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Listen to This: “Find Yourself” by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Alright guys, here’s another tune that I just can’t get out of my head. I can’t even say that’s a bad thing because I really dig it. There’s something so soulful that feels like this one came from a different decade in the vocals and in the vibes. Even more than that…the lyrics. I know I’m a lyric girl through and through, and these are ones I feel like got picked from the back of my mind. Sure, there are plenty of pop songs on the radio lately that catch my attention, and I find myself singing along, but there’s something so original and unique about this one, and I found the sound really refreshing. Not to mention Lukas Nelson is the son of Willie Nelson, so those musical genes run in the family. If you haven’t heard this song yet, go ahead and give it a listen.

“Well I don’t mind sleeping alone, 
If it means I don’t have to play your crazy games no more
You’re the most precious ting I’ve ever seen
But I ain’t gonna let it slide when you’re mean to me
I know the love that I deserve
And I hope you find yourself
Before I find somebody else to be my love” 

Here’s the official music video. I love the lighting, and the beach bon fire jam going on…

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listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell

Hi everyone, happy November! I know the posts have been sporadic again, but I have a few in mind. Today’s might not be so fresh because I remember gushing over this song last year, but this morning it just seemed so right. “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell is hands down one of my favorite songs. Not just one of my favorite Isbell songs, but one of my favorite songs across the board. I just think it’s so raw and beautiful. This morning on my way to work it came on the radio, and everything seemed to melt away and turn into a smile. It wasn’t even that stressful of a morning, but it was gray and rainy, dark, and traffic was congested, and this song came on when I was a few blocks from work. I actively noticed myself inhale. It was like “okay, here’s your moment to take a deep breath and be ready to take on whatever the day has in store.” While this song put my morning off to a great start, it also goes so well with the cozy feeling I had before I even left the house this morning. It was one of those days where you wake up and you just feel like the perfect temperature. The blankets aren’t suffocating you, and you have time to close your eyes a bit longer before the alarm goes off. And the coziness made me not even care about the jarring dreams I had the night before. Anyway, none of that has to do with this song but more with how this song makes me feel. “So cover me up and know you’re enough, to use me for good” is such a beautiful line.  I love that the lyrics combine love, and pure emotion, but the song has weight and texture to it, it’s not just flowery poetry. It’s life, and grit, and it’s all the stuff in between that pales in comparison when you know you’ve got something good in life worth fighting for. So, with all that being said if you’re not familiar with this song, check out a live version from Austin City Limits. 

meg says read this, Read This

Read This (Again): The Opposite of Loneliness

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 10.08.54 AMAlright guys, one of the first posts I remember interacting with people in person the most about after having shared it here, was when I first read The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. I’m going to share that originally post again, (I’ll just include it below.) But I also want to write a little about what made me want to share it. A few weekends ago, the Southern Festival of Books was held in Downtown Nashville at the Nashville Public Library and the War Memorial Auditorium. Some of my favorite authors were there, and some I have yet to read their books but I instantly wanted to after hearing their panels. The writing processes, the leaps of faith, the points of inspiration, or the internal struggles people are managing that all come through in their stories, completely fascinate me.

Yesterday, I read a quote from Tom Hanks. “God gave all of us burdens, and some of us typewriters.” Have you read more true words? He has a point. (Partially talking to myself here because there are things I’ve been neglecting to write, and the words are screaming to get out. I believe when that happens, we owe it to ourselves to write those stories, those words, even if another pair of eyes never sees them.)
Anyway, years ago I read Marina Keegan’s words for the first time, and they struck a chord so deep in me, that I feel like some of the passages settled inside and have remained there. I often think of her words. I’ll be in the midst of a great moment with friends, (the kind when you realize how wonderful it is, while it’s happening) and I’ll think back to her Opposite of Loneliness essay. There are other occasions this happens too, long car rides, or late night adventures that make it feel as if youth will never fade. Maybe it’s weird? But I don’t think so. I think it’s just the work resonating with a reader, and don’t you secretly wish that the words will resonate with someone when you write them?
So, I was attending this book festival with one of my most favorite girl friends in all the land. We met the weekend before college started, when we were both eighteen and knew immediately we were kindred spirits. Of course, in the beginning we bonded over our shortness, and Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill love, the thrill of making pina coladas in a blender, or creating ridiculous matching costumes for date functions, and how the bookshelves in our dorm rooms housed some of the same wonderful YA authors. But later on of course that friendship transcended into so much more. Good times, and not the best of times, but all things that strengthened our bond in the end. (I write all of that because Keegan’s work made me think a lot about the relationships we have in our lives, and what becomes of them.) So after attending a few author panels we went outside where there was an array of vendors – book sellers, local authors, food trucks, etc.
I paused in one tent, and I felt myself take in a sharp breath when my eyes crossed over The Opposite of Loneliness. Originally I’d checked it out from the library, and I don’t know why I didn’t own it yet. Except because obviously I was meant to find it that day. I immediately started gushing about it to my friend. I need to add because I just love the friendliness of people, and anyone who’s willing to talk to a stranger about books (because when we’re talking about books are we really strangers?) The guy next to us overheard me rambling about Big Little Lies and asked if he should get it for his girlfriend? Of course he should because it’s such a fun read and it doesn’t matter if she watched the show because reading their characters from the page is a great thing!
Anyway, back to my story….I knew I couldn’t leave without it, (and a copy of a biography on Harper Lee called I Am Scout, that I’m so excited to read.) When I went to pay for it, the man asked me if I’d heard of The Opposite of Loneliness before, or what struck my interest in it? I explained how I’d read it a few years earlier, and her words had stayed with me ever since. We locked eyes in that moment, (and not in a weird way, but in the way, where you and this person you’d never talked to five seconds earlier, had a complete understanding transpire in an instant.) He told me he felt the same way, and that’s why he knew he had to carry it in his selection. He went on to say, how unfortunate it was that she died in a car accident and we aren’t able to see what more she would have written, what she would’ve become. I swear in that moment, I had to hold back my tears in the middle of Church street. We agreed we’re lucky to have the words from her that we do. I know, it’s such a small moment but to me it meant so much all at once. I mean, it’s my favorite thing on the planet to do…encounter people you share a niche interest with, and even for a moment in time can bond over. Our conversation spread from there, as he asked what brought me to Nashville, and what area of town I was living in. He then went on to tell me about a Motown Monday music night at a spot near me, and a funk night on the weekends, and some other gems I wasn’t totally aware of yet. It was just an all in all great interaction and I felt like it deserved to be written down.
Now, if I can connect with a stranger on a Saturday over how incredible The Opposite of Loneliness is, and what a shame it is that Marina Keegan’s life ended so soon…then if you haven’t read it yet, isn’t that reason enough?
listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Adore You” by Amy Shark

The moment I heard the first line of this song, I was struck by not only the simplicity, but also how this is one of those songs where it feels like the words were swimming around in your own head, and you didn’t realize it until the first time you heard them coming through the speakers. Do you know that feeling? (It kind of reminds me of the first time I heard Lorde’s Pure Heroine album, and the rawness of her words.) I think it just comes from the lyrics being relatable. Aside from the lyrics though, Amy Shark’s voice is beautiful. The visuals for the video (I really like the lighting, and the details, like the art on the wall in the bedroom, or the close up of the sneakers, or the park in the background that makes me think of the basketball court line) are fantastic in their own right. Now, I try and listen to this song at least a few times a week because it’s so good. I love the headspace it puts me in, and I love the softness but the emotion, but also how it doesn’t make me want to cry – I can just enjoy it. Now, that’s the kind of song I like to tap along to (out of rhythm of course,) driving to work in the morning. Something about the beat is so calming to me. I am so late to the game on this one, more than a year later, but I don’t care because now that I’m aware – you know I’ve got it on a repeat. If you haven’t heard this sweet, awesome song yet, check it out!

meg says read this, Read This

Read This: Today Will Be Different

30book-blog427-v2It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a book post with you all, but I’ve been sluggish on working my way through some books right now. I never do this, but at one point, I’d actually started four different books simultaneously and was about 50 pages into each of them. (Horrible, I know.) BUT! While I was still in Florida, (and soaking up the end of those summer reads at the beach, or by the pool, or let’s face reality – in the air conditioning laid out on the floor after either one of those activities because the heat can be brutal…I finally read Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different. 

If you’ve ever asked me for a reading recommendation, regardless of your age, gender, whatever – I have probably brought up Where’d You Go Bernadette? at some point in the conversation. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. (Soon to be a movie, so if you haven’t read it yet, read it before you watch!) Maria Semple is a quirky writer, and I don’t know how else to say that. If you have a brain that transitions between about a dozen thoughts in the span of thirty seconds, and you start telling a story with about twelve tangent ideas, and can’t remember where you started? then you’d probably have an easy time getting into Maria Semple’s style. That’s not to say she writers erratically and scatterbrained, as the thought process I’m describing above. No, it’s quite the opposite actually. I think her style is wonderfully crafted. There’s just a special flare to her characters that you have to appreciate.

So, with Where’d You Go Bernadette holding such a special place in my book loving heart, I was excited to finally read Semple’s most recent novel, Today Will Be Different. Let me say, I was not disappointed. I had no idea what to expect, and I kind of went into the read that way intentionally. Unless I see a ton of hype about a particular book on Twitter, or if I’ve read the book jacket intently, I tend to try and go in pretty oblivious to synopsis and such because I hate the spoilery nature. Even if something surprising is going to happen early on, I want it to be a surprise if it was intended to be a surprise. That all being said, (wow, I’m long winded today!) I’d rather you have a similar experience if I can help it.

So, get ready to jump along for the ride in a day in the life (and chaotic mind) of Eleanor Flood, with her son Timby, husband Joe, and a slew of other intriguing characters. It’s a whirlwind of a read, covering so much ground, in such a short period of time. Career, goals, ambitions, marriage, sisterhood, family. Eleanor lives in Seattle, but she and her husband had planned to return to New York at some point. She thinks about this constantly. She thinks about everything constantly, actually – or maybe not enough, which is perhaps the problem. She’s flighty, and impulsive, but outrageously entertaining and all of her whimsical movements really do seem to run deep as you get to know her, contrary to what her behavior may lead you to believe.

Eleanor has a plan for how the day will go, all the normal things she will accomplish, but as life often goes…the day doesn’t unfold quite as planned. Follow the misadventures, and be prepared to laugh out loud because Semple’s style is splashed all over the pages again with this great read!