Monday, December 31, 2012


Things Society Thinks I Need to Do That I'm Not Feelin'
(brought to you by Pearl Jam...)

1) Learn to Cook
I did not come equipped to this planet with a desire to create food, for myself or others. This is terribly ironic given how much I enjoy eating. Growing up the daughter of restaurant people, I've loved food and the life events it centers around. I love mulling over a bottle of wine and a huge plate of pasta and talking about God. I love a steady flow of parmesan cheese on pretty much everything. I love huge salads, meatballs bigger than your face, beef stews, and potato everything. You know that expression, "it tastes so much better when you make it yourself?" I'm calling bullshit! At least for myself. No, things taste way better when someone else makes it for you.

Now, this is not to say that I don't boil water and toast sandwiches and crack eggs. I'm not a cave woman guys, I do know how to do some (very) basic things. But entering my mid twenties (ha that's hilarious) I recognize the growing pressure and, for some women, sincere desire, to buy cookbooks and follow recipes and generally learn how to sustain your body on your own. I have total respect for that, and the world needs you, people who like to cook, so you can cook for people like me who don't.

Most people would agree that learning to cook is an essential life skill, like swimming or not rolling your eyes when someone says something stupid. Unfortunately, I also can't fight the eye-roll, and I do the breast-stroke for about three minutes before drowning in 3 feet of water. Oh well! That's what restaurants are for. (And life vests!) And as long as there are restaurants, I will be shelling it out for a good cheese plate whenever I can afford it.

2) Be One Half of One Whole Person!
Wow, I know how annoying it is to listen to a single woman bash relationships - so that is not my intent. Neither will I proclaim LOVE IS DEAD or LOVE IS A LIE even though you gotta admit, those are two pretty convincing arguments. What I will note, however, is that Tis The Season for people to remind you life is modeled around finding your other half.

There are loads of benefits to NOT doing this. For one, you have to lie a lot less. "Yeah that shirt looks great," "aw you look JUST like (insert hot celebrity you fantasize about)" or "your family is GREAT!" and you get to spend a lot more time re-connecting with who YOU are. Some people are better at this than others. My famous play is buying a bunch of books I tend not to read. Dude, I'm totally gonna read all this literature and know a ton of shit and then when I do go on a date I'll be like WHOA can you believe Hemingway? And he'll be all...I don't know who Hemingway is because a lot of boys are stupid.

In the end, I think I'm enough of one half of one whole person for any other halfsie to handle.

3) Listen to Stupid People
There is too much "let's agree to disagree" bullshit out there. You know what I want to see more of in 2013? "I think you're wrong, go away!" Why isn't that a thing?? Is this just a Midwestern situation, or what? Moral relativism is overrated. It's time to acknowledge that not all opinions are created equally. For example, don't you think "what do you do?" or "any big plans for the weekend?" should no longer be acceptable forms of conversation?

4) Belittle Enthusiasm
If you can't be passionate about something, you're dead. Pay attention to what excites you - and what excites other people. If it's rallying for a good cause, or the perfect chocolate chip cookie - those are equally wonderful signs that you are a human being and you can still get excited about something. I hope no matter how cynical you or I become, we still long to express a passionate response to human existence. Some are more expressive about their passions than others. That's okay too. I hope a smile at least crosses your face when you think about the fact that you can do anything you want at any time in your life. That you live in a time and place where you have endless opportunities - and instead of letting that shut you down, I hope it opens you up. Trying not to shut down in a world where it would be tremendously easy to do so is a daily challenge. But it's staying open to the passion and joy and purpose of life that makes us able to connect with others who feel it too. It's staying open that allows enthusiasm for life's small things to enter through us, and keeps us from becoming paralyzed and cold - towards ourselves and others.

5) Reference Dumb Quotes
"Live, laugh, love, bitches!!!" or "I wanna be the girl that ALWAYS SMILES EVEN THOUGH SHE'S HIDING SOMETHING." Can we stop getting our words from Marilyn Monroe? Someone start handing out Emily Dickinson to these girls, PLEASE.

6) Get Wasted 24/7
Not claiming straight-edgeness or even attempting to condemn drinking to have fun. Just sayin - DOES ANYBODY LIKE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE BUT DRINK. I mean, is there anyone who will hit up a museum with me, go to a concert, walk around the lake, or see a show that isn't over the age of 30 with me because I'm struggling here. I'm a whiskey girl, and it's definitely gotten me in trouble slash contributed to some awful moments in my life. Nowadays, I enjoy a few cocktails over dinner, and sometimes like to go dancing or situate myself at an Irish pub. But I genuinely do not want to black out. I genuinely do not care about getting so out of control that I don't remember what happened the night before. It seems like our 9 to 5 culture gives us permission to turn into a total fucking asshole Friday night and forget that we're miserable during the week. It's like we think we DESERVE to get drunk for how hard we work. I can see it now on someone's FB profile. "Bill works hard, and PLAYS HARDER." See Bill drink. Bill acts like a dick. Bill is not happy with himself or the discontent he's never dealt with, and now Bill is going to spend a bunch of money buying girls drinks that have no interest in him. It gives me weird feelings, bros. It gives me lots of weird feelings.
I've spent too much money on therapy and too much time thinking back on things to believe that drinking too much will let you forget what you're not happy with. It won't. It will just keep those nagging thoughts at bay for you until you're ready to really handle them.

7) Apologize for eating.
"Oh my god I ate SO MUCH." Okay. Did you enjoy yourself? I'm not sure what you want me to say to that. And can we stop with the "THINSPIRATION" boards and crazy detoxes? You think those gorgeous Italian women from the 1950s drank nothing but vinegar for four days after eating a bunch of pizza? No. They did not. They were practical, and they were practically perfect.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bad Religion

I dare you to not give as much of a fuck today as you normally do.

Whether it be what you look like, or how others perceive you, or the outcome of all the situations you are anticipating. (As The Shins would say, Caring is Creepy.) I know, I am usually the poster-child for embracing expressive emotion, and today is no different. I'm actually daring you to not care so much what other people think about you, or your emotions, or all the labels you put on yourself and everything else all day long.

Lately I find my creative inclinations dwindling as my new job renders me with a stack of 5-10 stories every day, each with a new deadline, and most of the music I've been into lately is far from new. I can't remember a time in my life when I'm felt more out of fucks to give about other peoples' opinions. Pretty much everyone you meet in life comes equipped with their own BS that they will try to project on you to justify their own life choices. This is inevitable. The more I see myself stepping up to the corporate aspect of creativity, the more I know in my soul that with graduation looming ahead, a change has already taken place. I no longer see a job or a relationship as the grounding force in my life that will satisfy my needs. I feel untethered to travel wherever I want to, do whatever I want to, knowing that stepping up to or away from any title will never define me. I will never let my future depend on another soul. And that is terrifyingly cool.

So here you go, a little Alabama Shakes for ya + a live version of my fave Frank Ocean track. I think they go together quite nicely. If it brings you to your's a bad religion.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Love Junkie

It all started by hearing 1957 on The Current. I had only heard the first few lines before I had to answer a phone call and turn down the radio. All it took was two lines and I was hooked, like an addict clinging to any trace of the drug it desires. I heard it, I knew it, and like any great song I felt it knew me. I memorized that string of words that stuck in my brain like gum to a shoe - relentless, borderline annoying, impossible to remove. I searched those words like the junkie I know I am and discovered Milo Greene, the Fleet Foxes-inspired band whose debut album was completely new to me.

 (Sophia Loren has nothing to do with Milo Greene other than I also adore her.)

I searched endlessly to get my paws on all 13 tracks, hooked on the melodic interval songs vaguely reminiscent of early Radiohead and the more verbose tracks with gentle monikers such as Perfectly Aligned and Son My Son.  I heard the struggle of actualizing adulthood with the words "When we're older/can I still come over?" on Silent Way and I was urged to stop resisting things as they were upon hearing  "Close your eyes/everything is perfectly aligned" on Perfectly Aligned. I looked around. I breathed in and out. I slowly digested every chorus.

There are days when we exhaust all our resources. We lean on friends or family or distractions or feelings to quietly ease the noise in our head distressing our present moment. I believe any self-aware individual has these moments. They are the nervous tick motions of the head to the left, as Andrew Bird would describe them. They are the thorns in our paws, the soft spots we drift to when life seems to pile us under all of its massive expectations. If ever there were a quote I could get behind, "music is the opiate of the masses" would be it. Music is the one resource that is almost inexhaustible. There is always something new to discover. A new harmony or a couple of words or a note that hits you at the exact moment that you have felt that note in your soul. These moments are what make me an obnoxiously loyal follower to the cult of music. I will follow new music to the edges of the earth! (Or maybe just the middle of the night). I will be forever chasing that next wonderful moment that keeps me believing, that assures me of my humanity and all of its decency. Milo Greene was inexhaustible for me today, and that is why we fell in love.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marry Me to the Sky

A veteran force to be reckoned with debuts a fresh new sound on Sun. The latest from Cat Power finds Chan Marshall not only straying from her usual bluesy tone but integrating a moral compass that competes with quicker tempos and richer rhythms that delve into powerful, uncharted territory. While Marshall's previous endeavors may have been all about the smoky, moody tonal qualities of her voice, Sun pays respect to Marshall's writing laurels. The production quality on "Cherokee" for example, is equally as wonderful as Marshall's sharp, tasty words, which sting you with beautiful rawness and metaphysical yearning.

"A wise, self-respecting woman can feel every wave" - Chan Marshall

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Let's Get Weird

So. If you don't know who David Byrne is, you might want to do a little wikipedia-ing, or googling, or ask Siri-ing, because it's about time you found out what the former singer of The Talking Heads has been up to for the past few decades. Not only has he published a book, How Music Works, but retained a close-knit avante garde following through his solo albums and spent his spare time curating photography books. Enter Annie Clark, or St. Vincent. Byrne was apparently so struck with Clark's tongue-in-cheek "Actor out of Work" video, he started courting her for collaboration. What's been born out of these two lovely minds is the strangest, most undoubtedly creative and flavorful pop album to debut in ages. (And don't worry, those are prostheses on the album cover). Here's the video for their first single, "Who."

For more of Byrne + Clark's beautifully offbeat sound, check out the full length release, "Love This Giant" which will be released this Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall Music Tidbits

If music has the power to heal, as well as the dual power to be indicative of a specific temporal instance yet remain timeless for its listener, then these gems have done all three for me lately. I hope you like them too.

Lost in the Light - Bahamas
With a Neil Young howl at the bridge and an eerily comforting tone (think Antony & the Johnsons minus the sadistic vibe,) Bahamas kill me with kindness with this track. I dare you not to love it.

it was my greatest thrill when we just stood still,
you let me hold your hand til i had my fill
cause this life is so long, and so you wouldn't be wrong,
bein free, leavin me on my own.

Carsong - Spankrock feat. Santigold
Santigold steals the show for me on this one, per usual, making this one of the most awesomely balanced, addictive songs I've heard in a while.

The Celestials - Smashing Pumpkins
The Pumpkins remain one of my favorite bands, and they make me think of fall and joy-riding and I love Billy Corgan and the pretty words he says so bravely. ("Everything i want is free.")

Congratulations - MGMT
Amazing song, amazing message.

Motherland - Apollo Cobra
Addictive, sugary-synth rock candy.

Just Drums - Tapes n' Tapes
A hot, jumpy classic that's hard not to dig. Always sounds a little better come September.

How it Ends - Devotchka
Beautiful, obsessive, relentless, haunting, melodic, perfect. The end credit to every movie, every story, every thought.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Better Things

Always loved this song, but when it came on my shuffle this afternoon I couldn't help but smile. Go have yourself a lil' happy dance. There are better things to do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hold Out

I was fortunate enough to see the amazing Sharon Van Etten last weekend, and meeting her after the show confirmed that she truly was a special soul. Grounded and humble, she was the most down-to-earth musician I've ever spoken with. Her set displayed her vulnerable, soft tracks and her gritty rock anthems, as she equal-parts delicately cooed and unabashedly thrashed on the floor with her electric guitar. To call her enigmatic would be selling her short. On "Give out," which she preformed after graciously accepting some praise from the audience and bantering back and forth in a quirky but unapologetic manner, I think she exceeds enigmatic and becomes revolutionary.
I have long admired Karen O, Courtney Love, and PJ Harvey, to name a few female rockers, who combine grace with strength in a beautiful way. Van Etten is the best of all these, but mostly her own everything, with a dash of Neil Young, a pinch of sarcasm, and the energy of a genuinely kind, powerful woman. Here she is with "Give out" on the Current:

I'm biting my lip
as confidence is speaking to me
I loosen my grip from my palm
and put it on your knee
In my way, I say:
"You're the reason why I'll move to the city, or
why I'll need to leave"
It's not because I always hold on
It might be I always hold out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rules For Being

Got this via The Daily Love, thought I might share. Found Rule #4 especially relevant to my own life, and the lives of others around me. We get "the lesson" as many times as we need to truly learn it. Sometimes this can be a harsh reality, but until we learn what this lesson has meant to teach us, I truly believe all of us can be susceptible to repeating the same negative patterns in life. Hard to let these rules sink in by reading them: life-affirming when you realize you have lived some and recognize them in these words. Nothing to do with music, but everything to do with life. Enjoy.

Top Ten Rules for Being Human

Rule One - You will receive a body. Whether you love it or hate it, it's yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what's inside.
Rule Two - You will be presented with lessons. Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons are specific to you, and learning them 'is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life'.
Rule Three - There are no mistakes, only lessons. Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it's inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you'd want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgment - of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine - it's also 'the act of erasing an emotional debt'. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour - especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps - are central to the perspective that 'mistakes' are simply lessons we must learn.
Rule Four - The lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons repeat until learned. What manifest as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons - they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance - 'causality' must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required - change doesn't happen overnight, so give change time to happen.
Rule Five - Learning does not end. While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Surrender to the 'rhythm of life', don't struggle against it. Commit to the process of constant learning and change - be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt from what you may be accustomed to, because rigidity will deny you the freedom of new possibilities.
Rule Six - "There" is no better than "here". The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what's good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness. Living in the present helps you attain peace.
Rule Seven - Others are only mirrors of you. You love or hate something about another person according to what love or hate about yourself. Be tolerant; accept others as they are, and strive for clarity of self-awareness; strive to truly understand and have an objective perception of your own self, your thoughts and feelings. Negative experiences are opportunities to heal the wounds that you carry. Support others, and by doing so you support yourself. Where you are unable to support others it is a sign that you are not adequately attending to your own needs.
Rule Eight - What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Don't get angry about things - bitter memories clutter your mind. Courage resides in all of us - use it when you need to do what's right for you. We all possess a strong natural power and adventurous spirit, which you should draw on to embrace what lies ahead.
Rule Nine - Your answers lie inside of you. Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings, whether you hear them as a little voice or a flash of inspiration. Listen to feelings as well as sounds. Look, listen, and trust. Draw on your natural inspiration.
Rule Ten - You will forget all this at birth. We are all born with all of these capabilities - our early experiences lead us into a physical world, away from our spiritual selves, so that we become doubtful, cynical and lacking belief and confidence. The ten Rules are not commandments, they are universal truths that apply to us all. When you lose your way, call upon them. Have faith in the strength of your spirit. Aspire to be wise - wisdom the ultimate path of your life, and it knows no limits other than those you impose on yourself.

- Cherie Carter-Scott. Scott is an author, life coach, and motivational speaker offering consulting and coaching on all aspects of change management.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Obsessed with this latest from The Walkmen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


While I wait with baited breath for the new Fiona A album, I've had this track off Sharon Van Etten's Tramp on incessant repeat. You ever feel like a song was not only written for you, but with you, newly, every time you listen to it? Not only is the melody dreamy and timeless but the words find new meaning for me with every listen. Always the hallmark of an amazing track.

Well, well, hell
I am bad

Well, well, hell
I am bad at loving

Well, well, hell
I am bad at loving you

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This song touches on a complex subject way better than any Bible verse read at a wedding, Rachel McAdams movie, or V-Day card. Dawes helps its listener see love not as something which binds, or takes, or defines, or seduces, but an understanding and acceptance of another person without expectation.

Love is not convenient, it does not cease at your command
You might take and leave it,
Love is all I am.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweet Heart

Words cannot describe.

I don't know where I belong
I don't know where I went wrong
But I can write a song (Hey!)

I belong with you, you belong with me in my sweet heart
I belong with you, you belong with me in my sweet heart

Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Make Like the 90s and Grunge

I'm changing the part of speech. Formerly a noun, now its verbage will include any action that implies plaid-wearing, dark gristly pianos and female voices both fragile and deeply terrifying. These two ladies take me back to the good ole days when some Fiona A's and Courtney L's were kicking ass in their combat boots while also wearing mesh tops and bubblegum-pink-lip-smackers a la Cher from Clueless. (Not to mention Portishead and Garbage were busy becoming some of the most innovative female-based alternative groups around.)
Since I've been without this blog so long it's been just that long since I've gotten to relish in late 90s nostalgia so indulge me a little with these two modern day bands rockin some barely-vintage styles I think we can all get on board with again:

The original version of this song never struck me as something with emotional depth but hearing it slowed down gives me chills.

Is it ever gonna be enough?

Similar but slightly less polished (in a fun way): Meg Myers. Brand new (and it shows) but I'm excited about what she'll do next, and not in a Lana-del-Ray kind of way but from a place of excitement reserved for raw musical emote-ing.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back from the Dead

I don't know much about google, but I do know it's pretty much taken over the world. This is why about 9 months ago, when my college email system linked up with google chrome, or google + or whatever the hell it's called these days, I had to stop contemplating the art of the mix tape. No matter WHAT I tried it wouldn't let me sign into this thing, and every musical bone in my body cringed that I couldn't rant and rave my latest indie obsessions all over the internet anymore. This blog's absence forced me to create a tumblr (BLECH) which I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out. It did allow me to devote an entire space to poetry, all of which maybe two people read. Luckily someone thought it was okay, and I'll be reading a piece at SCU's literary arts exhibition next week.
But that's aside the fact. Five songs you need to hear:
1) Anna Sun - Walk The Moon
Try not to love this too much. Firecrackers in the east, my car parked south, your hands on my cheeks your shoulder in my mouth

2) Lorge - El Ten Eleven

3) Lay Your Cards Out - Polica
Channy Moon formerly of Roma di Luna. Broken up from her hubby/former bandmate and making magic because of it.Hypnotizing.

4) 40 Mark Strasse - The Shins
I've been obsessed with this album.

5) You're the Kind of Girl - Lee Fields