So, the latest album from Arcade Fire, Everything Now has been out for a few months now, and guess what? I still can’t stop listening to it. All of the songs are great, but especially the title track because there is just something so magnetic and engaging about it. It has this great beat that makes me have to keep myself in check so I don’t have a lead foot when I’m jamming out in the car, but even beyond that…the lyrics are something fierce and loaded. So basically the whole thing is incredibly. I’m bummed I didn’t see them on this tour because every clip I’ve seen looks like pure magic. When you need a song that stirs something in your soul, I think this is one of those. I bought Taylor Swift’s album this weekend, and I had to take out EN to put it in, and immediately I was ready to switch back. There’s definitely something special about this album. I felt like I could relate to so many chapters of life, but also the current one without drowning in nostalgia. I don’t know how they accomplished that, but it’s mesmerizing. I would share some lyrics here, but then I’d be sharing the whole darn song because I just can’t pick. Except, “Every song that I’ve ever heard, Is playing at the same time, it’s absurd” is hands down one of my favorites. That is exactly what my brain feels like sometimes. If you need something to tap your feet along to, tap along on the steering wheel, sing scream because the song is so full of passion – then listen to to this one. And if you’ve already heard it, by all means – listen again. This is a song that I’ve found is somehow impossible to overplay, and that’s a bit hard to come by. Check out the awesome music video below!
Alright. I know it’s wrong to be jealous of anyone. I also know it’s extra wrong to be envious of a sixteen year old, but seriously? Lorde is so talented, I can’t even handle it. I’m sure you’ve heard “Royals” on the radio, or in a store, or a restaurant, or SOMEWHERE while you were out by now. Her full album, Pure Heroine, was finally released this week and I just cannot get enough. One of my favorite tracks from the record is “Ribs.” Like my friend Tasha said, how can you not love a song that references Lover’s Spit? (yes, exactly!) Then though, there’s also the fact that I am perpetually a teenger emotionally within my twenty-five year old body so I hear lyrics like:
You’re the only friend I need (You’re the only friend I need)
Sharing beds like little kids (Sharing beds like little kids)
We’ll laugh until our ribs get tired (We’ll laugh until our ribs get tired)
But that will never be enough (but that will never be enough)
and I think bike rides and crushes and all the things that went along with my own adolescence, and it just makes me have an extra affinity for the music. It’s so refreshing to hear some realistic music, (shh, I can relate to a sixteen year old girl if I want.) All of her songs just sound like they come from an honest place, and that’s so – it’s something to appreciate, right now.
This girl has so much talent, so much energy, so much potential. I can’t wait to see what else she does with her career. And I for one would love to see her live at some point. (Bonnaroo 2014, I’m looking at you!) If you haven’t listened yet, check her out. Seriously. I dare you not to get her songs stuck in your head, (and I mean that in the best way!)
Oh me, oh my! That was quite a little unexpected hiatus I’ve had here. Life did the ole let’s do a topsy turvy and everything shift all over the place and things have been kind of crazy, but the craziness is a constant in life right? In the mean time, I have started reading for pleasure again, so I’ll tell you about my reads and I finally finished Orange Is the New Black (as I tell EVERYONE I know about it, trying to make them watch it too!) Also, I basically just went on a Jenji Kohan adoration binge, after having saved Weeds Season 8 all this time, I watched the entire season last weekend. It was a compulsion. I couldn’t stop. I have to say, it’s been quite nice to not be so attached to my computer or phone lately, as I’ve been the good kind of busy. The kind that leaves you feeling productive, and that had been lacking in my life a lot lately, (well at least in long chunks of time – as you can see from my Mug’s Life adventure posts, I’m plenty productive on my own time.) Last night, amidst watching that epic presentation of the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (hello, freakin’ love “Same Love” and some JT/N*Sync time, woo!) I got to explore the Discover section on Spotify for a bit, which is one of my favorite things to do because there are some pretty great gems hidden on there. I stumbled across Langhorne Slim’s “I Love You, But Goodbye.” It’s just a really beautiful song. It’s simple, it’s sweet, he’s got a smooth voice that reminds of (well, completely honestly? Kind of reminds me of Cat Stevens.) It’s so refreshing sometimes to find a new song, and just enjoy it for what it is – not try and apply to some relationship in your own life that day. This was one of those songs for me. If you don’t know it, I definitely recommend giving it a listen.
Thanks for hanging in there with my sporadic posts, I promise to throw out some more suggestions lately – I know, it’s been awhile! In the meantime, enjoy:
I want to thank you darling
For all that you’ve given
I want to thank you, thank you for
being my friend
So guys, I have a new favorite singer/song writer/artist. If and when I ever grow up, I would like to be like this person because hello! full of awesomeness. Kacey Musgraves. She was born in 1988, making her a year younger than me, but you would never guess when you hear her poetic lyrics and talented guitar playing, and soulful voice. She is wise beyond her years, an old soul. Kacey is beautiful and gifted, intelligent and confident. Ohmygoodness. Blown Away. Basically I’d love to just feature every song on the Same Trailer Different Park album for twelve Tuesdays. The first time I heard “Follow Your Arrow” I was like YES! because it’s so refreshing to hear someone sing the truth. This could be my new anthem, y’all. When you live your life trying to please everyone around you, no one winds up happy because that’s just not possible. Everyone is so darn worried about what everyone else thinks about them and really? it just doesn’t matter. Thank goodness someone’s being real about it all.
“You’re damned if you do
And you’re damned if you don’t
So you might as well just do
Whatever you want”
My mom told me about this segment she’d seen on CBS featuring Kacey, so I looked it up over the weekend and my gosh! Be prepared because I definitely teared up. It was very cool to get a peek into her life in Texas, with her family, her guitar teacher (who also mentored Miranda Lambert!,) her earnest determination that brought her to where she is now, and the gratitude she has for all of it! If you can’t get enough of Kacey Musgraves either, watch this:
So, who’s gonna teach me how to play guitar?
As clear in my 2013 Reading List my memoir kick is going strong. I just finished Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson’s Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far About Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams.
For those of you who have read Meg Says over the past months, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme: that I mention Olympians I admire, basically all the time. When I decided to start training seriously for my half marathon, what did I tell myself on those muggy morning runs? Would Michael Phelps slack off? Would Gabby Douglas give up a couple of miles in? No. Now, these little mantras didn’t boost me to any medal winning pedestals, but having people who make the sky the limit (“no limits”) in their aspirations and attempts to look up to along the way was a special encouragement when it was just me and the pavement. Shawn’s Olympic journey in Beijing in 2008 happened to fall during sorority recruitment at Florida State. (I kept thinking, are we really going to miss the Olympics? Apparently yes.) But my next door neighbor Jacki was just as into keeping up with gymnastics as I was, so after long exhausting days we’d gather in her room and catch up on everything we could. My memories of those summer Olympics are a lot blurrier than most of the others that involved non-stop watching of all the coverage either in my parents living room, or our own living room in the Senior Annex, or at a friend’s house in Inverness. With all that being said I enjoyed getting a recap of those days (and the ever-important journey that led to them) from Shawn’s perspective. I just texted my friend Kirsten last week saying, “I like my memoirs to have heart.” Shawn’s story is full of heart.
Obviously, the road to becoming an Olympic champion is a long one. Something I really enjoyed about this book was Shawn’s refreshing honesty about all the steps along the way. She gives us a peek into her childhood, and some anecdotes of growing up in the wonderful community of West Des Moines, Iowa. From the get-go readers will learn that her story is a bit different from some of those you read of other elite athletes. While she was fully committed to her sport, she also had an incredible balance in her life (hence the title.) Shawn’s parents instilled in her the values of keeping plugged into all areas of her life whether it be going to football games at school, dances, sleepovers, or just the habit of attending regular public school. We learn about Shawn’s friendships, and her “nerdy” love for math class. Another great aspect of her story is Shawn’s strong bond with her coach Liang Chow. Chow and his wife Li were incredibly encouraging and wise with Shawn’s training, and instrumental to her success. I thought it was really cool how important it was to Chow for his gymnasts to get to experience their childhoods, and not just be a slave to the gym.
Readers learn about Shawn’s experiences as she travels to her first elite competitions. As well as obstacles along the way that don’t keep her down! We get to learn about some of her fun experiences in the Olympic village, and what life was like afterwards. She describes her time in Hollywood as she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars. We also learn about some unsettling events that came a long with that. Later she lets us in on an injury that rocked her career as a gymnast, and the path to recovery that followed. She’s honest about struggling with body image, and the joys of new romantic relationships.
Certain things were a constant throughout these experiences and transitions: Shawn has a rock solid relationship with her parents, and is grounded in her faith. Instead of just being a totally biographical story, each chapter addresses a life lesson Shawn learns. I loved how each chapter started off with a Bible verse, or an inspirational quote. (Shawn also includes several excerpts from her own collection of poetry throughout the book). Every step of the way Shawn acknowledge the support she has from her family, coaches, friends, and community. She seems endlessly grateful and appreciative of all the opportunities she had whether it be in competition, travel, or relationships. Also, the pitfalls and unexpected temporary roadblocks, she heeds with grace. She seeks out what God is teaching her through these unpleasant experiences, (or the great ones as well.) I feel like I’ve already shared too much, but I promise I haven’t revealed her whole story. I found this an incredibly inspirational and encouraging read. Shawn Johnson seems so wise beyond her years, and I find it incredibly cool how she shared her life with readers. I definitely recommend you check it out if you haven’t yet!