There Is No One Here But Me.


Check out this new, possibly stupid, song that I made:


I don’t believe in much. Label me a pessimist if you’d like, but I prefer the term “realist”, as clichéd or euphemistic as that might sound. However, sometimes things happen that I can’t explain and don’t make the world seem as bleak as I perceive it to be.

Take my job for instance. I didn’t expect to become employed at all after that last tour, especially after sending out 8 or 9 applications. I was fully expecting to sit around at home for a couple of months, like I always do, being angry and bored until I left for tour again. Then I got a call on one of the places I applied at. I interviewed and beat out another applicant for the job. I really enjoy the job too. That’s not what I thought would happen though.

Same goes for July 2012 when everything in my life suddenly changed. I had this vision in my head for years and it clearly did not work out that way. While now I see that it was for the best, at the time it wasn’t what I saw my life being.

Then there’s music. Every once in a while, the perfect band comes along that seems to have a message that I need right then to keep my head up. Had I heard them at an earlier time, the message might not be nearly as strangely meaningful as it does right at that moment. The realist in me says the most likely scenario is that there are countless bands out there and me being one of 7 billion people on the planet, I happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Maybe it’s similar to the daily horoscope or fortune cookies. We reach to try to find something meaningful in them because we’re told that they are meaningful. It’s sort of a placebo effect. We unconsciously make ourselves relate to the comforting messages that mysteriously show up at the right place and the right time because we like that little bit of magic.

This has been happening for years, though. Bands like Minus The Bear, Tycho, El Ten Eleven, The Album Leaf, and Brand New have all hit me particularly hard, just when I needed them most. Even though they had all been established for a while, when I got into them was the perfect time for me. When it happens it’s as if the universe is handing it to me saying “here, you need this right now.” What if that is what’s really happening? What if there is some bizarre cosmic Rube Goldberg machine in charge of music and all of the right variables have to happen so that I am lead right to what I need at the time? Sometimes it is very hard to say finding such meaningful music was random, and that’s exactly what I’m experiencing with this band right now: Foals.

I apologize if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram and you’re tired of me gushing about this band lately, but they have hit me on so many levels since I picked up their albums. Maybe getting all of this out now will curb my fan-boyish obsessive discussion of them until their sense of newness runs its course and I calm down about it. I can’t describe the feeling I get listening to this band. I love putting on my headphones, blocking out everything around me, and just getting completely lost in the music. I like picking apart each instrument and feeling the interaction between each part. It’s just perfect.

They haven’t sounded entirely the same on any one of their three albums. The first, Antidotes, is slightly chaotic and includes a horn section on most of the songs. Total Life Forever mellowed them out; I think they realized their potential and became really focused. They started leaning in a more artistic direction. Holy Fire somehow found them being even more refined and oddly heavier than both previous albums. I love that they just do whatever they want. Most bands will go from being heavy at first and slowly mellowing out, but not them.

My first exposure was from my friend Reid who showed me Antidotes. The horns threw me a little at first, so it wasn’t until I dug into their later albums that really solidified me on them. I’m a huge fan of progression, as the later albums from Brand New, Thrice, and Tool are all my favorites from their respective catalogs. With Foals, I first became obsessed with Holy Fire. I listen to it daily and still love every second of it, but lately Total Life Forever has been gaining my favor more and more. Part of the reason for that is this track in particular, “Black Gold.”

After a rambling, glorifying tangent, we are finally back to my original point. This band has suddenly appeared with a eerily relatable message at a very trying time in my life. 

The future is not what you see, it’s not where you’ve been to at all
The future is not what it used to be

- Foals “Black Gold”

This may not first appear like a monumentally deep statement, but I find when I look into it further it is saying so much more than it seems. We all make plans.  We know that the way things are today are the way things are going to be tomorrow. They’re not, though -"What Sarah Said" by Death Cab For Cutie, anyone? Your vision of the future is likely not at all what it’s going to be. Life takes such interesting turns and throws you for loops at the most unexpected moments. You can never really predict how things will turn out. Even though right now I feel like my situation will never change, never get better, there’s something about having this spelled out to me right now that gives me hope. Even though I can’t always get what I want and I can’t predict what’s around the corner, this somehow comforts me to the fact that now isn’t forever. I think we all know that in the back of our minds, but seeing past what is currently in front of us is very difficult. Regardless of what Yannis was actually intending to mean with this, it means something special to me no matter what.

The only certain in life is change.

January 8th, 2014
Shaved my head and face. Might grow it out for a lot of months. Might not. We’ll see.

January 8th, 2014
Shaved my head and face. Might grow it out for a lot of months. Might not. We’ll see.