All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Zero

Day 20: The last song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes

Zero | Yeah Yeah Yeahs

yeahyeahyeahs

I don’t know much about Yeah Yeah Yeahs. There are certain artists that exist within my iTunes only because one (or more) of my voices are fans. And Yeah Yeah Yeahs is one of Audrey’s favourite bands. She loves their lyrics, adores their energy and relishes rocking out to their indie vibe.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring member in 2009 and replaced Imaad Wasif who had previously held this role. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network’s Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band’s name was taken from modern New York City vernacular.

~ from Wikipedia ~

So today’s installment of the 25 Songs, 25 Days Challenge is dedicated to my most rocking of voices.

Audrey, this one’s for you! :)


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Abattoir Blues

Day 19: The first song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes

Abattoir Blues | Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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I ruminated on my love of Nick Cave only a few days ago. His music is full of emotion, rife with exquisite rhythm and chock full of intelligent, despairing lyrics. Abattoir Blues, from the album of the same name, is no exception.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Into My Arms

Day 18: A song that you love but rarely listen to

Into My Arms | Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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Before I met Louise, the only music I really listened to was film soundtracks, Bryan Adams and Meatloaf. Music was something that hadn’t really entered my life, not in the way that film had. Years into our relationship Louise surmised that film was to me, what music was to other people. When I felt depressed, down, sad, stressed, upset, rather than slip on a CD to ease the pain, I would slide in a DVD. Film was something that offered solace, comfort and happiness in times of great, overwhelming sadness. Film had, after all, seen me through my depression filled teenage years – something music had not.

But after meeting Louise, after learning of the extent music played in her life, I began broadening my musical horizon. Where once I would walk into a shop and buy a movie, I would now walk into a shop and buy a CD. Runrig, Ani DiFranco, Martyn Bennett, The Walkabouts, Jeff Buckley; music was now beginning to play a major role in my life.

Of all that artists Louise introduced me to during the early months of our relationship, one stood out; Nick Cave. I fell in love with not only the man’s music, but the man himself. I loved his wit, his intelligent lyrics and soulful, haunting voice. I loved his compositions, his melodies and overall demeanor. From album to album I fell more in love with the man until, sometime in mid 2003, I pronounced him one of my favourite musicians.

Of all his songs there is one that stands out to me. Not only because it is one of his best tracks, but because it was Louise’s favourite. Like Hallelujah, this piece of music defines my relationship with Louise, which is why I rarely listen to it. I love the song. I love everything about it. But it’s too triggering, too close to my heart for it to be any comfort. It reminds me of Louse and everything we had together.

But every now and then, when I feel strong enough to deal, I play it.

And fall in love with Nick Cave – and Louise – all over again.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Protect and Survive

Day 15: A song you love singing along to

Protect and Survive | Runrig

scotland

I’m a terrible singer. Really. Truthfully. I couldn’t hold a note if the fate of the world depended on it. But when I’m alone – which is pretty much all the time – I have been known to sing along to random, much-loved tunes.

Given they are my favourite band, more often than not, I’m singing along to Runrig. I love their use of language. I love the rhythm of their music. I love the blend of folk and rock genres. I feel good when I’m singing along to Runrig, even if I’m butchering the tune with my shrill, melodyless voice.

So be glad you’re not in the room with me as I play today’s song; for I will be singing along to it, and I wouldn’t want to damage your precious sense of hearing. But why don’t you sing along to. Even if you are as bad at it as I am.

The red hot sun burns up the hill
The winter’s bride, the summer’s king
I tramp these acres and I feel
Once upon a time
Then it seemed that everything
You saw and touched and felt was real
You turned the tap and you turned the wheel
Breathing free

Once in a lifetime
You live and love
Once in a lifetime
You die
Once in a moment
The sun goes down
Protect and survive

Now you search the open evening sky
Trace the memories in your eyes
For the prophet’s hard rain and the deluge
Lie in tears around your door
Once there were trees and livestock here
A mother’s love, the warnings clear
But you chose to turn away from fear
Breathing free

Once in a lifetime
You live and love
Once in a lifetime
You die
Once in a moment
The sun goes down
Protect and survive

Now there’s a faceless cross on a distant hill
A wasted voice, a silent scream
Where the lovers love and the dreamers dream
You stand and dream alone
You took your sacrifice to the gods of war
Traded your children’s lives for a mess of gold
And you beat your ploughshares into swords
Breathing free

Once in a lifetime
You live and love
Once in a lifetime
You die
Once in a moment
The sun goes down
Protect and survive


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25 Songs, 25 Days: A jaunt into three parallel worlds…

Day 14: A song that reminds you of your boyfriend/girlfriend

Wow. Today’s prompt is single-friendly, isn’t it?

What if you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend? What are you to do then?

*puts thinking cap on*

*assumes thinking pose with hand on chin*

*spends several minutes pondering this complicated dilemma*

Ok. As I am not fortunate enough to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, as I am destined to spend my life alone, with only my voices for company, I’ve decided to share three songs; one for each of my parallel world girlfriends. For as long as I can remember I’ve believed in parallel worlds. Worlds that are created out of our decisions, out of our choices. For every decision we make a world is created for each of the possible outcomes.

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Parallel Worlds Theory

So, for example, if you choose to ask someone out on a date there are three possible outcomes: (1) They will say yes (2) They will say no (3) They will knee you in the groin for being a moronic fool. At that split second you make your choice to ask the question, three worlds are created, one in which you end up on a lovely, adventurous date, one in which you spend the night alone, mourning your loss and one in which you end up in hospital for a displaced testicle. Understand parallel world theory? Good, we shall continue.

~1~

Champagne Supernova | Oasis

My first parallel world girlfriend is Natalie Skippington, a girl I had an immense crush on in high school. At the time, in my reality, I was too nervous, too shy and too anxious to ask her out on a date. But parallel world Addy was able to ask her out on a date and they have been together ever since. And in that parallel world relationship, one song reminds them of their youth, of the heady days of their teenage lust.

~2~

Little Plastic Castle | Ani DiFranco

My second parallel world girlfriend is Annie Johansson, a woman I  met whilst backpacking across Canada. We met in a backpacker hostel and bonded over fire-toasted marshmallows and a shared love of adventure. For seven long days we laughed, sung and bathed our way through the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Then it came time to say goodbye. But our friendship burned bright, and it wasn’t long until we were reunited in Vancouver for another week of mayhem, fun and frivolity. Unfortunately I was too anxious to share how I really felt, so our relationship was never anything more than friendship. But in a parallel world I told her. And we’ve been together ever since.

Obviously ‘our song’  is one that reminds us of our initial time in Jasper; and Ani DiFranco sung it.

~3~

Many of Horror | Biffy Clyro

My third parallel world girlfriend is Samantha Campbell. When I met Samantha I was still heavily traumatized by my abusive relationship. I didn’t trust anyone, so was unable to make the moves required to transform our relationship from platonic to sexual. But, in a parallel world, I was able to make the transformation; and our relationship has flourished ever since.

Our song, that one tune that defines our relationship, is by Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro; Samantha’s favourite band.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Hotel California

Day 13: A song that reminds you of a former friend

Hotel California | The Eagles

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In late 1999 I was backpacking around the majestic country of Scotland. After taking in the wonders of Edinburgh, Stirling, Oban, Fort William, Glencoe, the Isle of Skye and Orkney I decided, after examining my bank account, to settle for a while in one location. After careful consideration I decided this location was Inverness, and checked into the first hostel I found; the Inverness Student Hotel.

Within weeks of beginning my stay I was laughing in the face of anxiety and making friends with the other souls who had found themselves long-terming there. Deborah, Elle, Kaye, Elizabeth, Jemima, Barry, Justin, to name but a few, became some of the best friends I ever had. A group of individuals thrown together through circumstance, who just happened to fall in love with each other in that city of the north.

For five long months we formed a little family. Bonding over cigarettes, practical jokes and copious amounts of alcohol. We laughed together, cried together and had more adventures than you could possibly imagine. Adventures that took us to far-flung locations, adventures that cemented our friendships, adventures that we would remember for the rest of our lives.

It’s been sixteen long years since those heady days of the Inverness Student Hotel, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. I remember the contentment of playing Scrabble with Deborah in the middle of the night, the joy of sharing BLTs and bizarre conversation with Elizabeth and the jovial interplay of razor wit with Justin. It was, unequivocally, one of the greatest periods of my life.

After a decade of anxiety, frustration and loneliness I connected with a group of individuals in the most unlikely of places. I haven’t spoken to any of those wonderful people for over ten years, but I think of them, my surrogate family, often. And never more so than when our anthem is played.

This song reminds me of a time – and place – of pure happiness and friendship. As such, it is one of my favourite songs, ever!


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The Light Will Stay On (The Walkabouts)

The last seven days have been a particularly difficult and trying time for me. My mood has been low. My PTSD has been off the charts. My abdominal pain has returned with a vengeance. And my anxiety has been super difficult to control. So in a valiant attempt to end the week on a high, I’ve decided a spot of music is in order, and this classic piece of Seattle-based rock has never failed to soothe my soul. Hopefully it will do the same for you. Enjoy! :)

The Light Will Stay On | The Walkabouts