My song of the week is Would You Like to Take a Walk? by She & Him.
This past week I’ve been listening to the Classics album by She & Him virtually non-stop. The album is full of lesser known songs from back in the day that are simply delightful.
Would You Like to Take a Walk? wasn’t initially my favorite song on the album, but now it’s the one I frequent the most. It’s quirky charm won me over.
Favorite lyric: “Something good will come from that.”
Every now and then I go through a hardcore Josie and The Pussycats phase. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the album to the 2001 masterpiece is not only a great soundtrack, but a great rock album.
Normally, the songs I gravitate most to on the album are the high energy girl power rock anthems. But lately I’ve been really drawn to You Don’t See Me. It’s a lovely ballad, and the sentiment of the song is something that I believe most of us can relate to: being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.
Favorite lyric: “I dream of fire when you’re touching my hand, but it twists into smoke as I turn on the light.”
My song of the week, on a Wednesday sorry, is I Didn’t Mean It by The Belle Brigade.
I’ve loved this song for years, and I go through phases where I rock out to it in my car for weeks on end.
I’m currently deep into one of those phases.
I Didn’t Mean It is reminiscent of classic rock, but it has a fun pop energy. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s from the Twilight soundtrack, or that half the comments on the video are about peoples love of Twilight – cause in reality the Twilight soundtracks are phenomenal.
This is the perfect song for taking a road trip, lounging by the lake, or having an adventure on a sunny summer day. Though I’d recommend cruise control, songs like this tend to make me speed.
Favorite lyric: “So I accused you wrong. Now I’m the guilty one. Hey, give me my sentence. I’ll pay my penance. Nothing kills me more than the pain I have for hurting you.”
My song of the week is Underground by Adam Lambert.
Adam Lambert recently dropped his latest album and it’s unsurprisingly wonderful. What I really appreciate about Adam is that he takes risks with all of his albums by playing with genre. You can tell which album a song is from based on it’s aesthetic, but no matter what it still feels like an Adam song.
Underground is about longing, loss, and love. The song itself is a mixture of R&B and EDM, with a bass drop is sheer sexy perfection.
There is no music video, but you can enjoy starring at his beautiful face. 🙂
Favorite lyric: “Cause nobody feels you like I do, nobody kills me like you do, nothing I take can ever cut through, I’m in trouble.”
My song of the week is Earth Song by Michael Jackson.
Like many, I’ve been a fan of Michael Jackson’s for most my life. My dad showed me a video of him doing the moonwalk when I was a child and I was sold. Earth Song may not be one of Michael’s most well known songs, but it’s lovely all the same. It has that King of Pop energy that we all grew to love and has a not so subtle message: Save the Earth.
I love a powerful wordless chorus, which this song executes perfectly. My favorite moment is about half way the during the chorus when the key changes, it’s a semi-subtle change that leads beautifully into the intensity of the last verse.
As for the video, I’m 90% sure that Michael was going for strong imagery. However, it is possible that this song was used in a 1995 disaster movie – I didn’t bother to Google it.
Favorite lyric: “Do we give a damn.”
My song of the week is Say My Name (cover) by Ólafur Arnalds and Arnór Dan.
Remember that catchy, upbeat, Destiny’s Child jam from back in the day? Remember how you and your friends bonded singing along and rocking out?
This amazing cover tosses aside the uptempo 90’s pop beat, focuses on the lyrics, and throws in a cello. The result? A version of the throwback classic that will tug at your heartstrings.
The first time I djed this version my friend Jackie came up to me and said, “Well, now I’m officially sad.” I love songs that make you sad though, it means that it reached into the depths of you and made you feel something. To me, that’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps it’s the cello that pulls out the emotion, they have a tendency to do that.
Favorite lyric: “Say my name, say my name.”
My song of the week is Swimming Pool by Freezepop.
Swimming Pool is quite a long song (6:56), but it’s also an incredibly beautiful song. It’s synthesizer paradise that’s divided into two parts. The first part has a intro that’s (1:30ish) minutes long, which sets the tone that continues to swell throughout the verse until the second part – where the real magic happens. The second half is why I love this song, it’s striped down and simple until the kick comes in. A lovely juxtaposition of the first half.
The lyrics are charmingly sweet, just a song about jumping into a pool with your loved one and being in the moment.
Favorite Lyric: “Everything is perfect now.”
My song of the week is Don’t Dream It’s Over by Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande.
I’ve been really digging Miley Cyrus’ Backyard Sessions, which is raising awareness for her Happy Hippie Foundation. The foundation is aimed at helping homeless LGBT kids and other vulnerable populations, an issue that Miley is very passionate about.
Normally I’m not the biggest Ariana Grande fan, but even I think she comes off adorable and *gasp* even relatable in a mouse-bear onesie.
The Crowded Mouse cover is sweet and simple. Miley gets distracted and starts flirting, Ariana spazzes out when she misses her cue, but they sound great.
Favorite lyric: “They come, they come, to build a wall between us, but we know that they won’t win.”
I may have MS, but I can still dance to the fullest.
At the ripe old age of 21 I noticed the left side of my forehead was numb. Not the kind of numb where if someone were to stab me in the face I would feel nothing, more so the tingly kind of numb that we all experience when our foot falls asleep. Like many, my first thought wasn’t, “Hey! Something serious is wrong.” Rather my mind was more along the lines of, “That can’t be right, maybe it’ll feel normal if I touch it again … nope. How about now?”
The numbness lasted for several days, so my primary physician referred me to a jack-ass of a neurologist, a man with zero social skills and not an ounce of empathy, but at least he sent me off to have my first of many-many-many MRIs.
Here’s what I was told before going into the giant tube, “It might be Multiple Sclerosis, or it might be a severe migraine,” you can guess which one I was hoping for. But alas, it wasn’t a migraine. And as my robot doctor proceeded to tell me all about my disease, with all the medical jargon he could muster, I fell into shock as my world went silent.
Its been roughly 5 years since that terrible day, and now I’m living a very happy life. Being forced to be so aware of my mortality at a young age has given me a thirst for life. It’s made me more actively seek out the activities that make me happy, people who are on fire just to be alive, and not limit myself because I have a condition. But it took me awhile to get to this point, so if you or someone you love is still struggling, please be patient and/or offer support.
Here’s what no one tells you when you’re diagnosed with MS.
- People say the worst possible things:
The most common thing I hear when I tell someone that I have MS is, “Oh my friend/parent/aunt/etc has MS, he/she is in a wheel chair now.” Other common variations include details about how their loved one is in too much pain to do anything or that they lost their vision. Sometimes they confuse Multiple Sclerosis with Muscular Dystrophy and look at me with curious eyes.
A lot of people will assume that any and every health issue I have is MS related. They mean well, but their ignorance does drive me crazy. I’ve learned to calmly say, “No, this has nothing to do with my MS.”
- Don’t be afraid to fire your doctor:
My first doctor was terrible, so my family put our feelers out there and now I have this badass doctor. She’s personable, she’s intelligent, and she can rock a pair of combat boots. Find someone you’re comfortable with, don’t settle for who you’re initially referred to.
- Shock and depression is natural:
When I was first diagnosed I swear I could feel death creeping in through the cracks around my door. The truth is, when told you have MS (or any other disease) suddenly your mortality feels real. Not just in the “we all know we’re going to die someday” way, but in a way that forces you to acknowledge that your finish line may be sooner than you expected. What’s important is remembering that your life is not over, and if you need help – reach out.
- A lot of times it’s hard to tell if you’re having a symptom flare up, or if you’re just working yourself too hard. And if you have a new symptom, promptly tell your doctor.
For me, the most difficult symptom to decipher was fatigue. There’s a big difference between MS fatigue and just being sleepy. Since I was still in college at the time I just assumed I was tired from staying up late for school. But no matter how much sleep I got I was still constantly tired, which led to me becoming irritable and unpleasant to be around. Eventually, I told my MS doctor what was going on and she said that it was probably a new symptom so I should get an MRI to see if there are any changes. Which leads me to ….
- If a drug is not working, change it:
Initially I was on Copaxone, which is a daily injection. Giving myself a shot everyday was torture, made even worse when I tried to use the autoinject pen thing that was supposed to make the process easier. I would cry for an hour trying to will myself to push that damn button. And my MRI showed that it wasn’t working, in the year that I was on it, I had 4 new legions appear in my brain.
So I switched to Tysabri, which is much better for me mentally as it is a monthly infusion, and a nurse is there to hook me up to the IV. Since being on this drug I’ve had no new legions, and one of them actually got smaller.
Find the drug that works for you not just physically, but mentally as well.
- Be active:
My MS doctor loves that I’m active. That I dance. That I go to the gym. Remaining active is a huge factor in slowing MS down.
After the shell shocked part of being diagnosed, I had a whole new level of drive to dive head first into the dance scene. Maybe it was because everyone was telling me how they knew people who couldn’t walk anymore, or maybe it was because I had a new appreciation for my life. Either way, I wanted to dance my heart out for as long as I physically could.
Find an activity that you enjoy, whether that be dance, sports, hiking, or jazzercise. Just be sure to pay attention to your body, I’ve found that when symptoms start to flare up it’s usually because I’m pushing my body to hard. So I have to make sure that I’m being healthy, and giving my body rest when it needs it.
- You can live your life just as full as everyone else.
My song of the week is Mainstream Kid by Brandi Carlile.
Brandi Carlile has been one of my favorite artists for years, and I just learned yesterday that she released a new album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, in March. So naturally I immediately bought the album, and proceeded to listen to it on repeat while at work.
It’s amazing! Arguably her best work to date. The album is the perfect balance of uptempo folk and poetic indie.
I choose Mainstream Kid for my song because it just makes me happy. The energy is great. The guitar solo is fantastic. And Brandi’s vocals are on point. It’s the kind of jam that can brighten your mood, or put you at risk for accidentally speeding on the freeway.
Favorite Lyric: “I came to saturate the market, to perpetuate the hip kid.”
Because I’m such a fangirl I felt the need to share that my favorite lyric for the entire album is from a track called The Eye:
“You can dance in hurricane, but only if you’re standing in the eye.” – Isn’t that just beautiful?