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.

Shirley Manson.

“I think it’s a great thing to have failed in life and then pulled yourself up by the boot straps and actually done something, because then you appreciate it more.”

Here’s to the first woman (aside from my mum) that I remember admiring and wanting to be just like. A few years later, I added Patti Smith to my list. Basically, I admire strong people who talk from the heart. I do that, but I’m labelled various expletives. I’ll never win, I’ve accepted this. So, I’m going to try my best to write down why I think and feel Shirley is so fucking influential.

About a month ago I wrote about Bleed Like Me. Shirl saw it, and cried. If she sees this and cries again then I’m going to have to buy her flowers aren’t I? I’m doing this for many reasons- but the main one being, her lyrics have given me hope. I do feel ashamed to say that they saved my life. I’d probably be dead if it wasn’t for her lyrics. To this day, they have been the only band to sum up every good and bad feeling I have ever felt. The hope and drive their music has instilled in me goes beyond my own comprehension. So with that in mind, this is sort of like my “thank you” to Shirley. And in a way, I guess I hope to make someone else who looks up to her, feel less fucking alone with it. Let’s face it, we live in a time where having certain feelings are made to be hushed. No. Don’t let them shut you up anymore. Listen to a Garbage song, and it will place some courage in you. It has done it for me so many times. I’m probably going to have to cry after writing this hah..or I’ll just go look at cute photos of Snow Leopards again. Or have a cup of tea. Who knows. Maybe I’ll do all three. I’m so wild.

I remember seeing a Garbage video on the tellybox for the first time. I was in awe. I think the first time, the music just went over my head. I was utterly and completely enthralled with Shirley from the start. The video appeared again a few days later I guess, and the music..the song just stayed with me. I was only about 7 or 8 years old, but I just connected. I have this horrific trait where I am entirely empathetic, it’s pathetic. It never does me any favours, no matter what. I don’t learn though.

Why is Shirley such an influential force? How long have you got? No I’m deadly serious. There are not many things that hold my attention. Not because I’m ignorant, but because I find it hard to focus most of the time. Yet, I can sit in silence and read a book- no problem. I’ve learnt to not question my mind and what I do anymore. I love Shirley so much because everything she does and says is with the utmost honesty, pride and passion. She says things that can drag you out of the fiery pits of Hell and so you can feel comforted- because she has been there too. These are the factors that make a person believable. Speak from experience, and people will listen. I listen to songs like Medication, You Look So Fine, Metal Heart and I just feel like someone is summing up past feelings. Present feelings too at times. Some people go to a friend for advice. I go listen to Garbage because her lyrics say all I cannot get out of my mouth. Always on the tip of the tongue, and that is where they seem to stay. I frustrate myself, but whatever. I’m human.

Shirley is influential in my eyes because, she makes you feel okay with having feelings. If you’re pissed off- say so. If you feel happy- let it out. She makes you feel normal (the hell is normal anyway, I know) with however you are feeling. Sure it isn’t okay to feel low. But it is healthy to have a balance of feelings. Today you may feel trapped, but tomorrow something may happen to make you smile. You just don’t know. And the never knowing part keeps me alive. That’s what Garbage’s music did. I didn’t exactly have the best teenage years (did anyone?!) and Shirl’s lyrics made it a little bit easier. I’m 25 years old now, and some say being an adult is easy. It isn’t. Nothing is easy, why should it be? Her lyrics taught me so much. From accepting I was different to appreciating the fact that I HAVE to stick around and push myself- but do not let anyone push me around. Sure at times I let people walk over me, but I’ve grown to be so cautious of people. Trust is like love- do not give it away unless you are so sure. Just another thing I learnt from Shirley’s lyrics.

It is important to be true to yourself and stop hiding. This goes for anything. You can take it as sexuality if you want to, that’s totally fine. But ALWAYS be honest with yourself. It is okay to feel. I’m just regurgitating all the things that Shirley’s lyrics have taught me, and I don’t think I can full explain it all in one go. But I am trying.

I’m still holding on for a Garbage UK tour this year. It’s going to happen, right? It has to. I’ll be at the front shouting every lyric back to the band with all I have. Singing the songs that saved my life and gave me some meaning to it. I’ll be a crying mess, I don’t care at all. With every interview I have read and watched with Shirley, I have always taken something from it. You see, females are frequently subjected to being a certain way in the media. You MUST dress this way, and if you don’t then you are not good enough. Bullshit. I’m not buying into that. I’ll stick to my dark make-up, black jeans and Doc Martens. Fuck what society tells you to be, just be YOURSELF. Yes, another thing Shirley Manson has been teaching me since I was 7 or 8 years old. Do your best to keep yourself strong, but remember it is okay to be weak. I have to carry this around a lot. I listen to Garbage’s music, and sometimes I think what would’ve happened if I never listened to them? Would I have been forever lost? I don’t know. I don’t know if I want to know.

I’m writing this listening to Garbage and I cannot help but think I haven’t done Shirley justice with this. That I have missed something out. The struggles in the past she has spoken out on make her someone you can easily connect with. She changed my life and I’ve never met her. If I did, I think all I’d be able to say would be “Thank you.” Maybe that’d be enough. You should always show your appreciation for another in the best way you know how. No, I don’t mean stalking the person you like and yelling “I REALLY ENJOY YOUR FACE.” That’s too far..and creepy.

Everyone has that ONE person who is their definition of inspiring. The person they wish they could be as strong and passionate as. I firmly believe you should be yourself and never emulate others. Admiring and emulating are two different things, but can easily be twisted and misjudged. When I grow up, I want to have the strength and courage Shirley has. Live through it, and don’t be ashamed of who you are. If I realised all this when I was in my teens I would’ve saved myself a lot of..well, shit basically. But, I like to think the older I get the more I understand.

I feel I have missed so much out, but it has all come from the heart. I feel there is so much more I could say as to why she’s so influential and important but right now, this is all I have. I know there’s more just dying to be poured out, and I’m sorry- but for now..this is all there is.

All I know is that I wouldn’t have so much strength and fight in me if it wasn’t for Shirley Manson. I’d do as I was told and I’d accept “No, you cannot do that” or “No, you cannot be that” if it wasn’t for Shirley. Stand-up and speak out. Shout if you have to. But for fucks sake, do not let them take anything from you. Ever.

“It’s a torturous time, when you learn almost everything you really have to know about survival. The important thing to remember when you are living through it, however, is that you have absolutely no idea quite how smart and strong and beautiful the pain will make you. So go forth and suffer…. you’ll rule the world.” 

Thank you Shirley. Just..thank you. Again.

Garbage-Bleed Like Me.

I haven’t missed out beautifulgarbage, I wrote about that a few months ago. I decided to go through all of Garbage’s album because they’re easily one of the most important bands to me. Probably THE most important band to me. For so many reasons. Reasons which I probably won’t ever be able to put into words, because I am utterly useless with words. Anyway.

I remember the day so clearly when I went to buy Bleed Like Me in April 2005. I was in College, and I decided I’d go to my morning lessons but come lunchtime-I would leave for the afternoon. The week before I had saved my lunch money up in order to buy this album. This album was much needed at that point in my life. I had to decide if I wanted to go to Uni or not (I did, thankfully) and what I was going to do with my life. I was approaching adulthood, dragging and digging my heels into the ground. I didn’t want this; but at the same time, I didn’t want to feel how I was feeling anymore. That year and a few before I was so unhappy. I’ll never know why (maybe I do, I don’t know) but it was awful. However, the torment was worth it. It builds you up and gives you a certain kind of strength that no other could ever give you. A sense of accomplishment. Like, “If I can live through this, I can live through anything.” It’s something I cling onto when I feel the need. Most of the time, I just let it sway and carry on.

So, that Monday lunchtime I took the bus from College to town. I went straight to the G section (I was going to say spot but thought better of it) of the records, and I picked it up. I picked up Bleed Like Me. I looked at it with longing, wanting eyes. I felt as if I was buying something so sacred. Something that would change something inside of me. It did. I paid for it, and hurried to the bus stop so I could get home and listen to the record. However, with such great things comes a setback. The bus stop before my house- my mum gets on. Panic takes over me, and I start to think of an excuse. I knew that if I spoke, word vomit would just occur. So I told her the truth. I told her I skipped my afternoon lessons because I had to buy the Garbage record, and I wanted to just spend the rest of the day listening to it. Her reply? She smiled, gave me a hug and said “That’s my girl.” I was never so proud to have been so honest with anyone. My mum understands how vital music is to me. It’s on a par with oxygen. Without it; I’m dead. I’m nothing.

I remember listening to it, and just feeling so much. The intro to Bad Boyfriend caused my head to spin. The guitar thrashed my skull. I felt every pounding of the drum in my heart. My attention was then drawn onto Run Baby Run and Right Between The Eyes. Those two songs were a lifeline for a long time when this album came out. They still are now. The words to both songs are something I hold so very dear to me. The way Shirl sings, “Stay alive, my love.” It just made me feel as if she was singing it to me. That I had to just stay alive, because it wasn’t going to be this dark and awful forever. This record wasn’t as vulnerable and painful as the previous three. This record felt like a healing process. As if someone was coming to terms with life, and starting to live. That’s how I felt then about the record, and it’s how I feel about it now still. It just feels like a weight being lifted off one’s shoulders listening to this record. It gives you a sense of strength. It pulls you through.

Bleed Like Me was probably the hardest song for me to listen to. When you can identify to some of the characters that Shirl sings about, it is quite hard to take in. You see yourself differently, and you become quite cautious of how others may see you. You felt alone before with how you felt about what you did/do- then you hear this song, and it makes you see that you are not alone. There’s others out there that are bleeding the same way as you. It makes you feel less ashamed living with it because someone else is your voice. Someone else, who has lived through it, has come through and is your beacon of hope. They have given you the strength that you never thought you had. You owe it to yourself to pull through, because others will let go of your hand when it gets rocky. “Try to comprehend, that which you’ll never comprehend.” No one else gets it, no matter how hard you try to explain- they just don’t get it. They label you all kinds of things. Things that aren’t true. But Garbage know the truth; they’re speaking it for you.

Happy Home breaks my heart. It feels like a huge realisation of something. You’re going to have to decide for yourself what this is though. I love the massive instrumental euphoric build-up within the last few minutes of the song. It makes you feel so alive, and close to something. Again, you’ll have to decide what exactly. This is another favourite of mine, especially lyrically.

It’s All Over But The Crying is probably my favourite off the record. It is so heartbreaking, and you will weep your heart out to it. When Shirl sings, “Everything you think you know, baby, is wrong.” Just instantly reaches you to the very core. Lyrically, it’s one of my favourite Garbage songs. The first verse contains a lyric, that I can hand on heart say, it is the lyric I identify so much with- especially from a Garbage song. It just made me, I have no idea. I guess it saved me. This record fucking saved me : “Certain things turn ugly when you think too hard. And nagging little thoughts change into things you can’t turn off.”  It is so true. It was apt in 2005, and I think it always will be. I use this line to make sure I don’t dwell on certain things. I don’t want nagging thoughts ruling my mind anymore. I use this line as a reminder. I feel as if I am in eternal debt to Shirl for this song. This record.

Metal Heart just oozes vulnerabilty, “I wish I was half as good as you think I am.” I challenge anyone to have never felt this way. I feel like it a lot of the time. I’m not afraid to admit it. Does that show strength? What does it make me? I have no idea. Maybe I have the answers buried deep down inside of me. I’m 25, I don’t need to know just yet. All I have to do is learn.

Sex Is Not The Enemy, Boys Wanna Fight, Why Don’t You Come Over are massive anthems for this record. They pour out a sense of FUCK YOU. I’VE GOT MY FREEDOM. You can’t take that from a person. You can trap their body all you want; but their mind is the thing you cannot tame or take from them. I adore every single record by Garbage, but this album for me, is like a huge release of everything negative. The healing and self acceptance started for me with this record. This record gave me the courage to go to Uni and do something for me. It gave me the chance to heal, be free and happy. I’d have been a confined mess if it wasn’t for this record. There are two lines from Right Between The Eyes that I always seem to have floating around my head :

“Why do you like to give them what they want, they like to watch you as you fall apart.” and “People kill to build you up, and they’ll stab you in the back like that.”

They’re just to simple lines that mean so much to me.

I cannot discuss this album without mentioning the lead single, Why Do You Love Me? The intro, the damn riff, the drums, the lyrics- EVERYTHING about this song made me so excited about their return in 2005. I was so so happy. This song is so fragile, and typically Garbage. The music and the lyrics are aggressive, frail and to the point. I love that Shirl has never sugarcoated her words. She hits you right in the gut. The first verse has some brilliant lyrics, ones that I have always found comforting and can stil relate to, and will probably always relate to: “I’ve done ugly things and I have made mistakes. And I am not as pretty as those girls in magazines. I am rotten to my core if they’re to be believed.” There will never come a time where I don’t feel a connection to those lyrics.

Well, I think I have written more than enough about this life changing and remarkable record. We all have that one record that means more than the world to us. This record made you feel alive when you felt so fucking dead and numb inside. The record that saved your life in ways nothing or no one else could ever come close to doing. This record (I want you to think about this record, and I want you to shut the world off- and go listen to it. In the dark, with headphones in.) This record is your life. It was the reason you kept going. It still is. This record gives you a sense of peace, and comforts you more than anything else ever has. You’d give anything to tell those who made the record what it means to you, but you may not have any way of doing so. That’s okay; just keep playing the record, and STAY ALIVE.

Garbage-Garbage.

You can always associate certain songs or albums with specific parts of your life. Good or bad; there is a song or album that you can associate with it.

For me, Garbage are the band that I can link to anything and everything in my life. It doesn’t matter what, I can probably find a Garbage song to tie in with however or whatever I am feeling at that time. Their ability as a band to just get to the very core of human nature and the feelings we feel has always amazed. The first song I heard by them was, I think, Vow. I know it was the first video I saw. This was then followed by Stupid Girl and Only Happy When It Rains. All three of these videos just cemented my immediate love and admiration for Shirley Manson. I’ve always (jokingly, to an extent) said she was the reason why I turned out to be gay. She was probably the first female I had an insane crush on. I was just in awe and in love with how strong she was. How she would word things, her mannerisms. Her accent. Just everything. I probably also wished to be as strong and fearless as her. I probably still do. She also made it okay to feel scared and vulnerable. All things that make us human, she made it okay for me to feel them and to feel that way. I was no longer afraid of what I was feeling. Any shame I felt faded in time as I took in every single word she sang.

Their debut album, at the time didn’t really have much meaning to me as I was only 9 years old. I didn’t know anything about anything. All I knew was that I loved music, Spiderman and football. I know my favourite artists at the time were Garbage, Aaliyah, The Cure and Kraftwerk. I was the only 9 year old at my school who could name all the members of The Cure and Garbage. I’m sure the rest of my class could’ve probably told you everything and anything about the Spice Girls…were they around in 95? I can’t remember. I wasn’t a fan, so I can’t tell you.

Only Happy When It Rains later became a song that I could highly relate to. I was only content when everything was shit, because it was the only way I could focus on anything. Thankfully, I grew out of that phase. I guess you can call that teenage angst with a large dose of frustration. I could tell you what I was frustrated towards; but let’s be honest here, you don’t need to know. Unless you’re a really really close friend or a potential partner- you don’t need to ever know. The song for me, just summed up how feeling so low about yourself and life can be the most challenging thing a person can go through. I’ve never had depression, just your standard self loathing. The way in which Shirley worded topics such as depression made you feel as if you were going through it. The best thing a song-writer can do is make the listener feel as if they are part of what they are singing. If you can feel as low as the singer, they have done their job. I adore the line, “You can keep me company as long as you don’t care.” When I hear this line, I always feel a smirk emerge across my face, I have no idea why. It just happens.

As Heaven Is Wide contains one of my favourite lyrics from the album, and quite possibly one of my favourite lyrics of all time : “If God’s my witness, then God must be blind.” What is it about this line that I obsessively dig? Well, I love how simple yet straight to the point it is. You see, I don’t really believe in God or any God. I’m more on the Spiritual side. So, how can God be your witness if He maybe, doesn’t exist? If He’s not there, He can’t see it. I’m not anit-Religion at all. We all need something to believe in. Music is my Religion. I just love the line. I regard Shirl as high as Patti Smith when it comes to her songwriting. Both has this haunting poetic ability with their words and phrases. It just leaves you in awe with how they word everything. You are sucked so deeply in their world because of what they say. You never want to leave at all. You’ve got songs such as Dog’s New Tricks which has one of the most honest and brutal lines I’ve ever heard, “You make me feel so worthless.” You know of someone who makes you feel that way, right?

I love the fragility on the song Milk. For me, this shows Shirl at her most vulnerable. It’s so pure and heartbreaking. “But I’d be love and sweetness, if I had you.” Show me a line that is more open and vulnerable than that. Can you? Maybe you can. That’s okay. The whole album seems to possibly be their most open. Maybe it is because its their first LP. Milk has always meant a lot to me. I know a lot of their songs do, but this one. I don’t know. I remember first hearing it and just feeling like I was in a trance, much like how A Stroke Of Luck makes me feel. Both songs just send you into some kind of whirlwind of uncertainty and comfort. You don’t know what you are feeling exactly; but you are comforted by the fact that someone else feels the same way too.

I cannot write about this album without mentioning two songs. Queer and Stupid Girl. Where do I start. When I heard Queer, I was instantly hypnotised by the intro. As soon as Shirley started singing, I felt this wave of security take over. Like, it was okay to feel strange or be strange. It’s not a song that I can relate to as much as the others, but it has always been a favourite. “You learn to love the pain you feel.” That’s one of the many lyrics by the band that has always stayed with me from the very first listen. It’s true. People become so transfixed with how awful they feel; they learn to love feeling bad. I don’t understand, but I’ve seen it happen.

Stupid Girl, everyone loves this song. Just like everyone can relate this song to someone they know. Everyone knows someone who is so fucking attention seeking and vile with their ways to get attention. Whether it is parading around as if the world owes them or putting up the most self-centered status up on a social networking site. We all know someone who we would gladly slap due to their horrific ways. Yet, they probably know that you can see through their act. You know that their ways are so stupid; and so do they. They just want the attention because they cannot live without it. I don’t understand people who want attention at all. Why would you want people to constantly notice you? No thanks. I’ll just stay in the background and watch it all happen. Take it in and be glad I’m not the one who’s showing off like a stroppy kid at a birthday party. I loved the video to this. I loved how raw but basic it was. “You pretend you’re anything, just to be adored.” Such a bloody good line. The whole song is just perfect from start to finish.

This was the record that made me realise that music HAD to be my life. It made me realise that this band were going to be the ones responsible for getting me through Hell and back for the rest of my life. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

Garbage-Version 2.0

If I could convey my love for Garbage in an articulate manner, I would. But I can’t. I will never ever be able to fully express my love for them. They were the first band I remember being so obsessed and in love with. I remember first seeing the video to Vow and being in awe of Shirley Manson. I was only 9 or 10, but I knew I was watching something so powerful. I just knew that this band were going to be MY band. The band that started my obsession with music. The band that dragged me kicking and screaming through my teenage years.

Their second record, Version 2.0 is probably the one I hold the most emotional attachment to. It came out a few months before I entered Hell, which others may call, Secondary School. This record got me through the most awful days I could imagine. I don’t want to go into detail, but I know without this record I probably would’ve turned out worse. Or done a lot worse. I have no idea. I don’t need to think about it; I’m just glad I had this band as my only safety net.

As I’m a lot older now, I can listen to this record and appreciate it in a different way. Of course I still use the songs to pull me through when I just want to stay in bed and not be bothered by anything or anyone. I’ve always felt that Shrirley Manson was writing her songs about me. I guess we all feel like that when we feel so connected to a piece of music or a band. We feel as if they are spilling our hearts out for us because we really have no way of doing it ourselves. As I listen to songs such as Dumb, Medication and The Trick Is To Keep Breathing- it just makes me relieved that I didn’t fuck everything up completely for myself. That I used music (more importantly this record) to be the only positive thing that I could fall back on.

I will ALWAYS be able to relate Special to certain events, and certain people. We all know of someone that we used to think was so special and worthy of our love, and whatever else (I don’t mean in just a romantic sense.) But then you find out that they are just like everyone else. They lack an opinion; they follow everyone else because they have no identity. What use is that? What use is not having an opinion or just being different? I suppose people fear being true to themselves because they don’t want others to shun them. I’d rather be abandoned for staying true to myself than being appreciated by a bunch of false people with no heart. Special from the first time I heard it, immediately engraved itself upon my heart. I listen to it when certain things just make me dislike humans. It makes me see that I’m not the only one with these frustrations.

Garbage’s music always allowed me to feel comfortable with who I was/am. Like most people in the world, I’m not really a big fan of myself. I don’t mean this in a way that everyone hates me. I have no idea how anyone feels towards me. I mean it in a, like most people in the world, self-hate sometimes creeps up and causes a whirlwind of uncontrolable feelings. Obviously I’m better than I was. A whole lot better. It probably all came from accepting being gay and the like. That acceptance improved everything. There are good days, and there are bad days; like everyone else. It’s no big deal. Shirley’s words always made me feel less alone with any anger and fury I was feeling. Whether it be towards myself, or someone else. She made it okay. She still does.

What I love about Version 2.0 is that it seems more open than their debut album. Don’t get me wrong, I bloody love every single album of theirs. I’d never be able to pick a favourite without spending at least 5 hours thinking about it. It just seems impossible, but I guess I’d have to pick Version 2.0 due to it being more vulnerable and open. Songs like Medication just ooze so much despair; it just sounds like a huge plea for help. There was a time where listening to this song was just too much. There’s an acoustic version I once heard. It was enough to break one’s heart. Shirley’s voice just went tright through me. She just sound so hurt and as if she was begging to be helped. It made you want to reach out and help her. That’s the power and beauty of music.

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing and You Look So Fine are two of my favourite Garbage songs. You Look So Fine is a song anyone can link to anyone they have liked; but they may/may not like you back. You see this person standing there right in your eyeshot. They may not be able to see you. You see them looking so beautiful. You want to give them something to show you want them. What’s the most prized thing you can give to another? Your heart, metaphorically of course. You want to take away their broken heart, and give them your own. That’s how much they mean to you. That’s how much you want them. Deny it all you want, but you know you’ve felt this way before. Maybe more times than you wish to remember. It’s okay. Just don’t give yourself to anyone. You have to be sure, always.

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing is a song that just makes me feel as if Shirley is saying, ‘It’s okay. Keep breathing; it’ll all be okay.’ My feelings go deeper than that for this song but I have always struggled trying to word my feelings about this song. So, I guess I won’t even try. If I still can’t do it, I probably never will be able to. The opening verse always hits me right in the heart :

“She’s not the kind of girl,
Who likes to tell the world,
About the way she feels about herself.
She takes a little time,
In making up her mind.”

The songs on the album make you feel as if you’re not the only person to have experienced disappointment or that you’re not the only person that gets judged, or whatever. Songs like Dumb just show Shirl’s frustrations in, how a person tries to figure you out- they figure you out, and they probably wish they didn’t. It’s always the way. Some people- people cannot handle. Then they have no idea what they mean to someone nor do they know what they think. I suppose it is just human nature.

I adore the honesty on Wicked Ways. “Lord knows I tried to be good. I’d keep my promises, if only I could.” We’ve all felt that way. We are all capable of doing bad things. Some of us act on it, some of us don’t. Promises are probably made to be broken anyway. Why bother? Just keep trying. The way she sings about Religion in the Chorus, showing how people will cling onto some kind of figure to feel a sense of security. They want something to believe in so much, they are willing to pour hope into something they have never seen. Some may regard their lyrics to be controversial.

Personally, I feel their bold take on things is much needed. It was needed then, and it is needed now. I firmly believe that their new record will be just as bold, honest and pure. Every record they have put out is full of this; that’s why I love them. That’s why they changed and saved my life.

The Importance Of Garbage.

I have probably wrote this article before on my blog, but I just feel the need the show my love and admiration for Shirley Manson again. To be honest, I doubt I will ever stop. Shirley Manson is someone I regard as highly as Patti Smith. Her words, her voice, her beauty- they mean so much. She’s my female Morrissey. Her words have been comfort in my darkest hour. Her words got me through teenage angst onto the frustrations of adulthood. Aged 24, fast approaching 25, her words are still having the same effect on me as they did the first time I heard them.

I remember seeing the video to Only Happy When It Rains on MTV in 1995/1996 and I just sat staring. Legs crossed on the floor and staring at what was in front of me, I was in awe. I was in some kind of trance. I felt hypnotised, and I didn’t want to snap out of it. Since the start, Garbage has been a band I have adored. They were more than likely the first band I felt this connection to. My connection to Morrissey came a few years later.

What is it that I adore about Shirley Manson? More than anything, her strength and honesty. I don’t need to divulge into all she has been through, she’s been open about her past and struggles. Some I can relate to more than I wish to- which is why her lyrics are engraved upon my heart. I have cried my eyes out to The Trick Is To Keep Breathing, I have felt less alone whilst listening to Medication, I have felt hope whilst listening to Run Baby Run and Right Between The Eyes. Every single Garbage album I can associate with a certain time in my life, there’s not many artists I feel this for. Yes, the odd song here and there- but with Garbage, it’s something deeper than that.

The songs about despair, doubt, self loathing, love, pain, hate, hurt- every single feeling that is humanly possible to feel, one feels from listening to Garbage.

Of course I sound like a lunatic- but I can assure you, I am a friendly and loving one. I, along with many others, probably feel the band isn’t given the credit and respect that they well and truly deserve. Duke, Steve and Butch are fantastic musicians. Utterly fantastic. Shirley, in my eyes, is one of the best front-women ever. She’s on a par with Debbie Harry, Patti Smith- all the greats, she is up there.

Just after Bleed Like Me was released they announced a tour. My mum got me tickets as a birthday present to see them in Edinburgh. I knew it would be the concert that would change my life. I’d cry at every song. I’d sing every single line back at them as if my life depended on it.

The tour was cancelled. My heart broke and I wept. I had been waiting since 1995 for this moment. It never happened. I still cling on with dear life that a new album and tour will happen. I have that much faith. It has to happen.

I remember the day Bleed Like Me was released. I was in college and I skipped my afternoon lessons that Monday so I could go buy the album. I went to HMV and on the bus journey home I flicked through the booklet and studied it intensely. I got off the bus the stop before my house so I could go buy a can of pop at the shop. As I got off the bus, who did I see? MY MUM GETTING ON THE BUS. She grilled me in loving way, “Why aren’t you at college Olivia?” My reply was, so casually, “It’s Key Skills…I don’t need that for uni besides- Garbage album is out.” She shook her head, smiled and kissed my forehead and got on the bus. My mum knows what music is to me. She knows what Garbage are to me. I suppose anyone else’s mum would drag them back to college and take the CD off them- even worse, make them take it back to the shop. Not my mum, not at all. She just understood.

So I walked home and gave Bleed Like Me all my attention. I played it on my CD player and just lay on my bed playing it over and over. Every single song just took over my soul. I think I had a break down listening to Metal Heart, It’s All Over But The Crying and Happy Home. Happy Home is one of the most euphoric songs by Garbage. The intensely dark build up just blows my mind and takes over me. That’s how I feel whenever I listen to Garbage that something takes over. like I am being told, “It’s going to be alright.” Their music just gives me this blanket of comfort I’ve never found in a human being- much like Morrissey’s music.

Maybe I’m a loser for never finding this in a person. Or maybe I’m just sick of the hurt I see people cause each other that I choose to lose but find myself in music. I like to think it’s the latter.

I don’t wish to sound like Garbage are a band I only associate negative parts of my life to. Far from it. So far from it. If anything they made everything alright and brought me back from the brink when I couldn’t take anymore. I still use The Trick Is To Keep Breathing and Run Baby Run to make myself feel alright when everything goes to shit, and yes- it happens more times than I like it to. But, I am human and I have feelings just like anyone else does. Maybe I have too many, but I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for them. I also wouldn’t be the person I am if I didn’t look up to strong women such as Shirley Manson and my mum.

There will never ever come a time where Garbage aren’t relevant to my life. There will never ever come a time where their music doesn’t influence me or make me feel something I didn’t know I could feel. Beautifulgarbage tugged at my heartstrings and felt like a massive trip into the unknown (I don’t mean in a drug sense, I’ve never done drugs so I wouldn’t know.) Version 2.0 and Garbage were my emotional crutch for so long and still probably are. Bleed Like Me taught me to be okay with the bad parts of me because I’m only human.

I just don’t know where I’d be without them. Everyone has one or two bands that saved their soul and gave them courage. For me, it’s Morrissey and Garbage.

Garbage- beautifulgarbage

Nearly 10 years ago Garbage released their third album, beautifulgarbage. Many seem to have overlooked just how wonderful this album is. October 1st sees the 10 year anniversary of its release, so I’m getting in early (or late…depends on how you look at it) to explain why and how this is a remarkable album that you need in your collection.

 

I was about 8 or 9 when I first heard of Garbage. I remember seeing them on MTV in 1995 and just being in awe of the sound and I instantly fell in love with Shirley Manson. Maybe she’s the reason why I’m gay, or maybe it’s because my mum used to play kd lang around the house- so many reasons, none of which need discussing.

Anyway.

Garbage are one of the few bands I have been a fan with from the start. I grew up with them. I like to think I learnt a lot from Shirley’s lyrics. Songs such as Medication, You Look So Fine, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing, Metal Heart- well they mean the world to me, and I’m not entirely sure if I could even begin to explain how so.

 

Beautifulgarbage opens with Shut Your Mouth. The way Shirley sings here is pretty much like always, “I’ll act like I don’t give a fuck, but I fucking do.” And I think a lot of us live that way, feel that way towards people and their actions. There’s always going to be someone in our lives that we like to act like they do not matter to us anymore, that their actions and words are meaningless- but deep down, it’s the opposite. The feeling fades in time, trust me.

 

The album is full of heartbreaking songs which I feel paint the picture of a horrific break up, I know the vast majority of break ups are horrific but some can be liberating. Either way, someone always gets hurt. Not every song is about a break up here, obviously. Androgyny, So Like A Rose, Parade to name a few aren’t.

Nobody Loves You ends with one of the most gorgeous lines to have ever fallen from Shirley’s mouth, “Coughing up feeling just for you, to find something real to hold on to. But there is a hole inside my heart, where waves of my love come tumbling out.” This is so painfully accurate. I suppose we have all had someone we try to cling onto, and any gaps within ourselves we just urge some kind of feeling- whether it be love or just the ability to care, to just come out. You put all you have into feeling that maybe, you just don’t feel.
“You say that all the good is gone, that I have forgotten who I am. Free as a bird, wild as the wind. But somehow I cannot let you in.”
You see that this person cares for you, but no way and no how- you cannot let them in. I guess some people cannot be let in. It happens to us all, no matter how strong you are.

 

So Like A Rose is euphoric. The build up in these 6 minutes is beautiful and hurtful. There is something about the ending of the song which makes you feel like you are floating through air. “Sleeping with ghosts, it’s such a lonely experience. The stars are out tonight, only they can hear you breathing.” The only comfort you have are ghosts (if you believe in them) and the stars. That’s all you have, but hearing it in this song makes you feel less alone.

 

If there’s one song by Garbage that is going to break your heart, then it’ll be Cup Of Coffee. It opens with such such gut wrenching line, “You tell me you don’t love me over a cup of coffee and I just have to look away.” This pretty much sets the tone for the whole song. Someone tells you it’s over, but the song isn’t about the break up, it’s about what you feel afterwards. The emptiness that this person has left you to feel, all alone. You walk the streets that you know they will walk on, you walk past their home- but you keep going because it hurts too much to stand and look.

“So no of course we can’t be friends, not while I still feel like this. I guess I always knew the score. This is where our story ends.”Then the person wants you to still be friends even though they’ve metaphorically ripped you apart. Friendship? No thanks love, move on. You always knew it would end, because most things do.

 

The album is full of insecurities and the like, which is probably why I hold this album so very close to me. Drive You Home projects these insecurities extremely well. “I got down on myself, working too hard. Driving myself to death, trying to beat out the faults in my head. What a mess I’ve made. Sure we all make mistakes. But they see me so large that they think I’m immune to the pain.” You work so hard and put as much of yourself you can into being better and to stop fucking up, but the truth is- you will fuck up. You’re human, it’s what you do. Yet, people perceive you to be someone who doesn’t feel the pain of mistakes, but you feel it. You feel it more than most. You just know how to hide. “I never said I was perfect, but I can drive you home.” You know you’re not perfect, but who is? But you know that you can make the one you love/care for feel safe, even if you are carrying a shitload of insecurities around with you.

 

The album is gloriously heartbreaking and you need it. It’s as important as Garbage, Version 2.0 and Bleed Like Me. I’ll never understand why beautifulgarbage was always overlooked. Maybe it’s not as raw as the first two albums, but to the true Garbage fan- it’s everything they want. Any album or single, any piece of music they get from Garbage is a blessing. Garbage are like The Smiths- to love them, you love them for life. You don’t just like the one song. You love everything they do. You love the B-Sides such as Trip My Wire and Soldier Through This. Everything they do is important to you. Their lyrics provide comfort on good and bad days. You’d be lost without this band. That’s what makes me love Garbage. They can say how I feel and think, because sometimes I don’t know how to, and that- that is what makes a band like Garbage standout from others. Everyone has a band like this, which means the universe to them.

Garbage

I grew up listening to The Cure, The Smiths, Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday- my mum had/has amazing music taste. But, the first band I remember finding on my own was back in 1995. Garbage. I remember seeing Shirley Manson’s fiery red hair and pale skin and just being in awe. In awe of her beauty, her voice. In awe of Steve, Butch and Duke. This band became my life as I got older.

I was an awkward teenager. I was painfully shy and quiet. I’m an awkward adult. Garbage were my comfort blanket. Shirley Manson sang out my frustrations and all that was getting to me. She was and still is, my role model. I do go on about how I adore Morrissey. Shirley is my female Morrissey. I love them the same amount, and they have both saved me from what I wish to never feel again. Garbage will always be the band I can depend on to get me through shit. Just like Moz/The Smiths.

I couldn’t really pick one song in particular that’s my favourite. I love all of them equally. I wish I could see them live, that’s what I want from life. Guys, make this shit happen yeah? GOOD.

Here’s a few songs by Garbage that I adore, in no order :

Run Baby Run.

It’s All Over But The Crying.

Special.

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing.

You Look So Fine.

Right Between The Eyes.

Milk.

Nobody Loves You.

Also, beautifulgarbage is underrated.

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