Houston Open Air 2017

HOA17-Official-Admat-LRG

What an incredible lineup! I have seen Marilyn Manson and In This Moment before, and both are great performers and entertainers. This year, I am anticipating Avenged Sevenfold, Gojira, Avatar, and Mastodon stealing the show. Some of these names are not as well known as the others, but their music is phenomenal.

It’s also a great thing that they moved the festival to the Pavilion because last year, it rained heavily and the majority of the festival was cancelled. So in October, rain or shine, it’s party time.

Rock on.

-K

94.5 The Buzz Bud Light Weenie Roast 2017

Location: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX.
Date: July 22, 2017

Houston’s very own 94.5 The Buzz hosted the 2017 Bud Light Weenie Roast last weekend. The lineup featured Chevelle, Blue October, 10 Years, Missio, and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Mother Nature tried to prevent Houstonians from enjoying the festival, but with no success. Concert goers filled the Waterway area as rain poured heavily in The Woodlands, just as the Weenie Roast was starting. 

I arrived to the venue about an hour or so into the lineup, having missed Dinosaur Pile-Up and the majority of Missio. However, I was warmly greeted by hundreds of gestures in the air as Missio concluded his set with the hit “Middle Fingers.” 

Thinking that this would be the perfect time to grab a drink before 10 Years, my group and I headed to the nearest bar at the venue serving beverages. But, due to the lightning in the area, the Pavilion prohibited food and beverage sales for nearly an hour.

“Life is beautiful if you can focus on the light.” – Jesse Hayek

10 Years: I was excited to see this band because “Wasteland” is one of those tracks that still sticks with me even after all these years. The first line, “Change my attempt, good intentions,” leads into that hard rock sound accompanied by lyrics that contain a haunting, yet relative message about “saving someone who can’t be saved” (Hayek). In addition, other tracks such as “Fix Me” and “Shoot it Out” energized the audience. Before concluding the set, frontman Jesse Hasek discussed how music can come from a very “dark” and “emotional place.” He continued by saying, “Some people give everything, like martyrs to the system… bleed out the soul.” He then requested audience members to raise their hands and applaud “people like Chris and Chester.” I think people still mourning these deaths were comforted by the realness and empathy Hayek was giving. He was certainly right when he reminded us, “Their legacies will never fucking die because music lives on forever.” That phrase alone deserves praise.

Blue October: I was honestly very surprised with this band. The frontman, Justin Furstenfeld, has an amazing voice and seems very genuine, according to his lyrics and how he presents himself on stage. He wore a black long sleeved shirt with the name “Chester” spray-painted in white, as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington. After playing their biggest hit “Hate Me,” he asked the entire Pavilion for a moment of silence, as many obliged. Aside from the tributes, Blue October was astounding in their performance. Furstenfeld’s voice, the guitar, the drums, the bass, the lyrics, the lighting… they all complemented each other so well that I became a new fan and would love to see them again. Hopefully I can hear the song “Calling You” next time. 🙂

Furstenfeld concluded Blue October’s set by leading the audience with the chorus from Linkin Park’s “Shadow of the Day.” There was a definite feeling of mourning from both the performers and audience. Yet, there was also comfort in knowing that none of us were alone in our feelings. 

And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you…

In between sets, songs from Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, and even Nirvana filled the air, reminding us just how prominent depression mixed with drug addiction is. The tragedies we’ve experienced just this year with Cornell and Bennington are not the only ones. There are so many others we have lost and we must remember them, not only as artists, but as people who struggled and battled for years.

Chevelle: I was most excited to see this band, as they have been on my bucket list for 

ChevelleTheRed

“seeing red again”

several years. My memories of Chevelle go all the way back to when I was 10 years old. I remember the single “The Red” playing for the first time and being like, “This is music.” The next day in art class, my teacher mentioned how the color red is associated with passionate feelings, such as love or anger. Then the song made sense to me and was stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Chevelle played nearly all of their singles, excluding “Panic Prone,” “Closure,” and “Well Enough Alone.” But, the band gave its audience exactly what they came for: a badass rock show. The lighting was the most interesting to me. I’m always perplexed at how the colors and shapes can appear so perfectly to the rhythm of a song. This is probably why I take a lot of pictures of how light affects subjects (silhouettes, shadows, sunsets, etc.) In addition to this, Chevelle of course played a perfect show. The vibrations from the bass and drums made your heart beat out of your chest. Lead singer Pete Loeffler’s vocals mixed with his guitar gave goosebumps all over your body. Is this sounding a bit erotic? Well, that’s what the excitement of a rock show should do: make you

Chevelle

psychedelic

feel things, internally and externally. The band concluded their set, but came back with an encore set consisting of the tracks: “The Red,” “Comfortable Liar,” “Forfeit,” and “Send the Pain Below.”

This was my first experience at a festival associated with 94.5 The Buzz. I now know what I’ve been missing all these years and look forward to attending the next Buzzfest or Weenie Roast.

In the End, Everything Should Matter

I tried so hard, and got so far…

Depression wins, again.

As I was sitting by myself, eating lunch, my boyfriend texted me a link titled “Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Dead, Commits Suicide by Hanging.” All I could think was, “Are you kidding me?” mixed with a bit of speechlessness. It seems as though many people are still dealing with the similar death of Chris Cornell from just a few months ago, but now… this? And what’s even eerier is that today is also Cornell’s birthday. He would’ve been 53.

Please understand I am not trying to be insensitive. I apologize if that is how I come across.

I wouldn’t consider myself the biggest Linkin Park fan or anything, but I definitely respect their art and the genre of music they sparked in the early 2000’s. Their music was certainly a part of my childhood and early teen years. I comprehended the message of “Somewhere I Belong” because I too wanted somewhere I thought I could just be myself, be happy.

I will never know myself until I do this on my ownAnd I will never feel anything else until my wounds are healedI will never be anything ’til I break away from meAnd I will break away, and find myself today.

As someone who has struggled with depression for 15 years, I can say with certainty that I can empathize. Yes, I understand what it’s like to have repetitive dark thoughts that won’t go away. Yes, I have faced brooding suicidal tendencies. Yes, I have lost people close to me from depression and suicide. But… because of all of these experiences, I also know what is left behind when someone succumbs to darkness.

There is guilt, anger, confusion, sadness, and any other negative emotion you can think of that haunts for quite a long time. People, friends, and family are left to deal with those inner demons. I think why my initial reaction to Bennington’s death was more angry than anything is because, quite frankly, I am perplexed at the amount of successful, talented people with loving friends and family that just give it up. It’s not only musicians. Remember Robin Williams or Heath Ledger? But also consider these other artists: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell… I know many of these people not only dealt with depression and/or anxiety, but in several instances fought severe drug addiction.

I think that we, as human beings, should practice a little more kindness and empathy towards everyone. Show that the world isn’t completely full of shit. If you see someone suffering from a loss, be there for them. If you or someone you know mentions suicide or dark thoughts, don’t brush it off! Talk with them all night if that’s what they need. Give them a hug. Make them dinner. Write a thoughtful letter. If I could go back to age 16 and talk to my (now deceased) friend, I would’ve encouraged him to hold on. And to kick each day’s ass. Carpe freaking diem.

Life is not worthless. Every thought, every action, has a purpose.

In the end, everything should matter.

-K

Radio Silence

To say “it’s been a while” would be an understatement.

After starting a new job, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to become acclimated to all of my surrounding. This includes a new living space, city, work environment, colleagues, etc. The last six months have been a bit overwhelming, to say the least. But, I haven’t forgotten about my creative outlet. Yes, it’s been placed on the back burner, but I have some really exciting things in the works.

One thing I am most excited about is an article I worked on in August will be published in a magazine hopefully soon. If things don’t work out, best believe I will post it on here. Once the magazine hits the stands, I will provide a link to view and purchase.

Be patient with me. I hope all is well to my followers and those who stumble across The Music Notes. I’ll leave you guys with this song. I listened to it yesterday on my home as the sun was setting. I always see things a little more clearly and can breathe easy when I listen to this particular track. Happy listening 🙂

-K

My Zombie Apocalypse Playlist

In response to today’s daily challenge prompt, I’ve decided to finally post an entry I’ve been saving for about a month.

Several weeks ago, the Season Two premiere of the series Fear the Walking Dead aired. After this show, as well as the original The Walking Dead, they have a talk show featuring Chris Hardwick called Talking Dead.

One question Hardwick asked the guests a few weeks ago was: “What would be on your zombie apocalypse playlist?” This intrigued my interest, because I often think about what music I would listen to (given the choice and ability) while killing zombies. I compiled a playlist of 10 songs, ranging from different genres and themes. Some I included because of pure enjoyment of the song. Others, simply because it relates to zombies/vampires/monsters/mythical creatures.

Zombie Apocalypse Playlist:

  1. “More Than a Feeling” – Boston
    Okay, so I chose this because it is mine and Travis’ “song” and it was also featured on an episode of The Walking Dead. It’s such a beautiful song I would never get tired of rockin’ out to.
  2. “Dragula” – Rob Zombie
    Obviously, I gotta have some Rob Zombie in mix. I mean, his last name is Zombie! Also, when I was in college and played Call of Duty in zombie mode, I would crank up some Rob Zombie and start shootin’. I always did much better at the game when I had music playing, so maybe this would apply in a hypothetical real-life zombie attack?
  3. “Even Flow” – Pearl Jam
    This track always gets me pumped up. Whether I’m driving in my car with the windows down, running outside, or playing darts with my friends. My body count of zombies would definitely increase if this song is in the background.
  4. “Zombie” – The Cranberries
    For obvious reasons, I chose this song because of the title. Though there are political meanings behind this track, I do feel that they could apply to a zombie apocalypse, especially when one remembers the first few episodes of Fear the Walking Dead. There were tanks, and their bombs, and their guns (are you singing it in your head yet?). But, yes, I do believe that there would be some extreme government involvement. However, I don’t believe all of us would be lucky enough to be safe.
  5. “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”  – Skrillex
    There’s really only one line of lyrics in this song. “You don’t need to hide, my friend, for I am just like you.” The feeling of loneliness would definitely resonate during an apocalypse. So, any kind of friendship or bond would be valued. Applying these lyrics to an apocalypse, I interpret them meaning that everyone is in the same situation together. Everyone would need to contribute in order to survive. Also, zombies would be some pretty “scary monsters” to envision, but this song is upbeat enough to want to get a head shot in.
  6. “Hunger Strike” – Temple of the Dog
    I imagine in a zombie apocalypse that food would be scarce, thus me being hungry. Although this song has a different metaphorical meaning (see The Sound of Seattle), I’m using it literally for this playlist. I often watch survival shows in order to gain a better understanding of what it would take to survive, and I think that food would be my biggest issue. I love steak, burgers, fries, and ICE CREAM way too much to just not have it in my life anymore. I could probably live a while eating some things found in nature, but there is no way in hell I’m gonna eat a spider.
  7. “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” – Smashing Pumpkins
    The first lyric of this song is “The world is a vampire.” When I hear this, I interpret it as the world just sucking the life out of you. I believe that this feeling would be existent in a zombie-infested society (see #5). Plus, the song is badass and angsty (and SP is one of my favorite bands).
  8. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Tears for Fears
    “Welcome to your life / There’s no turning back…” I chose this song because of the political factors that would possibly evolve in a group of people. If you watch The Walking Dead, you know what I’m talking about. The Governor, Rick, Neegan, etc. It’s a power struggle. Thus, everybody wants to rule the world. Aside from that, this is also a song I wouldn’t mind listening to everyday.
  9. “Aenema” – Tool
    This song is definitely about the end of the world. The speaker discusses how the world is already in pieces, and that maybe an Armegeddon or apocalypse would be good for society in order to “flush away” the toxicity. Hence, the punny title. I always listen to this song when I become frustrated with the ways of the world and I usually feel better and enlightened after listening to this track.
  10. “Change” – Deftones
    I chose this song because of the title. In TWD, different groups have different terms they use for when people die and become “zombies”. I feel like the word “change” pretty much encompasses the transformation. “I watched a change in you / It’s like you never had wings / Now you feel so alive / I have watched you change.”

So, tell me. What would be on your zombie apocalypse playlist?