GARBAGE-Beloved Freak.



There are musicians who, even though you’ve never met them and may never meet them, sometimes feel like the closest person to you. You feel close to them because they tell your story better than you could. You’ve tried many times to unravel every feeling and everything that goes on in your head. For the most part, it is pointless. Things don’t always need a meaning but things need truth. Voices do need to be heard, and when our own isn’t loud enough there is always someone else who has the guts to be our voice. To be louder and be as brave as we wish we were.

I’ve always had a small yet solid number of musicians that have been my voice and that ounce of hope I needed to get through most things. They are the musicians I wish I was as tough as, but I’ll never be tough. I may look as if I am pissed off most of the time but I’m not. Although I dislike the current state of the world, it’s never anything that personal. I’m grumpy but only because I’m getting older. I dislike a lot of things, and it is easier to vocalise them. If you talk about the things you love, it is  easier for people to mock your interests. But you know what? Fuck them. No, not literally. No thanks. Grubby bastards. Courage crept up on me late in life. It smacked me in the face a few years ago. I’ll stand up for anyone but myself. I was once hit in the face for standing up to some racist prick. It wasn’t a hit that was painful. Maybe because I was proud of myself for speaking up. I do have a point, but I know no one is reading much further. Which means I can write what I want. Be free with your words.

When Not Your Kind Of People came out last year, I went directly to the last track on the record; Beloved Freak. I somehow had a gut feeling that this song would be one of those Garbage songs that fellow Garbage lovers would turn to when everything was ugly. I knew immediately it would have the same meaning to me that The Trick Is To Keep Breathing would have to me. The Trick Is To Keep Breathing dragged me through my teenage years, and partly through adulthood. I’m nearly 27; I don’t have it right and I know I never will. I don’t think any adult ever truly has it sussed out. You just make do and carry on, because the alternative is..well, I’m not sure.

I played Beloved Freak and cried. What a surprise!

For as long as I’ve been a fan of Garbage (since the start) their songs have meant more to me than I can put into words, songs like Beloved Freak just sum up exactly why I love them and why they saved this lost soul. I’ve watched various live clips of Beloved Freak and I’ve seen Shirley choke up towards the end as she sings. The power she has with her words is just beautiful. She doesn’t need to write lyrics that are made up of ridiculous metaphors to make her point. She goes right to the core of the emotion and executes it in such an honest way that most wish to shy away from. Everyone has their own struggle to overcome on a daily basis, and I firmly believe that music is one of the very few things that make life a little bit easier.

“You’re not certain when you feel.
Hurt get violent when you deal
With how the world drags you along
You’re not alone.”

Maybe I’d have been braver if this song existed when I was a teenager, but as an adult listening to this, it makes every emotion feel less ugly and less of a chore to carry around.

The thing about Shirley’s words is that you KNOW she means every single one of them. When she sings songs about despair and self-hate, you know she has felt that way herself. That is what makes her words more powerful than I can get my head around at times. Beloved Freak feels like, to me, her way of telling the person who is listening to the song that in the end, you’ll get to a point where everything is alright. It may never make sense, but you’ll get there. It’s like she’s placed her hand in yours as you drag yourself through each day. There will come a time where you won’t be dragging yourself no more; instead you’ll be walking with your head high.

There are many parts in this song that have come to mean the world to me, for reasons I don’t think need explaining. Shirley’s lyrics have always been obvious for me. Much like Morrissey. You know exactly what they mean and you connect straight away. When a singer/band isn’t afraid to be so open with their music, you know you’ve found something you will have a connection with for the rest of time. The other day I thought about what it would be like if I never was a fan of Garbage. Would I harbor certain feelings forever with no clue as to how I face them? I have no idea, but for the better, Garbage helped me grow up and adjust. I’ll always feel slightly awkward in the skin I’m in. I’ll never fully like myself, but I don’t let that define everything I do and the person I am. If I was happy with myself, I wouldn’t work hard towards anything. Carrying some self-doubt helps.

Beloved Freak isn’t just a song to me. It’s something I turn to when that sinking feeling kicks in. It isn’t as frequent as it once was. I always mention that I love bands/singers that are really open with their words, and I guess that is why I write like this. Maybe it makes me a total prick, I have no idea. But music is my life, and with songs like Beloved Freak- I couldn’t and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“People lie and people steal.
They misinterpret how you feel.
And so we doubt and we conceal.
You’re not alone.”

People will always make you feel as if what bothers you is insignificant or that you’re dumb for having such feelings. Let them waste their time on being foolish, you just carry on. They’re not worth the thought. We learn to hide how we feel in order to keep a sense of normality around us, but let it be known that nothing is normal. Morrissey taught me that. And he’s utterly right.

Bands like Garbage are there for you to no longer hide anymore. Everyone is different, and how you cope with life is how YOU cope with it. People will judge, but you have to go with what you feel is right in your heart. These are just a small fraction of what Shirley Manson’s words have taught me.

“This little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine.”

Music is my light. Be a beloved freak. Don’t let the fuckers push you around and don’t let anyone ever tell you how you should be x

Garbage-Big Bright World (video.)

There’s not much I can actually say about this song, this video other than it is fucking amazing. Shot in black and white, with splashes of colour every so often. The video shows Shirl as beautiful as ever. For me, Garbage have always made songs that sum up my life. For every ugly and vulnerable feeling possible- they have made a song about it. It’s fair to say their songs are the soundtrack to my life. Garbage have always given me hope and provided the words when I had none. I’m not one for needing, but I know I will ALWAYS need Garbage in my life, there’s no doubt about it. They’ve been my crutch and force of hope when I had nothing. That will never change. They just mean everything to me. Big Bright World is taken from Not Your Kind Of People, which is probably the best album of the year.

“You’re a satellite around my heart.”

Garbage-Not Your Kind Of People.

“I sat myself down, and shot my fear in the face.”

Good things come to those who wait. Bad things happen whilst you wait. You fall apart, but you pick yourself up by going back to the previous ones. The ones that saved you once before. But you’re looking for something else to pick you up. Not just to pick you up- but to keep you up. It’s alright to be weak, it’s alright to shake your head at all you see and want something more. It’s okay to have a breakdown every now and then. Tears do not mean defeat. Tears do not mean weakness. Waiting and waiting and waiting. You wait for everything. Anything. Just something. Cast a lifeline in the shape of a song. In the shape of a record by your favourite band.

Garbage have owned my heart since 1995. I honestly don’t know if I could give it to anyone but them. I don’t think any band have ever made me feel so okay with being who I am before. I’m going to be utterly personal with this, so if you want a standard album review- go elsewhere. I can’t remove myself from Garbage. You see, Garbage put their all into what they do- what kind of fan would I be if I didn’t put all I had into writing about this FUCKING INCREDIBLE RECORD?! I wouldn’t be a fan, really.

So here’s the thing. You probably know how much I love them. You know how Shirl read my piece on Bleed Like Me last year (if you ever want to see me smile like a mental person, bring that up.) As I write this, I’m listening to Control and I am fighting off tears. I don’t want to be crying over something so accurate. I don’t want to relate, but I do. And because I can relate, I believe again. Fucking hell Shirl, are you in my head again? Don’t ever leave. Just don’t.

I wish I could write this in a way that seemed eloquent and worthy of your time. But all I can do is just listen to this intensely and in awe of every member. I just have no idea what is going on inside, all I know is that I am hearing the songs that will mean as much to me as all previous songs have done. I feel as if my body is going to explode and my mind is heading that way too.

Okay so you’ve already heard Blood For Poppies and Battle In Me, and if you have your wits about you- you will know that they are perfect. They show Garbage at their most beautiful. I’m currently listening to Beloved Freak. It is doing to me what Run Baby Run, Right Between The Eyes, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing and So Like A Rose have all done. It is making me feel less alone with people a huge fuck up. It making me feel more human about my constant mistakes, that are dragged up. I try to bury them, well..don’t we all. Beloved Freak will probably be the new anthem for us Darklings. It is like Shirl is guiding us through hell, telling us all that it is going to be okay. She’s living proof that through all the self-destruction and self hate- you can become the person you were always meant to be. To call her my role model is an understatement. There is no word good enough to describe what her and her words have done for me.

I listen to this record, and I feel like I did when I first heard them in 1995. I was only 9 years old then, and it was at the time when my dad died. Garbage got me through. Since then they have been my constant beacon of hope. My solid way of dragging myself through life with a “Fuck you, I won’t give up” kind of outlook. But like anyone else, giving up does seem like an option. But when you hear all this fight in Shirl’s voice, it makes it impossible for you to even fathom the concept of throwing in the towel and going back into yourself.

What I love about Garbage is how aggressive and passionate they are. Their song, Special, to this day is so apt. I look at people I used to know and how they parade themselves about in such a pretentious way- what happened to you? You used to be one of the good ones. But it’s okay, at least I know Shirl has experienced that same level of disappointment. This mentality that Garbage have, and if you;re a Darkling you too have adapted this attitude, it gives you strength. For me, that’s what Not Your Kind Of People is all about. It is about developing a sense of self, overcoming, putting up a fight and never ever giving in. But surely, that’s what all their records are about? Of course. But there is something bolder about Not Your Kind Of People that makes you stand a bit taller with no doubt at all taking over. This record is going to give you everything you’ve been trying and fighting to find.

Sugar and Control I feel are going to be the songs I have on a constant loop. I used to be petrified that I could identify so much with their lyrics, but I then realised it was so far from being a bad thing. It is something I shouldn’t fear. Since falling in love with Garbage in 1995, I have played their music every single day. Even if it is just one song to make sure I get through the day, I still play their music. With their muchly anticipated album about to come out, knowing that this wait is over just means the world to me. Waiting this long for something is enough to drive a person crazy. But for Garbage, I will wait.

If I could thank Steve, Duke, Butch and Shirl for what they have done for me..not just with Not Your Kind Of People but since 1995 I truly would. I feel like their shittiest fan though, because I’m not going to see them on their tour in a few months. Not having any money is slowly pissing me off (alright it is quickly pissing me off!) I have every bit of faith that one day I will get myself to a Garbage show and I will be singing until I feel like my throat is bleeding to the songs that saved my life, and give me life.

Garbage-Blood For Poppies (video.)

I woke up feeling delicate and hungover. I decided I wasn’t hungover, I was still appreciating the night before. I rid myself of this feeling by standing in the shower playing Explode by Uh Huh Her a few times until I felt like I was human again. I had two cups of tea in the space of 10 minutes. Did it work? Pretty much, yes. However I can add something else to my cure. The new video by my beloved, my lifeline- Garbage.

Shot in black and white, yeah I guess it reminds you of their video to Queer. The video is beautiful. Each member is stunning, and I could feel myself just falling in love over and over with the band. Times have been tough and shit for me recently, but I’ve been clinging onto the new Garbage stuff (and old) to get me through. By get me through, I mean dragging me up from this rut and into something better. You’ve got to believe that there is something better and it will pick up otherwise, you’re as good as dead. Not that I feel alive (I guess you can call this an emotional hangover kicking in now.) It’s just, Garbage are not just a band to me. They saved my life during my teenage years. Since I was 8 years old my heart has firmly been theirs. I’ve given a part of myself to them that I don’t think I could give a person. Not because I’m a cold person (far from it) but because the love you give to a band is like the love you get from a pet. A pet adores you and expects nothing from you. Just shelter and love. Garbage are my protection. Garbage are my one true love. You know, when Shirl read my article on Bleed Like Me and told me it made her cry- that was the only time I felt like I’d done something right. I felt like all my years of struggling as a writer were suddenly worth it. My hero has seen my work- does it get better than that? No. No amount of money in the world can top that. I am not moved by material things. I’m not sure if I’m going to get a chance to see them on their tour this Summer. If I do, I’ll probably have to go it alone. I don’t think anyone I know needs to see me be an emotional mess. I NEED to see them because I am in need of that feeling you get when you see the band that saved your life live.

Anyway, I guess I just used this as a way to express my love and devotion for a band that have always been there for me when I felt like a hopeless mess. Garbage have given me hope and strength. They gave me the guts to speak up and to stand by everything I believe in. Follow your heart, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. That’s what they’ve taught me. Forever in debt. Forever theirs.


Garbage-Battle In Me.

I’m just torturing myself by listening to this, because I’m going to be missing out on their tour. I’ve been waiting so long to see my ultimate heroes live..but I guess I’m going to have to wait this one out-again. Obviously I’d welcome someone saying, “Hey, here’s a ticket go see the band that saved your life.” It won’t happen. There’s more chance of me marrying Alison Mosshart really..actually, there’s more chance of…fuck it, it’s not going to happen. I can’t think of anything.

Battle In Me, in my very biased opinion is incredible. Garbage are one of the few bands I love that have NEVER done a song that I think “Oh this is weak.” I love everything they have done, and everything they do.

That raw sound they had on their debut record and on Version 2.0 is alive on Battle In Me. I’ve heard some say “Oh they’ve gone back to that sound.” Garbage do have a sound, but you cannot define it with any of their records. It goes beyond being a sound. It is an attitude, a way of thinking and a way of living.

I’m not ashamed to say that I probably would be here if it wasn’t for Garbage. They’re not just a band to me, they’re a lifeline. And those that have loved them from the start know exactly what I mean.

Battle In Me is powerful, raw and passionate. Everything I love about them and more.

Garbage-Blood For Poppies.

If you trawl the internet, you will find a new track from one of my favourite bands of all time.

Blood For Poppies has caused my body to have some kind of spasm. I cannot feel a thing. I feel stuck. I don’t want to move. I just want to keep playing this over and over. I don’t want anything else to be blaring into my ears right now apart from this song.

What does Blood For Poppies sound like? It sounds like Garbage in the 90s. Aggressive, loud, passionate and unapologetic. I say it sounds like them in the 90s, but they have ALWAYS sounded like this. This is why I love them. They say all the things I probably don’t have the guts to say right now, but it is still there. They say the things that I just wish I could drag out of my tongue, but for some reason I just can’t. Shirl says it better than I ever could anyway.

I’m not putting the link up here just incase it isn’t meant to be out yet, but you’re not stupid. If you want to hear it, you’ll find your own way of doing so right?

I cannot wait to go out and buy their new record. I’m determined to be really mental and take out a loan so I can follow them on a tour. I’d love to do that, and write about it. But, my guess is that the bank would laugh at me and tell me to go away. Typical.

What you need to know is this. Garbage are back. They are just as important as before, and I am so confident that their new record will just show how vital they are, and that their time away was worth it. It has ached not having a new Garbage record in so long, but there is no way in Hell that the new record, Not Your Kind Of People will be nothing short of stunning and probably inspiring.

Butch, Shirl, Steve, Duke; I am ready for you to change my life once more.