how to lose control (+abt seeing mitski in grand rapids)

mitski post

how to lose control

A lot of the time, I feel like music (as an industry with a capital I) is a very worn down space — I don’t have the patience to sort through thousands of competing egos (from reviewers, from some artists, from ‘indie’ boys right before they mansplain tarantino) and all I really want out of this experience is to feel like someone ripped my heart out.

mitski flyer

I sat down meaning to do a single, very put-together post going over the concert I went to with my friend Britt last weekend, but [frantically shuffles all of the papers on my desk] my life is literal chaos and I have no coherent thoughts.

We left for the concert Friday afternoon and my brain was jumbled up from a couple nights before — in the past month I’ve moved, completed a very time consuming summer course, and changed jobs; half a dozen of my personal relationships have gone in completely new directions and I had the most tremendous breakdown in potentially all of recorded history. (I won’t go into detail but: be careful with what you do to your brain.) So Friday morning I duct taped a temporary driver’s side mirror on my car and drove to Michigan.

We got to town a few hours early and ate at the two beards deli, where every sandwich is named after a bearded person. (We ate the bob ross — five outta five stars.) After an hourish of roaming, we went to a coffeeshop, talked about our love lives, and Mitski literally came inside but I was too nervous to go say hi, BECAUSE WHAT IF THINGS and YOUR MUSIC MAKES ME HAVE FEELINGS. (Later I delivered a hello from a shared twitter mutual through the noise of a 90 decibel elvis depressedly set, don’t shake your head at me too hard.)

a list of things i loved about the concert, in no particular order:

  • the sheer volume of cute cute girls at the show/all of grand rapids, tbh
  • the final song on the set last words of a shooting star was such a raw, intense performance. it was a song i had largely glossed over, preferring more upbeat tracks like townie, but it was like i suddenly understood it in a completely new way. you can listen to the whole album on her bandcamp, but i know when i personally listen to it i think of how strongly i feel that desire to be different, the feeling of isolation that comes from hurting alone, and the bittersweet relief of just leaving things as they are. and of course it can mean any number of things to anybody else, that’s just how it makes me personally feel. when things are out of my control (which i’m increasingly realizing is literally everything literally all the time) i cling to the idea that things just are what they are just so i can keep my head above water.
  • literally looking out into other people in the crowd and seeing people singing along with the lyrics (that level of enthusiasm is just incredible, i love it)
  • the venue was really neat — as a young bb minor we were kind of ushered into the back for the concert, but the place was called pyramid scheme and it had all these arcade style games out front in the bar. plus free water (which is very important) and there were some nice places on the side to sit, since there were 4 acts and it made for a bit of a long night.
  • i had never heard eskimeaux before, but they were also a really good performance. peek at their bandcamp here

thoughts on losing control, in no particular order:

  • literally we are all at the mercy of our brain chemistry all the time — it’s so easy to lie to ourselves and think it’s possible to be a completely rational and put together being, but that’s just not true. yes emotions are part of us, but they can also be something that happens to us, and that’s important to remember.
  • living moment to moment does ridiculous things to your sense of identity/self — i sometimes feel like i can live a whole lifetime in a month. it’s such a fully engaging way to be alive though, since there’s so little time to think.
  • too much time alone can destroy you. ditto for too much time with other people.
  • it’s so hard to ask for help and be vulnerable in front of people, and i’m not gonna say it’s always worth it. there are times where you open up or reach out and just get nothing back, and it’s brutal. it’s literally so awful to feel cut off from the world.
  • everybody else is going through stuff too.




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