Sonic Flashback: “It’s All Over But The Crying” by Garbage

I experimented with acid once in my early twenties, but I didn’t care for it.  The trip was uneventful; colors appeared a bit brighter, but that’s all I can remember.  Many hardcore LSD users have spoken of “acid flashbacks” which from my understanding are lucid flashbacks to hallucinations the drug user experienced during a trip.  While I haven’t experienced an acid flashback, I have been in a situation in which a particular song plays, transporting me back to a moment in time I associate with that song.  Any emotions I had come surging, and I can close my eyes and see the exact location in which the event tied to the song transpired.

“Sonic flashbacks” can happen to anyone, and if you spend as much time listening to music as I do as a music photographer, you probably have a host of stories about the phenomenon.  An article written in 2013 by journalist Christopher Bergland for Psychology Today explains the science behind such flashbacks.  Recent scientific studies have found that “listening to music engages broad neural networks in the brain, including brain regions responsible for motor actions, emotions, and creativity.” [x]  Furthermore, the “neural tapestry” representative of a specific song will cause an even greater emotional waterfall if you listen to it less frequently.  Overplayed songs water down the brain’s response because “the neural network is constantly being updated” (sorry Taylor Swift fans).

My most recent sonic flashback occurred just this past weekend in the car with my friend Danielle.  I suggested she put Garbage on shuffle, and the moment she did I heard the intro of the one song in the band’s back catalog that elicits the heaviest of emotions.  My eyes widened; days prior I had broken up with someone, so I knew the emotional waterfall was coming.  Warm up your neural tapestries, because we’re going back to 2012 and this one is a doozy.

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HALFWAY HELL – My #MovingToLAStory

I feel like “Moving Horror Stories” are to “Big City” as “twerking” is to Miley Cyrus.  It doesn’t necessarily always happen, but it makes for a great tale later on.  Before I relocated to Los Angeles, I had already lived in two “hub cities;” New York and Philadelphia.  Therefore, I foolishly expected to be immune from the “L.A. Story.”  There is a certain level of street smart acquired when inhabiting a big city, and I had my fair share of drama in New York City.  To my surprise, I was being completely naïve because shit did go down.  We weren’t swindled out of hundreds of dollars by a greedy landlord; nor were we forced to live in an illegal basement “apartment” (both of those were actual stories retold to me).

My first misstep was assuming my roommate and I would be able to secure a lease in six days.  I arrived in Los Angeles on May 25th (a holiday weekend) and figured we would find something by May 31st.  Nope.  May 30, 2013 was spent on Airbnb looking for some semblance of temporary housing so we had a roof over our head.  I was staying in a hotel in Culver City and my roommate was in a sublet in Long Beach; we needed to act quick.  My roommate found a shared bedroom in a house (for $1,650) that we booked in desperation.  I decided to ignore the fact that I paid $1,650 a month to live in a two-bedroom apartment in Queens, because it just wasn’t time to be picky.  The listing looked fantastic: although we would have to share a bedroom with two single beds (and one bathroom with however many other guests came), it had “sweeping views of Downtown Los Angeles.”

Hahahaha.

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THE 10 LIST – 10 Reasons I’m Glad I’m Turning 26 in Tweets

I had a first draft of this post, in which I bitched about getting older and everything that goes along with it.  When I re-read it, it seemed like a plot outline for an episode of Girls.  Truthfully, I might be having some growing pains: much lower alcohol tolerance; inability to operate on little-to-know sleep; bills piling up faster than I can make money; but it could be worse.  I could be 20 again.

I turned to old faithful… my Twitter archive (which is thankfully only on my hard drive and no longer on the interwebs).  Unfortunately (or fortunately), my early 20s synced up with the launch of Twitter.  Literally, the Twitterverse became a thing when I was 20 years old.  I sat down with a beer and  hand-picked the absolute best tweets from my early 20s to show you (really to show myself), that some things get better with age.

I still eat food that might be bad, though.

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“GIRLS;” Do I have Hannah Horvath Syndrome?

It’s Monday which means a new episode of Girls aired last night.  Yes, I’m adding fuel to your “I’m sick of hearing about Lena Dunham and her television show” fire.  Last night (Episode 27, “Free Snacks”), viewers watched as Hannah (Dunham) secured an advertorial writing gig at GQ.  In true Girls fashion, it is an opportunity that Hannah almost immediately begins to shit on.  I will spare you from a full episode summary (if you have yet to see it, or if you can’t stand to watch the show Vulture has an on-point recap) and instead provide just a brief synopsis.

The episode appeared to be a step in the right direction for Hannah; she quits her barista job at Grumpy’s and is initially overjoyed to start a job which utilizes her self-described “myriad talents.”  Her excitement quickly dissolves and is replaced with dread after realizing that her cushy new job has become a creative trap for her co-workers.  They all started out like Hannah: trying to balance work with their own personal projects in hopes of making a name for themselves in the literary world.  To Hannah’s horror, the benefits of GQ are too enticing, too comfortable.  Her co-workers have abandoned their dreams in favor of a fully-stocked snack room.  Cue a full-scale Hannah Horvath meltdown: complete with tears and a trip to the bathroom to stick her head under the faucet (An aside: Do people actually do that?  She’s done that twice, albeit one time she was high on cocaine).

“Free Snacks” was one of the more uncomfortable installments to watch.  While last night’s episode did not include anything traditionally unsettling (e.g. Dunham’s character rupturing her eardrum with a Q-Tip amidst a fit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Adam’s mentally unstable sister Caroline (guest-star Gaby Hoffmann) suddenly appearing completely bottomless and crushing a glass with her bare hands), I still experienced bouts of anxiety.  Why?  Because I hated to admit that I knew exactly how Hannah felt.  While I don’t necessarily identify with Hannah Horvath’s obscure, borderline-unhealthy detachment from reality, I do recognize some uncanny parallels to myself within the monster character Lena Dunham has created.

Like… it’s sort of eery.  Follow the Yellow Brick Road…

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