we will wade in the shine of the ever

I remember staying up all night sometimes listening to the radio in the summer between 8th and 9th grade. When I finally got my driver’s license, I didn’t know how to drive unless I had the radio turned all the way up. And there were many evenings during that first semester of college when I would put on some headphones and take my discman for a walk around campus. Usually I’d end up sitting on a bench or some steps somewhere listening to a few choice songs and staring at the stars.

Somehow, though, over the last four or five years, I stopped listening to music. I turned the radio dial to NPR in the car and Morning Edition and All Things Considered became the soundtrack of my commute. I discovered the joy of a really great audiobook and the hundreds of podcasts where charming people talked about my favorite topics. I stopped going to shows because thy were too late and I had to work in the morning or because I didn’t want to spend the money or I didn’t have anyone to go with or all those hipsters would judge me. I used to listen to music while writing my college and grad school papers (the Cocteau Twins, M. Ward, His Name Is Alive were all excellent paper-writing companions). Now when I work on the computer, I have an episode of something or other playing on Netflix.

I still listened to music sometimes. I would get tired of hearing so much chatter throughout the day and just wanted something different, but more often than not, I chose the spoken word over music.

But I miss it. So I decided to make a conscious effort to incorporate it back into my life. At first, I thought that maybe I’d only watch tv one night a week and then listen to music or read or whatever all the other nights. But I never got started with that plan because there was always something that I wanted to watch. Then my older and very wise brother suggested that I reverse it. Instead of excluding television 6 nights out of the week (which, let’s face it, wasn’t going to happen), I just take one day out of the week where I only listen to music. Brilliant idea!

I decided to rededicate Monday as my all-music day. So I pulled out the old ipod on my way home from work and started scrolling around in there for something to listen to. I landed on the Pixies and they just totally hit the spot. I’m going to post one of my favorite songs (though it was so hard to decide which). You can listen to it on your computer if you want, but I would encourage you to download it, put it on your phone or your ipod or on a CD or whatever, and play it in your car with the sound turned up and the windows rolled down. That’s my favorite way to listen to the Pixies.

Pixies: Velouria

So now I have a several years’ worth of music to catch up on. Anyone have any suggestions?


farewell Music Mondays

Well, here it is… the last Monday before my extra WordPress space expires and I can no longer upload mp3 files.

I almost titled this post “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” because that’s how the house feels right now. The rest of the household is gone to Utah for a week, and it’s really quiet here. I have never been more productive. Today I came home and read a chapter in a used e-learning textbook that I bought and wrote three blog posts on my new technical writing blog. (I know you’re all dying to start reading that one.) I still need to create a header for it and customize it so it looks all pretty, but I’m really proud of myself for getting so much done today. It’s not even 9 o’clock. The dishes are done. The laundry is in the dryer.

But it’s kind of lonely.

The last thing on my teux deux list today is to post the last song(s). I think it’s only fitting that I end Music Monday kind of where it began. No, not with an Eric Clapton song because I still haven’t given him a chance, but someone else from my brother-in-law’s ipod, which is conveniently placed on a speaker in the kitchen. While I was cleaning up today after dinner, I finally remembered to listen to Neil Young. Whenever I hear a Neil Young song, I always think – hey, who is this? I like it! So I put on his Greatest Hits (because a girl has to start somewhere) and found this song.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold

And to really go out big (and because it’s the season):

Neil Young: Like a Hurricane

I may decide to start posting music again at a later date, but I don’t think I’ll do Music Monday again. I started it because I wanted to see what it would be like to have a “regularly scheduled” time to post. I didn’t like it so much, and obviously wasn’t very faithful with it. I do like sharing music with people (and I hope you liked it to), but I’ve lately discovered that I don’t really like to feel obligated. Rather than having fun with it, Music Monday became just another thing that I felt like I had to do. I’d really rather just post when the mood strikes.

finding a pound in the underground

I have been neglecting my Music Monday posts of late. I just haven’t listened to anything I really wanted to post. But then I got notice that my WordPress space upgrade is expiring at the end of August, which means I won’t be able to upload mp3 files anymore, which means the end of Music Monday. So I thought I had better take advantage of it while it’s still around.

Part of the reason I haven’t been very committed to Music Monday is that I kind of feel this pressure that I should be posting something hip and obscure. Even though a quick glance at the Music Monday archives reveals that I haven’t ever actually posted anything like that, I still feel that expectation. I think the most successful Music Monday posts, from my perspective, are the ones where the songs connect in some way to my life. I tend to be a little (a lot) sentimental, so I really like resurrecting some of these old songs and sharing them.

With that in mind, I am going to post some songs that I have been wanting to share for months. It kind of surprises me how much I love these songs and how often I listen to them. The Sundays go back to high school. It’s another band whose CDs I used to steal from my brother. Then I finally found a used copy of Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic at a used music store during my first year of college in Mass. They evoke rainy days, long drives, singing at the top of my lungs, and feeling just a little melancholy. My favorite way to feel. As usual, I can’t decide on a song, so here are three:

The Sundays: My Finest Hour

The Sundays: Can’t Be Sure

The Sundays: Here’s Where the Story Ends

Related anecdote: Last season on American Idol, Kara DioGuardi told one of the contestants that she should sing a song by the Sundays. Just that minor reference actually made me like her for a good several weeks. Unfortunately, the contestant chose my least favorite Sundays song to sing. Such a wasted opportunity.

dream maker, you heart breaker

We got back from Savannah late last night. We had such a good time, even though it was much too short and I came home with bronchitis. I’ll be posting more about the trip later this week. I’m still going through all the photos, but since it’s Music Monday, I thought I’d share a song connected with Savannah.

The first place we visited in Savannah was Bonaventure Cemetery, the burial place of songwriter Johnny Mercer.

I didn’t realize until just now how many famous songs Mercer either wrote or collaborated with. I knew him primarily for the song, “Moon River.” I loved the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s when I was in junior high. How could a young girl not love Holly Golightly’s black dresses and big hats? I loved that she kept her perfume bottle in the mail box and her slippers in the fridge. I loved her 60s hair styles, and of course, the closing scene of Holly and Paul kissing in the rain. How I longed for a fire escape on which I could perch and play the guitar.

I just love this song. It’s even better when sung by Andy Williams. My parents had this Golden Voices CD with songs by Sinatra (Frank and Nancy) and Dean Martin and the likes. It also had this version of Andy Williams singing “Moon River.”

Andy Williams: Moon River

(Hey, if it’s good enough for Nelson Muntz, it’s good enough for me.)