Of Tuesday Tunes – Mainstream Kid by Brandi Carlile

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.”

PS:
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?

Of Tuesday Tunes – Thinking About You by Big Scary

My song of the week is Thinking About You by Big Scary.

This song is stunning. When I listen or dance to it I feel serenely calm as my soul gets lost in the music. It’s the kind of song that puts me in a different place. If I’m driving I feel like I’m in a movie, suddenly everything seems more interesting and important. If I’m dancing the connection with my partner becomes intoxicating and the song transports us to the most beautiful part of danceland.

The magic of Thinking About You is in its vulnerability.

It’s romantic. It’s sad. It’s nostalgic. It’s honest.

It’s the kind of song that puts all the emotions on the buffet table and allows you to pick what you need.

Favorite lyric: “You were my heart shaped queen on your way to school. You were a paper back girl back before it was cool.”

Of Tuesday Tunes – Hothouse by 78Violet

My song of the week is Hothouse by 78Violet, previously known as Aly & AJ.

The girls have gone indie. Like hard core indie. No longer are they rocking tight clothes and singing electronic pop music, 78Violet is a whole new Aly & AJ.

And I sort of love it.

One thing is still true, they write the best break up songs. And Hothouse is yet another great song to turn to when a relationship comes to an end. In fact, based on the leaked tracks I heard off their yet to be released album, there’s many more broken hearted and over it tunes to come.

Hothouse is simple, they sing in unison for most of the song and the instrumentation is minimal. But it’s beautiful. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the sound change, but then I couldn’t stop listening to the leaked tracks. And then I couldn’t stop watching the Hothouse music video, which feels like an indie movie itself.

There is a 3 minute intro, but it’s a lovely poem that is completely captivating:

Favorite lyric: “In the beginning you intrigue. But the way you move, it terrifies me. And you remind me of the things that I don’t need.”

Of Girls, Cars, and Breakdowns

Girl, Broken Down Car

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It’s 1:17AM, just got home, smell like popcorn, and I still have an entire assignment to write.

Damn.

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I drive an old man car: a 1995 Century Buick. This car tends to run hot. VERY hot. The oil temperature (gauge?) thingy typically resides at about 3/4 or higher. For months I’ve been periodically (sometimes consistently) blasting the heat with the windows cracked, this usually lowers the temperature to a little higher than 1/2 – clearly, I’m not car savvy.

I call my Buick a sauna for a reason.

Tonight, for the first time, my old man car bitched out to the point where the gauge was so dangerously close to overheating that I had to pull over.

Thanks to movies, books, and television a young girl sitting by the side of the road at 12:30AM would result in one of five possible circumstances:

  1. A man pulls up and does something bad to the girl: rape, murder, kidnap, torture
  2. The girl is actually a psychopath and does something bad to an unsuspecting bystander
  3. Man stops to see if she’s okay – they fall in love
  4. Porno
  5. A cop asks what’s going on

None of the above happened. I sat there for about fifteen minutes with my heat on blast, waiting for the engine to cool down. Nothing happened. I felt like I was in an Indie movie as I sat in the dark watching cars drive by listening to the gentle harmonies and beautiful strings of Iron and Wine as they sung cinder and smoke, you’ll ask me to pray for rain, with ash in your mouth, you’ll ask it to burn again. My car swayed each time a car drove by, when the semi’s passed by my car rocked like a cradle. I watched headlights come and go, none of them slowed, most of them changed into the lane furthest from me. Not a single cop came by, part of me was hoping one would, just for the sake of a story. But nothing happened. My car cooled to driving temperature and I finally drove home.

I saw a car on the side of the road. I didn’t slow – the car looked abandoned.

I didn’t see a cop until I reached Bellingham; right next to my exit. It was parked uselessly on the side of the road lazily waiting for trouble to find them.

Thus I’ve concluded the following: if anyone is stranded on the freeway and they don’t have a cellphone on hand – they are fucked.

Of Heartache and Therapy Via Ani DiFranco’s Music

 

Ani DiFranco

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The clock struck one and my heart was heavy. Like Cinderella was at midnight, my world was suddenly tainted, lesser than what it was the moment before. I was filled with a sadness, a loneliness, a need to be around a someone. Not people, not family, someone. Problem is, I don’t have a someone. Friends would do but it wouldn’t be the same, plus let me repeat that it was one in the morning, no sane person would go visit a friend because they felt a little down in a less than severe way.

A couple hours later and I’m still that way. I would not describe my emotions as depressed or desperate. I would describe myself as yearning for something but nothing surrounds me. No people, no activity, not even an inkling of opportunity of emotional distraction to pull me out of myself.

I’m trapped in my mindset trying to not dwell on thoughts that I’m not even having, feelings that I wasn’t feeling to begin with, basically trying to avoid the craters that my brain occasionally forms out of boredom.

There is a song by Ani DiFranco, who is one of my favorite musicians and poets, entitled Recoil from the album Knuckle Down. The first time I heard that song I thought yes, exactly, it’s so simply put, that is how I feel right now. The song is about more than loneliness, it’s about time, needs, purpose, longing, struggle, oh there are so many layers. The song speaks to where ever your heart is. For me it’s largely about the impact of life, opening oneself up, honesty, coping with being alone.

My current emotion (and this entire post for that matter) can be summed up by one of her sentences “Probably just need to be held, that’s probably all it is.” So simple, so eloquent, so beautiful. God, I love her.

Below is a video of her performing the song I’ve been talking about and a portion of the lyrics:

I recoil from all my friends
And then I’m in misery
Been so long since I’ve been held
Really since I was his
Probably just need to be held
That’s probably all it is

To all the people out there tonight
Who are comforting themselves
If you should happen to see my light
You can stop and ring my bell
I’m just sittin here in this sty
Strewn with half written songs
Taking one breath at a time
Nothin much going on
Nothin much going on