Friday, October 9, 2009

this loves a nameless dream

Bluebeard (1994), Cocteau Twins

(from a 90’s music list I started compiling a few years back that I thought I might rehash again…what can I say, I’m feeling a bit 90’s music nostalgic as of late…)

the first time i heard elizabeth’s unique voice was in the early 80’s while lying on the floor of a friend’s bedroom flipping through pages of star hits. I remember that it made me pause my latest search for duran duran pin-ups and ask “who is this?”; from that point on i was hooked on the cocteau twins, and fascinated by elizabeth’s ethereal voice. in 1992, my beautiful daughter julia was born, one of her middle names chosen after elizabeth, a favourite singer of both her father’s and mine. i saw the cocteau twins play live around the time of this album, four-calendar cafe.

i remember sitting towards the back of the wiltern theatre feeling the music swirl around jill and i, as we held hands and held our breath; we were both swept up in the sound. Tthis song reminds me of jill’s small hands, and the way she always smelled of cloves and peppermint candies. music soothed a lot of sting between us, in those moments where we let ourselves just get swept up in melody, and just be okay.

Friday, October 2, 2009

bolts from above hit the people down below

temptation ~ new order
temptation (live, video) ~ new order

"each way i turn,
i know i'll always try to break this circle
that's been placed around me
from time to time,
i find i've lost some need
that was urgent to myself,
i do believe.

up, down, turn around
please don't let me hit the ground
tonight i think
i'll walk alone
i'll find my soul as i go home."

~ temptation ~ new order


it was the year before the last real school year. the year he left. no more outside scars; i just won't mention the one's inside, those you have to learn to live with. god and i had come to an understanding, it was time to not believe. and the fake walls around me, they just went too far. i found enough of a voice to say no more - to so many things. and then change, change, change. those first few days the silence wrapped around my mouth. like band-aids. motionlessness. but i ripped them all off, and left myself bleeding and raw. and, i spoke up. more and more with every passing day.

that's the kinda girl i am

haunted ~ sinead o'connor & shane macgowan
haunted (live, video) ~ sinead o'connor & shane macgowan

"i'll stay beside you,
i'll never leave,
or tell you all those lies that you'd never believe."
~ haunted
~ sinead o'connor & shane macgowan

today the music is speaking to me
carrying me off to an embrace of melody
the trigger-gun reaction of emotive lyrical flash-floods
with every song that shuffles towards me
i am gifted something impossible to turn from
or ignore

today i feel the music sweeping through me
lilting, luscious, lush
as i try to wash clean a grey day
a grey mood
a grey me

today i find myself wishing for the same persistence
that i pour into all of this
and that the inner working tick-tock clocks of insecurity
would duct tape their mouths shut
and just leave me be

i just want to be cared for
and believed
this time
because this time
it really matters to me

this one right here plays in the shape of my memory case
causing me to realize that music is so fluid
so full of pieces and words and feelings
often the turn of phrases laden with things i wish i could speak aloud
to you

all things left unsaid seem to melt right into the next track
feelings and fears becoming part of the pages of my life
every song i take the time to memorize
and sing along with
becomes the soundtrack behind the images that pass themselves off as a day
and some of these i keep for good
so that i can go back
put on repeat
turn back open the liner notes and have that moment
when a line i hear in my head
is different
and redirects the way i see things now

this afternoon could become
the side of the tape i will rewind
and play
again and again
until the neighbors bang on the wall in pleas and agony
begging to never play that fucking song again

and i wonder now through stinging eyes
how the stories will hold up in the end
will i sit with my grandchildren tugging at my sleeve
holding the hand of the love i take there with me
and will i read to them from the lines on my hands
show them the flickering images of a life
that will still play behind my half closed eyes
will i still remember the refrain before the last verse
of all those remembered melodies

someone will be there with me (i hope)
mocking at what a sentimental thing i've become
while inside they smile
because we all cherish the stories shared
of our own existence
perhaps they will correct my additions
and enhancements
add in the erased letters that i choose to forget
whisper that the truth does not need painting over
with glitter
or exaggerated pause
but they all know that sometimes
that is just how i am
and anyway
color changes everything
just like the contents of a song

the stars are exploding in the night: a music mix

that’s gorgeous hold it right where you are: october second music mix

ghosts ~ laura marling
never the less ~ brien jonestown massacre
guitar hero ~ amanda palmer

delilah ~ the dresden dolls
sailor song ~ regina spektor
won't wait long (margaret in the taiga) ~ the decemberists
siren song ~ bat for lashes
the strangers ~ st. vincent
queen of the world ~ ida maria
nineteen ~ tegan & sara
runaway ~ yeah yeah yeahs
we are beautiful, we are doomed ~ los campesinos!
give a little love ~ noah & the whale
cosmic love ~ florence & the machine
dance dance dance ~ lykke li
french navy ~ camera obscura
everything with you ~ the pains of being pure at heart
get over it ~ guillemots
epic last song ~ does it offend you, yeah?

oct 2 mix ~ zipped up

Thursday, October 1, 2009

go on and disappear: a music mix

two worlds collided: a mix for the first of october

the ghost in you
~ the psychedelic furs
lips like sugar ~ echo & the bunnymen
i melt with you ~ modern english
girlfriend in a coma ~ the smiths
in between days ~ the cure
slave to love ~ bryan ferry
girls on film (night version) ~ duran duran
just like honey ~ the jesus and mary chain
radio free europe ~ r.e.m.
joey ~ concrete blonde
birthday ~ sugarcubes
regret ~ new order
under the milky way ~ the church
love will tear us apart ~ joy division
rapture ~ blondie
add it up ~ the violent femmes
psycho killer ~ talking heads
space oddity ~ david bowie
never tear us apart (acoustic) ~ inxs

oct 1 mix ~ zipped up

angels fall like rain

the ghost in you ~ the psychedelic furs
the ghost in you (lost in translation version) ~ the psychedelic furs
the ghost in you (lost in translation version, video) ~ the psychedelic furs

"a race is on
i'm on your side
and hearing you my engines die
i'm in a mood for you
for running away
stars come down in you
and love...
you can't give it away."
~ the ghost in you
~ the psychedelic furs

"i don't want to leave." ~ bob
"so don't. stay here with me. we'll start a jazz band." ~ charlotte
~ lost in translation

it comes on unexpected, like the faded memories of a near completed dream. you wake up and rub your eyes, try to recapture what has just transpired in that subconscious film of sleep. you remember what you first felt, how it grew and how it stuck and stayed. words spoken, misunderstandings and genuine understandings, and the shadows of past pain that ghosts across your skin, tethering your fears and doubts to the core of who we are, there are consequences to all of it. but, sometimes something is strong enough to do more then just haunt the subject of your dreams. sometimes it teaches you things about the world, about life, about yourself. and sometimes, it is worth being patient for, and waiting as long as forever, because you know - in your conscious and sub-conscious - that it is will be worth it; that it will be more than just ghosts of some oft forgotten dream.

a favorite song of mine set to one of my all-time favorite films.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

like the sunshine

"joely?" ~ clementine

"yeah tangerine?" ~ joel

"am i ugly?" ~ clementine

"uh-uh." ~ joel

"when i was a kid, i thought i was. i can't believe i'm crying already. sometimes i think people don't understand how lonely it is to be a kid, like you don't matter. so, i'm eight, and i have these toys, these dolls. my favorite is this ugly girl doll who i call clementine, and i keep yelling at her, 'you can't be ugly! be pretty!" it's weird, like if i can transform her, i would magically change, too." ~ clementine

[kisses clementine] "you're pretty." ~ joel

"joely, don't ever leave me." ~ clementine

"you're're pretty...pretty..." ~ joel

"change your heart.
look around you;
change your heart
it will astound you."

there are a million reasons why i relate to this movie so much, and why clementine resonates with me so deeply. this scene, and the conversation they have, is one of the biggest ones. there is this near constant undercurrent of insecurity that plagues me incessentally. most of the time i can manage to ignore it, or if it isn't disregard, it is that i'm so used it being part of my make-up that i just plod along with it in tow. it does not seem to affect my daily life much, and i've learned to push through its naggings, especially in the realm of work and parenthood, and just tell myself that i'm good at what i do. i'm a good employee, and i'm a good mom, these things hardly come into question for me.

but, that internal beast of insecurity is impossible to shut up when i let myself care about someone. i have typically such a thick wall around me when it comes to relationships, and love, that the insecurity tends to sleep, or turn off, when i deal with things like dating, or talking with someone who i deep down know there is no potential. but, the few times i've let the walls down, and let my heart get into the picture, and fall for someone - well that insecurity is shaken violently awake and all the years of hurt, pain and rejections - those ever-echoing feelings of never being enough, or being too much, come front and center, poking at me, making it impossible to ignore.

that's when the over-thinking starts, and the doubts, and the questioning everything i do. i feel like i start to ready myself for failure, feeling as if i fuck up anything that really matters to me, and that i am just going to mess it all up again. it is so defeating, so painful, so heartbreaking to feel this way and i truly hate it, but i don't know how to stop it. i try to breathe through it, but my breath gets caught in my throat, choking me. i find myself (even more) sleepless. i start to feel needy, and irrationally sad. and then i start deciding that things are falling apart, even when they are not at all. around this time i shut down, go quiet, sink lower than anyone ever seems to notice.

the only buoy in the water of all this self-doubt is the need to be reaffirmed. i'm an honest person, and i try to be open, so i will usually try to reach out - try, not always succeeding. and it is then, in those moments, that i am at my most fragile. it is then when i truly need to be held and told that i'm alright just as myself. but that - that part - feels so impossible to ask for.

it really hurts, somedays, to be this way.

Friday, September 4, 2009


"change the thought"
keep art alive; art by brian sheffield

"then from inside
bolt lightning cries
swiftly crushed
the final, muffled sighs"

the killing jar (video) ~ siouxsie and the banshees



she spins and spins and spins

drips sugar spooned poison pen promises
while the soul drips fluid from paper cranes

they say she makes good
fakes good
takes good

whispered hesitation

watch her spine bend and break
bend and break
oh darling, crush the floor

in diamond culled clinging passion fruit
watch it dangle and drain

here she comes
here she comes
here she comes

fallen idols
lit cigarette holed stockings
the rips slip slid slide

his teeth sink in
deeper still


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

lots of baggage and not much clothes

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

six shuffled songs (six days to go)

am i only
~ black rebel motorcycle club
pretty in pink ~ the psychedelic furs
if you fall ~ azure ray
heroes (cover) ~ tv on the radio
wandering ~ the hidden cameras
downliner ~ jesse malin

six songs ~ zipped up

a postcard postscript
by me

at the start it is all fireworks
and a cool lemonade from a corner stand
all the stories are new
and the funny flaws and twists of the self
we will find them all so endearing
summer's end though
the clock turns backwards
and the nights grow dark
we both know what that dim and fade looks like
but you
you will always have the reckless abandon
of a school girl's vacation
because you
will remain in that post holiday ever-afterglow

(random music and stream of conscious unedited wordplay ~ by me)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

say to me you'll let me hold your hand

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (screenshot)
keep art alive ~ film by
michel gondry

about a girl (cover) ~ cibo matto
i want to hold your hand (cover) ~ tv carpio
i will follow you into the dark (cover) ~ amanda palmer
sheena is a punk rocker (cover) ~ yeah yeah yeahs
jeane (cover) ~ sandie shaw

sunday covers (girls girls girls version) ~ zipped up

Friday, July 31, 2009

made you feel like it's not such a bad world (a music mix)

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

now your really living: a music mix

je veux te voir ~ yelle
map of the problematique ~ muse
i see spiders when i close my eyes ~ the boy most likely to
getting away with it ~ electronic
tangled up in blue ~ bob dylan
hey man (now your really living) ~ eels
zak and sara ~ ben folds
long shot ~ aimee mann
just like a woman (cover) ~ calexico with charlotte gainsbourg
lay all your love on me (cover) ~ woodpigeon
reckoner ~ radiohead
the ice is getting thinner ~ death cab for cutie
neat neat neat ~ the damned
not if you were the last junkie on earth ~ the dandy warhols
these boots are made for walkin' ~ nancy sinatra
death by diamonds and pearls ~ band of skulls
sour cherry ~ the kills

we might live like never before

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"so why'd you fill my sorrows,
with the words you've borrowed,
from the only place you've known
and why'd ya sing hallelujah,
if it means nothing to you.
why'd you sing with me at all?"

delicate (live, video)
~ damien rice

this song came on in the car as i drove four blocks down late last night. it was an old mix of mine that i'd found slipped between the seats, nearly forgotten. it was unexpected, the way the song brought the sudden prickle of almost tears to my eyes. unexpected, the way the feelings of not being good enough rushed through my veins. i try to forget the way it felt to be with him. i try to forget the short span of time we spent together, and the way it left a few new holes in my heart.

i had decided never to write about any of it. it was not a conscious decision, though i know that the lack of words given to any of it was a feigned hope of mine to not recognize the damage. if i avert my eyes from it and keep walking in the opposite direction perhaps you never hurt me at all, or so i wanted to believe. but, it did hurt me, more than words can adequately express.

there was that rush at the start, so strong that it took my breath. i was overwhelmed by it, and my initial reaction was to run. i should have run. all those words of love, they were hollow, and not a single one of them did he mean, at all. he kept me tucked behind a curtain, hidden away from his life, and he told me over and again that it was because i was special, that this was something sacred, and beautiful. but really, it was just a game to him, and eventually he turned his tongue and his words became intentions to make me feel as if i was in the way.

everything i did then felt unwanted. i felt as if even my breathing was a bother to him. i would dial his number and listen to it ring a few times, half-hoping he'd never answer because i could not bear to hear that sound in his voice - irritation, impatience, and that undercurrent of "why are you bothering me?" that was impossible to ignore. it left shards of doubt just below my skin, a sting that grew sharper when he would still ask me to meet him somewhere, and how he'd hold me in a room with the lights out, pressing me close and whispering lies in my ears, always refusing me any real part of his life.

the lies were just part of the game to him. the excuses of why i could never see where he lived, or why i was never welcome into his life. i was just another thing for him to keep secret, to hold in dark places and then deny later, to sing to until i sang along, and then silenced because my voice was just never good enough. he may as well have left me by the side of the road, shivering, because that tone in his voice, when i'd try to reach out, was made of middle of the night frost, and pavement skinned knees - and it left me just wanting to run back home.

there was no exchange of words when he eventually went away. the house lights came on and he just disappeared backstage, leaving me to pick up the props and sweep off the stage, alone. it was as if he was never here at all. the flowers he gave me, they died quickly, the summer heat drying them up and speeding up the wilting petals that eventually all fell to the floor. the card tucked inside, it did not even have my name - just a pet one that could be pinned on anyone - and really, i could have been anyone. i know that i meant nothing much to him really; i'd meant nothing much at all.

and i'm fine to forget him. he never let me care enough to make him matter in some for life kind of way. i can hardly recall what his lips felt like on mine, or how the sound of his voice once made me smile. all that he left, that until i listened to this song i thought i'd escaped without, is another layer of self-doubt.
it sifts through my feelings now, shakes its head in disapproval when i try to reach out to you, and just be myself - i hear something in your voice and it rushes in, that doubt, and tells me "you are only in the way". and i try to silence it, i try to hold my breath and just believe, but right now - in the early break of morning and with this song playing - i feel just that, i feel in the way. and the tears that just teased at my eyelashes last night, now they fall. because you, well it is you that i love completely, and i do not want to ever just be in the way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

my love affair with aimee mann

originally written october 23, 2006 ~ by me

i'm pretty sure that i discovered aimee mann the same way most people my age did, on mtv. the girl with the punkish hair, and striking features, standing up and singing loudly in the opera audience after being silenced by her boyfriend throughout the video. voices carry caught my attention, first visually via the melodramatic girl stands up to boy video, but a strong second was aimee's unforgettable voice. i believe it was the same week that i saw the video for the first time, that i went out and bought voices carry, the album. from there i began an initial flirtation, with songs like love in a vacuum, no more crying, and i could get used to this.

i bought the third, and final, 'til tuesday album, everything's different now, which is still a favourite album of mine, next. it is within this album that you can hear the first hints and cues of who aimee would end up growing into, musically. aimee, and band, shed their synth-pop sound which made them a hit with voices carry, in 2005, and started to carve out the folky, introspective sound, with songs such as j for jules and (believed you were) lucky, which are both incredible songs. this album began to showcase one of aimee's strongest talents: her ability to weave a story into song.

then, to be honest, aimee's voice and i lost touch. i think i read something about her and michael penn being linked together, possibly around the time i fell in love with penn's first album, march; but, i could be remembering that all wrong. i still had my 'til tuesday cassettes, and played them now and again in the car, and a few songs would even make appearances on mixes i'd make. beyond that, though, i had gone on and started hearing, and falling for, other bands.

it was while working at tower records in the mid-nineties that i bumped into aimee's music again. while shelving cd's i stumbled upon aimee's first solo endeavor, whatever. i endItaliced up cracking it open, playing it in the store, and only got about half the way through the album before i ran in the back, grabbed my purse, and bought it. the album came across as a blending of 1960's folk, 1990's jangle-pop, and something more; i don't know if it was her voice, or her way of storytelling, but there was this thing about the album that made it timeless to me; and every song sounds just as fresh, relevant, and genuine today as it did the first time i played it in the store, that late afternoon. this album began a partnership with a friend aimee made back in the 'til tuesday days, jon brion, who collaborated on the songs stupid thing, say anything, and i know there's a word. my personal favourites from the album are i should've known, i've had it, and fourth of july.

i remember wondering to myself why more people i knew did not know, or listen to, aimee mann. most times when i would bring her up i would get a dismissive "what? the voices carry girl?" response that was backed by a thanks, but i'm not interested nod, and change of subject. it was a time of explosion, that turned eventually to overwhelm and media over-saturation, of women artists at the time; what with the advent of lilith fair, and the powerhouse and successes of alanis morissette, fiona apple, jewel, sarah mclachlan, and even tori amos. i believe that aimee mann should have been up there with the lot of them, taking over for some of them, even. instead it seemed she was part of the sort of underground of other female voices, many who i loved as well; the likes of juliana hatfield, sam phillips, dar williams, post fast car tracy chapman, and kristen hersh.
perhaps it was the low simmer success of whatever that saved aimee mann from just being part of the lilith-revolution, and kept her a bit apart from all of the hype, allowing her to slowly continue to grow and mature musically. critical acclaim took the lead, and soon it was hollywood that followed. her first hit since voices carry, albeit modest, came with the inclusion of that's just what you are on the show, and soundtrack, to fox's evening soap melrose place, in 1995. then, after a nasty battle with a bankrupt label, imago, she regained the rights to make music and aimee released i'm with stupid; once again, she was met with critical acclaim, and lukewarm sales. this album was a grower for me, it did not capture me with that under the skin punch that whatever did; instead it sat in the back and waved at me occasionally, on which i would hold it's hand and take it for a spin, enjoying its company, but not really getting into it, yet.

it was not until a relationship i was in hit the skids that i started to take in i'm with stupid, the songs long shot, that's just what you are, and the aimee mann song that would become so much a part of me that i find myself singing it, out of nowhere, just because it lives somewhere between my heart and my subconscious: you could make a killing. the line "i wish i was both young and stupid" just resonates with me, deeply, and just hearing the opening chords of the song tend to make my eyes begin to water and my skin turn tingle-alert. most definitely my all-time favourite aimee mann song, ever.

then it was hollywood again, this time in the company of friends and lovers: paul thomas anderson, jon brion and michael penn. paul thomas anderson penned much of magnolia as a visual exploration taken from the cues set by aimee's songs.

"I sat down to write an adaptation of Aimee Mann songs.

Like one would adapt a book for the screen. I had the concept of adapting Aimee's songs into a screenplay. All that follows in these liner notes should be prefaced with this notion: I was an Aimee Mann fan before I was an Aimee Mann friend. That said, I will proceed to shine her shoes.

In the late summer and early fall of 1997, I was listening to Aimee's music over and over and over again. This was not something new, this is something that I always did and continue to do. It just so happened that this was the time that I was starting to write my new film.

Now, having the benefit knowing Aimee I was allowed to hear her demos, acoustic experiments and basic work in progress material that she was working on for her upcoming record. So while she was working, I was working.

So here it is, the perfect memento to remember the movie or you can look at the movie as the perfect memento to remember the songs that Aimee has made."

the round robin, sing-a-long to wise up, in the film magnolia, is one of the most moving musically driven scenes in film that i have ever seen; and, the song save me, garnered aimee an oscar nomination. the magnolia soundtrack, and aimee's own bachelor #2, came out almost simultaneously, including some shared songs, and bringing aimee to the attention of many listeners who had never lent her an ear before. the film and music partnership paid off, and i believe fueled the creative forces in aimee mann that made the following two albums so breathtaking.

lost in space broke me open, and broke my heart, over and again. it is the peeled back, journal-like confessional, raw and intense tellings of anyone who has either been an addict, or loved one. the honesty, and rendering truths, within this collection of songs is staggering; i literally could not breathe right when i first gave it a listen. for two years straight the song it's not felt so much my life that i half expected to find the lyrics tattooed to my flesh when i awoke some mornings. aimee has been quoted to say that the link between addiction and love in this album, and the one to follow, the forgotten arm, are more of a reflected take on "the inexorable pull of co-dependency in human relationships", then about drug addiction, itself.

lost in space lives in the list of top ten albums of my life, and i do not see it going away anytime soon, if ever. the album became a part of me in the way that only music can, and every listen, no matter how many it is now, still feels as if she is singing about my life, and experiences, loves and shames.

the forgotten arm continued with the theme of dysfunction, and love under the influence; but, it accomplishes this feat with a bit of a twist. aimee has taken a concept album formula and brought to life, in twelve songs, the musical equivalent of a novella. within the confines of this album we follow along the fell hard for each other love story of the fictional john and caroline, their road trip affair, and their eventual demise in the tawdry streets of a gambling town. the songs stand alone in their moving honesty and richness, especially goodbye caroline, clean up for christmas, and that's how i knew this story would break my heart; that said, one should listen to the album in its entirety, and in song order, to get the full effect of this piece of storytelling genius.

between i'm with stupid, the success of magnolia and bachelor #2, and the pivotal album lost in space came another label dispute, this time with geffen records. since then aimee has been self-releasing her albums, which she started doing with the release of bachelor #2, under the name superego records.

this is where i urge anyone reading to consider visiting, taking a look around, and buying something on the site. aimee offers pre-release discounts, special editions, and streams her albums before release for all of her website fans.

everyone should see aimee mann perform live, as well. check her website for upcoming dates, and give it a go. seriously.

she gets it. and, in the process, she got me; most likely, for forever.

i wish i was both young + stupid: lucy's essential aimee mann mix

you could make a killing
i should've known
you do
the scientist (cover, live)
voices carry
wise up
save me
red vines
driving sideways
4th of july
that's how i knew the story would break my heart
all over now
lost in space
this is how it goes (live)
how am i different
long shot
i've had it
its not

aimee mix ~ zipped up

and some videos...

wise up (round-robin scene from magnolia)
wise up (live)
ghost world
amateur (live)
save me (live)
pavlov's bell
humpty dumpty (live)
jacob marley's chains (live)
you could make a killing (live)
two of us (cover w/michael penn)
lucy in the sky with diamonds (cover)
voice's carry ('til tuesday)

Monday, July 27, 2009

gasoline, saccharine

i know what i am (video) ~ band of skulls
death by diamonds & pearls (live, video) ~ band of skulls
death by diamonds & pearls ~ band of skulls
honest ~ band of skulls
blood (live, video) ~ band of skulls
blood ~ band of skulls

a little bit of the garage, a little bit of the underground, a little 70's rock, a little bit of 70's blues, a little bit white stripes, a little bit chrissie hynde, a little bit of sex and cigarette smoke, a little bit dive bar special, a little bit of the london scene, a little bit of an obsession.

please come quickly

nick and norah's infinite playlist (screen shot)
keep art alive; film by
david levithan

"jars of kisses left on the mantle,
next to orbs of peace and quiet.
reach out and save me,
touch me,
utter those words that once you sang to me."

x is for kisses ~ adem

first thing in the morning, the sun barely peeking through the blinds, my eyes still blurry and my hair is a mess, and i've yet to even make a pot of coffee. you are those first moment thoughts, as i count days down, ticking them off of the calendar, picturing a kiss that does not have to travel through the ether of technology, or via a wish on the first night's star.

i miss you.

[last lines]
"are you sad that we missed it?"
~ norah
"we didn't miss it. this *is* it. c'mon. you wanna go home?" ~ nick
[they kiss]

~ nick and norah's infinite playlist

Sunday, July 26, 2009

but most of all i wish it from myself

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown"

"for you, there'll be no more crying,
for you, the sun will be shining,
and i feel that when i'm with you,
it's alright, i know its right."

songbird (cover, live, video)
~ rosie thomas
songbird (cover) ~ rosie thomas
songbird (cover, video) ~ eva cassidy
songbird (cover) ~ eva cassidy
songbird (live, video) ~ fleetwood mac

words, along with music, are the things i most cling to in this world. they are my truest form of expression, my place of solace and release, and often the very things i hide myself within, most especially in times of my life when i have felt the most vulnerable. there are times that i look back on that i know would have done me in had it not been for the music, and my ability to spill things out on a canvas, of sorts. when i've felt at my lowest i've always found that writing until i cannot write anymore, until my fingers ached and my head felt less full (not sure my head will ever be empty) helped me to keep breathing, keep moving, and not fall apart completely. and at my best of times? sometimes the words slow, something that at one time bothered me because i thought am i only leaving a trail of sorrow behind? the only words to come back to, to revisit, to tell a story of my life - are they only made up of the low points? but then again, perhaps it is in those absences that i can trace the moments i've truly engaged in life, and been celebrating being me instead of curling up into a ball of songs and sentences.

i am trying to forge a balance between lately, though. this year, well it has been quite the carnival ride of emotions, and i think for a spell i just wanted to dwell in it, roll about in the days, and not try to define it all so much. but, the consequence of that meant it was all spinning around in my head so much that i could not sleep (not that i sleep well ever) and i lost a bit of the clarity i find when i write, with the music playing in the background. and then something happened. i left my daily routine. some of this was due to being laid off from work, some of this was due to a family vacation that i had originally decided to pass up on, and some of it was deciding that there were things in my life i wanted to reach out for, whether they worked or not, because maybe all that contemplation, and self-searching my music and writing had always been striving for, was actually working.

i'm still looking for a job. to be honest i think i'm looking for a place to call home, too. i'm not particularly sure that place is still california, but that remains to be seen. i have shed certain things in my life, certain fears, certain people, certain self-doubt and self-loathing that has had me so stalled in the whole living thing. and, i've let myself be so much more open, and consequently so much happier. and, i've let my heart fall in the most amazing of ways. right now, well these may just be the best days of my life. i know i laugh more, i smile more, i feel more alive. and even though there are parts of me that are still very afraid, and parts of myself that i doubt, i am trying to just be myself and hang on to the things i hold dear. and yes, i still have the music playing, and yes, i am still writing. and yes, i do hope the things in my life that are making me this happy stay in my life, and are happy there, too.

"in spite of what i have been through and maybe because of it
let me tell you this
is the best time of my life right now
no one can take that away
this is how
i will always
remember it"

excerpt from open letter to quiet light, francesca lia block

Saturday, July 25, 2009

i know that i am the luckiest

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"i don't get many things right the first time,
in fact, I am told that a lot.
now i know all the wrong turns,
the stumbles and falls,
brought me here."

the luckiest (live, video)
~ ben folds
the luckiest ~ ben folds

for you, D.

i should just let them go

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"i never will forget those nights,
i wonder if it was a dream.
remember how you made me crazy?
remember how i made you scream?"

in a box that was nearly forgotten i found a stack of postcards and letters, held together by a bright orange rubber band, from quite a few years past. they were from the summer months of one year, and tucked in behind them was a well-worn composition book with some of my ramblings and attempts at poetry scrawled inside. sifting through these found pieces from the past i felt as if i was paging through a photo album, polaroids with single sentence descriptions left on the bottom, or a well-meant wish you were here etched on the back. sometimes, looking back like this feels like peering into someone else's life. a different chapter, i suppose; an earlier version of yourself.

like a coin operated lullabye
july 23, 2004
(written by me)

five steps to disaster
five more steps to a dizzy debauchery
and he was you
yes, darling, and you were me

tricks of the trade
striped violin playing lines
dance around your legs, your hands
without you i'm nothing but sand

reeling and forgetting names, numbers
the drizzle poof trickle
her name is rio and she dances

days go by without tearing the pages
down, dear dark one, down farther still
you leave lipstick marks on my anklesc
riss crossed tic tac toe stains

on your elbows, eyelids
the shadow of my dreamscape
post coital recall
asleep in someone else's story

pour me another, my monkey twin
pose your best pout for me
then twirl, spin, twirl again
without the onset of a recovery

we will be the sun

Friday, July 24, 2009

take a look at me now (a music mix)

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

i found a picture of you: a music mix

against all odds (cover) ~ the postal service
blood ~ band of skulls
open your eyes ~ snow patrol
carry on up the morning (acoustic) ~ babyshambles
california stars ~ wilco & billy bragg
three wishes ~ the pierces
neopolitan dreams ~ lisa mitchell
dark secret ~ matthew sweet
dream again ~ franz ferdinand
gin & milk ~ dirty pretty things
career suicide ~ dog day
die a little ~ viva voce
back on the chain gang ~ the pretenders
let it be ~ the beatles
the union forever ~ the white stripes
the hardest walk ~ the jesus & mary chain
me & julio down by the school yard (cover) ~ jesse malin
nyc gone, gone ~ conor oberst
runs in the family ~ amanda palmer

found pictures mix ~ zipped up

Thursday, July 23, 2009

pretty little moon with it's head hung down

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

p.s. you rock my world
~ eels
apple candy ~ ben lee
i've had it ~ aimee mann
calling & not calling my ex ~ okkervil river
chin up, cheer up (48 hour session version) ~ ryan adams
suddenly everything has changed ~ the flaming
memory lane ~ elliott smith
don't take my sunshine away ~ sparklehorse

* eight track thursday = turn your player on shuffle and mix the first eight tracks.

eight tracks ~ zipped

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

oh i do believe

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"what comes is better,
than what came before."

i found a reason (cover) ~ cat power
i found a reason (cover, video) ~ cat power
i found a reason (video) ~ the velvet underground

and in the midst of everything, all the changes that have occured in my life over the past years, and all the uncertainty that seems to swirl around me, there are some things i believe in. music, writing, conversations, early morning contemplations, the way vinyl sounds late at night, my children's laughter, coffee, stacks of books, good jukeboxes, memories...

and yes, i believe in you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the voices climb and fall

natalie merchant

"i draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand,
sing of a lovers fate sealed by jealous hate,
then wash my hand in the sea.

with just three days more
i'd have just about learned the entire score
to aida.

holidays must end as you know.
all is memory,
taken home with me:
the opera,
the stolen tea,
the sand drawing,
and the verging sea,
all years ago."

verdi cries (live, video) ~ natalie merchant

music has always been my muse, the basis and the background to anything i write, and the undercurrent of emotion that helps the pen slide across the paper (or the fingers dance across the keys) - turning inner thoughts and contemplations into strung together words.

this song has always been one of my favorites, ever since the first time i heard it. another last track that i love, from the 10,000 maniacs album, in my tribe.
years ago i wrote this while listening to verdi cries on repeat:

story re-writes

beneath the surface of love
interlocking webs lie
tangled and varied in direction
latching on and letting go

sometimes the synapse fires
inducing benevolence
at other ends the water leaks in
laced in doubt
as we begin to sink

miles pass between us
even while sitting side by side
and the soul is seen waving
mailing a postcard home

it is then that we must swim upstream
break the mold while wet
as we carve our initials in
glue up the cracks
from the fall

the fog will return
our feet ever slipping off stones
and on better days the parachute opens
for us

no one ever said it would be easy slips
because some cliches write themselves

so we memorize and fluctuate our tone
remind each other we are electricity
that we begin to connect
when we let each other

we begin at the end
and end to begin

Monday, July 20, 2009

to remember you by

wristcutters (screen shot)
keep art alive; film by
goran dukić

"if you be my star,
i'll be your sky,
you can hide underneath me and come out at night."

boats & birds (video) ~ gregory & the hawk
boats & birds ~ gregory & the hawk

what i know, truly and completely, that no matter how far away you are from me i sleep better knowing you exist. and i know, truly and completely, that i would let you go if you wanted me to, but i would rather just hold you close to me.

"being here with you reminds me of what I was like before my suicide." ~ zia

"what were you like?" ~ mikal

"i was happy..." ~ zia

~ wristcutters

Sunday, July 19, 2009

we're caught in a trap

batman (tv series/screen shot)
keep art alive; tv series created by
bob kane, bill finger and william dozier

"oh let our love survive,
our dry the tears from your eyes,
lets dont let a good thing die,
when honey, you know...
i've never lied to you."

this is one of those songs that i have heard, and loved, many a cover of. pete yorn's rendition, especially, is one of my favorites. that said, the original is truly the best to me and does it for me, every single time.

obsessive love, seasoned (or poisoned) by jealousy, and fueled by something that is hard to articulate, and even harder to leave. is it a chemical connection? that kind of pull that attracts to opposites, superheroes and villians, the two least likely to fall?Italic that kind of a pair looks great on a screen, and in the pages between, doesn't it? one of those explosions one likes to watch from afar.

i was reading something earlier on the origins of batman, and catwoman, and while i was reading suspicious minds came on my itunes. it was one of those moments where everything alligned in that magical, and admittedly geeky way, that makes me pause and smile.
what would i do without music and pop culture and the kind of random thinking, and conversations, that come of it?

"if i were to kiss you, would you think i was a bad girl?" ~ catwoman
" of course not catwoman." ~ batman

Friday, July 17, 2009

screaming tag, you are the one (a music mix)

"miss lonely hearts"
keep art alive; art by
joshua petker

her nose is painted pepper sunlight: a music mix

p.s. you rock my world ~ eels
shine on (acoustic) ~ house of love
catch ~ the cure
more than this (cover) ~ missy higgins
walk on the wild side (cover) ~ jesse malin
the mess we're in ~ pj harvey & thom yorke

gimme danger ~ the stooges
summertime rolls (cover) ~ puracane
your arms around me ~ jens lenkman
fists up ~ the blow
roxy ~ concrete blonde
anenome ~
brian jonestown massacre
under the milky way tonight ~ the church
king of the jailhouse (live) ~ aimee mann
suddenly everything has changed ~ the flaming lips
all is full of love (live) ~ death cab for cutie
new york (cover) ~ cat power
death ~ white lies
you're the cocaine ~ joshua james

sunlight mix ~ zipped up

Thursday, July 16, 2009

much communication in a motion

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"when the samba takes you,
out of nowhere,
and the background's fading,
out of focus.
yes, the picture's changing,
every moment,
and your destination,
you don't know it."

avalon (video) ~ roxy music
avalon (live) ~ roxy music

avalon was one of those albums that i played over and over again, letting the songs - this one especially - fill the room, and in the process, change it. i was too young to be out in the world - too young to drive, to date, to go out dancing, to lose myself on a dark and smoky dance floor - but i was not too young to imagine it. i remember the sound the needle would make as i laid it down gently on the vinyl, the crackle and hiss it would make just before the opening moments of more than this would begin. i would lie on my floor, a notebook open in front o me, and write about things i'd yet to experience. the music, the way it swirled around me, i almost felt as if i had lived lifetimes already.

did my musical imagined experiences live up to what life was later on?

sometimes an artist can get lost in his or her own imaginings, the painted or scrawled images often so pure, beautiful even if tragic, and unfettered by the pitfalls that lie hidden away. but, i don't know, i think the way i saw things, even at that young of an age, listening to bryan ferry sing about after parties and romantic possibilities, i saw the cracks, too. i never remember thinking that life could not be broken, or break you, at times. though i do think i've carried with me a bit of a dreamer's view, which i hope brings out passion in the things i create, and the way i love.

sometimes i wish i still had my turntable. that i could spin all those records i still have, and write - not type - in spread open composition books while lying on the floor, letting the music take me across the bridge of imagined, and real.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

cos i know i only got this moment and its good

broken english (screen shot)
keep art alive; film by
zoe cassavetes

"laying in bed tonight i was thinking,
and listening to all the dogs,
and the sirens and the shots,
and how the careful man tries to dodge the bullets,
while a happy man takes a walk.
and maybe it is time to live."

p.s. you rock my world (video) ~ eels
p.s. you rock my world (acoustic, video) ~ eels
p.s. you rock my world ~ eels

it is beyond easy to give up and give in to the obstacles and struggles of this life. there are laundry lists and stacks skyscraper high of things that go wrong some days, and so many of them seem insurmountable. it would be easy to let it wash over me, fill my lungs, take my sense of life and laughter away. but, i'm ont giving in so easy. because even in those moments, and even in the roughest of days, there is beauty.

we slip so easily into the skins of discontent. sometimes i catch myself, alongside others who i know and care about, pointing fingers at everyone around us. it is far too easy to recognize the weaknesses in others because really, aren't we all terrified of facing our own?

and, somewhere along the line we learn to be doubtful of the things we want and need, as if admitting that we do have wants and needs it somehow makes us less strong. why do we cheer on those who say they don't need love? why does loneliness get often recognized as stoicism, and strength?

shouldn't it be okay to say you want to love, and be loved back? and to say, yes, this is magic, and rare, and i want this?

and, i know i'm not getting any younger, but older is nothing that i'm scared to be, either. i think i'm just settling into knowing what i want, what makes me happy, and that maybe, yes...maybe its just time to live.

"most people are together just so they are not alone. but some people want magic. i think you are one of those people."

~ jean paul clement, broken english

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (screenshot)
keep art alive ~ film by
michel gondry

"don't give up on the dream,
don't give up on the wanting,
and everything that's true.
don't give up on the dream,
don't give up on the wanting,
because i want you, too."
tonight i just want to believe that nothing is impossible, not the dreams or the wanting, or the possibilities. i want to believe that this will not fade away, no matter what the obstacles.

Monday, July 13, 2009

suddenly everything has changed

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"driving home,
the sky accelerates,
and the clouds all form,
a gemometric shape,
and it goes fast,
you think of the past."

suddenly everything has changed ~ the flaming lips
suddenly everything has changed (cover, video) ~ the postal service

i've been reading this book of poetry that deals with the lifespan of a relationship from the writer's perspective. each poem is a glimpse into a moment of these two people, allowing the reader to peer in momentarily through the often blurry window pane, and then the image fades, shifts, and evolves. it is both a beautiful and painful read to me because the voice in the poetry, the colored lens i'm seeing through as i read, is so relatable to my own sense of vision and feeling. i recognize the patterns, the doubts, the insecurities, and the vulnerabilities and i often wince, my eyes stinging with the threat of tears, and that pin-prickly recognition begins to dance on my skin as if to say "you know this, don't you?"

and, i do know it. i battle with the ghosts and shadows of self-doubt and my past all the time. i know where the holes are in my armor, and how certain fears break them open, leave me far too vulnerable. and, i know i've often made the kind of mistakes that leave scars, some of them permanent, and trusted what i thought was love, or at least kindness. it is hard to trust myself, and my instincts, on days like today when a long list of failures are thrown in my face. though, to be honest, i do not need anyone to remind me - i do just find beating myself up all on my own.

consequently, i've built a wall around me for a good long time. often people don't notice it because in words, and writing, and to others i often seem to bleed out everything of myself. but there are parts of me that are so guarded, and hidden away, that after awhile i think i just forget that i'm even capable of feeling certain things at all anymore. so, how do i proceed if i decide to take the walls down, trust someone enough to give the guards a leave of absence, or in actuality, trust myself to choose and love and protect my own heart.

i am trying...i am.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

you're so sweet to try

"young generation"
keep art alive; art by

"well it's a big big city and it's always the same,
can never be too pretty tell me your name,
is it out of line if i was to be bold and say 'would you be mine?'"

whistle for the choir (video) ~ the fratellis
whistle for the choir (acoustic, video) ~ the fratellis
whistle for the choir (acoustic) ~ the fratellis

i have always felt more comfortable in the midst of stoplights and sidewalk passerbys, window displays and the sounds of traffic, all the trappings that make up a city, then i ever have been in the middle of nowhere. true, i have a deep affection for the ocean, and there is something breathtaking when standing atop a mountain looking out over what sprawls below, and i have aquired a new perspective of awe to be found in the starkness of the desert, especially at night spread out beneath a blanket of stars. all of those places have poetry and music and true beauty to me. i take all those images and fold them into pocket-sized origami memories, and some nights when i cannot sleep i take them out, unfold them, and sprinkle the makings of dreams into them. but, it is the city, or cities, that i have walked in, breathed in, been both born and broken in, that is part of the core of me.

there is something within the chaos and clatter that moves me. a sense of rhythm and story that weaves and intertwines between the couple that are walking hand-in-hand next to the busker boy playing guitar with his hat out and the aging woman pushing around a cart filled with what cannot be anything else but her defined treasures. sometimes i catch snippets of conversations, the flush of emotion that blows off of people whether they mean it to or not, and the found art of storefront signs and items in windows - not the things that are heavily marketed and appropriately displayed - you know, the gap windows that are identical no matter what city you may be in - but the unexpected. the sleeping cat in the dry cleaners window snuggled up around a seamstress mannequin, or the well-worn suitcase with fading, whimsical stickers from all over the world affixed to the sides.

sometimes it is a bar coaster with a note scratched on the back and sent like a postcard that ends up meaning the world to me. or the diner napkin where i wrote half a poem on that i find later, half-crumpled at the bottom of my purse, bringing back the momentary inspiration i had over coffee and a slice of pie. and that dress that i bought on a lazy Sunday afternoon from a hole in the wall, blink and you'd miss it boutique. the store owner had a purple streak in her hair and was playing cocteau twins garlands on an old side-by-side tape deck. she smiled and said "that dress was meant for you" with the kind of tone and seers knowledge that a fortune card reader would emenate. and she was right, as it hangs in my closet some five years later, it is still my favorite.

there are more recollections, tales of the cities that could be the basis of many an untold story that i may write someday, and i know there will be more. i mean, i haven't even been to New York City yet...but someday, maybe someday soon.

"when you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it."

~ hugh newell jacobsen

Saturday, July 11, 2009

come back to me

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

"all this for nothing, yeah yeah yeah,
praying and hoping, fooling yourself.
you know that you can give love a reason,
give love a chance.
we tumble and fall."
waking up early from a dream where things made sense and falling did not leave marks and scars, that is how this morning felt when i first opened my eyes. though i also woke up sleepy-eyed and worn out. perhaps in my subconscious slumber i was running around trying to sort out the loose-ends of my life, or was i in a passionate embrace i was not quite ready to leave? do we live a completely different life in our dreams, or do we just tumble through our waking life wishes and wants?

this was the first song i heard this morning. something about it reminds me of the last song i heard before closing my eyes the night prior which was anenome by the brian jonestown massacre, which i will include in this, as well. there is a similarity in the songs that is not surface clear, but i hear it, or maybe i just feel it. did anenome set the tone for the dreams i had? and did tumble and fall bridge the dreamscape into my waking life this morning? or, is this just all the rambling nonsense of my first cup of coffee psyche? either way, the music is good this morning.

"now i'm missing you more,
cause baby you're not around,
now that you're not around."

anenome (video) ~ the brian jonestown massacre
anenome ~ the brian jonestown massacre

Friday, July 10, 2009

but it never gets dull (a music mix)

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive; artist unknown

there's no rhyme & there's no reason: a music mix

ache for you
~ ben lee
deathly ~ aimee mann
get better ~ mates of state
paper bag ~ fiona apple
i'll be your friend ~ bright eyes
carnival ~ natalie merchant
fix it ~ ryan adams & the cardinals
somebody changed ~ the clientele
jezebel ~ iron & wine
half the world away ~ oasis
if she wants me ~ belle & sebastian
starlight ~ muse
runaway ~ yeah yeah yeahs
yellow ledbetter ~ pearl jam
so long, marianne ~ leonard cohen
elephant ~ damien rice
let my love open the door ~ m. ward
if i fell ~ aqualung
the point of it all ~ amanda palmer

rhyme & reason mix ~ zipped up