Music: “The Werewolf” by Cat Power

Hi guys,

To keep up with tradition, I thought I’d post a little something for my favorite Halloween music. Cat Power’s cover of Michael Hurley’s “The Werewolf” has definitely been one of my favorite tunes this October. Hurley’s original track is just as haunting and transcendent. It gives me absolute chills, which is perfect for this Halloween season.

I don’t know about you guys, but this October has been really stressful. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath. I’ve just been pushing through, and trying to smile and mask it all. It’s been a heck of a month and I cannot wait until November. Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays as I feel like it’s the time for childish and outlandish behavior, which gives permission to people to not act like themselves. I didn’t go into October thinking, ‘oh, I’m going to be someone different!’ It kind of snuck up on me and I involuntarily felt like someone else all month long.

Being in disguise kind of takes a toll on you for an entire month. Looking into the mirror and not recognizing the eyes staring back at you is frustrating and kind of heartbreaking because I’ve just been trying to find my way back to myself. Feeling trapped while someone else reaches the surface is surely a recipe for stress and depression.

With all of that said, Cat Power’s “Werewolf” has been a familiar and uncanny anchor for me to feel like myself. Her voice just always clears my view through all of the fog. It’s like I can hear her energy and it jolts me back into reality. There’s a glimmer of myself that I can catch, even if it only last a few minutes. Also, a song about being a werewolf is just another snippet of relatability. Having to transform into something unfamiliar and untameable to wake up not remembering who you were for a moment of time? Yeah, I copy that loud and clear.

I wish I could say Happy Halloween…but to sign off on a positive note, Happy end of October!

Check out my first Halloween playlist.

 

Music: “Love Songs for Robots” by Patrick Watson

“Get up, you get up, get up!”

This song is very emotional for me.

Every day I try to block my thoughts about how lonely I really feel. I keep pushing myself towards goals that I only set for myself and setting obstacles that only I believe will get me to these goals. It’s tiring. It’s exhilarating. It’s also just a way for me to stall. I’m stalling myself from living fruitfully and honestly.

If I had it my way, I’d be living in a whimsical little town where I’d shop at a farmers market and I’d write about everything that made me happy. I would KNOW what made me happy. I would meet people that shared my views and we would have fulfilling conversations in coffee shops. I would travel to see music artists that made time stop and I’d feel like I was on top of the world. Artists like Patrick Watson.

I wouldn’t live in fear. And not just fear of the unknown or outside forces, but also fear of myself. Guys, I’m honestly afraid to live my life the way that I truly want it to be. And it’s not entirely about failure. It’s not about me not being strong enough to pursue my dreams.  It’s how I go about them. I give myself these little limitations to keep myself in check. I like having some kind of control over myself, which means that I allow others to have control over me as well. That way, I’m not truly free to get myself into situations that may be hard. But honestly, living means that you face all that life has to throw at you and you can’t always come out on top. You have to be unafraid to step out there and soar as high as you can. There may not be a perfect calculation or formula to how you get to achieve your dreams. It may be messy. It may be a little unpredictable.

I put myself in a stronghold to feel some kind of security. I honestly don’t know what it is, but I’m afraid of something. Maybe it’s failure. Maybe it’s loneliness. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the point of this is that this song tends to bring out these emotions and these thoughts. My entire life, I’ve felt like I’ve just been so lost. I’ve been moving in circles or moving in misdirections trying to get to some mirage. I’d think that I’ve found my destination, but it’ll move further and further away from me the more steps that I took towards it. I push people away and I stick close to people that are poisonous to my mind and spirit. Sometimes that means family.

I also push people away or keep them at an arm’s length. But I also stick close to people that are poisonous to my mind and spirit. I don’t have a real idea of what love is or what it feels like to be in love. I also don’t know if it’s a necessity of life, but I feel like it should be. I think I’d be ok with looking up and seeing someone from across the room that made everything feel right. That made it all seem beautiful. And I’d equally make them feel the same way. When it comes to that sort of thing, love or romance, I become something of a droid. Thinking that if I say this or if I behave exactly like that – it’ll be correct. It’ll be the way to show exactly how I feel. But no. It’ll just make me look and sound like someone else.

Songs like these are what open my mind to all the beauty in the world. I forget sometimes that the world doesn’t revolve around me and I am a part of something huge. Something that my mind can’t fathom. But while I’m here on earth, I should try to let joy in. I should try to give myself a little breathing room and not bully myself. I should be more open and be more myself. I should just be.

Basically, this song is truly a love song for robots.

‘Til next time.

 

Music: “10 Mile Stereo” by Beach House

Hello, hello!

Feels good to be back. There has been a lot of amazing things going on in my life for the past few weeks. I’ve been too drained to write, because all of my energy has happily been put into living life and getting my career and academic priorities in line. But alas, I am back to doing some serious writing damage! Are y’all excited? I’m excited.

I’ve missed writing and “reviewing” (re: going on a tangent) about the things that I love the most: television, music, and film. I have a ton of tv and film reviews that I am working on, but I usually do the music ones on a whim, because I’m constantly listening for inspiration. So here’s a song that has been a beautiful muse for a few years now.

I first heard “10 Mile Stereo” my freshman year in college. So it’s been maybe 4 or 5 years ago now. I went to school in Austin, TX so the indie music scene is bananas. And this was before I found out about SXSW and ACL. I was already an alternative rock fan, but living in this city just jolted my music taste and broadened my music horizons on so many levels. I honestly can’t really put into words the kinds of music I discovered and how I discovered it. The moments were just so darn transcendent. I would be walking downtown, passing some random bar and it would be playing a ‘cover’ of a song that I had never heard of. I would walk in to check it out, and it would be the actual band playing their own music during happy hour. People would just be sitting having business meetings and studying. Then I’d see some of them look up and nod their heads in solidarity and absolute awe of the music.

For this song in particular, I was walking down my school’s shopping street, The Drag, and was passing an Urban Outfitters. I just happened to walk in because the music was amazing. After browsing the racks – not really intending on buying anything, because college had me broke like no joke. The cashier was like, “check out this playlist of free music. What’s your email and we’ll send you the link.” So yeah, got to my dorm and checked out the music. There were a lot of amazing tunes that obviously caught my ear, because I always had a knack for realizing good music. No seriously, my music taste expands across the genre boards. When it’s good, it’s good. Most of the tunes on the list were indie/alternative with a natural Austin-y sound. ’10 Mile Stereo’ quickly became a favorite and I haven’t looked back since.

The song would go on to help induce content inspiration for several of my most enduring papers and projects. It also helped me sleep during those times when finals slapped me around and spartan kicked the wind out of me. Then there would be days where walked to class and needed a little soundtrack to get my mind on track. ’10 Mile Stereo’ never let me down and created a whimsical atmosphere – putting some pep in my step.

There reason I am writing this is because the track played in my shuffled iTunes library as I scrambled to do some reading for grad school prep. I paused, smiled, and here I am…

Thanks Beach House and quirky cashier at Urban Outfitters.

‘Til next time.

 

Music: “Lost In My Mind” by The Head and the Heart

“Cause there are stars up above…”

If I had to choose a song to define my life, right now, in this very moment, it would be ‘Lost In My Mind’ by The Head and the Heart. There’s just something light and airy about the mellow ‘Woo Hoo’s’ throughout the track. Kind of a staple of indie tunes these days with bands like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers – all with their ‘Hey Ho’s’. And you know what, it’s fine if The Head and the Heart gets lumped in with the indie crowd, because I love these bands too and they all come to the rescue when I’m in need of some chill / positive vibes tunes.

Anyway, what I like about “Lost In My Mind” is how it seems to be having a conversation with me or how it’s somehow giving me a pep-talk. Then, after the talk it allows me to breathe a bit (the woo-hoos). It’s like “there are stars up above / we can start moving forward”. There’s a bigger picture. I can chill out and stop stressing about everything: applying to grad school, deciding what I want my career to be, saving the planet…These things can be smothering and overbearing, especially when it’s all that I think about, everyday, consecutively. “I get lost in my mind.”

The track is just a nice, but stern pat on the back. And I say this to everyone: keep going and stay positive. Stay focused, but don’t lose your mind.

‘Til next time.