manic monday

it’s 13 october. yes, it has taken me three weeks to finally post, and it’s likely to be less than what i intended because i am feeling a bit silly over what a fangirl i am. so i’ll start with a picture. (i ought to have more of those anyway.)

monday, 21 september, 2009: this is johnny (my bff, bassist for varnish, and frontman for the amazing post adolescence) and me meeting nicky wire, the bassist (who said we had to be quick with the picture, as he didn’t have all his makeup on). yeah, we’re both failing to look cool as we meet one of our idols.

amber and johnny with nicky wire of manic street preachers

after years of not getting to see them, the best friend ever (that’s johnny) and i got to see the manic street preachers live. finally! (other folks were also there with us, but they were either just along for the ride or they are folks who just like manics as opposed to being, say, johnny and amber the squealing giddy fantards.) i’d say we both classify this as a huge life event. the manics have been, for both of us, important personally and musically. someday, you can ask him how this applies to him. for now, i’m going to talk about me. as usual.

originally, this post was a placeholder so that i couldn’t forget to write a real post. included in that original post were the following:

for now, however, i am going to try to keep my unusually-excited little self from bouncing off the planet before the show. and, can i say: eeeeeeeeeeee!

ps i love the manics. could ya tell?

pps will get to this post. i will. but got in late and too giddy to sit still.

i’m not usually a giggling fangirl about anyone or anything. so you know the band is huge to me when even just getting a picture in front of their tour bus (i didn’t know i was going to get to meet one of the boys) had me grinning as widely as i’ve ever grinned and being ever-so-spastic. you know they are huge to me when i throw caution to the wind and don’t protect my ears and sing and scream so much that i lose my voice. yeah, huge.

so huge that i kept them as a sort of secret musical love from someone i loved after that someone had taken the piss about the other band i love as much. (though the love may have shifted so that it’s manics on top now, which makes me even happier i didn’t share them.) it felt like protecting them when i did it. which may sound silly to you, but if you’ve ever had music that kept you alive, maybe you understand.

on a personal level, the manics were just what i needed from music. they weren’t all anger or all depression or all politics or all love songs (or, rather, unrequited love songs). they were a mix. even though i’ve always been told i had a way with words, they were writing things that i was having no luck saying. especially richey (poor, lost richey; how i miss him). and i can’t tell you the times when i used their lyrics as encouragement or to remind myself that people who felt like i was feeling could make it. (poor, lost richey…almost ruined that last part for me. but i’m too sad over him to be mad about that.)

musically, they showed me that you could write about politics without sounding smug, fake, pretentious, or uselessly angry. they’re smart boys who wrote good rock songs, so i knew that you could bring in literary references and the like and not sound, again, smug or fake. not sound pretentious. still sound like a rock song. and, like many of my top bands/musicians, every song and every album didn’t sound the same. there was some variation. that really helped my belief that you ought to just write what’s in you, in terms of both lyrics and music, and not worry about whether you’re sticking to “your sound.”

i think one reason their songs continue to speak to me, even when things aren’t as broken in my life as they were (though they are definitely my answer when times feel unbearably hard) is that they talked about things that i think about every day. they talk about the state of the world, which is mainly not great. they talk a lot about honesty and deception. and since this world is so full of people who are not being themselves, either for fear of rejection or to try to get and keep love or to try to get power and money, that’s always relevant.

plus, much like amanda palmer did last fall, they reminded me of the value of being good to your fans. it would not be unreasonable for them to try to keep contact with us raving loons short. before the show, i can see wanting space to keep from spending your energy. and if you haven’t got makeup on yet, definitely wouldn’t want to stop for photos. after the show, though there’s a definite high from performing, i could see wanting to get right back to the bus to ice down shoulders (we saw nicky doing that later) and just relax (because the high fades, and then you’re exhausted). instead, they stopped to talk before and after. as you can see, nicky let us take a picture when his makeup wasn’t done. and that made a night that would already have been awesome into a night that was bloody unbelievable. seriously. i was bouncing off the walls for days.

i’m sure it will come back to bite me, but i hope i can have that sort of connection with fans. i know it’s harder, if not impossible, to safely do when you have huge crowds of fans. easier when it’s a mid-size or small venue. but if it’s manageable, i’m going to try to at least give a few minutes. to not take myself so seriously that i hide my face if it’s not fully made up (i hope the fans and press will be kind about that). to make sure that people who listen to my music know that i truly do appreciate them.

now, i need to take care of a thing or two before i get to bed. next post will either be an update on varnish and other musical projects in my life or a post with my thoughts on what artists “owe” fans and good fan etiquette. we’ll see. until then, sleep well, love hard, and turn your pain into art.

ps post title shameless stolen from johnny, whom i think is the funniest person there is. 🙂