Of Butch Walker and taking your own advice

It’s funny how things come full circle. Not 12 hours after I posted yesterday’s entry about not comparing myself to others progress, I got to hear another one of the aerialists give one of the teenagers the exact. same. advice.  I’ve been so hit and miss with classes, I miss a lot of new students who come and go. Last night there were  a couple girls who were high school age. One of them was practicing a drop and the other one started crying out of the blue. From what I understood coming in later in the conversation, she wanted to go to circus school in Montreal. She was lamenting the fact that she started too late and would never be able to do it. This is ignoring the fact entirely that circus classes have only been mainstream for about 3-4 years (I jumped on the bandwagon in 2011 & it was *very* new here at that time). She was talking about how she wasn’t as good as one of her friends who started at the same time and how she’ll never meet all these goals to get into the school. I just sat and listened as the other aerialist told her to stop comparing herself to other people. Stop writing yourself off so quickly. You can’t judge yourself for your past. All you can do is compare yourself to where you were before and look at how far you’ve come. I know it’s hard to internalize that when you’re 15, but I hope she did. Hell, I’m almost twice her age and I have to remind myself of it daily. It never hurts to hear it reinforced, though.

I was introduced to Butch Walker back in his Marvelous 3 days. A friend of mine in 8th grade told me about the album and said she thought I would really like it. I bought it without ever hearing a note of his music prior to that and I’ve been hooked ever since. I give a shoutout to my parents who were letting me listen to music that was decidedly not what a 13 year old should be listening to. Though they’ve always been pretty cool about letting me do not age appropriate things. I saw Halloween for the first time when I was 10. But I digress. Butch’s music has been the soundtrack to my life for over 15 years. “So At Last” off his second solo album Letters, is one  of my favorite songs ever. I sob my eyes out every time he plays “ATL” live (from Sycamore Meadows), including this last time he came through Atlanta about a month ago. I had a seizure early on during the opening acts, but I refused to leave until I heard it. I probably know almost every word to every song he’s written. And I can tell which ones he didn’t write, or someone else had a hand in them, because I like them a lot less (Lord, the man *has* turned me into a snob). More to the point, he wrote a book about 2 years ago covering all manner of sins up to that point. I bought it the day it came out. It got me through healing my rib injury when I was literally in too much pain to do anything but lay in bed or on the couch. Of course, he’s got some hysterical stories which doesn’t help when one can’t laugh without searing pain. An overarching theme in the book is let go, stop taking yourself so seriously, and be open to evolution. Humans are ever changing. Things just go better when you stop trying to control the entire universe and start taking yourself a lot less seriously. For that, among many other reasons, I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Walker. He’s also one of the few people I might fangirl over if I ever meet him. The closest I’ve gotten so far is saying hi to his mom in the bathroom of the Variety Playhouse (again, not as bad as it sounds). Someday…

A list of my favorite Butch songs, both from the M3 days and his solo career in roughly chronological order. Seriously, go look them up on iTunes or YouTube right now. Your ears (and music tastes) will thank you. And if you ever get the chance to see him live, do it.

“Cigarette Lighter Love Song” (best love song ever. This one makes me cry, too)

“If (Jeannie’s Song)”

“So At Last” (as previously mentioned)

“Hot Girls in Good Moods” (appeared on The OC once. I started screaming and pointing because I knew the song)


“ATL” (also previously mentioned)

“The Weight of Her”

“Ponce de Leon” (not because I’ve driven on it or by it a million times in the past 16 years)

“Closer to the Truth and Further from the Sky” (mandatory song to kick off all roadtrips in my world)

“Trash Day”

“Don’t You Think Someone Should Take You Home”

“She Likes Hair Bands”

“Freak of the Week” (sorry Butch, but I still like it after all this time)

“Maybe It’s Just Me”

“Mixtape” (again, sorry Butch)

“Dublin Crow”

“Synthesizers” (didn’t like this one the first time I heard it. It grew on me)

“Bodegas and Blood”

“Summer of ’89” (I’ll blast this driving home from work to get me out of a really shitty mood)

“Day Drunk”

“Coming Home”

“Peachtree Battle” (again, not just because I’ve driven by that street a million times)

“Let It Go Where It’s Supposed To”

And his cover of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”. Definitely better than the original (sorry T-Swift, but does prove my point that country artists do have to actually be able to sing)

Now off to binge on some Butch until it’s time to get some dinner. Hope everyone’s weekend is fab, sparkly, & otherwise awesome.


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