Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Right in the Feelz – Not cool

Apparently I am horrible at labeling my own blog posts, because I couldn't find what I was looking for, and finally had to resort to a word search through the entire catalog. Finally found it only to discover, I never really talked about it much. I thought I had. Well, I'm doing it now! Also I have a lot of dead links to fix.

First off, I had been kicking around in my head for over a year now a post about a few "rock" band singers that usually scream or otherwise distort their voice that actually have beautiful singing voices. Muse front man, Matt Bellamy, Disturbed's David Draiman, even James Hetfield of Metallica before he blew his voice, and then of course the one and only Chester Bennington, the main singer of Linkin Park. He was going to be front and center. I say was because he committed suicide last Thursday (July 20th, 2017). There have been quite a few celebrity/famous deaths recently (famous people are always dying, just like the rest of us), but his hit me hard. Really hard. I was utterly shocked. I didn't want it to be true. I couldn't listen to any of their music for almost a week. I couldn't bring myself to do it. His death hit me more than Robin Williams did back in August of 2014. I wrote about that a bit here. Celebrity deaths don't really bother me too much. Carrie Fisher's was hard, but hers wasn't a suicide. But Chester... I don't know... god, I loved his music. And thinking about his wife, kids, and his friends/band mates just makes me even sadder. I have briefly talked about the band here before. That's what I was searching my blog for in the first place. Here and here.

Secondly, I am going to totally nerd out now about Linkin Park. You've been warned. Apparently you either love them or hate them. I was/am a lover. I was first introduced to them back in my college days at HSU by a friend. I was a passenger in her car, where we were going, I don't remember but she was playing their first album, Hybrid Theory. She was totally excited and in to it. I think she was even screaming along with Chester. I could be wrong though, my memory is a bit fuzzy. I remember not hearing anything like it before. They blended rap with hard rock with hip hop and electronic/synth stuff. It was just really cool and dark and edgy. And I was hooked. So thanks Crystal for that car ride to wherever and sharing them with me. I do also remember them being played on the radio A LOT! And so I bought their albums, first on CD because back then, there was no itunes, only napster. Remember napster? Dang, that was a long time ago. Dear god, I'm so dating myself. When did we get OLD? I currently own all their albums: Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns, Living Things, The Hunting Party, and One More Light, and a few singles: What I've Done and New Divide. Which is all their studio albums. They have done (which I don't currently own) remixes of a few albums (most notably Reanimation, which is a remix of their debut Hybrid Theory and Recharged, a remix of Living Things) and more recently they released two albums of both instrumentals and acapella versions of Living Things and Hunting Party, which are pretty interesting. Weird, but interesting. They also did a collaboration with Jay-Z, but I don't like him, so yeah. Oh and some live concerts. I realized today that they are the only music group that I "grew-up" with. What I mean is, they debuted Hybrid Theory in 2000. I was a senior in college at HSU. The band members and I are pretty much the same age. Everything was new and exciting and our worlds were expanding at the same time. We were on a journey of self discovery and all that stuff. Too corny? I don't care. As they matured and evolved and experimented through the years, I had been too. We grew-up together. We were suppose to grow old together, too.

These past weeks since Chester's passing, I've been listening, downloading, and watching a lot of their stuff. They really are a bunch of crazy talented, a little nerdy, compassionate, funny, and genuinely nice group of guys. They started and/or funded many charities, started a recycling company in Haiti, performed countless charity and fundraising concerts. They all can play multiple instruments and program/sample. Joe Hahn, the DJ, is also a video and film writer/director, and visual artist. Mike Shinoda, the rapper/singer, is also a songwriter, record producer, and graphic artist, and has another band, Fort Minor. And Chester had another band, Dead by Sunrise, fronted Stone Temple Pilots for a few years, and had some movie credits as well. They rode the wave of digital and social media like masters. They are amazing. There's even a Linkin Park game app you can download! Check out their website LinkinPark.com and youtube channel. There is so much there. It's a blessing in a way that they filmed and documented so much of their life as a band. I have certainly spent many many hours watching their LPTV videos on youtube.

So all of this about Linkin Park and Chester to say, Goddammit. I've said here before, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I suffer from depression. I am not medicated for it as of now. I also suffer from anxiety and can/have had panic attacks. I am fortunate to have inherited depression from my mother and anxiety from my father. Thank you so much. Not their fault really. One who suffers from diseases like these can listen to Linkin Park and say, "they get me", "these guys understand what it's like". I can choose countless songs from them over the years to play for you as a demonstration. The things that go on inside of a depressed head can only be understood by another. Chester had demons, he had no shame in admitting to them and was very open about his struggles. Music was his cathartic outlet. You felt it when he sang. I certainly did. Why is it that so many of the most creative minds are also the most self destructive?

(It has taken me three days just to write this. I need to do it. I just don't want to. Keep having to stop to cry.)

I've been trying to work my way out of my own destructive mind for a good while. I got into a slump and then just kept slipping down further. I had some bottom light bulb moments, and would vow to change and do the ole pull yourself up by the bootstraps thing, and then days and then weeks would go by. During this time I had gained all the weight back that I had lost. I outgrew all my clothes, because I had purposely donated all my old "fat me" clothes. I have one pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts, and about 7-8 shirts that fit right now. I have refused to buy new "fat me" clothes. I heartily believe I am crawling back out. First was that I spent two weeks in the field monitoring archaeological sites where dead and/or hazard trees were being logged. I didn't want to go out there. Remember me talking about anxiety earlier? But it was me, or no one. So I went. The two days before and the first day were not fun for me. It forced me to be outside. It forced me to interact with other humans. And it made me realize that I don't fit into any of my field clothes. I was doing good. I got some much needed vitamin D and socialization. I got home from that job, turned my laptop on, and got suckerpunched. I've felt horrible ever since. Thank you to my hiking buddy though with whom we had already planned a hike for the weekend. The hike, again forced me outside and to socialize and not hole up in my room all weekend in a ball. And then I did the miraculous. I put my running shoes on and ran. Everything hurt again. Feet, ankles, knees, hips, even the boobs flop around too much, and their small! And then I ran again, and again. And again.

I will keep mourning the loss of the man who has had a huge impact on my life. Who finally silenced his demons the only way he could.

You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine
You woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind
I saw the evidence, the crimson soaking through
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose

And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless

I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end.
I'm left with emptiness that words cannot defend
You'll never know what I became because of you
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose

And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless

                                                  – Powerless by Linkin Park

I'll keep listening to the music. And I'll keep crawling out. I'm not done yet. I've still got some roads untraveled. And maybe I'll write that post about his voice someday.