Hello, sweet friends! How are you? Are you happy, healthy and feeling well loved? I certainly do hope so! I just made a fresh pot of coffee, so, help yourselves and we’ll snuggle up and chat on this rainy Tuesday morning!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…”Laura, this is a Music Monday series”. Yeah, I know. But, I’ve got some type of strep throat thing that won’t go away and my valuable, wonderful guest for this week is a really busy person at this point in time, so we’re going to pretend it’s Monday and have our umbrella of Grace up okay? Cool.
When I go to shows, where I’m a fan, friend or the cute girl behind a camera, the back the room is my favourite spot. You get the best view of the enjoyment and community that’s built at shows. In fact, in June, I did the same thing at a hometown show of some great friends’ bands and I got to see hometown fandom for them for the first time. It was the coolest.
The reason I tell you this, is that it was at this same band’s show in Chicago that Ryan Argast and I were in the same room and never met. We were fanfriends at the same show that left as strangers. I hugged my familiars, made some new friends, got back on the interstate and into my average. Until this week. Twitter and a few mutual, lovely friends did me a solid and a phone call was scheduled.
Ryan is the front man for Chicago based “Aggressive Pop Punk” band Marina City. As dancey and hardcore influenced as their jams are, Aggressive? I have a hard time believing that. Ryan is one of the kindest souls I’ve come across in this adventure in a long time.
An avid Chicago Cubs fan (which, I’ll overlook just this once) and Mexican food fiend, Ryan Argast started his journey into music with influences like Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. As time went on, the Chicago hardcore scene took its influence and fused it with passionate, friendly pop vocals making Ryan’s one of the most distinctive voices I’ve gotten the chance to know making music in Illinois.
My favourite part of these interviews, as you all know, has nothing to do with the music. It has everything to do with the community building and chatter between questions. In that, I find that I have built some of the warmest friendships. Ryan’s passion lies in the celebration of personhood. The music that he makes and the community that his music builds celebrates the individuality of the people in audiences. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, it makes you who you are and that is someone who is worth being loved, celebrated and cared for. I have every ounce of love and respect for Ryan and his bandmates as they embark on such a powerful journey to make the world warmer and more accepting.
This thought brings me to chase a rabbit on this “Music Monday” and it is this. For the last year or so, I have spent my life and love building this community. My little cozy corner of the internet is a place of acceptance and love. We are a place of body positivity, rockin’ tunes and choruses of “You go, girl!” So, my heart was broken when this community was brought under attack of awful, untrue words by way of internet troll. They called me a few names. None of which are worth repeating.
Let me just tell you that in my journey of bullying, and self-worth destruction at the hands of other people has gone on for a really long time. My worth is not measured by my waistline and no matter the eloquence or clever behind your calling me or any of me readers “fat” or “ugly”, you don’t win. Because it’s not the truth
So, I’m going to ask with all of the love in my heart. This place is a place of love, encouragement, affirmation, glitter, coffee and massive dance parties. So please, keep your Negative Nancy attitude outside of this place. This is my safe place and yours. Don’t take advantage of that. Don’t make me make serious faces, I’m almost thirty now, y’all. You will give me wrinkles and make me look my age. That’s not nice! So, be kind to each other here.
I am forever on your team, forever in your corner, always rooting for you to be your happiest greatest selves. You make my dreams come true.
Make sure to crank up some Marina City today and Shake It Off with me, all T-Swift style! Those guys are great. Their new EP drops September 16th and is going to be so wonderful! Check them out at the links below:
This week’s playlist is here: https://open.spotify.com/user/1218253885/playlist/7bVu1q7xfLc5SpDwhQri7c
I’ll see your sexy faces on Thursday!
Feature Image Photo by Penelope Martinez (Girl that lighting!? I’m dying!)