my favorite local band

“Your heart has proven to be more of a maze than construction season in the heritage hill one ways from someone who is not from Grand Rapids on their very first days. But me, I paid attention on my late night skates and when I was driving around in my van, and now my best friend who has lived here his whole life said I know the city better than him. He said, Ty, its like the back of your hand, I said Alek I’d trade it in a heartbeat for the backbone of a man. I had to change my way home from work because I couldn’t even stand to drive by her and see her on her front lawn, bikini on, getting a tan. Here’s the thing, I don’t need Fountain or Union street for anything except martha’s vineyard or the bakery. I’ll take the back of the Michigan hill down, Eastern around, and follow Lyon all the way there because this is what I have found: Life may or may not be about finding true love, but it is certainly not about begging for it for someone. I’ll keep doing the things that I do, late nights, fat blunts, pizza pies with my crew, driving home from whatever bar is half-off after two while blasting my favorite tunes, and seeing my favorite local bands at whatever venue. While you keep doing the things that you do, like shifting blame, twisting truth, and making absolutely positively certain that everyone in the room knows the victim just had to be you.”

i started watching twin peaks last night and im on episode 6 and im so fucking obsessed. the oNLY reason i started watching was not only cause of all the scenes on tumblr but one of my favorite local seattle bands (iska dhaaf) have a song called Laura Palmer, and the song is hella sad and mysterious and emotional and LOW AND BEHOLd they have a live recording of them playing it OUTSIDE THE TWIN PEAKS DINER at night in the rain and its just really nice and im happy i started watching it cause it literally calmed my 10 hour meltdown yesterday

Last night I was taking some photos of my friends and we decided to jump on the East River Ferry to take some under the bridges. We rushed down and there was a ferry laying in wait, perfect, we bought tickets ran up and the attendant wouldn’t let us on. Naturally it started raining lightly and then it was our turn to wait. We jumped on the next boat and started cruising along. Everything was pretty normal until we got to South Williamsburg when two good looking guys with guitars got on the boat with about 100 people in tow. I figured it was some terrible music video someone was shooting and I said as much. 

It was then that somebody turned to me and said, “it’s the Local Natives”. Well fuck, they are one of my favorite bands and I sat there listening as their perfectly harmonized voices lifted above the engine noise of the ferry and I thought mostly about how much I love New York, a place where magic still exists, if you’re open to it. 

Today I: 

  • Saw my favorite local band live
  • Pet like, 400 dogs
  • Found out two of my closest friends are engaged
  • Ate like, 4 alligator tacos
  • Bought a t-shirt with Edgar Allen Poe eating a “poe-boy” on it
  • Got sunburned as hell even though I was only outside for like, two hours
  • Befriended a husky

What a day it’s been.

MEET & GREET! Submit your meet-and-greet stories to They are posted throughout the week.

Okay so on November 28, 2014 I went to my first concert and saw my favorite band Slaves, also Get Scared and several other local bands in Jacksonville, fl. It was without a doubt the best night of my life. hugs, pictures, autographs, tears of joy. It was all around amazing. Right when Slaves got on to perform, the guitarist Alex Lyman jumped on the amp that I was right behind and fell right on me, left a bump on my head and everything but I didn’t care tbh I loved it. He came up to me after the show and kept apologizing and took out his wallet and gave me 20 bucks and followed me on instagram. I’ll never forget that night.

216: Music for the Soul

While growing up, I was a very angry kid turned teenager growing up. Being the middle child out of 4 kids, it was often shown that I couldn’t do anything without my siblings hogging the spotlight for something else and being the middle girl out of three daughters, I was always being compared to my sisters: how I didn’t look like them, how come I wasn’t a cheerleader like my older sister, how come I didn’t get straight A’s like my little sister, etc. And more often than not, these comparisons and insults came from my mother and other childhood bullies (my father was working in a town 12 hours away from us so he was rarely out home). Soon enough, all that anger and frustration morphed me into a violent kid, mind you I never raised my fist to my parents and rarely to my siblings except for when they knew they did something stupid, but I got into a lot of verbal and physical fights at school with mainly the boys. I never started the fights, but it was always pinned on me because I was the girl and I was known for anger issues and ‘roughhousing’, and when I got home, it would have taken a miracle to convince my mother that it wasn’t my fault. Did I mention I was the kid in the family that everybody deemed the black sheep? Aside from that, with both parents working constantly and my older sister off gallivanting with her bad news boyfriend and not even sparing us a thought, I became the ‘Mom’ to my younger siblings (my youngest sister and autistic brother); looking after them, cooking, cleaning, making sure our homework was done, etc along with taking care of myself (at the age of 9 no less). Along with this, our external family members were causing more grief, drama. and trouble to our own family unit with their jealousy and greed that they even went as far as to try to turn my siblings and me against our parents. Thankfully it didn’t work.

In short, I became an adult at the age of 9, after I had learned the hard way that no one was there to help me, nobody cared for me because I was “ugly, violent, not good enough, didn’t exist,”, the people that are supposed to love you the most just hurt you the worst, and if I wanted something, I had to go and get it because my parents weren’t going to help me and that all sisters were good for were to be vain, bratty, selfish, sociopaths/drama queens. My father and brother tried so much to be there for me, but the damaged had already been done by the female side of my family that, even to this day, I still doubt them whenever they say that they want to help me.

We moved cross-country from the Texas Panhandle to Victoria BC Canada when I was 13 because my dad’s work, so I immediately jumped from being in the middle of being in 8th grade for middle school to being in 8th grade for high school. I was already dreading the first week of a new school because of the way I talked, acted and dressed; I was automatically labeled as the tough country girl that nobody should mess with. But within that first week, the start of my life turning around for the better had just begun when I took one of my favorite classes (Band by the way) and met one of the locally famous music teachers, Mr. Campbell.

He was the literally personification of cool (which was interesting considering he was in his early 50’s) and immediately knew when he had a new student in class (being that it was on my account being new) and out right offered that if I needed anything, the door to his band room was always open just excuse him if you walked in on him strumming on his guitar or playing some mellow tunes on his saxophone or trumpet. I didn’t realize how soon I would take up on his offer until the next week. I had left my house early (like 6 AM early) because I had another argument with my mother that lead to her even spewing more comparisons and insults the night before and I just wanted to get out of the house to avoid another hissy fit from her, so the place that I saw that had the lights on and the door slightly open was the band room, and Mr. Campbell was there, working on setting out music scores for the classes. Albeit, it took him a bit by surprise that one of his “kids” had showed up at 0630 in the morning, let alone one of his new “kids”, but he invited me in nonetheless and offered up a chair and some hot chocolate because it was December and it was cold as hell outside. I must have had something on my face, because after a little while he had told me that I didn’t have to say anything but he wanted to know if there was something wrong and if everything was alright. After a couple of questions ( ‘Is it something at home?’ 'Was it something your siblings did? Or your parents?’ 'Did they hurt you?’ ), a few quick silent nods here and there, I just teared up and started crying, hard. I hadn’t remembered the last time I cried but I do remember that that was the first time I had cried hard in a long while. And Mr. Campbell didn’t freak out, instead he pulled my gently into hug that turned into one of those hugs that fathers give to their daughters after they had gotten scared and cried. Of course that lead me to crying even more and he just continued to hug me until I stopped. Soon afterwards, I had opened up to him about what happened earlier and slowly dropped tidbits here and there about my attitude and development.

Mr. Campbell right then told me that I couldn’t give up, I made it this far, so why not take it all the way to see it through? “I knew I saw something in you when I first saw you in my class. People who enjoy making and listening to music generally not bad people, just misunderstood. Don’t let what they say get to you cuz in the end, when you’re further down the road in your life, you’re going to look back and wonder why they did it and learn how to be a better person and a better parent then they are now. And even if you think you are all alone, you will always have someone that cares about you. Hell I’m here with you right now, aren’t I?”

This had inadvertently led into one of the best mentoring relationships I ever had and this continued for the rest of my high school years. I would go into the band room on my breaks and free periods to talk/vent to him about anything, avoid going home altogether for a little while etc., and he would impart some pearls of wisdom: 'I had my pen….WHERE DE LIVIN’ F*** DID I–oh here it is’ 'Don’t worry about boys in high school, because at the end of the day, they are BOYS with no sense of romanticism or decency half the time.’ 'Don’t judge a song just because it was in a shitty movie. If you had just drone out the bad acting and shitty plot and just listen to the music, you can actually be surprised on how decent the music sounds. Apply that rule in actual life, and I can guarantee you’ll go far.’ 'Trumpets, why the hell do you sound like a bunch of seagulls being stepped on?!’ 'Life’s gonna get tough, but if you want something bad enough, then you better learn to fight back or it’s not going to be worth it in the end; not for you or for itself.’ 'Treat others like you want to be treated. If you don’t like being called out or being bullied, what makes you think the person does?’ 'Don’t be mad at everything in your life. If you stay mad, you will miss all the good stuff that makes life interesting.’ 'There is a reason why they say “Kill them with kindness”. You don’t see hate fixing anything or make things better do ya?’ 'Who says you can’t be a kid and an adult at the same time. If you’re having fun with what you’re doing, then it shouldn’t matter what others think. Let them worry about themselves, worry about yourself.’

My times in high school with Mr. Campbell were some of the greatest times I will always cherish. I’m proud to say that a majority of my personality now comes from what he has taught me throughout my high school years, and when I joined the military, he was one of the first people I called up. He told me that he was so proud that I was one of his 'kids’, that he knew I was something special, and that after my first deployment I better call him up again to share all of the things I did and saw and I better leave nothing out.

Unfortunately right before my first deployment in '15, I had gotten a phone call from one of my friends (we had Mr. Campbell together), telling me that Mr. Campbell and his wife had gotten to a motorcycle accident (a Semi clipped them and sent them spiraling on the road) and he didn’t make it. I remember being numb for the first couple of months, like it hadn’t hit me yet, and then going on my deployment with an uncertain feeling like I forgot something. It wasn’t until one of my co-workers and buddy had showed me a music joke on Tumblr and I laughed so hard, I started crying. That’s when the rest of my co-workers and my boss realized that I was actually crying and not just from laughing so hard. I work with some really big dudes with matching egos and asshole-ish attitudes but they all had turned into prickly teddy bears and comforted me when I couldn’t stop crying because of the full force of grief that just hit me right then.

Long story short, my life did get better. I have blossomed from an angry violent tomboyish girl who grew up too fast; into a lax, crazy, optimistic, mature, still-somewhat-violent, protective woman with a job I love in the military, a roof over my head and a good income. Family is still a bit sketchy but I’m working on it, but all-in-all, I can’t help but think that it all started with Mr. Campbell inviting me to talk to him at any time and free cup of hot chocolate and a lot of tears. I can’t thank him enough for how much of an influence he has been on me, and I can honestly say that when we do meet up again in the Great Big Blue under God’s Light, I’m going to thank him for everything and help him beat out a jazzy tune on the thunderclouds and rain. Did I mention that I was a percussionist while in his class, so let’s see if we can throw in a few marimba tones here and there…..


I had a very blissful blissfest! (tried posting at the time, but I was in the middle of the woods in northern Michigan, so there’s only so much you can do) 

It was the first music festival I’ve been to because i was always too sheltered or broke to go, but it was everything i needed my first time to be!  I day-tripped in the forest with my seahorse clan, started a tribal mud dance to the beat of twenty drums, traded the flower crown i made to borrow a vintage fortune-telling game from a young mystic warrior girl, watched a sweet chorus of angels sing somewhere over the rainbow in harmony as they all played ukuleles, slept under the stars with my best friend in a hammock, went on a magical rainbow vision quest in the woods while i was heavily dosed, discovered myself yet again and found the self-confidence buried deep within me, danced and screamed to one of my favorite local bands until i lost my voice, drank space vodka and ate festival food, got to see laith al-saadi play (he’s from my hometown), romped around barefoot for the whole festival, learned that as long as i trust myself– things will be okay, and gave away free clothing & water bottles & jewelry & beer & bubble wands!

Blissfest is so great because there are a lot of small, tightly-knit farm communities in this area that all gather here, so it’s like a music festival where every five minutes you’re running into your neighbors and favorite local musicians and best friends, and they are all as catastrophically spliffed up as you are :D teehee