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 SWING THE FOCUS, ft. cor[e]
Apr 5 2017, 05:49 PM
he/him
24


Wing Manifestation
bassist@ cor[e]
rosario t. reedy
Alice [she/they] • 295 posts


R
osario had known that COR[E]'s road wouldn't be a straightforward one, but rather one full of bumps and twists and turns. There'd be disagreements and musical differences, problems with future fans and attacks from trolls. Weirdly, though, he'd never considered that they might fall apart. Perhaps because the band was just so new. It had though; Nat was gone.

Rosy felt entitled to his frustration. The band rolled the wrong number on the dice, and now they'd had jumped past a ladder and ended up sliding down a snake instead. The progress they'd made seemed like it counted for nothing - though he knew that wasn't really true - and he felt like a starstruck ant next to Charlie and Dax. He wouldn't have been completely surprised if he woke up one day to find that COR[E] had been some elaborate dream.

It was especially strange when the label pushed them to spend time with each other outside of the studio. With the camera men, of course. Nat might have been gone, but they had to go forwards. The label were going to try and find a new guitarist quickly, but in the mean time, Rosario, Charlie and Dax needed to continue to document their journey.

It wasn't so much that Rosy was reluctant to spend time with Charlie and Dax - in fact, he very much wanted to - but at times their interactions felt forced. Especially when the cameras were on them. Like, that day a car had dropped them off on a street full of thrift shops and they'd been directed into one of them. They were supposed to act as though the afternoon out had been their idea, but it hadn't been. At least, not as far as Rosario knew.

He flicked disinterestedly through a rack of holey t-shirts, well aware of them cameramen situated around the pokey shop. Rosy turned his back on one that was starting to get on his nerves, only to spot a familiar blue, white and grey pattern - tartan. He tugged the kilt off the rail and held it up with a snort. "Good to know Scottish culture is alive and well in Chicago."

@charlie h. liu @daxton huang
Apr 14 2017, 12:58 PM
she/her
twenty


wing manifestation
singer
charlie h. liu
ananas [she/her] • 38 posts


running with wolves into the wild
Charlie couldn’t say she was surprised that Nat had left the band. People like Nat were always like that — flaky, irresponsible, unreliable. If someone was only in it for the money, there was little chance they would last doing something like COR[E]. And perhaps it was foolish and a bit naive to be so sure of the uniqueness of this band, but Charlie was convinced that there was something about them that set them apart from the rest of the sell-outs who had gone mainstream. Punk wasn’t just rebellion for its own sake; it was dismantling all of the fucked up systems in society. The point was, people like Nat were not dedicated enough to make it, and in truth Charlie was glad that she was gone, not that she was stupid enough to say so (though, really, good riddance).

In a way, she couldn’t help but wonder if the label had been planning this all along for more reality show drama. Certainly, their views were great after that episode had aired. People ate that shit up. But Charlie hoped that their product wasn’t quite so contrived as that. She wasn’t here just to amuse people like a dancing monkey — even if their job was, ultimately, to entertain. Whatever the case, the producers told them that today they would be spending the day together, so Charlie had obliged, showing up in her ripped jeans and a pink studded leather jacket. It was a little cold, but hey — punk rockers didn’t complain about the temperature.

They pulled up to the thrift shop they decided to “spontaneously” visit, and Charlie made a show of elbowing Dax a little in the ribs, just playing for the camera, trying to demonstrate that they were all friends and getting along despite Nat’s exit. Inside the store, they went their separate ways for the most part. She wandered off down an aisle, looking at ugly clothes and old furniture; occasionally she turned to show something particularly weird to the camera or to Rosy and Dax, but it wasn’t until Rosario spoke that she actually tuned in to what the others were doing. A t-shirt caught her eye as she walked over, laughing a bit at the kilt that he had in hand. “Hey, it’s in pretty good condition, you should try it on,” she teased, though she was also being semi-serious. A few minutes of goofy thrift shop hijinks would do well for their show.

“Besides, I wish I could say the same for Chinese culture, but this —” she held up the t-shirt, just plain black with large red Chinese characters across the front “— just says xiao long bao.” She rolled her eyes as she waved it at the camera. “Like, the fucking soup dumplings.” Once that was done she tossed it in Daxton’s direction, watching as it draped over his head on landing. “You could probably fit in it, Dax.”

Apr 25 2017, 08:38 PM
he/him
twenty-three


pyrokinesis
drummer in cor[e]
daxton huang
sparky [she/her] • 13 posts


but we ain't selling out
Before Natalie had left, Dax felt like COR[E] had at least been making progress. They had started something new together, and maybe they were still learning the ropes, but it had been relatively okay (despite the girls’ obvious distaste for one another from the very start). But after Nat’s dramatic exit from the group, it felt like all of that had come to a rather stagnant halt. No one was really sure what to do, and that panic that this might not work out after all, that it would all fall apart before it even started had brought itself back to the forefront of his mind. This was Dax’s last chance with the label, he couldn’t lose it now. Not when it was so close to becoming something tangible and real.

The executives at the label had assured them that they were doing everything to find the perfect replacement guitarist, but it still set Dax on edge. For the time being there was a big push on focusing more on the band’s relationships than the music that was slowly coming together. Without a guitarist they were spending less time in the studio, and more time on forced outings that the PR execs thought would make them seem interesting and relatable, and like they were all such good friends. Which wasn’t necessarily true. Dax liked his bandmates, sure, but they didn’t know one another all that well. He and Charlie had a connection of sorts, their minimal history, and their similar backstories helped. But Dax felt like neither of them knew much about Rosario outside of what went on in the studio.

Today they’d been ushered into a thrift shop, which probably wasn’t the worst activity they could have been forced to participate in. But Dax still hated being followed around by the cameras. He usually tried his best to avoid them, but it was pretty hard when they were on your heels at all times. He’d resorted to casually flipping through racks of old leather jackets, he already owned a handful of them, but could you ever have too many leather jackets, really?

He looked up when he heard Rosy’s voice, raising his eyebrows at the kilt he’d raised up. ”Bet your legs would look fantastic in that.” he grinned easily. Dax was a flirt, he couldn’t help it. Besides, the cameras ate that shit up, right? He turned to listen to Charlie when she brought up Chinese culture, knowing that she’d likely pulled something stupid and/or racist off the rack. Her explanation did not disappoint. But his reflexes weren’t fast enough and he ended up catching the t-shirt with his face. ”What makes you think I want to wear soup dumplings, princess?” he huffed, dragging the fabric off of his face. ”My style is glam rock, not clueless white boy in a fraternity.”

May 10 2017, 06:19 PM
he/him
24


Wing Manifestation
bassist@ cor[e]
rosario t. reedy
Alice [she/they] • 295 posts


I
t'd been a handful of months since COR[E] had first been put together, but Rosario was still finding his feet around all the cameras. He'd known for a while that if he did have a particularly successful career in music then at some point, he was going to have lenses focusing in on him. But, not so soon. These were special circumstances though, and Rosy couldn't complain when he was being given such an amazing opportunity. Not even if being part of the band was difficult at times.

He was cautious of Charlie and Dax, but they really weren't as bad to be around as his nerves might have suggested. They were both relatively easy to talk to, and knowing that they were all in this for the long haul made things easier; if Rosy did something stupid, then it'd be something they could all laugh about five years from now.

"You're teasing me, but I wear these things all the time back at home," he mentioned. His words should have been taken with a pinch of salt really, but Rosy enjoyed teasing just as much as the other two seemed to. He smirked at Dax, feeling a sudden wave of confidence. If his bandmates felt at ease, then he had no need to feel uncomfortable. (Wasn't that true?) "They would."

Rosario snorted at the t-shirt that Charlie held up. It was ignorant at best, offensive at worst. "I think you should get it," he told Dax, "and wear it ironically, aye?"

@charlie h. liu @daxton huang

May 26 2017, 10:22 AM
she/her
twenty


wing manifestation
singer
charlie h. liu
ananas [she/her] • 38 posts


running with wolves into the wild
She honestly didn’t know if Rosy was being even semi-serious or not, but it didn’t really matter. The image of Rosario that she had in her mind was so opposite from kilts and Scottish culture at large that she laughed. Their punk as hell bassist could totally go on stage wearing a kilt, though. It would be pretty cool. “Pics or it didn’t happen,” she said simply, grinning over at him.

Charlie laughed at Dax. “Exactly. You can wear it as like, a statement of how ridiculous white people are, or something.” She was sure the cameras were on her right at that second. That was the kind of on-air thing that would break the comments section of their show, when butthurt white people saw it and started spreading it around social media. Hey, part of being punk rock was pissing people off once in a while. Making change required making noise. “Besides, Rosy will try on his kilt, right? And I’ll even let you losers pick something out for me.”

Jun 19 2017, 07:58 PM
he/him
twenty-three


pyrokinesis
drummer in cor[e]
daxton huang
sparky [she/her] • 13 posts


but we ain't selling out
He was surprised by Rosy’s bold answer. They didn’t know each other well enough, but Dax had assumed from their encounters thus far that he was a little on the introverted side. Not the type to boast how killer their legs looked in a kilt. But it was a welcomed opening. Maybe they were going to get through to each other after all. ”Well, don’t deprive us of the view, honey.” he prodded, wondering if his bandmate would genuinely go through with it or not.

Dax pulled a face at the suggestion. ”Or I could burn it as a statement that ridiculous white people need to be stopped.” He hated the cameras. This reality show wasn’t what he’d signed up for when he decided to skip out on college and pursue music fulltime. But there was something to be said about the platform it provided them before their first album was even truly underway. The ability to out their message, their beliefs out there to be seen by a waiting audience. Dax knew they’d get a lot of flack for the current conversation, which is exactly why he knew they’d include it in the next webisode. They were here to make waves. Controversy got clicks.

Charlie was hard to pick something outrageous for. She was already so completely off-the-wall on her own. With her big pink tulle skirts and oversized bows and shiny combat boots. The very definition of a punkrock princess. Dax admired it in a way, but right now her own eclectic style choices (and the fact that she could probably make just about anything work) were not going to do the boys any favors. ”I don’t think there’s anything ridiculous enough for you in this place.” He didn’t really mean it, but poking fun at Charlie was always a good time. She was a good sport, usually.

Jun 21 2017, 08:25 PM
he/him
24


Wing Manifestation
bassist@ cor[e]
rosario t. reedy
Alice [she/they] • 295 posts


R
osario realised that he could see what cor[e]'s future looked like as the three of them hung out in the charity shop, making fun of the clothes they found, and each other. If they could have more moments like this, where the conversation flowed, and he didn't feel like he wasn't supposed to be there, then they'd be on their way. "I'll log into my Facebook later," Rosy told Charlie, his words curling at the edges as his mouth did the same. "I'm sure there's a lot of photo evidence online."

The cameras were easy to forget until Charlie made that comment. Then, Rosario remembered that they were being filmed, and that hundreds of offended white people were going to rip into her in the comments section if the footage ended up online (which it would, of course). He had to say, he admired her fearlessness. "What about you wear it, then burn it?" Rosario suggested. He'd thought that Dax's stupid t-shirt had taken the attention away from the horrendous kilt, but Charlie's memory was better than that, it seemed. "If you wear whatever we pick out for you, then I'll try on this cheap monstrosity," he promised.

Charlie's style truly was one of a kind, but that only made choosing something for her more fun. Rosario wished he had the courage to make such bold fashion choices for himself. "You're giving up too easily," he told Dax, "look for anything and everything pink." As if by magic, a hot pink, floral maxi dress seemed to appear on one of the hangers. Rosario pulled it out from between moth-eaten coats and thread-bare skirts with a triumphant 'eyyyy', and held it up to show the other two.

@charlie h. liu

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