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Austin Ryan

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This semester ran me over. In the last couple months I worked harder than I ever had before and encountered whole new stresses. But I know I am not alone. During this time of the year plenty of us have papers to complete and finals to study for. To help us all get through the tough times I fashioned a list of songs that keep me truckin‰’ through the mud.

1. “Shake it Out” ‰ÛÒ Florence and The Machine

Sometimes you cannot help but think negatively. Let Florence‰’s powerful vocals cleanse you of all that bad feeling. Listen to “Shake it Out” to help shake out those negative feelings you get right after a bad break up, or a poor grade, or a phone call from your father telling you that your Mother got impaled by a rhinoceros that escaped from the zoo and you will never see her face again because that was the point of impact.

2. “Lay Me Back Down” ‰ÛÒ Portugal. The Man

When I run into a day where nothing goes right, I just try to unwind to some Portugal. The Man. “Lay Me Back Down‰’s” floaty instrumentation and soaring vocals keep you on cloud nine during those bad days where you get caught in the rain without an umbrella, forget to turn in a homework assignment, or get rushed to the hospital after you learn that your brother was part of terrorist sleeper cell only just before he hears his trigger, causing him to snap and sink a knife into your kidney. “Lay Me Back Down” is a song for when the pain of betrayal hurts worse than the sensation of life slowly leaving your body through your nephron.

3. “The Show Starts Now” ‰ÛÒ Cloud Cult

At times we just lose faith in ourselves and forget the things that make us great. The upbeat lyrics and perfectly paced composition of Cloud Cult‰’s “The Show Starts” Now will cure any insecurity. The Show Starts Now works for those days where you just cannot find a good look, keep sentencing up your scrambles, or end up staring into the void Ohn‰’KlazZzur‰’s Pendant of the Underrealms. Listen to Cloud Cults when you feel like the Elder Lords of Forbidden Knowledge bestowed upon you the terrible truth that nothing you do on your puny planet will make your race of flesh-mounds more than a speck of dust lost in an endless sandbox.

4. “Take a Walk” ‰ÛÒ Passion Pit

When the universe hands me an unexpected accident, Passion‰’s Pit song “Take a Walk” helps me make the best of it. The lyrics might feel crushingly depressing, but the cheery beat reminds me that there‰’s a little bit of good in all things bad. Listen to “Take a Walk” after you get in that silly fender bender, or make an unfortunate Freudian slip made in good company, or when you fall and knock the Pendant of the Underrealms lose from its container and into your gaze again. Take a Walk really works for those days where your klutzy slip-up breaks a pact with the Elder Lords of Forbidden Knowledge and banishes you to the Pits of the Daggered Eye where you remain conscious as your brother endlessly slides his knife into your back while the image of your mother‰’s head shattering against the raw power of nature blossoms eternally beneath your eyelids woven shut.

5. “Do You Realize” ‰ÛÒ The Flaming Lips

This song‰’s beautiful lyrics help for those days when you need something to jog meaning in your life after your return from the Pits of the Daggered Eye. The lush soundscape of pleasant noise will help you overcome the indifference you feel to your fellow flesh-beasts, who remain blind to the piercing pain running all along your cerebrum. When it comes to delaying the inevitable moment when you become so divorced from your compatriots of the skin coils and their shallow fa̤ade of sweet realities that you look into the Pendant of the Underrealms to usher in sweet release from even the afterlife, no song does it better than “Do You Realize.”

These five songs never fail to cheer me up when I feel down. These songs do just the trick whenever I run into a rough patch with work, school, or the numinous transcendent terrors that rend at the frail soul beneath this meat-wall of sinews and corpuscles.

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