Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I am remembering again, remembering why I love music.

It's because at the end of a stressful, argumentative, menstruating, exhaustive day there is an album that takes me away from it all. The corners of my lips curl up into a semi-smile, I quit picking at my cuticles, my mind stops racing- the music has taken me away from it all.

Calm. Enticing. Complete. Splendid. All I have to say is thank you.

It is the new relase from Two Gallants, in stores today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I am in an exceptionally pleasant mood today and I can attribute this to hearing good music, such as

Standing at the Threshold, by Deer Tick

The song I thought of this morning, before all other songs:

Utilities, by The Weakerthans, from the album Reunion Tour

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Overbooked. Overworked. Not over the edge, not yet- not ever.

Taking the time, ten minutes or so, to breathe. Write. And listen.

Emails before class, before bed, always an email to be read.

To do lists here. Sticky notes everywhere. Waking up to remeber that I forgot to wash my clothes for work. A warm wash cloth and an iron press will leave my pants almost fresh.

Need to leave the elementary ryhme skills and make phone calls.

Monday, September 10, 2007

rules for managing stress levels:

No more than one drink on Thurs, Fri, or Sat.
Do Spanish workbook before class EVERY DAY
No spending money till I have found accommodations for CMJ
Walk fat ass to school every day, no exceptions
Daily updated to-do list
Do one thing for self every day, no matter what

[Listening to Left Outlet 's advance demo. It's keeping me grounded and composed.]

Saturday, September 08, 2007

cmj music marathon

its a party* of, by and for the industry

*party may be interpreted as an informal business meeting with a heavy focus on networking

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The time has come. I may have to succumb to the reign of Apple.

My mp3 player is on its death bed. The screen is busted, the left headphone barely works, and the most detrimental malfunction of all- the FM tuner does not pick up WKNC. I can't listen to my radio station (Yes, MY radio station! I work there enough to call it mine. Hell I might as well call it my significant other.)

Do I get an iPODnano with a 4 or 8 GB capacity? Then I would need to buy an FM adapter. Do I buy a less expensive mp3 player and compromise space and durability?

This is not in my budget. Wait, I don't have a budget. But it definitely cuts into my trip to New York City. But I literally cannot live with out a music device. It's not so much that I have to be listening to music, in a manner of addiction, but rather I have to and need to be listening to music. Every spare moment I have to listen to a new album and check up on the DJs is crucial.

This brings me to a point that has been bothering me. When you have to listen to music and you have to listen to it critically versus listening simply for pleasure, music loses its appeal. It becomes a duty rather than recreation.

When an album can take me away from the duty, into the sound, into the art, and make my ears tingle then it is TRULY a good album.

Check out PLANE. Their album "I See Love In The Future" takes me away, makes me smile, and I even groove a lil.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I am having a hard time starting this. My mind isn't being kind, but then I am not being kind to it. My brain capacity is spread over my long list of things to do. I would like to sit down and write a wonderful entry about music but I can't right now. Not in a complacent mood. Rather, more fidgety and anxious.

This however, is a half-written piece I had to do for my creative non-fiction class. The subject was PLACE. I avoided writing this piece, and avoided developing the piece, as much as I avoid going to that place.

Where are you from?

It’s one of the three main questions that are asked within the first three minutes of meeting someone new while living the forever remembered, life directing, hallowed college years.

And because I’ve accumulated so many of the supposed famed college years, I have deciphered a keen translation of North Carolinian accents into their respective regions. The thick, deeply drawn southern accent places a person in the eastern part of the state. A good example would be a young man saying he is from “Whhhyt-vil.” Translation: he is from Whiteville- a small coastal area south of Wilmington. There is notable latitudial difference in coastal dialect. A person from the outer banks or northern coast of the state could be mistaken for a Yankee, and on the extreme a Bostonian. The mountains of North Carolina produce a different twist of southern twang, one that tends to be rapidly spat and slightly mumbled. And then there is the red flag- being from a county. The person has neglected the town, or community name, and rather referenced the county- in hopes that it will strike recollection of a highway sign or two.

Where am I from?

If someone were to ask me this in ten or fifteen years I would tell them Raleigh. But for right now, I am from Concord. It’s in between the two extremes of dialect, a comfortable medium. It is a large town with growing problems, and it continues to act like a small town. This creates issues, issues that are fueled by facades of a wonderful life. These facades are what hide generations of people who never left.

Technically, I am from Cabarrus County. It is very easy to get to ‘my house’. Simply take the exit for Dale Earnhardt Boulevard from Interstate 85, follow this till it intersects with Highway 3, head east bound till you pass the Food Lion and then take a left at the Sun-Drop bottling plant. Go north on Old Concord-Salisbury Road, passing over Rocky River Creek into Cabarrus County. ‘My house’ is in the measely- excuse-for-a-neighborhood on the right.

But I don’t need to say Cabarrus County; all I need to say is Concord. This gets the immediate response of: “Oh yeah, Concord Mills.” As deceiving as it may sound, Concord Mills is not a preserved historic site that represents the great wealth of textiles that flourished in the area. Rather, it is a 1.32 million square foot shopping mall. It is widely known for the giant Bass Pro fishing and hunting mega-store and is located a convenient five minutes from Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It reigns as the most visited attraction in North Carolina; beating the outer banks and Blue Ridge Parkway. Yes, more people rather go to a mall then experience the outdoors.

But the mall, the Nascar, the four-lane renamed highways with too much traffic are characteristics of what Concord is now. It’s not what I am familiar with. Its not what I choose to remember. My Concord is different. And those directions are not how I get ‘home’.

I take the back roads to get home- I don’t go inside the city limits. From Highway 73 I take Irish Potato to Gold Hill road. I wind down the turns of Neisler, passing the Bosts’ small farm, and hit Old Concord-Salisbury Road north of where my house is. This route gives me time to prepare. The air is clean, the traffic is light, and the grass is green. I can smell the earth.

And I still go to the diner where I worked during High School. The name is different now. It’s no longer Ted’s Family Restaurant. It was sold to the brother of the Greek family who owned it. The food is the same at the newly named Parkway Diner- country style steak with rice, baked chicken that is somehow as greasy as fried chicken, and pinto beans remain exclusive to only Sunday.

You see, I make Concord what I want it to be. It depends on how long I stay there as to what it will become. A few hours, one day, maybe two, but never more than three. Concord is why I remained in Raleigh the summer after my first year in college. It has sticky tricks to it, a capability of dulling a personlity, and a way of sucking all motivation or ambition from someone’s spirit. It is a trap.