Music, books, and personal thoughts on life

Music

I never expected to be anybody important. -Elvis Presley

Imagine being a young child in the mid-1980s, flipping through your mother’s vinyl records collection, and stopping on an album with an attractive man’s face on the cover.

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You slip the record out, place it on your Fisher-Price record player, set the needle down on the first track, and then stand in awe when you hear the powerful vocals coming from the small speaker.  Elvis has a voice like no one else.  Pure, God-given talent.

In 1988, when most 7-year-olds were probably listening to the popular music of that time, I was transformed into an Elvis Presley fan.  Soon I asked my mother if Elvis was still alive. It saddened me to hear that he had passed away four years before I was born.  A spectacular man with so much talent, gone too soon.  I continued to listen to his music with the few vinyls my mother had in her collection.
Through my endless questioning about The King of Rock-n-Roll, I learned that he had played on the Louisiana Hayride many times in Shreveport.  I also found out that the YMCA camp (Camp Forbing) not far from my childhood home had a pool he had raised money for.  I have bragging rights to having been able to swim in that pool one summer when I attended camp there.

In 1989, my brother had a judo tournament in Memphis, Tennessee with his group.  When I found out that was where Elvis had lived, if my memory serves me correctly, I begged my parents to go to Graceland.  Both of them knew how much I loved him and his music.  It was all a blur, but I still have the ticket stub from our first visit.  My favorite room there is a tie between the T.V. room and “The Jungle Room.”  It was a memorable experience that I want my daughter to experience.  Hopefully this summer we can go tour Graceland together.

Elvis was ahead of his time and kicked the door open for future artists.  His energy and charisma, in my opinion, are one of a kind.  His generosity was amazing and he did things for others without them knowing.  He loved see the looking of surprise on someone’s face.

We all have our good and bad character traits, but what matters most is the impact we leave on others in the physical life.  As the saying goes, “You get what you give in return.” Elvis gave a lot of himself because he wanted to do what was right.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as a person, entertainer, actor, and pioneer in Rock-n-Roll, all in that order.  His legacy lives on through those whose lives he touched.  I know that he has had a profound effect on mine.

Take it easy, E.  I’ll always love you.


I Believe….

 

Believe by Nemesea has been a special song to me ever since I heard it last year.  I think of all the things I wanted to accomplish and how I was told I couldn’t do it.  This song has given me encouragement to believe in myself when no one else does.  On my birthday this year, I got the ending lyrics for the chorus tattooed on my right wrist.  Whenever I feel discouraged or that I can’t accomplish my goals, I look at my wrist to remind me that I need to always believe in myself.  When someone says you can’t do something, believe in yourself and show them you can accomplish your goals and dreams.

 

My Nemesea tattoo

My Nemesea tattoo

 


Ace of Base Led Me To Göteborg, Sweden

Ace of Base Led Me To Göteborg, Sweden

                                            Ace+of+Base+From+The+Sign+Video

Goteborg

Back in fall of 1993, when I was 12 years old, a former neighbor came to visit my family.  He had a mix tape with him that had some of his favorite songs on it.  One of the songs on there caught my attention with a reggae beat and a flute sound playing at the beginning.  I asked him what the name of the song was and he said, “All That She Wants by Ace of Base.”  After I heard it, I was hooked.  It wasn’t until March of 1994 when I was able to buy AOB’s album.  I drove my parents crazy playing the CD over and over in my room, and going around the house singing the songs.  In 1994, the Internet was in its infancy age, so there was no way I could find out where AOB was from.  My only source for artists information was MTV.  When I found out the band was from Sweden, I wanted to find out everything I could about it.  Before Encarta ’95, the coolest CD-ROM encyclopedia back in the ’90s, I had to look up information about Sweden in a 1977 encyclopedia book.  Yeah, my parents were a little behind in keeping up-to-date educational materials around (note the sarcastic tone).  Soon I found out the name of the city that AOB called home- Göteborg or for English speakers, Gothenburg.  I found what information I could about the city and craved to know more about it.  Around the time I was researching information about Sweden and Göteborg, I had an idea that popped into my head to write a story that took place there.  Over the past 20 years I have continued to learn about Sweden and Göteborg.  The more I learn about the city, the more I fall in love with it.  There is something magical about Göteborg that keeps pulling me in.

Thank you Ace of Base for your music, introducing me to Sweden, and to ‘Little Liverpool’, Göteborg!


Short Bio of A.E. Robertson

Name:
April

Birthday:
17 March, 1981

Hobbies:
Music, writing, reading, playing piano and guitar, baking, researching topics that interest me, and daydreaming.

Musical background:
As a small child, I was not a huge fan of music or loud noises due to a sensitivity to loud sounds.  When I was 8, I started taking piano lessons.  A year later, my piano teacher moved and I never picked back up with lessons until I was 21.  When I was 12, I learned to play the clarinet in the school band for a couple of years.  By the time I was 14, I switched over to choir.  In 2005 I bought my first guitar and amp.  I have been trying to teach myself since then and it’s been slow learning doing that.

Musical influences:
Ace of Base, Nemesea, Amaranthe, Delain, Within Temptation, Epica

People who inspire you:
Manda Ophuis, Jenny Berggren, Ellen Hopkins

First record you bought:
The Sign- Ace of Base

Favorite band/musician:
Nemesea
Ace of Base
Elvis Presley
Zedd
Nightwish
30 Seconds to Mars
The list could go on and on….

Favorite drink:
Black coffee, water, tea, Dr. Pepper, Coke

Favorite food:
Italian
Mexican
Cajun
American

Favorite book:
The Mortal Instruments series
Impulse
Burned
Crank
Glass
Fallout
Identical
Tricks
To Kill A Mockingbird
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Favorite movie:
Places In The Heart
Supergirl
Fried Green Tomatoes
Girl, Interrupted
The Shawshank Redemption
Bride Wars
13 Going on 30
The Avengers
A Christmas Story


Nemesea

I know I have written my thoughts on Nemesea’s albums and how I interpret the lyrics in my own way.  I could write a little history lesson about them, but I don’t want to get facts wrong and such.  It’s hard to believe that in a few months it will be a year since I discovered them on Spotify.  The 8th of May 2013, the first Nemesea song I heard was “The Way I Feel”.  I was standing in my parents’ kitchen folding my laundry when it came on.  I went back through what had just played and found the name of the band. Being the research freak I am, I started looking up information about them  such as their location, discography, band members, etc.
I felt like I could relate to many of the songs because of going through some of the emotions expressed in them.  They are the second band in my lifetime that caught my attention and held on to it.  For me, their music is addicting and I never get tired of it.  There are times when I’m writing my book that I will start off listening to Mana and end with The Quiet Resistance.  Manda’s voice is so powerful and full of emotion that it has moved me to tears at times.  HJ can play the hell out of a guitar and make me want to grab a lighter to hold up in the air when he does his solos.  Sonny is one hell of a bass player and can keep the crowd engaged when he does his solos.  The way Lasse has the electro sound arranged is total genius!  His song ‘2012’ on The Quiet Resistance is a kick ass instrumental and the arrangement is awesome.  Frank’s style of drumming fits well with Nemesea and has an ‘in your face’ sound that I like.  Nemesea has added something good to my life and I’m sure others could say the same.  When I was living in a ghetto apartment complex last year, I almost lost my sanity because of the environment I was in.  When I got stressed, I would play Nemesea on my iPod and forgot about the bad stuff going on around me.  Their music helped me escape from the noise of violent people who lived below me.  During the summer, I listened to them as I mowed my parents’ yard every weekend and had ideas for my book sparked off while doing that.  Yes, I do listen to other bands and not just them.  Currently I’m listening to Zedd, 2 Brothers on The 4th Floor, Fallout Boy, Panic At The Disco and Anette Olzon.  Nemesea is pretty f**king awesome and I hope others will discover them as well, and become fans.


Music: My Passion

When I was growing up, my parents had a player piano they would play to entertain guests whenever they would have a get together.  My brother took piano lessons when he was 7 and was always practicing.  I wanted to do the same as well when I was 3, but did not know how express my interest in wanting to learn.  Maybe banging around on the piano keys was an indication.  I had always enjoyed music class in elementary school and got excited when we would learn to play songs on the xylophones or other percussion instruments.  I was really excited when I joined the school choir in elementary school because I loved to sing.  I still love to sing even today; it’s a natural high for me.  When I was 9, I started taking piano lessons and advanced on to playing the clarinet in middle school.  I didn’t take piano lessons for long though; the teacher moved to another state.  I can say that learning to play the piano helped me when I transitioned to playing the clarinet.  I have been writing lyrics ever since I was 13 and it’s interesting to see how I have grown since then.  At age 14, I knew I wanted to be a singer, but my parents never supported that dream.  Like I said, I still love singing and will never stop.  Music for me is soothing and helps to calm my overactive nerves.  The feel of a microphone in my hand, my fingers struggling to fret chords on the guitar, my hands moving across the keyboard or piano….all natural highs for me.  I may not be a professional or have many years of training but just the little experience I have in itself is satisfying.  Biologically, I do come a musical family, so it is in my blood.  So when I write a topic about music or bands I really like, understand music flows through my veins and will always be a part of me.


Thoughts on “In Control” by Nemesea

Back in September, I wrote a blog entry about my thoughts and relation to lyrics from The Quiet Resistance.  I am going to do the same thing with their album In Control.  In Control was released in 2007

No More- Right out of the gate, this song really caught my attention and I still can’t get enough of it.  I honestly get a euphoric high every time I listen to it.  The song makes me think of someone who trusted someone, was deceived and is done with the relationship.  They tell the other person they are done with them, but that person won’t let them go.  Basically what I read into some of it is, “F*ck off, I’m tired of your bullshit!”  I have used this song alot while writing my book.

In Control- This song makes me think of someone who was in a controlling relationship or had someone who was driving them insane in the shadows.  What I mean by “in the shadows” is a stalker.  Revenge came in some form of justice and now it’s time for the controller to get what is due to them.  The controlled person is now in control of the other person.  Another song I use while I write.

Home- This song makes me think of someone chasing after someone else and getting rejected.  They realized that it was useless to chase them just to find happiness.  “Tried too hard to make you love me/Fought so hard just to reach you/Now I see it was worthless to think you/Felt the same……”  I can completely relate to this line because I had been doing that for the longest time.  I eventually caught up to that person and they rejected me again.  I’m to a point where I see it’s useless to keep chasing them.

The Way I Feel- This is the VERY FIRST Nemesea song I heard on Spotify! I remember the exact location; in my parents’ kitchen while I was folding my laundry.  This song makes me think of a break-up and how hard it is to move on from that person.  The first time I broke up with my girlfriend, I just couldn’t move past her, but eventually did.

Lost Inside- I can really relate to this song.  I have some dark stuff I hide and am scared to open up to some people what I hide inside.  I feel if I tell someone about the pain , they won’t understand it.  Alot of times what I hide from others rips my heart open and kills small parts of my emotions slowly everyday.

Remember- This song makes me think about when I was in a relationship with someone many years.  I finally woke up one day and realized they were really fake.

Believe- I LOVE this song!  It makes me think about those people in my life who said I couldn’t do anything by myself.  I tried to get someone’s attention and did some desperate things to gain it.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized I need to be myself and show that person I don’t need to conform to the way they say I should be.  If that person ever told me they were proud of me, I would ask them where were they when I was working my ass off.  I am striving to reach my goals and chase my dreams everyday and I don’t need them bringing me down.

Like The Air- Many times I have felt like I would be better off dead than to face the pain I have gone through and still face.  I can relate to the emotions in the song.  I’m glad I didn’t die and that I’m still alive today.

Broken- Wow, I could say alot about how I can relate to this song.  There are some people currently in my life that have continually hurt and rejected me.  They seem to think I’m just some piece of trash that was thrown away and that I don’t matter.  They have made my life a living Hell and I regret meeting them.  To protect myself, I have to distance myself from them.  They have broken me, but I’m a stronger person because of them.

Never- All I can associate with this song is rage.  Rage that has built up and is ready to be released.  I have a short temper and can experience rage episodes at times.  That rage though really is poisonous and not only kills the person who gets it, but kills me as well.