launch san

Inside Harry Styles’ Intimate First Solo Tour

Music director Tom Hull reveals how the One Direction star is launching a new phase of his career with help from a versatile live band

Just a half hour before doors open for Harry Styles’ first show of his debut solo tour, San Francisco’s Masonic is completely empty. Band and crew members are buzzing backstage, including Styles himself, not yet wearing the snazzy Gucci suit he would be seen sporting onstage just hours later.

Outside, more than 3,000 fans wait to see the 23-year-old perform in one of the smallest venues they may ever catch him in. They’re decked out in a variety of homemade merchandise as well as florals and pinks, a tribute to the singer’s fashion and album aesthetic.

“It’s funny because as this tour’s approached, I’ve been so nervous,” Styles’ music director and producer Tom Hull, known professionally as Kid Harpoon, tells Rolling Stonebackstage while clutching a chalice of wine and wearing a pin that reads “Muna Has Possibly Talked to Harry Styles,” given out for free by opening band Muna at their merch table.

Until this tour, Hull’s work with other artists had been primarily in the studio, producing and co-writing for artists like Haim, Florence and the Machine and Shakira. He had been introduced to Styles through a mutual friend and ended up working on the songs “Sweet Creature” and “Carolina.” Thanks to their musical chemistry, Styles ended up asking Hull to help him put together a live show to perfectly embody the rootsy, rock-tinged sound of his self-titled album.

“I’ve gone into it not knowing what I’m doing [and] learning on the job,” he admits. “We’re all sort of approaching it with a fresh perspective because we haven’t done it before, but it [has us] keeping with what the record’s about.”

To help translate Styles’ solo sound, the first goal was to get a traditional band together. Guitarist Mitch Rowland had been plucked from a pizza shop where he formerly worked to become a session musician for the album and has joined Styles’ touring band as well.

“Mitch has never really toured like this before,” Hull says. “He’s learning on the road as he goes.”

Joining Rowland are keyboardist Clare Uchima, bassist Alex Predergast and drummer Sarah Jones, all of whom had made their debut with Styles during the televised and small club performances around the release of his album. The band began to feel settled long before the tour launched, but Hull sees their relationship becoming further cemented with this trek.

“Bands become true bands on tour,” he explains. “Fans bought tickets [for this tour] before the album had come out, and the band wants to play to them. The idea is to cut our chops on this tour and get really good. Then next year, he’s got an arena tour.”

Still, on the first two nights, the band already felt like a cohesive unit. The first show perfectly bridged Styles’ past and present, demonstrating that he’s a star capable of holding his own outside of his boy band. Amidst the folk-y ballads and rousing rockers, he covered One Direction classics like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Stockholm Syndrome” as well as one of his lesser-known writing credits: an Ariana Grande piano ballad titled “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” off the vocal diva’s 2014 album My Everything. “Honestly, I didn’t know he had written it,” Hull notes.

Styles has released just 10 songs under his own name, but the vast amount of material he had from his pre-solo career helped to fill out the set. “When the Strokes first came out, their album was 35 minutes long and they had to do Talking Heads songs to fill out the set,” he adds. “It’s quite good to be able to do [Harry’s] record and have other songs in the set because he’s written so much music with [and outside of] One Direction. We’re presenting it in a way that sort of reflects the record and where he’s at now, which feels unique to Harry.”

In the months leading up to the tour launch in San Francisco, Hull, Styles and good friends of the latter sat around and began to formulate a vision. “It was like ‘Why don’t we do this? That would be fun,’” Hull describes of the process. “The thing that’s incredible about Harry that I don’t think people realize as much yet is that he drives it all. It’s very much his taste. He’s very musical; he plays guitar, plays piano and writes songs. He loves music.”

For Hull, working with Styles has disproven a common misconception of the pop megastar, one who is governed by his producers and label. Instead, the director paints a picture of a huge music nerd, one who is particularly passionate about classic rock and country, getting to explore his taste on his own terms.

“That was the hard thing, I think, in [One Direction] before,” he adds. “You’ve got a bunch of lads who all have different tastes in music and have their own personalities. Obviously it’s clear they’ve all done something different [as solo artists].”

Styles has been eager to share his tastes with Hull and the rest of the group. “He’s turning me on to music I’ve never even heard of from like 1978, and he’s texting people in the band 'Have you heard this? Have you heard that?” Hull says says, noting that on days off they go to guitar shops, looking at gear and “really geeky stuff.”

“For someone where he’s at, he just absolutely adores it, and it’s inspiring for everyone underneath.”

The next night in Los Angeles, the crowd is even more energetic as they filter into the Greek through the trees and hills of Griffith Park. A few glitches cropped up at the San Francisco gig — run-of-the-mill sound problems and a less expected fire alarm triggered by the theatrical smoke used during Muna’s set. For the Los Angeles show, the band feels even stronger and more focused.

“There was a bit of uncertainty, but I think everyone’s really happy and buzzing,” Hull updates from the Greek’s VIP section. That night, they were up against the added pressure that comes with a celebrity- and legend-filled audience, featuring everyone from Emma Roberts to Mick Fleetwood and Styles’ former groupmate Niall Horan. “You want to keep improving and getting it better. It feels like the first gig still.”

Even though he would perform a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” in front of Fleetwood himself, Styles was even looser at the Greek, dropping in cheekier ad libs and at one point halting “Kiwi,” the closer of the main set before his encore, to tease the troves of primarily female-identifying fans by highlighting the “I’m having your baby” line from the chorus. According to Hull, Styles was already prepared to start changing up the set list by night two, something the entire team collectively decided against as they were just starting out. (In Nashville the following weekend, however, they replaced the cover of “Stockholm Syndrome” with a rendition of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” the first of many possibly new covers to be introduced on the road.)

The cover of One Direction’s most memorable hit “What Makes You Beautiful” remains the most surprising element of the show, especially since young solo artists typically tend to distance themselves from their pop pasts on the road to a more “mature” sound.

“At first, he was definitely cautiously up for it,” Hull says of the decision-making process. “I feel like those [One Direction] songs are brilliantly written songs, and obviously it was a moment where we had a conversation. Beyoncé does Destiny’s Child songs, so we were like 'Let’s do some of the songs that people will all know and everyone will love.’”

Styles’ band made sure to adapt the tune to fit the flow of the show. Uchima suggested a “Ray Charles–y vibe” for the keys, while drummer Jones added a “Motown-y beat” during rehearsals, and the group continued tinkering until they found the perfect balance of old and new.

“We all have so much respect for what put him here,” Hull adds, emphasizing Styles’ own desire to not fully let go of his past. “It’s an important part of it. You can’t underestimate his fans.”

Entire Fandom: Karamatsu is painful, gross, slutty and completely unnecessary.

Other Matsus:

Me: Haha, yeah, he definitely is the worst.

Photograph of MRBM Field Launch Site No. 1 in San Cristobal, Cuba, 14 October 1962

File Unit: Briefing Board #07, MRBM Field Launch Site, San Cristobal No. 1, 14 October 1962, 10/14/1962 - 10/14/1962Series: Briefing Materials, 1962 - 1963Collection: Department of Defense Cuban Missile Crisis Briefing Materials, 1962 - 1963

On October 14, 1962, United States military surveillance aircraft took hundreds of aerial photographs of Cuba, including these one. Working around the clock, CIA analysts would determine that the photos showed conclusive evidence that a Soviet missile base was under construction near San Cristobal, Cuba, just 90 miles from the coast of Florida. The most dangerous encounter in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had begun as the world teetered on the brink of thermonuclear war for the next 13 days. 

More on the Cuban Missile Crisis from the @jfklibrary

rollingstone.com
Inside Harry Styles' Intimate First Solo Tour
Harry Styles' music director, Tom "Kid Harpoon" Hull, explains how he and the star put together the former One Direction star's first-ever solo tour.

Just a half hour before doors open for Harry Stylesfirst show of his debut solo tour, San Francisco’s Masonic is completely empty. Band and crew members are buzzing backstage, including Styles himself, not yet wearing the snazzy Gucci suit he would be seen sporting onstage just hours later.

Outside, more than 3,000 fans wait to see the 23-year-old perform in one of the smallest venues they may ever catch him in. They’re decked out in a variety of homemade merchandise as well as florals and pinks, a tribute to the singer’s fashion and album aesthetic.

“It’s funny because as this tour’s approached, I’ve been so nervous,” Styles’ music director and producer Tom Hull, known professionally as Kid Harpoon, tells Rolling Stone backstage while clutching a chalice of wine and wearing a pin that reads “Muna Has Possibly Talked to Harry Styles,” given out for free by opening band Muna at their merch table.

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Bush 41: War Hero • President • Patriarch • Patriot

The USS Finback, a 312-foot-long Gato-class submarine surfaced a little before noon on September 2, 1944 in the treacherous waters near Chichi Jima, the site of a Japanese military base on one of the Bonin Islands, approximately 150 miles north of Iwo Jima. The Finback was assigned “lifeguard duty” and was performing search and rescue missions for American airmen who had been shot down in action and might have survived via bail-out or crash landing.

Earlier that morning, four TBM Avenger aircraft had launched from the USS San Jacinto targeting radio installations on Chichi Jima. At around 8:30 AM, one of the Avengers was blasted by Japanese anti-aircraft shells as it made its bombing run over the island. With the plane on fire and losing control, the pilot continued his run, dropping his four 500-pound bombs on the target he had been given that morning on the San Jacinto. Turning back towards the sea, smoke and flames filled the cockpit, choking the crew of three. Working hard to create distance between the island and the failing aircraft, the pilot ordered his crew to bail out by parachute, shouting “Hit the silk!” over the Avenger’s radio.

As the pilot exited the aircraft, his head smashed into the plane’s tail, slicing a thick gash above his eye, tearing panels from his chute, and sending him plummeting towards the sea at a higher rate of speed than he should have been. Still, he splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and another American plane in the vicinity dropped a life raft near him. He was alive. He was alone.

On Chichi Jima, four miles to the southwest, Japanese authorities began to organize a search party to capture any downed American pilots who might have survived. Boats were launched to find them. The pilot, stung by a Portuguese man-o-war, vomiting from ingesting sea water, and dazed from the trauma of the attack and the bleeding head wound, still had the presence of mind to begin paddling away from Chichi Jima. Allied forces never captured Chichi Jima during the war, and reports of atrocities ranging from Japanese soldiers summarily beheading Allied prisoners to cannibalism of POWs by Japanese troops led to the post-war execution of five of Chichi Jima’s leading officers, including the commander, Major Sueo Matoba.

The current was sweeping the Avenger’s pilot towards Chichi Jima and he desperately paddled against it and out into the open sea. Other members of his aerial squadron opened fire to keep away the Japanese boats heading towards him while another American aircraft radioed the downed pilot’s position to the Finback, which steamed towards him.

When the submarine surfaced, it was unclear to the pilot whether he had been rescued or captured. Then five American submariners appeared on the deck. Grainy video footage, now over 70 years old, survives of the Finback’s submariners fishing the gangly, 6'2" pilot from the sea after his three-hour-long ordeal battling injuries and the Pacific Ocean.

Like so many of the soldiers and sailors risking and sacrificing their lives on distant continents and in remote seas, including the men who saved his life on that September 2, 1944, the pilot was very young – just 20 years old.

His name was George Herbert Walker Bush.

•••

Today, George H.W. Bush celebrates his 93rd birthday and is one of the longest-living Presidents in American history. As of today, only two U.S. Presidents have lived longer – Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, both of whom died at the age of 93 (former President Jimmy Carter will turn 93 this year, as well). On October 11th, Bush will have lived longer than Reagan, and he will break Gerald Ford’s record as the longest-living President in American history on November 25th. He was 17 years old and attending the elite Philips Academy boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. As Bush and many of his fellow well-to-do classmates prepared to graduate in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson gave a commencement address urging the patrician prep school grads to go to college first rather than to enlist in the war. Four days after graduating, Bush turned 18 years old and immediately enlisted in the United States Navy.

With the influence of his father, Bush could have found himself in any number of safe, stateside jobs in the service. Instead, he became the Navy’s youngest fighter pilot. Even before being shot down over Chichi Jima, Bush had experienced the rough landings of flight training and ravages of war. During training, he totaled a plane during a crash landing. In June 1944, he was forced to ditch his plane – fully-loaded with bombs – in the sea during a mission, escaped the plane just before it exploded, and had to be rescued by the USS Bronson. By the war’s end, Bush had flown 58 combat missions during 1,228 hours of total flight time. There were 14 pilots who originally formed Bush’s VT-51 torpedo bomber flight squadron; when he was discharged from the service in September 1945, only Bush and three other pilots from that squadron survived.

Yet, it wasn’t what he saw that haunted George H.W. Bush – indeed, what haunts him still today. It was what he didn’t see as he parachuted out of the burning wreckage of his TBM Avenger on September 2, 1944. Or who he didn’t see.

•••

As Bush prepared to bomb Chichi Jima that morning, he was joined by two crew members in his TBM Avenger, tailgunner Ted White and radioman John Delaney. At 26, White was a few years older than Bush, but their fathers had been classmates at Yale, which created an obvious connection between the two young men aboard the San Jacinto. White wasn’t a normal member of Bush’s crew but, that morning, requested that he be allowed to replace Bush’s regular tailgunner, Leo Nadeau, and received permission.

When their plane was hit, Bush did all he could to order his two crew members to bail out of the plane and assist them in doing so, but the black smoke and flames tearing through the aircraft made it impossible for the pilot to see if White and Delaney had indeed exited the plane. Not only had Bush turned the badly-damaged plane out towards the sea, but he dipped the wings to make it easier for the crew members to pop open their door on the left side of the aircraft and bail out. By doing this, Bush cost himself some precious time and made his own exit from the Avenger more difficult – perhaps the reason he slammed against the tail of the aircraft as he parachuted out.

Other American pilots in Bush’s squadron that morning said that they noticed two parachutes deploy from Bush’s Avenger. As Bush plummeted towards the Pacific Ocean, he scanned the sky for the chutes of Delaney and White, but saw neither. As he paddled with one hand in his life raft to get as far away from the coast of Chichi Jima as possible, Bush continued to search the sky and the sea for his crewmates. But it was to no avail. John Delaney and Ted White were never found. If one of the two men did bail out of the plane with Bush and deploy his parachute, he was immediately lost and the same pilots overhead that radioed Bush’s position to the Finback never located him. The other man most likely went down with the crippled TBM Avenger.

Nearly 60 years later, when Bush’s son had also been elected President of the United States, Bush visited the Bonin Islands and spoke to CNN about his ordeal. With all of the experiences of his life – all of the triumphs and tragedies – it was the loss of Ted White and John Delaney which continued to weigh heavily on George H.W. Bush. “I wake up at night and think about it sometimes,” the former President told CNN, “Could I have done something differently? I’m not haunted by anything other than the fact I feel a responsibility for the lives of the two people that were killed. I wonder if I could have done something different? I wonder who got out of the plane? I wonder – wonder why the chute didn’t open for the other guy? Why me? Why am I blessed? Why am I still alive? That has plagued me.”

How much did it plague George H.W. Bush? When the author and historian James Bradley interviewed the former President about his story for Bradley’s 2003 book Flyboys: A True Story of Courage (BOOK | KINDLE), Bush startled Bradley by asking the author if he had any new information about the fates of John Delaney and Ted White.

•••

When the Finback surfaced and fished George Herbert Walker Bush out of the sea, the submariners treated him for his wounds, fed him, gave him new clothes to wear, and he became a part of the Finback crew – an honorary submariner – for the next month, as the submarine continued its mission, patrolling hot spots in the Pacific Theater just in case another downed pilot required rescue.

Everything was still raw when the future President sat down the next day at a typewriter on the Finback and pecked out a letter to his parents back home in Connecticut. It is the testament of a 20-year-old man born with all of the advantages in the world, sharing his story with his parents and letting them know how the war had touched him…and how it could easily touch them:

Dear Mother and Dad,

This will be the first letter you have gotten from me in a good long while. I wish I could tell you that as I write this I am feeling well and happy. Physically I am O.K., but I am troubled inside and with good cause. Here is the whole story at least as much of it as I am allowed to relate right now.

Yesterday was a day which will long stand in my memory. I was on a bombing hop with Delaney as my radioman and Lt. (j.g.) Ted White as my gunner. He did not usually fly, but I asked him if he would like to go with me and he wanted to. We had the usual joking around in the ready room about having to bail out etc. – at that time it all seemed so friendly and innocent but now it seems awful and sinister.

I will have to skip all the details of the attack as they would not pass the censorship, but the fact remains that we got hit. The cockpit filled with smoke and I told the boys in back to get their parachutes on. They didn’t answer at all, but I looked around and couldn’t see Ted in the turret so I assumed he had gone below to get his chute fastened on. I headed the plane out to sea and put on the throttle so as we could get away from the land as much as possible. I am not too clear about the next parts. I told them to bail out, and then I called up the skipper and told him I was bailing out. My crewmen never acknowledged either transmission, and yet the radio gear was working – at least mine was and unless they had been hit back there theirs should have been, as we had talked not long before. I heard the skipper say something but things were happening so fast that I don’t quite remember what it was. I turned the plane up in an attitude so as to take pressure off the back hatch so the boys could get out. After that I straightened up and started to get out myself. At that time I felt certain that they had bailed out. The cockpit was full of smoke and I was choking from it. I glanced at the wings and noticed that they were on fire. I still do not know where we got hit and never will. I am now beginning to think that perhaps some of the fragments may have either killed the two in back, or possibly knocked out their communications.

Fortunately I had fastened all my straps before the dive and also I had left my hatch open, something I hadn’t been doing before. Just the day before I had asked the skipper and he advised leaving it open in a dive. The jump itself wasn’t too bad. I stuck my head out first and the old wind really blew me the rest of the way out. I do remember tugging at my radio cord which I had forgotten to unplug. As I left the plane my head struck the tail. I now have a cut head and bruised eye but it is far from serious. After jumping, I must have pulled the ripcord too soon for when I was floating down, I looked up at the canopy and several of the panels were all ripped out. Just as I got floating down, I saw the plane strike the water. In the meantime, I noticed that there was a liferaft down in the water. Not until later did I discover that it was mine that was supposed to be attached to my lifejacket. I had forgotten to hook it on, and when I left the plane it had come loose and had fallen into the water. Fortunately, the wind didn’t carry me too far away from the raft. The entrance into the water was not too bad. I had unloosened several of my chute straps so that when it came to getting out of the harness I wouldn’t have too many buckles to undo under the water. I went fairly deep when I hit, but not deep enough to notice any pressure or anything. I shook the harness and the wind carried the chute away on the water. The wind was blowing towards shore, so I made every effort to head the other way. The skipper saw me and he saw my raft, so he made a pass over it to point it out to me. I had inflated my mae west [sailors called their inflatable yellow life vests “Mae Wests”] and then started swimming towards the raft. Fortunately, the fall hadn’t injured the boat, so it inflated easily and I struggled into it. I then realized that I had overexerted myself swimming, because suddenly I felt quite tired. I was still afraid that the wind would take me in closer so I began paddling. It was a hell of a job to keep the water out of the raft. In fact I never did get it bailed out completely. At first I was scared that perhaps a boat would put out from shore which was very close by, but I guess our planes made them think twice about that. A few fighter planes stayed nearby the whole time until I was rescued and you can imagine how comfortable that was. One of them came right over me and dropped me some medical supplies which were most welcome, since I had no idea how badly cut up I was. It turned out to be slight, but did use the iodine anyway. I had some dye marker attached to my life jacket and also there was some in the raft so I sprinkled a bit of that on the water so the planes could see me easily. I took inventory of my supplies and discovered that I had no water. The water had broken open when the raft fell from the plane I imagine. I had a mirror and some other equipment, and also was wearing my own gun and knife.

There was no sign of Del or Ted anywhere around. I looked as I floated down and afterwards kept my eye open from the raft, but to no avail. The fact that our planes didn’t seem to be searching anymore showed me pretty clearly that they had not gotten out. I’m afraid I was pretty much of a sissy about it cause I sat in my raft and sobbed for awhile. It bothers me so very much. I did tell them and when I bailed out I felt that they must have gone, and yet now I feel so terribly responsible for their fate, Oh so much right now. Perhaps as the days go by it will all change and I will be able to look upon it in a different light.

I floated around for a couple of hours during which time I was violently sick to my stomach, and then the planes started zooming me, pointing out my position to my rescuers. You can imagine how happy I was when I saw this submarine hove into view. They pulled me out of the raft and took me below where they fixed me up in grand style. As I write this I am aboard the sub – don’t know how long I will be here, or when I will get back to the squadron.

As I said physically I am o.k. The food aboard here is unequaled anywhere I have ever seen. I am getting plenty of sleep and am even standing watches so that I will get the air occasionally. My back ached as did my leg last nite, and also my seat was a bit sore from the chute straps, but the pharmacist mate rubbed me down and today I feel much better. Last nite I rolled and tossed. I kept reliving the whole experience. My heart aches for the families of those two boys with me. Delaney had always been a fine loyal crewman. His devotion to duty was at all times highly commendable and his personality most pleasing. I shall most certainly write to his family after I am sure they have been notified by the Bureau.

As for Ted White, I have spoken of him several times in my letters before. He was the fellow from Yale, one class ahead of Stu Clement [Bush’s first cousin]. He comes from St. Paul Minn. White Bear Lake to be exact. Perhaps Dad, you know the family. If so do not write them until you get the word from me or elsewhere that the family has been officially notified. There is a possibility that they parachuted and I didn’t see them, but I am afraid it is quite remote as we received a message aboard here last nite saying that only one chute opened. All in all it is terribly discouraging and frankly it bothers me a good deal.

As time goes by I shall add bits to this letter and will mail it at my earliest possible convenience. I shall do the same by Bar, but shall not go into detail like this over my experience so please read her the parts of the letter which might interest her. It’s a funny thing how much I thought about Bar during the whole experience. What I wouldn’t give to be with her right now. Just to see that lovely face and those beautiful eyes and to know she was by my side. Right now I long to be with you so much. To be with you both and to be with Bar is my main desire – at least it won’t be too long, the time is going by quite rapidly.

Please excuse all my misspellings – they are caused not from ignorance but from carelessness in operating this machine.

much much love to you all,
your ever devoted and loving son,
Pop

•••
As he celebrates his 93rd birthday, George Herbert Walker Bush has been many things to many people, and has done so much for so many more.

During the Vietnam War, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Fortunate Son” sang: “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no Senator’s son/It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no.”

Not too long after World War II, George H.W. Bush was a Senator’s son – his father Prescott was elected to the U.S. Senate from Connecticut. Later, George Bush blazed his own trail. Oilman. U.S. Representative from Texas. An unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate from Texas (famously encouraged by the Texas Democrat and President Lyndon B. Johnson that the difference between the House and the Senate was the difference between “chicken shit and chicken salad”). U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Chief U.S. Liaison in China. CIA Director. Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan. President of the United States (“41”). Father of one Governor and President (“43”) and another Governor who was once considered a top candidate to become “45″.

But before everything – George Herbert Walker Bush was a war hero. And he was a war hero because of his love, honor, and duty to his country.

Just don’t ask George Bush if he was a war hero.

“It was just part of my duty. People say ‘war hero’. How come a guy who gets his airplane shot down is a hero and a guy who’s good enough that he doesn’t get shot down is not? Ask [John F.] Kennedy about it, why are you a hero? ‘They sank my boat.’ Why am I a hero? They shot down my airplane.”

A short drabble about UT!Sans losing his S/O to the resets and finding them again inspired by this ask.


It’s cold again, colder than the surface has ever been. He opens his eyes to the worn ceiling of his bedroom, complete with that stain in the left corner where Paps once accidentally flipped a pancake in his room to try wake him up and it got stuck on the ceiling. It used to amuse him, thinking of his brother’s shenanigans first thing in the morning. He’s not on the surface, he realises. It’s been awhile since he hated that stain so much, hated that ceiling, hated everything that reminds him; he’s back, he’s back in Snowdin, back on the first day of the neverending loop and they’re gone.

The realisation hits him like being caught under a wave, pushing him down again and again even if he bothers to try getting up, cold and heavy and sweeping down into nonexistent lungs that somehow makes it hard to breathe. But he expected this. He really did, so why does this hurt so much? He’s too tired to panic, too world-weary to do anything other than close his eyes again so he wouldn’t see that god awful stain. It’s harder, he realises, to have hope taken away from you than to not have any in the first place. He’s cold, colder than he has been in awhile and the howling winds of Snowdin only contribute partly to the fact. He feels empty and heavy all at once, and that’s an oxymoron worth to pondering over, he thinks.

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FLASHBACK: May 29, 2013

Listen Up Tour launched in San Francisco!

anonymous asked:

47. Soriel? Can it have some lee!sans?

47. crave


The smell of cinnamon butterscotch pie wafted through the house. The kids were gone so the pie was left unattended by Toriel. Sans wandered into the kitchen only to spy the pastry sitting on the counter. Toriel said to wait until the kids got home, but Sans was craving her delicious pie. One slice couldn’t hurt, could it?

Sans sighed with content as he finished off the slice of pie. He laid back on the couch for a nap.

“Sans? Did you take a slice of my pie?” Toriel called from the kitchen, waking him up. 

Shit.

“uh… no?”

“Sans.” Toriel spoke warningly as she entered the living room, only to find a messy plate and Sans looking at her guiltily. “Sans! You ate some of the pie!” Toriel gasped. Sans offered a guilty smile. 

“heh… sorry, tori. you’re pies are just way too good.”

“I think a punishment is in order!” Toriel growled. Sans went wide-eyed, completely aware of what she meant. 

“n-now tori, cant we talk about thihihihis! dahahahammit!” Sans broke into giggles as Tori skittered her fingers over Sans’ collar bone. 

“No swearing, Sans!” Tori mock-scolded, her hands slowly moving downwards to his ribs. Sans squealed and bucked, curling into a ball to escape the tickling feeling. “Wow, you are very ticklish!”

“TOHOHOHOHORI!”

“Yes, Sans?”

“STAHAHA- EHEHEHEHE!” Sans’ laughter went high-pitched as Tori started scratching at his spine. 

“Stop? Are you sorry for eating my pie?”

“YEHEHEHEHES!”

“Okay, then! Just one last thing.” Tori bent down and began nibbling on Sans’ collarbone, eliciting shrill high-pitched laughter. Tori soon found herself laughing along with Sans. “Ohoh Sahans. Yohou really are tohoo ticklish for your own good.”  Tori giggled, watching as Sans’ blue blush appeared. 

“sorry for eating some of your pie, tori. but I’m not sorry for this!” Sans launched at Toriel, seeking his tickle-revenge. 


SORIEL! YES!!!

GHOST live in Stroudsburg, PA 4/14/16

A long, rambling review!  Oh boy!


– So the Manfriend, tolerant little cinnamon roll that he is, agreed to come with me to this show. This doesn’t sound like a bit deal until you consider that the show is 300 miles away, on the other side of Pennsylvania. And he has to work the next day.

– 11:30 PM, the night before sees me struggling to construct a nun’s whimple out of the weirdest goddamn fabric ever. It looks amazing, like matte ‘pleather’ but it’s soft and thick and drapey and perfect. Because if you’re going to do something like wear a nun hat you’d better do it well, otherwise you will look like a giant toolbag. In any case, it’s too thick to stitch and no glue will stick it together. I make do with hot glue and prayer (hear our Satan praaaaay-yerrrrr).

– 12 PM, day of the show. We tearfully bid goodbye to our children (cats) and start off. I’m driving. I play Infestissumam/Con Clavi Con Dio as we leave the city. Manfriend’s face: 🙄

– 12pm-6pm, we drive and contemplate just how fucking empty the middle of PA is. Like, not even cows and soybean fields, but like actually NOTHING. Forests full of sad, naked trees and power lines and mountains and clouds, occasionally punctuated by tiny towns with names like Ohr and Graniteville. Yes, really.

We stop to pee in a little town which seems to consist only of houses and a Kohl’s. Being a Tattooed Weirdo with a Non-White Guy is a little worrying at moments like this. In the past, when asked by residents what in the fuck I’m doing in their town, my answer has been that I’m in a touring band. I don’t know why, but it diffuses weird situations. I suggest that we, in this case, claim to actually be IN Ghost if anybody asks. (Chatter from central PA: “One of the dudes from Ghost is a chick! My friend met them in Kohl’s.”) Manfriend: 🙄

– 6pm, I’m driving again and we have located Stroudsburg. It is WEENSIE. What is Ghost doing here? I comment that if The Guys are out walking around we will almost certainly see them, because the town seems to have one main drag and they would NOT blend in. He says they’re probably on the bus. He is not good at playing along with my dumb fantasy scenarios.

–6pm-7pm, We check into the Budget Inn where the front desk girl is very confused by what we’re doing in Stroudsburg. The hotel’s nearest cross-street is Forge Rd. I find this hilarious. Poor Manfriend is still confused. We get prettied up and start out for the venue.

–8pm, it’s taken us 45 minutes to find a goddamn parking space, because the town has been invaded by weirdos like ourselves. The line at the venue is so big it can probably be seen from space. We finally park quite a ways away. My nun hat is popular, especially with one dudebro who declares loudly, “We HAVE a nun”, in much the same way as NASA types say “We HAVE a problem” or “The Eagle HAS landed.”

–9pm, opener (The Shrine) is ok, but I’m sad they’re not Dead Soul. Not that they can help that. Sorry, The Shrine. Manfriend is usually a complete wizard at unobtrusively getting right up to the barrier, but no luck today. We’re at stage left, maybe 12 feet out. Still not so bad.

–9:15ish, when Ghost’s Eyes Wide Shut music starts the crowd does this crazy surge toward the stage that, by the time it reaches us, is totally not intentional anymore. I end up climbing the dude in front of me like a tree. In a skirt and a nun’s whimple. It’s ok, though, because he is large and teddybear-ish and soft and cozy. He comments, “It’s ok, I’ve got your back. Uh, or your front, I guess.” Thank you teddybear man. Metal audiences are seriously the best. Adorable.

The band comes out, sans Papa, launching into Spirit. Somehow Papa manages to emerge from the center of the stage rather than the wings. I can’t see well enough to decipher how he’s done this. So I’m going with magic Satan stuff. Also, I discover that the internet has ruined me because my first thought is, “A wild Papa appears!”.

We are on the Alpha side and dude is seriously impressive. Especially when you consider that he probably can’t see in that fucking mask. I don’t understand how guitarists can play without seeing their hands, because I’m primarily a violinist and we’re allowed to see our hands.

The audience is seriously SHOUTING every lyric, which is a nice display of enthusiasm but I can barely hear the band. This becomes funny when the Latin parts happen and everybody just starts mumble-screaming lines like, “Saaah con clavi, con dio, Saaah uhh mah mah EEEEH-uh scurooooo”.

Eventually the sound guy/girl compensates. Thanks to my time in the music business 900 years ago I was aware that they had their work cut out for them the minute I saw the place. Those historic old theatres are AMAZING but they were not designed for this sorta thing. Minimal sound baffling on the walls, concrete floor. Ouch. The band seems to be struggling with their in-ear monitors a little at first as well. They’re killing it, regardless.

Papa starts out in the Pope Suit and I love it. A minute later he brings out the incense censer. For a weird moment I’m transported back to fucking four hour long Good Friday masses watching bored Catholics pretend to care about the stations of the cross. I’m happy, because I’m a big girl now and nobody can strongarm me into church. I think this sensation is about 50% of why I love Ghost so much.

The band is delightfully hammy. They know how fabulous they look and how AMAZING their lighting director is, and maximize the photo ops. The four mobile members even do some fun synchronized stuff a lá Purple Rain. I love that shit.

Papa MAYBE looks at me a few times but it’s hard to say because I’m on his left, aka the raptor eyeball side. I’m going to say we made eye-contact and he thought I was a babe. Because.

Poor Air’s keys are always either lost in the wash of sound or alternately, cutting through me like a fucking knife. Again, this is understandable. I’m not picking on you, sound engineer! They’re probably tough to mix in general, what with the backing tracks and whatnot.

Papa comments that he isn’t grabbing (scratching?) his own ass, he is adjusting his pants.

He also gets rambly about American food, mostly potatoes. Because I’m a dork, I know that this is because he loves carbs and can’t have any. I love this strange man. Just eat the carbs, Papa, we’ll love you anyway.

He also blows multiple kisses to a kid in the balcony who has Papa face-paint on. This is also adorable. Curse you and your squishy maternal instincts, Papa. You’re making half the audience ovulate in unison.

He also gives kudos to the band. A LOT. I like that. When a stage tech takes his mic stand away he directs the audience to applaud him. Nobody ever applauded me when I took mic stands off the stage. Can I work for you, Ghost?

Sadly, I don’t see much of Omega, as he’s mostly stage-right. Water bops around quite a bit, though. That guy is my hero. He does the little floaty thing where he puts his arms out and sways around. I squee. I’m easily amused.

Papa gives a speech extolling the joys of the female orgasm. For like five minutes. Somewhere, Dr Ruth is crying tears of joy.

-11pm, the show lets out. I buy a stupid quantity of merch from the two very busy merch people. Everyone else is also buying merch, which is good to see. The band makes real, actual money from merch sales! Unlike album sales, for the most part.

All in all, a lovely night. I’m thrilled I got to see these guys, even if it meant traversing the state. I’m also glad I got to experience Papa III before the new album drops and he shuffles off to the Retired Papas’ Home.

So I am currently in love with spacegate’s Baby Blasters AU. You can check it out HERE. It’s so sad but also so good and adorable. 

I was inspired to write this short fic because this AU has been invading my thoughts for a while now and I needed to get something down on paper. So spacegate, I hope you’re happy, this is all your fault. 

Note: This is completely independent of my other Undertale fic.


Shattered


When Grillby heard the crash, his core flooded with fear. The world passed by him in a blur as took off towards the living room where the sound had come from. The same place the boys had been playing.

When he arrived, Grillby’s eyes widened at the sight before him. A vase that he kept on an end table had crashed to the floor, covering the ground with sharp ceramic pieces. In addition to the vase, a picture frame that also usually sat on the end table, was shattered on the floor.

Sans was hurriedly trying to gather all the pieces together; his little hands shaking in the process. He was muttering distraught sounds to himself as he hastily continued to clean. Papyrus whimpered worriedly in puppy form, his tale dropping between his legs. Grillby noticed Papyrus was the one closest to the end table, but thankfully a good few inches away from the broken glass. It seemed that in Papyrus’s puppyish excitement, he must have knocked into the end table, causing the items on top to fall to the floor.

“Are you boys alright?” Grillby asked in alarm, his sudden voice startling the children.

Sans jumped up from his cleaning and swirled around to face Grillby, his eyes wide with terror.

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anonymous asked:

Oh sir, Papyrus sir. Can you tell the tale of how and why you came to the possession of that scarf? Does it have a meaning?

*Sighs*

The short answer is that my brother gave it to me and, although its a very dashing fashion accessory, I don’t go anywhere without it because of how important it is to me. 

The whole story is a bit more…complicated. 

Sans mentioned this before but we didn’t used to live as comfortably as we do now. Back when I was little, we used to lay our heads wherever the best hiding place was. We were easy targets back then since Sans had low health and I wasn’t strong enough to do anything yet. 

I don’t have a whole lot of memories from when I was a really tiny baby bones but I do remember a little bit from the short time we lived in Hotland. Most of those memories were how Sans tried to keep my calm when we hid and how nauseous I used to get from the heat there. When I was older, he told me about how some of the monsters in the area caught onto our usual hiding places and tried to flush us out. That’s how we ended up in Waterfall.

I actually have a lot more memories of Waterfall than I do of Hotland. Part of it is because we stayed there for several years and the other part is because those caverns were prettier than our previous home. They were also a lot darker and there were also more hiding spaces to pick from too. Not to mention, with the cooler climate’s assistance, my sickly state seemed to disappear much to my big brother’s relief. Of course, that meant I was no longer lethargic and he had to work twice as hard to keep us safe since I was a bit of an energetic and talkative child. It was in Waterfall though, that I first understood the danger we were in. After all, nothing is more terrifying than hiding in the dark and hearing the malicious cackle of looming monsters pass between the echo flowers you’re hiding under. After the threat passed and Sans realized that the echo flowers in the area could give us away, we finally abandoned Waterfall. 

Snowdin was our final destination. Out of all the places we’ve lived, its the coziest of the three caverns. The monsters there aren’t nearly as vicious, the cold air is refreshing, and the snow is one of my favorite things about the area. Not to mention, with all the trees, there’s plenty of cover to hide if we needed to. A lot of my fondest memories are in Snowdin actually; from the times we played hide-and-seek together in the Snow Room, to the first time we built a snowman, or when we worked together to make an igloo into our first offical home. 

I guess I didn’t see it then but Sans always did his best to provide for us. He made sure my needs came first; even if it meant he went without. Anything I wanted to do, he would do his best to fulfill. Any food we came across, I always got the first bite. Heck, he even stopped calling my Papy when I asked him to call me Boss instead after I got picked on by some local kids for it. One of the only gifts he was able to give me was a red scarf he managed to save up for. I guess he saw me gawking at a monster in the village with a long scarf and realized that I wanted one too. I had never really asked for anything before because I knew that we couldn’t afford much…

After he gave me the scarf, I may or may not have gotten a little emotional. I think part of me knew he must have busted his ass to make me happy and part of me wanted to do the same for him. But what can a little kid do? It wasn’t until my teen years that I finally figured out how I could repay him for everything he did to keep us safe. That was the day we almost got killed by a monster hell bent on dusting us for EXP. We let ourselves get a little too comfortable while we were in Snowdin and the monster caught us off guard. What our assailant didn’t realize is that I had been training on my own when I got the chance so I could control my strength and prevent myself from hurting Sans. 

The scar on my eye is actually from that attack… When I hit the ground, Sans launched himself at our attacker without thinking. Just as the monster was about to kill my brother…I had to do the hardest thing I had ever done before in my life…I had to dust him to save Sans. I held it together in front of Sans but the moment I had a second to myself, I lost it. It wasn’t until I was drying my eyes with my scarf that I realized that this is what I could do to repay my brother; i could be his protector. In that moment, I made a vow that I would do whatever it took to protect him.

Unfortunately, the attacks didn’t end after I dusted my first monster. Turns out he had a few buddies that didn’t appreciate what I did… They were the next to come after us… I tried to spare them when I had them pinned but only one took me up on the offer and that quickly came to bite us in the ass. Word got out how tough I was and challengers started showing up to fight me and test their strength. If I refused, some of them tried to use my brother against me. The only good thing that came out of that situation was when Undyne heard about me and showed up to fight me. When I almost killed her, she laughed and told me she wanted me on the royal guard. Said if I really wanted to keep the monsters in line, then that was the best way for me to protect my brother and myself. 

Our lives turned around after that. Undyne trained me on how to properly use my magic and fight. The position earned us enough money to buy our house and whatever we wanted. The title of royal guard offered its own protection and kept most monsters from coming after us. Not to mention, I became the main monster responsible for keeping order and taking out anyone who caused any trouble. Eventually, my name became so well known that merely mentioning my name was enough to deter anyone from going after Sans. That’s one of the reasons I gave him the collar; so he’d have something to wear that offered him protection too. 

If I hadn’t of gotten that scarf from him, I don’t think I would have been able to step up and take on the role of his protector. That scarf is a reminder of all the sacrifices he made, kindness he’d shown, and love my brother gave to me. With it, I feel like I have the strength to do anything…even the things that are hard to do. 

Thank you, Sans. 

@sansafterdark

Nightmares and Comfort

(this is underfell!fontcest fluff. warning for nightmares and slight angst )

Sans sighed as he sprawled out on his bed, the red light in his eyes flickering every so often. He huffed as he forced himself to sit up and shrug off his black jacket and kick off his red and black shoes.

The small skeleton collapsed backwards against his bed halfheartedly tugging a faded red blanket over himself.

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