2019 Wrap – Up

As this year is coming to a close, I thought I’d look back on 2019. I did this last year and really enjoyed it, especially because I love reading these posts from other people.

Music:

This year, I decided to start this section off with what I listened to most (according to Apple Music). I listened to 575 hours of music, as of December 30th, which is around 23 days straight of listening to music. (Of course that doesn’t count everything, but still). That’s a lot.

Top 10 Songs of 2019:

  1. Freaks Like Us – Hands Off Gretel
  2. Be Yourself – Audioslave
  3. Misery Chain – Chris Cornell
  4. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  5. Can’t Change Me – Chris Cornell
  6. Nightmare – Halsey
  7. Preaching the End of the World – Chris Cornell
  8. The Last Remaining Light – Audioslave
  9. Superpower – Adam Lambert
  10. S.A.S.S – Hands Off Gretel

This is not surprising…at all.

Top 10 Artists of 2019:

  1. Soundgarden – 67 hours
  2. Chris Cornell – 51 hours
  3. The Lumineers – 36 hours
  4. L7 – 34 hours
  5. Audioslave – 33 hours
  6. U2 – 22 hours
  7. Foo Fighters – 20 hours
  8. Hands Off Gretel – 19 hours
  9. Temple of the Dog – 18 hours
  10. Elton John – 17 hours

…That is a total of 169 hours (or 7 days) spent only listening to Chris Cornell’s voice. Sounds like a good time honestly

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

  1. Echoes of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path – Soundgarden
  2. The Lumineers (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  3. Euphoria Mourning – Chris Cornell
  4. III – The Lumineers
  5. Higher Truth – Chris Cornell
  6. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  7. Six: The Musical (Studio Cast Recording)
  8. Cleopatra (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  9. Lungs (Deluxe Edition) – Florence + the Machine
  10. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog

Additionally…

  • I saw L7 play at the Varsity
  • I saw Queen play at the Xcel
  • Hands Off Gretel released I Want the World and it is amazing
  • Adam Lambert released Velvet: Side A and it is amazing
  • I listened to more new music than I usually do…though I clearly still have some favorites…

I posted about what I listened to all of 2019, so check that out if you want!

Books:

Hopefully I’ll read even more good books in 2020!

Life:

  • I posted my own writing on this blog for the first time. (I hope to do more of this, but it’s really scaryyyy)
  • I started my English Major Overanalyzes Song Lyrics posts, which I hope to continue soon!
  • I finished my first year of college and started my second year
  • I saw Daniel Sloss live at the Cedar Cultural Center!
  • I made some new friends!
  • I took my last math class ever!
  • I took some classes I really loved
  • I watched: Queer Eye, Versailles, Mindhunter and finished The Tudors which are all great (and verrrrry different)
  • I saw Six at the Ordway

I hope you all had a great 2019 and good start to 2020! I really like these posts because it’s good to reflect and be proud of all you did in the year, so what are some things you are proud of/were fun in 2019?

Thanks for reading ❤

Chris Cornell Songs You Need to Know

Two years ago today, we lost Chris Cornell, an irreplaceable musician. He wrote beautiful lyrics and had an even more amazing voice to sing them with. (I have a much more personal post on the strong connection I feel to Cornell’s music here if you want to read it). Over his long career he was in Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave and had a solo career. I’m going to showcase some of his lesser known songs and his wonderful performances today. (But I of course love Cochise and Outshined as much as the next person).

Playlist:

Here are some excellent songs in chronological order of when each album came out. I limited myself to two songs per album…but he had a lot of albums, so…it’s looooong…probably too long…oops.

You can listen to the playlist here

Additional Performances:

Here are some amazing performances I didn’t have linked above but felt needed to be included:


If you want to share, I would love to hear your favorite songs by him or how his music has impacted you.

Loud Love ❤

3 Year Blogiversary!

Yay! I’ve had this blog for 3 years! On January 26, 2016, I made this blog and started to write about books and music. I love being able to show people great books and music as well as talk about anything I feel like. Thank you to everyone who follows me and reads what I write. I am excited to post more on this blog in 2019 and talk more about things I care about.

2018 Wrap – Up

As 2019 starts, I wanted to reflect on my 2018 in the books I read, the music I listened to and things that happened in my life. I love reading posts like this, so I thought I’d make one myself

Music

  • I finally listened to and fell in love with hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey, which along with Badlands is one of my favorite albums. (Seriously, she is amazing at making albums that are perfectly put together)
  • I fell in love with Soundgarden
  • I fell in love with Semler and loved Six Feet Under All the Same, which she released on Halloween
  • I listened to Harry Potter soundtracks as well as Reign‘s soundtrack constantly while studying
  • After seeing Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, I listened to a lot of ABBA
  • I listened to Shane Dawson’s music a lot
  • Troye Sivan released Bloom and I listened to it non-stop
  • Hands Off Gretel released both Kiss Me Girl and S.A.S.S which I listened to non-stop (though I felt weird about listening to Kiss Me Girl since it’s a little yikes. But such a bop :/).
  • Gabbie Hanna released Honestly and Monster, which I loved (and the second parts of both: Honestly (Encore) and Monster (Reborn))
  • I fell in love with Audioslave
  • I saw Bohemian Rhapsody and listened to a lot of Queen

All of the music I listened to this year is documented (mostly) in my Month in Music posts, if you’re curious about any of the music I talked about. I also will be continuing this in 2019, but editing the format somewhat.

Books:

  • I read 10 books this year
  • My favorite books I read were: Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel (review), I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson (review) and Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love by Courtney Love (review). (I also re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, but I thought I should pick new books)
  • I also finished the Graceling trilogy, which I would highly recommend (Graceling and Fire are better than Bitterblue though. Fire is my personal favorite).
  • I finished The Merciless series, which isn’t super well written but is a really fun read. (Book 2 Review, Book 3 Review, Book 4 Review).
  • I didn’t finish the TBR list I put up in September…it was much too ambitious. My 2019 TBR will be up soon 🙂

Life:

  • I posted more random posts about issues I care about on this blog
  • I interacted on Instagram with Semler, which was really cool
  • I interacted more with Lauren Tate (of Hands Off Gretel) on Instagram and Facebook, which is always so cool
  • I got tickets to see Queen and Adam Lambert in August of 2019!
  • I graduated high school and started college
  • I survived my IB exams and the senior slide
  • I finished an essay on why Courtney Love didn’t kill Kurt Cobain and gave it to my teacher
  • I went on fun vacations with my family
  • I turned 18
  • I went to what felt like 5,000 grad parties
  • I watched Reign, which I loved despite how inaccurate it is (and reviewed it).
  • I started watching Sick Note and Big Mouth, both of which I love
  • I loved and obsessed over Shane Dawson’s series
  • I hung out with friends more during the summer
  • I voted
  • I took classes I loved my first semester in college
  • I survived midterms and finals for the first time in college

2018 was filled with change and new beginnings for me. I’m excited for a year where there is less of that, but I did enjoy the changes (mostly). How was your 2018?

Thank you for reading ❤

Men & Validating Women

*TW: r*pe 

Not long ago, I was watching a YouTuber I´ve found recently, Mr. Atheist (you can see his channel here). He’s an ex-Mormon who talks about religion (usually Mormonism) and being an atheist. As an atheist and a person who finds religion both deeply troubling in some ways and good in others, I really like his content. One video of his I saw was called “Protect LDS Children.” The video is about male leaders asking preteens and teens (12 to 17 year-olds) very sexually explicit questions. Typically, a bishop would be asking these questions and they typically would be around 35 years old or older. (The exact context of why and exactly how these questions were asked are in the video. I’m focusing on a different aspect of the video, so click the link on the title if you want to know more).

This is obviously disgusting, and it only got worse. Jimmy (Mr. Atheist’s real name) talked about the questions asked to girls who were raped. They asked questions like: “Did you like it?” “What did you do to egg him on?” Jimmy tore down every question, saying how awful they were and how in no circumstance are women ever to blame for being raped. The video made me want to cry, because these questions were awful and so unbelievably disgusting and inappropriate to ask minors and rape victims. But I had another emotion: validation. Jimmy made it clear that nothing to do with being raped is ever the victim’s fault. Hearing someone say it when so many people blame victims (especially men) felt so good.

It’s the same feeling I got when in high school, my male peer asked something along the lines of “Why are we studying women’s history?” and without missing a beat, my male history teacher responded (essentially), “Well, women are half of the world’s population.” Or when I saw a picture of my male cousin holding a pro-choice sign. Or just having one male friend who I knew understood feminist issues (it often felt like he was the only one who did). Or seeing a thread on Twitter of women talking about being drunk at parties or in a vulnerable situation and being taken care of by men who were present. Men added their stories of that one time they walked a woman back to her dorm room when she got drunk at a college party, or let her crash in their dorm. They were shocked and confused when women started praising and thanking them for being good men, because they were just being decent people. And that’s what’s so fucking sad. They’re being praised for doing what we should be able to expect from every man. Each of these examples are of men who showed the basic understanding that women are humans, not objects and deserve rights. Every woman deserves respect, deserves to learn her history, deserves to know men who stand by them and deserves to expect she won’t be taken advantage of if she drinks a little too much. 

Thankfully, I am surrounded by good men in my family and in my education. The sad thing is I shouldn’t feel so validated by the examples I listed. I should (but often can’t) expect men will treat me like a human. 

If you were an example I used here, thank you for standing with us. I hope more men will follow in your footsteps ❤

My Complex Feelings on Johnny Depp

On Halloween night, I decided to watch some movies. I started with What We Do in the Shadows (please, please please watch this if you haven’t, you will not regret it), Coraline and Sleepy Hollow. I had never seen Sleepy Hollow, but I read the original story in my American Literature class and when Halloween came, thought it would be fun to watch. I went into the movie knowing that Johnny Depp played Ichabod Crane and felt a little weird about watching it for that reason. But it’s a very popular adaptation of Irving’s story and I know it’s a good movie. Here’s the problem: it’s a lot easier to remember how bad someone is and why you refuse to support their art (I had to pay $4 to watch Sleepy Hollow on YouTube) when you’re not watching them act excellently.

An additional issue is that Depp as Ichabod Crane is sort of similar to Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (and Willy Wonka, but we won’t talk about that). They are very different in many ways, obviously, but their personalities are sort of similar. Both are in charge of something and attempt to act like they know what is going on, but clearly, they both bullshit their way through a solving a murder and being captain of a ship, respectively. This makes it even harder to reject Johnny Depp completely, because I loved Pirates of the Caribbean as a kid, and watching Sleepy Hollow made me nostalgic. It also made me remember that even though Depp is a huge asshole, he’s a very talented actor. This is sort of a hard pill to swallow, because it would be so much easier for me to not care about him if when I watched his movies as a kid I didn’t like him, or if his portrayal of Ichabod Crane was really bad. But it’s very good.

The news about Johnny Depp abusing his wife and being an alcoholic is old news by now, but I’m bringing it up now because Depp is in The Crimes of Grindlewald. It comes out tomorrow, and ever since seeing the first movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) I have felt conflicted about whether or not I should watch it. I didn’t know Depp was in the first movie but felt angry after seeing him in it. When I saw the first one, I felt angry that Depp even got more work after that, but of course, I wasn’t surprised. Men in Hollywood are redeemed quickly, often with little impact on their careers. This is improving, thankfully.

On the other hand, the world of Harry Potter has been a part of my life since 3rd grade. I really think it shaped who I am as a person and has remained something I hold very close to my heart. With that being said, I would have a hard time not watching anything Harry Potter related that comes out. (Except The Cursed Child, which I never want to see. But that rant is for another time…) Although I am disappointed in the casting (particularly in J.K Rowling supporting it), I would have a hard time not seeing The Crimes of Grindlewald. Seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them made me so happy and nostalgic, despite my feelings about Depp. Ultimately, I think my love of Harry Potter might win this. And I feel guilty about that. Really guilty.

I think the example of Johnny Depp brings up bigger, general questions about forgiving or not forgiving people (in this case men) in Hollywood and what repercussions those actions should have on their careers. These issues are very complex and not all cases are the same. Additionally, not everyone will have the same standards for when to forgive and when not to. As exemplified in this post, other reasons or biases might convince you to just consume what you want, even if you aren’t sure how to feel.

What are your opinions on this issue?


Thank you for reading! ❤

Thank You for the Music

A few nights ago, I listened to Audioslave’s self-titled album for the first time. (I’m not sure why I hadn’t done that yet, it’s amazing!) A few songs in, I felt like I had been punched in the gut and had a distinct feeling of emptiness. Some of my favorite musicians and bands are people who, unfortunately, died before their time. This means that sometimes at random times, it hits me that the person I’m hearing is gone. It seems strange to mourn for a person you never knew, even if it is common in our culture. Sometimes I listen to Nirvana or Soundgarden and feel great, but other times I hear Lithium and my heart sinks into my stomach. The thing is, I never met Kurt Cobain (that would have been literally impossible) or Chris Cornell, but while I didn’t know them as people, I feel like I knew their souls through listening to their music.

While I always consciously know that Cobain, Cornell, and so many other artists are gone, I don’t always remember that when I’m headbanging to Badmotorfinger in my room (for example). I don’t believe in spirits or angels or anything like that, but there is a sense while jumping up and down in my room alone that Chris Cornell is there somewhere. I don’t know where, but he’s somewhere in that room with me. When I lay in bed crying, Nirvana’s Unplugged is a warmer comfort than my blankets. It’s strange to feel such a strong, tangible connection to a person that is dead. I listened to Cochise just five minutes ago, but that person that makes me feel so much in my soul isn’t on Earth anymore?

I sometimes see people making fun of other people for feeling so sad when a musician they loved died and it makes me angry. While they didn’t have a relationship with that musician, no one else knows the relationship that person had with the music. People can feel like an artist or band saved them from killing or hurting themselves or got them through a really hard time in their lives. (Or made the first month of college a little less lonely in my case).

Thank you to Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell in particular. You are deeply missed by me and so many other people.


Thank you for reading ❤

Hairy Legs and My Hidden Sexism

I haven’t really done this on my blog before much, but maybe this is the start of me doing it. I don’t know. But I do have a lot of opinions about things, and I think it would be cool to share more about me and not just my excellent music taste and books I read. Onto the actual point of this post…

I was thinking recently about body hair. I am very lazy when it comes to the removal of body hair. (It’s not some kind of statement, but if that is something someone wants to do as a statement, I am all for it! The policing of women’s body hair (or anyone’s for that matter) by someone other than that woman is ridiculous. People have body hair! Get over it). Anyway, back to my point: me being lazy. I stop shaving as soon as I can when it gets cold and have just become increasingly lazy about it during the summer. Honestly, I don’t really think about it that much generally.

I have always been lax about my opinion on body hair and the removal of my own. I was the last person in my group of girl friends to start shaving (I think) and I really only started because I realized it was something I supposed to be doing. I didn’t even think about it before then. I’ve had friends after that time talk about shaving their ankles before wearing leggings to school that morning. I always think “why even bother? No one cares.”

But I’ve also realized something, and this is the important thing (no, I didn’t write a blog post just to detail my history with body hair): I do care. I have beliefs and prejudices about mine and other people’s body hair. I don’t want to have these judgments, but I do. I sometimes think it’s dirtier or embarrassing to have body hair. That’s not logical at all. Unless someone doesn’t shower, there’s no reason they are dirtier with hair than without it. It’s not embarrassing, it’s natural. And even though I have armpit hair, it still shocks me slightly to see other women with it.

I do prefer my legs shaved, but again, I’m lazy. It’s okay to prefer one way over the other, but I shouldn’t feel like my leg hair is embarrassing, or that shaving is something I need to do. I also think it’s good to recognize the prejudices we have against groups we are a part of. These judgements and prejudices cause us to behave differently or do things out of fear of being judged. While writing this all out makes me feel like a bad feminist, it is good to recognize where I need to combat these beliefs and change them. This is good for anyone to do, because challenging our own thoughts is how we progress as people. So I’m going to go shave…or probably not, because that’s too much work.


Thanks for reading ❤

#MelanieMartinezIsOverParty

As I looked at the side of my blog, where there are tags from my blog listed, you can see Melanie Martinez listed. This is because I have talked about her a few times, in my Mash-Up Mini Series and used her songs in my playlists. I have talked about this on Twitter and Facebook, but wanted to make it crystal clear that I no longer support her. She has been accused of rape by a friend of hers and I could and will never support anyone like that. I won’t delete my other posts with her in them, as her music or song was just part of a whole playlist or book review. I will link more information on what happened here, because it is not my story to tell.

So 2016…

2016 was not a good year for many, many people. I could name many reasons that 2016 was a hard year, but that doesn’t seem very helpful. There are enough people pointing out the bad parts, so I thought I’d make a post about the good parts of this year. Here are some things that went well for me this year:

  1. I fell in love with some great bands: Foo Fighters, Hole, Nirvana and Hands Off Gretel.
  2. I went to two great concerts with my friends! I saw Troye Sivan in February and Melanie Martinez in March, here are some videos from them:
    1. Melanie Martinez
    2. Troye Sivan
      1. (Creds. to my friends!)
  3. I met my friend Taryn for the first time in person (and we didn’t take a picture for some dumb reason ughhhh).
  4. I finished my sophomore year of high school.
  5. I survived my first quarter of IB classes as a junior.
  6. Bruno Mars released a great new album, and I made plans to go see him when he comes to Minnesota! On August 5, 2017!
  7. I made this blog.
  8. I made new friends and got closer some other friends.
  9. I wrote more (still not as much as I wanted to though).
  10. I had fun with my hair by cutting it really short and then months later dying it (twice):

    What was good for you in 2016? I hope you have a great 2017!