VOLUME 12 ISSUE 1 SUMMER 2012
You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. PAUL MCCARTNEY (1976)
An Offbeat Approach
I Will Not Grow Up
As Close To Woodstock As It Gets
The Circadian End
Cacophony In The City
In Fifth Measure
How $10 Changed My Life
LUIGI DE GENNARO
ALLIE HINCKS & LAKYN BARTON
ALLIE HINCKS & LAKYN BARTON
Inside Front ALLIE HINCKS
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Lakyn Barton
THE MUSIC ISSUE
Production Manager Katie Parkes firstname.lastname@example.org
Literary Editor Fiorella Morzi
Imagine riding an elevator in complete silence.
Art and Photography Manager Allie Hincks
This scenario is highly unlikely as music is literally and figuratively the backdrop and soundtrack to our lives.
Promotions Manager Mary Ferguson email@example.com
Radio Manager Katie Parkes firstname.lastname@example.org
Brantford Manager Vacant Applications at wlusp.com/volunteer
CONTRIBUTORS Joseph Brannan, Ron Butler, Luigi De Gennaro, Danielle Dmytraszko, P.G. Gallant, Vanessa Lanno, Rachel Lehman, Tiffany Morris, Ashley Newton, Lydia Odwang, Regina Phalange, Lauren Rabindranath, Max Sharikov, Jessica Whitford
ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher & Chair Emily Frost Executive Director Bryn Ossington Advertising Manager Angela Taylor Vice Chair Jon Pryce Treasurer Thomas Paddock Director Kayla Darrach Director Joseph Mcninch-Pazzano Corporate Secretary Allie Hincks
Music makes you feel something. What that something is depends on you. My personal taste in music is varied. My playlists have been known to make ‘hipsters’ and intense music fans protest. Playlists comprised of A-Ha, RuPaul, Hannah Montana, and even the Paris Hilton album shapes my musical life. I am not ashamed of my love of music deemed uncreative and lacking substance because to me, it has value. “Music Again” by Adam Lambert is one of my most played songs. The song features the line “you make me want to listen to music again”. The Music Issue made me want to listen to music again. It made me want to discover the new and rediscover the old, to attend concerts, to listen to the sounds of the city, and to hear my own song. I hope it does the same for you. Lakyn Barton Editor-in-Chief
CONTACT Blueprint Magazine 75 University Ave W Waterloo ON N2L 3C5 p 519.884.0710 x3564 blueprintmagazine.ca Advertise email@example.com blueprintmagazine.ca/advertise Contribute firstname.lastname@example.org blueprintmagazine.ca/contribute
COLOPHON Blueprint is the official student magazine of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Founded in 2002, Blueprint is an editorially independent magazine published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors. Content appearing in Blueprint bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. Blueprint reserves the right to re-publish submissions in print or online. Opinions in Blueprint are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Blueprint’s management, Blueprint, WLUSP, WLU or CanWeb Printing Inc. Blueprint is created using Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.5 using Adobe Creative Suite 4. The circulation for a normal issue of Blueprint is 3000. Subscription rates are $20.00 per year for addresses in Canada.
NEXT ISSUE On the theme of “Student” Submissions due September 10 On stands September 19
COVER Art by ALLIE HINCKS Design by LAKYN BARTON This cover art was not what we were expecting. Originally, we wanted the cover to represent the various ways people love music. Having asked a few people to represent “what music means to you” through physical objects, the finished products were all incredible. Incredible and busy. This cover is a simplified version that represents what music means to most people. The “What ____ Means To You” activity is now a standing segment in Blueprint 2012/13. Visit blueprintmagazine.ca for more information.
LAUREN RABINDRANATH I don’t remember what I wore that day. I’m not sure of the date. I’d be hard pressed to even remember every band that played. But I remember one thing for certain: Edgefest ’06 changed my life forever. Edgefest 2006 was my first concert. Tagging along with my brother and his friend on a hot summer day, I was excited and nervous for my first live music experience. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the amplified guitars screech into tune; it was my first introduction to illScarlett, as they opened the show with a palpable drumbeat. I can still smell the sweat of hundreds of strangers making more physical contact with me than I had had with some of my closest friends. I can still relive the incomparable natural high as my brother and his friend threw me overhead, sending me crowd surfing to the stage in what would become a mandatory element of each succeeding concert. I can picture the face of the complete stranger who sang with me just as the chorus dropped. I still recall my new appreciation for Story of the Year, who electrified the crowd as soon as they took to the stage. Above all, I remember leaving with an insatiable thirst for more. A thirst that will keep me buying concert tickets until I die. If you love music – and I mean really, listen-onrepeat, savour-the-breakdown, feel-like-it-was-written-for-you, know-what-song-is-coming-next love music – you have to go to a concert. The moment the drumbeat you’ve been tapping in class drops, with a new dimension and immediate intensity, you’ll understand why. It’s the indescribable energy you share with a thousand somebodies, jumping and singing in tune to a song you thought only you could love that much. It’s one of the few places where you leave more excited than when you came. Attending is the only way you’ll hear that impromptu Top 40 cover you never would have imagined your favourite band knows. It’s one of the few places pushing and shoving people you’re not related to is socially acceptable and your heartbeat races while you’re sitting completely still. It’s the place you get chills in 30 degree weather. If you’re lucky, you might even experience the rush you get from having the flesh and blood talent, who has only existed as an image on your wall for the past year, respond to your screaming declarations of love. All these and a million more experiences combined have made concerts some of my most cherished memories. You haven’t heard a song until you’ve heard it live.
The Circadian End ANSEL OOMMEN
The sun has set; the leaves long gone; Winter touches on my panes But in the deathly still, a song. A cricket in some arbor cricks, All alone, in sporadic tics. How melancholic is the thought That the weight of a whole summer lost Shifts on the legs of a pious soul. The cosmic pressure that urges its rhythm In cadence fast, to sing its all Of budding blooms and bird nest eaves Revives from Fall, en masse, withered leaves, Ashen grass and balding trees To partake of this sweet symphony. And in this religious melody, The insect too is wise to note Through bohemian eyes, the tune is rote. As it plays its fleeting whisper, I shall pen its will on paper So all may enjoy and listen Of its summer tales, while snowflakes glisten. For I too, must sing this song, Before the day is spent and gone; Before all is finished and begun Before my words become undone.
Silence RACHEL LEHMAN
An Offbeat Approach FIORELLA MORZI
I arrived at the hospital on March 14th, accompanied by security towards the short-term psychiatry unit for adults. I was 19 - barely making the cut, skimming the surface of “adult”. I soon found out that I was the youngest patient in the ward. Hesitantly, I entered the unit, initially blinded by the fluorescent lights, and carefully observed my surroundings like a laboratory rat placed in a maze for the first time. The entire thing seemed bizarre. An uncomfortable combination of curiosity and fear grew rapidly within me, traveling through my bloodstream and devouring me whole. I said nothing. I sat on my new bed, staring open-mouthed at an unfamiliar window, closet, and night table. I didn’t know what to expect from my situation, but I wouldn’t have guessed this. A clear, high-pitched voice broke the mind-numbing stillness of the room, floating around my head in pop splendor. Soft piano chords followed closely behind the mysterious voice and finally led me to stand up, bewildered and disoriented, to intriguingly approach the unknown. Who was singing? Where did the piano come from? I walked apprehensively down the hall as the music increased in volume, each step more shaky than the last. I turned a corner and suddenly entered the recreation room where I saw two things: the girl whose voice had been a puzzle, and an old, woody piano. I stood there listening, mesmerized, and all at once I felt a sense of comfort and relief. Everyday for a week I listened to her play and sing, until she was transferred to the long-term unit and I never saw her again. On the day she left, I found myself sitting on the piano bench, progressively enchanted by the wondrous musical device that I was just beginning to re-discover. My 12-year-old self did not care much for the instrument when my mom had enrolled me in private lessons, but somehow, on the brink of my twenties, I marveled at its unrivaled sound.
During my second week at the hospital, I became increasingly friendly towards my peers and developed an interest in snacking and group therapy. This was a positive change from my previously withdrawn demeanor. Access to the piano permitted me a chance to experiment with noise, melody, and selfexpression. I realized that it provided patients like myself the ability to utilize our imaginations and serve as a creative outlet in an unlikely place. A red-haired girl was admitted to the unit around this time and, upon arrival, instantly situated herself in front of the piano and would continue to do so daily. She played the same three songs each day at around the same time. I would sneak to the piano whenever I had a chance, but soon the girl would confiscate it and I would have to share. I wanted it all to myself. As my comfort with playing intensified, the contentment and security that I felt within the unit swelled tremendously. On my third and final week, I was evaluated by my psychiatrist, who expressed to me that I was well on my way to recovery. A few days before my final night at the hospital, a small, black-haired woman was admitted to the unit. I noticed that she kept her head down at all times; reminding me of myself when I had first arrived, anxious and desperate, as I reflected on my uniquely helpful experience. With everything packed, I said good-bye to my beloved room, and walked down the hall for the last time. As I passed by the recreation room, I stopped. Not because I wasn’t ready to leave, but because my ears were filled with a classical, highly complex piano tune. I peeked inside and recognized the blackhaired girl, whipping her lengthy locks side to side in ferocious enthusiasm. I said nothing.
In the theatre of the mind, tune is religion, And all periphery players must be screened. Cast as doubt, the robed are most naked, The exposed, mysteriously dressing about. No practice for the volcanoes melody, No beginning to the deafening scripture. Sing for the boy with crutches, And sing for the aimlessly able, Preach to the shoeless princess, Performing in a horseless stable. Peerlessly tried, and too tired to quit, The blue moon sits, watches the day, As hopeless dreams are shuffled by bass, With love on stage, with rings to shatter. The gentry genuflect to the peach, Speaking certainly of the myopic ale. Knowledge is bought by the bustard, His choices, provoking the catatonic. When the current finds you, no vest shall save, Accepted when given the shovel to your grave.
Journey RACHEL LEHMAN
In Fifth Measure LUIGI DE GENNARO
If you could dance with the Devil which rhythm would you choose? Would you sell your soul for dancing shoes? You fought to fondle, Not knowing whether some wise old woman would count the measure, And teach you steps even striplings knew; Once discovered by a mother, Spying fellow with female polishing the other. Dunny dance with the devil, Come wrestle Her down, And for one musical moment forget Holy with your crown. “Don’t you fight,” I should have told you when tong tapered the nose of one red-faced gentleman. Mama had helped to tie the nus, And break the nose of some Lady Deuce. Soon after succumbed, And soon after seduced. Poor Dunny done in by the Hooven Cloof. And there we reveled to be in one another for saints and sinners to see, Two, now third-born, of a bastard Trinity.
Last Song MAX SHARIKOV
I can’t remember what I was doing earlier, but I stopped when I saw a skeleton with a guitar. He was seated next to a Tim Horton’s cup overflowing with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. I checked my pocket. There was a sufficient amount of change, so I asked, “What do you play?” “The last song you will ever hear,” said the skeleton with the guitar. I understood the words to be a warning, but I wanted to hear the song anyway. How could I pass on the skeleton’s offer, to play the last song I will ever hear? I would forever regret it, forever wonder what the last song would sound like. It’s possible that I’m being impatient, that I would hear the last song eventually, that I would hear it in the last moment of my life. There’s a lot to hear that I haven’t heard. Hearing this song means that I will never again hear the soothing voice of some of my favourite artists. What if they create new songs? No matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it, I couldn’t walk away from that skeleton. I fished some change out of my pocket and threw it in the Tim Horton’s cup. The skeleton looked down, reached for the cup and upturned it over his mouth, drinking the change. I heard the clatter of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters on the skeleton’s ribcage; it was a song unto itself. And then the skeleton raised his guitar, raised his bony hand, and began to play... His playing was awful! The worst I had ever heard! It sounded like a hamster in a blender, like Velcro rubbed against a chalkboard, like church sermons... I couldn’t stand it any longer! I tore out my ears insuring that I didn’t hear another note of the skeleton’s song... or any other song, for that matter. “I told you it would be the last song you ever hear,” said the skeleton. But I didn’t hear it.
I Will Not Grow Up VANESSA LANNO
Frank Turner - If you don’t know the name, then shame on you. If you do, then you will probably agree with everything I am about to say. I have seen this wonderful British man perform twice in Toronto. The first time was at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, where he played with his band Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. This was an absolutely astonishing performance. I swear I have never had so many goosebumps accumulate in one evening than I did that night – or so I thought. The second time I saw him perform was at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre where he opened for Joel Plaskett. This time it was just Frank and his acoustic guitar and, my god, did he ever impress me. Not many of the people who were at the show came to see Frank Turner, and frankly (haha) had no idea who he was. This worked out quite well for me as I was able to sit approximately ten feet away from him as he made sweet love to his guitar. It was basically a private show
He has a song called “Photosynthesis” which is about refusing to grow up and spending the rest of your adult life worrying about pensions and mortgages and miserable 9-5 jobs. While he played the song he would break away from the lyrics every now and then (whilst still strumming on his guitar) to discuss how crazy the world is these days and how people really need to interact with each other and remember that life is still beautiful underneath of all our bill payments and hours spent at work. There is a line in the song that repeats and goes “I won’t sit down and I won’t shut up and most of all I will not grow up”. He taught the audience the line and had us repeat it after him. He then had us sing it and scream it as loud as we could over and over with him while he played the rest of the song. Everyone had gotten up and was dancing and singing and laughing with each other. There were super old dudes, who
There were super old dudes, who were pretty pissed at us for being so loud earlier, that were now dancing and laughing their faces off. It was like a scene from a movie, totally surreal. for me and about ten other people who were fans of his. Frank sang every single song as if it was the first time he had ever played it – so full of passion. His lyrics are so witty and honest. He sang a few new tunes, one of them being a love song entitled “Wherefore Art Thou Gene Simmons”, which was absolutely hilarious and yet somehow still managed to be heart wrenchingly romantic. Oh man. I could go on and on about how each song made me want to marry this man, so I had better stop myself now and just get to the best part. So, like I said, no one in the audience really knew who Frank Turner was except for myself and a few others, so needless to say we were the only people standing up and clapping and yelling the lyrics at the top of our lungs. He is an extremely interactive performer though, and really knows how to engage a crowd, so by the end of the show he literally had everyone – and I’m talking everyone – standing and singing and dancing with people they didn’t even know.
were pretty pissed at us for being so loud earlier, that were now dancing and laughing their faces off. It was like a scene from a movie, totally surreal. After the show, Frank headed to his merchandise table and spent time talking to his fans (old and new). I had a nice chat with him and praised him on his performance. He was so down to earth and real, it was a perfect end to a great show. Now if you made it to the end of this story, do yourself a favour and Google the shit out of Frank Turner. It’ll make your damn day.
Changing Directions JESSICA WHITFORD
This is a detailed account of my high velocity descent into a world of music where the sugar coated ballads are generated by a computer, coveted by tweens, and sung at alarmingly high pitches by angelfaced man-boys. This is how it took a week and a half to completely erode my semi respectable taste in music and turn me into a raging, swooning, full on fan-girl. Believe me, I never meant for this to happen. My addictive personality makes me abnormally susceptible to trends, fads and crazes. Having come to recognize this in myself, I am extremely cautious when it comes to anything that could potentially end up with its own doll, or on the front of a lunch box. So, as the grumblings of a second coming of boy bands began, I censored myself and limited the amount of information I took in. In an attempt to maintain my relevancy, I got a peek here and there of the boys, caught a couple of their names but made a point to avoid analysing how long it might take them to style their hair or squeeze into their skinny jeans. I revelled in my strength and even permitted myself to watch their Saturday Night Live appearance. Nothing special; potential crisis averted. That is until I received a text from my friend Jen. Jen recently earned her Bachelor’s of Business and has aspirations of running a non-profit organization. She always remembers to turn the stove off when she is done cooking and knows better than to accept a ride from a stranger. Despite the fact that she is an intelligent, self aware and bright young woman, Jen is not impervious to the charm of a boy band and a British accent. So, she messaged me saying that she has an extra ticket to this concert and needed a friend. She assured me that I did not have to share in pandemonium or even pretend to enjoy myself. I just had to be
there to make sure she didn’t get trampled by preteens or their overbearing mothers, and to remind her to hydrate in between songs and fits of hysteria. I reluctantly agreed. I make the commute from my office to the venue feeling strong. We join the throngs of people gravitating towards the concert like zombies… eerily perky zombies. Complete assimilation is impossible as our weather appropriate outfits and lack of body graffiti betrays us and reveals our true age. The ear piercing shrieks and mile long line to the bathroom ensure that I remain sour and the opening acts make me feel like I am at an elementary school talent show. I make eye contact with a couple of dads as we collectively scour the grounds for a beer tent, without success. The stadium begins to rumble, the tension and excitement becomes palpable as 16,000 hormone crazed fans can no longer stand the suspense. They’ve spent their babysitting money and they are ready for a show. The rhythm starts slowly, effortlessly teasing and titillating the crowd. It is a matter of seconds before I feel my heart beating in my ears, in sync with the roaring chants and in time with the music. Five bodies materialize on stage. They are perfectly styled, perfectly suave and perfectly legal (I checked). Their first song, like all their songs, is rich with clichés and oozing just the right amount of corporate-calculated lust. It takes exactly one hip thrust from the curly-haired one and I come undone. I am shocked, mostly at my quick unravelling, but also at how gracious and surprisingly talented they are. Their charm seems to come naturally and pairs well with their boundless energy. In the absence of my self restraint or a beer tent, I drink the Kool-Aid. And I like it.
It takes exactly one hip thrust from the curly-haired one and I come undone.
JOSEPH BRANNAN Out of my brotherâ€™s sour chords Emerges slowly Finlandia Beautiful still on an untuned piano Wrestled from the silence Of working-day noises.
Cacophony In The City LYDIA ODWANG
Some weeks ago, I left my well-loved university town for downtown Toronto. Suffice it to say I was curiously dissatisfied with nothing in particular and also everything at the same time, commitment-free and saddled with three years’ savings. It was a long time coming, and wouldn’t summer in the city be marvelous? And didn’t I deserve it? And wasn’t it inevitable anyway? Lonely romantics are never satisfied with mid-sized cities for long. I packed in exactly six hours. The teachings of my first weeks were sparkly and new, and then they were not so any longer. Wondering if banality can follow you from one city to another is a particularly riotous brand of self-torture. In a bedroom with four white walls you can convince yourself that you’re anywhere in the world, or rather, that you’re not in one of the most exciting cities in existence. All of the sameness was stifling; my city of wonder now seemed like any other dreary Canadian doghouse. It was utterly unfair and, more than that, worrying. And what about all this damn noise? How do these people get any thinking done? But now I was stuck with it, all of it, for four months. The 21st century girl with a soundtrack for everything was face to face with the new music. But the city’s score is compelling. Firstly, if you ever need to be reminded of how insignificant you really are in the grand scheme of things, you need only stand on the subway platform while the train is pulling into the station. A light be-
gins to emerge from the tunnel and the ubiquitous wall of wind grows stronger and stronger, your coat flailing helplessly, before the mighty bellowing rhythm of the train shooting over the break points in the tracks roars throughout the station. Suddenly you’re reminded that, my God, aren’t I really just a tiny little thing? Isn’t technology terrible and grand? Machines must certainly be alive. The subway rumble is the urban wardrum; the subway itself, the lifeblood of the city. Power, discipline, and respect, embodied. Toronto, itself a macrocosm 2.5 million strong, waits obediently at its beck and call, an overgrown city at a standstill without its operation. The whole thing seemed really profound and menacing at first consideration. I wondered if this is what my small-town friends meant when they said the city made them feel uneasy, and I shuddered at the thought of New York’s even greater nefariousness. Finding truth and a place for myself here would be harder than I thought, I inwardly mused. One always has to roar louder than the subway train. The delicate howl of the streetcar is a different story. Let me share an important point here: the streetcar is one of my favourite things. You might ask why and I might foolishly attempt to explain the ins and outs of the matter, both out of courtesy and in a bid to solidify some sort of basis for my own unfounded musings. The streetcar is the wildest and most darling concoction of European and urban charm with infinitely more glamour than the city bus.
Abandoned Gutair ASHLEY NEWTON
I bet that you, yourself, could fall in love on the streetcar. Especially if you were twee enough to call it the tram. Then you’d really be in for a doozy of a romance. My irrational love for the tram aside, the prolonged, bellowing wail of this particular transit vehicle has become a warm and exquisite city standard in my life. Something like a metropolitan foghorn to a rail-bound metal ship sailing through a sea of sedans and wayward cyclists. It is regal and commanding yet, subdued and not quite loud enough to be unpleasant or discordant. You are only kindly reminded that it’s okay, your rescue and salvation has arrived, finally, to scoop you off of the turbulent streets and provide shelter in the warmly lit cabin. The ride is gentler than the siren song; the rocket moseys through the streets calmly while you idly take in the view of the urban sprawl. It’s like the subway with more scenery and character, for those of us who crave distraction and whimsy and stray away from sterility. The tram, folks. It’ll break your heart, I swear to God. In spite of all the flurry of the streets (and sometimes, equally so, inside my head), the morning birds still sound the same. Their songs will follow you. The same avian symphony has greeted me with every sunrise for as long as I can remember. It’s half charming and half irritating. If you don’t agree, you’ve probably never pulled a classic all-nighter in front of your computer screen, scraping the last pieces of coherence from all the corners of your brain to meet whatever
encroaching deadline, when the bravest bird curiously begins to sing. (The first chirp reminds you of the falsehood of your imagined immortality and that you have, indeed, been awake for twenty hours. The charade is over and you swear, right then, that you could tell each bird to fuck off, individually. And maybe you did, depending on your level of lucidity. Student life sucks.) In times of real introspection, I begin to think the only existential purpose of birdsong is to remind me that I am a sustaining being, subject to theories about the existence of time and continuity of the mind and memories and retained knowledge. It’s all very Lockean. Thankfully, my own perceived sensations are easier to decipher and accept than others’ philosophical positions. I guess birds have taught me more than I give them credit for. I sort of want to thank them for being so romantic and consistent, if talking to birds wasn’t so batshit crazy. Even the cooing of pigeons is oddly soothing. And even suburban girls hiding in the city know that nobody speaks fondly of pigeons. Anyway, I appreciate the hell out of all these birds, I really do. But armed with a few subway tokens, some red lipstick, and a great knack for grandiosity, I think I might do well to give the cacophony a chance.
How $10 Changed My Life TIFFANY MORRIS
I’d always liked the Beastie Boys, in the way that a lot of people do. I had “Hello Nasty” on cassette in 1998, and wore heavily on the tape ribbon listening to “Intergalactic” on repeat. I liked the hits and was always happy when they came on at parties. Whenever I made a party playlist, at least one Beasties song would make it onto the list, because like Weezer, Sublime, and Johnny Cash, they were universal crowd-pleasers. A sing-a-long was guaranteed. They were an awesome ice-breaker. My relationship with their music continued in this way until exactly ten years later. In 2008, I had a disastrous, messy, painful breakup with my then-fiance. Separated by a coast and a country, I thought I could shake him easily. I couldn’t. The music we had listened to in our 3 years together seemed like it was everywhere. My own collection became off-limits. Listening to those entire catalogues of songs stirred up all the pain and longing and other pathetic feelings that I just wanted to make go away. I needed music of my own. Something that I had not shared with him. It seemed like every song in existence had some sort of connection to him, and what I desperately needed were songs that we hadn’t listened to while making dinner or making love or driving along the sun-soaked Pacific Coastal Highway between LA and San Francisco. That’s when I truly found hip-hop, including the Beastie Boys. Lonely and having just moved to a new town, I spent a lot of time at the mall record store, buying CDs that would be free of ex-related memories. Two, in particular, helped me assuage my rage and fear and loneliness: Licensed to Ill and Legend of the Wu-Tang. Both were on sale for $9.99. I lived in a hotel and had only a suitcase and a Discman to my name. That lone piece of obsolete technology was my connection to self-renewal. When I threw on that Beasties record, I had music that was all mine. I could create new memories with it. It became a guiding light in that weird process of finding myself, having wandered too far into the wilderness of an abusive relationship and coming back on the other side. Alone. Alive. Grateful. What that music gave me was a chance to be me. A chance to feel free from pain and guilt and sadness. When I couldn’t figure out why I was so devastated to hear the news that MCA died, I had to stop and give myself time to think about it. He may have never known how his band helped a random Canadian girl heal from heartache and abuse, but it did. Maybe that’s why anyone makes art or music or anything at all, because we stand the chance of unexpectedly reaching out to each other in ways we can’t even fathom, even when we’re just rapping about Brooklyn or kicking bass behind closed doors. I spent $10 on that hot summer day, at a store that has probably since closed down. In truth, I don’t even have that disc anymore, having lost it in one of my many moves. What I received, though, is with me to this day, written into my memories, surging to the surface whenever I sing along, smiling wide.
Whenever I get excited, my body responds by tingling with anticipation and wonder. My body and mind are in complete unison, linked and sedated by my pheromones. The initial stimulus was the 2 x 5.5 ticket stub. As I ran my fingers along the slick paper, a small uproar ignited in my stomach - the eagerness already too much to bear. Amidst the continuation of my daily routines, my thoughts constantly strayed to that one awaited nightâ€Ś. I welcomed the crisp September evening as the cool air calmed my searing hot skin. The warmth, which generated from deep within me rotated like a wired circuit. My knee-high stockings created a cotton barrier against the fall air, making up for the meager sundress I was wearing. Standing amongst eager like-minded individuals, I could not help but feel exposed and vulnerable. Do they feel what I am feeling right now? Can they sense how deeply affected I am by the atmosphere? The desire to stand at the front of the stage caused a collision of bodies; strangers gyrating to create a feasible arrangement. The confined space forced individuals to fit together like puzzle pieces. Although I craved the main event, I respectfully appreciated the opening bands, their talents being mere foreplay compared to what was to follow. The heat within the venue caused moisture to accumulate across my entire body, dripping down my forehead and causing my hair to coil. Poignant scents of body odor, marijuana and beer encapsulated the venue, an intoxicatingly erotic scent of togetherness. As the openers stalk off the stage, and the lights dimmer, my breath halts; it is almost time and every person knows it. Over zealous employees check the microphones and tune the instruments, their skillful fingers artfully maneuvering wires, guitar and bass strings. Armed with the release of their newest album, the desperately awaited Caribou assembles on stage. Reacting to their sweet ambience my body shudders with pleasure, vibrating alongside the idiosyncratic melodies. The finalization of their set marked the explosive discharge of my emotions, exhausted yet satisfied, body and mind reposing.
Instrument ASHLEY NEWTON
The music glides into my mouth Seamless and perfect, like ice, Warming the top of my long neck And giving it the hope it has lost in strife. I can’t remember how it happened. My mind is undone by the minor scale. Unravelled and laid flat like music staves, Stretching out as I become bound, though less frail. That’s when I hear it. My strings come alive, and I lose myself. The sound of steel is beautiful, as I realize it’s a note being played. This icy sensation quickly becomes raw, And quickly becomes warm. This energy I feel, this awakening, It’s all because of this musical score. My broken pieces come together. They are united and structured carefully with fret lines. I am stable now; my instincts remember what music sounds like again. With music, there are no confines. I am constructed. I am the instrument. But, disappointed in the passionless hands that continue to play me. I was created for the purpose of passion. Without it, the music never survives. I am the instrument. And I am dying.
As Close to Woodstock As It Gets RON BUTLER
Right now, I’m sitting in a giant air-conditioned tent on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Music is blaring from outside the tent, and hundreds of people are drinking and enjoying themselves. I’m still quite far from the action. About 5 acres away, there are nearly 80 000 people having an even better time, listening to an eclectic gathering of musicians on several different stages. By tomorrow, I’ll be able to add the Kooks, the Avett Brothers, and Radiohead to the list of my favorite bands I’ve been privileged enough to see live. The next day, I can add the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alice Cooper. Yes... Alice Cooper... That’s not all. The next and final day, I will witness live performances from Ben Folds Five, Bon Iver, The Shins, Phish and wait for it! The pièce de résistance... The Beach Boys! I’m at Bonnaroo, and I’m soaking in every second of the music and culture. Ever since I was little I wanted to experience a music festival. I used to watch the Woodstock documentary with my Dad at least once every other week, and I couldn’t wait for the day when I could live through something close to the Woodstock experience for myself. Music has been a huge part of my life since I was a child. My best friend is the greatest musician I’ve ever known and our nights usually consist of buying an album and driving around until it’s done. Then we would probably put on another one (or two) and just keep driving. I’ve been to a countless amount of concerts, but there’s nothing like experiencing a music festival where people of all walks of life gather for days to hear non-stop music from different genres. I went to Lollapalooza with friends last year, and though it was a wonderful experience, not all of the music and genres grabbed my attention. I was hoping for the Woodstock feel but I soon
realized those days were long gone. I was experiencing a new generation of music and listeners that didn’t particularly resonate with me... Until I came to Bonnaroo. When I was at Lollapalooza I felt bombarded by advertising and an industry of “cool” rather than being able to experience the music and the culture of the festival. To me it just seemed like three days of groups trying to look badass in front of a massive audience while the audience tried to emulate the same level of cool they thought the musicians were promoting. At Bonnaroo, people are dressed in tie die, ripped shirts, bathing suits, long hair and beards and have sun screen on their noses. They aren’t here to buy things or into a culture based around being cool... They’re here solely for the music and to have a good time with those they’re with. They recycle everything, they help out when someone needs a hand, and when someone bumps into you they turn around and apologize for their mistake. The greatest of their qualities is that they dance, and not like the choreographed dances you’d find on Much Music and MTV. They dance how they feel. It’s a simple and beautiful expression of how involved they are in listening and experiencing the music that surrounds them. I’m finally home. As for now, I’m getting ready to go into Centeroo to experience some new music from musicians I’ve never heard before. Tomorrow, and the two days after, I’ll be as close to Radiohead, Alice Cooper and the Beach Boys as I possibly can be. If you weren’t able to make it to Bonnaroo this year, don’t worry, I’ll probably see you here next year.
The greatest of their qualities is that they dance, and not like the choreographed dances you’d find on Much Music and MTV. They dance how they feel. It’s a simple and beautiful expression of how involved they are in listening and experiencing the music that surrounds them. I’m finally home.
My Music KATIE PARKES
My bones, my strong, precious bones are the stage, holding me in place as I sway to the beat of my heart. My vertebrae are the microphone stand, keeping me balanced in front of this crowd. My femurs are the boom boxes, radiating sound down through my toes, giving my feet the energy to move. My pelvic bones are my headphones, keeping my sound in the sensitive spot, giving my hips reason to shake. My ribcage is my hero, protecting my lungs, letting my breath become the voice I share with the world. My humerus bones are my favourite, behaving like wires, extending my soul and my sound to the very tips of my fingers. My skull is my concrete disco ball, turning to the tune running through my brain and making my eyes shine like glitter. My muscles, my firm, exhausted muscles are my instruments, coming alive to the sound of my dancing. My ligaments are the strings, wrapping their melodies around my skeleton and maintaining a musical harmony. My tendons are my family, my band mates, sharing my life and connecting my strengths together, generating a noise all my own. My skin, my raw, experienced skin is my speaker, blasting the chorus, letting lyrics seep out of my pores. It radiates beautifully as it sings my song. My blood, my thick, fiery blood is my liquid confidence, shooting through my veins, performing for this audience. It flows with unison as it keeps me in tune. And my heart, my swollen, wild heart is my source of power, the play button on my stereo, turning my music up loud. My heart is in charge of sound checks, wrestling my emotions as it beats my drum.
Volume 12 Issue 1 Summer 2012