If you read the blog regularly (thank you) hopefully you know about Open Mic by now. It’s really pretty random, but the goal is clear: to give readers a voice and a chance to be a part of Pigeons and Planes. I feel like it’s one of those things that starts off as an unfocused, unscheduled, and spontaneous thing, but I already really enjoy reading all the submissions and I hope it keeps up and continues to evolve. One of my goals for P&P in 2011 is to really up the level of interaction. I don’t want to keep on feeding you my brain without eating some of yours… eh, that came out wrong. If you want to be a part of the Open Mic series, find out more about it HERE.

The latest is from Matt:

What up Confusion

I just wanted to share what was one of the most defining experiences of my life which totally pulled me out of a rut.

I’m a student and a poor one at that, (I don’t have mummy and daddy supporting me giving me rent money etc. etc. I’m not going to write a sob story about how I’m hard done by or any of that shit because I think being independent and doing my own thing is dope and it gives me mad freedom.) so I generally use summer as a time to replenish my by then sickly bank account by taking up some demeaning job for the express purpose of having a few extra dollars when uni started up again. This summer my job of choice (read: only place that would take me) was a start up power company specialising in servicing small towns. I was to be one of their sales reps; at this point in time I had no idea what this entailed until a few weeks later when I actually commenced my employment. I was to be a door to door salesman chirping the virtues of my employers. This is actually the worst job in the world as people hate your guts before you even sneak a word in sideways. Naturally I soon became the moody and shortly after a month of failure I stopped going door to door and instead just sat in my car listening to music and dreaming of actually enjoying my summer.

“Read More” for the rest of the article…

I only worked at this place for 2 months, so for the second of my 2 months working for these people I sat in my car listening to music. During this period I stumbled across a song which epitomised my ideal summer, it was called The Thrill (Walking on a Dream remix) by Wiz Khalifa and Empire of the Sun. This song appealed to my reckless/adventurous side, so soon I quit my job in the middle of my 4 month holidays and set about pursuing my greatest summer to date.

With the money I had saved up from working those two months plus the holiday pay my employers paid out I had enough money for what can only be called on fucking insane summer. I teamed up with a friend and we went halves in a burned out 1973 Toyota Hi Ace van which had been around the clock at least 3 times and an ounce. We commenced our trip along the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand just before Christmas. We soon got word from one of our friends that a group of them they were going to attend Rhythm and Vines music festival (RnV). RnV in short is one the biggest new year’s festivals in the southern hemisphere, it is a weeklong event if you are camping at the designated campground which we did. RnV is characterised by the way it is a weeklong bender in which all 6days melt into one under the hot New Zealand sun which melts away any inhibition you have going into the event so that you have an insane time. This was an amazing catalyst to breathe life back into my increasingly mundane summer routine; in fact it served as confirmation that I made the right decision in quitting my job to chase the sun from beach to beach in a beat up piece of shit van. Seeing international acts like Empire of the Sun, the band which provided what up till then was the soundtrack to my summer.

I made a resolution shortly after the completion of the festival and destroying my liver that I would attend all the remaining music festivals in New Zealand over summer. Highlights from the ensuing 2 months left of my summer include: being in the moshpit at Big Day Out to see Dizee Rascal up close and personal performing Bonkers, singing along with the crowd during Ladyhawke, going to Splore (another music festival) and seeing Lupe perform his usual awesome set and falling in love with Kick Push all over again and having the rare chance to share a drink with him, and finally seeing the Naked and Famous in a rundown bar in a beach town before they became famous on the blogosphere and became too big for their britches.

For me the summer of 09/10 was the catalyst which reignited my love of music, especially Hip Hop and Indie.

In case y’all were interested in the playlist we had on repeat in the van here are a few songs from the playlist which I feel really brought our summer to life :

The Thrill (Walking on a Dream remix) by Wiz Khalifa and Empire of the Sun

Kids ft. MGMT by Chiddy Bang (I got in on Chiddy Bang at the ground level so back when I discovered this track it was still named kids and will forever remain so in my iTunes because it is still a point of pride that I got in that early)

Hello Brooklyn (ft. Lil Wayne) by Jay Z

Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi

Time to Listen (DJ Topcat Remix) By Talib Kweli and MGMT

Nobody’s in Love (remix) by Xaphoon Jones

Up, up, and away (The wake and bake song) by Kid Cudi

Through the Wire by Kanye West

Hip Hop Saved my Life by Lupe Fiasco

Lisztomania by Phoenix

Daylight by Matt and Kim

Electric Relaxation by A Tribe Called Quest

Young Forever (ft. Mr Hudson) by Jay Z

And finally

Horchata by Vampire Weekend

Oh in case you were wondering, I went back to uni at the start of March only with 250 dollars left in my account which was enough to pay my rent for 2 weeks. It was three weeks before I got a job, let’s just say things got tense on the food front. But I would never trade my summer for anything; you could not trade those good times with your friends for any amount of money. That is the beauty of good music, it captures these moments forever so you never forget.

Much love keep up the good work man.

Matt