Introduction to This Fickle Heart

My name’s McKenzie and I love music more than anything honestly. I’m not sure what this blog will evolve into but we’ll figure it out along the way. I love all kinds of music so hopefully you can find something you like or can relate to. That’s all I have for this post – keep it short, keep it simple. Nothing but music here on out. Stay tuned.


Day 18: A song from the year you were born

Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

I was born in 1991, a quick Google search lead to this song. This is another song I grew up listening to on the radio. Maybe this is where I would develop my love for the mandolin and folk music…since the mandolin is the lead on this song. The more I think about and read up on this song the more I totally identify with it and wonder if it did in fact play a large role in my life…interesting.

“Stipe told Rolling Stone magazine: “I wanted to write a classic obsession song. So I did.” In addition to calling it a song about “obsession,” Stipe has also referred to it as a song about “unrequited love” in which all actions and words of the object of your obsession are scrubbed for hidden meaning and hopeful signs. The lyrics pretty clearly support this: “I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing. I think I thought I saw you try.”” (Redstar – Redding, CT)

I like to overanalyze things and think of all the possibilities of the meaning of something. I can get a little obsessed with thinking. I’ve gotten better at not being too obsessive throughout the years; I’d like to think at least.

And the line, “Oh no I’ve said too much…I haven’t said enough” is totally relatable. I tend to ramble and babble in an attempt to find the words but when I feel like I’m taking too long or not making sense and I shut up. But I really haven’t even begun to say what I really wanted to.

I don’t know guys…interesting stuff.

This song makes me think of 7th Grade. I went to a Catholic school growing up but I wasn’t Catholic which didn’t seem odd until I got into jr. high. For some reason it randomly become weird and taboo and I felt singled out more for it. It just makes me think of my religion class and my religion teacher and starting to become an angsty teenager and starting to question and challenge things. It would come on the radio and I would just belt it out and always try to point and gesture at a corner.

Favorite Line:
“Oh no I’ve said too much… I haven’t said enough”

Day 17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke

Inside Out – Eve 6

I know this isn’t a duet song but my best friend and I always say whenever we decide to do karaoke together, we would sing this song. It just like what I grew up listening to on the radio. Just a classic alternative grungy song.

I went out with my best friend and a few of her college friends one time for drinks and trivia. Haha, now that I think of this that was the same night I told her I confessed my undying love to my friend that I liked. She was getting ready in her bathroom and I’m pretty sure I was sitting on the toilet (lid closed) and was just telling her what I said and that I sent it in the mail and he didn’t really say anything and I was just like cooooooool. Wow. That memory is so vivid…funny how that happens. Anyways I went out with them and we wind up at a bar where they were doing karaoke. My best friend and her friend were going to sing N’Sync but the song never came on/they were never called up. We were about to call it a night and were getting ready to leave when the song came on. They ran up there and sang it. It was a shitty setup though. Like if you didn’t know the words you had to look the lyrics up on your phone. So they were like kinda singing it while looking up the lyrics and they were both pretty buzzed. It was an interesting night.

But I also think this song came on while we were at the bar and we just looked at each other and started singing it; for like no reason. It wasn’t like we had a memory attached to the song. It was just a quality song that we both knew and loved. Life is weird man and my best friend is the greatest.

Favorite Line:
“Want to put my tender heart in a blender. Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion. Rendezvous, then I’m through with you.”

Day 16: One of your favorite classical songs

Night On Bald Mountain – Mussorgsky

You’ve probably heard this song before in some shape or form. Maybe in Fantasia? Or a scary/horror/Halloween movie?  Maybe a slightly different version arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov? Such a solid composition though. The beginning just comes at you but still manages to build and give you more. It’s aggressive and spin-y and twirly and causes you to lean in then… WHAM hits with the punches.

Now I could have picked a lot of songs for today. I like to tell people that I am “classically trained” which (to me) means that I can read music but I suck at like improvising and jazz and making things up on the fly, etc. etc. That by no means is true for anyone else who would claim to be “classically trained”. I don’t even know if that’s a thing anyone says? I started saying it because I auditioned at Berklee College of Music for college and had to play a jazz piece and improvise and I was SO out of my element (even though I played in jazz band in high school…I was never quite comfortable with it). Spoiler I didn’t get into Berklee. But that’s how I handled my rejection, “Ya know they’re more looking for a jazzy type of gal and you know I’m just like too traditional, too classically trained. I wouldn’t of fit in with the vibe, I get it”. All I mean is I learned how to play music in a classroom, studied music theory, learned my scales, know how to behavior at band/orchestra concert, knew how to construct a concert song wise, what made a march a march, etc. etc. I forgot why I was even telling you guys any of this… Oh so I have a lot of favorite classical songs; grew up listening to them and playing them. I picked this one though because we haven’t had a good memory attached to any of the recent songs. But guys…I got a memory of this one.

So my senior year of high school, I auditioned for All-Regionals. All-Regionals for those of you who are not familiar is basically high school band kids in a particular region who want to audition for a big regional group…so like a band/orchestra made up of kids from a bunch of different towns. Following? I’m sure you got it.

SO I auditioned and got second chair overall. And the way it works is there’s an orchestra and a band; brass, woodwinds, percussion can be in both. SO the person who gets first chair overall gets to pick if they want to be in band or orchestra, then from there it alternates until orchestra is full because you only need like two or three brass and woodwinds in each section. SO the guy that got first chair decided to be first chair in the band, making me first chair in orchestra.

Now, here’s where it gets silly. I played trombone in high school, bass trombone. First chair’s typically have the highest part in terms of range and it makes it’s way down so like second chair is midrange then third chair is the lowest range. I would usually play third trombone parts. AND I had played an actually bass trombone, not just like the third trombone part. I was playing on a trombone that was meant to play in a lower range. AND I had switched over to bass trombone from alto saxophone my freshman year. So it was like a whole thing.

Oh my god, this story is so stupid, haha. Literally no one cares. Whatever.

So I’m sitting first chair in orchestra and we are playing this song. I’m suppose to play loud and high – two things I was not good at. AND the director was kind of an asshole and he basically hated all the band kids. One of my friends who played french horn was playing in the orchestra too and we were struggling. It felt like a boot camp with this guy. It was just a weird dumb experience overall. It felt like they were asking a tuba player to play a trumpet part – okay not THAT dramatic but you get my drift.

Long story short I think about that time I was in All-Regional orchestra trying to keep up and get by every time I hear this song. Love the song, memories are tiring. Ha.

Favorite Line:


*Sorry this story was horrible, I’m so tired. Byeeee.

Day 15: A song that is covered by another artist

Run Away With Me – John Newman (Carly Rae Jepsen cover)

I’ve been in a very romantic daydreamy mood lately. This song is just so sweet and cheery. It makes me want to dance, it makes me want to drive down the highway with the windows down, it makes me want to explore a new city with someone you love….it makes you wanna run away with someone, obviously. The original is especially cheerful and bright. But John Newman’s cover brings a sexier more intimate vibe. I don’t know…the original is like you and your first crush and this cover is like you and your significant other, you know? I don’t know. I love both.

Love the gentle snap build at the beginning there. And when he sings the first verse it’s like he’s having a serious talk with you and wants you to know he means every word he says, slowly convincing you of how he really feels. Then the chorus comes along and it’s like the night skyline lights up and you two are off on an adventure. He sings the verses like you two are having an intimate conversion in the corner and the chorus like he’s shouting from the rooftops about how you make him feel. Am I getting too into this? Reading in to this too much? Am I in love with John Newman? Probably not but like maybe to all of the above.

I’m just single af, guys. Let me seek imaginary romance through music, all right? :]

I shared this song today on Facebook two years ago. So I figured it was a solid choice for today’s song. Again, I don’t really have a memory attached to this.

This came from a BBC Radio Live Lounge session which I am obsessed with. BBC Radio, KEXP Live, Audiotree Live, and NPR Tiny Desk are my favorite outlets to watch live sessions. I fall into these cycles (I know I fall into a lot of cycles) of watching a bunch of live sessions for artists I’m currently obsessed with. I have at least one big binge of Mumford and Sons like quarterly. I just fawn over all these amazingly talented humans and just want to reach out and hug them and tell them they’re doing a great job.

But I mean that’s the only memory I really have tied to this… Makes me think of falling down the hole of artists covering songs on BBC Radio or Triple J’s Live a Version.

Favorite Line:
“You’re stuck in my head, stuck on my heart, stuck on my body, body…”

Day 14: A song that you would love played at your wedding

3 Rounds and a Sound – Blind Pilot

I heard this song today while listening to the Tallest Man on Earth radio on my Spotify and instantly feel in love. Then I realized how perfect it was for today’s song. It sounds so sweet and gentle and “we’re going to be okay” and let me brush the hair out of your face so I can look deep in your eyes and hold onto you tight. Don’t lie you totally get that vibe! It’s like a warm safe huge or cuddling under a warm blanket. AH! It’s beautiful and I’m obsessed.

So…since today was the first time hearing this song I don’t really have a memory attached to it. But I guess I can talk a little more about what it makes me think about and how it makes me feel.

When I heard this I just suddenly felt “okay” and that things will work out. I go through these periods of “I’m going to die alone and never find true love” and “I’m a strong independent women who don’t need no man”. Lately it’s been “I’m a strong independent women but I want to come home to the love of my life and eat chicken nuggets on the couch with too, okay?” It makes me think of the person I like and have always liked. Just imagining us being together and just being silly and cute together. I create these imaginary montages of imaginary things we’ve done together and they all play through perfectly to this song. Does anyone else do that? I can’t be the only one. I’m a pisces…we’re big dreamers, day dreamers especially. But I mean I very well might be a complete and utter oddball, who knows. I doubt it though. I know there’s someone else out there that can easily listen to this song and think similar things, I just know it.

My favorite line “you’re the one I want to see me for all the stupid shit I’ve done” makes me think how perfect it must be to find someone where you can be so unapologetically yourself and not feel bad about it and knowing you have someone who loves you at your core and loves you regardless of the insanely stupid shit you’ve done. Truly beautiful.

And the line “Like whispering ‘you know me'” just helps paint this intimate scene. Like “Hey, so here’s all the absurdly stupid shit I’ve done” and they share the same with you and through this conversation you two are just like, “ughh…you know me…you get it…you get me..I hope we can get this right for the rest of our lives”. UGH, I just love it okay? It’s so romantic and beautiful and paints the loveliest image and depicts this intimate connection two people can have.

Well, that’s just me. I could totally be off base but that’s what it made me think of and how it made me feel. Basically it makes me feel hopeful and content and happy. If it’s not played at my wedding I want it to be the theme song to my love life.

Favorite Line:
“Now I see you to kingdom come you’re the one I want to see me for all the stupid shit I’ve done…”

Day 13: One of your favorite 70’s songs

You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

This song is great, sorry not sorry. I like how it starts off very sneaky. I like the word choice, I think it makes the song a little more interesting. I like how it tells a clear story. I don’t know, I think it appears to be a simple song but is still so great. The guitar solo is solid. The pickup after the guitar solo is solid. The chorus gets built up and amps you up and then the verses kind of mellow out a little and become a little more nonchalant. And I mean got to appreciate the cowbell, you just got to.

Memory with this song…well I kind of grew up listening to Carly Simon here and there. I mean on Dumb and Dumber they sing Mockingbird and my mom also had a Carly Simon greatest hits album. I think I got into Carly Simon because of the movie Little Black Book. In the movie Brittany Murphy’s character would listen to and belt out Carly Simon after a break-up. So I got really into Carly Simon after that movie.

I remember being really obsessed with this song in eighth grade…maybe? And I learned all the words and when we went on our eighth grade trip I would randomly get a group of us to start singing this song. This one kid’s mom who, at the time, I would say I was friends with (I realize how weird that sounds, I don’t know…) we’d sing this song together. I was just so pleased with myself that I knew all the words.

I’m terrified of like actually singing in front of people but one day I will do karaoke and I’m sure this will be a song I’ll have in my back pocket that I can pull out and just dominate. You’ll see, you’ll see….

Favorite Line:
“…but you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me.”

DAY 12: A song from your preteens

Well, well, well look who decided to come back to writing on the ole blog. I really suck at sticking to this… But here I am claiming I’m back for the umpteenth time.

I just read through my old posts and I should really get better at keeping up with this blog. I love reading through all the things I’ve written.

Blahblahblah, I’m the worst, I know… Let’s get back to the music, shall we?

Pinch Me – Barenaked Ladies

Oh how I love and miss ’90s – ’00s music… I would claim that as my aesthetic in a heartbeat. This song just screams my youth. I thought it was so catchy and had fun lyrics. I don’t know man, I think I just need to get in to the memories…

At first I wasn’t sure what song I was going to pick that was from my preteens. I had to think about what I was listening to in elementary school, haha. But then I remembered how my mom told me I was obsessed with Father of Mine growing up. Which is such a depressing song??? Like I knew all the words to it and listened to it all the time and had no clue what it was about really. Growing up is weird.

But then that made me thinking of driving in the car with my mom and how we’d listen to the radio. This song would come on and I would turn it up and sing along. My favorite part was, “we could hide out under there….I just made you say underwear”. I thought it was fucking hilarious when I was a kid. God bless my mom for putting up with me singing along to all the songs on the radio, which she still does to this day. Even if I don’t know the words and I’m just mumbling.

This song also makes me think of summer growing up. Maybe because it’s kind of carefree? But I think it’s the line about the sprinkler. During the summer I would put the sprinkler under our trampoline and jump on the trampoline while it was on. So that line makes me thinking of doing that.

I don’t have too insightful of a memory tied to this song. Just makes me think of my mom driving me to school or wherever and me always singing along to every song that came on the radio. I also did this (annoying?) thing where I would go, “What movie is this song from???” And she’s like, “I have no clue…” Then I’d say whatever movie I had heard it in. And how sometimes I wanted to sing along to a song but I didn’t know all the words so it would just be me singing every other line and mumbling the other ones in between.

Thinking of it more, if I had to pick a preteen album it would be A Hangover You Don’t Deserve by Bowling for Soup. That album is still one of my favorites and I still know every song. That’s a CD that I would toss in my Walkman and listen to while I rode my bike in circles in the backyard. I think it’s such an underrated album. I remember when 1985 came out and how I didn’t really get many of the “jokes” or references. But my mom did and she got a kick out of them. Like, “who’s the other guy singing in Van Halen?” I got, “When did Ozzy become an actor?” though because I use to watch The Osbournes and (at the time) vaguely knew Ozzy was in a metal band. It’s such a fun album, would recommend.

Favorite Line:

“It’s the perfect time of day to throw all your cares away. Put the sprinkler on the lawn and run through with my gym shorts on…”

DAY 11: A song that you never get tired of

Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy – Fall Out Boy

Surprise! Another category that I could choose a million songs for. I settled with this song because it’s probably my favorite Fall Out Boy song, it’s from their first album (if you don’t count their EP that was released a few months before this) which is also my favorite (possibly tied with From Under the Cork Tree though…).

Songs that I will never get tired of are ones that I OBSESSED over growing up or that have a good memory/feeling attached to them. A good memory doesn’t mean it needs to be something that made me happy or a time when something good happened. It can, but it’s also can be those moments you reflect on fondly, like a moment you might of learned something that could have been painful or hard at the time but made you a better person or lead to something greater later on.

Songs you never get tired of are like family or old friends. They’ve just been there for you for so long, some times since the beginning, and you can’t help but love them or find use for them. Songs you never get tired of are the songs that have your back, that you keep in your emergency music first aid kit, that you’ll repeatedly tell your grandchildren stories about, that you’ll hear and everything will always feel right and good for a minute or two. I think they can also tell you a lot about a person. I love learning things like that about people. If anyone is reading this and feels like indulging me let me know what song is one you’ll never get tired of. Try to think of just one and really think why it is that you never get tired of it. I would love to hear what anyone has to say.

Well, I guess I better do some reflection so I can explain why I think I never get tired of this song…

I really love Fall Out Boy’s earlier stuff. I got into them in eighth grade and saw them at Warped Tour the summer before freshmen year when From Under the Cork Tree was just starting to catch on. This Warped Tour was actually my first Warped Tour and I told my best friend I NEEDED to see them. So we watch Bedouin Soundclash which at the time was a very interesting experience for me…different crowd than I was use to. (I really like their song, Gyasi Went Home.) Anyways the crowd for them was pretty small so we were able to be in the front when Fall Out Boy came on after them. Ugh, I was in heaven, my heart was so happy…

I remember starting my freshmen year of high school and everyone loved Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down and Dance, Dance and they were getting a lot of air time on the radio. I was just like, “…that albums almost a year old (in reality it was only like four or five months old, time feels a lot longer when you’re younger), where have you guys been? Also you should probably familiarize yourself with Take This To Your Grave because it’s amazing.” Fall Out Boy is the first band I got really “snobby” about. Like I knew what all the lyrics where and I knew both their albums (Oooooo, haha) and I liked them before they were on the radio. Which is funny now because I still like them but after From Under the Cork Tree I lost sight of them for awhile and came back around Save Rock And Roll. My best friend (since eighth grade to the present whom I went to Warped Tour with) loves Fall Out Boy now. We kind of switched roles, I was obsessed with them when they first started and she got into them because I gushed about them so much and now she’s obsessed with them and keeps up with them a little more than me. I’m still just like… I really like Take This To Your Grave…do the youngsters know about Take This To Your Grave? Haha.

I think I’m so attached to this song and album because it felt like my own little secret for awhile. It was my thing. I loved them from album one. I mean I was a little behind but when From Under the Cork Tree came out, I found out they had another album, Take This To Your Grave and I listened to it as soon as possible and just fell in love. It’s become a security blanket for me almost. I remember getting really sick one time and just listened to this album. And any time I would get a really bad headache I would lie in the bathtub and sing this album out loud until I felt better. If it didn’t work, it always at least helped a little. Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy was the first song I latched on to. It’s really catchy and just was everything I want. I  also think as a teenage I liked the idea of some guy thinking I was so great, the last good thing about this part of town even, telling me, “Hey I can be so good for you, give me a chance!” I mean I feel like that all the time, “I mean I know I’m not like what you’re looking for entirely but like I’m really great and I could be really great for you if you just gave me a chance. Give me a chance? No? Okay…” Haha. I think I also just really love how it starts off a little low and slow and then they just slam into it, love that…

But like I keep saying Take This To Your Grave is great. For sure one of those albums where I know what song comes next after each song and I know all the lyrics to.

Favorite Line:
“…in the meantime I’ll sport my brand new fashion of waking up with pants on at 4:00 in the afternoon.”

DAY 10: A song that makes you sad

I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else – A Great Big World

Guys….it’s been a hot minute. I’m sorry I’ve been slacking, BAD. I knew what song I was going to do for Day 10 when I did Day 9 so I have no excuse. I think writing about this was something I wasn’t looking forward to. Sooo….I put it off. But we’ll get into it so we can get over it and move on, haha.

Thoughts on this song….um heart breaking? Relatable? All the feels? Hard pull to the heartstrings? Um, all of thee above. I really love this album, it has some really great songs that range from happy to sad and silly to serious. I think most of my explanation for choose this song is going to have to come from the memory that is FOREVER tied to it…so here we go.

When I was in college, I met this guy (I know, I know…what a start). We became really great friends surprisingly; I’m not the best person at making and keeping friends.. We’d talk all the time and I fell for him so hard. I mean I broke up with my college boyfriend because the feelings I had for this guy were so strong. Then a few months after my breakup, I wrote him this letter about how I had these (stupid) feelings for him but mostly just that I really cared about him as person and just wanted him to be happy. Cringy, I know, I know. I don’t do this ALL the time, okay? I just was putting myself out there because it was eating me alive to keep these feelings from him. I’m a hopeless romantic and I didn’t want my chance at love to pass me by. I know I’m dramatic, you don’t need to tell me. Long story short, he never really said anything in response to it… Ouch, right? After a month or so things went back to normal. We’d text each other all the time, we’d playfully flirt with each other, whatever.

During my senior year of college I convinced him to go to a concert with me near where he lived, so we could see each other and go to an amazing concert (duh). So during my spring break I drove to see him for a day or two. We were going to the concert the night I got into town then I was going to leave the next day to drive to Colorado to spend the rest of the break at my brother’s place. I didn’t know what to expect when we’d see each other; this would of been the first time we met up in person in like 3 or 4 years.

He actually lived an hour or two away from the city the concert was at, so I got a hotel room in the city to make things easier. When I got there I was really nervous and had to take a few deep breaths and talk myself out of freaking out a few times. When he got into town I was trying so hard to keep my cool and put on my best “whatever” / “everything’s chill, man” vibe.

We went Denny’s to get something to eat and then went over to the concert. We awkwardly stood near the back of the venue waiting for the show to start. He saw a few of his friends there so we went to hangout with them. The show was really great. There was a circle pit and I stood behind him and his friend so that rando kids wouldn’t fling into me; which I greatly appreciated them doing (crowds low-key make me uncomfortable, like a lot of other people).

When the show was over we were both on this high because the show was so great and it was a band we really wanted to see and we got to see them together. We went to a gas station and got a bunch of drinks (like tea, water, gatorade – not like alcohol, calm down guys). When we got back to the hotel room we started watching tv…then we started to make out. Which was confusing to me at the time but like I’m not going to turn down an opportunity to make out with this guy I find really attractive and have a huge crush on, okay? So that happens, blahblahblah, and we eventually fall asleep.

He got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and I told myself, “If he comes back and cuddles me then that means he likes me and we could potential become a “thing” but if he doesn’t I’ll move on.” Hey, I didn’t come here to get judged. Again, I am fully aware at how crazy and cringy I am, let me be. When he came back he just laid down next to me and went back to sleep. My heart shattered into a million pieces but I said, ” Okay Universe, I hear you.” and went back to sleep myself.

The next morning we lounged around watching a movie then went to get lunch. After lunch he drove me back to my car and we said our goodbyes. I got in my car and started my trek to Colorado. I held it together pretty well…if I remember correctly. I just kept thinking how dumb I was for thinking we might be a “thing”. It wasn’t until I got into Wyoming and this mother fucking song came on and I lost it. My eyes teared up and I sang my heart out again, and again, and again. This song was on repeat for at least half of my drive. It was so windy driving through Wyoming and there was NOTHING out there. So I’m just cruising down the road, trying to keep my car straight with the wind knocking against, listening to this damn song, low-key sobbing, and my heart just hurting. So that’s why this song makes me sad because of the lyrics, because of the timing, because it was so painfully relatable. I was so sad and hurt but I just didn’t want to love somebody else…I just didn’t.

Have you seen that video of the little boy quietly crying in the backseat while Say Something by these guys is playing? And his dad is asking if he should change the song because the little boy seems really sad? And the little boy says no, he just wants to listen to it and quietly cry? Not only is that ME when listening to Say Something, that’s me every time I listen to this song. I just want to quietly cry in the backseat and not disturb anyone, haha.

Silver lining, I’m still really great friends with this guy and we still talk all the time. But this song will forever remind me of the broken heart I endured from him. (Again with the dramatics, I know. Shut up, let me live my life.)

Favorite Line:
“And now it’s screaming in my head. Oh, I shouldn’t go on hoping. Oh, that you will change your mind. And one day we could start again.”

DAY 9: A song that makes you happy

I Believe – Simian Mobile Disco

I usually don’t listen to this type of music but they were apart of The Gentlemen of the Road Tour a few years back (GOTR is a festival Mumford and Sons put together, I went to the last one and it changed my life. AHH.MAZING). Winston Marshall from Mumford and Sons talked about them in an interview and said they had a big impact on him and really got him into techno. It’s because of Winston that this song makes me happy which I will explain why, now….

So in the interview I mentioned above Winston let’s you in on the trick to techno: hands down, mouth closed. Haha. And he shows you what you look like if you do the opposite. That picture of him dancing with his arms up and his mouth open makes me smile and laugh. So since this is my favorite Simian Mobile Disco song I’ve head so far it makes me happy and think of goofy Winston dancing. And Winston’s in Mumford and Sons. And Mumford and Sons are my favorite and make me thee happiest. SO it’s just a domino effect of happiness and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Here’s the interview I’m referring to (at 6:26):

Favorite Line:
“But because it’s perennial don’t make it less real…”