Music Helps Deal With 2020 Uncertainty

Listen to 5 songs with me and maybe for a little bit, we can forget the world is so damn wonky.

There is so much uncertainty in the world.

We have every reason to be a little crazy due to a dangerous lurking virus, a human rights struggle with the Black Lives Matter movement, and an economic collapse which rivals the Depression. There is so much uncertainty. Put on top of all of that tragedy, the inability to go to work, a restaurant, or simply gather with friends and family. We are all facing difficult pressure inducing conditions. Sadly, we have no way of releasing the mounting tensions.

Yet, somehow, we keep putting one foot in front of the other. New music helps.

Have you created habits that help keep you sane?

I juggle many new activities to ease the heartache of missing my normal routine. I try to switch them up to keep boredom at bay. The intricate puzzles which splay out on my kitchen table help to refocus my thinking. I have a regular Zoom with music friends another state away. We rank songs on a music bracket ( similar to a championship basketball bracket) by a particular band or artist. It provides a fun activity while we gather, kid around, and catch up. So far, we have ranked the songs from The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Talking Heads, Steely Dan, Willy Nelson, Van Morrison, and Pink Floyd. Our next artist is Tom Petty, what an incredible discography!

I walk our neighborhood on repeat and sometimes bike. I am so thankful we have a lovely duckpond and park to visit. Spending a lot of time outdoors has made me more aware of nature. I have even seen families of foxes for the first time. Nature is revitalizing. I scattered wildflower seeds in my garden in March, and I enjoy watching surprise summer flowers appear regularly.

I am also working on a new embroidery project that has proven to be quite challenging. Reading books also helps to send my mind to unfamiliar places and spark a bit of imagination. There is also some serious Netflix watching. I worry that my giant supply of unseen shows might suddenly come to a halting end. Have any you might recommend? Cooking and cocktails is also a big thing too. Every night is a new adventure into what can we possibly eat that we aren’t tired of eating. So, dinner has become a new experiment. We take turns and collaborate for the evening meal. Honestly, I can’t wait to be seated in a real restaurant, pick my dinner from a variety of choices, and be served!

The past several months have been all about distraction. I am trying to find moments where I am not frantically following Twitter, and stumbling upon news updates which make my skin crawl.

The music blog has been in a holding pattern

I haven’t written much here at Immersed in Cool Music. I am trying to deal with the sadness of no live shows. So many venues are hemorrhaging money to keep their employees and their building leases. I have written my senators in support of Save Our Stages (please check it out- HERE) Then, on top of it all , it seems there are more allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the music industry. I do listen to amazing new music, but seem to be stuck with just adding it to my playlist. I hold onto it, instead of sharing it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have started several posts but then abandon them. Then, days pass and it becomes old and unimportant in the frightening scheme of things. Yep, I started this one about two weeks ago. I am simply pickier due to my intense need to find a bit of relief, or even support for expressing my internal rage.

This time, I am determined to push through every excuse I drum up inside my head. I will finish this post on my blog no matter how long it takes. Music and art are coming my way more than ever before. Surprisingly, there are those who can successfully use these difficult, uncertain times and create incredible beauty. I just have a harder time with it.

Listen with me and maybe for a little bit, we can forget the world is so damn wonky.

Fontaines D.C.-Post Punk

A Hero’s Death, from Dublin band, Fontaines D.C. was released just a couple of weeks ago. The latest album was only a year after winning the 2019 Album of the Year and a Mercury Prize nomination with their debut. They have returned to bring more of their punching, post-punk rock.

According to Partisan Records, A Hero’s Death

“Arriving battered and bruised – albeit beautiful – the album is anything but a re-hash of the swaggering energy from their first record. Instead the music is patient, confident, and complex – full of heady and philosophical takes on the modern world and its great uncertainty.”

Lead singer Grian Chatten with Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, Conor Deegan, and Tom Croll, all met at music college in Dublin. They first bonded over poetry, and released two books of poetry, that haven’t been placed in any of their songs as of yet. The band got their name from the character, Johnny Fontane, in the movie The Godfather. In the movie, Fontane was a singer which Vito Corleone helped break into the music business. Fontaines D.C. added the initials “D.C.” which stand for “Dublin City”, when a band in Los Angeles had the same name.

The title track on the album shouts the repetitive memorable line, “Life Ain’t Always Empty” and surrounds the worrisome but hopeful thought with a blueprint of positive actions and reminders to construct a fuller life . They serve up the perfect pounding beat with multiple guitar jangle, emphatic vocals , and a haunting background of oohs and aahs.

Listen…

Fontaines D.C. A Hero’s Death

Other listens-“Lucid Dream” and “I Don’t Belong”

Madeline Kenney-Indie Rock

Madeline Kenney is an Oakland, California singer songwriter and creative who recently released Sucker Lunch. It is her third album and it is a must listen. The music is gentle and rolling with a calming entity, but after diving deeper through multiple listens, it examines a multitude of feelings from almost every angle. Her sultry vocals add depth and beauty to the softness of each song. “White Window Light” is a gorgeous sonic exploration of love’s uncertainty with grace filled soft choruses and off kilter guitar chords. Stripped down, raw, and with hints of self doubt, it radiates truth and sincerity. Both radically needed in an uncertain world. Kenney has a gift of imagining the simple beauty of her love surrounded by white window light and translates her careful observations into a gorgeous song.

Madeline Kenney-White Window Light

Other Listens-“Sucker”, “Double Hearted”, and “Cut the Real”

Dehd-Indie Rock

Chicago trio, Dehd, returns with a studio produced album and many accolades of growth and amplified candor. The band is Emily Kempf, Jason Balla, and Eric McGrady. Each song on Flower of Devotion, provides a lush landscape of vocals, reverb, and wild vibrato woven craftily into the fabric of a powerfully confident band. The album is full of glaring songs which are really quite simple lyrically, but pushed forward vocally, creating a surprising intensity. It was so difficult to choose a favorite, but “Month” seems to nicely fit into the crazy pandemic narrative where there is so much doubt and I really don’t know what time, day, or month it is….

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Other Listens-“Loner” and “Flying”

Sylvan Esso-Electronic Pop

It is three years overdue….but North Carolina’s Sylvan Esso recently announced the release of their follow up album, Free Love, coming out in September. I have been singing their praises for awhile now (Check out my other posts-Sylvan Esso Archives). “Ferris Wheel” is the first released track from the new album, I dare you to stay seated or still. It is a movement song that spins musically and is the perfect magical song of summer. It provides a much needed mood lifter.

Turn it up!

Sylvan Esso-Ferris Wheel

Other Listen from the new album- “Rooftop Dancing”

bdrmm-Modern Day Shoegaze

I haven’t watched much live music during the lockdown. I was a bit overwhelmed with the constant notifications and early on, the quality was a bit rough. Somehow, I stumbled upon bdrmm jamming on their back patio in England. I was mesmerized by their relaxed ease and the ethereal shoegaze they kicked out into the world. Originally a solo project, lead vocalist Ryan Smith decided to expand into a band; he roped in his brother, Jordan Smith, on bass before drafting Joe Vickers (guitar), Danny Hull (synth, backing vocals), and  Luke Irvin (drums). They just released their debut album, Bedroom in July. The Instagram live concert was in support. During this uncertain time there really isn’t much reason to celebrate, but some accidents can be a wonderful thing.

bdrmm-A Reason to Celebrate

Other Listens-“Gush” and “Happy”

I would love for you to tell me what songs you are listening to right now. What songs comfort you or charge you? What activities are keeping you sane? Looking for suggestions to add to my repertoire. I hope you are surviving all the uncertainty. Please stay healthy, wear a mask in public, social distance, and continue to wash your hands on repeat. Stay safe and be sure you are registered to VOTE!

New Sounds to Hear-Honey Cutt and Deeper

Savannah Stopover equals music discovery. Listen to Honey Cutt and Deeper

I am so psyched about going to Savannah Stopover again this year! It will be my fifth year. Devoted regular attendees messaged me recently and asked me who I am listening to and excited about seeing this year. I have a long list, but this festival is about music discovery. Ultimately that is really the heart of Stopover and with just a few weeks until it begins, I have to do a bit of research and dive into the 50 plus touring/local bands and musicians.

The best place for me to begin is the Savannah Stopover 2020 playlist on Spotify (shared at the end of this post). Listening gets me stoked about all of the great music and the widely diverse sounds. There is a band for every listening taste. I thought I would share a couple of bands that immediately piqued my interest.

Honey Cutt

At first listen, Honey Cutt really stood out for me. Cause you all know how much I love that indie-pop sound with artsy female vocals. Honey Cutt is Kaley Honeycutt who is from Florida but relocated to Boston to build her music world. There she met Ari Blut who plays bass and Chris Chew on drums. With an album out on March 13th, Coasting via Kanine Records, Savannah Stopover will be at the beginning of their spring touring. The label explains her inspiration for the album.

“From dirt roads in small Florida towns, to dirty basements flooded with Ivy League college kids dancing along unassumingly to her coy pop tunes, Honeycutt’s love of indie pop and dreamy, surf pop guitar tones run throughout her debut album.”

Listen.

Deeper

Photo Credit: Brendan Carroll

Deeper is another band which immediately stood out to me. I really dig their twangy guitars and off beat, shifting sounds. All are enhanced by the lead singer’s emphatic edginess. They are singer and guitarist Nic Gohl, guitarist Mike Clawson, bassist Drew McBride, and drummer Shiraz Bhatti out of Chicago’s DIY scene. Their sound is post-punk/indie rock at its finest and I should’ve known they toured with Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (a favorite of mine) and The Districts (Another Stopover sound you should hear) as well. Deeper has a new album, Auto-Pain via Fire Talk , out on March 27th. From their label,

“Auto-Pain is an album about learning how to suffer. It’s also an album about learning how to feel better. The snow-gray synths that blow across the album suggest that it’s not always easy to see the difference. “The whole idea of Auto-Pain was taken from Brave New World,” Gohl says. “They have soma, which makes you feel nothing, but auto-pain makes you feel everything. Let’s feel everything and see what happens at the end of it.” “

So be ahead of the curve and listen to their first release from Auto-Pain and get excited…

Check out the other music by following the Stopover Spotify Playlist and let me know who you might be digging. The playlist is a nice, almost 4 hour ride and perfect listening for the cold rainy days of winter.

# 2 of the Top 20 Indie Album Countdown for 2018 – immersed in cool music

Parquet Courts are wide eyed, insanely fierce, impassioned, and determined to light the fuse of activism one song at a time. 

Number two on my countdown list was a difficult pick. I shifted this album from #1 to #2 over and over. The struggle was real. Listening to these albums on repeat, I must admit to some weak moments questioning many of my choices, but sometimes you’ve just gotta go with it!

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake

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Once again Parquet Courts pushes rock music to its edges. They have loud prickly blasts which are oddly danceable beats. The album is fully alive with sound and talent, embodying punk perfection and early 70’s rock with hints of funk. When did a guitar forward band of four talented guys become so rare? They have boldly captured a select crowd eager to hear this sound done well, and this is their best work to date. Even though Wide Awake! is their sixth album, they continue to have the dynamite to make the songs explode with anger, yet they meticulously balance the rage with enticing musical beats, tempo changes, and sick guitar passages. For every episodic rant and chant about the crazy world we live in, they provide a milder song that brilliantly gives way to a calmer moment, albeit breathless. Don’t rest your head in these too soon…searing lyrics are folded in neatly, which scream genuine songwriting talent.

In an interview with Billboard Magazine Andrew Savage described the album,

there’s this duality between joy and anger that I find to be really interesting, and that’s something the record kind of deals with at large. I always thought it was really interesting how hardcore could be such an angry music form but could make you feel so positive. There’s a lot of moments on the record when all of us are singing at the same time and I guess that’s something I kind of associate with hardcore, or Funkadelic.

Parquet Courts are wide eyed, insanely fierce, impassioned, and determined to light the fuse of activism, one song at a time. 

Here is my updated playlist, I hope you’ll follow along.

New Music-Gift Wrap, G Flip, Tancred, and Gin Wigmore

My DJ set with new music from Gift Wrap, G Flip, Tancred, and Gin Wigmore. Learning to navigate life… sometimes we all need a gentle push out of the nest.
Listen….

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It is Spring, birds are waking me in the morning and alerting me that work needs to be done. They are up early, singing, feeding, flying, and nesting. It amazes me when, each spring, birds are in a seasonal rhythm and synchronicity. They follow the weather and hunker down during the wild spring thunderstorms, build their nests, create new life, and continue their yearly traditions.

When a baby bird becomes fully feathered and its wings become strong enough to fly, the Mama and Papa birds push it out of the nest. By doing so, they force the adult future on a baby bird. It is a necessary part of its path to becoming all that it can be. If the Mama and Papa didn’t force the growth, the baby bird might stay in the nest and expect it’s mother to feed it worms and grubs for the rest of its life.

Sometimes we all need a push.

We all hope we will grow strong wings eventually. It may happen early, late, or right when we need them. We earn them through joys, heartbreak, working hard, learning new things, or just plain ol’ crazy life experience. But once grown and formed, there is no one in our lives that will give us the push we need to get out of our cozy nest of comfort, except ourselves. It is up to us to know when we should demand more, be more, and live more.

I have had my share of hard knocks, but even so, I tend to stay in my comfort zone and only occasionally color outside of the lines. Therefore, I fly and soar periodically, but tend to remain very close to my nest. Is it fear? Is it anxiety? Or is it based on a deep need of reassurance?

How about you? Do you take important risks to grow? Or do you hang back and wait for an internal push?

When I was shaken up by the early death of my mother, my sibling spending more than a year fighting a life threatening disease, and a father who is in the midst of chemotherapy, I learned pretty quickly that I don’t have the luxury of youth and lots of time.

Every.  Single.  Day.  is important to me right now.

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to fritter hours away, or spin my wheels on silly details that surely have easier solutions than my tired round about ways of creating beauty or solving dilemmas. I have been navigating on a lazy cruise control as of late. I need a push.

Hosting a radio show last Saturday at WUOG 90.5 in Athens pushed me ever so gently out of my comfort zone. Even though I have done it a few times before, the exhilaration left me remembering why stretching and growing is a life force I have been missing. I don’t think I earned any miraculous DJ accolades, but I believe I rocked the airwaves with great music and I made a valiant effort to do my best. This is an area I want to work on, for sure.

This upcoming weekend, I will begin a photography class to up my game in the world of concert photography. I feel the nudge to be better, and as my feet are dangling from my comfort zone, I know there is more I can do to push myself out of my newly created cozy nest. Because even though we have grown and flown once, there are times when we create new nests that hold us in.

Music has a strong power for me, but as I navigate the music world I sometimes focus on my insecurities and then it illuminates my inner fear. I definitely need a push.

As I listen to the amazing music submissions and the random music that works its way to my ears, I learn to live fully. I am blessed by you all.

Cheers to the musicians that send me e-mails….so many I could never answer them all (please forgive my quiet).

Cheers to the followers that show up daily to check in, read, like, and comment on my pages. It is your interactive presence that brings me snippets of joy. More, please more!

Cheers to the festivals that give me a chance to prove my validity and creativity.

Cheers to those that attend concerts with me and bear with me when I am transfixed and can’t carry on a conversation.

Cheers to the strangers that become friends, as we sing and dance during live performances.

I am so very blessed….and now I believe…it is my time. What other time is there? I will not be stagnant.

I need to push myself out of the nest. I need to test my wings and learn to soar to higher heights.

I hope you might continue to follow along and see how I navigate the unknown, of growing and stretching into new territory. I could fall and fail miserably, or I just might float solidly above the ground and then gradually maybe even gracefully learn how to raise my soaring elevation.

The creativity of new music provides the hope that anything is possible.

Here are four of the eight new songs I shared while Djaying at WUOG. Check them out. They all create, push boundaries, and send it out into the world with no guarantees.

I am in awe.

Gift Wrap

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Gift Wrap is out of New York. It is the solo project of Brendon Avalos.  The tune “Losing Count” was taken from the 13 track album of the same name, released in early March. There is no question about the 80’s influence and I am loving the sharp, jilting vocals. Catchy, and dance worthy, I am a new fan. Listen.

G Flip

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G Flip is a crazy random discovery I found after hours of listening to and watching  music videos. It is Georgia Flipo from Melbourne, Australia. She is a multi-instrumentalist and the song I shared, “About You”, proves it. She lays down track after track as she picks up different instruments. The build is so fun to witness. This is new music and after successful SXSW performances, I am pretty sure there will be more recorded tracks. Fun to watch and a tune that will stick in your head, check it out.

Tancred

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Tancred out of Maine is Jess Abbott, Kevin Medina, and Terrence Vitali. The Track, “Reviews” is off of their upcoming album Nightstands out in June via Polyvinyl Records. It has an upbeat tempo, an edgy pop sound with driving drums, and lyrics which highlight Jess’ songwriting capabilities.

Gin Wigmore

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Gin Wigmore is out of LA but she claims they embrace the entire galaxy. Inclusiveness and gender celebration is a mainstay with the song “Girlgang”. Women are continuing to struggle for a voice and equality, so isn’t it powerful a strong vocalist can praise females and connect their history with strength and future potential. I am on board for sure.

These are four of the new artists I featured last Saturday while Djaying. But there is so much more. Check out the full playlist. I am pretty pumped about the mix and the medley of talent included.

Fly with me…

 

 

 

New Music from Omni with “Equestrian”

Omni capture the stop and go jolt of vocals, jump dance vibe, and press the refresh button on a punk era that created a happy raucous of faithful fans.

Read More…

This song came to my inbox and it was a happy find. Not only do I adore this Atlanta band, I am pumped by their pulse of energy, the lyrics and the nature of the song, and how closely I can relate. Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what music is all about? Finding a connection with the words and the feelings associated with the merging of instruments and voices?

Listen in the Soundcloud Browser so you can listen and read on…..

Omni-Equestrian

 

Yesterday, I took one of those silly quizzes on Facebook. I imagine them to be a trolling, scheming plot, but it intrigued me. Fifteen questions to determine if you are engineer material.

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I have delved into the left brain/right brain quiz, my mood based on my color choice, personality introspection, and even the quote which sums me up as a person. So this probably sounds a little pathetic, but at my age, I am still trying to “find” myself. I recognize these dumb quizzes aren’t really helping, but when I reach 100% at something (like today, and the time I achieved a  perfect grammar score), it pumps me up for a nanosecond.

Despite my leanings to become an engineer, I have a deeper need to express my creativity. Whether it be writing short stories, the music blog, art, or poetry as of late, it simply can’t be suppressed. Granted, there are days when my well feels deathly dry and days when I can’t get my words out fast enough. I am thankful for this blog because it provides me a much-needed outlet to vent, love, dance, and rebel, all in the name of music. It is a catalyst for all sorts of unrealized dreams and imminent projects waiting in the wings.

As of my count today, I have thousands of emails. Did I tell you how office unorganized I am? I try to get through them all, but I find it to be tedious and frustrating. What am I putting off? I love the music, but unfortunately, there is a great deal of music out there that doesn’t speak to me. For me, if I don’t absolutely love it, I will not share it. You won’t hear a scathing review on this blog, simply because I believe in the idea, “to each his own” and recognize the hard gut wrenching work of an artist. My other difficulty is hearing something jaw dropping and wonderful, only to lose it in the midst of all the newest music emails. I wish I had a better system.

Therefore, I rarely scoop anyone on new music, but by taking my time, I sink deeply into a sound, a band, and a story. That’s how I like it. On occasion, I am happy to report, I have predicted a few bands to break through the ceiling and hit the big time. It is a positive charge of mine to have seen them way back when they were appearing before almost an empty bar. I have a devoted group of music publicists, record companies, and incredible bands who push amazing music to me, and for that I am so very thankful. Please don’t give up on me. I always listen with good intentions, and will try to get back to you. I do listen, even if I only make it into one minute of a song.

So, this past weekend was a wash. With looming e-mails and to-do lists that would resemble Santa’s list of gift recipients, I accomplished very little. The weather was beautiful and sparkling, but I was too emotionally paralyzed and decided to wade the dark storm within myself by simply breathing and literally doing nothing. Feeling overwhelmed, forgotten, and pretty down on myself, my insecurities suddenly became  paramount in my head. Through a few cleansing tears, glasses of wine, and heartbreaking movies, I woke up this morning feeling much better.

I am typing. This is a very good thing.

My mood is on edge. I am at the fictitious peak of a jagged cliff navigating my way down a steep mountain. My shoes have little tread, so I am wonky, at best. Each step is a baby step to where I think I should go. But I find myself questioning the direction, the purpose of my journey, and my own sanity for believing in a music blog that I guess at with a gut feeling and can easily talk myself out of spending time on, if it requires too much work. I am a nurturer of all who are close to me, but rarely nurture myself or take the time to care for my writing compulsion. As a result, I wait until everyone is away or deep in slumber, and end up finishing at crazy, late hours to squeeze it all in. I give in to others a lot, I silently steam when I am let down, and I brood when I don’t make time to meet my needs. Somehow, in all of that, I forget who I am, my wants, or wishes.

As a result this blog, has a short hiatus. When I don’t understand myself, it is hard to write about music. Go figure. Thus, I indulge in the time-filling, mindless activities like taking dumb quizzes. How has my world come to this absurd and utterly ridiculous affirmation?

Enough about me and my woes.

When I began to feel better, I made a point to check those unread emails. And this song was a sweet surprise!

 

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(Omni photo by Sebastian Weiss)

 

Omni is an Atlanta trio, who capture the stop and go jolt of vocals, jump dance vibe, and press the refresh button on a punk era that created a happy raucous of faithful fans. Do they sound familiar? Yes, I have shared their music before. Exploring Omni’s newest song, “Equestrian”I recognize depth within the feel good tune. They conquer a storytelling style with vigor and add exclamation points. What is expressed is up for your own personal interpretation, but it spoke to me.

“check into the wrong girl, it’s not your style,

you can’t afford it, you know your worth it”

Don’t we all feel we are worth an upgrade in life? Whether we believe that in our core is another story. Splurging for simple effect can cause us to question expectations and desires and can prove a bit problematic. But for today, after my weekend of the doldrums, I appreciate the simple humanity of their song hidden in a popping, jumpy beat. So Omni might roll their eyes and chuckle, but my personal illumination from “Equestrian” is to seek a worthy life; recognize your inner value; move quickly past the seedy, hard parts; look back at how far you’ve come; and feel appreciation for any surprising upgrades or advantages.

Omni has a new album, Multi-task through Trouble in Mind Records, out in September. After swooning over this song, I have big expectations. Omni’s debut release, Deluxe  jumped onto the national stage due to its original jangly post punk sound and drums meant for head bopping. The band created refreshing new music and quickly became a favorite of mine last year. I look forward to seeing them live. They are playing shows non-stop in the US and abroad, beginning with Atlanta (The Earl) on July 20th. Check out their schedule,  HERE.

My personal answers lie in focusing on what my heart most desires. I can’t claim music expertise, I just know what I know, and I have to share…despite the numbers of readers. Day by day, I will continue to experience the music from the masters of creativity and weave them delicately among my life, hoping the music might also connect with you.

After a weekend of sloth-dom, I learned a deep lesson to not punish myself and disregard the one thing that brings me the most joy. Despite my random scribblings, this is a lifeline of sorts for me, and I really do appreciate you all checking in from time to time. For in the end, “I can’t afford it, but I think I might be worth it.”

Remind me you are out there. Pretty sure the bands would want to hear from you too.

 

 

Mood Monday-Melkbelly-Elk Mountain

A tangling of knotted sound and power, “Elk Mountain” pushes an envelope of music and creates a safe space to question the status quo.

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This is going to lose potential followers, but I need to be honest and share my truth. I could never vote for a mysogynist, egotistical, pompous candidate that claims to have all the answers with no backing. Interestingly, when a spotlight is placed on his financial dealings, his personal life, and his hateful shredding of almost every minority group in his speeches, I find myself completely shocked and appalled that there can be ANYONE still standing in his camp.

We as a nation have veered so incredibly and freakishly far away from values and truth that it makes me shudder in disbelief.

Yes, I am a female. Yes, I am horrified. Yes, I am with her.

Maybe you don’t like her past dealings, her demeanor, her whatever. Four years of HER is reasonable, calm under mounds of crazy pressure, and carefully and thoughtfully considered stated policy on every issue facing our nation. How could anyone not see that??????

So my mood is tense beyond repair. I am a guitar riff away from strumming and burning any guitar near me in a much needed comfort of powerful ‘release’ music. So, obviously, I couldn’t help but share this crazy bedlam of musical turbulence and sound. “Elk Mountain” is the perfect choice for my mood today.

Beautiful in delivery, shocking and explosive in sound, Melkbelly is a post punk musical chaos, much like what we are experiencing in the now. Long live this genre and I am hoping you might relate to it too.

 

 

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Melkbelly is a Chicago post punk, noise rock band. Miranda Winters (vocals/guitar) Bart Winters (guitar), Liam Winters (bass),  and James Wetzel (drums) round out the cutting edge foursome. They have incredible power in their musical distortion because there is something shockingly disturbing, and yet sensible and pleasing in the build of each song.

A tangling of knotted sound and power, “Elk Mountain” pushes an envelope of music and creates a safe space to question the status quo. Music can be a catalyst of change. Change is desperately needed and perhaps one song can create the buzz of that kind of social revolution. The changes of the tempo and the power packed pounding drums, quickens my heartbeat to a frenetic state.

Or perhaps, music just helps us sift and absorb the harshness of society and subtly soften the blow of the crass and incomprehensible. Whatever the reason, I am all aboard with this crazy good sound and inventive band.

More more more…..

Mood Monday-Sad Fish-Nights

Sad Fish-Nights -Direct simple lyrics with twangy post-punk guitars create a perfect contrast which captures my attention.

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Perception-

  • a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

 

I perceive things to be true based on my own head, heart, and soul. It all comes from my personal experiences.  Many of those blessed and golden, while others heartbreaking and somewhat questionable. I lug all the baggage of those moments, to how I view the world, my relationships, my friendships, and my life.

Due to the recent tragic events happening in our world, my fear, worry, and insecurity all hatch slowly in my head. Struggling to fight them,  I think too much, and fall down a slippery slope of vulnerability and weakness. Today, I want to push away negative feelings and change them. It is important to view the world differently and focus on important moments of beauty, joy and love. I want to take control of how I see each situation. I hope to find ultimate strength in changing my perception.

I continually struggle with my own perception of the world, my city, my friendships, and family. Sometimes it is too easy to remain stagnate and still. With an extremely strong intuitive side, I recognize and feel so much even before I get any outward clues. Many times, I can see warning signs of fissures in relationship foundations. This can sometimes be a curse, but today I am going to look at it as a blessing. Instead of reacting, pointing them out, or shedding blinding light on them, I want to thoughtfully seek to lean into the strongest part and build extra support by considering different views and perceptions.

I recognize there are many issues in our world today where great divides have occurred. It is easy to stand on my side and my perception of what is right and shout what I believe.

The harder route is to experience and explore another perspective and then in doing so really fortify those beliefs and stand up for them without apology, anger, or any thrashing of tongues full of put downs and negativity. It all begins with a conversation and listening.

Go on, you are thinking my song today will be Kumbaya. I dare you to consider this in your own heart. When we focus our eyes on all the wrongs happening, we blame and stew. When we seek out moments of  beauty, clarity, and relationship with those unlike ourselves, we slowly change our own perception.

In the midst of an obscene number of controversial and violent events, I feel such pain. As we grieve each horrific incident and try to move forward, I read or hear shocking opinions quite different from my own personal view. Quick to judge each harshly, I must remind myself, each person’s perspective is built on past experiences, as well as, their lack of experiences.

My own position included.

Just as important as my personal relationships, I refuse to allow this ugly, seething bacteria of ’my way or the highway’, spread dangerously and rot away any  kindness and compassion. Thus, ultimately, destroying our very existence.

Here is my plan…after all, my life is the only one I can control.

1. Listen. People want to be heard. Find opportunities to stay quiet and thoughtfully listen to others.

2. Stay informed about the world, but also look at multiple news sites and read opposing views.

3. Reach out and learn about cultures and people who are different. 

4. Find a way to share an act of random kindness each day. Whether it be, allowing a car to change into your lane, offering a hand to someone in the grocery store, or even sending a written note of love to someone in pain, these acts can change perceptions. Focusing on the possibilities of kindness, changes the brain and also brings joy to someone else.

5. Step outside of comfort zones and try something new and different.

I began a new course of study in a small group of unlikely characters, titled ‘Poetry of Witness’, led by published poet and author, Dorothy Howe Brooks. Poetry of witness reflects on the larger social issues of its time: war, racial and social injustice, poverty, immigration, etc. It looks at the human condition and bears witness.

In our class, we read incredible poems about tough social issues. We then discuss the poet’s view and our own view. Participating in this class is eye-opening.  I am reminded how different my perception is compared to others. Face to face, we each discuss, share, and thoughtfully listen. It is enlightening and a most valuable experience for me. I am reminded how unique people are and the deeply personal experiences which form their opinions.

This class is just one step in a series of attempts to grow and push my own intellectual boundaries.

“In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and is still never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where……sower and reaper can rejoice together. ” Paul Kalanithi’s book,  When Breath Becomes Air

 

I get it…..I only see a part, my part. I want to see more…..

I am willing to open doors to change.

So, why not explore music that pushes some boundaries as well? This song speaks to me today, because it is very simple in nature, but complex in idea. Go on and watch because an interpretation of the video is clearly multifaceted.

Sad Fish-Nights

 

 

“…life 

how can I forget about  life

how can I make things nice

still I don’t want to be alone

tomorrow is another day

tomorrow is another day

 oh yeah….”

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Sad Fish is an Atlanta based band that I need to get to know and see live. They are Arthur Cabral – Guitar/vocals, Emma Rubenstein – Drums, Sean Conlon – Bass, and Chris O McGrath – Guitar. Somehow, I stumbled upon this track, “Nights”,  on Immersive Atlanta‘s site and it totally resonates with me today.

Direct, simple lyrics and twangy post-punk guitars create a perfect contrast which jarringly captures my attention. Their song, “Nights”,  is a stand out track from their recent EP release, Never 2 Cool 2 Dance.  As much as the video is entertaining, I suggest you listen again with eyes closed and seep into the music.

There is power in how we view the world around us. Will you be a listener? Take time to push your boundaries? Move toward love and compassion?

We all need to be reminded that tomorrow is another day. What will you do with yours?