Archive for the ‘music’ Category

08-09 playlist

I’ve done this for three years now, starting in the year of 07-08. I decided to start a new one around June because as long as I can remember this time of year has marked some odd transition in my life. So instead of starting it in January at the beginning of the real new year, I’ve decided to do it in June when I feel like a new phase of life has begins.

Here is the 2008-2009 version of this yearly playlist, featuring 27 songs from the likes of Billy Joel, Coldplay, Hanson and The Format. I’ve also included some fun (and odd) youtube links featuring the songs. Oh joy!

1. Generosity, Mirah youtube link
We’ve eaten unrestrained/But now these green fruits will remain sour/These clouds we’ve made can not make rain/I gave you all of my energy/And you took it without thanks/You once showed such promise/But now I won’t give more Frustration. Anxiety. Hope that I will not be in this same place again.

2. River of Dreams, Billy Joel
I don’t know why I go walking at night/But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore/I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life/Until I find what it is I’ve been looking for Wandering in circles. Will I ever get to a place that feels like home?

3. Death and All of His Friends, Coldplay
No I don’t wanna battle from beginning to end/I don’t wanna cycle, recycle revenge/I don’t wanna follow death and all of his friends No more hate. No more war. Acceptance. Wonder.

4. Suddenly I See, KT Turnstall youtube link
She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white/Makes you feel warmer when you’re trying to remember/What you heard/She likes to leave you hanging on her word/Suddenly I see/This is what I wanna be Jealousy. Reevaluation. A desire to be desired.

5. The Towering Inferno, Lucky Soul
The towering inferno inside me/may one day consume and devour me/well I say let burn/let it burn/you’re never going to satisfy me…they’re never, never going to save me Feelings are boring and kissing is helpless. Just let the emotions roar through words.

6. Do You Feel, The Rocket Summer youtube link (highly recommended video, despite it being somewhat gimmicky.)
Can you feel the souls behind what’s going on/Do you feel/The weight of the world singing sorrow/Or to you is it just not real/Cause you got your own things/Yeah we all have our things Participation in the world again. Trying not to navel gaze.

7. Section 12 (Hold Me Now), The Polyphonic Spree youtube link (two words: crazy puppets)
Everyone thinks they’ve got a new phrase/But you’re still miles away/You’re still miles away/I said, “You’re still miles away.” Still a million steps away from the future. Nothing new comes from the old. Stepping out.

8. Pigeon Song, Patrick Wolf youtube link (crotch shot!)
What you wait for never shows/what you’ve always wanted holds you down just like a stone/Now I feed the birds day after day/only they can hear me pray for a lighter heart/a lighter load/to be moving, moving, moving/my way home Praying to feel good again. An appeal to my senses to wake up again.

9. Get Better, Mates of State
You are never ahead of, never behind us/Floating in circles, there’s more to remind them of less/Everything’s gonna get lighter, even if it never gets better/Forget your politics for a while/Let the color schemes arrive Don’t worry. Don’t you worry your pretty head. Forget. Let the color fill your cheeks again.

10. America, Orphan Songs
America is lost…fairy in the dark/some of the good things I recall/He said America is lost/but the kid in you is still so young (note: I added this song around election season when I was afraid that Obama would lose and I’d have to live out another 2 years in a country that hated me and everything I believed in)

11. A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke youtube link
it’s been a long time coming/but I know a change is gonna come(note: and this song is in celebrate of Obama’s election and magnificent election night acceptance speech.)

12. Vienna, Billy Joel youtube link (a capella group’s cover)
you can see when you’re wrong but you can’t always see when you’re right/won’t you realize Vienna waits for you..slow down you crazy child/take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while… Vienna waited to show me how to be alive again. God was present in stones. I touched art and men and wine and beer and ancient walls.

13. Aria: Der Hollie Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, from Die Zomberflote (The Magic Flute), Mozart youtube link
(note: saw the opera preformed live at the Osterich Saatsoper December 10th, 2008. You never forget your first.)

14. Be Alive, O.W.L.
have you ever tried to be alive/opened up you gentle eyes/and smile for a while/dream what you might have been/in another time… Keep my spirit brewing after being boiled so hard.

15. We’re All in the Dance, Feist youtube link(from the end of Paris, je t’amie) We’re all trying. We’re all turning and turning (in the widening gyre…the center cannot hold)
We all go round and round/Partners of lost and found/Looking for one more chance/All I know is/We’re all in the dance

16. Watch Over Me, Hanson
She counts the time ’til her heart breaks/Just waiting for her next mistake/And I said please/and she says please/And she says please/watch over me Yet another appeal. Save me. I fell out of the life boat.

17. Chicago/We Change the World, Graham Nash
Somehow people must be free/I hope the day comes soon/Won’t you please come to Chicago/show your face/From the bottom of the ocean/To the mountains of the moon/Won’t you please come to Chicago/no one else can take your place
(note: I went to Chicago to the AWP conference; though the protest song is also appropriate)

18. Fiery Crash, Andrew Bird youtube link(high recommended! Beautiful shot and edited concert footage!)
beige tiles and magazines/Lou Dobbs and the CNN team/on every monitor screen/you were caught in the crossfire/where every human face/has you reaching for your mace/so it’s kind of an imposition/fatal premonition
(note: I was in and out of a lot of airports in general this year. I still am mildly afraid of planes.)

19. Right Direction, Jake Troth
one foot on the curb now honey/the other in the road of life/I can’t stand on both/I can’t stand on both/I know I know/I can’t have both/but I’ll do what I’m told/show me in the right direction…you’ve always got the right direction/and I’ll go Choices. Decisions. I chose the green instead of the red. Both are good.

20. At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be), fun.
at least I’m not as sad as I used to be/and they said…are you gonna stay?/I began to smile and I say/boy you should have see me/a couple of years ago…it’s such a gas when you bring up the past Going home kills me in ways I still cannot name.

21. The Walk, Hanson youtube link (highly recommended! just one man and a piano. beautiful.)
On the tightrope/Everything’s bare/All that there is is from here to there/On the tightrope/The goal is quite clear/Don’t lose yourself in your fear/Everyone waits on the walk/Some are long and some small/But all of them tall/Everyone must make a choice/Will I go for it all/And possibly fall/The tightrope is thin/I could possibly win on the walk/Well high on the walk/The tightrope it bends/And nobody knows where it ends/To win or to lose/You’re all on your own/Everyone must be alone I have to do this alone. I have to be real.

22. Help, I’m Alive, Metric
Help, I’m alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer/Hard to be soft/tough to be tender
Come take my pulse/the pace is on a runaway train/Help I’m alive/my heart keeps beating like a hammer/beating like a hammer
I signed my name in a hurry and my heart took off without me.

23. Gooan daginn, Sigur Ros (translated title: Hello, Good day) youtube link
Lyrics are in Icelandic so I don’t even know what they mean. Pretty song full of hope and goodness.

24. Much More Than That, Sharon Van Etten
One day I’ll be a better writer/I’ll make every face that I’ll never perfectly phrase/that I’ll never perfectly phrase…I don’t think I need much more than that…you look at me so slyly/but only when I’m smiling…I write this moment/as I can not paint pictures with my tongue I was trying to finish my senior project. I was losing my inspiration. Frustrated with style and voice. Writerly woes.

25. Happiness, Church
Don’t be afraid/let out your heart/happiness is alright/happiness is alright it’s ok to be ok. I know that now.

26. Our Last Days as Children, Explosions in the Sky youtube link
instrumental; the last days before we took leave of each other were so simple and so honest.

27. Give It Up, The Format youtube link
We were kids back then, as if we could progress/Sometimes I just can’t sleep/Thinking of everything we could have been/So give it up, throw your hats in the air/And change just as they land/You’re saying, “We’ll get out of here”/Something tells me that you’re too scared to go I mourn the loss of potential in my friends; I mourn the loss of time I spent trying to be someone else…

Oh my god. So much stuff happened this year. So much more stuff will happen next year. I swear I wasn’t as sad as these songs seems to say I was. Well, maybe I was. But it was the best year. I went to Scotland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Chicago and New York two times each. So perhaps it was full of growing pains.


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Every year, for the past 3 years, I have made a yearly playlist that goes from June to June. I pick June just because, for me at least, has been the end of an era. School’s out, summer’s begun and life takes a turn for the bright and sunny. I just put songs on the list that I feel like reflect the time I’m going through in my life. So here it is, all 35 songs. Ranging from the uber indie to pop to classic rock, here is my life for the past 12 months in sonic form.

ps- a few mp3s are linked in here. I’m not sure if they are still working, since they are time-sensitive upload links. If they aren’t, I’ll reup them if you would like.

1.You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles; lyics
How can I even try/I can never win/Hearing them, seeing them/In the state I’m in

2.Four Winds by Bright Eyes; youtube link
And it’s the Sum of Man/slouching towards Bethlehem/A heart just can’t contain/ all of that empty space/It breaks. It breaks. It breaks

3.26-Hour Day by Jay Brannan; lyrics, youtube link
Is this democracy or a monarchy/What do we hold elections for/You write your personal agenda on a post-it note/And leave the constitution lying on the bathroom floor

4.Brandy Alexander by Fiest; lyrics
Though you know what I love most of him/I’m walking on needles and pins/My addiction to the worst of him/The low moon helps me sing

5.My Heart by Paramore; lyrics
I am finding out that maybe I was wrong/That I’ve fallen down and I can’t do this alone/
Stay with me, this is what I need, please?

6.Secret Heart by Fiest, covering Ron Sexsmith; youtube link yousendit link to mp3 (highly recommended!!!)
secret heart/why so sacred/why so serious?

7.Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do by Billie Holiday; lyrics, youtube link
If I go to church on Sunday/Then cabaret all day Monday/Ain’t nobody’s business if I do

8.I’m So Tired by The Beatles; lyrics
You’d say I’m putting you on/But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm/You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain/You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane/You know I’d give you everything I’ve got/for a little peace of mind

9.That’s What You Get by Paramore; lyrics
I wonder, how am I supposed to feel when you’re not here/’Cause I burned every bridge I ever built when you were here/I still try holding onto silly things, I never learn/Oh why, all the possibilities I’m sure you’ve heard

10.Campus by Vampire Weekend; lyrics
Then I see you/You’re walking cross the campus/Cruel professors/Studying romances/How am I supposed to pretend/I never want to see you again?/How am I supposed to pretend/I never want to see you again?

11.It’s Tough to Have a Crush When the Boy Doesn’t Like You Back by OK Go; lyrics
Well it’s tough to have a crush/Whoever knew such hullabaloo/Well it’s tough to have a crush/When it only leaves you blue

12.Running With Scissors by Ben Lee; lyrics
well i can feel you in my bones/these are the symptoms that are shown/its always every now and then/life is unusual again

13.I Used to Think by Cars Can Be Blue; , yousendit link (it’s so twee and angry at the same time!)
my attention only holds four seconds/don’t hold my hand/if we decided to be more than friends/things would really turn to shit

14.Cold Song by Clare Burson; her myspace link
I’m too tired to go outside/wish I could just could stay in and wait for the spring time to come/ooh the spring to come/to come oh, the springtime to come

15.Diamonds and Gold by Langhorne Slim; youtube link
toss your misery out the door/what are you waiting for/you gotta learn to get a little happy along the way/it’s alright to smile/it’s alright to get a little happy along the way

16.Happy Kid by Nada Surf; lyrics
Got ink all over my right hand/Getting crushes with no chance to grow/It’s like i’ll never ever land

17.Winter Song by Chairs in the Arno; not much due to extreme indieness yousendit link to mp3
let’s go play hide and seek/let’s blow off work next week/having fun didn’t seem this hard/when I was 10 years old

18.Add Your Light to Mine by Lucky Soul; lyrics
I’ve seen you dancing like no one was looking/Beneath the fullest moon/Oh some day soon/I’m gonna find all the things I’ve been yearning for

19.Afraid by Patrick Wolf, covering Nico; lyrics
Have someone else’s will as your own/You are beautiful and you are alone

20.Never Let This Go by Paramore; lyrics
One day you’ll get sick of/saying that everything’s alright/And by then I’m sure I’ll be pretending/Just like I am tonight

21.I Do What I’m Told by Madeline; lyrics
i do what i’m told/and i’m getting aggravated/my spine has been sold/to a boy well, we traded/courage for the promise that we’ll/never be so honest

22.As Much As You Lead by Lex Land; not much due to extreme indieness, link to myspace
at least when I’m sleeping I can dream of you/but the taste is so foul when I ask you if you’ll finally stay/because as much as you lead/you know I will follow

23.Looks Like We Haven’t Learned a Thing by The Walkup; myspace
looks like we haven’t learned a thing/why don’t you look around/see that there’s no one laughing now/won’t you take a bow

24.Pressure by Paramore; lyrics, youtube link
And there’s nothing else to show/For all of the days that we spent/Carried away from home/Some things I’ll never know/And I had to let them go/I’m sitting all alone feeling empty

25.Bloody Motherfuckin’ Asshole by Martha Wainwright; lyrics
I will not pretend/I will not put on a smile/I will not say I’m all right for you/When all I wanted was to be good/To do everything in truth/To do everything in truth

26.Every Little Bit by Patty Griffin; lyrics
I stay unseen by the light/I stay untold by the truth/I’m sold by a lie/By this I am able in all of my travels/To make these memories quit/But tonight I clearly recall every little bit

27.Never So Strange by Morning State; myspace
call me on the phone/call me very late in the evening/oh oh oh/I never thought we’d be so strange/I never thought we end up this way/and what did you expect to see/a difference inside of me?

28.Viva La Vida by Coldplay; lyrics, youtube link
For some reason I can’t explain/I know Saint Peter will call my name/Never an honest word/But that was when I ruled the world

29.Shine On by The Kooks; lyrics
Shine, shine, shine on/Yes Wont you shine, shine on/Because your not done

30.Be Good or Be Gone by Fionn Regan; lyrics, youtube link (highly recommended, wonderful video!)
The range is staggering/Movement and timing/Frame by frame/It did unfold

31.Changes by David Bowie; lyrics, youtube link
I still don’t know what I was waiting for/And my time was running wild/A million dead-end streets/Every time I thought I’d got it made/It seemed the taste was not so sweet/So I turned myself to face me/But I’ve never caught a glimpse/Of how the others must see the faker/I’m much too fast to take that test

note: some songs may appear “early” in the year, perhaps even before the album they are on was released. I went back and put songs that informed that time of my life once I heard then. This is true for one of the Fiest songs.

Boy, I was sad a lot this year, well more frustrated, I guess. Yep, sounds about right for being 20/21.

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so let’s cause a scene

clap our hands and stomp our feet

I just gotta get myself over me

The First Single, The Format

It was one of the closest things to true bliss I’ve ever experienced: hearing my favorite song, a song so perfect, I feel as if the words poured out of my own heart, played live.

Click here to listen to The First Single.

I can thank freshman year for this. A girl named Joanna lived down the hall. She was (and still is!) artsy and friendly and hilarious. One afternoon, I came back to my dorm room to find a lovely little burgundy and lime green paisley scarf and a burned CD tied to the door knob. I rejoiced. On it was a song called “Janet” by a band I had never heard of called The Format. It was Destiny, with a capital D.

At first I was hesitant about it. It reminded me of…nothing. It felt more foreign than the Swedish pop music I paid top dollar to import. My musical tastes were quite limited then; showtunes, Hanson, the aforementioned Swedish pop groups and boys with guitars were my only true sonic loves. But I kept listening. It was like learning new partnered dance. I had to be lead through slowly, note by note, lyric by lyric. Finally, several weeks later, the verdict was in: I had never been so enchanted by a band since I was 11 years old.

It’s a pity I can’t remember the exact moment I heard it. But I know from that moment, it must have pushed “A Song to Sing” by Hanson out of the top spot of my All Time Favorite Songs and it has yet to budge. In a world where musicians hit the top of the charts and then slowly fizzle away, I believe that to be quite an accomplishment, at least for a girl who has been baptized into the indie music subculture and hasn’t looked back. It must have been through one of the mp3 blogs I still visit every day on my internet rounds, Fuel Friends. I bet it was magic, though. During my freshman year, I slogged through my first identity crisis that most college students must go through. I doffed all of my past sins, habits and friends and became an entirely new person upon move-in day. The lyrics must have been salve for the necessary still-open wounds of this identity surgery.

you know me,
or you think you do you
you just dont seem to see
I’ve been waiting all this time to be
something I can’t define
I still don’t know what I’m waiting to be. I thought I knew back then. I thought I knew this spring. Had another identity exploratory surgery over the summer. Conveniently, that aforementioned moment of bliss came at the end of the summer. The guitar pumped through the speakers, pulsed through my stomach. The staccato snare drum reverberated through my ears. Nate (the lead singer) counted off…1…2…1, 2, 3, 4.
I can’t stand to think about
a heart so big it hurts like hell
oh my god
I gave my best before
three whole years
to end like this
do you wanna fall apart?
I can’t stop if you can’t start
do you wanna fall apart?
well, I could, if you can
try to fix what I’ve undone
because I hate what I’ve become
I screamed. I screamed, my eyes closed, my fists wrapped tightly around the metal barrier in front of me. And I prayed.
I know prayer isn’t something one does at a rock concert, let alone a “secular” rock concert. But this song, I swear, it had become my secret anthem. God, I prayed, please mold me into what you REALLY want me to be, not what I think you want me to be. Jumping up and down, the song became more like worship than any other hymn or praise song I had ever sung. It was undignified. It was intense. It was the most genuine praise I had ever given to Him.
Yes, I wanted a change when I came to college, three whole years ago. And I got it. I got a change that squished my square beliefs in a round hole. I trimmed the corners of my square. I sanded down the edges of my hard to swallow opinions. And it worked. I found people who accepted me, who believed (in the beginning) that I was so perfectly round.
It’s been five months since the concert and I know things have changed. I subscribed to a feminist magazine. I placed my GLBTQ ally pins on my front door instead of hidden away in my desk. I’m seriously contemplating starting a Bible study that is open to and addresses contemporary liberal questions about faith and the Bible.

me, flushed after the most amazing concert ever.

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I love music a little too much sometimes. More specifically, I’m extremely picky about what I listen to, which is mostly indie pop and rock. I cringe at the sound of Keith Urban. I lash out irrationally when Kayne West starts raping. I bemoan the fact that Rob Thomas used to be so cool in 1997, but you can’t tell that from the horrible songs he’s writing now. My sister says my motto it “If it’s not indie, it’s crap.” And I hate to admit it, but she’s almost right. There are so many great bands out there on indie labels or are self publishing their records.  Here, I submit to you, some of my favorites of this month.

The jarringly named band, The New Pornographers, is my favorite pick of this month. I’ve steered clear of them for ages because of their name. I recently gave them a good listen and I discovered they weren’t one bit as dirty as their moniker suggests. My favorite song is from their 2007 release, Challengers. Here’s Go Places, a heartfelt and well written song with soulful guitar and clear, cool vocals. This live recording of the band sounds wonderful! They certainly aren’t they sort of band who can’t play live.

I have been watching Voxtrot since the beginning of my freshman year. They finally produced a full length, self titled album last fall and have been touring all summer (no where near Ohio, unfortunately) to support it. I don’t know what they’re up to in the new year, but heres to hoping they are recording a new album. This is Firecracker, the song I always jump around to in my room while I’m getting read in the morning.

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Last is Paramore. They’re last because they seriously don’t need my help in promoting them. Their song, Misery Business, is being played all over MTV and top 40 stations. I can’t blame them. Paramore’s lead singer has a catchy and energetic voice and stage presence. AND Paramore is on the now famous FueledByRamen label, made popular by Fall Out Boy. GOSH I wish I could pull off hair like hers. I’m muy jealous.<object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/aCyGvGEtOwc&rel=1″></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/aCyGvGEtOwc&rel=1&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object>

Other bands I’m loving on: Station 2, One Life Lost and Florence Valentin with a lack of youtube videos (get on that, guys!)

Hopefully if I have time this week, I’d like to blog about a wedding I was in recently and also my 21st birthday.

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“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” before Britney got to it. Mick really was a showman! He also looks like he’s having fun. Even in that goofy haircut, he could rock out.

“Get Off My Cloud”. I wish I was alive back then, when rock was really taking off into a mighty golden age of awesome.

“Changes” by David Bowie. Fast forwarding to when rock really started getting controversial. Make up, bright red hair, spandex costumes, open bisexuality…Bowie was a powerhouse of The Other. He was everything good little boys and girls shouldn’t be listening. Parents back then probably looked at him similarly as parents look at Marilyn Manson today.

This is a clip from a Bing Crosby Christmas special! I find this so amusing and fun.

Enjoy the blast from the musical past!

Oh yes, and happy 2008.

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Tonight, I discovered my new musical destiny. Not that I had much of a musical destiny at all. I am no way rockstar material, but I have grown up and around music all my life. When I was 10, I learned how to read bass clef and play trombone. At age 15 I taught myself how to read tremble clef and play piano. Now, I’m hoping at age 21 (soon!) I learn to play the theremin.

It can’t be that hard, right? I mean, the instrument has no fingerings. It has no complicated strings to pluck or scales to learn. What it is, exactly, if you were too lazy to click the link above, is an electrical current. A thereminist just waves their hands between the the two antennae to create sounds that are often associated with aliens. You know that whooo-eeee-oooo? That’s a theremin.

Howard Shore talks about using a Theremin to create some of the soundtrack to the Tim Burton film Ed Wood. It also has a cool demonstration and explanation on how a theremin looks, work, and sounds.

Okay, so maybe it’s a lot harder than learning how to play piano. Fortunately for me, there are many tutorials out there on how to build your own theremin. This still requires some sort of electrical/construction knowledge, which I severely lack. I could just buy my own theremin and forget the hassle of building one. It’s fairly pricey (it would take one of my paychecks to buy one!), for just a whim. But let me tell you, I want this more than I wanted that sitar back when I was 17. Or that broken zither in my aunt’s closet.

These people are playing Matryomins, the Theremin’s cuter, battery operated cousin. I like the thurrrrrrrrvvv noise that is made when your hands pull away from the little doll.

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