I’ve been talking a little about things I’m taking out of my book, Canine (well, okay – things I’m pretty sure will not end up in Canine), and how I’m going through the mourning process for these things here on my blog.
I mentioned the band Ludo and how they make a cameo appearance in the novel. I said that I’ve traveled far and wide to see Ludo because they regularly vie for the top spot on my carefully crafted Favorite Artists list. What I failed to mention is that there’s only one other band in contention for this top spot: My Chemical Romance.
I went 916 miles (round-trip) to see Ludo’s Broken Bride live. I’m about to travel 984 miles to see MCR because MCR has decided to protest our state’s psychotic immigration rules. I can’t blame them really, except that their form of protesting hurts no one but their fans, and that’s sad. But like a kicked puppy I’m still driving the 984 miles with my sister and our friend to see them. And we’re thinking of going to both of MCR’s back-to-back concerts that weekend, just in case Saturday ends up being cooler than Friday.
I wrote Ludo into Canine as a plot point. MCR features much less prominently in Canine, but they show up everywhere in all my other stories. My characters regularly use MCR lyrics as a way to talk to each other and express their love for each other. This is in part because my dear sweet husband, who would never naturally be inclined even to tolerate this kind of music, has learned that throwing contextual lyrics into his conversations is the fastest way into my heart. It really works. I am incapable of staying mad at him when he pulls out MCR lyrics.
For those of you unfamiliar with My Chemical Romance, they’re a self-described punk/emo band (though they often bemoan the term ‘emo’ and how it’s used colloquially). One of my characters once described their music in the following way:
“I mean I know it’s probably a standard of the genre that everyone says they like it for some reason counter to that of everyone else, but I always say it’s hilarious. It just cracks me up – throw in three chords and a high pitched voice and a vocabulary limited to blood and corpse and vampire and I hate my mom and dad because no one understands how not okay I am… It’s great. And you gotta be able to throw yourself around to a song or it’s not worth the bother.”
That’s just about MCR’s entire MO in a nutshell. My favorite song of all time forever (This is no contest. I doubt this will ever change.) is the combination of My Chemical Romance’s It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Death Wish and Cemetery Drive. I can’t tell you why this pair hits me the way it does, except perhaps with some convoluted psychobabble about my clenching fear of death and simultaneous love of irony. I won’t bore you with all that. But you have to love these lyrics:
Well in the end we’ll fall apart
Just like the leaves change in colors
And then I will be with you,
I will be there one last time and
When you go
Just know that I will remember you.
I’ve lost my fear of falling,
I will be with you,
I will be with you.
MCR has been my love since I heard their song Welcome to the Black Parade on the way back from my parents’ house (strikingly similar to my Ludo story, eh?). I already knew of and liked them, but on that particular day I’d been fixing my car with my dad and having a great time of it and it was just one of those weird nostalgia-trip kind of glowing afternoons, and then this song comes on and it has like a single line about this guy’s interaction with his own dad and while nothing at all else is remotely related, that similarity struck me and I went and bought the CD. And so began my hard, fast fall into MCR fandom. Like I said I’m a proud member of the MCRmy and I will be as long as it exists.
But I have this dilemma, see. I love MCR. But I also love Ludo. I can’t figure out my Favorite Artists list because I can’t decide between these two bands. So I made a chart to help me decide which one is better:
click to enlarge
And as you can see, this was no help. I am apparently equally in love with both bands, for entirely different reasons. And that’s just how it has to stay.