Pairing: You spend the day helping Mikey shop for Christmas gifts for his bandmates. But, the hardest person to shop for may be Mikey himself.
“Thanks for helping me do my Christmas shopping, Y/N,” Mikey
“No problem,” you smiled, stomping the snow off your boots
as you entered the comic book shop. You were looking for a gift for Gerard.
“My brother really loves Grant Morrison,” Mikey reminded, “so
let’s look for a comic that he did writing for.”
“Good idea,” you nodded. “Hey, isn’t that your brother’s
comic right there?” you asked, pointing at a copy of Doom Patrol on the shelf.
“It is!” Mikey grinned. “I’m so proud of him! Gerard and I
used to hang out at comic stores like this all the time as kids, so it’s crazy
to think that something he made is sitting in the DC section right next to our
“Hey, look, here’s an omnibus of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run,” you pointed out. It
was a massively thick book, and it looked expensive.
“Wow, what a great find!” Mikey grinned. “Thanks, Y/N.”
“No problem,” you shrugged. “You sure you don’t want to get
something cheaper, though?”
“Sometimes I feel like you forgot I’m in a platinum-selling
band,” Mikey chuckled. “I got it covered, don’t worry.”
“I’m surprised nobody’s recognized you yet, and asked you
for a picture or something,” you confessed.
“While, I’m not as instantly recognizable as Gerard,” Mikey
shrugged. “It’s not like I’m the frontman.”
“True,” you considered as Mikey paid for the comic. “Where
“Next, we need something for Frank,” Mikey decided. “So, let’s
head to the record store.”
He set the needle down gently on the black grooved circle and closed the glass top. A crackling hiss came from the speaker system, followed by Beethoven’s 5th. “Ahhh” he said as he poured a glass of wine and sat in his reclining chair, “my favorite.” For the next hour Side A of the record played as the man sank deeper into his chair, reminiscing about the week’s events, and hoping that Side B was just as warm as he remembered it all those years ago.
Earlier that day he had found himself in a tiny mom-and-pop record shop in North Seattle, just poking around looking for gems, as was his Friday custom. He was looking in the classical section, when he came across the record now playing on his stereo system. Oh how he had LOVED this record as a young boy some 40+ years ago. He carefully took the record out of its sleeve, and examined it, followed by the sleeve, and saw the mark. Yes, this was it! This was the record he had given away by accident all those years ago. He hugged it close to his chest and proceeded to the checkout line, paid the teenage cashier with two crisp 20-dollar bills and went home.
His thoughts broke as Side A ended. He got up slowly, clutching his lower back and stretching as he walked across the now dark room to the record player. With trembling hands full of excitement and fear, he opened the glass on the player, gently removed the record and flipped it to Side B.
The man gently set the record down on the player and lowered the needle to the fourth black groove, closed the glass top and sat back in his chair as that familiar crackling hiss came from the speakers.
Muffled screams emanated from the speakers this time, along with a second voice: “Now, now, calm down. I don’t want to hurt you; I just want to have a little fun,” said the calm, comforting male voice.
A muffled shriek, followed by cries of pain echoed from the speakers and through the house.
“Shhhh, shhh. It’s just a little fire… nothing to worry about…”
As the screams and shrieks continued, the man eased back into his chair, sipped his wine, and smiled…
Another year is coming to an end, and in honor of 2013, here are a few of my favorite albums of 2013.
1. Wavves | Afraid of Heights
favorite track: Afraid of Heights
The popular surf rock band, Wavves, released their second studio album on Mom + Pop Records earlier this year, and was a larger commercial success than their previous LP, King of the Beach. On this record, Nathan seems to drop the whole ‘California skater’ state of mind, though it does seem to make its occasional appearances, and embeds himself in sorrow for the majority of the record. Afraid of Heights found its way to the top of my 2013 list due to its instantly catchy hooks and powerful grungy anthems. 10/10 in my book.
The long awaited sophomore LP of Brooklyn’s own Beach Fossils, finally came around and after listening to this album, I remembered why Beach Fossils remains as one of my favorite indie rock bands of this time. This record definitely came out with a bang a long with some good intentions. The album comes jam packed with a large collection of dreamy, post punk tracks that could be played for hours on end. With more rising bands playing in this similar style of dreamy, note by note riffs, Beach Fossils really set themselves apart with this record.
After a large amount of success coming in from their first few EP’s, Daughter released their debut album, If You Leave, on 4AD records. From its ambient textures to its powerful lyricism, If You Leave is definitely one of 2013’s most chilling albums.
4. FIDLAR | FIDLAR
favorite track: No Waves
“Fuck It Dude Life’s A Risk”, might be the perfect way to sum up FIDLAR’s (yes, it must be all caps) debut LP. The no good, modern day rock n roll, self titled album comes out locked and loaded for a solid forty minutes, and covers a good portion of a day in the life of FIDLAR. Wether it be indulging themselves in narcotics, surfing, or drinking cheap beer with friends, this album really keeps the energy flowing through a good fourteen tracks.
19 year old singer songwriter, Archie Marshall released his official debut album on XL Recordings, and it really seems to set the level for most modern day musicians. The album features a collection of both new and old songs that feature strong chord progressions, hard hitting textures, and above all, strong lead vocals. The mix of influences really adds to this masterpiece from quiet and subtle songs to intense expressive ballads. There’s even a little sax solo.
Probably on everybody’s best of 2013 list is Deafheaven’s second studio LP, Sunbather. Whether you’re a fan of metal or not, this album will definitely hit you hard. The album stretches out to an hour long on seven tracks, each filled with a dreamy feel that will have the listener mesmerized. This album without a doubt is a big highlight of 2013.
7. The Growlers | Hung At Heart
favorite track: One Million Lovers
The Growlers hold very distinct attributes to their name. It’s their own genre really, and Hung At Heart is a perfect example of this. This is the 3rd album by the popular beach goth band, and it seems to be their best. Though their music hasn’t really seemed to evolve since their first album back in 2009, it holds a certain quality to it that keeps it fresh and exciting. Hung At Heart features fifteen incredibly catchy tunes that kept me entertained from beginning to end.
8. Smith Westerns | Soft Will
favorite track: Varsity
Soft Will is the third studio LP of Chicago rockers, Smith Westerns. It features the lovable qualities of their previous records, such as catchy choruses, groovy guitar solos, and ambivalent songwriting. The Smith Westerns definitely have come a long way since their first album though, more than just production wise. Soft Will features a large handful of tracks that really put their best and catchiest work away. Did I mention it was catchy?
2013 was definitely a good year for bands to release their debut albums. Most of them rose to the top, and Bleached was no exception. The Los Angeles, indie rock girl squad, released their first full length on Dead Oceans records and was quickly praised by everybody. The album features the common indie rock sounds that you would expect would hail from the California area, but with memorable hooks that make each song as good as the next. The album also features a mix of influences that lets Bleached stand out from any other indie rock band currently out on the market.
10. Pity Sex | Feast Of Love
favorite track: Drawstring
With many new bands coming up, the emo revival era is still growing strong. Pity Sex being one of those bands, released their debut earlier this year on Run For Cover records. The Michigan band released an EP, Dark World, last year that gathered a lot of buzz and also got them a deal with RFC. Feast Of Love is now their follow up and stretches out on ideas Dark World couldn’t. This album shows growth and development from their previous work and it seems as if they branched out into a more shoegazey type of atmosphere. Along with sound and production improvement, the album features fantastic songwriting accompanied by a mix of the band’s lead singers. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
So my whole family lives close to a Fast food place and this one worker is this guy Jerry. My mother is on first name basis with the entire staff there, and Jerry hires a lot of lgbt+ people and queer/trans kids kicked out of their homes. Jerry is adorable and sweet as can be, and he always saves my mother the receipts that people don’t ask for because they allow you to do surveys for free drinks and snacks, so my mother does them and gets free snacks, while also giving that Sonic really good ratings and helping them get better pay and stuff, so it’s win win! But out of everyone, my mother is the closest to Jerry.
So anyway, Jerry is..well..gay. And extremely effeminate. Basically he’s the typical “fab gay guy” stereotype you see everywhere. And one day, my mom stops in just to say hi, and I tag along, and there’s this man going through the drive thru. He looks about 30, and boy, he fucks up his own order several times, changing things repeatedly and stuttering. But Jerry, as he is the head manager and also being the sweet angel sent from heaven that he is, is patient as can be and helps Shelley take his order (she’s new and was kicked out of her home for being trans, so she was living with Jerry and the whole staff was saving their tips to get her a good binder). My mom and I decide to wait in our car on the curb by the tables until Jerry’s done so they can chat, as he gets to take a 10 minute break in a moment. My mom puts in her earbuds and listens to Kari Jobe for a bit, and I notice the man who fucked up his order a bunch had left with his food. Jerry comes out to chat for a bit on his break, and my mom prays for the surgey he’d just had on his gallbladder to not make him get an infection.
Let me establish this now: my mother is INSANELY RELIGIOUS. She listens to nothing but Christian pop music. She carries a highlighter for her bible. She has anointing oil in her purse, and she wouldn’t let me watch Harry Potter until I was almost 15 because it had “witchcraft” (I managed to get her to watch the movies and now she’s hooked). So you can imagine she’s pretty homophobic, transphobic, and being white is oblivious to a lot of institutionalized racism. So I want you to keep this in mind during the next bit.
The man from earlier returns and he starts harassing Shelley, calling her transphobic slurs and degrading her, threatening to rape her and other nasty things. Why? Because she messed up one thing on a confusing as shit order! I was so pissed and ready to smack a bitch. By now Shelley is crying and shaking like mad and looks shaken up, and one of the other employees Brad is trying to calm her down, and Jerry? He’s having none of that shit! He steps up and threatens to call the cops if he doesn’t leave, as he was committing a hate crime against her. The guy turn on Jerry and start calling him hateful slurs like fa**ot and fudge packer and it looks like they’re gonna throw down, which would be fine, except Jerry was in no condition to fight given his recent surgery. And then something amazing happens:
My bigoted, bible belt bred mother gets out of her car looking like she was going to rain down the fires of hell from her small compact figure and points her index finger straight in his chest. She starts telling him (in her southern belle, 5'4" fashion) that he oughta be ashamed of himself for harassing someone who couldn’t help being born in the wrong body, and that he’s trash for insulting Jerry, who, in her words, “was patient enough to put up with the fact that you were was mumbling like a 3 year old and being a rude jackass” and I’m like woah did my mom just say JACKASS, she hates profanity! And then when he tries to intimidate her, she steps up chest to chest and yells “apologize to him NOW.” and he’s like “NO”
And then it gets even better.
She suddenly goes quiet, and something seems to dawn on her, and she says “Jackie? Is that you?” And he’s like “uh yeah”. And then she goes “oh my, I believe I taught you in preschool! I have your mother on speed dial, she attends our church! I’m sure she’d be happy to hear you’re harassing underpaid trans teenagers at a sonic because you’re incompetent at placing orders!” And idk but that really fucked him up because his mom is scary as SHIT (63 years of rage and power building with each passing day~), so he just mumbled an apology and got in his car and left.
And Jerry is like “Janet, I thought you didn’t think it was okay to be gay or trans..” and she just kind of looked tired and said “I don’t know what I think these days, but what that man said was hateful. He can just go to hell for treating you and Shelley like that!” (again, language moTHER) and he and Shelley hug her a bunch and give her this whole box full of receipts with surveys for her to do later, and everyone is crying and it’s super crazy.
So as we’re driving away my mom pops in her audio recording of the book of Matthew, and I’m quiet for a moment. She looks up and says, “Tori, never allow anyone to speak to you like that man did to Jerry and Shelley. And know I will fight tooth and nail to protect you, no matter who you are.” And idk as a lesbian with bipolar and anxiety that really meant a lot to me.
Sorry this is so long, I never meant for it to be so lengthy, but I guess that’s my inner writer 😥 Hope you liked the story of my most exciting encounter with a customer, even though I never directly spoke and only witnessed 😇
So very excited for this new record due out March 3 on Mom+Pop Records. Listen to the lead single here.
when gravity’s a palm pushing down on your head
like the devil’s got a paw dug in your shoulder
and the other one is rubbing your back
but the kitchen in the new place has a window
yeah you can grow basil on the sill
maybe you can call your neighbors by name now
berries on the dash is the sweetest kind of living
Still this feels like eating the meat of the mountain
It’s all grit and gristle I can’t chew and swallow,
I’m gnawing my way back home
the clouds look a lot like wool gone through the wash
I check my phone for the time but I still wear my watch
yeah i’m confused about how i’m supposed to connect to anything now
the kind of high I like is when I barely make the train
And the people with a seat smile big at me cause they know the feeling
and for a millisecond we share a look like a family does
like we have inside jokes
like we could call each other by little nicknames
and I could tell the story of how
My great grandmothers sister was deemed a saint
how they exhumed her body after years of being buried
and they found she hadn’t even begun to sully
so they moved her again, straight into the Vatican
I think of all the billions of eyes
all looking at something different at the same time
and I feel nauseous
some days i can only see into my suitcase
it’s got everything I need
plus some superstitious things I may also need
“music soothes the savage beast”
the pilot says to me and he asks me to sing
but now is not the time
I just want to fall into a pile of warm laundry
i just wanna keep very very quiet yeah
it’s june where you sleep and july where I land
thought I saw you on the platform in Amsterdam
and I nearly missed my train
and I felt so defeated til I jumped on to see all the warm smiles were for me
I made my train and it made me so happy
I made my train and it made me forget everything
it made me forget, made me forget made me forget made me forget everything
it made me forget made me forget made me forget made me forget made me forget everything