🎶 I was gone for a minute now I’m back – 🎶

Surprise! Surprise!

Look who’s back on the blogosphere! (A.K.A. Me)

After returning from a two-week long family vacation to Virginia last month, I immediately bought the domain to ‘roeknowsbest.com’. I’m not entirely sure why, but it was one of the first things I did. I felt frantic, anxious, and disorganized when I came home. Something about reality hitting you after a vacation – and two weeks can sometimes seem like two months. Yikes! Time!

So I bought the damn thing, perhaps in an attempt to control a small part of my life, the other part being 99% destined to Fate by way of Serendipity somehow…I don’t know, I’m still figuring it all out.

So within the past two years, I haven’t posted anything (aside from a short poem) on Roe Knows Best since my Nonna’s death, which occurred literally two years ago today.

Needless to say, I really didn’t feel like writing anymore after that.

Also since her passing, everything I’ve attempted to bake or cook has been an absolute disaster; My heart’s not in it anymore. It doesn’t bring me the joy it used to.

But I don’t know…My mind whirrs and stirs and sings sometimes and I got the feel-good notion that, “Hey, maybe I should start up that blog again!”. It felt good to think the thought and imagine things to write about and laugh about and share with you all.

And today, being the two-year anniversary, seemed fitting.

Honestly, I think a large part of rebooting Roe Knows Best had to do with reading Wil Wheaton’s Just A Geek a few months ago. It just inspired me so much to get out there and do the thing. As my first real celebrity crush and I being a major Trek nerd, Wil Wheaton pulls a lot of weight with me. The book really hit me harder than I thought it would; I related to it on an astonishing level. And it’s so funny/interesting because when I was a tween and early teen (’02-’05), I would go to wilwheaton.net on a regular basis, reading his blog. Until I read the book, I forgot all about those years; Those years you had to seek out your websites and your fandoms – Before news feeds and social media! I even recall reading the first chapter or so of Just A Geek from his site. (Also in the acknowledgements at the end he says he listened to The Get Up Kids and Saves The Day while writing/editing the book?! How freakin’ cool is that?!) It’s definitely a book that’s changed my life.

 

So some other things going on…

  • I’m aiming to graduate with a second Bachelor’s degree in May 2018. Internships and job interviews still make me nervous as hell though. Every day is a balancing act between cynicism and optimism.
  • I’m currently (and happily) employed.
  • I’ve met so many cool people within the past two years, it’s frankly unbelievable to me.
  • More or less, I feel like I’m in a pretty good mental space. Granted, I always guilt-trip myself for still living at home and not having life figured out at 26, but I mostly try not to entertain the thought or when I do, give the ol’ middle finger to voice in my brain that guilt-trips me out. (Also my parents have been extremely kind, sweet, understanding, and supportive and seem to be very much against my self-guilt tripping)
  • I’ve been reading A LOT more. WOW. Check me out on goodreads.
  • I recently got into and finished all of Gilmore Girls – DEAR.LORD. everyday I wake up with an explosion of feels regarding this series. Will someone please sit down and talk with me about the Gilmore greatness?!
  • I also wrote a pretty dope paper on Captain Janeway last year and presented it TWICE (once at the NJCA conference and the other time at the Montclair State University Student Symposium), so I now consider myself to be a Janeway authority. When am I meeting Kate Mulgrew? For real though – It is one of the best papers I’ve ever written and I am incredibly proud of it. Hell, if you wanna read it, I’ll send it to ya!

 

Some goals I’d like to achieve with this BLOG REBOOT (#RoeKnowsBest2020):

  • Sharing songs/playlists/albums I’m currently into (in hopes that you’ll check them out too).
  • Sharing feelings and, perhaps at times, things I’m going through, openly and honestly. Mental health has become increasingly important to me as I’ve gotten older (especially after my own minor mental breakdown after the presidential election) and I think the best way to overcome certain obstacles is to ultimately know that we’re not alone. And if you’re reading this, I want you to know that you’re not alone. If you know me, you know I usually project myself to the outside world as a positive, happy-go-lucky person and I am. But I’m also undeniably human and I experience an array of emotions including but not limited to intense doubt, anxiety, and at times depression. Life is freakin’ hard, but it is also pretty amazing and incredible and I think it’s worth seeing through.
  • I’m still writing songs, but home recording became so damn exhausting and Pro Tools is expensive. (Additionally, everyday I send up a prayer up to Baby Jesus that my 2009 Macbook (that definitely needs a new battery and hard drive and that I’m more than qualified to install/replace but it’s falling apart physically, so it’s like why bother?) doesn’t die on me. I’m afraid to install a document on this thing, nevermind a full-fledged DAW. Also, it only has 4 GB of RAM; It’s a miracle I recorded anything at all on it. But really, I’m just waiting for the thing to die. It’s a mess. But with that said – I’d really like to start recording more videos of me performing songs again, whether they be originals or covers. If anyone has a local studio hook up, let me know! I’m definitely overdue to record a song in a professional space.
  • Engaging you all as readers/friends/fans/fam. If you’ve made it this far down the post, you are so great. Thank you. One of the coolest things in life is communicating and connecting and again – affirming that we are not alone; Community and acceptance and validation are so important (at least to me!). Feel free to join my email list, which you should be able to do so on the upper-right hand side of the page. That way you’ll get a email every time I post something new. 🙂

 

Closing Notes:

Visually the blog is in pretty terrible shape. I plan to change up the theme, fix up the menu, rewrite my About page, I don’t know…that’s all I can really think of for now. Any suggestions to spruce up the page? Let me know! I wanna make it pretty/visually appealing.

Thank you all again SO MUCH for tuning in.

Here’s to creating more RKB content for you to enjoy!

I’m putting on my thinking cap…and ONWARD!

All love.

xoxo,

-RKB

 

Roe Knows Best: The Blog Becomes The Artist

When I first changed the spelling of my nickname from “Ro” to “Roe”, there was a legitimate reason behind it.

Though somewhat silly, I felt like “Ro” was too naked. There wasn’t enough there. Aesthetically, there weren’t enough letters. It wasn’t balanced enough for me. That’s why I added the “E” at the end.

This was middle school decision. But also helped make my signature much more original – and fun!roemusics sig

All my life I’ve been “Roe” when performing solo because it’s my name, it’s who I am…and always have been. But similar to the middle school decision I made, it’s never seemed like enough. I’ve always felt like there should be more there.

When I started this blog in the summer of 2013, it was for reasons stated on my About page but also so that in time I could hopefully become an authority on something, even if it was on my own life and experiences. I’ve been taught, that in this Internet-swamped day and age, that is an important concept to comprehend in order to get through a lot of the white noise out there. Roe Knows Best seemed like an appropriate title to achieve that, at least superficially.

I’m trying to plan big and legitimate things regarding my music career (or lack thereof – har, har, har!), and one day I’d like to be able to perform my songs with a band, not just solo, and would like to have an all-encompassing title in order to do that. So in a similar fashion of Into It. Over It., I’ve decided to change the name of all my musical projects henceforth to Roe Knows Best. And in time, I hope to have this blog serve as the main hub and website for all future music endeavors.

And that ends my minor PSA. Thanks, everyone! Stay tuned for more music.

Also, check out this Justin Pierre-approved Motion City Soundtrack cover I recently did:1620615_10152586853457371_8558050812583263054_n

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: Honorable Mentions

1. You Will Eventually Be Forgotten by Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

I loved the way this album flowed like a storybook or a collection of newspaper clippings or scrapbooks – and maybe that was the point, I don’t know. What I do know is that the “emo revival” or whatever you wanna call it, rings true in the sound and shape of this record. Though Keith Latinen’s voice is somewhat of an aquired taste, at times it’s the sweetest thing you ever did hear. I didn’t find myself exactly dumbfounded or necessarily “struck” by listing to this record, but parts of it shines through very brightly to me and I was overall impressed and content with what I heard.

2. Kingfisher by Prawn

 When listening to this record, I got excited dreaming up the potentialies of what Prawn could be in the future. Still a young band and also within the vein of “emo revival”, Kingfisher seems extremely promising upon first listen. I’d keep an eye on Prawn in 2015. I think they have a wide open road ahead of them and I’m definitely looking forward to the next release they put out.

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: #1 – Flies In All Directions by Weatherbox

Artist: Weatherbox

Album: Flies In All Directions

Produced by: Brian Warren

Released: May 13, 2014

urlI think I could go on and on and on about this album forever. Before this year, I had no knowledge of Weatherbox, who Brian Warren even was but after seeing a few dribs and drabs via social media about the band / this record, I decided to give it a listen. I’m always game for new music, right?

And holy shit I was not expecting to completely fall completely in LOVE.

For me personally, this album was a godsend as I was going through a lot of existential crisis filled with fear, worry, and doubt and this record seemed to be the best tonic I could ever draft up to keep my mind at ease and feel okay. Every lyric became a mantra for me at some point.

Flies In All Directions jams to the beat of its own drum. No rhythm or tempo is the same for too long, lyrics are fresh and perfect, Brian Warren is crystal clear, yet wonderfully non-specific, giving way to mystery.

I fell in love with this band and album so much that I saw them live this summer at Asbury Lanes by myself, as I was unable to convince anyone knew of their absolute genius.

There’re parts of me that want to compare both Brian Warren and Max Bemis of Say Anything in some respects because of the way each of their musical minds work: Both self-produced the albums released this year, there are clever lyricisms abound throughout their work, there are time signature changes, rhythm changes, tempo changes (anomalies not typically seen within this “genre”) – as if both gentlemen are listening to their true human nature, letting the songs come, allowing the music to flow naturally, not conforming to what may be considered to be a pop song or a radio friendly song – and their music flourishes and is fun to listen to because of it! If I’m not mistaken, I believe Weatherbox and Say Anything did tour together at once point but I think I remember reading Brian Warren saying it wasn’t as successful as he had hoped, because as much as him and Bemis are the same, they are also drastically different: Bemis tends to be more biographical, Warren sticks to his metaphors and blurred/ambiguous meaning, during live shows Max utilizes his stage presence, Brian tends to stick to the mic and move around his center here and there, etc.

With that said, I think if you are a fan of Say Anything your interest will definitely be piqued while listening to this record. There are so many wonderful things going on, you need to listen more than once to catch them all. And if you’re not an SA fan, I still think this album holds up incredibly well as an independent entity. If you love and appreciate the craft of songwriting and want to chew on something different, take a listen.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Listen to:

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: #4 – Die On Stage by Hostage Calm

Hello there, fellow RKB readers/enthusiasts! From the comfort of my hotel room in Jacksonville, FL,  I’m currently bumming on my dad’s laptop to bring you the rest of what I consider to be the greatest albums this year had to offer. I hope you’ve enjoyed the past 6 albums I’ve listed so far. Here’s #4:

Artist: Hostage Calm

Album: Die On Stage

Produced by: Will Yip

Released: September 16, 2014

Hostage_Calm_Die_On_Stage“Devastated” would be an understatment to describe how I felt when Hostage Calm announced their inpromptu breakup a few months ago. I believe the jury’s still out as to why they did, especially in the middle of a tour and all…I suppose I’m still not over it. <sadface></sadface>

That aside, Die On Stage is one of the best albums you will listen to this year. Fresh with recognizable licks and chord progressions clearly inspired by The Beatles and The Smiths, along with many others I’m sure. Will Yip is in the production seat (whose name you may recognize from Braid’s newest record I wrote about, No Coast). Chris “Cmar” Martin’s voice has considerably matured in this record (even finding his falsetto on “Fallen Angel”), harmonies are the tightest they’ve ever been, with gentle accompanying bells on almost every track (I’m a sucker for that sort of thing). The songwriting is also at another level entirely.

I was a huge fan of Please Remain Calm, later discovered HC’s self-titled (and Lens) and fell in love. I’ve seen HC a handful of times and always loved their live show, energetic and full of spirit; Two things which seem difficult to find at a show nowadays.

If this record doesn’t give you something (anything) to believe in, I’m not sure what will.

Listen to: