MY STEEL TEMPLE:
I pass from a chaotic world into a steel temple.
A busied commuter's cage ironically,
Unleashes my mind and eases my struggle.
For when days come and challenge emotionally,
To the steel temple I come, my soul undone.
From the dim florescent luminescence,
To the mellifluous quiet sounds my spirit one.
I yearn for the journey's surreal transcendence,
A mobile holder of bards new and thoughts lofty, divine.
To this temple I write, though oddly out of sight,
My reason for fulfillment, such a peculiar shrine.
Maybe an environment for fostered thoughts at night,
Is what drives my mind to the beauty of silence,
Of a mobile cage, while not incarcerating,
Merely a vessel for my thoughts quite violent.
Here's to the long road, thought inducing,
Which clears my mind, restless, unceasing.
God, I bid You thanks for providing a space,
A steel temple for peace unending,
So simple and surreal, an odd space to find your grace.
Its 3am on a cool, rainy night, you look out of your windshield and see street lights and cars distorted through the water in your windshield. The feeling is hard to describe, there's a certain eeriness to it but it draws you in...the world is asleep and you are a lone passenger...it feels philosophical, dreamlike, somehow loosely nostalgic.
There are a few artists that create music that embodies this feeling, and in my opinion it is one of the greatest achievements in songwriting. Artists that capture this feeling inspire a peace inside the listener that makes them content to sit and think, introspect, and for a brief moment exit a stressful, unrelenting world. Here is a list of artists I think capture this feeling.
If you find yourself driving at night, watching a sunset, or wanting to escape, put one of these albums on repeat and you'll find yourself getting lost in them and listening all the way through. The feeling is a hard one to come by, but when you feel it you know it. These artists interplay emotions of awe, passion, and loneliness into an almost worshipful vibe that never fails to make me relax and just take time to recharge and think. I wrote this last year at a place in my life when I really needed and sought this feeling in an attempt to capture what it meant to me...
There's something special about the times where you realize the vastness of the world, your place in it, and imagine what your life has in store. Sometimes these moments just hit you like déjà vu, and sometimes I think they come along because something or someone inspires you. I truly believe that artists have the potential to catalyze these moments in out lives and I think that this odd feeling that is so hard to describe is essential to our human experience.
One thing I want to leave you with is a definition from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows- "a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for." Koenig gives a brilliant word...
I hope that this feeling of the 3am car ride isn't just an exulansis, but something that is shared by all and I hope if you have felt this feeling before but thought you were alone, you are not. Find purpose, question things, discuss ideas, and never stop growing.
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September 26, 2015
Goner: In Its Final Form
"Goner," by Twenty One Pilots, the last track on their newest release, "Blurryface," will make you burst into tears, question the meaning of life, and leave you on a high note that will make you want to wage war against your deepest, darkest fears. Here is an excerpt from a Reddit conversation with fans, "the Clique," that gives real insight into the Tyler and Josh's feelings toward the song.
In the first iteration of "Goner," we meet Twenty One Pilots in a place in their career where they don't know what the next day will hold or whether their music could reach a worldwide audience. This music video, released in February 2012, pre-dates their album "Vessel," and here we find the band looming on the edge of success but having no idea if they would succeed. The video and the song are eerie, somber, and a bit depressing. Set in a dark, snowy, suburban neighborhood Tyler wears a tattered skeleton mask and plays an old, beat up accordion whose sound is reminiscent of wheezy breath or a noose. The setting, apparel, instrumentation, and ending of this video lead the audience to feeling defeated and picture Tyler as defeated by his nemesis, whom he would years later name "Blurryface."
In the final version of, "Goner," Tyler and Josh begin the song with the same worn out and defeated tone and sound. The suicidal accordion replaced by a mellow piano and a voice repeating the words:
I'm a goner
This leaves the audience in suspense, asking whether or not Blurryface (Tyler's evil Alter-Ego) defeated Tyler in the end. Throughout the album, Blurryface tells Tyler that he isn't good enough, not talented, unsuccessful, and doomed to failure. The listener fears the worst. Then a snare to the likeness of a heartbeat kicks in and a new verse enters the picture.
Though I'm weak
Verse 2 captures Tyler, historically battling with depression, battling his inner demons and choosing to keep pursuing his goals despite everything inside telling him there's no way he will make it. Both times this verse hits, the mellow mood slightly lifts and becomes positive, even a bit uplifting.This stylistic choice illustrates a hard fight in which the victor is not clear cut and does not win with ease. Verse 3 calls out for help:
I've got two faces
Verse 4, taking the same feel and melody as verse 1, shows a dichotomy or contrast between the parasitic relationship between Tyler and Blurryface. Tyler begs for help from his friends and/or God to break free from his depressed, pessimistic alter ego. Both band members are Christians and their faith influences their music. This track calls out to be known, cries for help. One would imagine that he is calling out to God in this time of need. Here is a comment regarding their faith and how it intertwines with their music.
The song then switches into a dissonant, confused piano riff with Tyler repeating, "Don't let me be gone." Then with four hits of the high hat, Josh kicks off a MASSIVE climax in the song with the drums smashing and Tyler screaming the first verse at the top of his lungs. In my opinion, after following this band for several years and connecting with them on such a deep level, this has to be one of the most intense, passionate, enthralling endings to an album I have EVER heard. It reverses the first version of the song by showing that Blurryface does NOT win and that when all is said and done there is always HOPE.
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