of the stage. There were several other people standing there, and Chooch was happy enough with the unobstructed view that he didn’t care if he was just going to see the Summer Set’s profiles.

Eventually though, one of the staff ladies came over and said that we were going to have to move back more into the main area when the band came out, and we were like, “Ugh fine.” However, two girls came into the venue with one of the Summer Set guys (Josh, according to Chooch) and stood next to Chooch and the staff lady was just like, “Fine I give up. Stand there. Create a fire hazard. Oh well.”

I mean, probably that’s what she was thinking, and not, “Gotta catch ’em all.”

HERE IS A REALLY DETAILED, ARCHITECTURALLY ACCURATE BLUEPRINT OF THE LAYOUT:

You can see how we were keeping an open area so that traffic could freely flow to and from the exit.

I was so pleased with how this night had panned out! Chooch was in a comfortable spot, I had a thing to lean my old ass body against, the band was playing pleasant pop music that I generally wouldn’t care about but have learned to semi-like thanks to Chooch (I REALLY LIKE THEIR NEW SONG “JEAN JACKET” AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT)….Some old broad had migrated to our area with her niece who was around the same age as Chooch, and she and I were exchanging pleasantries, and that’s when I made the mistake.

I said words.

I jinxed myself.

“This is the perfect spot,” I yelled into my new friend’s hair.

“Yeah it really is!” she said, and we leaned back against the bar, smiling as our young companions danced and clapped to The Summer Set.

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Then that lady left. I don’t know where she went, to the back of the room with her niece, I guess. And then suddenly, a group of 6 totally trashed bitches came barreling up from the back of the room and stuffed themselves into the area area between those of us leaning against the bar and the few people in front of us at the barricade.

They were flailing around, screaming like infants, holding their cans of Coors Light like torches over their perfect heads of hair, sloshing beer around like a stinky sprinkler system, and being generally REALLY FUCKING INTRUSIVE.

Luckily, the staff lady swooped in from her station at the door and yelled, “You guys have to move! We have to keep this area open!”

Of course, they wouldn’t move. Why would they move? They were fucking entitled little bitches who owned the place.

All I knew was that they were potentially going to ruin things for Chooch. I had a feeling that if they didn’t move, that broad was going to come back and make us ALL move. So I kind of nudged one of them so she’d move, instead of pancaking me against the edge of bar like she was currently doing. I mean, they brought major pandemonium to our nice little area of the venue, and everything was happening so fast…

But I didn’t think this prissy little girl was actually going to flip out from being subtly nudged.

“That bitch PUSHED ME!” she shrieked to the staff lady, who was just like, “Oh OK” and then walked away. When she didn’t get the attention she craved, she continued to scream her face off about me pushing her, and I was so confused…was she actually talking about me? Because I used like three finger tips to give her a tiny prod in the direction that the lady wanted her to move, and also it was to get her fucking gross Aztec sweater out of my face.

So then she ran over to the lone guy in their crew and hysterically cried, “THAT BITCH PUSHED ME!” but as I would find out later, she wasn’t the one in the group he was fucking, so he just looked at me and then looked at her and shrugged.

Two of her other friends were oblivious to her plight, and instead continued performing their bizarre, primitive vagina dance which involved them leaning back in their best Limbo pose while facing each other, and making sensual “offering” motions with their hands above their crotches. So I’m like completely mesmerized by this weird menstrual witch jig when I suddenly feel a sharp blow to my ribcage because Aztec Sweater finally found a friend who cared, and that friend—a frumpy bitch in a plum sweater—wedged herself in between me and the nice, normal girl who was originally standing to my left, and proceeded to passive aggressively assault me with her basic bitch elbow while the THAT BITCH PUSHED ME dialogue continued.

Like, really. You’re going to stand there and play these middle school games, like you’re trying to bully me in the back of the classroom while the teacher has her back turned? Because that’s what that shit felt like.

So I dug my feet into the floor and started to push back into her because bitch, you picked the wrong girl. I wasn’t going to move.

But I also wasn’t going to ruin Chooch’s night. Because by this point, my whole body felt like a whistling tea kettle. I could hear the blood rushing into my head, like sheet metal crashing in my ears. I was starting to shake, because what I really wanted to do WAS GRAB THIS BITCH BY THE HAIR. Not even the girl I supposedly pushed! But this fucking plum tunic hag. I wanted to actually fight her and it has been a long time since I felt this out of control in public, and I had literally zero sips of alcohol in me. No, this bitch alone was bringing out pure, unadulterated, primal rage.

Then I looked up and saw Chooch, applauding in between songs, and got myself in check real quick.

CONSEQUENCES, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

This isn’t to say I was going to stand there and be steam-rolled by this fucker. So I turned and tapped her on the arm.

“Excuse me, but I didn’t PUSH your friend,” I yelled into her ear.

“WELL THAT LADY YELLED AT US AND TOLD US TO MOVE AND THERE’S NOWHERE FOR US TO GO SO YOU HAVE TO MOVE TOO!” she yelled back, sounding like an actual brat. I mean, that staff lady didn’t YELL at them, she was just trying to do her job.

“I’ve been standing here since before The Summer Set went on, and my kid is right up there, so no, I’m not moving,” I said, and I was so surprised at how RATIONAL AND NON-HYSTERICAL I SOUNDED. I realllly didn’t want Chooch to turn around and see his mom acting like white trash. 

“OK, well then we’re good here!” she yelled, like suddenly everything had changed now that she knew I’M A MOM and not just another basic OSU bitch? I mean, she said it in a totally asshole-y way without a DROP of sincerity, but she moved out of my personal bubble and her fucking elbow never touched me again, and then in a strange twist of events, the weird vagina dancers actually became pretty amusing to me and we had several moments throughout the night where we laughed at things together and I know that infuriated the other two girls WHO I WILL NEVER BE COOL WITH IN REAL LIFE, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, I don’t care how much Aztec Sweater looked like Missy Franklin and I LOVE MISSY FRANKLIN.

I can’t even put into words how much it ruined my night, my weekend, my joy of being at a concert, my faith in humanity (not that I had much to begin with but still). Shows are safe zones for me. It’s where I feel at home and comfortable in my skin, where I can leave my stress and tension at the door, and I want Chooch to feel that way too. But all this shit was playing out right behind him and even though he never turned around and saw it all, he was still annoyed by these people for his own reasons. It made me feel like I put him in a potentially unsafe situation and that’s a really terrible feeling for a parent.

But he still said he had a great time, and the guitar tech gave him a pick (you can see that in the end of the below video!).

THE THINGS I DO FOR MY BELOVED SON.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

The Summer Set in Columbus! #thesummerset @the_summer_set

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I pretty much raged about this to Henry during the entire three hour drive back home to Pittsburgh and he was like, “OK what do you want me to do” because he’s so SUPPORTIVE, so then I texted Chris and Monica who TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD AND WERE ON MY SIDE SO THERE HENRY. And I’m not going to lie, I kind of half-expected them to follow us outside after the show and start shit with me again, so I spent the rest of the show trying to put together some kind of game plan in my head, which was basically just COMING IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL.

And then running.

There were like six of them!

Well, four. Those vagina dancers were way too drunk to fight.

All I know is that I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Because I don’t know about you, but I try to live my life without getting stabbed or thrown in the slammer. 

*****

I was down about it all day yesterday at work. I only told Glenn, Todd, and Wendy because even just talking about it made me feel so shitty all over again. I’m so glad that these things happen so rarely, because I would probably never go to a show again.

When I saw Chooch after work, I asked him if he told his friends about going to see The Summer Set.

“No, not really,” he said, because his school friends just don’t relate to these things. “Well, I did tell them about how that one girl spilled her beer on my leg.”

UGH GREAT. MOTHER OF THE FUCKING YEAR.

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