Tuesday, September 30, 2008

oh hold on to me

"please can we go away,
get out of here,
somehow today.
for a place that i've heard on the radio never sleeps.

i'll get a job in a bar,
you could be a waitress and serve cheap cigars,
to fat mustachio men in suits,
you'll look cute.

fuck what they say,
fuck it if they talk,
it really dont matter.
we're going to new york."

Monday, September 29, 2008

i'll sing along

falling slowly (live on david letterman, video) ~ glen hansard & marketa irglova
falling slowly ~ glen hansard & marketa irglova

"i don't know you,
but i want you,
all the more for that.
words fall through me,
and always fool me,
and i can't react.
and games that never amount,
to more than they're meant,
will play themselves out.

take this sinking boat and point it home,
we've still got time.
raise your hopeful voice,
you have a choice,
you've made it now.

falling slowly,
eyes that know me,
and I can't go back.
moods that take me,
and erase me,
and i'm painted black.
you have suffered enough,
and warred with yourself,
it's time that you won.

take this sinking boat and point it home,
we've still got time.
raise your hopeful voice,
you had a choice,
you've made it now.

take this sinking boat and point it home,
we've still got time.
raise your hopeful voice,
you had a choice,
you've made it now.

falling slowly,
sing your melody,
i'll sing along."

but here comes the fall

pioneer of the falls (video) ~ interpol
pioneer of the falls ~ interpol

"show me the dirt pile
and i will pray that the soul can take
three stowaways

and you vanish with no guile
and i will not pay
but the soul can wait
i felt you so much today

oh no, you try
you fly straight into my heart
you fly straight into my heart girl,
i know you try"

this song feels like midnight in a strange city. strangers pass and you tell yourself stories so that any lingering fear will not cling. you tell yourself stories of past loves and past lives, and the things that still attach to your soul.

the sound of heels, yet to be well-worn, click click clacking on the pavement. the whoosh of tires peeling by, and you shrink to one side without blinking, the image of faces on the other side of hazy glass barely making an impression.

what stories do the strangers make up about you? the red dress borrowed from a girlfriend who wore it when she decided to give him another chance. the hair, she seems nervous as she messes with it, trying to twist it up into a clip, then letting it fall only moments later.

which becomes the truth, the stories or the night's truths. do we all exist somewhere between the in-betweens of consciousness and make-believe? this song makes me want take to the concrete, embracing the unknown, writing about it all in the context of a postcard, a matchbook, a love letter. this song, it reminds me of you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

but in truth i'm lost for words

chocolate (live) ~ snow patrol

"this could be the very minute,
i'm aware i'm alive;
all these places feel like home."

coffee in the early hours of morning, and it seems that every song i hear makes me think and feel and cry. i am so reay for this month to be over. october, please bring with you colder weather, clarity of heart and mind, and perhaps a bit of chocolate (or overly sweetened coffee).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

drawing circles in your concrete

undercover ~ pete yorn

"and you held and then you tried,
i could never find another.
if you walk me to the car park,
i won't go."

Friday, September 26, 2008

my brain hurts a lot

five years ~ david bowie

"i think i saw you in an ice-cream parlour,
drinking milk shakes cold and long,
smiling and waving and looking so fine,
don't think you knew you were in this song.

and it was cold, and it rained,
so I felt like an actor,
and i thought of ma,
and i wanted to get back there.
your face, your race,
the way that you talk,
i kiss you, you're beautiful,
i want you to walk."

andrea put me in a bowie mood early this morning with her song post about life on mars, and he's stuck in my ears and cerebreal soundtrack cortex all day. i've had various favorite bowie songs over the years, some for very personal reasons, and others due to memories, both good and bad, and then others are due to the amazing storytelling that exists in the context of a five minute or less song.

i experience songs and music with all of my senses, and when they hit hard and deep, i see them visually; tiny flickers on the screens behind my eyelids, changing scenes with every blink. i take the images that my imagination creates and i meld them with my own stories, and sometimes i write them out, and sometimes i hold them so close inside of me that they take my breath away when i hear them.

five years is one of those songs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

on the shore

"when we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be alone on an empty shore."

arcadia ~ tom stoppard

you're one with echoes of conversation

a good start ~ maria taylor

"it was a long, dark, sleepy morning walk.
you fell down, case and point.
it was a good start.
it was a good start.

it's a shame now, baby, you can't see yourself,
and everything you're running from.
and it's the same world, honey, that has brought you down,
as the one that's gonna pick you up.

and it's a shame now, baby, you can't separate yourself,
from where you stood.
and it's the same world, honey, that made you feel so bad,
as the one that makes you feel so good.
feel so good."

there are images that float through the ether when i let my eyes flutter shut, as i try to let myself let go. i've never been comfortable with silence, and i've not very good with relaxing. the tension that knots itself just under my skin is somedays all-encompassing, and even though i try to push through, mask over the pain, and be a part of the collective expectation - well, it is my insides that are often brittle and cracking; falling slowly apart.

this year has been full of the blues, and i claw at the color scheme, trying to shake myself up in the process. i tear at the blindfolds and the bandages, try not to hide from my own thoughts and fears. isn't it said that wounds heal quicker when the air hits, but baby, it sure will sting.

i'm holding out for the good stuff. i'm wishing on stars. and most of those wishes, well they are to just believe in the same world that breaks hearts, and opens doors.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a cleaning mix

“they were careless people, tom and daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”

the great gatsby ~ f. scott fitzgerald

i don't want to do your dirty work: (but) i'll clean it up myself i guess: a cleaning mix for whiskeychick

Cleanse Song ~ Bright Eyes
Dirty Work ~ Steely Dan
That Green Gentleman ~ Panic! At The Disco
Young Folks ~ The Kooks
Paper Planes ~ M.I.A.
Strict Machine ~ Goldfrapp
Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing ~ Chris Isaak
Rock Star ~ Hole
Fists Up ~ The Blow
Back To Black (The Rumble Strips Remix) ~ Amy Winehouse
Handle With Care ~ Jenny Lewis & Friends
Lola ~ The Kinks
Ruby Tuesday ~ The Rolling Stones
Humpty Dumpty ~ Aimee Mann
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing ~ Jack Johnson
There's Never Enough Time ~ The Postal Service
Close To Me ~ Why?
Fix You ~ Coldplay
I'm So Tired ~ John Lennon

cleaning mix ~ zipped

if you hadn't gone tomorrow

"and you have stayed,
a mile away from me,
and you will stay
a mile away from me
if you know what’s good for you,
you could have stayed until june."

it's damned if you don't & it's damned if you do

metal heart ~ cat power

"losing the star without a sky
losing the reasons why
you're losing the calling that you've been faking
and i'm not kidding

it's damned if you don't and it's damned if you do
be true 'cause they'll lock you up in a sad sad zoo
oh hidy hidy hidy what cha tryin to prove
by hidy hidy hiding you're not worth a thing

sew your fortunes on a string
and hold them up to light
blue smoke will take
a very violent flight
and you will be changed
and everything
and you will be in a very sad sad zoo.

i once was lost but now i'm found
was blind
but now i see you
how selfish of you to believe in the meaning of all the bad dreaming

metal heart you're not hiding
metal heart you're not worth a thing
metal heart you're not hiding
metal heart you're not worth a thing"

full lyrics tonight because i love each and every word. feeling blue tonight and chan's voice just weaves into the sadness and emotes along with me. too many days passing lately with this cloud cover so close to my skin. and i love the rain, i love myself a cloudy day, but this is not from the sky. just the sadness passing through with a song as release.

an autumn mix

the name of it is "autumn"
the hue of it is blood
an artery upon the hill
a vein along the road

great globules in the alleys
and oh, the shower of stain
when winds upset the basin
and spill the scarlet rain

it spinkles bonnets far below
it gathers ruddy pools
then eddies like a rose
away upon vermilion wheels

the name of it is autumn ~ emily dickinson

it's the time of the season: when the love runs high: an autumn mix for amber

*note: in another online community/space i am doing a theme mix project that i would like to share here, as well. if you would like to give me a "theme" of any kind, i will make a mix for you, and post it here. comment with a theme, or email at laurastarlite@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i could have been somebody else but now i'm me this time

come back home (live, aol sessions, video) ~ pete yorn

"in your life,
you can talk about it.
oh in your life,
you can live without,
can live without.

and you know you're hard enough,
and you find you're strong enough,
oh yeah,
you'll find you're hard enough.
oh yeah,
you'll find you're strong enough."

come back home (official video) ~ pete yorn
come back home ~ pete yorn

"say my name before you disappear."

it seems a new album is on the horizon, and a song has been released via myspace just last week which is truly amazing, and that makes me unspeakably happy.

- thank you, a, for sending me the song. much, much appreciated.

Monday, September 22, 2008

are we human or are we dancers?

"pay my respects to grace and virtue,
send my condolences to good.
give my regards to soul and romance,
they always did the best they could.

and so long to devotion,
you taught me everything i know.

wave goodbye,
wish me well,
you've got to let me go.

a friend sent this to me because it reminded him of the first part of a story i posted last night. i can see the correlation and connection; it may very well become part of the soundtrack i play while continuing to write. i always have something playing in the background; always.

ever since i read about the upcoming album from the killers i was curious how it would sound. i wondered if it would veer more closely to sam's town, or if would be a return to their earlier sound. in playing this, and listening, i hear the evolution of both incarnation (though to me, sam's town is more present).

i like it, this song, very much actually. it speaks to me on a very personal level right now, much more even than the story i'm attempting to pen.

i cannot wait for this album to be released.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

are we sitting idly?

humboldt county
in theatres september 23

(would really like to see this)

finding happy

"i was happy but happy is an adult word. you don’t have to ask a child about happy, you see it. they are or they are not. adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind. much easier to let it blow all over you. this is where i disagree with the philosophers. they talk about passionate things but there is no passion in them. never talk happiness with a philosopher. "

jeanette winterson, the passion

just because you can

jolene (cover) ~ the white stripes
jolene (live, video) ~ dolly parton

two other covers of jolene sent by two keen friends (thank you, bianca & imaginary_lines)

jolene ~ mindy smith
jolene ~ queenadreena

"he talks about you in his sleep,
and there's nothing i can do to keep from crying,
when he calls your name."

growing up i spent quite a lot of time with my grandparents, especially during the summer months. my aunt lived with them, and i remember spending hours in her room playing her 8-track tapes, one of her prize possessions. she was a big fan of country music, most especially the female singers, her favorites being loretta lynn, patsy cline, and dolly parton. during one summer in particular, when i was about six or seven years old, i made a list of my own best of's out of her collection. the songs were all about infidelity, which at the time i did not understand. i think it was more about the strength and conviction in the women singing, the fighting back for something they wanted, that i was attracted to.

of course, as i grew up i would have argued that all that strength and conviction that i admired so much as a young girl could have been better utilized fighting for something more than a cheating partner. that said, i do think that those women had some kind of infectious fire to them that made those songs live on somewhere in the back of my mind.

i love the white stripes take on jolene. It is more desperate than dolly's original, and the fire that burns in this one is that unmistakeable sound of breaking hearts and begging to not lose someone you know is leaving despite the pleas. the last line, please don't take him, even though you can almost feels like a final defeat, especially in the abrupt way that the song is just over.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

as if we never really mattered

"take my hand,
come with me,
into this crystal scenery,
and wait, til i retain the ticket.

you would never have the time,
i would love to change your mind.

you were there,
and it was good in the beginning."

you know me, i'm impulsive

"i'm rash and impulsive. it's a flaw."

~ buffy sommers, buffy the vampire slayer

man in the park read the lines in my hand

miss misery ~ elliott smith
miss misery (early version) ~ elliott smith
miss misery (live, mtv, video) ~ elliott smith

"next door the tv's flashing,
blue frames on the wall.
it's a comedy of errors, you see.
it's about taking a fall.

to vanish into oblivion,
is easy to do,
and i try to be,
but you know me,
i come back when you want me to."

i woke up this morning to the bleary-eyed recollection of the flickering television screen, and the near ending of good will hunting playing. i tuned in at about the point where will has his breakthrough, both with his best friend, and with sean. i ended up lying on the couch, under a blanket, crying my eyes out. there is a long list of reasons why it hit me so hard, and why in some ways it was what i needed most of all today.

the sun was not yet awake, and as the credits rolled elliott smith sang one of my most favorite songs of all-time. last week was beyond rough and my soul feels beat up right now. i feel discouraged and lost in ways that words do not articulate clearly, and i know i need to make my way through the fog and sort out what to do, but right now i feel defeated, and tired. part of me wants to just vanish into oblivion.

this song helps, as did the scene in the film, and music; always music.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i wish i'd stayed asleep today

close to me ~ the cure
close to me (live) ~ the cure
close to me (cover) ~ why?

"just try to see in the dark,
just try to make it work,
to feel the fear before you're here.

i make the shapes come much too close,
i pull my eyes out,
hold my breath,
and wait until i shake."

i have far too many memories that the cure triggers, a film's worth really, or possibly a the first half of a novel. for years (and then some) i could not make a mix tape without including one of three songs from the cure. they were never necessarily my favorites, as with the memories, i have far too many favorite cure songs to ever just pick three. yet, it was a certain three that always tapped on my musically-obsessed shoulder and said choose me when i was making mix selections. this song was one of the three.

this morning, in the pre-sun coming up hours, the song recalls a myriad of memories. they flutter by, some in jangly hiccups of images like some dusty film strip rolled out on a cart in a high school classroom. they all collide into each other in non-linear fashion, which honestly is the way my mind often works, random - ever random.

i remember dancing at cloud nine at knott's berry farm, the discounted admission with emptied agree shampoo bottles. we used to buy them on the way and pour out the sticky green liquid into the trash cans before buying our tickets. another memory, my first car over-crowded with friends, conversations overlapping as the music played. mike would make a crack about "the next song will be the cure" because eventually he recognized my three song pattern. i also see the first cure album i procured, on vinyl (as i seemed to have most of their albums on cassette, back then). it was not a traditional album per se, but some kind of collection of singles. it was a birthday present from a girl i barely knew in high school, yet we did spend most of the time in u.s. history class discussing music.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i was gonna reach across the ocean & force you to look


forgotten saturdays
lemonade stand driveways
sidewalk chalk bubblegum flavored
never ways

she tangles daisy chains and grass stains
late night coin operated washing machine

she asks the mislead father time
why has the moon gone bad

bounce the ball
pick up the jacks
one by two by three by four
finding answers in the skinned knee boy

kissed chapped lips like love
rose bush scratch scars
happy endings

she wonders where he left the remnants of a daughter
hair curls and five snaps down the backside
osh kosh
sears clearance sale

tear stains wisp of a promise
blown out candlelight birthday cake
shut your eyes
one by two by twelve by fourteen

she grows and grows
he never knows

she won't let you go

"when they played that song at the death disco,
it started fast but it ends so slow;
and all the time it reminded me of you."

i am on the cusp of a really bad day at work, starting with an early meeting where i'm sure the client is going to be very unkind. i went to bed stressed, and woke up with my stomach in uncomfortable knots. so, stumbling on the news that they played together last night at london fashion week was just what i needed.

for a moment it made me stop and smile, and hope.

thanks for that boys.

& we can't build our dreams

pete yorn (live, san diego)
suspicious minds ~ pete yorn
suspicious minds ~ elvis

"we're caught in a trap,
i cant walk out,
because i love you too much baby.

why cant you see,
what youre doing to me,
when you dont believe a word i say?"

i am pretty sure i've loved every version of this song i've ever heard, but this may be one of my most favorite covers of it - at least tonight.

and this one, glen hansard and mic christopher busking on the streets where he later filmed once, it just makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

you should have stayed at home yesterday

enola gay (live) ~ omd

"aha this kiss you give,
it’s never ever gonna fade away."

i remember a particular night, sometime in the summer of 1988, sitting in the backseat of a friend's car with this song blaring out of the speakers. the beach was just outside the window, though it was almost too dark to see the water. i could smell the salt water though, as it swirled around my blowing hair, all the windows down as we drove into the night.

i don't recall where we were going, or much of the night's activities. I know that the company I was keeping were more acquaintances than friends, girls I worked with at my first retail job (a small clothing store tucked into the corner of what used to be The City Mall). We did not exchange many words between us, and I was grateful for the music as I was still fraught with the limitations of shyness back then.

music has always been saving me, in big and little ways.

anyhow, for whatever reason, and despite the forgettable nature of most of that evening, anytime OMD plays I'm reminded of that night. I have other memories attached to other songs of theirs, but this is the one that sticks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

who do you love?

a snippet (do read the rest, it is worth it)

These days, we write blogs. We make our iTunes playlist public at the office. ("Dave, I didn't realize you were such a Yes fan. Every album? Wow! And what's with all the obscure Brazilian post-punk? Pray tell.") We use song names in the subject lines of emails and hope the recipient gets the reference. We make mix tapes to be played at parties, we DJ, we download songs as our cell-phone ringtones, and we name our kids after Dylan and Beatles songs. Maybe these things constitute new forms of wear, tear and overuse.

There's still something beautiful about a threadbare concert T-shirt, or about an album so worn that the needle can't find its groove. No one would ever doubt who or what was your favorite if those were the yardsticks. Today, there are more ways than ever to advertise and prove our adoration for music, but I still like a little physical evidence hanging around. After all, it's nice to know that your love has left a lasting mark on something.

So, how do we go about proving our love for a band or artist these days?
(thank you, andrea, for sharing the link with me today, i miss you...)
& all of it

i used to wear this black beret, everywhere. it was some kind of statement, i guess; or maybe it was the fact that a beret, all stretchy and malleable, was the only thing to fit this big head of mine.

she always wore the fanciest hats, picked from the shelves of vintage stores, estate sales; her hats had history, color, and intrigue.

i felt like my beret was ordinary, that it was trying too hard. but still i wore it. i was ever trying to project some kind of difference. but still i felt invisible.

i remember as a young girl, reading 'deenie' in my bed at night with a flashlight, far and away past bedtime. i remember deenie had scoliosis. she had to wear this hideous back brace that stuck out everywhere, but still she remained invisible to everyone else. i could so relate. i always felt like i got lost in the walls and cement sidewalks of every place.

and sometimes i still feel like that, too big and awkward, and yet still fading into nothing, nothing beyond forgotten. and, when that rush of insecurity flames through me, i try too hard.

yes, much too hard. i can hear it in my voice, and the way even breathing catches taffy stuck sticky in the back of my throat. i laugh a bit too loud, i tell too many stories. i find myself talking in these jangly circles that hold no real meaning.

inside i am screaming.

can't you see me?
can't you see i'm trying?
trying too hard (again).

those are the days that i feel as much of an outcast as a plastic spork in some faux fancy restaurant with no marked prices on the menus (if you have to ask...); you know the kind with eight forks for one meal. not that i'd know how to distinguish any of them from one another.

i'm really more of a diner girl at heart. milk shakes, jukeboxes on each table, lots of good, not strained, conversations. friends who know me for who i am, big head and loud laugh. gullible me, with or without a beret, and all of those contrived trappings of just trying to be. all of it, and none of it.

all i need ~ air & beth hirsch
all i need (video) ~ air & beth hirsch

& i can't do it again

new romantic ~ laura marling

"so we stayed up late one night to try and get our problems right,
but i couldn't get into his head just what was going through my mind,
and i think he knew where i was going.

he put ryan adams on,
i think he thinks it makes me weak,
it only ever makes me strong."

answering bell (cover of ryan adams) ~ laura marling

"let your tears fall and touch my skin,
then your thunderclouds could rage and wail.
i will collect them all for you in butterfly jars."

i stumbled upon laura marling this weekend and fell for her song new romantic, and then later, the same sunday morning, i discovered her cover of ryan adams' answering bell. thank you, chelle, for finding the new romantic for me, and for getting music the way you do. i love the connections loving music forms, and the way it enriches the bonds between souls. and, i love finding new music to love.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

screaming from the window

unbilotitled ~ peter doherty (stookie + jim bumfest demo)
unbilotitled ~ babyshambles (album version)
unbilotitled (live at the boogaloo, video) ~ babyshambles

"the more that you follow me,
the more i get lost.
you think that you know me,
you're pissing me off.
yeah you say that you love me,
why don't you fuck off?"

i've posted this song a few times here, different versions and for various reasons, but still the same song at the core. i don't know what it is about this song, but i know that i've loved it since the first time i heard it back when it was a demo and i was just discovering the libertines (post break-up of the band, but they were new to me at the time).

i tend to prefer the stripped down versions, like the stookie + jim bumfest demo, more than the actual full band rendition. that said, there is something about the way it sounds played live. the video is taken a this weekend, live in paris, and though the angles are off to the side, it is still a very keen recording.

listening to the song for the gazillion-eth time today i try to ascertain what it is about it that means so much to me. perhaps it is the layer of strength in it, cradled in a feeling of vulnerability that comes through not so much in the lyrics, but in the way it is sung. something about that collision of emotion i relate to, and it sticks to me, affixing itself so completely that whenever i hear it i want to stop everything i'm doing just to listen.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

i could be another fool

say yes ~ elliott smith

"crooked spin can't come to rest,
i'm damaged bad at best,
she'll decide what she wants.

i'll probably be the last to know,
no-one says until it shows,
and you see how it is.

they want you,
or they don't.
say yes."

andrea posted elliott smith this morning, which set me in the mood to play him all morning myself. there are so many things i could write about his music and what it has meant to me. how is tragic sonnets and lyrical refrains have intertwined with dreams and moments, written plots and felt emotions, sing-a-longs and jagged tears. i wish i'd seen him play live, just once at least. and, more than that, i wish he was still alive, that he was still among us.

i have many favorites. angeles, which andrea posted earlier, is definitely one of many that i love. say yes i discovered when i bought the album xo. i remember playing it on my computer, back when we lived in the upstairs apartment in fullerton, not long after we returned back to california, from michigan. it was the first song to stand out to me, to make me want to push replay and listen again, that first initial song-crush that one gets on the first spin of a new album.

i love the upside down duality in the lyrics. how this song at first feels like a love song full of hope and wistfulness. the morning after meeting someone you have a connection to, or the day following that first time you sleep with someone (or don't sleep with someone). on a second listen though the sadness comes through, the realization that this is more of an afterthought, a musing over, and missing of, a relationship that is recently lost. a relationship that has changed who we are, even when we did not realize the change was occuring when we were in it.

is there still a chance? is this poetry sung that will help in letting go, or will is it sung to win something back? a last ditch plea for the other person to turn around and say yes, again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

& its high speed

7/4 shoreline ~ broken social scene

"while you're walking away,
i will try to get through,but you've gotta know the lies,
from the lies they told you.
if you try to do it all,
it all will leave you,
if you try to steal the beat,
the beat will steal you."

movement, this song has such a feeling of movement to it. i turn it up often when i'm driving, the song builds on itself, becoming stronger, almost becoming a surge. then the chorus seeps in, breathy vocals, on the cusp of building back up again. it reminds me of desire, of passion, and of the spun out feeling you get when there is energy and electricity between two people.

it also reminds me of drives up the coast, the windows rolled down all the way, the smell of the ocean and the waves wisping through my hair, through the interior of the car, and through my thoughts. i miss when i used to do that, just get in the car and drive beside the water. it used to be such a part of my existance, the source of release and relief of just about anything. a part of me will always be very in love with being near the shore.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

for my best friend, kate

"someday girl
i dont know when were gonna get to that place,
where we really want to go,
and well walk in the sun.

but till then...
tramps like us,
baby we were born to run."

obsession and other love alternatives

keep art alive; art by joshua petker

"what is the difference between love and obsession? didn't both make you stay up all night, wandering the streets, a victim of your own imagination, your own heartbeat? didn't you fall into both, headfirst into quicksand? wasn't every man in love a fool and every woman a slave?

love was like rain; it turned to ice, or it disappeared. now you saw it, now you couldn't find it no matter how hard you might search. love evaporated; obsession was realer; it hurt, like a pin in your bottom, a stone in your shoe.

it didn't go away in the blink of an eye. a morning phone call filled with regret. a letter that said 'dear you, good-bye from me.'

obsession tasted like something familiar. something you'd known your whole life. it settled and lurked; it stayed with you."

~ alice hoffman, the ice queen

you can't fly away, electric bird

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
wish we weren't still here

then we struggle upstream
break the mold while wet
and we carve our initials
into the glued up cracks
repairs from the fall

the fog will return again
our feet slipping off stones
and on better days
the parachute opens

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

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

the stars smiled down on me

dream ~ priscilla ahn

"i was a little girl alone in my little world,
who dreamed of a little home for me.
i played pretend between the trees,
and fed my houseguests bark and leaves,
and laughed in my pretty bed of green.

i had a dream,
that i could fly from the highest swing.
i had a dream."

when i do not feel well, when my bones ache and my head feels full of cobwebs and butterfly wings, i long for those moments when you can rely on another's strength, and arms, and care. it awakens some naive wishes that were borne of a little girl who still saw the world as wide and expansive, and still looked to my mother's eyes as something all-knowning and compassionate. i want to curl into a ball under a blanket, not necessarily to stay warm, but for that kind of safety and comfort. i long to lose myself in an inconsequential novel that i do not mind nodding off to sleep to, or a movie that i've seen many times over and again, that would easily give passage to dreams, just as easy as it would entertain.

looking back, though, it really never was that; not when i was sick, or young, or well. and all this is, right now, just my soul feeling worn out and my body feeling tired and ill. it makes me nostalgic (even if it is for things that never were), and it tends to turn my wants into dreams into longings into i wish that i could be a little less strong, just for a day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

i'd do the stars with you anytime

romeo & juliet (live, abbey road) ~ the killers

"i can't do the talk, like the talk on the tv,
and i can't do a love song, like the way it's meant to be.
i can't do everything, but i'd do anything for you;
i can't do anything except be in love with you.

and all i do is miss you, and the way we used to be,
all i do is keep the beat, and the bad company.
and all i do is kiss you, through the bars of a rhyme;
juliet, i'd do the stars with you any time."

i'm sure i've posted about this song before, probably more than once, but i'm having another one of those days when i cannot get enough of the killers' cover of romeo and juliet.

i was talking to jules recently about shakespeare, and i related something a professor had once told me; she said, you cannot go through a single day without encountering a shakespeare reference - most often, one to romeo and juliet. they come in the form of romance, marketing, wine, music and other cultural (pop, and otherwise) references.

oh my stars, i love this song - and this version - so much.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

who do you believe?

life is sweet ~ natalie merchant

"they told you life is hard,
it's misery from the start;
it's dull and slow and painful.

i tell you life is sweet,
in spite of the misery,
there's so much more;
be grateful."

i wander through the day and most of what i hear is the din and echoes of misfortune, misery and negativity. people seem so unhappy, so downtrodden, and often so ugly in their reactions to each other (especially when it comes to cruelty and gossip). it seems to be so much easier to be unhappy, to answer with a scowl, and to have the perspective that life sucks, and that is just the way it goes.

there are days, of course there are, where we wake up feeling less than ourselves. when we are hurting or sad, ill, or just in a blue funk. but there are good days, too; days when we wake up with that ethereal glow about us, when we have a bit of a music in our movements, and a backbeat to our steps. this happens, it does, i have seen it in everyone i know.

i don't know, i suppose i just long for a little bit of happiness sometimes. there is a lot to be grateful for, in all of our lives, if we just look close enough.

Monday, September 8, 2008

and when i see you i really see you upside down

she was grey
wrapped like a pretzel in the corner
swayingand i tried not to count the bones beneath her skin
tried not to see all the death surrounding her
i looked into her eyes instead
saw the swirl and the colors

her family placed her here
with revolt
and manipulation
they were still trying to make her a black and white character
something small to fit inside of their sitcom lives
but she had the bleeding tones
the bright hues
pouring out of her veins screaming for release

and she starved them
bled them
tore them
tried to kill the color of her soul
fit herself out of herself
for them
we worked in her garden
tried to feed the landgive to the ground something we couldn't give ourselves
i saw her slipping
but i wanted her to just hold on
and i kept looking in the mirror in my room
trying to see myself as the sane one

there were always so many worse than me
like m

some nights the dreams would come
slamming doors in my head
in my thoughts
making me dizzy
and i would just swallow
try to breathe
navigate the disarray of my subconscious

but, i was failing
tripping over my own stack of denial
just wanting to help m walk down the path
to the painting room
hold the can as she dripped her brush
at the ends

there were memories locked into those cement walls
and we were all just passer-bys
biding our time
trying to smile and look "okay"

and, some of us made it to the other end
i did
once i grasped hold of the monster
in the back of my cloudy mind
and agreed to face off with the dragons
of being dismantled

i passed on through
but, m didn't

she painted her rainbows on pots and pans
on the ceiling
in the backyard shade
and then left us
sometimes in the color scheme of my night vision
i see her
not in a black and white re-runs
but riding the beast of sickness
conquering it finally
laying it to rest
in technicolor

* found writing of mine in an old composition book, written for a friend i knew, and lost, a long time ago.

can the child within my heart rise above?

i don't need to sell my soul: a cover mix

color of my dream

i'll be your lover, too ~ van morrison
i'll be your lover, too (live, video) ~ robert pattinson
i'll be your lover, too (live) ~ robert pattinson

"you'll be my queen,
i'll be you king,
and i'll be your lover, too."

jules has reminded me of how much i love van morrison's voice, and songs, especially this one. It had been years since i'd heard i'll be your lover, too, and i think i'd forgotten what the song sounded like, and meant to me. it reminds me of good spots of my childhood, of wild daisies, late june summer evenings that felt as if they would stretch out forever, and bursts of laughter.

years later this song this strummed out on a beat up acoustic guitar, and how i immediately felt like that little girl again. how it brought those memories rushing back to me, flushing my skin and catching my breath, the way music has always done to me. there are few things i remember, and smile at, from my childhood - and this song is attached to some of those rare moments.

the only video of the original i could find was a fan-video for charlie/claire, from lost. it works, though, as i always did love the friendship grown into love relationship they developed, and shared.

i've included robert pattinson's cover of the song because despite the fact that it is a bit rough it has that depth of emotion that the original has, yet takes it somewhere else - it feels a bit darker, more emotional, vulnerable.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i live to make you free

boats & birds ~ gregory & the hawk

"if you be my star, i'll be your sky,
you can hide underneath me and come out at night.
when i turn jet black and you show off your light,
i live to let you shine,
i live to let you shine.

but you can skyrocket away from me,
and never come back if you find another galaxy,
far from here with more room to fly,
just leave me your stardust to remember you by."

this song came around and snuck up on me during the summer, around the same time i fell for the twilight series, and the two became instantly intertwined to me. lately the song has taken on a different shade and tint to me, as i have played it while i've written pieces of a longer story, and it has become part of it - and part of me.

sometimes a pretty love song is just what you need.

and all the lights that lead us there are blinding

keep art alive; art by hedi slimane

"i don't believe that anybody,
feels the way i do,
about you now."

wonderwall (live) ~ ryan adams
wonderwall (live in atlanta, video) ~ ryan adams

wonderwall (live) ~ cat power
wonderwall (elements of noise remix) ~ cat power

this was meant to be saturday's song of the day, but glancing at the clock i see it is after midnight, sunday. though sundays are my favorite days, my little bit of magic in a week; and i feel full of magic tonight. this song, it resonates in me, on so many levels, and in so many spoken (and unspoken) ways.

i am not much for oasis, i never have been, but this song just slays me. i suppose it is the gifts of the covers of this song that made me fall for it - my favorites are up there - ryan (of course), who made me pause and realize that this song is fucking incredible. the video, caught live in atlanta, is amazing - even with the crowd singing along (perhaps that joining in makes it even more amazing).

and chan marshall (cat power) who has this way of taking any song, twisting it up and turning it around, and making it her own - lush and luscious, gorgeous. and the remix of it is quite keen, i must say.

Friday, September 5, 2008

the way they fall

strength through music ~ amanda palmer

"he picked a soundtrack,
and packed his bag.
he hung his walkman,
around his neck.
tick tick tick tick tick."

it took a few listens for this song to completely sink in, for it to seap below my surfaces and course enough through my veins to bring chills to my skin. there is something to soothing in amanda palmer's voice that initially i was too distracted by the sound to realize the content, and perhaps that is part of it, part of the inner lining of this song.

to build a soundtrack to fill your ears while you do something so hugely impactful and life-changing as taking lives, a background sound to cover the reality of sound, that in itself is so deeply chilling. such an escape, and such a release, all at once.

how often do we do this ourselves? not a mass taking of lives (i'd hope), but a barrier of something that shields us from the full impact of reality. perhaps it is the web of music wrapping around us, or maybe it is some kind of physical need satisfied (thirst, hunger, addiction), it could even be the illusion of words and language themselves; i know i've hidden parts of my self in the masquerade of storytelling.

the song is disturbing when you peel back the layers and look deeper, as i suppose we all can be. but it makes me think, analyze, dig up the dirt with my bare hands - finger nails dirty just under the edge - and wonder at things. in everything that happens, be it the beautiful or horrific, we are affected.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

he took one look at my face and said i can fix that hole in you


jenny lewis is streaming tracks from her upcoming album, acid tongue (which comes out september 23), on her website. i've been listening to the first song posted, and it is so damn good. i love jenny.

the site also shows some of her u.s. & european tour dates, some of which she is sharing stage with conor oberst, which makes me unspeakably happy.

"and by the rolling river,
is exactly where i was.
there was no snake oil cure for unlucky in love.

to be lonely is a habit,
like smoking or taking drugs,
and i've quit them both,
but man was it rough."

nice to be nervous

getting led ~ adam green

"a man fills his quotient,
it changed his notions,
now you see of glimpse of liberty.

but fame could be garish,
it ends his marriage,
to all that you could want for him to be.

we leave tomorrow,
just human cargo;
getting led,
getting led,
getting led."

adam green has been singing to me all morning, even when my music wasn't playing. you ever have that happen? wake up with a singer in the back of your mind, singing songs to you that will invariably get stuck in your thoughts and insert themselves into conversations, and the words you choose to express yourself?

i am remembering kate and i seeing him play at the troubador. how unassuming and shy he seemed when we spoke to him, and how different he was on-stage - energetic, goofy, powerful. there is so much soul in his voice, a depth that hints at an age far beyond his numbers. plus, the silliness, the absurd, the random - i have such a weakness for that.

so, i suppose he isn't too bad to have in a back of my head gig for the day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

my hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me

hands down (live) ~ dashboard confessional & michael stipe

thanks to chelle for originally introducing me to this song, and the live version of it, with michael stipe. i almost wish i could hear a version with just michael singing it, his voice has a different level of passion and depth when he sings his parts of the song, which gift the song with stronger feelings, at least to me. it bypasses the adolescent sentiment about new love, and secret passions, and takes it a step further.

i'd say this is a guilty pleasure song, but i try not to feel guilty for things i enjoy. it's just a fucking good song (especially the cover, download it, truly).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

i may be great tomorrow, but hopeless yesterday

don't get me wrong ~ the pretenders
don't get me wrong ~ lily allen (cover)

"don't get me wrong,
if i'm looking kind of dazzled;
i see neon lights,
whenever you walk by."

"do i dazzle you?" ~ e. cullen
"frequently." ~ b. swan

i love synchronicity. those moments when you are experiencing something so strongly, or taking something in deeply, and suddenly you are surrounded by reminders, coincidences, and mirrored reflections of your inner make-up.

i love cover songs. the new dip into something familiar, and how you can hear the unique something that is added when a new voice adds something to an existing piece of art. in a way it is similar to writing with a certain song, or collection of songs, playing in the background. you take from it, you sew it into the lines and phrases, and you create a new representation.

all of it, is it not just shared experiences? the collective unconscious taking a turn in the playground of energy, lyrical refrain, and magic - who could not fall for that?

september mix (part one)

You Scream Give Me What I've Always Missed: A September Mix (Part One)

All In My Mind ~ Love & Rockets
Black Cat ~ Ladytron
23 ~ Blonde Redhead
Metal Heart ~ Cat Power
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead ~ Stars
Pioneer To The Falls ~ Interpol
I'm On Fire ~ Bat For Lashes
You Don't Own Me ~ Lesley Gore
Starlite Diner ~ Ryan Adams
You Don't Know Me ~ Ben Folds & Regina Spektor
Tonight I Have To Leave It ~ The Shout Out Louds
Black Lexus ~ Joseph Arthur
You're Lost Little Girl ~ Siouxsie & The Banshees
Wild Horses ~ The Rolling Stones
Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken ~ Camera Obscura
Electric Bird ~ Sia
7/4 (Shoreline) ~ Broken Social Scene

September (one) Mix Zipped