Finest Work Song

It’s days like today I really wish I could listen to music at work. We used to be able to, and then one day I was told that it was no longer an option. I blame the intern who used to listen with really huge headphones. Blah on you, intern. Because of you, days like today are far more difficult to deal with. On the positive side, however, I am way less tempted to sing at work. Which happens more often than you’d think. (The temptation to sing, not the actual singing. Nobody wants to hear that.)

William Congreve said it best when he said, “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” And when people frustrate me, it’s always music that can make it all better. Today, for instance, I had to deal with some not smart people. Well, to be fair, I don’t know if it’s particularly that they weren’t smart, or that they just did things in a strange order that didn’t make sense to me. A week after I sent a report, they told me it was not right. Of no fault of my own. But the report was apparently wrong, or so they said, and they waited a week (after they’d already invoiced us for the report I’d sent) to tell me this. UGGGH. I so wanted some death metal today. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive, but when I am in a bad mood, and I listen to aggro music like that, it somehow calms me down. I needed that.

There are other times, however, when it would just put me in a worse mood, and it’s those times I need something a little more calm. Preferably something with a very positive message, like happy Jesus loves you type messages. Because I have to be reminded sometimes that Jesus loves me. And the people I’m mad at. Especially the people I’m mad at.

I’m really bummed I don’t have that release anymore. Instead, today, I went off in a huff to my friend Rich’s desk and complained. Which is probably not the best use of my time. But at least it was after hours, so I wasn’t cutting into actual work time. But it was still complaining, and I need to quit complaining.

Soon as I got home I switched to the death metal. And slowly worked myself down the mellow track to Sufjan Stevens’s Michigan album. Which is where I am now. And the worries of my day are somewhere in Pickerel Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw? (Da da da da da da…)

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Forget the drama, remember the love (or how Chris August helps me keep my humanity)

I find it funny how many people hate this time of year. Sometimes I count myself among them, and I think I have pretty good reasons. You might pick the obvious reason, and that’s because I lost my mom almost four years ago. My Christmases just have not been the same since then. They’re still good. I still really enjoy spending time with my extended family (namely my dad’s brother John and his family). I love seeing them, but it always seems there is someone missing, and that someone is my mother. There is a hole that can never get filled. I understand that part of hating Christmas.

But more than that, it’s the family drama. There is some in my life. And I think that is more of the reason why I find myself in the worst of my Scrooge moments this time of year. In my life it’s the stuff that goes unsaid that always kills me. So and so has a grudge and won’t say why. (Those of you who know me well can probably guess who so and so is.) So and so has a grudge and won’t forgive me for what I don’t know I did. It’s frustrating, but in the end there is nothing much to do but put up with it.

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Nostalgia Thursday: Final Jeopardy

I was toying with a lot of ideas for what I’d like to do for Nostalgia Thursday. Yes, I seem to have been slacking lately in my blogging, and for that I apologize. It’s been a crazy couple weeks. As usual, this time of year brings with it a lot of stress and things to do. Add to that, the fact that I’ve spent two days trying to transfer all my data from my old computer to the new one I’m blogging from now, and setting up the Photo Booth for Christmas Fest at church (it’s a real work of art, let me tell you!), and I seem to have very little time for things I enjoy. Like blogging about music.

Tonight I took a break. While I was attempting my fourth (and finally successful!!) attempt at migrating the data and software to this beautiful new Macbook Pro, from my old, slow and slightly worn black Macbook, I decided to watch Jeopardy. I used to watch it with my mom all the time, but at this point I’m usually doing stuff at 7pm, so now I don’t watch it much. But I was glad I did, because Final Jeopardy gave me the perfect bit of nostalgia, a song which also just makes me feel good and relaxed. We are pulling from the 80’s with this one….

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Nostalgia Thursday: Black Dog

I’ve been dog sitting for the past few days (basically since I got back from the wedding), so in honor of that, I decided to post about a song that reminds me of my days back at Adelphi.

Every time I hear it I think of Jack, a guy I used to work with there who shared my love of Led Zeppelin. One day he was down the hall and called out, “Hey, hey mama!” And I finished the line. By the time we caught up with each other in the middle of the hall, we were both in the middle of the guitar solo. I’m pretty sure Chaka poked his head out of his office and said, “White people…” But that might have been some other time. He said that a lot.

He was fun to work with. Then we had a falling out and I never talked to him again. But for a few brief moments, we bonded over this song.

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This might get me branded as the crazy cat lady

I kind of am. My friends all knew this and now so does the world. But now that Christmas season is almost here, I figure it’s a good time to come out about two things. One, my crazy cat lady status, which I’ve just done.

Two, my extreme dislike for sleigh bells. Seriously, can’t we come up with a new “Christmas-y” sound? Maybe it’s because I get so sick of them in the month(s) leading up to the holiday that I just can’t take it anymore. Besides, I challenge you to to find anywhere in the Christmas story where there is the use of sleigh bells. Angels, yes. Sleigh bells, no.

Because of this, I’m not really into the traditional Christmas music. Know what’s better? Cats! And NO SLEIGH BELLS!!  And a little Guster couldn’t hurt. Enjoy…

By the way, I do know Guster and cats are also not in the Christmas story, but they’re way more entertaining than the bells.

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Road Trip

As you’ve noticed (I hope!) my posting has been sparse (er, nonexistent) over the past few days, but it was for a good cause. My cousin got married up in Albany, and I was maid of honor. Which by the way, was a total honor. But that’s besides the point. Also, on Thursday, I drove to another cousin’s house in Connecticut to spend time with my dad’s three brothers and their wives (and my dad, but I see him all the time). So I didn’t really have a whole lot of time for posting, since within the past 4 days, I logged 9 hours of drive time in my car. For me, the best way to pass that time is with the right driving soundtrack.

You’re shocked I’m sure.

This is vitally important to me though, because one of the things I really like to avoid is scanning through local radio stations and trying to find something to pass my time. Because inevitably, I never do. Well, it’s rare anyway. And once I do find a good station, it lasts maybe 20 minutes, and it fades. This is especially bad in the mountains, which I go through to get to Albany. Continue reading

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Nostalgia Thursday — Canon in D

I decided to take a departure from the songs of my adolescence, and go for one from before that.  As I’ve mentioned before, my younger years were laced with mostly Civil War songs and soft rock. And a lot of classical music from the Baroque era. And that is where I get this week’s nostalgia. I remember being about 8 years old and having driven down to Florida with my family to the baroque soundtrack of my dad’s liking, and having Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” stuck in my head and just falling in love with it. I can’t tell you why, but it gives me the chills every time I hear it.

I know there are pieces that are way less overplayed and just as gorgeous, but there is a reason why this one is so popular. It just brings me to another place.

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Shazam my Commute

This is an idea I’ve had for awhile. Basically since I’ve discovered the Shazam app is now unlimited and available in Android. Shazam is awesome. It tells you what song is playing. So say you’re hearing some muzak on hold or something (there is no accounting for taste) and you really want to know who’s playing that fine soprano sax. You put the music on speaker phone (or hold it up to the ear thing) and let your cell phone listen to the music. (This assumes you are NOT using your cell phone to actually place the call for which you are on hold) Shazam will listen to a clip and tell you what’s playing. It also works in restaurants, friends’ cars, the radio, etc, etc. It’s a pretty cool app.

So I decided one day I’d tag every song on the radio during my commute. This includes when I get sick of the radio and revert to one of the CD’s in my car. This does not include songs I don’t know and realize I dislike them after about 30 seconds. Mainly because I’d probably want to shoot myself after listening to crap for as long as the phone takes to gather the info, and I really don’t care what song it is anyway. And so I did it today. Here now is my commute home today, in music — the good, the bad and the slightly ugly: Continue reading

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Why do I love YouTube?

Because I can relive my concert experiences.

Relived from 2 1/2 weeks ago

Beautiful Collision:

The Crowder / JMM duet

Thanks, dajldude1492! 🙂

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Just OK is not enough

This evening I was involved in a conversation that made me think of a song. This is not a shock. This happens a lot. There is a reason why my friend once called me a musicologist.

Anyway, without going into great detail, the idea came up about attaining a certain level of comfort in your life. At some point you get to a place where people think you’re a success at [insert successful thing here] and you just sort of coast along there, when you really have the potential for more. Like a runner who says, “Well, I’ve made the goal of a two hour half marathon, so I’m gonna be happy with that” instead of now trying for a 1:50 half.
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