Tag Archives: music

Introducing Phil Barnes: The Interview!

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Today, I was honored with the opportunity to interview a local talent, Phil Barnes, a musician that I had recently seen on the “Stripped” Tour which was launched by one of my all-time favorite bands, We the Kings. He has performed alongside some equally talented artists, including but not limited to Austin Mahone, Kelly Clarkson, and Jessie J! He has not only performed hundreds of shows in his time as a musician, but he has also managed to build his success from its very roots while still remaining humbled by his journey to stardom…. er…. more like stagedom.

If you’d like to check him out, navigate to PhilBarnesMusic.com for updates on future concerts, to access his online merch store (the shirts are pretty nifty if I do say so myself!), and much more. Without further ado, here’s our one-on-one interview.


Mandy: “What got you started on music in the first place? Was it a skill you developed from watching someone else, or was it something you pursued on your own?”

Phil: “I watched some of my friends pick up the guitar when I was around 13, and I thought, “man, this is SO cool.” So I got one soon after and started watching YouTube videos of artists I loved then taught myself the chords they were playing.”

Mandy: “At the time, which artists were you looking to for that extra push to move forward in your music career?

Was there a specific genre of music that guided you into the musical direction you’ve found yourself in, or were there several that compiled into your current style?”

Phil: “I’ve gotta tell you, I’m looking to a lot of my friends. Emily Kopp and Wes Harllee are fantastic songwriters and performers who I’m lucky enough to have in my phone book. Mainstream-wise, I look to Ed Sheeran for his grind, John Mayer for his musicality, and a ton of hip-hop acts for phrasing. I think hip-hop acts, along with jazz-cats, have incredible concepts of timing and word placement. I try to bring those elements into my side of the field.”

Mandy: “So your music is essentially a compilation of all of those elements, brought together in a single style. The fact that you’re surrounded by so many talented people must be such an incredible motivator to continue to advance your own musical career, but it can be intimidating at times, I’m sure, to be standing side by side with artists that have been established for many years prior to your own career.

How do you personally maintain your confidence in the ever-changing, growing music industry?”

Phil: “It can definitely be intimidating. But as an artist, you get the immense liberty to be yourself and I think as difficult as it may be, it can be reinforcing to know that you get a stage to be yourself on. That time on stage is my favorite part of the day. And the confidence just grows as you keep on. Being in front of a mic starts to feel like home.”

Mandy: “I commend you for having such a strong presence on stage. That was part of the reason I enjoyed your performance so immensely last night at Culture Room during the “Stripped” Tour. You manage to exhibit your personality in such a genuine way, which is difficult to do, especially if you’re someone like me who finds being on stage to be a daunting experience.

How did you overcome the initial jitters of being on stage?

What was your first experience as a musician in the spotlight like?” 

Phil: “Ah, thanks! First experience on stage… wasn’t much of a stage as much as it was the corner of a Starbucks. Haha. But I was as nervous as could be. Shaky-voice, shaky-hands and all. But I got through it and people still wanted to come out to another show. I think what builds confidence is just continually doing something that scares the hell out of you.”

Mandy: “Transitioning from a Starbucks to a venue like the Culture Room is such a massive step up. We all start somewhere though, right? It must’ve been a dream to be able to display your talent in such a large-scale way next to none other than We the Kings.

What has your experience with touring been like?

Do you have a favorite venue that you’ve performed in so far that you’d potentially want to return to?”

Phil: “Exactly! The manager, Patti, at that Starbucks was so kind to let me set up my gear and do that. Touring has been a blast – there’s nothing better than getting to see a new city or hitting a new coffee shop every day and getting to meet new fans so often. If I get a little extra time before I show, I try to visit a restaurant that the folks at the venue are raving about it hit a coffee shop for a bit. There’s a venue up in Nashville called the Listening Room that I always love to play. Great crowd. Great room. Great sound. And I’ve gotta show love for the Culture Room. Such a cool spot and I’ve seen all of my favorite artists there.”

Mandy: “I could imagine that getting to visit new cities is a major plus as a musician, especially getting to meet your fans! It must be so humbling for you.

How would you say touring has affected your personal life away from music? What are the pros and cons of being on the road?”

Phil: “It’s definitely an adjustment being on the road – but I feel very comfortable with it as of right now. I really enjoy being piled up in a van or flying solo in my Ford Focus, as odd as it sounds. Haha. Not so much a con, but sometimes it’s tough to get used to a super, super tight schedule when you travel. Every so often, we’re grabbing two hours of sleep after a gig and driving 12 hours to the next one, straight into load-in and sound check. For the pro-side, my girlfriend goes to the University of Alabama, and since the majority of my touring is currently through the South, on the off-days I’ll shoot over to Tuscaloosa and spend some time with her. That’s definitely a plus.”

Mandy: “Thank you so much, Phil, for taking some time out of your day to answer my questions! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors as a musician and look forward to hearing more music from you in the future! Keep doing what you love, and the opportunities will continue to follow! Thanks again!”


I hope you guys enjoyed my interview with Phil Barnes! If you’d like to know more about this incredible artist (I insist you get on that), go ahead and give him a follow.:

 


 

xo Amanda Cramer

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“Stripped Tour”, Meet Culture Room! – Starring Phil Barnes and We the Kings

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We arrived early and were lucky enough to make our way to the middle of the venue, just five people from the front. The bottoms of my feet were starting to ache from my heeled leather boots, but I shook off the feeling to maintain my place in the crowd. If any of you have been to an intimate venue, you know that it’s almost impossible to retain a spot if you leave for a moment. The concert go-ers were packed like sardines, and I had to wonder whether it was a hand or someone’s chest rubbing up against my back.

After thirty minutes or so of listening to some pretty vintage bands that I can honestly say I’ve never heard (for good reason), the lights began to flicker. The crowd was growing restless and you could feel the excited energy growing as we awaited the performance. I was under the impression that the show would strictly be We the Kings, but was pleasantly surprised by the stage entrance of an artist I had never seen or heard before: Phil Barnes.

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At first impression, he was handsome. Well dressed, a little scruffy, and it was apparent that, unlike many other music artists, he was humble even when on stage, in the spotlight. He began to strum, and suddenly the whole venue fell in silence. The warmth he brought to the stage could be felt for miles. He captured our attention and, despite everyone initially coming to the show to see We the Kings, cultivated a new group of diehard fans, me being one of them. However, I did have to roll my eyes from time to time between songs, as the rest of the crowd was still focused on the fact that he was attractive. “You’re hot!” they’d shout, laughing amongst themselves. His performance had me absorbing and internalizing the lyrics, swaying and singing along. I don’t think We the Kings could’ve ever had a better preliminary performance. Phil Barnes is a talent worth recognizing.

Shortly after, We the Kings made their way to the stage. This has been about the sixth time I’ve seen them live, but this time around, I would have to say, was better than the other performances I’ve seen by them. Three of the guys in the band, Charles Trippy, Danny Duncan, and Travis Clark, have YouTube channels which they essentially post their entire lives on, documenting each day through their vlogs. From watching these videos, you see the kind of friendship they have amongst themselves. The intimacy of the venue and the small-scale show cultivated their humor in a way that I had yet to see beyond their channels. It wasn’t just their music. The audience got to see the kind of people they were. Their silly jokes, banter amongst themselves and toward the crowd, and the awkward moments when the rain stick took the stage and blew everyone out of the water. I was so moved by the music that I only noticed the uncomfortable bruised feeling on my soles once I was able to make my way back to our car. You know it’s a good show when you forget that you’re in pain!

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My favorite moment in their set was when Travis Clark took to the piano in his poem/song about living your life, called “Is This the End?”. I was immediately drawn to his passion and emotional connectedness toward the lyrics. Even from the audience, I could feel the strength of his words. The piece deviated immensely from their general musical style, but I think that the deviation was an immensely positive one and I definitely think they should explore that style of expression in future pieces.

The dynamic that the band has when they’re together is something that many individuals, including me, would desire to have in their lives and even more so in their careers. They have friends for life within their group, a mutual desire for a larger, shared purpose, and I think that having that kind of family away from your own family is crucial to a fulfilled life. I could only hope that one day I could have a group of people that I could consider my own family as well, a group that supports and cultivates the same aspirations as forcefully and passionately as they do! I also thought it was incredibly admirable that they made the choice to do a “stripped” tour, a completely acoustic set, and traveled as lightly and minimally as they did on their very first musical tour. With a band as big as theirs, it’s important to acknowledge the roots from which they grew their career, and I believe that is a key to their success. They’re still willing to show their fans that they appreciate them and to express gratitude towards the support they’ve received from the start. Thank you, We the Kings, for bringing us back to where it all began once more. The nostalgia was worth every moment.

What was your take on the “Stripped” Tour?
Comment below!

10 Songs Running Continuously Through My Mind This Week

1. Magic! – “Rude”

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I love the electronic reggae (weird combination, right? BUT IT WORKS SO WELL) feeling of this song, and the meaning of it hits home in several ways….It’s a very sweet song. He’s going the traditional route and asking the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, gets rejected for permission to marry her, but refuses to back down. This is how I’d hope it’d be if it were come to that cirumstance. Love should not be stopped by outside forces if it’s strong enough standing on its own.

“Saturday morning jumped out of bed and put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet, all the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old fashioned man yeah yeah

‘Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes
‘Cause I need to know
You say I’ll never get your blessing till the day I die
Tough luck my friend but the answer is no!

Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too
Why you gotta be so rude
I’m gonna marry her anyway”

2. Birdy – “Not About Angels”

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Birdy has one of the most extraordinary voices I’ve heard yet, and her songs always have such a deep, heartfelt meaning. The combination of her voice and the thought that goes into her songs could easily induce tears. Absolutely beautiful.

“We know full well there’s just time
So is it wrong to toss this line?
If your heart was full of love
Could you give it up?
‘Cause what about, what about angels?
They will come, they will go, make us special
Don’t give me up
Don’t give…
Me up
How unfair, it’s just our love
Found something real that’s out of touch
But if you’d searched the whole wide world
Would you dare to let it go?
‘Cause what about, what about angels?
They will come, they will go, make us special
Don’t give me up
Don’t give…
Me up
‘Cause what about, what about angels?
They will come, they will go, make us special
It’s not about not about angels, angels”

3. Hoodie Allen – “No Interruption”

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I love the aggressive,taking absolutely no crap feel of this song. I recently got into Hoodie and this song is a no-brainer when I’m making playlists from now on. He’s got an interesting style. I’m not usually into rap, but he’s one of the few exceptions.

“Imma do shit that just piss them off
Say you never heard me it’s your loss.
They bitin’ on my freestyles.
They tell me make my money
Frontin’ on that weed style.
I tell ‘em I be too old for it
And I gave my brother my ID.
She independent but these bitches never find me.
I hope they don’t find him, though.
‘Cause they be knocking on my door
Now they looking through my window.
Tell me what you really want from me,
Point blank no discussion.
Close mouth, close mouth, ow.
I give it to you No Interruption.
And tell me one time that you want me.
I promise that I won’t say nothing.
Shi-shut it up, shi-shi-shut it up.
I’ll give it to ya, No Interruption.”

4. Sia – “Chandelier”

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Her voice in this song is so raspy and sexy! (Am I right?!) I thought this was originally by Rihanna, because she sounded somewhat similar, but as I listened to it more, I figured it out on my own that it wasn’t her. I think the song is one of those that brings to light that you should live life to the fullest and not give up when times get tough (at least that’s how I interpret it). It’s a chill, pretty sounding song. She’s got a powerful voice!

“Throw ’em back ’til I lose count
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight”

5. Sia – “I’m In Here”

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This was the very first song I heard by Sia, and I fell completely in love. When I heard “Chandelier”, I didn’t realize it was also Sia! You learn something new every day! This song is horribly sad, but it’s relatable. There are times when we all feel like we aren’t being heard and feel almost isolated from the rest of the world, begging for someone to acknowledge who we are, and that we’re still there. Another song where her voice pulls the weight of the song so victoriously.

“I’m in here, can anybody see me?

Can anybody help?
I’m in here, a prisoner of history
Can anybody help?

Can’t you hear my call?
Are you coming to get me now?
I’ve been waiting for you to come rescue me
I need you to hold
All of the sadness I can not, living inside of me

I’m in here, I’m trying to tell you something
Can anybody help?
I’m in here, I’m calling out but you can’t hear
Can anybody help?

Can’t you hear my call?
Are you coming to get me now?
I’ve been waiting for you to come rescue me
I need you to hold
All of the sadness I can not, living inside of me

I’m crying out, I’m breaking down
I am fearing it all, stuck inside these walls
Tell me there is hope for me
Is anybody out there listening?

Can’t you hear my call?
Are you coming to get me now?
I’ve been waiting for you to come rescue me
I need you to hold
All of the sadness I can not, living inside of me

Can’t you hear my call?
Are you coming to get me now?
I’ve been waiting for you to come rescue me
I need you to hold
All of the sadness I can not, living inside of me

I’m in here, can anybody see me?

Can anybody help?”

6. Imagine Dragons – “Nothing Left to Say”

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This song projects the thought that one should keep moving forward and not look back on their past. Looking forward gives hope for a better future. Imagine Dragons was one of the very best concerts I’ve been to! They actually sound better live than they do on the cd, which is a refreshing thing!

“Who knows how long
I’ve been awake now?
The shadows on my wall don’t sleep
They keep calling me
Beckoning…
Who knows what’s right?
The lines keep getting thinner
My age has never made me wise
But I keep pushing on and on and on and on”

7. Christina Perri – “Human”

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The radio, unfortunately, has latched on to this little number which totally sucks, but it’s a fantastic song! This song reminds me of when I’m having a rough day and I feel like everything is working against me, so I fake a smile and try to get through it without breaking down. I thought the line about being a “good machine” was absolutely perfect and relevant.

“I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that’s what you want
Be your number one

I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that’s what you ask
Give you all I am

I can do it
I can do it
I can do it

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human”

8. Say Anything – “Alive with the Glory of Love”

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Let’s just say I’ve liked (LOVED) Say Anything for a very, very, very long time. Just perfect. This is like the music from my middle school years that I want to hold onto forever. One of the first songs that seriously meant something to me was by Say Anything!!

“When I watch you, I wanna do you right where you’re standing (yeah)
Right on the foyer, on this dark day, right in plain view (oh yeah)
Of the whole ghetto. The boots stomp meadows, but we ignore that (yeah)
You’re lovely, baby. This war is crazy. I won’t let you down (Oh no no)

No, I won’t let them take you, won’t let them take you
Hell no no, oh no, I won’t let them take you, won’t let them take you
Hell no no.

No, oh no no no!

And when our city, vast and shitty, falls to the axis (yeah)
They’ll search the buildings, collect gold fillings, wallets and rings (oh yeah)
But Ms. Black Eyeliner, you’d look finer with each day in hiding (oh yeah)
Beneath the wormwood, oooh, love me so good.
They won’t hear us screw away the day. I’ll make you say:

(Alive! Alive!
Alive with love, alive with love tonight)

No, I won’t let them take you, won’t let them take you
Hell no no, oh no, I won’t let them take you, won’t let them take you
Hell no no.”

9. Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck”

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The first time I heard this song, I totally bawled! I’ll admit it! It’s such a sad but sentimental song. Give it a listen (and bring some tissues).

“I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Til all the pain’s a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truck

I leave that radio playing
That same ole country station where ya left it
Yeah, man I crank it up
And you’d probably punch my arm right now
If you saw this tear rollin’ down on my face
Hey, man I’m tryin’ to be tough
And momma asked me this morning
If I’d been by your grave
But that flag and stone ain’t where I feel you anyway”

10. 311 – “Two Drops in the Ocean”

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Such a chill song…I listen to this one on repeat and it never gets old.

“Thinking of you
It all comes in view
I believe we came from the same cloud
Two drops in the ocean
Tell me again
The story of when we..
..we will be together one day..We’re two of a kind
Forever we’ve been combined
Though the current will pull us apart
Two drops in the ocean
You are part of me
The other side of the sea
And we will be together one day..Hey hey
What can I say?
I swim your way
Though the tide pull us away
I ask you
What you gonna do?
Oceans apart
But I know no one else will do
Two drops in the ocean
Just go with the motion dearWe’ll meet again
From two rivers that dealt on two shore
Two drops in the oceanFall into me
Dissolve in the sea
The boundaries between, they are nothing
But love we have, the only real thing..yeahThere is a stone wall
Around your heart
Nothin left now to do but to start
Chippin away
Day by day
Until we see it break apart
Hear me talkin ’bout
Let it be known, it can be done
Bit by bit and one by one
If the two of us try from both the two sides
Until we see the sun
Your phenomenal

Two drops in the ocean
Just go with the motion..

A lot of fish in the sea..
..not for me
You’re somethin’ of a different kind
The rest evaporate, but you stay in my mind

There is a stone wall
Around your heart
Nothin left now to do but to start
Chippin away
Day by day
Until we see it break apart
Hear me talkin ’bout
Let it be known, it can be done
Bit by bit and one by one
If the two of us try
From both the two sides
Until we see the sun
Your phenomenal

Hey hey
What can I say?
I swim your way
Though the tide pull us away
I ask you
What you gonna do?
Oceans apart
But I know no one else will do
Two drops in the ocean
Just go with the motion
Two drops in the ocean dear..”

 

What songs are on your mind lately?

My Personal “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Warped Tour 2014! (WHO’S READY?!)

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It’s that time of year again when all of us concert-goers gather at one of the largest music tours across the United States: Warped Tour. This tour has been a personal favorite for me, as I have been going for many years, starting back when I was in middle school (which feels like an eternity ago). Last year, there were a decent number of instances where I found myself shaking my head at all the stuff that people end up bringing with them to the concert that really does not need to be there. So in light of that, I decided to make a list of personal “do”s and “don’t”s of Warped Tour for Warped Tour 2014!

Feel free to leave comments on your personal “do”s and “don’t”s!

DO

1. Do bring YOUR OWN water. Sometimes they take the caps off the water bottles you bring inside(so they aren’t chucked at the musicians, which I understand better now that I’ve gone there for a few years already), so if that’s the case, at least you still have the bottle to refill at the water station (a station they provide to concert go-ers to keep them hydrated). You’ll be happy you did. In Florida, at least, it is blistering hot and you’re going to be there for at least a couple of hours (I usually stay from opening time to closing), so it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s be honest, too. You don’t want to pay $4 for a water bottle…That’s enough to buy a pack of ’em.

2. Do wear comfortable clothing (and maybe a bathing suit underneath). It feels pretty lucky when it drizzles at Warped Tour, but rain or shine, having a bathing suit gives the concert go-er the utmost comfort. One year, and I remember this clearly, the rain had poured so hard, and I remember having my clothes soaked through with rain and feeling uncomfortable for hours after. It was a total mess. In hindsight, I really should’ve checked the forecast and dressed accordingly.

3. Bring a camera. It’s always a good thing to be able to record your memories for later viewing. There’s so much that Warped Tour has to offer that it would be a true shame to not remember it in years to come. And who knows! You might run into a band member you’d kill to take a photo with, or win a VIP pass and really want to document the lucky moment (I won 2 meet-and-greets before and was lucky to have a charged and ready camera on hand!!). This one is essential!

4. Check out the band list and plan (at least a little bit) ahead of time so you can attend accordingly. There are going to be many different bands playing at the same time. You need to know which ones you have to see, which ones you’d like to see, and which ones you wouldn’t care if you missed. What I usually do is look on the http://vanswarpedtour.com website and make a list with categories to ensure that I don’t miss a show I NEED to see.

5. Go with someone with similar music interest (if you’re not going alone). You can get so caught up being in the group dynamic that you might end up going with the flow and missing some shows that you would love to see, but that your friends don’t care for. It’s easier going with someone with similar music taste for obvious reasons.

DON’T

1. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR NEW SHOES. I cannot stress this enough. People step on the back of your flip flop, it snaps apart, and then you have no shoes. Not having shoes at Warped Tour is a horrible risk, with glass and other rubble on the ground. Sneakers (VANS?) are the best option, but well-secured sandals can do too if you don’t mind strange tan lines on your feet (maybe get some fake tan in a bottle to prepare for the aftermath). Oh and new shoes will be obliterated. That’s self-explanatory.

2. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I see people getting trashed every year, which is fine, but please make sure that the driver of the car you’re going to be in is sober. You don’t want to lose your life that night out of negligence. Plus, if you’re the driver and you have to remain sober, it’ll still be fun for you too! You don’t need to get drunk to have a good time!

3. DO NOT WEAR LAYERS. It.will.be.so.hot. Light material (light colored shirts are even better) t-shirts or tank tops, bikinis (or swim trunks), and comfortable shorts are crucial. You’re going to have soaked-through clothing regardless, but it will be less uncomfortable if your clothes are breezy.

4. BE A MINIMALIST. DON’T PACK YOUR HOUSE. You only need a backpack, THE TICKETS, your wallet, sunscreen, some water (as noted above), and a place to put merch (if you’re planning on buying some while you’re there) and anything else you need to carry (maybe those broken flip flops?). Only bring the absolute essentials, because you’re going to be carrying everything ALL DAY. Having 20 pounds of bs on your back is going to be brutal as you’re walking from stage to stage.

5. SUNSCREEN MUST BE EVERYWHERE ON YOUR BODY AND REAPPLIED FREQUENTLY. You will burn like overcooked bacon if you don’t take care of your skin. I don’t care if you’re light, dark, somewhere in the middle. You NEED it. Don’t risk getting skin cancer over laziness. It’s easily preventable! Make sure it’s at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to not only put it on the common places you apply sunscreen, but also your chest and feet (as the skin is really thin and vulnerable in those places).

Have fun guys, and make sure you’re prepared to rock because this Warped Tour is going to be a day to remember! Be ready for what’s to come!

Do you have any tips or tricks for other Warped Tour fanatics?

COMMENT BELOW!

Hi, I’m the Author!: Mandirito’s “Likes” and “Dislikes”

I saw this really great idea on my friend, Vinny’s, WordPress blog and I thought it was an exceptional idea for those of you who follow my blog and would like to know me a little better! So here we go! The things that I “like” and “dislike”! These are just random lists, and are not in order of importance.

Likes (and Loves) :

Romantic Comedies (comedies in general!!) – singing – writing (you could’ve guessed that!) – dancing – Mexican food – promoting myself creatively – photography – equal rights – listening to music – honesty – drawing – Chinese food – painting – easy-going/happy/upbeat music – going to the gym (indoor cycling, treadmill, elliptical, weights, everything!) – utilizing social media effectively – cycling – running (on the occasion) – experimenting with cooking – hot showers – salads (when made right) – sweatpants – rainy days – creativity/creative people – beach-going – yoga – punctuality – cuddling –  laying in the hammock – exploring new places – movie nights – walking around with no pants – bringing my own popcorn to the movies – blazers – concerts (WARPED TOUR!!) – chick flicks – sewing (and altering my own clothes) – planning for the future, planning – coffee (WITH CREAMER) – blogging/vlogging – feminism – receiving flowers (carnations, sunflowers) – making other people feel loved – dresses – spontaneity – having my space sometimes – the Florida Keys – horror movies – boating – fishing (catch and release!) – the CTFxC – the DLV – eating with my fingers – making videos – dressing up nicely every day – heels on the occasion – red lipstick – We the Kings – hot sauce and spicy foods – chocolate – sheets just out of the dryer – creating – romantic gestures – positivity/optimism

Dislikes (and Hates) :

Narcissism – those who do not respect authority – rude kids – ungratefulness – having to make a good first impression – those who are not impressed easily – boredom – rats – messiness – feet – poor listening skills – styling my hair on my own – rap music – R&B music – going to the gym and waiting for machines – cynicism – waiting in line – selfishness – unwillingness to change poor traits – chewing with your mouth open – unnecessary stubbornness – peppers – going to the doctor/dentist – laziness – destructive criticism – lack of motivation – bread (usually) – lateness – homework (obviously) and examinations – cheating – reading textbooks – Greek food (from what I can tell) – raw carrots – textbook prices (HAVE YOU SEEN HOW RIDICULOUS THEY ARE?) – liars – long periods between show seasons (Come back, Pretty Little Liars! D:) – mushrooms antibiotics/medicine – walking in grass with heels – drugs – judgmental people – discouragement – users – shoes with no arch support – pork (usually) – clinginess – unwillingness to try new things – close-mindedness – the color orange (usually) – selfish friends, on and off friends – wasps – short shorts – manipulation – going to sleep after watching horror movies – sushi

Daily Writing Prompt: Put your music playlist on shuffle, take the song it lands on, and discuss it.

I apologize for the lack of time and inspiration lately. It’s been a hellish week, but I am back for good (I know, horrible, right?) so here goes nothin’. The daily prompts will, once again, become a daily thing. I’ve missed being able to write. It’s like the flesh and blood of my inspirations, and the absence of the ability to put my thoughts down in physical form has made me feel…..introverted. I share so much here that when I don’t, the thoughts just fester within my head.

Back to the topic at hand. It says to put my library on shuffle and talk about a song that it lands on. The song I landed on is called “The Hunger” by Fireflight. It’s a Christian song originally, but I’m not very religious, so I’m going to analyze it from the perspective of someone who doesn’t associate specifically with one religion. The following lyrics are the lyrics associated with this song.

fireflight_unbreakable

“The Hunger”

Cut it out, cut it out
I know it’s what you’re wanting to say
Burning up, burning up
I know why you’re feeling this way
There’s an ache you can’t erase
A yearning that you can’t replace
And you want Him, and you need Him
But you act like He’s not there
Yeah, you know that you’re hollow
And something’s missing here
So you push and you pull the hole in your soul
But you can’t make the hunger disappear
You got a rusted out lock on your door
Getting ready to break
You’ve held back love long enough
I think it’s time to cave
You’re waiting for a sign
The fact is faith is blind
Do you want to spend your whole life jaded?
Stuck in a rut that you created
Why don’t you break the cycle?
Let love win

To my understanding, this song reminds me of the feeling you get when your decisions are poor within a romantic relationship with another due to negative past experiences. You’re guarding your heart and building walls up around your feelings, begging your partner to not break them down, because you’ve learned from your past mistakes and refuse to get hurt again. You want your love to surpass your pain, so you begin digging yourself out of the hole you had buried yourself within, and let the light show into your soul. It eliminates the aching in your heart, replacing it with the fulfillment of bliss and unconditional acceptance.

I love this song because it tells a story beyond its original purpose. For those who don’t affiliate with the religion it represents, it can provide a powerful story to several different human experiences, and make the listener feel as if they aren’t alone in their suffering. I feel that any music or other creative outlet that can give you support just through words is a major accomplishment for the artist of the piece.

Songs I Exploited the Repeat Button With This Week

I’m guilty of being that person that listens to the same song a good ten…..hundred times in a row, I admit that. I can’t help it, though! When I’m in a specific mood, I need a certain song to reinforce that mood. So here we go. Here are the songs that have made me exploit the repeat button this week. I hope you enjoy!

1. “Secret Valentine” by We the Kings

Mood: love, adoration

Oh god, I have an unhealthy obsession with them. Mostly Charles Trippy and the darling ginger that redefined my taste in men, Travis Clark. How I love them both…This song gives me all the cute feelings of back when, in middle school, we all had these massive crushes and it was always a huge secret, who you liked. That cute innocence is something that I sometimes miss, so I thought this song encompassed that emotion.

2. “All of Me” by John Legend

Mood: love, dedication

Ugh. This song is sickly cute, and the music video makes me feel all the more nauseous with feelings of love….and disgust. I’ve listened to this song so many times that I feel like my roommates’ ears are bleeding, but I don’t think I’m gonna stop anytime soon. He has a beautiful voice and the meaning of the song just makes me feel all mooshy.

3. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Mood: That’s a hard one to figure out. Take a listen?

Everyone’s so sick of this song by now, all thanks to its repetition on the radio, but C’MON GUYS, WE NEED MORE HAPPY MUSIC. I can’t help but dance and sing along every time it comes on. This song can instantly bring my mood all the way up, which just goes to show how great it is. I don’t care how many times I hear it. I’m still gonna love it. If you don’t like it, I guess you’re gonna have to cover your ears for me.

4. “Sad Song” by We the Kings

Mood: sad, down

I had recently heard this one and it’s amazing. I had found myself having a crappy day that day, and I know they always say that you should try to lift your spirits when you’re sad, but sometimes I like to just mellow out and accept the feeling. This was my go-to this week in that case. If you haven’t listened to “Sad Song” before, give it a shot. It’s really mellow, and it’s a good song when you’re feeling down in the dumps and want to just….vent it out.

What are the songs that you guys have been listening to on repeat?