Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Awesome Blog

Watch how Nina Simone opens her mouth and Awesome flows out.

Jeff Buckley singing this on his Live at Sin-e album is worth hearing and buying. If you keyword search "awesome" on YouTube, this is what you find:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Good Swap

The other night I went to a song swap at AllGood Cafe and immediately after walking through the door it hit me: This night is going to be awesome. So I ordered a glass of red wine and settled into the evening like a cushy, leather armchair.

The artists were Daniel Fluitt of Thrift Store Cowboys, Colin Gilmore and Cory Branan. Different yet complimentary, we drank from their vats of words and melodies and stayed until the end. In the words of Colin "some things were made not to miss."

Before a friend joined me, I enjoyed the first of the concert alone. What is it about attending an event by yourself that can be so heartening? It feels like doing something I know is good for me, like eating fresh vegetables, drinking orange juice or exercising. C.S. Lewis wrote, "We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence and private; and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship." I think the world he lived in and the world I live in are pretty similar. Sitting alone in the scarlet booth felt right, but so did scooting over when my friend arrived.

Monday, November 5, 2007

conclusion of thoughts after a night of standing behind sweaty, smelly, inconsiderately flailing hippies at a concert

I think our greatest handicap as human beings is our inability to ever understand ourselves, this life or anything fully at all. Even with these unbeatable odds do we still (nobly) try and upon failure, occasionally feel the need to get high.

Monday, October 29, 2007

to the swings

Nobody knows it, but I am so sad.

When I felt sad (or trapped or wild) in high school I went to the swings. With no after school plans, I'd roll down the windows of my Pontiac Parisienne and head to the park. Sometimes I'd write or read or watch people. Most often I'd slide into the plastic saddle and swing as high as I could and wonder what it'd feel like to fly like the little boy in The Snowman . This was me discovering solitude. I don't dare divulge the secrets of those times.

Today, I felt that same thrill twice. I pedaled my bike away from work and felt like school was out and I was set free. Earlier, I remembered that this weekend I get to take a mini-road trip. On this trip I get to drive and listen to good tunes with my roadworthy friend. I will also get to see a phenomenal music act perform not once, not twice but three times; I hope to see some family and some friends who are close enough to be family.

Nobody knows it, but I am so sad.* I think of us as having little wells inside us full of secret sadness and secret happiness. It seems weird that opposites could co-exist together, but then again, what they say about opposites, well, I don't even have to say it.

*This is a line from the Avett Brothers song that caused me to fall in love with their music.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

hearing things

I don't have many memories of listening to music at home as a family. I don't remember sitting in my trainers on the carpet, stacking blocks to any sensational tunes from my parents' generation, no Beatles, no Dylan, not even the Carpenters.

Curt asked me tonight if that's why I love it so much. I guess the easy answer is yes. I didn't know it then, but now I do, yay.

The long answer has something to do with how "discovering" music is like getting socked hard in the gut and trying to recover breath. I wasn't exactly deprived of music, but there's something to be said for an unsuspecting moment blindsided by awesomeness. This makes me grateful for people. Like many introverts, I need a large amount of solitude. It's just that people give music. We tell each other about it, we experience it together. That is cool.

Maybe it's because I live in Dallas, aka Materialism capital of the South, but I hear people scoff at the gift of a burned cd. It's such a cool gift, who cares if it's cheap? Music means something to everyone. Try and get that sort of value from a pair of Pumas.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chocolate on My Tongue

Some days I feel like the most privileged person and that all other people are just a bunch of suckers. This is just because I experienced something deeply inspirational and now I hold it inside of me. This feels good.

What doesn't feel good is Dallas, where Heather and I just arrived from a weekend spent in Portland, Oregon. We went for Pickathon, a roots music festival and because we love that city. The bad news is I left my ipod nano on the plane and somewhere, probably in New Orleans, someone is enjoying my song collection. Due to carry-on restrictions in airports, which I forgot about, I also lost a pocketknife and several toiletries including a nearly full tube of toothpaste. The good news is that Heather and I did not get in a wreck this time nor did we hit any police officers. Whew.

In short we heard tons of great music and we danced hard. We even square-danced and let me tell you that we can rip and snort with the best of them. This trip could become an annual event.

Here's my MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS from the weekend:

The Wood Brothers --songs "Postcards from Hell" (if you find this, let me know), "Chocolate on My Tongue" and the entire Ways Not to Lose album. If these guys play in a city near you, don't miss out.

Langhorne Slim--"Restless" "In the Midnight" and "I Will"

Gregory and the Hawk
--"The People Who Raised Me"

Sassparilla Jugband--They are crazy fun live. "Sassy Pants"

Erin Mckeown--"Get Happy" and "Rhode Island is Famous for You"

The Avett Brothers--phenomenal live performances as always. They played a knock-the-breath-out-of-you-beautiful rendition of "If it's the Beaches," and "Famous Flower from Manhattan" sprouted in the middle of "Pretty Girl from Annapolis." They are coming to Dallas and to Austin in November. SAVE THE DATE.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Now is the Rhyme?

A few things I appreciate in a good poem:
  • A creative, descriptive title that is NOT a line in the poem.
  • A title that is nearly as long as the poem itself.
  • Sass.
  • The word "tunes."
  • Poetry on taboo or unexpected subjects that makes me think, especially by asking an absurd question.
  • The phrase "long, lonesome Sundays."
  • Use of rhyming, esp. a rhyme scheme without sounding childish or idiotic.

Wait, what is this? Oh, lookie. Here's a little poem that happens to meet the above criteria. How lucky to randomly and unexpectedly stumble across such a gem! Yay!

A.E. Stallings

Triolet on a Line Apocryphally Attributed to Martin Luther

Why should the Devil get all the good tunes,
The booze and the neon and Saturday night,
the swaying in darkness, the lovers like spoons?
Why should the Devil get all the good tunes?
Does he hum them to while away sad afternoons
And the long, lonesome Sundays? Or sing them for spite?
Why should the Devil get all the good tunes,
The booze and the neon and Saturday night?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Flipping Pages

As an in the closet perfectionist, it is often difficult for me to start things. So today, I ease into this blog by giving you, reader, snippets from my journal.

I attend many weddings, bridal showers and baby showers. The frequency of these invitations will eventually dwindle, replaced by funerals.

i sense that things unsaid might soon be said. yikes.

Things I ache for more of:
throwing pottery
the streets of florence & ghiberti's baptistery doors
the beach. always the beach.

Yesterday, while watching the The Sound of Music, Mikayla [niece, 8yrs] asked me, “Why weren’t women allowed to do all the same things as men?” Nazis, church men, monarchs and our country's founding fathers crowded my mind. Whatever I answered her was inadequate (as is my own understanding). Then she asked, “But now we can do whatever we want, right?!” I nodded, silently cheering her on. Gumption.

Nothing's more romantic
than the way good love can take leave of you.
That's why I'm so doggone lonesome, Baby,
yes, I'm lonesome and I'm blue.
--Terrance Hayes, "The Blue Terrance"

I love to cook an extravagant meal and then eat it. By myself.

If Dad loved me perfectly, I still don't think it would've been enough.

This afternoon I put on my new down coat, sat on the bed and looked in the mirror. Tired and cold. Maybe a little depressed. In the pocket of my coat I found a little folded piece of paper that said, "You are a goddess."
It helped.