Usable Songs

Yesterday, I saw John Mayer for the second time this year. Not sure if it’s caught on yet, but I am a massive fan of music, in particular live music. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive than live music. Absolutely nothing.

So, John Mayer is one of my absolute favorites. The guy is, in my opinion, a lyrical and musical genius. The guy writes these songs that force me to play them over and over again, listening intently until a story has been born in my head and I have to write it down. The guy is, for lack of a better word, a muse in my life, brought to me in the form of his songs.

If you haven’t read ENOUGH, then let me tell you right now, it was inspired by his song “Edge of Desire.” It was the first bit of writing that I publicly released, putting it out there despite the fear and self-doubt. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and so will John Mayer for writing the song that made it happen.

Anyway, the first time I had seen Mr. Mayer this year, I had been harassing him for months beforehand, asking him to play “Edge of Desire.” I needed to hear this song live, it having such special meaning to me and all. But as luck would have it, he didn’t play it.

That was fine, though, because shortly after, I bought tickets for another of his shows. This time, I harassed him for months, asking for a completely different song, which he also didn’t play. And you know what? Maybe I should just stop harassing the guy, because he obviously has some issues listening to requests, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about something else. This post is those “simply meant to be” moments, those “this was no coincidence” moments in life that make you think, “Holy crap,” and make you want to cry.
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Holly Freakin’ Hughes Soundtrack

So, in addition to being an incredibly kickass writer, I am also a music lover (as you might have gathered from posts like THIS or THIS). Music is an incredibly important part of my life – an incredibly important part of who I am as a person – and so, I pretty much make soundtracks for everything. My books are no exception.

I thought it would be a fun little thing to list the songs and accompanying YouTube videos for the songs that helped to create Holly Freakin’ Hughes. I thought I could do this for every book I release, because trust me – every book has a soundtrack. Every piece of my writing is in some part inspired by music, most scenes are set to a song, and I’d like to share that with you all.

So, without further ado…
Continue reading “Holly Freakin’ Hughes Soundtrack”

Thanks For The Memories

So, I thought I’d share a little something with y’all.

When I was twelve, a lifetime ago, I was a huge Hanson fan. Like, HUGE. My room was quite literally wallpapered in their posters. My art projects in school were focused entirely around their blonde heads. My thoughts and dreams were encompassed by Isaac, Taylor, and Zac, as though I needed them to survive through those torturous years of hormonal hell.

I guess, in some ways, they did.

Anyway, I was told by, uh, pretty much everybody that it would fade. My love for them. That obsession. They said it would all disappear when I “grew up.” And, well, I guess in some ways, it did. My room is no longer wallpapered. My projects no longer possess any inkling that I ever dreamed of being married to any of them. My thoughts are no longer consumed by their blonde heads.

Like, at all. They’re not even blonde anymore, for crying out loud.

So, I guess they were right.

Yet… They, those “grown-up naysayers,” were also wrong. My love for them is still strong. I still flail my arms around when I hear a new song from them, and my heart still sings when I hear an oldie-but-a-goody. It never really stopped, not even when I ringed my eyes with the blackest of black eyeliners and my pants had chains hanging from them. Not even when the majority of my CD collection consisted of bands that screamed more than they sang.

I sort of look at it as though we all grew up together, you know? I sort of see them as these friends that I’ve never met face-to-face, but we’ve still attended parties together. Concerts. Stayed up for hours, swinging on a swing set and talking until the sun came up. Vacations. We’ve shared all of these things together, whether they know it or not, because they were always there, playing through a set of speakers or a pair of headphones, singing the soundtrack of my life.

Throughout every chapter, every twist and turn, they’ve been there, and this one is no different. As I turn the page to what I hope will be a very fulfilling career in the only thing that has ever made any sense to me, this song has been played on repeat. It is speaking to me in a way that could only make sense for this moment, this time in my life, and I will remember that forever.

So, to my homeboys who have never known my name or my face, thanks. You know, for not being a phase.

 

Wash Away The Rain

As someone who finds pieces of their soul in the lyrics and melody of songs, I am often slammed with the obsessive need to listen to a song over and over again until I memorize every inflection, every riff, every breath. Every piece that makes that song what it is until it becomes a part of me. Then I move on to the next, because on every playlist, there is always a next.

But the thing about these “obsession songs” is that, like I said, they become a part of me, and so that love never dies, even after I’m twenty songs down the list.

This song is one of those. This song brought me comfort on many anxiety stricken nights in my late teens and early twenties when all I could do was listen to music to keep myself from fallen into a full-fledged panic. This song played on the radio through memories I cherish, and memories I once wished to forget. This song inspired poems, journal entries, and my fleeting crush on Chris Cornell’s eyes and arms. This song…

These singers, they give me something when they inadvertently give me these songs, and in turn, I give them a piece of me. I give them my loyalty, my time, my affection. I give them a piece of my heart, no matter how big or small. It doesn’t matter; a piece is a piece.

I learned with the passing of Scott Weiland in 2015 that when they die, they take that piece with them.

The hole is pretty big with this one.