May 282010

Alisha and I saw Of Machines last October, when they opened for Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance. I knew who they were prior to this because I’m 16 and devour all the information I can from various message boards, and I had a bunch of their stuff on the computer but never really gave it my undivided attention.

And when they took the stage, singer all dressed up like Wolverine, I wasn’t expecting to be literally moved to tears during their set. Before they were halfway into the first song, my face was wet, and it wasn’t because Alisha was trying to pee on it again. I can’t explain what it is about this genre of music, and people can scoff at me all they want, say that I have shitty taste in music all they want. But look – I spent years listening to pretentious indie shit and was rarely moved by it. (Except for Xiu Xiu; Jamie’s voice still gives me major emotional spasms.) I still LIKE that stuff, in an aesthetic sense, but if I want to feel like my heart is going to explode, I know where to go. (The Rise Records website.)

There is something about that sort of music that, combined with a boy hitting high notes so hard that it wavers on screaming, massages the right lobe of my brain and releases so much tension, and if the end result of that finds me weeping openly in a public, then that’s alright by me.  This is why I love Warped Tour – by the time it’s over, I feel like I just came home from an emotional spa. Henry just rolls his eyes anymore when I dramatically wail, “This song makes me want to DIE.” He doesn’t get it, why I would want to listen to music that makes me sad. But it’s not so much that it’s making me sad, as it is making me feel less alone. Combined with the heaviness of the music, it’s a release.

Of Machines have since broken up, as so many of these young bands do. But their one and only album will most likely stay in my playlist a lot longer than the few short years they remained a band.

Music, to me,  isn’t just something to have on in the background. It’s therapy.

What song/band does it for you?

  10 Responses to “Of Machines & songs that make you want to die”

  1. I can’t agree with you more! I get so emotionally attached to songs and musicians, and most people don’t get it, but you described it so well: “… it’s not so much that it’s making me sad, as it is making me feel less alone.” Back when I was dealing with depression for the first time as a teenager, I would lock myself in my room for hours just listening to music in order to feel something.

    I always thought I was a masochist for listening to music that can push me over the edge from the blues to a full blown depressive episode, or fill me with angst for at least a week.

    My musical tastes are all over the place, from Lady Gaga to Elliott Smith. Sometimes it’s lyrics that will do it, and other times its just the music and an achingly haunting piano riff. Ben Folds is my musical God (his song Evaporated gets me every time).

    • “Back when I was dealing with depression for the first time as a teenager, I would lock myself in my room for hours just listening to music in order to feel something.”

      I know that feeling! I’m so glad we met on here, the good old Internet. I feel like we’re very similar in more than just the “hobbies and interests” sense.

      I only know some Ben Folds songs, and I’m not sure if Evaporated is one, so I’ll check that out when I get home from work tonight!

  2. I love this song!! I always like the songs you post here.

    For me, it’s usually The Smiths I go to when I want to hav an emotional experience. Anything dark, really.

    I’m buying Of Machines right now!

  3. The band that helps me stay as sane of a human being as possible is Switchfoot, more importantly their lead singer Jon Foreman. His lyrics and the emotion he has while singing are amazing. I had actually posted about that on my LJ a long time ago and you commented (I have saved the email because I was so happy!!)

    A lot of my friends don’t understand how their music has helped me become the person that I am and tease me that I will be arrested for stalking them one day but I have hope that one day they will understand the power of music and I will be the one laughing!

    • I remember that! I’m so glad you commented here:)

      I know what it’s like to be teased. I remember two summers ago when the singer from Chiodos (well, he’s not anymore, but he was then) tried to kill himself. It really rocked me, to the point that I cried about it. When I found out, I was at work and the people there were like, “Um, you’re crying over someone you don’t even know personally….?”

      But they didn’t GET IT. Yeah, these singers aren’t like, you know, hanging out with us on the daily; but their music is so entwined with our life that it DOES make us have some sense of a connection with them, you know?

      Have you ever just been at a complete loss for words, and then you hear a song that totally sums up EVERYTHING you’ve been feeling? That’s the BEST feeling, like a reminder that we’re not in it alone.


  4. Now there’s an interesting mix of styles thrown into this song! I liked the death metalish parts.

    “But it’s not so much that it’s making me sad, as it is making me feel less alone. Combined with the heaviness of the music, it’s a release.”

    Yes, this, exactly. Music heals. Because it comes from souls and not…machines, that’s why it heals. No matter what style.

    I have a band for every emotion. When I am troubled, it’s always something with Kevin Moore somehow in it–whether it’s his own band, or he played keyboards in someone else’s band.

    When I am happy, I usually want prog metal. Dream Theater, unless I am plotting a war, in which case I want Symphony X’s Paradise Lost.

    When I am angry, I want my fuck you music, like Slayer.

    When I want encouragement, I turn to Eric Johnson.

    When I want to chill, it’s anything Kip Winger or Winger.

    When I am traveling for long distances and get sick of driving, it’s The Monkees to wake me up. (Don’t laugh! It’s true!)

    When I want to stretch my brain, it’s Jordan Rudess.

    I could go on forever. :)

    • I’m glad you replied to this! It’s weird that THREE Alysons commented on this (Ally is short for Alyson).

      Music DOES heal, you’re right. I think it’s so interesting to know the different types of music that do it for people. I think you can really analyze your life by going back and looking through the music phases you’ve gone through. I look back at all the different phases I went through, like the gangsta rap (don’t hate! I was young, lol), the hard rock, the indie stuff. I was so different as a person through all of those phases. One of the reasons I got out of the indie scene was because I couldn’t stand how fucking pretentious people were at the shows. Those were seriously some of the most boring shows I’ve ever gone to, no matter how much I liked the band. Like for instance, Henry and I went to Coachella in 2004 (just because The Cure was headlining) and I was still heavily into indie stuff, like Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene and Death Cab (before they exploded), and I swear to god, the music was great but none of those sets could hold my attention, and the people there were assholes. It was kind of the turning point for me, and to be honest, I sort of associate that type of music with bad times, like Weiss’s and pretty much 2004 in its entirety, because that was a shitty year.

      Granted, the shows I go to now are mostly full of teens, but they’re FUN SHOWS and the music makes me feel something. I feel like I’m more emotionally expressive now too, like that stuff really helped me to open up. Even though it’s “kid” music (which I could go on to argue but that’s another post!).

      I still love Eric Johnson, too!

  5. You already know of my love for Elliott Smith but I agree with Ambrlyn about The Smiths as well. Death Cab For Cutie also helps me melt when I’m feeling gloomy.

    When I’m happy and chillin’ I like the music of the 70’s: The later Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Bee Gees and god help me even James Taylor.

    • Sometimes I can just THINK of certain Elliott Smith songs and my eyes will tear up. He was such a beautiful songwriter.

      I listened to DCFC nonstop when I was going through a lot of terrible shit in 2004, particularly “Champagne From a Paper Cup,” so now I actually have a hard time revisiting their old stuff. And it sucks. That song popped up randomly on my playlist a few mths ago and I honestly felt like my heart was ripping. Such a great band.

      Bee Gees!!!! <3

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