Nothing More Album Review

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One of the hardest things to do in life is to simply be who you are. From the day we’re born, everyone from our friends, family and even current Internet celebrities tell us how to dress, how to act, how to think and how to live. With the dominant rise of technology and the accessibility the media gives us to other people’s lives + opinions, our society is in a constant state of influence, forcing us to always compare ourselves, usually finding fault instead of acceptance. It’s easy to feel alone, to doubt yourself and feel unjust for the struggles + hardships you have to endure; to get lost in the negative aspects of life, wallow in anger + self-pity and see life as a burden. The hard part is to find the light in the times of darkness, however dim it may be.

Setting the bar high with their self-titled fourth full-length album, Nothing More shimmers with a profound and inspiring message that is not only revolutionary and will affect nearly everyone who listens but easily mirrors that very light we all need to survive in those dark times. With numerous standout songs, almost all being radio-friendly, the album shines as a whole with intelligent lyrics and an intense passion intertwined into every second. The many influences of this band are apparent, with sounds similar to Alice In Chains, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, S.O.A.D, The Prodigy, Rush, Megadeth, Coheed and Rage yet somehow their sound is incomparable and all their own.

The hypnotic opening sequence of the album exemplifies the stress + unhappiness we force upon ourselves on a daily basis, allowing fear + negativity to weigh us down, essentially leaving us drowning and gasping for air. “Ocean Floor” blends perfectly into the thundering drum + bass of the album’s explosive first single, “This Is The Time (Ballast)”, an extremely catchy, head banging song about letting go of whatever it is that holds you back, recognizing your own strength and finding your balance. Followed by an exquisite blend of electronic texture amongst heavy metal guitar riffs, the hard-hitting anthem of “Christ Copyright” sends a powerful message regarding religion’s role in our society; that “we are not machines” and as individuals, we need to learn to ask questions, to think for ourselves and not be faceless sheep in the herd but to indeed, have a voice.

Recurring themes of the pressure to conform are found throughout the record, as well as internal struggles with self-doubt + guilt. The sad, ugly truth of the media‘s influence on society and how it spawns robotic + materialistic shells of human beings is found in “Mr. MTV”. Tensions fly high through identifiable lyrics of always feeling judged and never being fully heard in songs like “First Punch” while the hostility found in “The Matthew Effect” is everything you’ve ever wanted to say to the spoiled + entitled hypocrites of the world. With an already clear focus of unleashing negative emotions, “I’ll Be OK” allows the album to switch gears, slow down + reveal a more emotional but not necessarily softer side of the band. Looking for forgiveness and needing to forgive, passionate, soul-crushing vocals that exude longing +hope are given the spotlight, escalating into a buildup so dynamic and strong, your breath will literally catch in your throat as this song speaks for all the times you’ve lacked faith in yourself, offering a reassurance that only music can bring.

The savage, jilted lover track “Sex and Lies”, graphically depicts the turbulence caused when cheating is involved. Words laced in anger, resentment + disbelief accommodate the energy of the pounding drums and raging guitars as the bass cuts through manically creating an all-around melee of fury. Evident in nearly every song on the album, this band is not afraid of being brutally honest, hitting on uncomfortable but easily relatable subjects, climactically shedding light when darkness seems ever enveloping.  However, it’s the two extremely personal songs saved for the end of the album that truly demonstrates the ability of Nothing More to touch a nerve and move something inside of you.

We’ve all had that one friend or relative that, despite the love shown + the numerous chances given, fail to realize their own chaotic demise, continuing their vicious cycle until hitting rock bottom becomes the only solution. “Jenny” brings to life an all-too-familiar story, representing that one person we all know and how their actions affect everyone around them, bringing to light the undoubtedly harsh truth that we are usually too afraid to speak. Beginning with a simple guitar + soft vocals to set the stage for this epic wake-up call, what was once hope slowly changes into defeat before eventually exploding into full-blown exasperation, not only told through the lyrics but through the vitality of the music itself. Heavy disappointment shines through every syllable, with the chilling pleas for change hitting like a ton of bricks as the drums slam in perfect unison with the bass + guitar to match the intensity of having to walk away from someone until they see the error of their ways. The despair + agony felt when watching someone you love spiral out of control and self-destruct is enough suffering to bear but experiencing the loss of a parent at the same time takes the pain to an all new level.

Being one of the most moving pieces I’ve heard in years, the incredibly stirring “God Went North”, a song about the loss of a mother after battling cancer, easily defines why music exists and to say this song is beautiful may be an understatement. The soothing wind chimes and rolling thunder provide an atmosphere to the symbolic calm before the storm as the words begin to paint a profoundly realistic picture. Extraordinarily illustrating a life-changing moment of having to say goodbye to the person who created you, nearly every emotion felt during the grieving process is evident in the exquisite vocals that expose the heart + soul of this band. The drums slowly heighten as the story unfolds from numb disbelief to the heartbreaking request of “if you won’t save her, please just take her”, the guitar magnifying the turmoil + distress before soaring into an upward turn of accepting the finality of what ultimately must happen. With the mortality of our parents being inevitable, anguished-wrapped lyrics like “cutting the cord from the mother who gave me everything” are sure to touch even those who haven’t experienced such a loss, while providing a therapeutic consolation when the pain is all too real for those who have.

Transcending into wind + crashing waves, the thematic use of the five elements creates a unique musical experience, adding a special, intimate approach that is felt through the album as a whole. Even though we are individuals, we are all part of the same Earth; the growing and changing we go through in life is evident through water, healing + purifying us along the way. The drive + passion of fire that can both create and destroy, heal or harm is represented by the spark inside us all that Nothing More urges to keep ignited. Concluding with the electronically stimulating “Pyre” brings everything full circle, as the wind not only carries away the last breath of life but is the expansive freedom of departing our physical body, leaving the sky to embody everything we cannot comprehend with our minds and only truly embrace with our limitless spirit.

Flowing into one last food-for-thought piece featuring the intriguingly captivating words of philosopher Alan Watts, who is also heard in the guitar-layered instrumental track “Gyre”, the theories are not ones that you need to necessarily agree with to fully enjoy the nearly ten minute final track of the album. Instead of being forced down your throat, the ideas are designed to make you think, offering a tranquil reflection while stressing that “the real you, is not a puppet which life pushes around”, a message that has easily weaved its way through Nothing More, who emphasize the importance of keeping your inner fire blazing and embracing your individuality.

With lyrics that provoke and the concept of music as therapy restored, there is a song on this album for everyone; for anyone who has ever thought they weren’t good enough, who have been wronged or have done wrong, have lost someone they loved or who just need that little nudge of courage to just simply: be. Ranging from optimism to rage and melancholy, Nothing More will for sure pull many conflicting emotions from you, all while putting things into perspective + possibly providing solace while reminding that at the end of the day, we are not alone in the fact that we are all just trying to simply… be.

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal. For the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever.”

Something Supernatural – Crobot

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The most influential bands in the history of rock and roll all possessed two of the same traits:  love + chemistry. Evident in the music that was created, the collective chemistry of the band as a whole combined with their love of the music itself aided in the mastering of albums you wanted to listen to over + over again, where the shameless soul of rock and roll was captured in every song and lived within every note. Containing an unmatched mystique that would remain timeless and forever relevant in the hearts of rock lovers everywhere, albums like Led Zeppelin “IV”, Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced”, Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”, Deep Purple’s “Machine Head” and even Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” all became part of the rock royalty that have and will continue to inspire music for decades, setting the bar high and nearly unreachable.
 
Until now.

With their groove-heavy, full length album “Something Supernatural”, Crobot’s epic concoction of witchcraft, urban legends, wizards and of course, The Devil brings about a cultural revolution for the rebirth of the true spirit of rock and roll, providing a salvation that our generation of misguided misfits may have missed out on. Hailing from the mountains of Pottsville, Pennsylvania and sounding like a relic from an era long ago, the aesthetics + style of Crobot is unique in that it gives tribute to the past but along with that old school rock nostalgia, they combine toe-tapping funk similar to that James Brown + Mother’s Finest with a throw to 90s aggressive alternative bands like Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, displaying their love for guitar solos and bass-for-days. With their ability to meld different genres of rock into one big, bubbling cauldron of awesome to create a sound full of wild, filthy spontaneity, this album will undoubtedly appeal to the masses, drawing fans from many different generations.
 
The thundering intro into the world of Crobot begins with the head-bangingly groovy “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer”, quickly setting the stage for the ‘dirty groove rock’ this album has in store. From the powerhouse vocals channeling the almighty Chris Cornell that mix with the ebb and flow of the Zeppelin-reminiscent drum + bass to the Hendrix-esque guitar riffs, it’s obvious this band plans to leave its mark in the rock and roll stratosphere.  The catchy, toe tapping “Nowhere to Hide” has just a twang of Southern Rock charm that would make both Skynard + The Allman Brothers proud and just enough gritty up-tempo funk to justify why it’s the album’s first single, as it is a great representation of the blend that Crobot brews. Old school Black Sabbath is resurrected in “The Necromancer”, with a touch of Aerosmith found in the bluesy harmonica that dances between strong guitars and booming bass as the drums count down to one of the album’s many jams that all garage bands dream of having.

Slowing down to allow the guitar to set the mood + shine, the hypnotic tale of “La Mano de Lucifer” is unveiled, revealing a side of Crobot that is like a magic carpet ride for the soul. An exceptional display of their storytelling abilities, this wickedly epic journey begins as a grim, slow, melancholy lull with somber + captivating vocals that are curiously nostalgic as they tell one of the greatest Biblical stories ever told: the fall of Lucifer. Boldly reconstructed by the dark groove of the bass, the deep vibe in the music itself creates an overall otherworldly feel as the song explodes into a catastrophic wave of rad that turns into what surely sounds like a battle between good vs. evil, with the darkness trying to diminish the light. Causing the imagination to run rampant with lyrics depicting a dark-winged unicorn and a
collection of tormented souls, this magical, infernal ditty is without a doubt my favorite on the album, with an intensity felt + heard in every note.
 
Roaring into another fusion of rockin’ funk, you’ll feel your fists trying to pump as the opening of the “Skull of Geronimo” takes you back amongst the early days of Rage Against the Machine, the bass pulsing like a heartbeat and the drums pounding amongst vigorous guitar riffs that add just enough power + rhythm to create a dynamic hook that would make Audioslave envious.
 
One of my personal favorites is the gravity-battling, drum-heavy “Cloud Spiller”, a stand-out track full of distortion, groove-laden bass and features one of the funkiest, dirtiest and you guessed it, grooviest breakdowns that may ever grace your ears. Harmonies comparable to those of the late Layne Staley + Jerry Cantrell [Alice in Chains] can be heard throughout the bluesy “Fly On The Wall” while “Night of the Sacrifice” welcomes back the old-school rock flow with a jam about witchcraft that is indeed, spirited. Howling about death and warning that no one gets out alive, the chorus is by far one of the most addictive on the album and did I mention the SICK guitar solo? Another favorite is the eccentric, down-by-the-river, urban legend inspired “Chupacabra”, guaranteed to get you moving. The hard-hitting drums mix with the bass that just won’t quit as the nasty guitar whammy pedals away while the fervent + maniacal vocals wail about taunting the ‘monster of Mexico’ to formulate an off-the-wall myth full of energy and spunk.
 
Nearing the end of this strange, wayward odyssey is a fuzz-saturated battle between two “Wizards” where the convenience of technology rivals the spirit of magic, resulting in a tale that is sure to be every stoner rocker’s dream before descending into the final song of the album. Evoking a sense of despair + dread that some may find oddly relatable, the beautifully gloomy “Queen of the Light” easily exhibits the vocal strengths that engulf this band as well as the band’s seamless chemistry. Melodic vocals + eerie guitars blend with simple, yet intricate drum + bass that all flow together effortlessly to illustrate the story of a woman who longs to leave behind her dark, haunting past in hopes of something good and pure, complete with an illustrious stamp of ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that Zeppelin was always so notorious for. Not to be confused with being soft or mild, this ballad will have an obvious appeal to the female Crobot fans (or as I have dubbed them, ‘ladybots’) but still packs an extremely satisfying punch to the gut of awe-inspiring calamity.
 
With an energy and charisma that is reached with such ease, it’s safe to say Crobot hit the bulls eye on creating rock and roll greatness that will go hand in hand with some of the most badass rock albums to ever exist. The two components of love + chemistry that defined so many of the greats before them is undeniably present from the first song to the last, devising a near perfect compilation for rock lovers of all ages to treasure. Bringing the rock, the funk and the flava’ all while reminding how fun + spirited music can truly be, with albums like this existing in the universe, “Something Supernatural” is proof that rock and roll will never die.

The Neuromancer – William Control

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I love when an album has a standout song that can literally make me stop what I’m doing and just listen; that can give me goose bumps as well as make my heart race and almost stop breathing.  It’s rare when an album can cause this reaction more than once but William Control has bled his heart into every minute of this record, masterminding another intoxicating tale that leaves me absolutely breathless. ’The Neuromancer’ flows together so beautifully, each song intertwining with the next to create an intensely erotic, theatrical, mind jarring story that translates into one hell of an industrial dance album.

Having been a huge fan since 2010, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of his new record and what William had in store for his fans this time around. After listening to it all the way through for the first time, I lost count of how many times my jaw hit the floor as I thought, “Fuck. This is good.”  After hearing two songs from it the week prior to its release (“Illuminator” and “Revelator”), I had an idea that it would indeed be good but really could not fathom how much it would surpass his previous work. I honestly love every word in this collection; every song is worth writing about. It is evident how much William has grown as an artist, his vocals even cleaner and somehow softer; the production transcending a level of near perfection. But I had to narrow it down to the songs that literally made me stop what I was doing and just listen; the ones that gave me goose bumps as well as made my heart race and yes, almost stop breathing.

I narrowed it down to four songs.

The sixth song on the album, “The Filth and the Fetish”, is without an obvious doubt the filthiest. Renewing familiar themes from his earlier work of sex + violence complete with agonizing screams and blood-curdling cries, this is one of William’s strongest and heaviest songs yet. Mixed with drums that remain powerful throughout, the ferocity of the synthesizer and a deep, almost intrusive bass that seems to invade your every pore, this song generates an atmosphere where you can almost smell the smoke from the infamous cigarette forever in William’s hand as he tells about “a pain you can love, a hurt you can swallow”.

However, it’s the unbelievably sexy “Closure in the comfort…” chorus that I can feel in the depths of my belly that makes my toes curl. The first fifty seconds of this song (or so) takes me to a place that is so terrifyingly unknown yet so seductive that it peaks my curiosity to levels I didn’t know existed. William’s voice is so persuasive and confident, blending with the weirdly sensual background vocals, daring you to come just a little bit closer and take a deeper look. There is something so enticing about how one finds pleasure in pain and torment, making it sound like a delicious apple that one should not bite, yet absolutely cannot refuse. This song is sure to be a hit amongst the fans that have been around since day one, reassuring them that William is still as unapologetic as ever about who he is and what he wants.

Moving ahead to track eight, “Passengers” is in a word: divine.  A piano driven love letter that is so hauntingly beautiful, you hate for it to end at only a little after three minutes, making it the shortest song on the album (next to the “Introduction” of course).  Dreamy and whimsical, with a melody so modestly sweet and lovely, this song is every tortured soul’s lullaby that will undeniably make you curse yourself for having a heart.

Encompassed with forlorn passion, William’s exquisite vocals drip in agony and despair, unmasking his shattered + torn heart, veiled with a longing for just one more tryst with love.  In a constant battle between love and the darkness, this is his way of lying down his armor, all but admitting defeat against a concept he fights to fully surrender to. Every note delicately laced with both tenderness and woe, will inevitably win over every hopeless romantic listener, who will be hanging onto every word.

But before being too swept away with the notion that love has once again conquered all, William has revised this assumption a bit, deciding that love is in fact “ugly” and nothing more than fata morgana, an illusion.  “Love Is A Shadow”, track ten, is quite possibly my favorite song on the album; we’ll get to my other ‘favorite’ contender shortly.  Aggressive drum & bass infused with 80s New wave and a dash of electro-rock, this one is just too appealing to my inner Goth kid to not simply rave about.

Disguised as a nefarious Prince Charming, engulfed in melancholy fantasy, craving to break the skin and taste the iron in your blood, this anti-love anthem allows William to tempt and lure you, once again, to the dark side. Amidst another invasive bass line incorporated with dirty guitars and a breakdown so intense, you will want to dance until the sun comes up, I am especially eager to devour this particular song live. Admitting to his need + desire to “seduce forever”, with a song (hell, an album) like this, that is all-too achievable, Sir.

Yet, the real gem on this album and my other ‘favorite’ contender is the final song, “Where the Angels Burn”.  Concluding with a serene and virtually otherworldly ballad, William’s voice is so eerily haunting and somber as he effortlessly pours his heart into each poetic line. Especially captivating knowing the backstory of his relationship with Vivian (remember, it’s a concept album), which he was kind enough to share with me when I interviewed him (check it out here), the understated melody and heartbeat-esque synthesizer causes electric chills up and down my spine while goose bumps flood my arms.

Finishing with spoken word prose, similar to the album “Introduction”, this shattered man has finally realized that love is the only aid to his wound, professing a promise that will withstand time as he tries to soothe his own anguish. The romanticized lyrics, that could easily be the completion of the love letter begun in “Passengers”, are so beautifully penned, elaborating words that anyone who has ever been in love have certainly longed to hear. I once described William’s music as ”morbidly romantic poetry” and he remains true to this depiction, crafting, in my opinion, one of his most sumptuous lines yet, “I would set myself on fire a thousand times for just five more minutes of your magnificence against my skin”. Beautiful, Sir.

Without a doubt, ‘The Neuromancer’ is a thrilling, sensual and morose album, each song the perfect continuance of the last. Sublimely complimented by background vocals provided by Kenneth Fletcher + Ashley Jade and featuring an appearance by the unmistakable voice of Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides, this is William’s most promising album to date. Its mixture will indeed satisfy his current followers as well as those who are unfamiliar but find themselves being drawn into the world of a man who’s been to hell and back, all in the name of that nonsensical, soul-crushing thing called ‘love’. Whichever one you are, I invite you to come just a little bit closer, take a deeper look and relish in the enigma that is William Control…

A British Love Affair

 

I was a nerdy teenager who not only loved movies but the soundtracks that accompanied them. Some of my favorites were Titanic, The Faculty and Twister. Like I said: nerdy. But it was the soundtrack for I Know What You Did Last Summer that would introduce me to a British indie rock band that would open my mind and ignite my soul.

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On top of music from Type O Negative, The Offspring and Toad the Wet Sprocket, the soundtrack opened with a cover of Deep Purple’s “Hush”. The band was called Kula Shaker and the song easily became my favorite of the summer. Led by Crispian Mills, son of legendary actress Haley Mills, (who my mom was a HUGE fan of growing up and introduced me to all of her movies when I was little), it was the catchiness and hint of Brit-rock that caught my attention but it wasn’t until I bought their debut album K, that I discovered what the band was really all about.

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Psychedelic rock all the way immersed in 60s nostalgia intertwined with a magical Raga influence that created a soul-shaking fusion of rock and new age, K rocked my world like no album ever had. With an emphasis on Indian mysticism and instrumentation, the use of the sitar, tambura and table mix combined with wa-wa pedals + heavy guitars shaped a mystical ambiance drenched in Nag Champa. Joyfully optimistic and hopeful, praising the alchemy of life while reminding to have fun and celebrate being alive, this album without a doubt changed my universe.

In the summer of ’99, nearing the two-year mark of my love affair with Kula Shaker, the band announced a small US tour for their sophomore album Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts. My 15-year-old self was elated at the fact they would be stopping in Carrboro, NC at The Cat’s Cradle. At the time, I had only been to big concert arenas, not yet exploring the more intimate club setting. I could not wait to be in the presence of this band and experience their message live. I was counting down the days and X’ing them off my wall calendar as the time grew near. I listened to nothing but K, psyching myself up for what was surely to be a life-altering show.

Out of school for summer break, I remember sleeping in late the day of the show. I woke up especially chipper, knowing nothing could touch my mood: I was going to see Kula Shaker!!! Around 2 in the afternoon, the phone rang. It was mom, calling to ask me if I had heard the news. “What news?” I asked her. Less than 5 hours before the doors were supposed to open, the show had been cancelled.

My heart nearly stopped in my chest.
I had never (and still have never) been so disappointed by the cancellation of ANYTHING. No flashing lights. No drums. No sitar. No Crispian Mills. No life-altering show. NOTHING. I will not admit to the crying that ensued.

And to make matters worse, the band “officially” split up two months later. Thankfully they reformed in 2004, releasing 2 more full-length albums as well as a 15th anniversary edition of K, including unreleased material and a documentary.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago: the band announced the release of their fifth studio album K2.0 and premiered their new song “Infinite Sun”. The guttural shriek of glee I let out is too embarrassing to describe.

Besides the obvious excitement of new music from one of the greatest bands I’ve ever heard, the anticipation of a possible U.S. tour is overwhelming. My fingers are crossed ever so tightly and my heart is all-a-flutter. Make this silly pink-haired gal’s LIFE and get thee to NC: your biggest fan awaits!!!

 

 

Why the $%#@ am I so tired?

 

The past few months have been very strange.
I’ve felt like myself yet…not.

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I’m tired.
All of the time. I have no energy or desire to do anything but lay around and sleep as much as possible. My excitement levels aren’t skyrocketing like normal. I’m happy but I’m also sad because a lot of my passion has diminished. My brain feels foggy and it takes a while for me to fully focus on something. It’s annoying, inconvenient and downright depressing.

I’ve had a weird discomfort in my side that I can only describe as a fist under my left rib cage that often radiates down my entire side, low back, pelvis/hips and lately, down my legs. It’s a tight, uncomfortable pull that feels like if I could just stretch enough, I could loosen all those tight muscles. I’m very much into yoga, stretching any spare moment I get yet it’s still there: that tight, uncomfortable pull that is constantly weighing me down. Again, annoying, inconvenient and downright depressing.

This has all been going on for years off and on but the past few months, it hasn’t let up. I hate not having the desire to do much of anything; it feels like someone blew out my candle. Even writing requires too much effort and energy for my little body, turning me into a puddle of moosh.

After the pain in my side continued to radiate around my lower back, keeping me up two nights in a row with my normal dose of Ibuprofen & a heating pad NOT doing the trick, I made emergency appointments with both my general practitioner as well as my girlie doctor. I had my GD check for kidney issues as well as do a pelvic exam for any kind of cysts; everything was normal. He did however listen to the symptoms I described and noticed they often heightened around my “monthly visitor”. He felt my symptoms were a clear sign of endometriosis (a disease that can cause lots of pelvic pain, which was something I’ve had constantly for years) and suggested going back on birth control to help balance out my hormones.

The endo has been affecting my left side, low back, sciatic nerve, hips, pelvis and amazingly enough, the base of my skull, which is tight all the time.endo

However, it was the result from my GP that was a bit more satisfying. I tested positive for both EBV Ab/EBNA (Epstein Barr nuclear antigen) and EBV Ab/VCA Iga (indicates prior infection).  The diagnosis of Epstein-Barr lit my little brain up like a light-bulb and I began piecing together the weird puzzle that my body has been going through for roughly 6 years.

In the summer of 2009, after a weekend Fourth of July trip, I got red bumps about the size of a quarter down both of my shins that stopped on my ankle. There were four symmetrical marks on each leg that at first, I thought were bug bites. By day two, they were now swollen, bruised, full of fever and tender to the touch.

erythema-nodosum-pictures-2(this image is not mine but is the closest I could find to what my legs looked like)

At the time, I only had a girlie doc and she couldn’t see me until the next day. On day 3, it hurt to walk. I limped into the doctor’s office where I was told I had Erythema Nodosum, a rare occurrence caused by an allergic reaction to birth control. Instead of doing a blood test to properly diagnose what caused these nodules, I was simply given antibiotics and told to stay off my feet for a week.

After everything that’s been going on with me since then, I now know that the Epstein Barr Virus was the culprit instead of being wrongly diagnosed with having an allergic reaction to my birth control.

The antibiotics cleared up the Erythema Nodosum but I honestly don’t know if they had any affect on the Epstein Barr Virus itself. And once you have the EBV in your system, there it stays. For most people with the virus, it doesn’t cause too many problems later on in life but it’s becoming a much bigger issue in the health field. The virus buries itself in your internal organs, such as the spleen, thyroid or liver, causing these organs to become inflamed or enlarged. This can cause SO many different health problems in SO many different areas and is the main reason why it’s so hard for doctors to really pinpoint why so many people are chronically fatigued. Doctor’s don’t know much about the virus so they tend to either dismiss patients who are chronically tired, achy and lethargic or prescribe pain meds that often cause addictive behavior. It’s not something that should be overlooked when it’s affecting over 95% of American adults.

My symptoms over the years include:
-chronic fatigue
-chronic muscle/joint pain
-enlarged spleen (that fist feeling under my left rib)
-recurrent bacterial infections
-loss of appetite
-lethargy and depression
-super low Vitamin D levels

I am NOT a doctor and am in no way qualified to be one but in my humble opinion, if you have chronic fatigue, experience depression or ANY of the above symptoms, I highly recommend getting an EBV test done. It may be the answer to MANY of your health ailments. It won’t be the key to any kind of mental health issue but knowing if this virus resides in your body is good information to know. 

I’m a habitual researcher who does way too much reading when I’m interested or curious about something. After hours of reading about other people with this little bugger and what has worked for them, I went to my local Vitamin Shoppe. The natural route is the only road that goes somewhere good so I set out to get immune booting supplements that also increased my energy levels, helping me get my groove back so to speak.

The following 5 supplements I got specifically to help attack the EBV, recover the immune system and heal:

imageMonolaurin: an anti-microbial agent that kills virus and bacterial cells

L-Lysine: lowers EBV load and is a central nervous system anti-inflammatory

B-12: increase energy & strengthen the nervous system

Spirulina (specifically Hawaiian grown): Rebuilds central nervous system

Lemon Balm: Antibacterial, kills EBV cells & strengthens   immune system

I also take Vitamin D, Folic Acid and Vitamin C daily on top of drinking nothing but water and coffee. if I drink alcohol, it will be champagne for a birthday or New Years Eve but other than that, I am a no alcohol girl.

I’ve been on this new supplement regimen for almost 2 weeks and have already noticed improvement. My brain fog has cleared up a bit, I’m more excited about things, I have more energy and that sad feeling is working its way on out. Like I said, I’ve felt like myself over the past few months (ok, years) yet… not. Normally, I’m a very happy, optimistic, excitable person. When I was sitting around doing nothing but feeling tired and sad, I knew something was up. The pain I was in was being caused by an endometriosis flare-up but the chronic tiredness, achy (and LOUDLY popping) joints, etc are due to Sir Barr. Thankfully, I feel quite confident in the knowledge of this information bringing me fully back to my original goofy and AWAKE self. Updates to follow!!!

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If you have been diagnosed with EBV or endometriosis, feel free to share your stories below. If you have any questions, I can do my very best to answer them with the bit of knowledge I’ve gained but remember, I ain’t no doctor, yo! And I also was NOT paid to promote any of the above products..

.Afflicted.

I meant to post this earlier but I’ve been a bit busy this past week. But in light of the month of October being upon us, it only seems fitting to write about it now…

One-Eyed Doll‘s concept album, “Witches” is one of THE best concept albums I’ve ever heard. The story behind the Salem witch trials never sounded so good.

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Check out my full album review here and then watch the wickedly beautiful video for “Afflicted” below. It’s one of the heavier songs off the album but is a great representation of the album as a whole. I highly recommend checking out “Black in the Rye“, “A Rope for Mary“, “Stillness” and “Witch Hunt“, as well.

And I don’t even have to comment on the babeliness of Kimberly; that just goes without saying.

NC Pride in the Rain Outside

Today, I stood out in the rain with one of my best guy friends Dan, amongst hundreds of other people to celebrate NC’s 31st Annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual + Transgender Festival. The parade was on Duke University‘s Campus which, despite its paths of mud that my boots kept getting stuck in, is quite lovely.

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Once we checked out the variety of vendor tents, we came upon the small group of angry hate throwers that always have to show their mean ol’ faces and we had to get a closer look at their thought-provoking signs. I’ll never understand why anyone wants to waste their energy on proclaiming hate during a time when people come together + are happy. But they were highly outnumbered by the amount of advocates and anytime they tried to preach, their words would be drowned out by positivity from supporters, like the Carolina Rollergirls cheering “SKATE NOT HATE“. There was also a really amazing woman walking back + forth in front of them, yelling about the positive impacts of organizations like Planned Parenthood and The LGBT Center of Raleigh, holding up a jar for donations  You can kind of see her behind backwards hat guy in the photo above. She was loud + proud + awesome. Notice the sign of the cross between Dan and I… yes.

copcarPINKThe parade was led by this dazzling pink sheriff’s car which made my pink-loving heart all a-flutter. There were a lot of political figures showing their support and tons of kids with ridiculous energy having an absolute blast. Many of the floats had candy throwers and I got oodles of Sweet-Tarts’ trollopy cousin, Sassy Tarts which totally made me laugh.

sassytart

There was this magical man dressed as my spirit animal, the glorious hummingbird, which symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. This magnificent little bird easily dismisses negativity or bad vibes + is a great reminder to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I cheered quite loudly for Mr. Humming Bird… he was beyond fabulous!

radiantBiRDy magesticBiRDy

On top of doggie-related vendors + what looked like a doggie-daycare, there were many a pooch on parade, which made me even happier than I already was. I had to run out and give this guy a quick smooch for his collar was superb and his face was beautiful! His name was Melvin and he smelled like Cheerios.
closeupPOOCHums

Even though the weather was quite poopy and the rain couldn’t figure out what it wanted to do, everyone was super happy and in great spirits. It was a really beautiful time and I’m so happy I went, despite the cold I will probably come down with. I ran into an old friend, ate some of the best nachos I’ve ever had EVER from Chubby’s Taco and left with a bag full of condoms, slap bracelets, and Sassy Tarts. Saturday was grande.

Plus, I found Jesus…
jeebus