Happy Sunday, everyone! I woke up this morning and the sky is dark and grey, and I can see the trees swaying in the wind out my window with rain on the horizon. I’m not quite ready to crawl out of that comfortable Sunday morning feel yet, though to be honest my dreams were wild and I woke up from the crash of thunder several hours ago. So, I poured myself some coffee and I’m doing what I do sometimes, which is listen to the same handful of songs by The Districts on repeat. I know I’ve mentioned my love for them on here before (through an old search, I see in my Watch This: About Alex post,) but I think it’s been awhile. “Funeral Beds” is one of those songs where if I’m not being careful, and don’t have on cruise control, my foot gets heavy on the accelerator. It’s a jam out song of mine for sure – especially when they start riffing on the harmonica. The Districts are cemented in several memories of mine over time. (Like that time they played a smaller stage at Bonnaroo 2015, and my friend piggy backed me for a better view.) I mean, the song itself is heavy and the words cut deep – but the delivery is something else entirely, and it just makes my whole body want to move. “Funeral Beds” is a track on The Districts 2013 release Telephone. For any of you haven’t heard it yet, or if you have listen again. Here’s a good little tune to get your day going:
This morning, Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars” came on the radio as I was driving to work, and I just came unglued. I’m a nineties kid. Of course I know the words by heart, and I knew what was coming, but when they got to
“Must have been late after noon
On our way, the sun broke free of the clouds
We count only blue cars skip the cracks in the street
And ask many questions like children often do”
I feel like it broke me a little bit. First of all, this song is a classic, secondly it lends itself to multiple interpretations (existentialism, philosophy, religious connotation, mental health, the whole shebang,) thirdly I think it’s a great jam. Also, sense of “community” has been heavy on my mind and heart and I feel like this song opened the flood gates somehow. I was thinking about our underground networks of communication. I was thinking how sometimes, distance doesn’t matter – kind words from someone near or far, can really touch our soul.. While in some situations, a tight bear hug would be much preferred, it’s no reason to shrug the extension of kindness through communication, or support in the form of an open ear, or someone that just attempts to understand, or those quiet “me toos.” There are so many ways we can reach out and hold someone’s hand in pain, metaphorically and literally. I was thinking about how pain, grief, and uncertainty are like sitting in a dark room.When we let someone in, when we open up, when we ease the weight of some of the load we carry by not hiding all these difficult emotions – it’s like a light coming on in that room. Maybe not the big overhead light flooding the room in a warm glow, but even a little dim nightlight in the corner that helps light the path. Sometimes, you sit in the dark room for so long it’s hard to remember that the light can seep back through the sliver of space under the door. My point is, we all need each other sometimes. Be kind, be open, be compassionate. This song also makes me think about child-like innocence, and that sting in a wound when we’re vulnerable, and also about how easily our perceptions are shaped when we’re young. Be the light in the dark room for each other, okay? And if you don’t know what song I’m rambling on about, or you just want to jam out to it today, listen to this:
I have been listening to the Better than Ezra Greatest Hits album non-stop for the past two weeks. My obsession with them is nothing new, but when I was in Macon a few weekends back they came on in this craft beer bar, and I’d been wanting to listen to them ever since. I remember the first time I heard “Misunderstood” playing faintly over the speakers during lunch at Applebees in Inverness. The lyrics caught my attention immediately, as is the case most of the time when I hear a new song, and it’s been one of my personal anthems ever since. Obviously, fourteen year old me wasn’t working as a waitress and auditioning for Hollywood movies on the side, but I was walking around my neighborhood at all hours. Plus, what teenager ever feels understood? Heck at this rate, what human feels understood? It’s a rare thing. I’m writing this with an intense twitch in my left eye, and a stress level dangerously close to Randall from this week’s episode of This is Us (if you didn’t watch it let’s just say um, high.) In light of all that, music mellows me out. Especially music I can belt out along with. So, it might not be Throwback Thursday but it’s a good a day as any to share this song with you. Happy listening!
After watching the news this morning and getting way more frustrated than I should be before 8am, I knew I needed to listen to something good on my drive into work. It just so happens I’d left some really old school CDs I found in a box under my bed recently, in my car. One of them was the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack (Vol. 2). Cheesy? Maybe, but also perfect. I skipped through the first few tracks, but then there was The Jayhawk’s “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.” I was obsessed with this song from the first time I heard it on the show. (Way back when I was still using Limewire to try and find songs on the internet, and this one was so hard to find.) It’s always funny to me just how many lyrics our brains can store. Is there a point where I’m going to run out of space in there, and not be able to recall them so easily? Anyway, this song just brought me to a little throwback happy place this morning. Sure, it’s sugary sweet but you need one of those every once in a while. It makes me think about Joey jumping off the dock onto Pacey’s sailboat and floating away into the sunset. Okay, if you didn’t watch Dawson’s Creek and have no clue what I’m talking about listen to this sweet song below:
Two weeks ago, one of my long time dreams came true. I was able to see the Dixie Chicks live. I drove to Atlanta to meet up with my friend Jackie for this much anticipated event. (Much anticipated is a bit of an understatement seeing as we bought this tickets more than a year prior!) All that time in between to day dream, and it kind of didn’t feel like it was really happening. In my pre-teen years (well, and later) my walls were all painted a different color. On the purple wall hung a “Fly” poster that kept it’s spot for years, right above my desk. It was sweltering hot at the amphitheater (like still 91 degrees when the sun went down,) but when the girls took the stage the weather didn’t matter anymore. The Dixie Chicks were on FIRE. Their talent is astounding. I was shocked at the energy. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I didn’t have the chance to see them back in the day, so I can’t compare but if anything I would guess after all these years they came back stronger. The amount of emotion in Natalie’s voice when she belts out those notes, her ability to be composed but still have this jaw dropping touch to a song that will send goosebumps down your arms is stunning. Plus, Emily and Martie’s instrumental abilities is just other worldly. The Chicks played for more than two hours, but I could have just listened to them all night. Even though I will say that it was somewhat of an emotional roller coaster of an experience. Multiple songs brought tears to my eyes- “Travelin’ Soldier” “Top Of the World” “Landslide” and “Easy Silence” (but can you really blame me?) And I have to mention how clever it was for them to kick off the show with “Long Time Gone” and “Long Way Around” (I would say these are two of my favorites, but then I’d probably wind up saying that about all of them.) They also did a tribute to Prince with “Nothing Compares 2U” which was touching and special in its own way. The backdrop was purple with his symbol and it was a sweet moment. The electric energy from the crowd when they played “Goodbye Earl” “Wide Open Spaces” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” was palpable. Plus, “Sin Wagon” made me smile so hard my cheeks hurt. Their passion, tenacity, and unapologetic approach to all of the things that matter to them (social justice, domestic violence, nonsense in politics) makes them so dang endearing and it makes me proud that there are women like them in the industry. Some people think you should be quiet and appease everyone, and just play your songs. But isn’t music a tool to communicate a message, a chance to use your voice? (During “Ready to Run” there were dancing hands and cartoons of people running for office, and past presidents and people of politics.) Of course their boldness is surprising at times, but I applaud them just the same. They came back out and did “Not Ready to Make Nice” in the encore, and it was so striking, so moving, I don’t know if I can articulate the correct words to describe it, but it’s something I’ll always remember. I think they were making a lot of people’s dreams come true that night in that amphitheater. And like I’ve said before, it always amazes me the way lyrics come to mind immediately even to songs you haven’t heard in years, and there’s something lovable in life about that. It’s hard for me to choose a song to share with you on this Throwback Thursday because any of them would be a wonderful choice, but how about “Cowboy Take Me Away”? If you haven’t listened to the Dixie Chicks in a while, give this song a listen and revel in the beauty of their art.