Halfway Through January

Where has the time gone?  Just last night the ball dropped in Times Square; now here we are, halfway through January with a (tentative) spring on the horizon.

I’m still waiting for Snowpocalypse 2015.

With a new year comes new ideas and plans, so I’m getting back on the bandwagon of daily blogging.  Nothing to fancy, but I came up with the idea from one of my editing projects I’m working on.  Short snippets of daily life, so at the end of this year I can look back and see how my life has changed.  Not to mention, I’ve got family and friends all over – now, when we can’t talk for weeks on end, you’ll see what’s happening.  Useful, no?

Today brought cloudy skies and chilly temps, as well as a new schedule.  9-2 in the Virginia-Highland office, then home to conquer my editing, writing, and social media freelance projects.  Tonight, after work is done, I’ll visit the Majestic Diner with an old friend and discuss, amongst other things, all of the AMAZING concerts slated for the first half of the year.  I mean, come on:

Shut the front door.  I know how I’ll be spending my money.

In other news, I’m anxiously awaiting my new computer speakers from Amazon (I always mistype that as Amazing, which is pretty accurate, in all honesty).  In classic Laura fashion, I purchased some cute little ones that light up.

Blue, if you’re wondering.  LED.

I love ordering from Amazon…it’s like Christmas Eve every time, waiting breathlessly for a package that seems eternally Out for Delivery.  BRB, gotta check the front stoop.  Again.  However long it takes, I will never have anything but good words to say about Amazon.  I lurve them.

The sun is supposed to return tomorrow, so until then!

Ring Like Crazy, Ring Like Hell

What is it about song lyrics that dig down deep into your heart and stay there, intermittently tugging on the strings?

Pandora, along with a quiet workplace, is a recipe ripe for new musical discoveries.  However, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to stop work and write down a song name so I could go look it up later and add it to my library of ever-expanding goodness.

I used to want, more than anything, to be one of those rock n’ roll chicks, with a band behind her, crashing drums, dirty electric guitars, numerous amps, etc etc.  I thought that was the epitome, the ultimate, the place to be.

I became incredibly annoyed with myself when I couldn’t produce songs like that.  I couldn’t write a rock song to save my life.

Things now, however, have changed.

Someone once told me it’s easy to be in a rock band.  You’re essentially hiding behind the reverb, the effects, the volume of the instruments.  It sounds badass, and is super fun to play/listen to, but it’s not real.

I see the value in their words now.  I believe them.

There’s something raw and emotional about a microphone, a piano, and a voice.  You’re naked, exposed, having to carry the melody, the lyrics, the entire song, yourself.  People can hear those lyrics, and they better be good.  They better mean something.

Take Gregory Alan Isakov’s Stable Song:

remember when our songs where just like prayers,
like gospel hymns that you called in the air.
come down come down sweet reverence,
unto my simple house and ring…
and ring.

ring like silver, ring like gold
ring out those ghosts on the ohio
ring like clear day wedding bells
were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell.

now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.

that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know

and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing

ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal

(I was just going to post a few lines, but how do you pick a few lines from this brilliance?)

It’s simple.  It’s heartfelt.  It’s perfect.  Easily one of my top 10 favorite songs, and I never say that.  You can trace his journey through the lyrics, and no matter what your experiences, you can relate.  You can feel it.  It’s as close to a perfect song as you can get.

Words are words, but it takes some real talent to arrange them into something that makes people feel.  Readers, what songs have touched you?

032a8dea89c69ace6663da5160f420ca

The Top 5…

I realize that successful blogs have to have a purpose, a theme, a united front that every post relates back to.

This isn’t one of those posts.  Sorry.

I do hear, however, that lists are in.  The Top 10 Disney Songs!  11 Ways You’re Doing Your Hair Wrong!  50 Ways to Leave Your Lover!

…wait.  Scratch that last one, it’s taken.

So, ladies and gentlemen, in spirit of the top 5 numbered lists, I give you The Top 5 Songs That Have Been Stuck in My Head Lately.

Passion Pit – Take a Walk

I have a thing for songs with solid beats and minor chords in the background.  Solid lyrics never hurt either.

Vampire Weekend – Unbelievers

I also have a thing for sweet, simple, catchy songs.  Dance Music, anyone?

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

I love me some dirty guitar riffs.  Has a taste of Black Keys…you know, before they started sucking.

Bastille – Bad Blood

Honestly, I have no idea why I like this.  I’m not sure if I actually do.  But it keeps popping up, so there you go.

The Wood Brothers – The Muse

This song, by my amazing guitar teacher, carried me through my breakup and all the subsequent adventures that I’ve been on since then.  Oliver is an amazing songwriter (not to mention an amazing human being), and I hope one day I can grow up to write songs that he does.  It’s not looking likely,  but a girl can dream, can’t she?

There you have it, folks…some insight into my brain.  I’ve always been plagued with songs rumbling around in there, day and night, and so now you can join me.

What have you been listening to lately?

Sunday Church

I had brunch with an old friend today, and talk turned to church (it was Sunday, after all).  As neither of us are particularly traditional folk, waking up for church every Sunday isn’t high on our list of priorities. 

But then we started thinking…what is “church” anyway?  It’s a gathering together of like-minded people to share time with each other.

My friend’s church: hiking through Amicalola Falls, viewing nature in its purest form, the snow still coating branches and forest floors, with friends who equally appreciated the activity.

Going to an excellent live show, where the musicians are on and the crowd is connected and you can feel everyone else in the room.

Spending time with family, recounting stories and laughing late into the night.

As for me, I haven’t figured out my church yet.  But as the last strains of A Prairie Home Companion drifted through my speakers, I found myself singing along to their last song, a tribute to George Beverly Shea.

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made…then sings my soul, my savior God to thee.

It was the part of traditional Baptist church I’ve always loved…the good old hymns.  It’s all about what brings you closer to what you deem most important…I feel these songs.  And I sang with the audience, and I remembered every word.