Category: Music


Music Monday: The Gossip

I’ve been working out 3 times a week on the advice of my psychiatrist. Once a week, I swim, and twice a week, I bust my ass on these awesome virtual-reality exercise bikes. So, naturally, I’m always looking for good workout music. And The Gossip’s new album, Music For Men, is definitely one of those albums.

Here’s the lead single off the album:

I’m going to be one of those people and say that I liked the Gossip before they were cool. At least in North America. I remember dashing out to buy Standing in the Way of Control, their 2006 album, in grade 9, before anyone I knew knew who they were. Yeah, I’m being one of those music snobs.

Their stuff really has this amazing raw energy behind it. And Beth Ditto is amazing. Whenever I want queer indie rock that you can dance to, and that makes no apologies, I listen to the Gossip.

Advertisements

This is one of my favourite songs, and has been for the past couple of years. In fact, I’m performing a cover of it tonight at an event for queer performers with disabilities.

There’s always one line that sticks out for me:

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? Well, I’m here with you.

With my mental illness, I often feel alone. Sure, there are a lot of people my age with depression or anxiety, but a lot of them seem to be on anti-depressants and more or less fine on the first drug they try. Or they’ll have depression, but it’s hard to find someone my age with something like bipolar disorder. In a lot of ways, I feel a lot older than my peers; mental-health wise, I’ve been through more than a lot of the people I know, just in terms of medication switches, misdiagnosis, and feeling absolutely god-awful.

I don’t see myself in a lot of portrayals of mental illness. In every antidepressant commercial I’ve seen so far, the people in it seem to be at least 10 years older than me. On all the websites for psych medication – again – it all shows people in their 30s and beyond. A lot of the stories I hear about mental illness involve people who, again, are not diagnosed until they are much older than me. Which begs the question – where are the young adults with mental illnesses? The typical age of onset of many mental illnesses is late adolescence or early adulthood.

Oddly enough, sometimes, I relate to children with mental illness more than adults with mental illness. Depression came on early for me – around the age of 13 or so – but the hypomania didn’t show up until around 15 or 16. I’ve always been anxious as all hell; at my recent assessment, my mom pointed out that I was even anxious as a toddler. I’ve been reading More Than Words lately, and I really feel for Brenna and Ailish. Like Ailish, I’m prone to depression and anxiety, and am sensitive and intense. Like Brenna, I have had total screaming/crying breakdowns before. (The family was on 20/20 recently, and there’s a video clip of Brenna in the middle of a psychotic breakdown. I would never post it because, while I’ve never been psychotic, I’d hate it if someone captured one of my breakdowns for the whole world to see.) Reading this blog has made me feel not so alone; I feel like someone knows what I’m going through, even if it’s two 12 and 14 year old girls from California.

If you’re reading this, I’d really encourage you to comment. Not because I need validation (although this is also true – ha!) but I think, if you’re out there, we could really support each other on this journey. I know you’re out there.

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? Well, I’m here with you.

Anyone who has known me since I was, oh, 10 years old will tell you that I’ve always been a huge Dixie Chicks fan. So, naturally, I was intrigued when I heard of Martie Maguire’s and Emily Robison’s side project, the Court Yard Hounds.

I pre-ordered their self-titled album online, and, when it arrived, I was definitely not disappointed. (Okay, I was disappointed that the CD drive on my laptop was broken, but once I got to listen to it, it was great. But I digress.) It’s definitely more chilled out than the Dixie Chicks material I’m used to, but the songwriting is fabulous. One thing that really pleasantly surprised me is how great Emily is as a lead vocalist. Martie also takes the lead on one of the tracks, “Gracefully”, which is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Here’s the lead single, “The Coast”. It’s definitely catchy, and really captures the environment it portrays.

Martie and Emily (as well as Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines) have also been great allies to the queer community. One of the best songs on the album is “Ain’t No Son”, a powerful song about a young man being disowned by his father for being gay.

I really applaud Martie and Emily’s courage in writing and recording this song. It’s something that a lot of queer people, especially youth can relate to. Any oppressed community needs allies, so it’s great that Martie and Emily are putting themselves out there.

I’ve always related to the Dixie Chicks, (and, by extension, the Court Yard Hounds’) music on a really deep level. It actually makes me wonder if any of them are neurodiverse at all, since the people I relate to tend to be more often than not. Either way, I love their music, and am really excited to see where the Court Yard Hounds go.

This song strikes a chord with me. At my recent assessment, my mom brought up the history of mental illness in my family. 3 of my four grandparents had fairly severe mental illnesses; my maternal grandmother had severe, recurrent depression, my maternal grandfather developed psychotic depression later in his life, and my paternal grandfather was likely some form of bipolar. There’s also a history of anxiety and depression in other people on both sides of my family.

It makes me feel like I’m a part of some kind of legacy. A legacy of pain, yes, but one of hope as well.