Archive for ‘Author Autobiography’

October 12, 2011

My 12 Songs, or Brent Hate-F***s Out A Playlist

Thirty-eight days, four hours, 15 minutes, 57 seconds.

In that time, I could shave my beard and regenerate it to an even manlier version than what currently inhabits my face.

I could hand in a two-weeks notice, slightly more than 2 ½ times.

I could start training for a marathon, turn into a lean, mean, running machine, and then decide after Day 37 to stop training for a marathon when I remember that I’m not a douchebag (OK, that one was a stretch).

More realistically, that very specific amount of time is how long it would take me to work though my entire iTunes library. That’s right — 12,660 songs at 91.62 gigs of memory on Ye Olde MacTop. Of course, that’s not even including the unlimited number of songs I access through Spotify, YouTube, my modest vinyl collection, or the Neil Diamond and Hall & Oates cassette tapes in my car for emergency use only (translation: daily use).

Now, as a way to introduce myself to the hearingade faithful, I’m supposed to pluck 12 songs out of that infinite black hole of music nerddom for a playlist (or I guess officially “mixtape,” though I’m young enough I never did such thing before the dawn of the CD burner) that more or less defines me.

Um… unfuckingpossible.




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October 7, 2011

In A World Of My Own: Abby’s Proper Life As A Loner

As long as we’re equating ourselves to characters from Disney movies, Amber Valentine, I’ve got one of my own.

There are many reasons I identify with Alice in Wonderland. She has blonde hair, she talks to cats, she gives herself very good advice (but very seldom follows it) and even in her fantasy world she’s an outcast. Besides that, Alice’s story isn’t about finding love; it’s about finding belonging. That’s MY story, you guys!

No matter how old I get, the struggle stays the same. I make connections all over the world, but despite all my friends and supporters, I still don’t feel like I fit. I pass on really great guys because I think there’s always some other girl who is more right for them. I’ve never met any person who I thought I was the rightest for. That’s not to say I don’t like boys and pursue them anyway, which has been a horrible compulsion dating back to preschool. I think boy craziness was just something I was born with.

BUT ANYWAY, in case the mix doesn’t spell it all out for you (and it won’t because I couldn’t find any songs about Disneyland), this is me in a nutshell: I am a loner, a pescetarian, an excellent driver, fiscally responsible and addicted to daydreams. I love kitties, pie, sushi, Disneyland, rainstorms, stars and kissing boys. I have a stuffed panda named Squish and sleep on a futon. My toenails grow upward. I think iCarly is one of the best TV shows ever made. I will only marry if it can be to Batman. I have a tattoo of a corpse on my back and keep Halloween decorations up all year round. My mom says I’m morbid. I take it as a compliment.

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October 6, 2011

Chasing Amie: 12 Songs That Taught Me Something

Note to 13-year-old self: That E.T. shirt rules, but never get a perm ever again. It will make your life SUCK.

As I’m sure everyone who’s ever attempted such a thing will tell you, picking out songs to compose your musical autobiography is an excruciating, maddening task. Thus when all of us hearingade contributors were asked to pick a mix of songs that define who we are, I panicked. “How do I approach this?” and “How in the hell do I even begin to pick songs?” quickly became “ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!” *headslammingintodesk*

But, I powered through, for Abby. Dear, sweet, lovable Abby (who somehow thinks I’m worthy of writing for her site. what.).

So I present to you 12 songs that are important to me because they represent times when I learned some harder-than-shit life lessons. Songs that I can always listen to and remember how the proverbial DUH smacked me in the head and told me it was gonna be okay, and that my life would actually not suck forever. And it’s true, I am (now) far from suckage. In fact, my life is pretty damn great…you know, except for that whole “seeking approval from people who might actually read my writing” thing.

 Chasing Amie: 12 Songs that Taught me Something
Download this Mix on ITunes – or, listen on Spotify.

“Working Title” by Arlo

Was it overwhelming? Looking to the past? When I finally found out, our team had come in last.

“Why Can’t I Be You” by The Cure

I’ll run around in circles ’til I run out of breath, I’ll eat you all up, or I’ll just hug you to death. 

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October 5, 2011

How Abby’s Mixtape Project Almost Killed Me

I have an assignment! I want all of hearingade’s writers to post a mix of songs that define who they are. A musical autobiography of sorts. I’m thinking somewhere between 8-12 songs should be good. No rush on it. … But eventually, I’d like all of our personal mixes on the site so people can get a feel about who we are and whatever.

So spake Abby, mistress of this here blog, in an email to her minions last week. No problem, right? Except when you’re asked to pick eight to twelve songs that define who you are, you wind up lopping off your own fingers so you can preserve the thumb.

I don’t know that I’m any closer to a definition of myself through this process, except in the Nick Hornby “you are what you like” sense. And even that’s incomplete; in the great bucket of water that is what-I-like, this doesn’t even amount to a teardrop. What it best represents is songs I’ve wrestled with, in my head — they led me to think about them more deeply than other songs, because they appealed to me on some level that is either primal or intellectual, and demanded my engagement. Or they’re a moment in time, crystallized in song, as Rob Sheffield spelled out in his memoir Love Is a Mix Tape … not so much “you are what you like” as “you were what you heard.” There is no “story” of me in these songs … well, okay, there’s one, maybe one and a half. But they’re my songs nonetheless.

DOWNLOAD How Abby’s Mixtape Project Almost Killed Me

This mix was boiled down from a starting lineup of seventy. (That’s 70.) A list of castoffs is at bottom. The total seventy is still not even a thimbleful in the bucket — I’m a complicated man; no one understands me but my woman. So what Abby did was make me turn around to face myself, scalpel in hand, prepared to amputate. And even then I never had the nerve to make the final cut — my mix ended up with not twelve but fourteen songs, just like Paul Westerberg.

Schoolly D — Who’s Schoolin’ Who?
An attack, a nervous foot on the accelerator, a muscle memory. This song jumped up from the 1990 soundtrack to A Matter of Degrees — an indie film about indie rock that nobody saw but whose music cues circulated on tapes through half a million colleges — and latched onto me like a facehugger.

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October 2, 2011

She Told You She Was Trouble: Amber Valentine, Condensed Into Twelve Songs

I approached making this mix a number of different ways. At first I wanted a theme to make use of or a story to tell, one incarnation of which was a “Femme Fetale” mix which may yet see the light of day because let’s face it: Everyone loves a good femme fetale. I kept making mixes for days and then scrapping them, uncertain of what approach to take when suddenly I realized it: I should make a mix about me!

Narcissistic? Of course! But it makes sense, I swear! You see, most of my posts here are going to (in theory) be about me and the soundtrack to my life so it’s logical that my mix would be Amber-centric. And what exactly can we glean from this mix? Well, I’m just like Abby. I want to just get to the part where we bang. And I have some pretty sweet taste in tunes, too.

Oh, and the picture? I swear it was Abby’s idea.

She Told You She Was Trouble: Amber Valentine, Condensed Into Twelve Songs

Wildlife – Stand in the Water

I can be a good friend and I can be a good lover but I can’t do both.

The Walkmen – The Rat

When I used to go out, I would know everyone that I saw. Now I go out alone if I go out at all.

Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good

I told you I was trouble.

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October 1, 2011

Eye Of The Beholder: A Quick Look Into A Robot’s Psyche

Oh, introductions. Hi, I’m Scott, aka Robots Made Man, aka Eman Laerton, aka “that one guy”. This is my first assignment … ever.  I am to compile a playlist of music that would define me, showing you, the reader, a glimpse into what makes me “tick.” Easier said than done right?  Maybe so and maybe not. You be the judge.

Music for me, before I think I could even remember, was important. My first memory of music was singing “Shake Your Booty”  in Montessori school and dancing on the table. Needless to say the independence of that school was taxed by my “free will” and shaking rump, 4 feet off the ground! (Dial soap does not taste good for those who were wondering the outcome of my flamboyance) But that memory is so important to me because music was defining the rebel in me; who I would eventually become as a teenager, as an adult.

I suppose I should touch base on what I’m actually doing here. I don’t have a music blogger background, you won’t find any witty reviews written by me out there and I certainly am the odd man out in this collection of amazing people that is Hearingade. I do love music. I can be seen now in small venues all over Houston and Austin almost every weekend and when the band is too good to miss on the weekdays. I love live music. I could certainly sit inside listening to records and enjoying a nice Scotch or bourbon. But I like to be out there, rubbing elbows with the fans, being a fan and seeing a band’s dynamics onstage. So I guess this is where I may step up and write about live shows. Big and small. This weekend is Incubus, then upcoming shows will be the Meat Puppets, the Black Angels, Minus the Bear and Portugal. The Man. Obviously a few of these bands are well known and a few may be still under your radar. That is what Hearingade is here for: to get you in the know. But back to the assignment …

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