I just finished off my first semester of college this Tuesday, and can pretty confidently say that one of the biggest things that got me to be able to go through everything is music. I’ve mentioned it in the past and still joke about it every now and then, but one of the most exciting things to me about going to school in America is the fact that I can go to shows (!!), see artists that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid after countless years, and immerse myself in incredible local music scenes. (Not to say that it isn’t prominent in the Philippines, though.) Given an abundance of free time (at times), I’ve been more closely immersing myself in new releases instead of just listening to whatever like I have in the past. I’ve never realized how critical it was for me to be with people interested in the same kinds of music–or any music, for that matter–at all. It’s just something I can so easily slip in and out of between days and everything I do. Before I get back on the grind of things, here’s a little self-indulgent list of albums that came out this 2018 that I’ve been loving, in no particular order.’ Joy as an Act of Resistance. by IDLES Though my furthest exposure to punk has been pop punk, I’ve heard tons of people talking about how amazing this album was and decided to give it a listen. Colossus is quite possible one of the best album openers I’ve ever heard and it hooked me in ever since that dramatic “goes and it goes and it goes” mixed with the abundance of religious imagery in its lyricism. Deeper into the album is a lot of confessional lyrics that aren’t normally touched on, from stillbirth to toxic masculinity. This is such a gorgeous listen to even if you’re not heavy onto the genre–because wow, it will convert you. Definitely listen in order as well. (Anyway, if you’re not listening to an album in order on the first listen you’re doing it wrong.) The raw energy, honesty, and emotion in this album is ridiculously infectious. There is a scene of me nodding my head to this album and getting a bit to into it in a random Barnes & Noble Cafe on a Wednesday afternoon that exists somewhere out there. Favorite track: Television Be the Cowboy by Mitski ProbablyMore?
You are busy. Preparing for something, waiting for something, getting somewhere. I place the most selfless thing that I have made for myself scribbled on the back of a workshopped poem. It is a love letter addressed to myself, signed from myself. It is unsealed and vulnerable. It is hastily written in pen from a conference where I had to pretend to be someone. It is the rawest thing that I had ever known. For the first time in a long while, I ate well. There is a Starbucks in the corner that I visit in early mornings and late afternoons; yesterday, my emptiness echoed into a lecture hall, and then a library, and then the guards checking my bag as I stretched back to my dorm. My nightly fixation is how the drone of my stomach is equivalent to a bomb: that is, it is atomic and resonant and pierces everyone’s ears, that is, it is likely disregarded and forgotten by everyone else in history but the people it has directly inflicted, that is, I exaggerate and wince at the thought of me clutching a stomach fueled for days on cereal every other day and a bag of kale chips that one time. Last night was different, though. I waste twenty more dollars. I wash all my bowls and utensils for no reason and unseal the others while discarding the sushi containers. I clean my room and study for a test I am unsure I will take. When I put things inside of myself to make sure that the body is still there, I am sure that one day I will feel it when it is freed. There is a dream where I lay in bed and I watch her knees on the ground with the growing lacerations and scraping at the neck. I take care of this image. I become her. I become everything I ever wanted to be.