Category Archives: Music

3-1-13

Happy March everyone! It’s overcast and cold as the dickens, but that is OK because it’s March, it’s Friday and all of that must be good.

So far 2013 has been less the year of the snake and more of the year of work. I’ve been kept busy in the library. The normal bits, of course, APA help, research, book ordering, answering life’s mysteries — you know — being a librarian. But the things that have kept me hopping the most are my additional duties of being the “champion” of the online students and tutorial. (Side note: Have I told you that I literally do have the title of “Flex Champion” that indicates nothing about muscle, but really lets the ground students who take online classes know that I’m their go-to-gal. The title is hysterical and does warrant some raised eyebrows. I find myself letting the students know that I will not flex for them — no, not ever.) Those two roles rolled onto my main gig are keeping me off the streets (or the net) and busy.

Beyond work, what can I say? Life is beautiful. Like I said, it’s March, it’s Friday . . . what more do you want? This month I am in a writing challange that I am a bit nervous about (it’s about quantity and not quality though, so I have that going for me). I’m back to trying to run — should be fun to move as soon as I see the sun again. And, there is a small amount of me trying to learn the guitar. (Hope you all have the cliche of old dogs and new tricks going through your head. Music ability at my age is tough people!)Tonight may find me involved with puppets of the Edgar Allen Poe kind. Let’s hope that is some weird magic and not just awkward pauses.

Happy weekend and 2013 everyone!

A new look at childhood

I heard about this album a few weeks ago called The Muppets: The Green Album and I thought, oh, that’s cute. I think I heard one song off of it and forgot about it. But today being one of my Monday’s off, I stumbled across it again and gave the whole thing a listen.

Admittedly biased due to my love of Kermit, but put that aside and you still have something beautiful. The artists alone are worth perking your ears up: Weezer, The Fray, My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird. They all come together and pay homage to not just the Muppets and Jim Henson — but maybe more importantly they spotlight all the sunny, trippy, happy beats of childhood (at least my childhood of the 70s and 80s).

Indeed, it makes it not feel so false when you think you can go back there someday—no, not as the child for sure—but as the human that lived the child’s life.

Please listen, buy, and support public radio and television. It’s worth it:

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/14/138984517/first-listen-muppets-the-green-album

My Playlist

I turn 40 next week. Shelby asked me to come up with a playlist for my party. Here it is. Don’t laugh.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand— The Beatles: it’s the 1st song I remember loving. Once, at the hotel, Top, Sandy, George, me and some other people circled the fireplace holding hands and singing and dancing to this song on the radio. Pure joy.

Lots of U2—but all of Joshua Tree: it created me.

Prince—Purple Rain: he taught me lust.

The Police — Synchronicity: it was my first vinyl purchase.

Tom Petty—my constant

Bob Dylan: for my life of alone that I learned in Italy.

Erin McKeown: for Shelby, Tallahassee and healing after heartbreak.

David Bowie: it’s Bowie.

Depeche Mode—for Karen’s car, tinted windows, high school & a friendship of youth and a lifetime. Long roads ahead.

Pink Floyd’s “Mother”: for Duncan and all that he is and so much that I know.

Buddy Holly: he’s what Dad sings to me. He would pull my ears and sing “Hey Little Girl”. I think he did it to make my ears long like his. That and Hank Williams, Sr.

Patsy Cline: For Joyce Walden and instant coffee and cigarettes.

Soundtrack to Pretty in Pink

The Stones— their old stuff. I bought their greatest hits and that double disk was the first CD I bought. I was with the Odom guy and I think somehow he was disappointed in me.

Cowboy Junkies–Trinity Session: Dad introduced me to this by walking into a record store in NYC and asking a guy “what would my teenage daughter like?” and he handed dad that CD. Smart guy.

Jane’s Addiction—XXX: Best segue into a song ever incorporates “Jane Says” and “Sympathy For the Devil”. Awesome.

The Pixies: no explanation needed.

Willie Nelson–especially the Padgett theme song “On The Road Again”

Brown-Eyed Girl—It’s my birthday.

Librarian Song by My Morning Jacket — it’s about a sexy librarian.

Wilco, REM, so many others I can’t think of for Lori.

Avett Brothers, Gorillaz, Lucinda Williams, Fleetwood Mac, “Stuck in the Middle W/ You”, Journey and Queen (for Dee), Random Rod Stewart (it’s my secret pleasure), Bob Marley (at least Redemption Song), Nirvana (really like the acoustic), REM (I know I mentioned them, but they deserve another mention and if “Night Swimming” isn’t on there then you don’t know me.

Random 80s: “I Melt With You”, etc. And there are a lot of versions of “Satellite of Love” but I love Frank Black. And Mendy should really help with this part.

Some Jimi Hendrix and The Doors and of course Janis— I remember wanting to be her when I was little and looking at my dads old album of Pearl.

Mazzy Star . . .

Actually, there’s no end. All the bits of memory come with some kind of soundtrack. Traffic, crickets — even now the air is blowing, my neighbor upstairs creaks in their bed and the beat goes on. Even future has a song.

Hello 40.

Delicate December

Maybe I should have made that querulous December? Yet when I think of December, I think of Erin McKeown’s lovely song. You should all google it. Or here, try this to hear or read the lyrics below.

Delicate December
Let’s remember
When we were tall
And we can pretend it’s just summer
We’re neither spring nor fall
Would you want my number?
Were I someone
You didn’t know at all
Special for December
Let’s pretend we’re
All for one

I know, it’s not the same
What’s said is said and won’t be said again

Delicate December
Let’s be tender
Slow down time to a crawl
Nothing’s temperamental
If we’re gentle
Hands up!
Let’s call it a draw
Elegant and simple
Sentiment means
Letting go and letting fall
Special for December
Let’s pretend we’re
All for one, one for all

Anyway, clearly it’s been an eternity. I missed out on the chance to discuss ageism with Kimbre. You all I’m sure are relieved you’ve not had to hear me complain about work, preparing for our school’s graduation, and all the pitfalls of the past 6 months. There have been some seriously blissful moments though. But I guess they’ll stay with me. However, even though I don’t do resolutions — I do know I need to write more and definitely share more. So we’ll see how disciplined I will be about it.

Wishing everyone peace and joy. I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!

A bit of Guthrie on MLK

I watched the pre-Inaugural bash last night and it had a few moments. I found it interesting that they ended with a Woody Guthrie song that we all know. Even more interesting was the inclusion of 3 verses that I normally do not hear. Makes this folk song stand up a bit more. Here are the lyrics with the  not-so-heard ones at the end. Happy MLK day!

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I’d seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

 

 

 

 

Südtirol

Also known as Alto Adige by the Italians, was formerly part of the Austrian Empire and then Austria-Hungary. All of this is my way of saying that it’s not very Italian. The buildings, the people, the food, etc. Of course, the Italian rail still services the area, so that part is still the same. When we arrived in Fortezza, we discovered that the rails to Valdaora were closed, so we had to wait for a bus.

Needless to say, that was really the only snag. Once we were picked up in Valdaora by the cook of the hotel, everything else was wonderful. I’m totally in love with this region of Italy. Altitude makes me energetic and I can think clearly. Plus the fact I was staying at a posh hotel with a sauna, pool and free massage . . . well, it was tough to leave. Mountains are where I ultimately need to spend most of my time. That became clear to me the second day as I strolled through town. I love wearing a jacket in July. Breathing is simply better. And the side effect is that everything else is simply better. (OK, winters on mountains are brutal, but I can always leave.)

While there, another epiphany occurred, I also love music. I mean, that sounds obvious, but really I’ve never been able to remember bands and songs I like, etc, so it always seemed to be second to literature. A distant second. But no, Nick Hornby’s 31 songs opened my eyes. He saved so many memories for me. It’s like part of my brain unlocked and all of the files of my past came pouring in. I think I may add 31 songs to my all time favorite book list. Drastic, maybe. So the whole stay there and the entire trip back was one long sound track. I’m actually working on that soundtrack now. It was a moment in my life, in the right place and with the perfect person to share it with.

Enjoy the pictures! Find your mental higher ground.

Valdaora

bipolar bliss

Beyond just speaking directly about my mental self (I’ll speak more on why later) I’m also referring to one of those fantastic nights where nothing is easy but everything is good. 

I was invited to the American Consulate which lies next to the Arno in a gorgeous building. For those of you that read my previous blog, yes, I made it on time and not too ruffled from my motorcycle ride. I even beat Luigi there, actually, but not Frank and his crew. 

And the consul was very warm and she danced a bit with Frank’s dad and Luigi and Frank gawked at her beauty and charisma. In the meantime, I broke a champagne glass on a marble mantle, laughed at someone when he told me his name was Marco Polo (and it was Marco Polo) and basically became the brutta figura I know deep down I am. I truly hate swank (and this wasn’t even that swank), but I did it because it was slightly important to two men in my life and at least I was able to drink free bubbly for a bit. Luigi did convince the band to sing a few more songs and he honored me by imitating a great crooner. To top that stage of the evening off, he asked the consul to go to CPA with us sometime. Oh, the CPA, I’ll explain, but needless to say she didn’t go that night but did take Luigi’s card. He has guts, that one.

We ate at Enovino (I think that’s the name) and then taxied (such extravagance) to the other side of the Arno and arrived at CPA. The CPA is a communist party organization that holds movie screenings, bands, talks, etc. for super cheap (and the best bar prices in town). It is, in short, what Americans would call a dive — but with a philosophical core that sets it apart. Once there we watched a movie in Italian, were served small cocktails that tasted like sweet tea, I lectured on the word benediction, we read some poetry written by the bartender’s boyfriend and listened to music. It’s easy for those of you that know me to see which side of the river I prefer.

Can’t really express the great dichotomy between the two worlds we participated in, but pleasure can be found in both. And the music never stops.