Three Reasons Why The Smiths and Morrissey Make Me Happy

Three Reasons Why The Smiths and Morrissey Make Me Happy

Lyrics, Music, and Style
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I’ve been checking out the 1980s alternative rock band The Smiths lately (I know, I’m a bit late) as well as the solo work of its lead singer Morrissey, and I made a really cool discovery the other day. While listening to random singles from the band, I came across a song that right away sounded familiar. The power chord riff, the kind of creepy-sounding guitar slide—yes, I knew this song. I had heard it on the radio in the past and had always wondered who it was by. That guitar was so cool.

Well, it was by the Smiths. (The song is “How Long is Now?”.) This was all the more reason for me to like them, but interestingly, this song is not representative of the Smith’s sound. The band really had a lighter, less guitar-heavy sound—in some ways very pop-ish, as much as I hate to say so. I’m not normally a big fan of “popular”-sounding music, but I like the Smiths’ members’ perspectives, alternative bent, and of course Morrissey’s lyrics.

“How Long is Now?,” however, actually sounds more modern to me—less 80s and more 90s or even early 2000s. That being said, of course Morrissey’s lyrics are always the same, honest and painful. And they are part of the reason why “How Long is Now” is in many ways my favorite Smiths song. Although the sound of it is unusual for the band, it is very unique for its time period, and the lyrics are words I think I could have written myself, especially the first verse and the bridge.

“I am the son / And the heir / Of a silence that is criminally vulgar”

“There’s a club if you’d like to go / You could meet somebody who really loves you / So you go and you stand on your own / And you leave on your own / And you go home and you cry and you want to die.”

That bridge, man. Morrissey gets me. And I’m just one of thousands of people who think that.

So in light of these exciting (for me at least) discoveries, I’m going to share three things about The Smiths and Morrissey that make me pretty happy.

1. Morrissey’s lyrics.

This is pretty self-explanatory if you read Morrissey’s lyrics. He is painfully honest as well as ironic, literary, incredibly funny, and ambiguous. I don’t think most fans are exactly sure what some of his songs mean. But some are drastically funny, such as “Some Girls are Bigger Than Others.” When I finally realized just what Morrissey was doing with the lyrics—what he was trying to get across—I cracked up, and I laugh at the song every time I hear it. How can you not laugh at these lyrics: “From the ice-age to the dole-age / There is but one concern / I have just discovered / Some girls are bigger than others.” Morrissey is hilarious.

I also love the song because of . . .

2. The Smiths’ (or Johnny Marr’s) great music.

Johnny Marr wrote some really simple and catchy pop melodies, which normally turn me off. However, many of these are very haunting and beautiful and cool. Take “How Long Is Now?” for instance; or, for more a more typical sound, listen to the instrumental of “Some Girls are Bigger Than Others.” It is positively lovely, and that fade-out in the beginning? Brilliant. Or “Barbarism Begins at Home”: I have not heard a cooler bass line than that one. So I guess I should give Andy Rourke some credit too. Really all the guys deserve credit.

3. Morrissey’s interesting rockabilly inclinations in his solo work.

The Smiths had a bit of a rockabilly sound too (explained by Morrissey’s and Marr’s appreciation of 1960s pop), but I notice this especially in Morrissey’s solo work: listen to much of Your Arsenal and you’ll hear it, or “Sing Your Life,” a pop song if I ever heard one, from Kill Uncle. The guitar is light and clear, not crunchy or distorted as with heavy rock and metal, and also very jangly and reminiscent of early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly. His band even dressed like 1950s greasers (yesss!!!).

(And I have to mention, Morrissey himself wore women’s shirts. Kudos to him for being bold.)

It’s amazing that this stuff sold in the early 90s, but also pretty cool. Morrissey certainly has a sound all his own, and that appeals to people. That fact makes me happy.

Please check out The Smiths if you haven’t already. The band was a bit on the pop side, but very unusual for its time, very “anti-rock-star,” and has had a deep influence on subsequent alternative music. Give Morrissey a listen too.

Cover Image Credit: Music Feeds

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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