The Things You Find

We have been cleaning and organizing. It’s a great winter activity, which is what prompted it. That and the fact that we couldn’t really walk through or find anything in our storage room. So we cleaned. We had a big bin of old electronics. That’s always my area, since I’m the tech nerd. I made it my mission to go through that box and look at everything, make sure everything was wiped clean and save anything that needed saving. One of the things we had in that box was an old Palm One organizer. Before we had cell phones we had this. A kind of electronic calendar. I used it at work for appointments, meetings, etc. Anyway… it had a card in it. So I took the card out and put it into my computer. What I found was a mini playlist of music. I must have put some stuff on there so I could listen (I don’t even remember it having that function, but obviously it must have) while I waited for an appointment or was stood up by one. This is that playlist. The songs I chose to carry with me on the Palm One. The year? 2005. I think I got my first iPod not long after so I didn’t use the music on the Palm One for very long. I forgot it was even there. Kind of cool though, mining for gold in the stuff you haven’t looked at in years. I also found old home movies on an old MacBook Pro and old photos as well. Awesome.

In My Top 10 All Time

Highlight Songs from the 2019 List

2019 in Music

I have been known to make a playlist or two. Every year, as has been my habit for a number of years, I make a playlist of songs I found in that particular year. They may be newly released that year, or just something or someone I discovered that I hadn’t known about before. These playlists have been condensed and made into CDs for friends every year, until last year, when I decided to just put the “playlist” here via Youtube videos of songs I’d added. This year I’m taking a different approach as I made the playlist on Spotify. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

10 Word Review – Ebertfest: Amazing Grace

Exquisite. Uplifting. Music. Amazing. Real. Riveting. Franklin. Pitch. Feel. Yes

from Instagram

Songs of Hope And Sorrow: Party of One

I have loved Brandi Carlile’s music for a long time. Since the beginning. 2005 or 2006. She’s a sneaker wave. Out there, picking up momentum, rolling in. This year she’s finally getting some good recognition, having just won three Grammys. Her songwriting and incredible voice are both amazing. This one, Party of One, off of her latest album, By The Way, I Forgive You, is a favorite. The album is all about forgiveness, in its many forms. I love that. A whole album about forgiving, being forgiven. Party of One is about a couple who is struggling, feeling like it’s impossible, but in the end, you know there is this one person for you and you love them. No matter how mad you get, no matter what the struggle, “I am yours”. I love the strings, in the end, soaring. It captures that feeling so well of coming back to someone, remembering you love them, that in the end, the love is all that really matters. This is the second video for this song. On the album, it’s just Brandi singing, but here Sam Smith does a one of a kind assist. His voice, also incredible, marries so well. Enjoy.

Playlist 2018 With Liner Notes

In recent years I’ve built a sort of favorite and/or found songs I fell for during the year playlist. They can be songs that came out in the current year or older songs I didn’t know about and discovered. I usually burn some copies and give it out as gifts to friends. This year, possibly because of the travel right before the holidays, I didn’t get it done. But, I’d built the list and have decided to put it here. I’ll post it, share it, and hopefully those who I’d usually give it to see it and give it a listen.

I love the funk of this. The beat. The sing-ability. It was played a lot on the radio, but somehow I didn’t get tired of it. It created many fun dancing moments for us around the house, which is always good.

Anderson East has soul. He has heart. It comes out in his songs. This one, a particular favorite is from his Encore album. The message is simple, you have me, and always will. I love a good love song. Who doesn’t?

I found this song accidentally on a compilation CD I’d gotten for other music. It was a surprise, which is always awesome. It resonated with me. Not just because I have younger siblings I love, but in just thinking about grandkids, K’s kids, etc. It’s a song of hope and love and says really simply that there is love, and that I’m here for you, always.

Glen Hansard appears nearly every year on my playlist. Either as a solo artist or with The Frames. I love his voice, his passion, his storytelling, his raw and emotional voice. This song had a lot of meaning for me this year. I know a lot of people who went through something or maybe even more than one something this year. This song is a message of healing, of knowing that things move, they change, and they get better.

This song is just enjoyable. Love the pairing, which was unexpected, and this video. Also, love the message of it. It’s another song that was played a lot, but I didn’t get tired of it. Sometimes the greatest way to say somethin’ is to say nothin’ at all.

This one is so catchy. I love it. Plus, I’m a huge fan of strings in a pop song. It’s also totally danceable. A big plus. These guys are brothers and know how to get a hold of you with a lyric.

Brandi Carlile is an amazing storyteller. There’s always truth in it. I was so anticipating the release of her album, “By The Way, I Forgive You”, this year and was not disappointed. It’s an album all about forgiveness, in all its forms. I could’ve picked a few off of it, like “Party of One” for instance, but this one is the first I heard and is about being who you are, and rising. About owning yourself. About not letting all the people who say no, or make fun, or try to hurt you… not letting them win. This song soars and lifts and rises, just like it’s message. And the video, well it makes me cry.

I just discovered the Bleachers this year. They’ve been around for a little bit, under the radar, not mainstream, but I’d not heard of them. This song sort of propelled them into the spotlight and hearing it I was hooked. Just listening to it makes me have to dance. It’s also totally fun to sing along to. I dare you not to.

This is the second appearance of Chris Stapleton on this list, he was up there with Justin Timberlake. I can’t say enough about this guy. His songwriting is off the charts good. He used to write for other people before finally doing his own thing. The feeling he exudes is phenomenal. This song actually came out last year, but I somehow overlooked it. There’s this segment of Country music now, kind of the modern outlaw, fringe country, that is led by the likes of Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Butch Walker, Robert Ellis, and the new guy, though he’s not so new, Travis Meadows. I can’t get enough of it. If you haven’t listened to Chris Stapleton, do. His songs appear on most of the playlists I make for us because he’s just that good.

I love this song for the throwback feel of it. It’s awesome. What can I say? It’s catchy, funky, and has a great vibe.

I’ve been a Ben Harper fan for a long time, in all his iterations. This one doesn’t disappoint either. Simple, funky, a great bluesy vibe. This is a great pairing as well, and just simply a good rainy afternoon song.

I’ve also been a fan of Jason Isbell for awhile. He and the 400 Unit, his band, had an album come out last year. I’d only heard his solo work, not his work with the 400 unit, so I did some exploring and found this song. I don’t really know what it is about it, it kind of makes we want to play the spoons. Seriously, I want to play them along with this song. Not sure why. I just love the production of it. Great storytelling, slightly gritty, slightly swampy, and fun.

This song is haunting and quiet, and all kinds of awesome. I love the lyrics, the songwriting, the structure. It gets to me, in all the right ways. “You’re lost at sea I’ll command your boat to me again”. Just really great writing.

I listen to all sorts of music. Most genres. Including, even though I’m not Christian, Christian music. There are some great messages and artists there. This song is one of those, and Lauren Daigle is awesome. So good. You could apply the message of this to a person, or God, or whoever your spiritual center is. It’s uplifting, centering, and her voice is rich and lovely.

I was watching a movie this year and heard this guy’s music in it. I used Shazam and found his name and started exploring his music. I like him a lot. He was a good discovery. Lots of grit in his voice. This one has a great toe-tapping beat to it. It wasn’t made this year, it’s one of those found tunes, but it’s fun and so catchy. I have no idea why more people don’t know about him. Why isn’t he more famous?

This song has a great feel to it. Slightly dark and brooding. It’s beat and rhythm stick and it’s hard to shake. I found this through a Netflix show. There’s some really good music used on television and film now. This is one of those.

OK, this song is from a couple of years ago. It’s a song from the Hamilton Mixtape. I play this often. Kelly Clarkson is stunning here. Just simple, beautiful, and very emotional. The line, “forgiveness, can you imagine” gets me every time. This song on the video is sung live. It’s perfection. I realized I don’t think I’d included it on the playlists from the last couple of years, so here it is.

This song is one of my favorites over the last year. I don’t even know how I found this guy. Mining, searching, exploring. The lyrics are amazing. He’s such a great heart-felt storyteller. It’s simple and true. I never tire of listening to it.

What a great beat. Good funk. I dare you to listen without swaying a little, or tapping your toe. A really great break as well. It’s just got good soul.

The Verve. I have an old CD of theirs. They’ve been around for a long time. I don’t even know why I started looking at them again and listening a little, but I did. I stumbled on this one. It’s haunting, and aches a little. It also has strings, and as we’ve mentioned earlier, I love that.

His voice is so pure sounding. It’s got a singsong swaying vibe to it that is great. It’s an older song as well, another I think I might have heard on a TV show, but possibly not. I don’t know why I’d never heard of him. I’m a sucker for singer songwriters. He’s a good one. As is this song.

Sugarland. Jennifer Nettles. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift actually wrote this song and gave it to Sugarland. It’s very catchy. Plus, I just love Jennifer Nettles. Her voice is round and full and no matter what she sings she sings it with feeling and heart and passion. Taylor Swift does good background vocals as well. I was very happy to see Sugarland back together with a new album.

I’ll stop here. Carrie Underwood. What can you say? She’s powerful, soulful, and the message of this song is awesome. The build of this song is also great. No wonder she’s such a Country superstar.

I hope everyone is enjoying the end of 2018 and is looking forward to 2019. I know there will be a lot of good music to find and explore, which is always soul filling. I can’t wait to see what I find.

Winter Song

“I Can’t Keep Quiet”

Some things speak for themselves…

Lyrics

“Quiet”
Written by MILCK and AG
Produced by AG

put on your face
know your place
shut up and smile
don’t spread your legs
I could do that

But no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, if I just lie still
Would I be that monster, scare them all away
If I let the-em hear what I have to say

I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I can’t keep quiet
For anyone
Anymore

Cuz no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, take that dry blue pill
they may see that monster, they may run away
But I have to do this, do it anyway
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh I can’t keep quiet

Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
Must be someone who’ll understand
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now

I can’t keep quiet

Chevaliers de Sangreal

This song, to me, is probably one of the best ever created for a film. I listened to it again today and was uplifted. Then I went out and found this cool live version. Hope it brings a moment of beauty, love, and light into your day like it did mine. I give you, Hans Zimmer’s Chevaliers de Sangreal.

10 Word Review – Records Collecting Dust

recordsMusic. Collecting. Favorites. Inspiration. Sound. Interviews. Vinyl. Obscure. Alternative. Yes.

It’s Quiet Uptown

I haven’t seen Hamilton, don’t know this song in the context of the story, and I haven’t even heard the original, but Kelly Clarkson sings it on the Hamilton Mixtape that just came out. This is a master class in singing, and I get so emotional when I listen to it… “forgiveness, can you imagine, forgiveness… can you imagine”. This isn’t meant to be a Christmas song, but somehow it is.

10 Word Review – Atomic Number

Rich. Layered. Mood. Beautiful. Strings. Flow. Collaboration. Journey. Melodies. Yes.

NPR’s Profile of Karl Blau

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My cousin’s new album came out May 13. NPR did a little profile of him on the World Cafe Next. Pretty cool.  Follow the link to hear what they had to say.

 

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/475592690/475593712

When the Right One Comes Along

Canyon FeetToday is our anniversary. Number 13. I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen for several minutes now trying to form a coherent thought in an attempt to describe my love and my relationship. The only things that keep coming are rushes of words… tender, grateful, peace, safety, rock-solid, trust, truth, faith, honesty, center, love, and love, and love. It’s been going on like that in my head, in my heart.

I have often tried to explain to people what it felt like when we met. I’d had a sketchy path to her. I’d not picked well for myself up to then and somehow I’d always felt like I was scrambling, reaching out for something that wasn’t really there, and couldn’t be, no matter where I tried to look. I spent quite a lot of time soul searching before her. Had vowed not to be in a relationship again until I knew myself better, until I felt like I would and could pick someone better for me. I say often it took a long time for me to come to myself so that I could eventually come to her.

In truth, I don’t know how I got so lucky. It was a fluke, a chance encounter, a brush with fate. You could call it all of those. It was my first day on a dating site, and her last. She had been at it awhile, not finding what she was looking for, coming to the conclusion she needed to take a break. And, even when she saw my profile she contacted me not to date me (she thought I was too young), but to tell me she liked my profile, that it was great, and to wish me luck. I responded by saying something funny about how my “Real Age” score said I was older than my actual age so maybe I wasn’t too young after all. We laughed. We started emailing.

Our emails to each other in those early days were not filled with love or lust or anything other than ourselves. We told each other about our lives, about the music and poetry we loved, about the things that were important to us. I wrote to her about my step-dad’s illness and she wrote to me about her kids. And somehow, over the course of those two months of just writing to each other, we started to fall in love.

She is a person who has a great amount of confidence and she’s very secure with who she is. She’s sure. I have always admired that in her and did from the start. When she started asking to meet me in person, I put her off, and put her off. I kept avoiding it, afraid of I don’t know what, and of everything. She took it all with humor and never gave up on me, she was sure. When we finally talked on the phone, starting only a week before we actually met, it was as if we’d known each other much longer than just the two months we’d been emailing. We talked every day that week, for hours each day. We laughed a lot and even though I had butterflies about the whole thing, I never felt awkward or strange. The whole thing felt right somehow, easy.

The day we finally met I was nervous as hell. I called a friend on the way to the meeting and tried to talk myself out of going, even though I knew I’d go. I had to go. By then I was starting to fall in love, without having ever met her in person. Crazy, but true. I got to the pub first and waited at an outside table. Then there she was, walking around the corner and striding toward me in her jeans and black boots and cool shirt. She walked with the confidence I’d always read in her emails and then heard in her voice. She looked free. I could barely breathe.

We started to talk, ordered salads, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I told her, showed her my shaking hands. I felt I could because she instilled a sense of safety in me. That no matter what I told her, who I was, she would be OK with that, with me. I felt I could be myself, completely, and she would embrace that. We talked for hours that evening. Moving to an inside table when the sun went down and the weather got cool.

There was, for me, a feeling of everything in my life clicking into place that night. An almost audible sound. Everything that came before rushing toward that moment, and there we were. Right, finally whole and complete.

Since the beginning we have said we are each others split-apart. Two halves, at one time separated by space and time, finally reunited. We make sense, and together we are home.

So here we are, 13 years later, and I feel that even more strongly than I did at the beginning. Life has brought us some scary stuff, some sadness, and all kinds of wonder and beauty and joy. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I can’t imagine facing what’s come and what will, good and bad, without her.

We met, and I knew. So did she. You do, when the right one comes along.

Songs of Hope and Sorrow – You Were Born

Our granddaughter just had her first birthday. She is light and love and magic. She has the biggest grin imaginable, her face scrunching all up, eyes getting narrow, and her mouth, with it’s little fangs, gets huge. Light beams out of her. Her smile matches her personality. Curious, determined to keep up with her older brothers, tenacious when she has to be, smiley, tough, adventurous, affectionate, loves to laugh, loves books, loves life. She is joy.

I have a personal tradition, started with Sebastian, where I find a song that means something to me as it relates to each particular grandchild. I will post the boy’s songs here in the next week some time, but today I thought I’d post Tessa’s.

I have no idea what made this song Tessa’s for me. It has always worked like that, for each of them. I hear a song, and for whatever reason it attaches itself to them, and to my heart. From that moment on I can’t hear it without thinking of them, and I can’t stop myself from crying. Tears of happiness, tears of being so grateful I’m in their little lives and they are in mine. I can’t hear these songs without getting the feeling that my heart could burst from all the love I feel for them.

I give you Tessa’s song, You Were Born, by Cloud Cult

Songs of Hope and Sorrow – Sky Blue and Black

I do a lot of movie reviews on this site, as well as the occasional book review. Those are definitely two of my passions, but I’d have to say above those, far above those, is my love of music. Music has always helped me to express things I wasn’t able to with words and reflected back feelings in myself, both joyous and tragic, I sometimes wasn’t even aware I was feeling. It has been a basic means of life support in my life. In that vein I’m going to start a recurring segment here on the blog called Songs of Hope and Sorrow. Other than a semi-catchy title, the segment will basically be songs I love (not necessarily current, not necessarily main stream), music that’s effected me deeply in some way.

First out of the gate I bring you Sky Blue and Black, by Jackson Browne. I was looking at other music today, listening to quite a variety of stuff, which then inspired me to look up some greatest song writer lists. Jackson Browne was on all of the lists I looked at. I thought to myself, I love Jackson Browne and haven’t listened to him in awhile. I went immediately to this song, which is my favorite of his, and put it on. When people think of him they probably think of The Pretender and Running on Empty. I love those as well, but for some reason this song has always spoken to me on a deep level. It’s a song of love and loss and heartache, and the writing is pure poetry.

I give you Sky Blue and Black, by Jackson Browne

Levon

I was just listening to some music and this song popped on. Great post for a throwback Thursday music post. So, here it is. Enjoy a 1971 gem. I was five, by the way. Turned 6 that September. In 1971 my Mom married my step-dad and my Dad married my step-mom. It was a big year in my life.

I give you, Levon, by Elton John

The Night Beds

And then there’s this…

And Then I Found This

Words to Live By (Part 4)

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”― Josh Billings

Dogs make things better, as do cats I suppose, if I had a cat in my life I’m sure I would think so.  I don’t.  I have dogs.  There’s so much joy there, in their eyes and the wag of their tails.  In the leaping and barking when they stand on the greeting couch after we’ve been gone for a minute or 10 hours.  In their constant need for us, to be near us.  I love them so, and that love is pure, like their love for us is pure.  Having them is a responsibility, and a pain in the ass sometimes if I must admit, but mostly it is beautiful and their eyes speak only love.  They are pure, and remind me every day about innocence and beauty and love for loves sake.

“Sometimes life is very mean: a person can spend days, weeks, months and years without feeling new. Then, when a door opens – a positive avalanche pours in. One moment, you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with.” ― Paulo CoelhoEleven Minutes

Positivity leads to more positivity.  It also leads to hope and inspiration and joy.  It’s an old saying, think positively, but it does work.  That’s why it’s an old saying and why it’s stuck around so long.  Looking to the bright side, the up side, looking with hope, lightens your soul, your mood, your day.  Thinking that all good things are possible, and the next thing that’s going to happen can be better than the last thing, lifts spirits and hearts.  Being positive, trying to keep it positive, holds us up, negativity drags us down.  It’s as simple as that.

“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”

Knowing someone takes time, and effort.  It’s worth it, totally, for good or bad, and it never happens overnight.  Initially we put on faces for people, faces of the person we want them to know, the person we want them to believe we are, faces of the person we wish we were.  Those are good faces, but false ones.  To know someone we have to spend time.  We have to see each other with our faults on display, or mistakes out in the open.  We have to put in the time.  If we do, it can be a transcendent thing.  It can bring two souls close together.  To know and be known for who we are, there’s nothing more valuable.

“But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.” ― Daphne du Maurier
Alone time, enjoying your own company, isn’t loneliness.  Far from it.  Being able to spend time with yourself, and enjoy it, is vital to knowing yourself, your limits, your heart.  It’s in those times when we’re alone that we find out who we really are.  How do we spend our time, what do we think of, do we enjoy our own company.  Liking yourself is key.  Being able to be alone without much discomfort says you like spending time with you.  If you enjoy spending time with you, others will as well.  It’s as simple as that.
“To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do. ” ― Hermann Hesse

Patience is a virtue.  Yes, another Mom saying.  You get older, you realize those things your parents told you, those fundamental things, are true.  Patience with our family with our friends and with ourselves leads to less discord, a higher acceptance, better listening, deeper love.  We are not perfect, no one is.  People make mistakes, misspeak,  get into moods.  Life happens.  It’s sometimes messy and fast and crazy.  Patience helps us to slow all of it down, to take a breath, to get a moment to look more deeply into things.  Having it reminds us the little things don’t matter as much, patience helps us to narrow our focus to what does matter.  It’s the breath of life.

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. ” 

― Maya Angelou

Music articulates life in a way nothing else can.  Emotion, feeling, grace, anger, desperation, agreement, honesty, truth, beauty, joy, hope, distress, and on and on and on.  Feelings too numerous to list.  There is music everywhere, a rhythm to the world, underneath the noise of everyday life.  There’s even music in that noise, if you quiet your heart enough to hear it.  We are a part of it, our souls singing their own songs.  Artists articulate it for us, but we have our own as well.  I can feel the essence of things in a beat or a phrase of music.  Our hearts beat, our heads sometimes pound, our feet tap to the sounds of windshield wipers.  Hearing that ever-present music connects us.  Music lets us know we aren’t alone.  It helps us to know we are connected to the whole of the world.

“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.” ― Audrey Hepburn

Soaking up moments, trying to absorb details as they happen, connects us with what’s happening now.  Not just seeing, but feeling what’s going on right where we are, deepens our connection to the moments we have, and helps us to have a greater experience.  Skimming over the details, failing to absorb what’s going on right where we are, lessens our connection, distances us from the moment.

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” 
― Bruce Lee

simple life, living with less, craving less, adds so much richness to our lives.  Not being concerned with having stuff, things, collecting, lessens the burdens of life and frees us up to concentrate on the things that really matter… family, friends, being right where we are.  Things weigh us down, more than we think they do.  When we begin to let some of those things go, we feel lighter, unchained somehow.  It opens space in our lives.

“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” ― Virginia WoolfThe Waves

Coffee is essential to good living.  For me anyway.  I think everyone has that thing, small, but decadent.  Mine is coffee.  I look forward to it in the morning.  I’ve spent many an hour over a cup of coffee hashing out the ups and downs of life.  The smell of it brewing, the taste of a good cup.  Nectar of the gods for me.  We should all find simple pleasure is simple things.  One of those things for me is enjoying a great cup of coffee.

“It’s so large”
“It’s the world dear, did you think it’d be small?”
“smaller” 

― C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

We are small in a larger world.  It helps to remember this when our problems seem insurmountable, our sadness overwhelming.  Going out in nature, climbing up a hill and looking out over an endless vista, putting your feet in the sand and watching the crashing of wave after wave, gazing up to the clouds to see them moving.  These things remind us how small we are.  Even sitting in a traffic jam and noticing all the other people also sitting there, wondering where they’re going, what their day is like, where they all might be trying to get to.  We are so many times overburdened by our own thoughts, our own perspective, our own small lives.  The world is a vast place, enormous, and if we can keep some thought of that in mind, we can see how whatever is plaguing us at the moment is pliable, changeable, and in the grander scheme, small.

10 Word Review – Pitch Perfect 2

MV5BMTk0Mzg4NDYyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTM2ODg2NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_Lackluster. Disappointing. Flat. Vapid. Music. Strained. Humor. Underdeveloped. Jumbled. No.

Country Soul

I am loving this song, Let the World Go By, which just happens to be the single off of my cousin Karl Blau’s upcoming album, Country Soul.