Featured

(Un)Conference Group Project

Group 8:
Dalia M Perez, Alexander G Blum, Sarah Byron, Felicity Linville and Kira R Smith

On March 16, 2018, we had a blast at the Women Who Rock conference. This years theme was Dance the Archive and it was so fun to be able to get up and dance, especially around a stressful time like finals it was a great way to bond as a group and make connections with our community that we wouldn’t have able to make outside of this class. As a group we learned to communicate our goals with each other and hold each other accountable as the project was completed. The conference taught us the importance of culture but also that culture shouldn’t divide people but bring them together. Community building is an important aspect of this whole project and we are thankful for the chance to have had a space to be free and expressive while enjoying great music. We chose these photos because there was a lot of movement happening during the conference and we wanted to capture that energy. It was amazing to see everyone move along to the beat of the drums and dance along with the instructors. It was important to us to capture those leaders and the speakers that made the night amazing. We interviewed Adrianna and Carmen because we wanted to hear voices of those that bomba meant the most to them. The importance to music to connect with ones past and future was something the both of them taught us!

Photos

Title and Caption: Milvia Pacheco (left) and Iris Viveros (right). Where do I come from? (Performance). Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Reel Rebels – These wonderful women are using dance to tell an important story about identity and community so they are making scenes through their performance but also being reel rebels by telling their story about a deep social issue.

Title and Caption: Ivelisse Diaz (left), Denise Solis (middle) and Amarilys Rios (right). Bomba Workshop. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.  

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez  

Archive category: Making Scenes – It is important to keep the beat with bomba, the drums speak to the dancer and the dancer speaks to the drums, this is a moment of making scenes as these musicians preformed.

Title and Caption: Denise Solis (left), Amarilys Rios (middle) and Jade Power Sotomayor (right). Jade Power Sotomayor Leading The Bomba Workshop Warm Up. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Building Communities – Using bomba to connect it with the audience, Jade was hyping the crowd up to get excited to dance. Her performance made the scene and helped us understand what bomba could mean for us and helped boost up our energy. 

Title and Caption: Jade Power Sotomayor. Jade Power Sotomayor Leading The Audience In A Bomba Workshop. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Building Communities – Here Jade taught us Yuba which is a step in bomba, using bomba within the women who rock conference was an amazing way to build a community through performance.

Title and Caption: Ivelisse Diaz. The Audience Dancing With Ivelisse Diaz. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Building Communities – By involving the whole crowd Ivelisse creates this sense of community and everyone has a stake in the larger movement of the women who rock social movement to create wonderful culture scenes.

Title and Caption: Jade Power Sotomayor (left), Amarilys Rios (middle) and Denise Solis (right). Amarilys Rios Discussing What Bomba Means For Her. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Reel Rebels – By telling her story of what bomba means for her,
Amarilys is our feminist archivista. Stories about popular music and what it means for communities is important to hear. To her music is therapy and is a universal language to help bring communities together.

Interview

Interview Title: The Importance of Music and Dance in Culture

Interviewees: Adrianna Santana Offre and Carmen Offre Bensenti

Interviewer name: Sarah Byron

Transcription:

Sarah: What does this (Un)Conference mean to you? How does it allow you to express yourself? Why did you come today?

Carmen: This is the first time that I have heard about this conference. I heard a lot about it because I was involved in the bomba community here in Seattle for a short amount of time and then when I heard about the conference, I knew we had to come because it aligns with a lot of our values of helping women become confident and [helping women] find their voice. You know, we’re music lovers so we love to find ways to help women find confidence through art and music, and also to create community with music.

Adrianna: I heard that the bomba group was coming. For us, we’re Puerto Rican so bomba is part of our culture. I spent so much of my life denying that culture and that part of myself until this year. Learning about bomba has really helped me connect to my culture even though I’m not living in Puerto Rico, and I can see [the (Un)Conference] and be empowered as a Latina woman and also empower other women like my mom said.

Sarah: That’s definitely the same with me. My family and I are from Southern Africa – that’s where I was born and where I grew up partially. The bomba rhythms are very similar to Southern African rhythms, and so the way your body moves and the communication aspect between the dancer and the drummer is very similar to my culture. I use music as a way to connect with my culture as well.

Carmen: You know what is beautiful about this rhythm is that for African culture and for native culture of the Caribbean, they create a community via music. The festivities are always with drums and always with dancing. Whenever you come to one of these bomba events, you feel that. It’ a tradition that is four hundred years old and it’s still doing that – those rhythms are still creating community.

Sarah: So would you say that this conference is bring everyone together with this celebration of music and this collective engagement in dance and the conversations that arise from that. Would you agree with those sentiments?

Carmen: I agree for sure! The fact that we are celebrating this ancestry, bringing it to now-a-days, and we are still doing the same thing that people four hundred years ago did, in terms of bomba, is amazing. But now that I know about this conference, I’m going to try to come to all the ones I know about because if you bring music and art from so many cultures, I want to connect to all of them, not just mine. I want to connect to the world and create and even bigger community out of music and art.

Sarah: That’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Do you two have any last remarks?

Adrianna: I think in the United States, we like to focus on differences in culture, but I think this conference just shows how similar different cultures are in certain way. This love for music and this love for dance – you can really find these similarities and get to know each other through them and learn that were not all that different.

Carmen: That is so true.

Live blog post 1: https://womenwhorockcommunity.org/2019/03/16/im-late-to-the-dance-party/

Live blog post 2: https://womenwhorockcommunity.org/2019/03/17/panel-why-bomba-matters/

Special thank you to our instructors Professor Michelle Habell-Pallán and Professor Sonnet Retman for the wonderful quarter and the great opportunity to participate in this conference it was a lot of fun ❤


Individual Blog Post Stream B #4

By Sarah Byron

Alternative imaginaries reclaim heritage. They regain ownership of stories and narratives that have been appropriated by more powerful groups and individuals. Alternative imaginaries empower minority groups to explore their own story and use that new insight to create a new image of themselves and who they are. It’s a power move aimed at reclaiming lost power. Martha Gonzalez defines the power of alternative imaginaries beautifully in “Zapateado Afro-Chicana Fandango Style: Self-Reflective Moments in Zapateado.” She explains that alternative imaginaries “absorb experiences, struggles, and elements from the present and from other cultures to create a unique voice.” In Imaginaries, Martha continues on, reflecting upon her own upbringing, writing about how the turbulent cultural environment in which she grew up shaped the way her community found their voice. She writes: “these events spurred a powerful synergy, in which avenues of expressive culture such as music and public art emerged as platforms from which to voice marginalized people’s desires, opinions, and resistance to the conditions in which they found themselves.” Influenced by cultural inequality, marginalized groups seek to reclaim their lost voice and their lost power. They do so by imagining alternative imaginaries.

The attached links are to other songs on Quetzal’s Grammy-award winning album. Through these selections, it’s evident that the band believes in this idea of alternative imaginaries – you can see this idea expressed through each song.

Individual Blog Post Stream A #4

By: Dalia Perez

Forgotten histories is a theme that helped me to connect the readings from this week. The reading Country Music Is Also Mexican Music by Lugwid Hurtado discusses the forgotten history of country music. Hurtado states that “ without Mexican culture, the beloved American genre might never have existed” (Hurtado). I find this statement extremely interesting because I would never have imagined that country music was influenced by Mexican music. Hurtado also mentions that country music was specifically influenced by Mexican ranchera music. I am quite shocked by this statement because I grew up listening to ranchera music and never made the connection between ranchera and country music. Another article from this week that brings up forgotten histories is the article FINALLY, FILMMAKERS TELL THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF SEATTLE DIY SELF-DEFENSE GROUP HOME ALIVE by Laina Dawes. This article about the non-profit organization called “Home Alive”. It was important to tell the history of this organization because it taught women physical self-defense by saying “no” when in an uncomfortable situation and “finding escape route techniques” (Dawes). This was important because many women that were in the “grunge scene’ in Seattle. Also this film was important because there was no information on the organization but know you are able to learn about “Home Alive” and its history.

Two songs that help me relate to these readings are La Bala by Los Tigres Del Norte and Momma Why by Heart Ann & Nancy Wilson. The first song La Bala helps me relate to the article by Hurtado. In the article Hurtado mentions the country band The Last Bandoleros, as I watch the music video attached to the article I began to notice the accordion and began to connect this song to tejano music. The accordion shows me the connection between country and mexican music. The other song Momma Why connects to the Dawes article specifically because it is part of the album released by the organization and it discusses the harsh reality of sexual violence in everyday society.   



Individual Blog Post #4 Stream A

by Griffin Blum

It has become an unfortunate habit of today to see things like music, as they currently are, not considering the journey to how it developed. It’s so important to educate less experienced people to gain perspective on the values a genre or group originated with and developed. A prime example is how country music has come to encompass American values of hard work and family. “Country music’s origins are far from white, and the perceived whiteness of American country music was a deliberate construction by the recording industry during the Jim Crow era.”(Hurtado, 2019) This narrative of writing, or rewriting what is unknown or falsely believed, permeates the punk genre as well. When Mia Zapata was raped and murdered, it was important for the public to be informed regarding her influence, and the influence of many other punk and rock hybrids had on the city of Seattle. As technology advanced, it allowed the impact of these musicians to move from physical posters and newsletters to online where their record is forever available. They also made a mix CD about Home Alive that spread like wildfire. “The CD almost acted like the internet in an artistic way that really could touch people. That’s how people found out more about Home Alive and what they were doing, as the CD could be purchased globally. (Dawes, 2013) Now that technology allows it, information is more readily available than ever, and it’s so incredibly important that history be recorded while it’s still remembered, so future generations can gain the same perspective on how music history has developed.

Works Cited

Dawes, Laina. “Finally, Filmmakers Tell the Forgotten History of Seattle DIY Self-Defense Group Home Alive.” Bitch Media, 5 Dec. 2013, http://www.bitchmedia.org/post/finally-filmmakers-tell-the-forgotten-history-of-seattle-diy-self-defense-group-home-alive

Hurtado, Ludwig. “Country Music Is Also Mexican Music.” The Nation, 4 Jan. 2019, http://www.thenation.com/article/country-mexico-ice-nationalism/

DJ Selections:

For my media choices, I selected “No Es Mi Presidente” by Taina Asili and “Sigo Aqui” by El B. Both these songs are hispanic protest anthems against integration into American culture, which has historically resulted in very poor representation and eventually being forgotten. Asili’s song is a protest to flagrant statments from President Donald Trump regarding people of hispanic backgrounds, and how they demand to be recognized and not disrespected. El B’s song provides a similar sentiment as a rallying cry for resistance in times of global political chaos. It has been established that protest is the one of the only ways for minorities to gain a voice and rally around a cause that the dominant group continuously tries to keep down and out of sight and mind.

Blog Post #4

To a random person living in the US, country and punk probably don’t seem to have anything in common. They are associated with two drastically different scenes: country is often placed on the far right of the political spectrum, a reflection of “true” American ideals (AKA white nationalism), while punk is categorized as protest music, an outcry at the state of our society. What do they have in common then? These scenes revolve around a false narrative placing white males at the forefront of these genres, both as content creators and consumers. As Ludwig Hurtado puts it, “we take for granted that country music sounds white, looks white, and in many ways, is white”. But take a moment to venture into reality, and you’ll find that Latinos not only account for a huge portion of the listeners in each of these genres, but much of the sonic and societal influencers as well.

When exploring Home Alive, a Seattle-based self-defense group, Leah Michaels noted the cloudy narrative surrounding the organization’s creation, which was a reaction to the rape and murder of Mia Zapata of punk rock band The Gits. Despite being heavily into the underground scene in Seattle, Michaels was shocked to find she didn’t know about the organization before hearing about it in class, noting, “We found that it was really weird, like there was this lack of history talked about that no one of our generation knew about” (Dawes). This incredibly important and empowering organization was not included in the narrative of punk in Seattle, and neither was the murder of a prominent latina artist in punk. Once again, history continues the vile erasure of Latinos in American music.

In the typical love and theft fashion, Latino contributions to punk and country have been written out of the narrative. Just as Alice Bag pioneered punk with her ranchera inspired estilo bravío, early country music (circa 1930) is built upon Spanish banda, borrowing “sounds that are common in mariachi music: stylized violin or fiddle elements, various string instruments, and lots of horns” (Hurtado). In today’s country scene, The Last Bandoleros are unifying Latino and right wing white country fans through their music, diminishing the rift between these two groups by creating a musical common ground. But this isn’t being talked about in mainstream media! Like Michaels and Home Alive, I (and most of my classmates) had never heard of The Last Bandoleros before our introduction to the band in class. I struggle to find what, if anything, has changed in our country’s cultural narrative.

When will Latinos be credited for their pivotal influences in American culture?

References:
Dawes, Laina. “Finally, Filmmakers Tell the Forgotten History of Seattle DIY Self-Defense Group Home Alive.” Bitch Media, Bitch Media, 5 Dec. 2013, 2:33pm, http://www.bitchmedia.org/post/finally-filmmakers-tell-the-forgotten-history-of-seattle-diy-self-defense-group-home-alive.

Hurtado, Ludwig. “Country Music Is Also Mexican Music.” The Nation, The Nation Company LLC, 3 Jan. 2019, http://www.thenation.com/article/country-mexico-ice-nationalism/.

DJ Selections:

Below, I have selected This Land Is Your Land by Chicano Batman and Levitating by Xenia Rubinos. Both are songs of protest by Latino artists, but they use very different methods of protesting the white narrative. Chicano Batman released this cover in 2017, as the anti-immigration “build a wall” movement gained traction. They use this beloved American anthem as a pro-immigration protest, translating one verse to Spanish, “No existe nadie que pueda pararme / Por el camino de libertad / No existe nadie que pueda hacerme volver / Esta tierra es para ti para mi”. Levitating directly addresses the problem with privileged groups not recognizing their privileges and the violence of micro- and macro-aggressions from these supposedly well-meaning groups.

This Land Is Your Land by Chicano Batman

Levitating by Xenia Rubinos, Sammus, Olga Bell

Individual Blog Post Stream A #4

Felicity Linville

Recovering things that have been lost through the years is the theme I connected this week’s readings through. Hurtado’s piece was about how country music has its roots in Mexican music but over the years it has been coded as white. His argument was so compelling, and I had never even known about the Mexican influences on country music, maybe because I don’t listen to country, but it is also never talked about. After listening to the blue yodel of Jimmie Rodgers and examples of El Grito in Mariachi music I can feel the connection. Telling a new narrative about country disassembles the nationalism that white people equate to country music. “Mexican-American country fans she spoke with were not associating country music with conservative politics per se. Rather, folks she spoke to found country music to be relatable to their own cultural values, like loyalty to one’s family and a diligent work ethic. (Hurtado). It is amazing to know that Mexican-Americans are reclaiming country music and using it to represent their own culture. Dawes piece has the same theme of lost histories, the existence of Home Alive self-defense group had almost completely lost to history. The two students Therrien and Michaels struggled together to make a film that told this history. Through their work they were able to reclaim the notion of self-defense. To the Home Alive group, it wasn’t about victim blaming but defending and having confidence in yourself. Michaels answers the interviewer’s question about how self-defense classes are often codded as just women beating someone up by saying self-defense can mean “anything you do to feel strong and to feel like you are taking care of yourself, is going to make you safer.” (Michaels in Dawes). Not only did these students recover what has been lost it also helped reclaim what self-defense means for them, just like the Mexican Americans are reclaiming what country music means to them.

A song I want to bring to the table that enhance the most important aspects of these readings Hutado’s piece is Volver Volver by Vicente Fernández. It is an example of the El Grito that you can hear how the blue yodel was influenced by that style of singing. In the Dawes piece they mentioned that Home Alive published a 44 track CD and that was how word got out about them. A Song from that CD that stuck out for me was Guilt Within Your Head that features Mi Zapata, a member of Home Alive that was murdered. The song talks about how sometimes you create your own hell and I think that goes with the goal of the self-defense classes, understanding your internal struggles and take care of yourself can help make you feel safer.  

This song was so good

Critical Karaoke

Maps by The Front Bottoms, on Self-Titled

High school was finally over. I was finally free! Well, kinda… It was time for me to enter the “real world”. I was going to college, to UW, moving out. There was so much ahead of me! In retrospect, most of that “real world” stuff was bullshit I’d idealized. I had these huge plans, these expectations for myself, but I was anxious. I knew the comfort of adolescence was “slipping through the palms of my sweaty hands” as I tried to move along in life.

Enter: The Front Bottoms, a band of two best friends, Brian and Mat. It was my favorite band for a long while, to the dismay of anyone who could hear when I was blasting their songs. Why? Well, this song isn’t the most drastic example, but to the classic rock- or pop-worshipping ears (so my parents, sister, and friends) the band sucks. See, Brian – yes, we are on first name basis – Brian isn’t the best at singing. And the lyrics aren’t poetic, they’re weird and blunt. There are no riffs that would make Hendrix proud, but there are voice cracks, keyboard smashes, and voicemail recordings. Things I knew. To most people, it’s shit. The lyrics, the name of the band, the subject matter, the instrumentals: all of it is so crass. But GOD, to newly-18-year-old me? Those nonsense lyrics, off-tune wails, and destructured melodies were my salvation. In my naive adolescence, two white boys from New Jersey were just the most relatable.

This song, Maps, embodies that summer after graduation for me. It makes it all real, audible: that uncertainty, that hope that things will be different, that doubt that they’ll even get better. I could listen and instantly know that I wasn’t the only one who felt like this (well, obviously, but I couldn’t always see that back then). I really did not know what the hell I was doing but I guess these two dudes didn’t either and that was a big comfort, for whatever reason.

I hated high school. I had that whole pop punk “I hate this town and everyone in it” thing and I very much fit The Front Bottoms’ aesthetic. But at the same time I was finally starting to enjoy some parts of my hometown. I was torn. Like the girl in this song, I was emotionally attached. I almost loved my friends enough to stay. But like the guy, I knew “if I don’t leave now then I will never get away” and I would always wonder if I’d be better off some place else.

This song is fairly pleasant to listen to. It’s upbeat tempo and poppy synth carry the band’s usual acoustic guitar and percussion to an optimistic place for a change. It takes me to “senior sunset”, the only purely social event I went to my senior year of high school. I was sitting on the beach with my friends, watching the sun dissolve into the water. In that moment, it felt less like the world was pitted against me. But that was very out of character.

In high school, I unhealthily clung to music because I didn’t have any better ways to cope. I was always overwhelmed by school, trying to please my parents and them not noticing, barely living through an unsustainable four years just to end up on a beach, with a bunch of people I didn’t like. I was mad, uncertain, emotional, unhinged, just like the music I listened to. But it was over. I was caught in the disbelief that I had made it to the end, mind hazy. I was uncertain but I made it, and I didn’t think I’d do that. I’m glad I had Brian and Mat to help me get to the scary, uncertain part to this optimistic, really nice part.

Critical Karaoke

By: Dalia Perez

Artist: Julia Michaels
Song: Anxiety
EP: Inner Monologue Part 1
Song Length: 3 minutes and 31 seconds

Julia Michaels started her career in the music industry as a songwriter, writing hits for artists like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. Then in 2017 she started her solo singing career and has recently released her second EP (extended play) titled Inner Monologue Part 1. This EP features six songs and includes two collaborations with artists Selena Gomez and Niall Horan. Michaels’ EP is personal and honest. She shares her personal experiences about dealing with anxiety, depression, and relationships.

My favorite song from this EP is “Anxiety”, a collaboration with Selena Gomez. Micheals touches on her personal experiences dealing with mental illness in terms of depression and anxiety. This song describes the effect anxiety may have on relationships and mentions that a lot of people do not understand what it’s like to have anxiety. This song hits home to both Micheals and Gomez because they have both openly spoken about anxiety and depression during their careers.

This song reminds me of the way I felt throughout my past four years of college and continue to feel throughout my current fifth year in college. The lyrics “Oh, I try my best just to be social/I make all these plans with friends and hope they call and cancel” reminds me of the times I made plans with my friends but I end up canceling last minute because of my anxiety. In terms of school, this reminds me of all the times I have not registered for a class I really wanted to take because it requires an oral presentation, group work, and active participation.  I also have constantly missed the first day of class throughout my college experience in fear that the professor will have an ice breaker where I will have to introduce myself to the class. In general, any type of social interaction causes my anxiety to kick in and makes me feel like my heart is going to jump out of my chest and my whole body starts to shake making it hard to speak.

Another memory that helps me relate to this song occurred in my senior year of high school. I was in my senior capstone class I had to do a practice presentation on a senior project I did on being a nail technician. My friend Gabby had just finished doing her practice presentation and I was next. Keep in mind that I had gone over my presentation many times in front of my family. So I started presenting my senior project to the class and it was going okay but then started getting shaky. At one point I was opening a bottle of nail polish specifically used for nail designs. I opened the bottle fine but when I was trying to close it my hands started to shake uncontrollably, which lead me to have to turn around in the middle of my presentation in order to calm down and close the bottle of nail polish. In the end, my practice presentation did not go well my teacher was worried about me and I had to do my practice presentation again but only in front of my teacher which went better but not great.  

Overall, this song reminds me of all the times my anxiety has held me back from hanging out with my friends, taking classes I am interested in and in pursuing careers in my field of interest. But throughout the years I have learned to live with it and I believe that my anxiety has improved. I have been trying to be more social and tried to take more classes that have challenged me.

Critical Karaoke

by Griffin Blum

            High school wasn’t the best of times looking back on it. I suppose it could’ve been much worse, but my decision to go to UW was centered on myself not being happy with the person I became in the Bay Area. A change in scenery was definitely necessary, and it was amazing to make friends with so many other freshmen who were just as anxious about meeting new people as I was. However I still felt a lot of pressure to be a certain type of person, and that pressure influenced me to make some mistakes. I made friends I wish I hadn’t, I made some bad choices, and it all just had me wishing for another do-over, knowing you only get so many of those in life. Then the summer began, and I started working at the Lair of the Bear.

            The Lair is a UC Berkeley family camp located in the western Sierra Mountains, a few hours north of Yosemite National Park. My family has attended the Lair every summer since I was 8 years old. After my freshman year of college, I was privileged enough to get a lowly job washing pots in the kitchen of that camp. We lived in wooden frames we called “tents” and slept under the stars in the middle of nowhere every night for 3 whole months. Looking back on it, I can safely say, it was the best summer of my life. I had never met any of my fellow staffers before I drove to camp, and for a reserved, antisocial person like myself, I was really scared it was going to be terrible. From day 1, I was blown away by how open-minded and easy to talk to everyone was. I was presented with this sense of freedom I’d never had before, a freedom to be your true self, with no judgment from anyone. It was such an amazing feeling. But as the summer drew to and end, I got depressed that I was going to be thrown back into the real world, away from this new home I’d made for myself. I spent that last week trying to just live in the moment and take in everything I’d experienced, but the second “Ooh La La” by Faces started playing at our Hootenanny, I was given an whole new perspective on my time at the Lair, and my entire life up until that point.

            As I’m sitting there drinking with my new best friends, it hit me that all the mistakes I’d made in the past won’t define my future. They’re chances to learn and be your best self. As I listened to the song, I had an epiphany; I am where I am right now because of the person I was back in high school, and I’m thankful for the choices I’d made. The chorus of that song echoed in my head that entire night, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” It resonated so much with me that it’s impossible to really prepare yourself for what you’ll experience in life, and you’ve just got to dive in and live, without worrying about messing up. Sitting there listening to this song, I realized that I was way more prepared for an adult life than I ever thought before, I just had to take off my training wheels and go for it.

            I loved working at the Lair so much I worked there for the following two summers as well, and I’m currently applying for the position of Head Cook this summer. I know I’ll miss my time there immensely when I finally decide to stop working there. But if there’s anything I learned during my time working there, it’s not to linger on the past, or worry about the future. No matter what happens, you’ll be ready for it.

Song: “Ooh La La”

Artist: Faces

Album: Ooh La La (1973)

Length of Song: 3:34

Side Note: I wasn’t able to upload the recording of me reading the commentary over the song to the blog, but I’ll attach it to Canvas. If there is any problem, let me know.

Critical Karaoke

Sarah Byron

Coldplay was my sister’s music before it was mine. Growing up, I didn’t listen to a lot of music, but when I did, it was with my family on vacation. When I was young, maybe around seven or eight, and my family and I would go on vacation, regardless of where we went, we would, without fail, bring one or two Coldplay CDs that my sister burned off iTunes. Through these CDs, I fell in love with Coldplay and their music. I was gripped by their intros and captivated by their rhythms and lyrics. I had never heard music like theirs before, and I have never since. Coldplay’s music ushered me through some of my most formative years and continues to be one of the most prominent voices in the soundtrack of my life currently.

This is my favorite song that Coldplay has ever released. I heard this song in one of my lowest moments in college. The Spring Quarter of my Freshman year was really rough for me – I was struggling in school, having a tough time finding my place, and I missed my family dearly. When I heard this song, though, I was immediately uplifted. This song gave me hope that the coming days would be better, that there was more to look forward to even though times were tough. The tempo, the message, the rhythm – it was all perfect to me and it spoke the words I needed to hear most in that moment.

As I continued to listen to the song, I was able to take more from it. Although this song is about a woman that Chris Martin wants to share an “adventure of a lifetime” with, for me, it’s more than that. It represents this recognition that time is precious and that it can’t be wasted. Life is the same way. Since we only have so much time, it’s important to share it with those you truly love. It resonates with me because this song is a celebration of life, of love and togetherness. It fills my heart with this unspeakable happiness and joy that I have never felt from any other song.

I’m so happy that I get to share this journey with Coldplay. It’s strange how you can have such a strong connection with people you have actually never met, but their music has helped me through some of my most challenging experiences as well as helped me celebrate triumphs. They have been such a huge part of my life and I’m thankful for their influence. This song typifies my special (at least to me) relationship with Coldplay – how one person, or in this case, a band, can ride along with you for an adventure of a lifetime.

Thank you, Coldplay, for letting me sing along with you this last decade. Your music has stayed with me since I first listened to “Fix You” so many years ago. I can’t imagine better company than yours.

Artist: Coldplay

Song : “Adventure of a Lifetime”

Album: A Head Full of Dreams

Song length: 4 minutes and 23 seconds