What Your Old LiveJournal Music Says About You
In 2005, the internet was like the wild west for sharing your feelings. And posting music on LiveJournal was one of the best weapons we had.
Image by Noisey
This article is part of 2005 Week on Noisey, where we revisit all the best and worst pop culture relics from a decade ago.
In 2015, everyone shares things about their lives online. Being a blogger is a job that you can get paid money for. But in 2005, the internet was a sleepier place, a wild west waiting to be explored by eager teens with feelings. It was exciting, too. There were suddenly possibilities for anyone to make a web page and express themselves with their innate design skills and sick HTML templates.
One of the best platforms for this was LiveJournal, an open source blogging site started in 1999. In 2005, the site was acquired by rival blog platform Six Apart, and it seemed to reach a tipping point. LiveJournal was the blog platform of choice for angsty teens. After all, maybe you had a regular journal, but one that your friends could read? Now that was something. The possibilities for subliminal drama was like AIM on steroids. And one of the most powerful tools for letting everyone know exactly how you were feeling were the built-in features to highlight your current mood and current music—especially current music. By showing the world your deep appreciation for the lyrical genius of Coldplay and Saves the Day, you could really encourage your friends to read between the lines of your stream-of-consciousness rants . Silicon Valley will tell you the technology for social media drama has improved, but there was no refinement needed for the LJ formula. It was raw. It was real. And this is what you were posting:
Current Music: Taking Back Sunday - “You’re So Last Summer”
Today was a tough day. It’s the weekend, and you figured you probably weren’t going to see anyone because you were running errands with your parents at Ace Hardware. But you walked out of the store, and there was your ex, the one who you changed seats in math class to avoid, being unavoidable. They were eating ice cream on a bench with some friends and looked happy. You tried to wave but either they didn’t see you or pretended not to. You don’t know which is worse. How could you become just another person to someone? Didn’t they remember those deep conversations you’d have sitting in your car in the driveway together? Sure, it’s been a month, and we all move on, but still. They don’t even realize how much they meant to you. You post just one line: “The truth is you could slit my throat and with my one last gasping breath, I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt” Those lyrics are so you.
Current Music: Coldplay - "The Scientist"
Honestly, your life is going pretty well right now (you’re crushing it in Pre-Cal!), but you’re feeling a little sad anyway.
Current Music: Geto Boys - “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta”
Your current mood is set to something with the sunglasses emoticon because you JUST GOT YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! You and your best friend skipped class to take an extra long lunch and drive to the mall food court to celebrate, like total badasses. What a crazy day sticking it to the man! It honestly feels a little like that scene in Office Space, which is why you chose this song—even though it will be years before you truly understand the soul-sucking hell of the corporate world. Today, you beat the system (by excelling in it via passing your driving test), and you want the world to know!
Current Music: Wu-Tang Clan - “Bring da Ruckus”
Aw heck yeah! It’s time to go back to school, and you’re so amped for all the a** you’re gonna kick this year. Everyone you know is in the same fifth period World History class, and you guys are going to have so much fun hanging out in the classroom! You post your class schedule just so you can confirm that everyone is, in fact, in the same fifth period World History class. It’s not like you’re going to text people to find out when it costs ten cents to send a text message.
Current Music: Brand New - “OK, I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”
Your boss at Journey’s wouldn’t give you Saturday off so you could go to Surf and Skate. So you whipped out your Sidekick and changed your AIM away message to this: “Oh, my tongue’s the only muscle in my body that works harder than my heart.”
Current Music: Dave Matthews Band - “Crash Into Me”
You’ve gotten really into taking long walks alone and listening to the mix CD you made of songs that remind you of your crush. You guys talked at lunch for a few minutes yesterday, and honestly it seems like there might be something there. The Thanksgiving dance is coming up, and you can definitely imagine going together and then maybe leaving early and driving off somewhere to look at the stars together. This whole post is a sub-post about that. You hope your crush reads it, but you kind of also hope they don’t. Actually, you might set this one to friends only now that you think about it.
Current Music: Sublime - “Santeria”
You just smoked weed for the first time.
Current Music: Neutral Milk Hotel - “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
You’ve often thought “how strange it is to be anything at all.” Because it really is. You know what’s crazy? Next year you and all your friends are going to go off to college, and you’re going to get out of this crap town and really be something in the world. But when you think about it, it’s pretty weird that you ended up here to begin with. You could have been born anywhere! You could have been killed by Nazis, like Anne Frank, who the Neutral Milk Hotel album is about. But instead you’re just a sad high schooler. You set your current mood to “amazed.”
Current Music: Kelly Clarkson - “Breakaway”
You’re making peace with the world. You write a comment about what a wonderful person your ex is, naming names. Everyone should know that, whatever bad blood there was, you and John are cool with each other now and he is a beautiful person. So beautiful, in fact, that you’re cool with showing the world you’ve been listening to pop music while you think about how at peace you are with the world. You’re, like, so zen. You just checked a book out of library about meditation.
Current Music: Pink Floyd - “Another Brick in the Wall”
You've seen through the system, and you know that school is just a programming mechanism preparing us for a life of anonymous government subservience. You just read 1984, and you know that Big Brother is watching. As if you needed more proof of this, today your AP Stats teacher assigned, like, the most insane project, and you have no idea how you’re supposed to get all this done. Do these teachers even understand what they’re doing? They’re sending us all into the Matrix.
Current Music: Postal Service - “Sleeping In”
You just went on a family vacation to your aunt’s house, and, now that it’s day three, you’re starting to feel a little restless. You’re contemplating life and considering the many challenges ahead of you, which you list:
1. You have to finish those college applications.
2. You need to do your earth science homework once you get home because that’s where you left your textbook.
3. You’re going to visit your friend who works at the ice cream shop ASAP when you get back.
4. There’s so much stuff to do for Poetry Club.
Current Music: Broken Social Scene - "Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl"
This is also the title of your Livejournal.
Current Music: Oasis - “Champagne Supernova”
You love how funny your friends are—or more accurately, how funny your AIM buddies are. You’ve been chatting a lot with that one hilarious dude who’s a grade above you, and even though you don’t run into each other in the hallways much, you’re pretty tight with each other thanks to all the witty wordplay you’ve been exchanging. You post a transcript of one of your AIM chats to let the world know how great that dude is. Honestly, he’s just the best. You love your friends.
Current Music: Kanye West - “Through the Wire”
You used to get made fun of, but you’ve really grown into being pretty cool, and people around school respect you these days. You’re a winner. You’ve been through it all. But today your car got towed, and, honestly, that’s pretty shitty. You have a personal vendetta against the owner of T-Bone’s Towing. But you’re going to get through this. Starting by writing a post raging against T-Bone, who, once again, is the owner of T-Bone’s Towing and a total douche wad.
Current Music: Rilo Kiley - “Portions for Foxes”
You’re hard on yourself. As if trying to get good SAT scores and keep your GPA up and do swim team just so you can get into, like, a semi-decent elite college isn’t enough, now you’re mad at yourself because you just keep blowing things with your crush. You are bad news. You say stuff over AIM that comes across as kind of insensitive. You don’t wave when you pass in the hall because you’re sure they hate you, but then they waved and now you just look so mean and you could honestly just throw yourself off a cliff. It’s so hard to get life right! Your post is a one-paragraph stream-of-consciousness mope about how useless you are.
Current Music: Interpol - "Stella was a Diver and She was Always Down"
You listen to this on your headphones walking between classes at school. You spend a lot of time thinking about how isolated people really are from each other. We go from point A to point B, but do we ever really connect?
Current Music: The Weakerthans - “Plea from a Cat Named Virtue”
You very carefully pressed your coffee mug to the cover of your journal so that it would look like an accidental ring stain. You wear a scarf over your Propagandhi T-shirt.
Current Music: Tilly and the Wall - "Nights of the Living Dead"
You made a bunch of cool new friends at art camp this summer who cut their own hair and have already had sex, and you try cigarettes with them for the first time. You stay out late loitering in parking lots and talking about poetry and French New Wave cinema and sometimes you make out with each other. You think about how alive you feel and how you've really been holding back and how your new friends get you so much more than your friends from home. Your friends from home will later tell you about what a dick you were when you got back from camp, but it’s OK because they still love you.
Current Music: Bright Eyes - “Lover I Don’t Have to Love”
You’re down on romance. It’s all just a myth. Need proof? Today your crush ate lunch with someone else and you realized that maybe the two of them are about to start dating. Love is meaningless. You’re probably better off alone anyway. For this post, you write out a bunch of one-sentence paragraphs musing on the mysteries of life. You’re feeling very existential.
Current Music: Fiona Apple
You just read Naomi Wolf for the first time and you’re thinking about what it means to be a woman. The expectations! They’re unreal! How can a person function in the crushing vice grip of the patriarchy? You post a quote from the book. You consider adding “everyone go read this right now” but think better of it, determining that it’s more elegant to just have the quote. Boys, confused, do not comment on this post.
Current Music: Gorillaz - “Feel Good Inc.”
Your friends are effing geniuses. You love hanging out with friends. Honestly, they’re just, like, so smart and amazing. You guys totally get each other. You all had similar deep thoughts about I Heart Huckabees when you got together at Will’s house to watch it. You post one line: “my friends are effing genuises. you know who you are.”
Current Music: Death Cab for Cutie - “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
You just had sex for the first time.
Current Music: None, but the post just reads "I choose my company by the beating of their hearts not the swelling of their heads"
You are so done with all the drama this week.
Current Music: NOFX - “American Errorist”
You’re not one of those punk sheeple or just recently got into politics because of Green Day’s American Idiot. You got woke to political discussion long ago by Fat Mike. Murder the government.
Current Music: Nick Drake - “At the Chime of a City Clock”
you’re really into e.e. cummings.
the world is (vast).
Current Music: Dashboard Confessional - "Hands Down"
Life is kind of magical. You’ve been hanging out in the parking lot with that one girl you’ve always been in love with after school lately. And you know what? You finally kissed her. Love is torment, but sometimes it will save you. Your post just reads “breathe in for luck. breathe in so deep.”
Current Music: Alkaline Trio - “Time to Waste”
Today was an awkward day because your mom caught you, her only son, in her bedroom trying her eyeliner on. You tried to explain that it was just punk and that Matt Skiba does it but she didn’t know what any of those words meant so you went to your room and carved the heart skull into your dresser. That’ll show her.
Current Music: The Clash - London Calling (the album)
You're actually listening to Vanessa Carlton, but maybe your punk-loving crush will be fooled.
Current Music: Coldplay - “Fix You” (from The OC, soooo good)
In ten years, you will have many regrets.
Current music: The Faint - "Agenda Suicide"
Your cool friend with a septum piercing gave you a fashion mullet and you love it but your mom HATES IT and why can't she just let you dress how you want and why does she have to always make your life MISERABLE, GOD??
Current Music: Pulp - “Like A Friend”
If she didn’t know you liked her then, she knows it now.
Current Music: From Autumn to Ashes - “Abandon Your Friends”
Your friends are driving up to Hellfest next week but told you it “might be too tight in the car” to bring you. You were so mad but still made them a list of merch items you wanted them to pick up for you:
–Converge Jane Doe hoodie (the zip-up one, not the pullover)
–Every Time I Die tank (any one with pink writing)
–Alexisonfire buttons/patches if they have any
–As I Lay Dying (whatever they have)
–Unearth trucker hat
Current Music: Jimmy Eat World - “The Middle”
Your friend just blew your mind with this theory: The trophies on the cover of Bleed American are supposed to represent the World Trade Center. Woah.
Current Music: The Blood Brothers - “Trash Flavored Trash”
Your girlfriend is really pissed at you because you borrowed her Diesels and snapped one of the belt loops while adjusting your white belt.
Current Music: Xiu Xiu - "I luv the valley OH!"
You just got back from Xiu Xiu concert. There were only like, 50 people there, which was *very cool.* You maybe cried a little, you're maybe crying more now, because with with the way Jamie Stewart howls and wails and feels, how could you not? You're really starting to get into things like dissonance and noise music, but not as much as you think you are. You post the lyrics: "it's just a pill, you've got to take it" so people know that you are feeling ~dark~
Current Music: Spoon - “The Way We Get By”
You just got a college email address, and now you can sign up for Facebook! It’s pretty cool. You can talk to your friends on there and post pictures.
Current Music: Arcade Fire - “Rebellion (Lies)”
This is it, you post. You’re going to teach yourself how to juggle.
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