“When I sing a song of peace – it soothes the savage beast…”
– Gnarles Barkley, “Open Book”
Music is a language – but not just any language, no, it is universal – even more so than mathematics. For it is through music that actual emotions – those complex chemical interactions in our brains – can be expressed, not just for one person, but for the masses – just try to express love or hatred through mathematics and equations! When one is going through a rough patch in life and hears another person (the musical artist) going through maybe not the exact same things, but something close, the brain reacts – “I am not alone!”
The beauty of the artists on Strange Music is that they are never required to censor themselves for the “public ear” – REAL emotions are messy, ugly, angry, confusing, heart-breaking, and tragic – and sometimes you need to hear a “Fuck” or an act of violence to feel that sedating thought that you are not alone in this world. We all struggle, we all feel pain, and we all experience loss in our lives, but we are also family here in Strangeland – here is the story of a girl who went through the worst losses she could ever imagine, but through the power of some Strange music, started to see the light again.
In 2009, Lacie Hignett was living on her own, six hours away from the nest, out in Missouri. While any resident of Missouri knows how intense Strange Music shows out there can be, she made the effort to not miss any that rolled into town – even calling off work (don’t tell anybody!) Unfortunately, things back home were getting rough – her mother, Laura, was sick with Hepatitis C as well as stage four cirrhosis of the liver, whereas her father, James, was fighting diabetes and kidney failure – requiring dialysis three days a week. Lacie was summoned home in July of 2009 to help take care of her parents.
When I got home, I hit rock bottom – I had no job, I was back living with my parents, and my car was about to be repossessed. After living on my own for three years and working multiple jobs to make ends meet it was really hard for me to accept, but all I could think is that I was home [and this is] where I belonged. I decided to get into college that year and my mom was so happy that I wanted to do that and she helped me get everything going for my financial aid and school loans.
Things were going good, or at least stable, in the Hignett residence, until Christmas –
Well, the day after Christmas in 2009, my mother went into the hospital for pneumonia. Now you have to know my mom to know how strong this lady was – she got sick in 2004 and was in and out of the hospital and ALWAYS came home. So, I just figured the doctors would give her medicine that would help her body fight the illness and she would be home. Well, it didn’t happen that way – one day my mom was talking to all of us on the phone and the next day she fell into a coma. She died January 27, 2010.
I believe at this point K.O.D. had been out and I would always listen to “Show Me a God” and “Low” and “Shadows on the Road” and Tech just KNEW what I was feeling. I couldn’t explain the pain I was going through, but Tech could. It was like we were sharing this same feeling because his mom was sick and fighting for her life too.
While the music was an outlet for Lacie’s emotions and pain, unfortunately her father was in a different state –
He didn’t know how to live life without my mom – they were together for 24 years. My dad stopped going to dialysis and stopped taking his meds. I took him to the doctor Memorial Day in 2010 and they sent him home. That Friday we were back at the emergency room and he was admitted to the hospital. He was supposed to have a dialysis treatment and go home the next day. Well, he got even sicker and they decided to keep him. He ended up dying June 9, 2010. I went home and put in my K.O.D. album and just cried all night till I couldn’t cry anymore. I didn’t know how to feel and what I was going to do without my parents.
Completely lost, and with no direction, Lacie found some deep, inner ball of strength – a little whisper that said “You have to keep going…” – and she did, she is now living on her own again, and is perusing an associate’s degree in computer science.
Tech has helped me get through so much. I’ll listen to K.O.D. still and I love that album because that’s what I listened to during [that] time. When I put it in now I’ll listen to “Low” but I’ll have to change it to All 6’s And 7’s or KLUSTERFUK because when I listen to that album it brings those feelings I felt when my parents died. I believe I have became a stronger woman now because I have my Momma guiding me on this journey through life, and I have Tech’s music there to bring me up when I’m down. Tech is a big part of my life and ALWAYS will be. Krizz Kaliko’s song “Getcha Life Right” is like my anthem song – I’m always trying to better myself and help others… At the Gathering of the Juggalos in 2010 I was able to tell Tech how K.O.D. helped me through the previous seven months of my life and I felt like it made him feel good to know that his music is helping us… I will forever be a Technician – it’s in my heart and soul. Thank you for listening and reading about how Tech is such a big part of my life. I love that man so much!
Music is a tool – as you just witnessed, it could be one of the strongest tools in the world – and what it comes down to, ultimately, is not feeling alone. Welcome to the family Lacie.
– Jason Ours, Strange Music contributor