BY: CAITLYN JENKINS

SHAKE ME DOWN

I had been 18 for about 8 months when I decided I wanted a tattoo. I’ve always loved the idea of them, but never was sure of what I wanted, or where I would even get it. Plus, there was the whole living under my parent’s roof thing to worry about.

When I finally decided to get one, I thought about it for a while. Then, it came to me. I have always had a special connection with music. It speaks for me when I can’t, brings me out of bad moods, inspires me, and is background noise to the best moments of my life.

The first music-related tattoo I got was my very first one ever, and it came from one of my favorite bands: Cage the Elephant. At that time of my life, I was listening to them every single day, non-stop. I had always loved the lyrics “Even on a cloudy day, I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun.” and had even considered getting this tattooed before. I didn’t really want a tattoo that big, though, especially for my first one, so instead I decided to go with the name of the song: Shake Me Down.

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I did my fair share of research on this song before getting it permanently written on my body. There is a lot of debate on what this song really is about. The most popular seem to be that Matt Schultz (lead singer of Cage the Elephant) wrote this song about his struggles throughout his life, one possibly being drug addiction and how he is going to try to focus on the positive. The great thing about music, though, is that it’s open to interpretation. To me, this song is about not giving up, and always looking for the positives no matter what is going on in your life.

Some people look at it at first glance and don’t understand why I have these words tattooed on me, mostly because they don’t know the song, but every time I see it I know exactly why I got it and why it means a lot to me. Besides all that, it’s a great song and a great band. I’ve always joked that if I meet Matt Schultz I’m getting him to autograph underneath it so I can get that tattooed, so we will see how that turns out.

PRETTY.ODD.

This tattoo was a concept I had wanted for a while. Before getting my tattoo of a quote from Fight Club, I almost got one very similar to this but changed my mind shortly before. When prompted by my friend to get a flower tattoo, the idea quickly came back to my mind.

Pretty.Odd. is the name of Panic! at the Disco’s second album. It has a vibe similar to the Beatles, which it should be considering it was inspired by them. Ever since I first listened to this album, I have loved the title. I don’t know exactly why, but I love how it’s somewhat of an oxymoron. I know “pretty” is not meant to be taken in a way that means beautiful, but rather as an adverb describing odd, but I still liked the idea that something could be beautiful, and different.

One thing I have learned throughout my life is that being odd and weird is something you should embrace. It’s okay to be yourself, and it’s okay if being yourself means being different from others. This album name projects that idea to me. When I see it, I think of how different everyone is, how different situations can be, and how weird the world is, but how beautiful it all really is. Pretty.Odd has some of my favorite PATD songs including Northern Downpour, That Green Gentlemen, and Nine in the Afternoon. The song That Green Gentlemen actually says the album name in it, with the lyrics “things are shaping up to be pretty odd” and goes onto the chorus to say “things have changed for me, and that’s okay. I feel the same, I’m on my way” and I just really love that idea. Change is good; growth is good.

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I decided to get the tattoo underneath a flower because of the cover art and whole feeling of Pretty.Odd. If you don’t know what the cover art looks like, it is covered in flowers, so it only seemed fitting that it would go with one for my tattoo (the flower is also a tribute to a friendship). Panic! at the Disco may seem like another band to you, and the album may seem like any other album, but this band and their music have reached out to me in ways other than just being catchy music and that is why I chose this tattoo.

Twitter: @jenkinscaitiyn

Instagram: @caitlynjenkins

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