The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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sing it until you believe it; then keep singing
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Music. As I am supposed to be wrapping presents and that's totally not happening.

I know, it's been a musical month. It's just--okay, I have, like, healthy ways of dealing with stress and I have the ones that got me a mandatory psychiatric evaluation in my late teens and early twenties and permanent scarring. To say the last few months have been bad is to understate the case. I can't tell if it's getting better, but it's good right now, and this is part of the reason why.

[The irony of clinical depression; it goes away eventually. At least for me, it always eventually clears. But that really doesn't mean much when you know it will come back, no pattern, no meaning, no timing, no warning. So I take what I can get.]

Today's theme is singing; what, you say you can't sing? Why on earth do you care? Music is how we connect not only with each other, but with ourselves, and nothing internalizes it faster than singing along, feeling the shape of each word on your tongue as the melody fills your mind, hear your own voice giddy and breathless and dizzying as the music settles shivering beneath your skin and in your body memory. Every time you hear it after that, your body will remember it, a heady rush of glittering pleasure, meaning, joy.

It's you and the music; bring it. If someone doesn't like it, they can go away. It's not about them, so fuck 'em. I'll buy them earplugs myself if they're being a dick.

All links to youtube.

My Chemical Romance - Sing

[Note: I need to watch this video.]

I listened only half-heartedly the first time, immersed in Summertime since I haven't done an end to end with the album yet. Hello, what the fuck was I thinking not listening straight through?

I bend toward the less perky side of the musical force; my happy playlist is fifteen songs and it's every happy song I have that I don't hate or isn't R&B. If it's perky, it's something I dance to, not listen to or write to. But I think I could write to this, if I could stop rocking out with the two year olds around the Christmas tree to it.

There's also, like in lit, a strong bend toward the idea of positive emotion being a little beneath us all, which is really easy to internalize to the point where anything with a spark of something other than cutting yourself with your meth kit razors is like, shallow and shit. But oh, this one, this one I feel; this is catchy and dizzy and ecstatic with a high, sharp fast build that rushes like a hit of ecstacy, and I so do not care if Gerard totally judges my musical choices, I'm going hoarse from this one.

Instructions: Turn on your speakers to the highest legal decibel you won't get arrested for, hit repeat-one, and play this until you lose your voice. If you don't come out of that high out of your mind, do it a few more times. You'll get there. And move for God's sake.

Fefe Dobson - Don't Let It Go To Your Head

This is the easiest memorization since Meredith Brooks' Bitch; the chorus will have you in three listens. Everything about reluctantly falling in love with someone in a good way, shocked at yourself, at them, at how wonderful they are and you can't even believe you're feeling like this, how you never thought you'd feel like this again and oh my God, this is just amazing.

It's like that.

Instructions: headphones, middle range, effervescent joy you have to dance to. Parking lots are perfect, but the mall escalator works too. Just don't bounce yourself off mid-way down.

Kurt Nielsen - She's So High

He thinks her awesome is legion, and this song makes me believe it. Chorus is perfect and any songwriter who can work in Cleopatra and Joan of Arc into a love song wins forever. Picks up even more after the first chorus.

Instructions: mellow, sway a little, smile when you sing it; you really won't be able to help yourself. Speakers recommended.

Train - Drops of Jupiter

If you were never obsessed with this song, we need to fix that right now; email me and I'll send you it, because seriously. From the slow, sweetly lilting beginning to the rich build to a sharp, giddy crescendo before it brings you back down in a glittery sweep, it's the perfect goddamn song, but what gets to me every time is the lyrics.

Conscious memorization; I worked to get this one down, every ridiculous, genius word of it, because all of us have watched someone we love go through a sharp, startling change and wonder if we'll be left behind. This is all the reasons we won't be.

Instructions: just don't blow out your eardrums, okay? And do 2:23 through 3:00 in one breath. Imaginary microphones are a plus, but hell, do it with a real one. And yes, you damn well should dance across the Milky Way when it says to.

The Beatles - Come Together

[Note: holy shit, does Paul have a mullet?]

The rhythm is what sets this one apart; it's really hard to get off-beat when it's pounding in your blood, and also, yeah, we've all heard it in commercials forever. Commercials do not do it justice. I can't even tell what it's about even singing it; I so do not care.

Instructions: in the car, mid-bass. Possibly while stoned out of your mind. Er, don't drive, though.

The Beatles - We Can Work It Out

Oh please; this is my glee zone. It's not just the video, though yeah, I forever associate it with John and Paul on the cusp of getting murdered while giggling like tween girls, but it's a contrast song. I read a review of it that quoted John on how Paul talks about a fight but how everything will be fine and John comes in with "and also, we could die, you know" and it's kind of hysterical to feel the shift, not quite of mood, but of resonance. Catchy pop meets introspection meets hope springs eternal.

Instructions: put youtube on the largest screen in the house and rock out while watching John tripping his ass off and Paul carry on like a girl with a crush.

Snow Patrol - If There's a Rocket, Tie Me To It

The anticipatory build, in general, didn't tell me anything interesting about this song the first time I heard it, and I pretty much tuned it out until [personal profile] svmadelyn commented on some seriously vivid imagery early on. I gave it another try and this time listened, and oh, I got to the staccato build leading into the chorus, which is about fire and fuck yeah.

You get there, there's no turning back; you'll feel this one everywhere, in your pulse and your teeth and your feet.

Instructions: headphones or stereo, but seriously, bring it anytime they say fire. It feels amazing. Stay standing. Twirl around a little; no, not by the coffee table, move that first. There we go.

Emm Garner - Synchronic

[Note: can't find this one on youtube. dammit.]

Okay, let's go a little mellower. Smooth and gorgeous lyricism, the celebration of the best parts of a former relationship, the things that you loved about them and still do. This is the good parts you never want to forget. It's a quieter alternative to Drops of Jupiter; even if they're gone, when the bruises heal, it was still amazing and you don't regret a thing.

Instructions: lighten the bass, raise the treble just a little, and relax. Excellent post-Sing to calm a little and rest your voice.

Fallout Boy - Sugar, We're Going Down

In some universe three over or so, I never heard this song and that's a sad, sad universe indeed. If you can sit still on the downbeat, I am completely shocked. Like a musical assault, they throw everything at you at once, and I'm pretty sure maybe this is about a breakup or something, w/e, I'm in it for the loaded God complex, cock it and pull it, as loudly as I can sing it.

Instructions: Up your bass, not really a moving song so much as a jumping song. Funnier on headphones, perfect for late afternoons. Wear a hoodie. Borrow one if you have to.

Jordin Sparks - Battlefield

I love pop with a nice, clear theme, chorus, and a good beat so I can go autopilot. All's fair in love and war, this is so ridiculously catchy I automemorized in one listen. It's ridiculously fun.

Instructions: on the stereo with a group of friends. They only need a listen or two to join in. It's totally like a battlefield.

Des'ree - You Gotta Be

If there was ever a song to wrap up everything humanity will ever be in a good way, this one is it. Not a lot of variation in melody line, but the lyrics don't need it, and the chorus bounds along like the happiest puppy of human growth and change in the universe.

Instructions: stereo please, and see if you can get the chorus in one breath. You feel it yet? Do it again; you will.

Eminem - Lose Yourself

I like the speed of time running by too fast to catch, desperation, and something I can feel in my calves when the bass is right, and the slow and inevitable build going faster every second that passes, until you're already pounding the floor and can't walk the next day because your hamstrings are too tight.

Lyrically, this one makes me weirdly self-conscious; it's almost too exposing for someone who grew up very working class and just barely hanging on to that (thanks, Reagan). The chorus is okay, but that's not why this one goes on rotation when I need to burn out some energy; it's the quickly growing desperation, the need for more, the realization that something has to change because you can't keep going on like this, and you can't fail, you can't; there's no choice left worth making.

Instructions: fuck the neighbors. Blast this one until you can't remember what silence feels like.

REM - It's the End of the World

There's the first time you get all the words out, half-suffocated and dazed and panting and dizzy-high, possibly from oxygen deprivation, but whatever, remember that? Yeah. Do it again.

Instructions: stereo totally, out loud and competitive, best in groups, hilarious in masses, and if you aren't dancing, why?

Honorable Mentions

[Note: will add links.]

This got really long, didn't it?

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire - doubles as an excellent American history twentieth century cheat sheet. Pick up the urgency at the end of each stanza and run with it.

Alanis Morrisette - You Outta Know - well, who hasn't put their headphones on and shouted remembering the feel of skin beneath their fingernails? If you have to have a bad breakup, you should get vent it. At the top of your lungs, even.

Carbon Leaf - What About Everything? - bop along with the world.

Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice - it's okay to be mad; it's also okay not to get over it. Sing it until you believe it.

Pink - Cuz I Can - fuck yes. You may need new speakers afterward.

Journey - Don't Stop Believing, Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory, Bruce Springsteen - War, Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love, Dobie Gray - Drift Away -- go rock out already. You know you want to.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/68965.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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We are totally musical soul sisters, I'll tell you what.

Awesome list. I love your commentary on everything.

Not Ready To Make Nice was my ANTHEM for about three years. Really, until about the middle of this year, to be honest. I love to run to that one- the passion and anger really gets me moving.

You are SO right about Drops of Jupiter. I was OBSESSED with the song when it came out and still have it on about a million of my playlists. When it comes on, something in my just shifts a bit.

I have to be honest, I love the Beatles but Come Together has never been my favorite. I, personally, love rocking out to While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This is not the Beatles version but from the VH-1 Legends concert, performed by Tom Petty, Prince (!!!) and George Harrison's (way cute!) son. At 3:40, Prince gets the solo and rocks it out of the park. I mean, I thought Clapton was genius on this song. Clapton has NOTHING on Prince. Just... SO GOOD.

Here's another version with Clapton, McCartney, Starr and Harrison's son, in a concert for George. There are like THREE drum sets being played here. Insane!

I know this isn't the, erm, happiest of songs but I LOVE to listen to it, esp. when I'm running or when I'm on a long car trip.

I thought you might like this one, if you haven't seen it already.

Yesterday, live. Paul has to perform by himself, in the single spotlight and then John brings him flowers. :)

Edited at 2010-12-25 02:34 am (UTC)

I adore you.

*RUNS TO WATCH*

My Chemical Romance - Sing

[Note: I need to watch this video.]


I wasn't very interested in the new MCR album, and then I watched the videos. HELLO Grant Morrison! Please continue to manhandle Gerard.

*howls*

I am so watching tonight.

The problem with that plan is that you need to watch Na Na Na first! (Er, assuming that you haven't already.) The Sing video is a direct sequel, so it will be a much, much richer experience. Don't worry, there's lots of Grant Morrison in that one too!

I'm in it for the loaded God complex, cock it and pull it, as loudly as I can sing it.

Oh my god, the LOOKS I have gotten singing along to this song at the top of my lungs, shameless, all the windows down, drumming on the steering wheel, not giving even the tiniest fuck in all the world.

I love this list. LOVE it. What a marvelous thing you've done here!

We need more unself-conscious public singing. It's good for you! *g*

Today's theme is singing; what, you say you can't sing? Why on earth do you care? ... It's you and the music; bring it. If someone doesn't like it, they can go away. It's not about them, so fuck 'em. I'll buy them earplugs myself if they're being a dick.

One of the best anonymous-source sayings I ever heard was, "If only the most talented birds sang, the forest would be a very quiet place." I would love it if someone someday sourced that for me, because I love it so much.

[Note: holy shit, does Paul have a mullet?]

Paul's mullet was epic in the 70s — for a while, he and Linda had matching mullets. And maybe it's a mark of how much of a fangirl I am that I believe that mid-70s Paul McCartney was the only person who ever truly pulled off a mullet. :-)

I can't even tell what it's about even singing it; I so do not care.

The most intriguing explanation of the lyrics of "Come Together" that I ever heard was that each of the four verses describes one of the Beatles. Starting with George (slow groove of his slide guitar, and "holy roller" of his newfound religion), then Ringo, with his Ringoisms that they all saw as unknowingly profound, then John himself, and finishing up with Paul ("Got to be good-lookin' 'cause he's so hard to see..."). It may be complete bunk, but I'd like to believe it's true...

My sing-thing for at least a few months has been the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, but especially Ewan McGregor's cover of Elton John's "Your Song" - I can sing with it on Single-Repeat for 20 times before I let it pick up with the rest of the songs.

My sympathies on the Clinical D. I've battled mild Bi-Polar Disorder [Cyclothymia] all my life and only began improving 15 yrs ago when I had a nervous breakdown resulting in my beginning to try various med protocols along with very insightful Cognitive Behavior Mod therapy. It took me several years of really-not-good-enough meds until the present combo [Welbutrin + Lamictal/mood-stabilizer] really supports a large amount of 'normal' mood/behavior.

But the augment to meds that finally cements their beneficial effect is the biofeedback training I started a couple years ago with a psych who offers it for mood control. It's really assisted-meditation training which I wondered what was all about at first. Then after about 4 mos I totally 'got' it when I realized that all those times I usually need to suppress myself from going ballistic in 3 nanosecs over some trigger or another -- Didn't Need To Happen Anymore bcz I wasn't losing it like that anymore. Wow - it's basically, the weekly training produces a persistently calm mood.

Best Wishes Jen and Happy Holidays to you and yours! <3

I've been away from LJ and Fandom for a long time -- only now is it coming back to me that I already regaled you years ago with the whole med-rundown -- which you explained simply isn't for you -- srry for the repeat!

However, the mood-control bio=feedback is new and works for Clinical D not just Hypomania. :0)

Ok, you're going to hate me when I say this, but I am not a music person. And what little I do like, is perhaps the tastes of someone about 40 years older than me.

However, despite this: About 5 - 10 years ago, my parents' car had a tape player. And my sister had put together a mix tape for the car for when she was driving. I made an amazing discovery. On one side of the tape was Robbie Williams' Angel, which I fell in love with and adored (and sang at the top of my voice when I was in the car driving). But, and this was the amazingly awesome part, if, when it got to the end of Angels, you turned the cassette over, you got Drops of Jupiter, which I also fell in love with and sang at the top of my voice. (And you then turned it over again and got Angels.) Needless to say, for years, when I was driving, those two songs were pretty much on repeat. *g*

On the plus side, I can sing (considering I'm a member of the tribe that was tasked with singing in the Temple way back when, I've joked that G-d probably arranhged it so we could carry a tune).

On a bigger plus--you and I have very similar musical tastes.

Laughed like crazy at the Bill Joel remark--We Didn't Start the Fire came out in my senior year in high school (the year you take the infamous NY History Regent exam). At least two people in my very religious yeshiva glommed onto it in order to try and pass :)

And my sister and I totally pounded out Blaze of Glory just last week while driving through Orlando.

Is it possible by Emm Garner's Synchronic you meant Emm Gryner's Symphonic?

SO many of these songs are on my *need a shot in the arm* playlist. Thank you for reminding me of them!!

I think one of the best sayings I've ever heard came from a 30 Second to Mars video: Some people pray, I turn up the radio.

Ah ha! Found the video. Hope you enjoy (if not for the pretty, pretty Jared Leto running around with a ripped shirt.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLqHDhF-O28

I don't sing, can't bring myself to for anything but Happy Birthday and that's iffy, but I do have a playlist for quieting the noise in my head. It ranges from Dragula to Video Killed the Radio Star to Country Bumpkin and I just added We Three Kings of Orient Are.

Guaranteed to hit the off switch for at least one play-through and I love it best when played loudly on car speakers. :) I save it for when my noggin gets too crowded so it doesn't lose any power over me.

edited to fix html. Apologies.

uuuuugh, I was having the worst day, and I remembered this post, and listening to this music has improved it greatly

Music is solace, catharsis, mood elevator, drug...

depending.

Thanks for the music--I think the Beatles are the oldest "happy music" of my life.

Vivaldi that always makes my heart sing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1-q4CarwpA

Muse - "Feeling Good"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmwRQqJsegw

My favorite song of all time: "Tanglewood Tree"
(I like the HQ soundtrack in this link, but the vid, not so much)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teJxMpCEjy4

Edited at 2011-01-07 01:44 am (UTC)

"Bruce Springsteen - War" - I can't find a good version of this song ANYWHERE (Amazon has failed me!). If you run across one please throw up the link!

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