Tag Archives: song challenge

Seven Day Song Challenge / Melanie Kristy / Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes (song 4)

One of my favorite movies is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I love the series so much I’m listening to the audio books right now. It reminds me of summer, friendship and freedom. I adore reading stories about groups of best friends, tight knit families and any other sort of community. I love when people – even just those in fiction – have found their tribe. This is another reason why I love Now & Then so much (see my previous post).  Even though the characters had grown apart, they come back together. This is another reason why I enjoy watching HBO’s series Girls. Even when best friends aren’t talking, there’s still remnants of that friendship beneath layers or hatred or mixed feelings. Just watch the season finale of season 5 to see what I mean.

 

In high school I had a lot of friends that I had met over the internet. These days it doesn’t seem as weird to go online, find a community and become part of something where you can become real life friends. This group is the perfect example of that. Online writers from all over who shared a common interest in writing and Francesca Lia Block met through an online writing workshop and bonded over Facebook and other social media sites. Back in high school I used to write in online journal type sites like LiveJournal. I became close to a few friends that I still talk to and see, if even it’s not on a consistent basis.

 

There was something cool about Chuck Taylor’s. There’s always been, I think. Even now I’d rather pick out Chucks to suit my personality than stuff my toes into heels. Somewhere along the line, it was decided that Red Chucks were the ultimate. I think it sparked from this song. My friend Kate used to feed me story ideas because she’d think up some world or scenario she would want to see, and I’d make it happen. This still happens to this day. Nana Sprinkles was inspired by the thoughts of Kate Jones. So at some point I wrote her a story about a boy with red Chuck Taylors and all I remember is that he lived in New York City.

 

Some time after that, and I’m not even sure where the inspiration came into play, but it was decided that as I was going into my freshman year of college two of my online friends – who didn’t really know each other, but had common interests and knew of each other through me – and I would share a pair of Red high top Chuck Taylor’s. Our feet sizes varied a little, but the Chucks were forgiving. We kept them for a month before passing them on, writing in a colorful journal to keep in touch that way. Miranda brought them to a Hanson concert and got them signed. Then, after my freshman year of college Hanson was on tour again and my friend Michelle’s mom somehow knew Taylor’s father-in-law (it sounds a lot more convoluted than it was). She managed to get us on the “meet and greet” for a show in New Hampshire. We were grouped with a bunch of people who won a radio station concert, and we had a chance to get something signed.

 

I started babbling the moment I stuck the sneaker in Zac’s hand. When the shoes were in Texas, Zac hadn’t come out so the other shoe only had Isaac and Taylor’s signatures. I was determined to fix this. Zac barely said anything to me, nodding as he signed. Then he passed the sneaker along to his brothers.

 

I met both Miranda and Kate because of  Hanson. At this point I’d spent time with Kate, both in Massachusetts and Ohio, and I wouldn’t meet Miranda until a year later. Because of Hanson and Chuck Taylor’s, Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants we have this one cool thing we did back in 2003/2004. Something I often forget about, but every now and then the memory pops up. And it feels like magic.

 

xo.

 

Melanie Kristy
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Seven day song challenge / Melanie Kristy / Sugar Sugar

   
When you’re friends with someone for 26 years weird things connect you in ways that sometimes need explaining. Shaylin and I are connected by orange traffic cones, doors, Dumbo and amongst many other things: Sugar Sugar by The Archies. When I turned eleven I was allowed to take two friends to the movies. We chose Now & Then and the movie quickly became our anthem. Shaylin and I spent summers pretending to be Sam and Roberta and conquering the streets of Carver one our bicycles. We highlighted roads we ventured down in our Town of Carver maps. In the bogs behind my house we found our 

In sixth grade we performed Sugar Sugar in the sixth grade lip sync. Choreographed dancing and pretend singing in an elementary school auditorium.

There were lots of songs in Now and Then. We learned them quickly with the help of my soundtrack, and somehow Sugar Sugar was the song that stuck the most. It became part of the soundtrack of our friendship.

  
Fast forward to 2011, five years ago, I was the maid of honor in Shaylin’s wedding. I had the DJ play Sugar Sugar for her (us) and we danced like we had danced all night. 


Xoxoxox 

Melanie Kristy

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Song Challenge \ Melanie Kristy \ Penny and Me

 

Penny and Me.
There was a long wait after Hanson’s second album came out before we had any music news. We didn’t fully believe there would be more music. We were young, and Hanson was in an ugly battle with their record label to even put out music. Eventually they split from their label and decided to take the independent route. They recorded an acoustic album, a spoiler of their new CD, in a church basement in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Penny and Me is one of the songs on the album. A friend of mine who has connections with in-laws told me it’s about a doll named Penny and living long distance and the Georgia mountains. To me it’s about a lot more.
You know those days when you can drive around with the windows open, drinking iced coffee and wearing sunglasses while singing along harmoniously. Maybe beach trip is in the immediate future. Maybe you’re on a road trip. You feel free. If you’re familiar with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it’s one of those feelings where you feel infinite. You just are. And that’s all that matters.
I came up with the term “Penny Days” to describe that kind of feeling, that infinite, breathless lightness that sometimes happens when the moment is just right. It started when I wrote a novella called Penny and Me. It’s about a girl named Penny who becomes fast friends with a boy named Lucky who is a guitarist and just about to make it big. It was the first piece of fiction I wrote and completed that wasn’t fan fiction. And I loved those characters. It’s been so long since I’ve revisited them, I decided for Camp Nano this month I’d write more based on Penny’s life as an early-twenty something girl who’s disillusioned by life. I haven’t actually started writing it, and we are a week into April so you can see how well I’m doing with writing fiction. But that’s not the point. Penny was named for my friend Kate who later got “Penny Rose” tattooed onto her foot as a way of indicating her alter ego.
This song encompasses a feeling I can’t quite explain, that high on life you can’t always recreate. It’s magic in song form, and I love every second of it.
xo.
Melanie Kristy

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

7 day song challenge, day #1: See You On a Dark Night

TW: sexual assault

As a kid I was lucky enough to grow up in a suburb where I always felt safe walking at night. My friends and I used to go on night adventures all the time as teens, haunting school playgrounds and netball courts and the random patches of forest that grew in between houses. We would cast spells, gossip, sometimes drink. Walking home, usually around 2 or 3 in the morning, I would have to split off from the group and head down this long stretch of poorly lit road, and then through the twisting backstreets of suburbia to my parents’ house. And I enjoyed those walks; there were always bats about, and I had space and time to think before the sun came up and day-to-day life began again.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

A year before I moved to Brunswick, which is where I live in now, a woman was killed. She was abducted while walking home from a night out with friends, from a pub I’d spent many nights at during university. She’d only been a couple of twisting backstreets away from where she lived. Backstreets I’d covered many times in between friends’ houses and tram stops, often walking for much longer than I needed to because I was poor, and couldn’t afford money for a taxi, but also because I wanted to. One of the newspapers marked out her route on a map and when I saw it my insides froze up; I’d walked that way before.

I don’t know if I was actually any safer in my old suburb that I am in my new one. Perhaps that tough, glittering, teenage-girl-feeling of untouchability kept me safe somehow, shimmering like a mirage, there but not really. Now, when I’m faced with the possibility of having to walk home alone at night, I don’t look forward to the space and time, to the bats or the lights. I don’t feel free.
I feel trapped.
I weigh up the options.
I could get a taxi (that’s $12 minimum), or an uber (a little less).
I could call and hope that my partner’s awake so that he can come meet me at the tram stop.
I could walk with my keys in between my fingers, and my phone to my ear, making imaginary conversations with myself, hoping it doesn’t ring.
I could, I could, I could…

The night doesn’t belong to me anymore. And I hate that.

I loved this song first for the way it sounds alone. It’s catchy. The vocals are haunting, but playful. I love the way Grimes samples in this track, the sounds she chooses, not quite fitting together, but in a way that makes you listen harder. I’m always surprised at finding new sounds creeping through every time I hear this song. It reminds me of a patch of forest at night.

But when I heard what the song was really about, it became my anthem. What she does with this song is nothing short of genius. She is taking something incredibly painful (her own sexual assault) and turning it around to face the perpetrator. By weaving that pain into something upbeat, something poppy and fun, something that she has since built a career in music on, she is taking all the power away from her attacker.  And I love that

And so on nights when I have to walk with my keys between my fingers, I chant these words in my head. It doesn’t make me feel untouchable, or even safe. But it makes me feel like I am gathering some of that power back.

See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized