Why I Love Kesha

My relationship to Kesha is a curious one. She appeared at a weird time in my life.

On the surface, Kesha seems to be everything I hate about pop music: trite unoriginal pop songs with simple melodies and attention-grabbing hooks but otherwise little substance, cliche or vapid childlike lyrics, shallow subject matter that deals only with partying, sex, vague relationship woes, and verse-rap bragging peppered in between overly-synthesized and overproduced electro pop that is substantive enough to be entertaining but not enough to be unique, and lackluster vocals that are autotuned to the point that no one could have seriously thought the artist was ever really a decent vocalist to begin with in the first place.

I get that. I get the problems with Kesha. I get the reasons that people don’t like her. The above paragraph might lead you to believe I can’t stand her, but curiously nothing could be farther from the truth.

I started out hating her for all of the reasons mentioned above. Like everyone else on planet Earth in 2009, I too was subjected to endless repetitions of her breakout single Tik Tok on the radio, and like everyone else I was annoyed by it’s vapidity but secretly just a little bit entertained by it. But really, I genuinely didn’t like her. She sounded plain trashy. She clearly looked like a hot mess. Her aesthetic has always been “rave girl who hasn’t showered in several weeks and rolled around in garbage and glitter.”

But the truth is, Kesha is not what she appears to be. And the weird thing about is, she isn’t the OPPOSITE of what she appears to be either. She makes frivolous pop music, and she MEANS to do it, she means what she’s saying. She WANTS to be a pop star, and she isn’t making pop music ironically to try and expose the flaws in the medium. The pop music she’s making is genuine.

There are a group of listeners who consider Kesha to be another drop in the bucket, overly-autotuned pop singer cranking out tunes mostly made by producers, with little talent for songwriting or for singing. This is not the case. Kesha isn’t vapid or dumb. She’s incredibly intelligent, she has a genius IQ and received nearly perfect SAT scores. She’s driven and passionate and knows what she’s doing. However, don’t let that lead you to believe that Kesha is in fact an architect and student of Victorian literature whose lifelong art project has been to deconstruct the mythos of the pop star by playing one, laughing pretentiously in her study at night over a glass of sherry at plebeian pop fans who’ve bought into her charade.

The thing that makes Kesha unique among a slew of pop stars is the fact that she’s entirely authentic.

She comes from a humble background. In a life story that seems almost too perfectly fitting with her dirty rave girl aesthetic to be true, Kesha’s mother got incredibly drunk at a party and doesn’t remember the hookup that led to her becoming pregnant, and nine months later gave birth to Kesha Rose Sebert without the slightest idea (or worry) about who the father was. Kesha was raised by her single mother, a wonderful hippie songwriter called Pebe, and together with her brothers the family seems to have lived in an open, accepting home environment. Kesha definitely has hippie elements in her personality, and she speaks with a gentle slur that makes it sound like she’s always intoxicated, and a Californian accent that immediately calls to mind the movie Heather. I think. I’ve never seen Heather. Moving on.

Kesha moved to Nashville to become a musician, and spent many years writing her first album Animal. She made a lot of friends in the business, including fellow newcomer Katy Perry, and her first major role in the pop world wasn’t in her own song but as an extra in Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl music video. Go watch the video and near the end there are several sexy blonde girls sitting around a pool with Katy, and there she is, she even has her own close up shot for a moment. Kesha also wrote songs for many other musicians while working on her first album. The first song to put her on the map was Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” a simplistic and artless reworking of the classic song You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive into a sugary pop-rap tune with almost no substance whatsoever. When Flo Rida was working on the song, he decided he wanted to try out having a female vocalist on the chorus, and Kesha was working nearby in the same studio, so she was pulled in and recorded some vocals for the chorus. Because of some legalities, or the absence thereof, when Right Round became a worldwide smash hit, Kesha received absolutely no royalties for the song, and continued to live the life of a starving artist scraping to get by, while her voice was playing on every radio in the country and she remained unknown and unpaid.

This is where the infamous dollar sign in her name comes from. Her name is almost always stylized as Ke$ha, leading to some cute jokes in which people pronounce her name Kee Dollar Sign Hah, but it was conceived as a joke about the irony of the circumstance Kesha found herself in: everyone would assume she was rich, being in a worldwide hit single, but she got cheated out of any share of the money. As time would tell, she was cheated out of a lot by the music industry and the shady characters therein, and I’ll come back to that in a bit.

So, enter me. A ninenteen year old gay kid living in the south, struggling desperately to deal with a tumultuous life, and just coming out of a rather powerful bout of Christian zeal. I spent about a year of my life completely devoting my time and energy to being a Christian, and I took it very seriously, and I even achieved some small level of peace, but ultimately I realized it was a coping mechanism, and this time when I came out of Christianity I left it behind for good.

I was fairly aimless at the time. I’d hated school my whole life, and I’d graduated a year earlier. I did not want to go to college because I just hated school and didn’t want to experience any more of it, but I didn’t want to work either, both because I hate the tedium of boring and strenuous minimum wage jobs, and because I’ve been dealing with debilitating anxiety since I was sixteen, complete with rolling panic attacks that for all intents and purposes never really end or begin, but just go on forever. I wasn’t medicated whatsoever at the time, and I was struggling with severe agoraphobia that was developing in my life.

I was in a relationship that was both abusive and incredibly unsatisfying. I was entirely aimless, I was sad, I was lonely, I was horny, and I was frustrated in every possible way. Spiritually, sexually, emotionally, and mentally, I was frustrated to a breaking point. But I’d never had any suicidal tendencies (yet, that would come later) and never self-harmed, so I had no outlet, no real way to truly break down.

My boyfriend and I took a trip to Virginia and spent the night at some friends’ house. These friends happened to be another gay couple, and they threw a party which involved two more gay couples. One of those couples left once the drinks started flowing, leading to there being a grand total of six of us in the house. We got drunk, we got horny, and I, having never actually been drunk before, was eager to use the “oh it’s my first time being intoxicated” excuse to put as many dicks in my mouth as I could before everyone started to say no.

Does that sound a little rapey? It probably does. I can’t say I was in a good state of mind.

At any rate, there was a lot of sexual activity that night between just about everyone, pairing off for a few minutes with one another at different points. The radio was on, and Kesha’s hit single Tik Tok was booming through the house and I put my tongue into several orifices of several guys, and then spent the night in a cuddle sandwich with my boyfriend and one of the others who had broken away from the pack and basically let us fondle him the entire night.

All in all, it was pretty fun.

The next morning I had something of a hangover, which is honestly quite rare for me.

On the way home, Tik Tok was playing on the radio.

I don’t know why, I don’t understand it, but suddenly, I just got it. I enjoyed it. I had fun with that song. It was great. I didn’t want to stop listening to it.

Now, I know it sounds more like a joke than a real story: I never really liked Kesha until I participated in a drunken six-way gay orgy with some delightfully Virginian, slightly trashy gay guys. But it happens to be true.

When I got home the following day I honestly felt like I was still drunk. I sat in my bedroom, my head swimming, and looked up Kesha on iTunes, listened to the samples from Animal and read some of the reviews. I was disheartened. The reviewers were all mostly saying the same thing: the music was samey and average, the lyrics were so juvenile they sounded like they were ripped from the diary of a sixth grader dealing with boyfriend drama for the first time, and her singing voice was terrible and autotuned to the point of ludicrousness. I agreed with all of these assessments and quickly decided that Tik Tok was in fact a guilty pleasure, and that in general I still disliked Kesha.

But I couldn’t quite get that song out of my head.

My dysfunctional relationship progressed, as did my anxiety. I dove headlong into a Tori Amos phase from which I have never resurfaced, and mostly forgot about Kesha. I did torrent Animal at one point and gave it another cursory listen but I wasn’t terribly impressed. I fell in love with Imogen Heap, Florecne and the Machine, and many others, and continued to keep Kesha mostly out of my mind. When I finally broke up with the aforementioned boyfriend it happened to be right at the same time that my agoraphobia and anxiety had gotten so bad that I’d developed the curious symptom of alternating between sharp pains on the entire life side of my body or being completely numb in the same places. I was finally put on medication, and like magic, my panic attacks just disappeared. I was riding the first wave of stimulants I’d ever experienced, since I’d never done any kind of drugs before, and I was riding high on the antidepressants which elevated my mood and let me have gloriously peaceful and undisturbed sleep at regular intervals, and the relief and freedom of being done with an abusive relationship and having the freedom to love and to fuck whoever I wanted, provided I could find someone.

It was then that Kesha returned.

I don’t exactly remember what caused it. I just remember being high on my antidepressants, feeling adventurous and excited about going to gay clubs and finally getting my young adult life started, and I went back to those downloaded audio files from Animal, and turned them on, and I became completely hooked.

I listened to Animal front to back, non-stop, for several weeks. I didn’t listen to almost anything else. I fell absolutely in love with the music and started to learn a little more about Kesha. I still understood a lot of the complaints: some of the lyrics were trite, but there were also a lot of hidden gems that you wouldn’t have guessed existed. Tik Tok and Take It Off were big hits all about partying, but other songs on the album lamented the darker aspects of being a party girl, of trying to find solace in living in the moment and enjoying the night as much as possible because it’s all you truly have. Hungover, Blind, Animal, and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes are all very emotional songs about the loss of love and the difficulty of trying to live day to day in a haze of partying. There’s a longing in these songs for something, an emptiness, and a willingness to be up front about the good and the bad, to be unapologetic about sex and fun and relationships, to call things like the way they are.

My little sister joined me on this adventure and loved listening to Kesha with me, and was actually nice enough to buy me a physical copy of Animal with some money she’d been given, which I still have. Later on, when Kesha started to release singles for Animal’s companion EP Cannibal, I downloaded them all as they were released and ordered a copy of the two combined into one two-disc album (Animal + Cannibal) that came with a cute little “K$” temporary tattoo which I intended to put on my cheek at my first concert, and which I have still never used but remains in the case. When I attended my first real concert last year, the Dresden Dolls at Coney Island, I was sad when I realized I’d forgotten to bring along my Kesha tattoo for my first concert. But at least I still remembered. That’s something.

The companion EP Cannibal was a great nine-track romp that fit the atmosphere of Animal perfectly while managing to expand on it. The songs were still about partying and having fun authentically and unapologetically, but there was a song called The Harold Song which absolutely broke my heart and still continues to be one of my favorite songs. It’s a beautiful and melancholy song about the loss of love that really affected me at the time because I was dealing with a terrible breakup, and this song was a companion in that pain and darkness for me. At first I thought that Cannibal deliberately mirrored the songs on Animal (Grow A Pear has a chorus very similar to Tik Tok, elements of Tik Tok are incorporated into Cannibal, Animal itself is included as the last song in remixed form, and many other songs seem to borrow elements of songs directly from Animal), and I’m still not sure if it was done intentionally or if the song structures were just all very similar and working from the same pop framework.

Kesha is honest and authentic, and I think that that’s what makes her special. I think this is also the reason that people like Kanye West, but I just can’t bring myself to think that guy is anything but a self-absorbed douche. Kesha delivers pop cliches with a slight wink because she knows it’s cliche, but she’s doing it authentically. And she isn’t a bad vocalist either. The thing that confused me the most about Animal was the fact that Kesha’s voice is very unnecessarily autotuned in many of the songs.

Kesha is an incredibly prolific songwriter, and there are literally more than a hundred demos for Animal that never made it onto the album. One song, a completely acoustic breakup song called Goodbye, is a really great glimpse into an unfiltered Kesha with all of the pop trapping stripped away: her voice is soulful and unique, and her intonation is similar to Alanis Morissette. Her vocal ability is surprising, it doesn’t completely blow you away, but it’s not at all what you’d expect after hearing so much autotune and vocal effects on her album. She also released another EP between Cannibal and her second album Warrior called Deconstructed, which contains simplified emotional mixes of several of her songs, including The Harold Song, with her vocal ability really put on full display.

I still don’t really understand why she chose to allow herself to be autotuned so much when she didn’t really need it, although considering the dynamic between herself and her producer Dr. Luke that came to light later, it’s not difficult to imagine that maybe he made the decision for her. I don’t really know.

And with that we come to Dr. Luke. Kesha came forward and filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke for raping her, and for abusing her. I don’t really know if there was physical abuse, and I’m not going to look it up. The thing is, I’ve purposely avoided learning the details of this lawsuit. Kesha’s entire career came to a halt because under her contract she was unable to release any music unless she dropped the lawsuit against Dr. Luke, and he vehemently denied ever having abused her, despite many other women in the music industry coming forward to say they’d suffered abuse at his hands as well. Honestly, my heart was just too broken for Kesha to read the details. I couldn’t handle it. I was having a hard enough time holding my own life together, and to know that someone who I had come to greatly admire and respect had been hurt so badly, and who was being treated unfairly by an unfeeling system, it was too hard. It’s why I still don’t know all the details. I do know that eventually Kesha was forced to drop the lawsuit so she could continue to make music, but I still don’t know many more details. I know that during her absence she appeared at a few live events, and at one of them gave an incredible performance of When It Happens To You by Lady Gaga, a song about surviving rape.

Kesha also briefly had her own reality show which I watched the majority of online and greatly enjoyed. It really showed her beautiful personality, and the general carefree and honest way in which she lives her life. It made me smile to watch it, and it gave me hope.

I used to have this poster on my wall, and alongside the topless poster of Lady Gaga, I imagine that anyone looking at my room was probably really confused about my sexuality

Kesha inspires me. Her strength, her dignity, her willingness to create. There was a moment during Kesha’s reality show where her little brother was attempting to write a song, and she was giving him writing advice. The advice was this: “You have to be willing to let yourself suck.” As a musician and a writer, this has been one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever absorbed. What she meant was that when you start out at anything, you’re not going to be incredible. With drawing, composing music, or writing, you start out as a novice, and even your best, most polished efforts, are still going to be less than perfect. You’ll probably experience a few flashes of incredible creativity and accidentally stumble upon expressing yourself honestly and with style, but you have to be willing to let yourself create something that is less than perfect. Kesha’s hundreds of demos are a testament to that. Many of those songs are not that great, but they’re all honest and authentic, and that’s the thing about Kesha that I admire so much.

You have to be willing to let yourself suck. You have to be willing to create whatever is in your heart, and sometimes it’s not going to be great, but you have to be willing to do it. Lady Gaga has said something somewhat similar, which is “You have to respect your vomit.” She was referring to one of her songs, and about how the lyrics come in a rush, and she just word vomits them out, and that she then chooses to respect her vomit, respect those words for being authentic and in the moment. This proverb doesn’t inspire me quite as much but it’s worth mentioning in conjunction with Kesha’s advice from above.

And so, in a surprising twist, I ended up loving an artist who I thought represented everything I hated about manufactured pop music. While, yes, the element of pop manufacturing is there, Kesha’s honesty and brazen authenticity still shines through, and even though some of her songs are a bit cliche, her music is a surprise. Her personality is a surprise. Everything about her is a surprise, if you assume that the dirty glitter party girl you see on the cover is as shallow as her surroundings suggest. I don’t know how much irony she injects into her style, but Kesha is a worthwhile person and a worthwhile musician. She’s an activist for animal rights, she loves the gay community and has immense appreciation for her fans, and she approaches life with the kind and passive attitude of a hippie but the fortitude of a revolutionary. Her voice is real and true, even though there’s sometimes a layer of autotune.

Advertisements

The Number of Limbs on A Starfish

So today we’re going to try something new; I’m going to try my own adaptation of a friend’s weekly feature, the Friday 5. Here are 5 things that are just at the forefront of my mind right now.

1: The Ting Ting’s

The Ting Ting’s are a British indie pop duo, Jules DeMartino, age 36, and Katie White, age 26. I actually have known about The Ting Ting’s for a long time, I’m even going to say probably long than some of you have. I used to spend a lot of time on playlist.com back in 2008, and at that time it actually worked pretty well. Often when a new album came out, the whole thing would be available to listen to for free on Playlist, and I heard a few things before everyone else this way. I actually heard most of Britney Spears’ album Circus this way, but everyone knew about Britney’s new release, they didn’t know The Ting Ting’s so well.

Their album We Started Nothing was on the front page for about a week, and I listened to a couple of songs. My favorite was called We Walk, a song which I just listened to again for the first time in a while, and was really really impressed with. I didn’t even remember there being an awesome piano intro. The Ting Ting’s sound is really cool, it’s just a mix of all kinds of different things that sound good.

So of course, about a year later, when I saw We Started Nothing in stores, and their number 1 UK single That’s Not My Name started playing on the radio, I had the familiar notion that I always know about things before everyone else. I actually didn’t like That’s Not My Name very much, however, nor did I remember being very impressed with their albm when it was streamed on Playlist, so I had little interest.

Last night, I listened to We Walk again, and I was really surprised. I now have this feeling that they might become my new favorite band. Either way, I want to get their album. The only problem is, as usual, I can’t decide between the regular edition and the deluxe edition. I just like the regular edition’s cover, and I could probably get it in stores. Also, the regular edition of the album apparently comes in different colors, but so far I’ve just seen two different covers, both red, one of which involved the two bandmates being black and white.

I read an interesting article about The Ting Ting’s, describing their music as being whatever they like it to be, rather than going for any certain sound. They also have their own tradition called “paint parties,” where they invite people to come to a show, at which everyone paints blank canvases along the walls, and one another as well. This actually leads nicely into my second topic.

2: Paper Magazine

I haven’t heard of it before, but I read their article about The Ting Ting’s online, and there’s a pretty awesome picture of Kesha on their “music issue.” For those two reasons alone, I want to subscribe to this magazine. It’s only 10 dollars for a year subscription! I’d like to have an awesome magazine coming in the mail and telling me what’s up with all my musicians, and perhaps teaching me about art and fashion.

3: Good Music Returns!

Speaking of music, there have been some interesting musical developments for me lately. First of all, has anyone noticed a significant increase in the quality of pop music lately? Apart from Eminem and his awful, bigotted cheauvanistic, homophobic, self-absorbed, whiney “music,” I’ve really been pleased with the radio of late. Dance seems to be making a legitimate comeback, and between Enrique Iglasias’ new song, Teenage Dream being on the radio, and an increase in dance-oriented hip hop, things seem to be improving quite nicely in my opinion.

And on the subject of music, a couple of days ago I ordered two albums from Best Buy’s website (after ordering a Tori Amos CD from Barens and Noble and waiting about a week for it, I’m not quite as trusting of them anymore when it comes to quick delivery): Sara Bareilles’ new album (in digipak!), Kaleidoscope Heart, and Katy Perry’s new album (also in digipak!), Teenage Dream. I’d been debating with myself on whether or not to buy Katy’s new album, but finally I decided to go ahead and do it, I’d probably regret it if I didn’t.

Which reminds me, about a week ago I found the California Gurls single in Walmart! Now, I know I’ve had some nasty things to say about Katy Perry, and that song in particular, but that was mostly in defence of Gaga. Besides, I’ve had negative opinions on pretty much all of my favorite musicians at some point, and now I’ve just given up on it. Nobody’s really doing any harm, it’s all fun and musical, so why fight it? Anyway, when I found the California Gulrs single (for only 2 dollars by the way), I decided not to get it, but for the next week, it just wouldn’t leave me alone: “It was a single! In America! You never see singles in America! It was only two dollars, if you didn’t like it you could have just tucked it away or given it to someone else!” So when we stopped by Walmart yesterday and the California Gurls single was still there, I of course grabbed it instantly. Not to imply I just happened across it, I’d been premeditating buying it for days.

Sara Bareilles’ new album has been out for a few days and it’s already number one on the iTunes album charts. Sara is really thrilled about this, and she should be, she’s a great musician. During my uncreative phase, I listened to The Fame by Lady Gaga, and Sara’s first album, Little Voice, constantly, and I was surprised when I wasn’t finding myself inspired by either, because I was listening to nothing else, and not really enjoying myself. So basically, I shoved Little Voice down my own throat so much that I stopped liking it, but after having some time away from it, I’ve come to see it’s a really good album, and the reviews of Kaleidoscope Heart are very favorable. There were actually quite a few chances to get a little spoiler of the album, two different songs were made available for listening on different websites, and Sara streamed the entire album a couple of days before it’s released, but I’ve been vigilant in waiting to actually have the album in my hands before listening to it.

The only song I have heard from the new album is King of Anything, which I enjoy, and I’ve heard a thirsty second clip of the “Strings Version” from an EP that Sara released digitally on the same day as the new album, the Kaelidoscope EP. I was tempted to buy this yesterday, but I decided I’ll wait until I’ve had some time with the album to get the EP.

4: An Old Pasttime Resurfaces?

When I was about 11, my favorite game in the world was Sonic Adventure, on Sega Dreamcast. When my cousin brought home Sonic Adventure 2, I’d already been psyched up from all of the ads I’d seen in video game magazines showing a dark, evil version of Sonic known as Shadow. When we played the game, I was crazy about this character, a black hedgehog with red stripes, whose general shape is similar to Sonic’s superpowered Super Sonic form, who matches Sonic perfectly in speed without running, but using a pair of rocket-powered futuristic skate-shoes. I loved watching Shadow skate around so much that I actually decided to learn to skate on a pair of inline roller blades.

So now picture this: me in 2001, walking through the grass in skates to an empty basketball court, and slowly coaxing myself into rolling, and eventually learning that to skate, you put one foot out digonally, rather than directly in front of you. Yep, I didn’t know how to skate, and all my experience so far had been on quads, those skates with four wheels arranged in a square, and I still can’t skate on those. So I taught myself to skate, using Shadow as an example, on inlines.

After I met my boyfriend, who has a job, I found myself alone at his house because I didn’t have a job and he had to go to work. Without any real access to the internet, my activites four the 8 hours he worked were limited to his Playstation, DirectTV, and anything else I could find to do. So one day I brought my inlines (a different pair than the one’s I learned to skate on) over and on a few different occassions, went skating around the block, but eventually my inlines ended up in his closet, not touched again for a while. I pulled them out last time I came back to my mom’s house, and apart from my sister equipping them and rolling around on the carpet, they still haven’t gotten any use, but I’m thinking it might be fun to start skating again, especially with weather cooling down.

The only thing is, our neighborhood has a few hills that are very, very steep. I mean when you stand at the top, the hill just goes down as far as you can see and eventually turns, still sloping downward. I actually used to skate down it a few years ago, and if I got scared I would just bail into someone’s grass, but a few times I made it down all the way. The hill is so huge and I ended up going so fast, though, that I had to take them off whenever I got to the bottom, because the wheels would be so hot that they were burning my feet.

At any rate, I’ve always liked skating, and I think it’s a fun little thing that adds to my personality. I like books and video games and music, I don’t really seem like an extreme sports kind of person, and while I’m still a ‘fraidy cat who doesn’t particularly like hills, I do enjoy skating. And I feel cool because I always use inlines.

5: You Can Touch My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere

I need new clothes! I need a new haircut! I need to get my eyebrows done! I need new shoes! Basically, I’m a fashion disaster, because I love clothes, and I don’t really have any of the stuff that I love to wear. I love boots and beanies and gloves and all sort of accessories, but I have very few. Oh, and you know that saying about how being gay doubles your wardrobe? It’s true. Though it’s kind of embarassing, I’ve pretty much been wearing the clothes I already had, and my boyfriend’s clothes, for almost two years now. Isn’t that horrible? He buys new clothes, I claim them. He spends so much time working that he’s constantly in uniform, and the only other thing he wears is casual layaround clothes, he rarely gets a real oppurtunity to wear any of his other clothes, so I always wind up wearing them.

So yeah, I need some new clothes. There are a few tee shirts I’ve wanted for a while, but never really ordered, and I need to find a jean size that fits my waist without being too long. Apart from that, I still don’t own a single pair of boots, and that’s just sad because I love boots. They make me feel taller and more confident.

Apart from clothes, I also need to start furnishing my room. My room is a disaster. Even when it’s cleaned. I have a leaning shelf that I keep my books and DVDs and games on that is not only falling apart, but isn’t really made to be a bookshelf. I have a dresser that used to be part of a bedroom suit, but now the dresser is the only thing I still have. My TV is so blurry that you can watch television on it, but playing video games is pretty much out of the question. I have a random shelf with wallpaper attached to the wood that’s peeling up, a huge elctric piano that doesn’t have speakers and so must be plugged into an amplifier, and finally my bed is squeaky  and my bedside table barely has a function other than holding my lamp, my alarm clock, my picture of my boyfriend, and all the water bottles that accumulate.

Oh, and there is one another thing. MY WALLS ARE YELLOW. Yep, yellow. Not some kind of elegant, beautiful yellow, but the color of pee, or the color your hair might turn if it’s naturally very dark and you try dying it blonde. They’re almost orange. To make it worse, when we moved in there were holes and dents in the wall, which were spackled and then painted over. Only, they weren’t painted over with yellow paint, they were painted over with WHITE paint. So my walls are yellow with random splotches of white all over them.

There are also curtain rods, but no curtains. My room is a mess. What I want to do is find a good color to paint the walls and get some good furniture, maybe even throw a couch in there, but I don’t know where to begin. I’m not good with this kind of stuff, nor do I have money, the furniture part will have to come when I get a real paying job, but I think I can afford curtains and furnishings and maybe paint for the walls. A few of those orb thingies here, an oil burner there, some paintings on the walls; my room is workable, I just don’t know exactly what to do with it.

So those are my thoughts today. I believe this Friday 5 feature might actually be a pretty good prompt. Thoughts on my thoughts, anyone?

I’m Getting Out There! World, Here I Come!

I am just never happy with the way the blog is going. That’s a big aspect of my personality: jumping from one extreme to another. Anyway, it’s high time I just did one talking about my life. Which is appropriate, because it’s getting kind of exciting.

I have spent my whole life living like a child. I’ve grown up a lot, and matured, but I still live like a teenager. I live between my mom’s house and my boyfriend’s house, I spent days at a time with him, and the rest of the time here with my mother. I don’t pay anyone rent, and I don’t have a job other than helping my mom with her job and watching my sister, for which I’m currently getting 20 dollars a week. I’m 20 years old! So, for the last couple of months, things have been kind of sucky for me. I just plunged into this anxiety-filled state of mind, I wouldn’t call it a complete depression, but it was really hard.

I think I’ve come to realize that the only way to really heal myself of this anxiety is to start living my life. I’ve been afriad for months now about going out into the world, getting my license and driving, and getting a job. Well now I’m done being afraid. Yesterday I just felt so useless, in this house where I live, and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing. Today, I’ve spent the day fluctuating between periods of depression, during which I just tell myself “It’s okay, I’m depressed, but I’m not stopping, I’m going to live my life.” and periods of excitement where I think about how I might soon have my life in my own hands.

So here are my goals: I want to have my license, and a car to drive. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to get my driving permit renewed, so I can have some practice and then take my driving test again. As for a vehicle, we literally have a total of 5 vehicles between everyone in this house, and two of which could possibly become mine. So that shouldn’t be a huge issue. Driving is what I want to focus on first, but eventually I need a job, and I need college. As much as I might like online college, I feel like it’d be a cop-out if I did that, because it’d be an excuse to ignore the public. If I can overcome my fear of being in public, which I will not allow to rule my life, then maybe I’ll consider it. But first, before anything else, is license. That’s a simple goal, and the more of I accept the fear of getting a job and going to school, the more excited I become about them. Also, I’m feeling very physically active, and the more I work out and do things, the less afraid I am of aches and pains, and honestly the less I have them. So things are getting a lot better.

I’m tired of this blog being a place where I sarcastically discuss “news,” which is just whatever I’m interested in that has to do with musicians. So, I’m being informal, because I can. It’s the only way this blog can continue.

So, I did something I thought I’d never do. I started listening to Kesha. Gasp! Back at the beginning of the year, I seriously considered buying her album, because despite myself I’ve always liked Tik Tok, and I downloaded her album maybe a couple months ago, but I haven’t listened to it much. I’m kind of hooked on it. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to a pop album, it’s refreshing to hear something that’s pleasing and isn’t too challenging. I mean, Tori Amos and Imogen Heap are fine and all, but you have to get so invested in the music to listen to it. Well, I do. Someone once told me that when it comes to listening to alternative music, I’m jaded by the very pop culture I despise. That’s somewhat true. I like a good pop hook, and even if it isn’t pushing the envelope entirely, it still feels solid. It’s like how a lot of electric guitar makes feel like an album has a solid background. Pop sounds and guitar riffs and even solid piano pieces give an album a good canvas on which to paint.

Oh Sara, just as cocky as when we left you.

Piano albums? That brings me right into my next artist into today’s music chat. You probably remember Sara Bareilles from her top 10 hit Love Song back in 2008, which I used to violently jam out to. It’s one of those songs that just makes me feel happy. Well, it did, until I heard it ten thousand times. Now it’s just kind of annoying to me. I got her album, Little Voice, about a year ago, and that album, along with Lady Gaga’s debut, The Fame, were my summer listening music for ’09. After hearing both of those for long enough, I got seriously burnt out on them, and though Sara Bareilles has a style that I liked a lot upon first listen, I soon found it constraining and uninspiring, but this I attribute to the fact that I wasn’t doing much with my life at that time, and having a hard time composing new music. After having some time away from the album, I’ve looked back at it and it makes me remember those times with joy, and I’m appreciating it more than when I was just listening to get my money’s worth. So, I’m not sure how I feel about Little Voice, but Sara’s new album, Kaleidoscope Heart, has been finished and will be released early in September, so I’m looking forward to that, and I plan on picking up a copy. Her new single, King of Anything, is pretty interesting, and her second album sounds fun, like she dressed up the songs a little more rather than just keeping the meat and not doing much else.

There are a couple of other albums coming out soon, too. KT Tunstall, who reached fame in America with her singles Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, as well as Suddenly I See (at least these are the two I remember hearing on the radio), has a new album coming out in October, called Tiger Suit. I don’t know what a Tiger Suit is, but I’m willing to pick it up and see if I like it. I didn’t really dig her album Eye to the Telescope too much, it was just a little too slow for me, but I’ve heard a single from this new album and I’m hoping things have gotten more fast-paced. Acoustic guitar is not generally my favorite instrument to played completely by itself, and an album of mostly slow acoustic guitar songs doesn’t do much for me, so I may pick this album up.

Finally, Katy Perry’s second album, Teenage Dream, will be out in September. I know I’ve been pretty hard on Katy Perry, but her first album, One of the Boys, wasn’t too bad. It made me think she had a brain, as oppose to her newer hit single California Gurls (and her behavior in at least one interview I’ve seen), and while I’m so far not very impressed with her new material, I’m going to at least give the album a chance.

Of course, all of these things are albums I MAY get. I find it very entertaining to pretend I’m spending money, and just plan out all the CDs I’d like to buy.

I’d also like to have A Fine Frenzy’s first album, One Cell in the Sea. It’s so nicely packaged, and it would go well on my shelf next to the second album. The same thing kind of goes for Evanescence’s second album, The Open Door. On both of these accounts, I’ve heard the albums extensively, but I’ve never actually owned them. They also both happen to be packaged in paperback cases, which is always visually appealing.

Sorry, I’m getting distracted. There’s a documentary on the History Channel called The History of Sex. I mean, come on, how can I ignore that? And by the way, I never knew that the Epic of Gilgamesh involved sex! You learn something new every day.

Where was I? Oh yes, CDs. I honestly haven’t spent a cent on CDs, or on anything, I’ve saved everything for two weeks, I haven’t even bought any more of Imogen Heap’s charity improvisations. I just don’t have the money for any of it right now, and I tend to waste money on CDs.

This entry is getting a little lazy. Well, I’m tired. Oh, I’ve also learned that I get to go alone tomorrow to the DMV. While this at first scared me, I’m actually really excited about it now. The chance to conquer fear, to experience being out there, alone, strong, in public, perfectly fine. I will of course be bringing my Jane Austen novel. Pride and Prejudice has an odd calming effect on me, I actually forget about my situation and read, which doesn’t happen often with books.

I don't need to get drunk, she's intoxicated enough for the two of us.

I really am wanting that Kesha CD though. It also reminds me of earlier in the year, when me and my boyfriend went on a nice trip to Virginia, during which I decided I liked Tik Tok, and shortly thereafter considered buying the CD. My mind salivates for it now… well, sort of.

So, wish me luck on my trip out into the world tomorrow. I’m going to shower and brush my teeth, and soon thereafter get into bed. I’m finally tired at decent hours, it’s a miracle.