One Year Later: Life After Nirvana (I Can’t Believe It)

It all started because my computer could no longer burn cds. In 2009 I decided to stop by Dylan’s house unannounced and just chill with him. Well at least that was what I said to him. You see, I had a bit of a more devious plan when I came over that day. My mother had effectively shut down any possibility of my brother or I getting an ipod for fear of our liberal use of the headphones and loud music, so it was all about the 90’s and early 2000’s approach…burning cds. Everything was fine and dandy until my computer hard drive could no longer read the cds to burn. Just like that, my solution for my technological backwardness was wiped clean (well that and my mother deleted all the files off of my itunes library as punishment for misbehaving). It was off to the library and checking out cds to give to Dylan so that he could grab the tracks for his itunes, which would eventually provide enough tracks for me to continue my practice. It became a weekly ritual, where I would swing over for no more than thirty minutes, talking to Dylan about school and life while itunes was getting some new tracks. As the school year ended and summer began, I would come to visit Dylan nearly everyday, each time bringing new music along me. These visits became so frequent, that even my mother began to stop questioning whenever I went out for run in the evening (she knew where I was going).  Although the original purpose was to share music with one another, our interactions became much more than that. I can remember exactly how Dylan and I would spend time together. I would be sitting on the cheap ass, broken-down pool table while Dylan would sit in his brown leather chair. We would lament about our first world problems (relationships obviously), tease each other about the failings of our sports teams (seriously the Ravens are choke artists at the finest), and sometimes we would sit there and not say a word at all. However, we would always have music playing in the background, whether it was the sunny pop of “Lust for Life” by Girls, or passionate yelps of The Born Ruffians in “I Need a Life”.  Dylan and I turned to each other because we both had something to offer, but music was what helped us become pals to best buds. Eventually as the years went on, I finally got my computer fixed and upgraded to a more convenient way to gain access to new music: blogs. In particular, I showed one very important site to Dylan. It is called hypem. a vast collection of music blogs that constantly update and post new songs of all genres. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

It all started because of a facebook status. In early February of 2011, Dylan posted about his desire to create a blog that would give back as much musical content to hypem as much as he took from it. He asked if any of his friends were interested in this endeavor. Of course, given the nature of facebook, he had plenty of likes, but no one really commented to signify a shade of commitment. So Sir Dylan gathered a half-dozen names and sent a group message about the possibility of being apart of a music blog. Some the folks were inspired and went out to form their own blogs, while other people never did get around to committing to the work needed to get the project off the ground. Look, I get it. In a world already engulfed by excess, why bother caring about another music blog in a field already over saturated with them? Despite it all, Dylan did not relent even once. His enthusiasm and musical knowledge more than made up for the small group of people who signed up to begin Life After Nirvana. It took a lot of patience and hard work, but a year later we were able to celebrate the success of Life After Nirvana…via the blog’s own facebook page (Yeah yeah yeah we were very late to the party).

It all started because each and every single person on this blog is addicted to music in one form or another. For some of us, our relationship with music is physical, as we grip the tools of our craft, ready to produce sounds that will eventually be refined to become melodies. For others, the relationship is more mental, as we sit back and admire how these people work tirelessly to create art for our appreciation.  For all of us, we have an emotional relationship with music. The source we turn to when we can’t verbally articulate the emotions we are feeling at the moment. The medium that assists us in achieving catharsis. The unifying source that allows us to communicate with others despite the grand differences in our life experiences and expectations.

So what song can capture even a trace of what I am trying to communicate here? I think I got something here to capture not only the joys and frustration of blogging during this first year while still capturing the excitement that we still got for the future.

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends (right click to download)

What a beautifully bittersweet song this is. The endless repetition of the same guitar, clumsy piano chords, keyboard  produce this jumbled loop that is one bad move away from becoming a convoluted mess. Kind of like the blog starting out (seriously, if you look at our early work, it is laughable). However, as the song builds up and leads to the mammoth percussion section and joyful guitar riff begins to change the song’s dynamics entirely, despite the core of the sound still being retained. Soon the imprecise sound of the piano serves not as a hindrance to the overall work, but rather as a reminder that the imperfections are basis of authenticity. Our blog isn’t the most polished one there is, but it is ours. Each mistake we make, each success we have, those are of our own. Nothing can take away from that.

While the song “All My Friends” maturely concludes with the acceptance of being older and moving on from past regrets, I hope that Life After Nirvana and its bloggers will be able to continue to share the music that they love, not only for the sake of our small but faithful audience, but to share with one another. It ain’t high school anymore, and though some of us are at the same college ( or will be), our different lives dictate that we won’t be in close proximity and constant personal interaction with each other as we once had back at Woodinville. What matters then are our sustained efforts to keep connected. It’s been a damn pleasure working with y’all. I think the last lines of the song say it best.

Where are your friends tonight?
Where are your friends tonight?

If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight

In concluding this post,  I want to give a shout out to my boy Dylan V (the only blogger not stationed in Washington because of his prestigious status as a USC brat boy majoring in film and screenwriting). It’s been ages since I last saw you and by god I miss you. Cheers friend, may our blog continue to hold up so that we can continue not only our love for music, but our friendship.

As an extra bonus, I went back and searched through the message archives of the initial message exchanges between potential bloggers. To be concise, a certain individual did not endear himself to the rest of the group and was asked not to participate. Read some of the comments left by this jilted lover.

March 25th 2011

  • “hahahahahahahahahaha.How’s that music blog coming along? Lots of witty, insightful, generally wonderful reviews that I see on that non deserted wasteland of a blog.”
  •  Just looked at the blog today, saw there were no posts. I just found it funny that after all the prep, and planning and whatnot, it never came to be.
  • I await for the final and continuing product, and will humbly retract my statements once I see the completion of this blog.

May 1, 2011

  • “I humbly retract my statements.”

Oh buddy. If you did such when the blog was just starting out, I wonder what would be the reaction if you were to see the blog now? Eat crow fella.

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