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1. If my Korean next-door-apartment-neighbor and I ever meet, and we somehow manage to understand each other, he’ll be like, “Hey, great singing!” and I’ll be all, “Hey, great puking last Tuesday night! Also, can I use your microwave?”

2. Remember Vine?

3. Where are all these engaged people coming from? (She’s engaged? When did she even get a significant other?) It is surely Spring.

4. No matter where I go, Bob Dylan follows me around and sings to me (figuratively speaking). It’s lovely to be sitting at my window at night, gazing out at the multitude of neon lights of Seoul, and think about how I listened to this same beautiful song in so many other beautiful places.

5. “It’s fine to be alone.” “Is it?”

6. No, I am not interested in buying expensive lotion-covered plastic wrap, thank you. Where are these things coming from?! Why?! Why?! 

7. I’m a pretty chill person. I don’t get upset easily. I don’t hold grudges. However, if you tell me you’re sending me a letter, and then 1 to 2 weeks pass, and I receive no letter, just know that I now hate you. Don’t mess with my heart like that! 

8. Be kind.

9. It’s 2014. We have all kinds of efficient, safe, comfortable ways to travel. So, why have you not left your mother country? Your homeland? Your place of birth? Sure it’s great. I get it. Guess what else is great? Basically everywhere else.

10. Recently I googled broheim to make sure I was spelling it correctly. I was.

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Ok, whatever, these guys are on “the radio”. I don’t listen to the radio, ok? It’s not my fault. Stop blaming me, sheesh! It’s just been awhile since I’ve heard an album that sounds this good when played as an album instead of individual songs. This is art, man! Or just good music. Which surprises all of us these days, right? Especially good music with good beats and good lyrics! And good accents. Do you know who I’m talking about yet? I’ll give you a hint. No, I’ll just tell you. Calm down!

 

 

Passenger

First of all, I don’t even mess around with bands if they don’t sing well live. Ain’t nobody got time for… well, you know.

 

I mean really, the words are so good. Are you listening? So Ed Sheeran/Bob Dylan or some other lovely combo.

 

One more. Check out their whole album if you haven’t heard it yet or if you don’t listen to “the radio”.

Get some music for your ipod here

Follow Passenger on Twitter. (I wasn’t following them. Oops.)

 

Something that’s sort of interesting about bands that become popular and then stick around for decades is that even though they’re still around, most of the time they’re really only still popular because of their past; because they’ve made some great music in their heyday, and they just happen to still be around and still strumming out tunes. I feel like if Elvis was still around, this would be the case: he’d still be swinging his hips or whatever, and his fans from the 60s would fill up his concerts and buy his new albums even though they might be totally different from “Hound Dog”. The same thing seems to have happened to Bob Dylan. I think his early music is great, and I think most people who are Dylan fans sort of casually ignore/forget that he’s pumping out new songs as well as charmingly reproducing his music from forty years ago. Speaking of reproducing (pun alert), Bob Dylan also made himself a son, who has gone on to make some lovely music of his own. So this Good Music Monday is a shout-out to father and son…

Bob Dylan & Jakob Dylan

and son…

Add some Bob Dylan to your ipod here.

Add some Jakob Dylan to your ipod here.

 

It’s Monday, and it’s summer, and it’s really freaking hot. Which reminds me of last summer, and this really cool band I saw that was the opener for another act in Detroit in a tiny, packed basement show. Usually you want openers to get off the stage as soon as possible, to get to the actual reason you’re in a tiny, sweltering, basement in the first place. But, sometimes, rarely, they’re so good you don’t mind their presence that much. That’s what happened when this crazy/cool/weird group took the stage, called

Youth Lagoon

With their music they put all of us in that basement in a weird and wonderful swaying trance-like state. It was pretty magical. For being in a trance, I guess.

Follow Youth Lagoon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/youthlagoon

Check out their weird music for yourself and put some on your ipod here.

Oh, did I mention the lead singer has a dylan-fro? Yeah.

As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” (You read/watch Game of Thrones, right? Of course you do.)

Winter means bulky sweaters and dark colored clothing. No more white pants, you guys. (Why do you have white pants anyway? That’s a no-no.)

Winter can also be, you know, cold. And dreary. And: “I don’t really care what I look like as long as I’m warm!

I get that. I’m all aboard that train, so to speak. But there’s no reason you can’t still look good/fashionable/like-you’re-not-dying during the winter months.

That said, I’ll say this next: I want to bring back black.

Black is a great color/all of the colors combined. Yes, there is this idea out there that only Goths wear black. Or, that too much black is too much, er, black.

But that’s just not true! Haven’t you seen pictures of Bob Dylan from the sixties?

Look at that cool cat! Let’s bring back black. Maybe we can all be as cool as Dylan in 1966!

Here’s how I would do it:

Black Pleated Dress  ∞  $44 dorothyperkins.com

Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats in Black  ∞  $595 forwardforward.com

ALEX AND CHLOE Queen Noir Ring  ∞  $2200 alexandchloe.com

 Stella & Dot Ella Bracelet  ∞  $44 stellaadot.com

Kenzo Graphic Knit Sweater  ∞  $641 lagarconne.com

 Juicy Couture Color Blocked Fedora  ∞  $105 jades24.com

Mineral Triangle Ring  ∞ $20 topshop.com

 Cheska Black Patent Chelsea Boot   ∞  $40 boohoo.com

 Black Garland Balcony Bra  ∞ $40 debenhams.com

 

So, remember that one time I wrote about how I never do things alone and that doing things on your own can seem strange, difficult – maybe even impossible? Stuff like going to the movies alone, or out to eat at a restaurant all by yourself?

Being the sort of person who always has other people with me when I go do things, the thought of being alone with myself in public, like, doing things, was a scary thought.

Then, I did it. Twice. No, three times. Well, actually – four times.

This summer, I went to four concerts by myself. Well, that’s an outright lie – once I took a friend along to help me sell “merchandise” (wow, that looks sketchy! I swear, it was T-shirts and CDs – nothing illegal!). Then – the next night – I went to the same concert in a different city (this time actually alone) and sold “merch”, again. But, here’s the reason I don’t really count this experience as being “alone” – because I had done it before, and was, technically, meeting someone there  – the guy I was going to sell stuff for. I had an agenda. I wasn’t really going alone.

It all happened about a month later, in late July. Twice.

So, remember that one time I wrote about Father John Misty? Yeah, me too! Well, that musical discovery led me to the additional discovery that Father John himself was going to perform a show in Michigan. My hometown! (state. My homestate?) I had to go!

Only – none of my friends liked Father John Misty! None of my friends really knew about Father John Misty. Same went for my family. No one cared! No one wanted to go to Pontiac, Mi with me! Nooooo!

So, I decided not to care about whether someone else could go. I could go! So, I would! And, so, I did.

Going to a concert alone was basically everything I expected it to be. As I considered myself a concert pro after attending two-in-one-weekend a month earlier, I knew some moments could get awkward. Oh, and they did! Think: standing in the middle of a room surrounded by groups of friends, staring blank-faced towards the stage, waiting almost two hours for the show to start. I stood. I stared. I swayed (not to any music, just from foot-weariness). I was most definitely alone. I did, however, find a companion in the crowd who was there with her parents (so, kind of alone), and we struck up a conversation. See, this is how it’s done! Being alone! You meet people! It’s great!

Father John Misty was just fantastic. A true musician and performer. He danced! He played the tambourine! He danced while playing the tambourine.

The Man Misty

He was beautiful, and tall, and his voice was beautiful, and the band was beautiful, and the music, too, was beautiful. I stood, and stared, and swayed (this time to the music!). The crowd was really into it. I was alone, but it didn’t matter.

After his set, the headlining band came out to play. Youth Lagoon. I had never heard of them. Neither had my new there-with-her-parents friend.

They took a long time to get set up. I thought about leaving. FJM was done, and I was alone standing with groups of friends again – should I just go home?

No, I decided. I would stay. It had already been awkward. I had already stood there alone for 4 hours. Bring it, clock. I was waiting for Youth Lagoon, gosh dang it. Whoever they were.

Thirty minutes later, a short, skinny, bushy-haired boy came out from backstage and sat down at the newly-placed piano. He looked sort of like young Bob Dylan. He sang sort of like young Bob Dylan. He was freaking good. It was freaking weird music. It was freaking fantastic. I was freaking alone and it didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter because that music made us all into a single-brained creature. It was like jamming in a garage with a guy with a guitar. He sang, and rocked out on his piano for long periods of time. He just played.

We swayed. There was head bobbing. Everything became that boy on his piano. There wasn’t a crowd. There weren’t people. There was loud, strange, flowing music. I wasn’t alone; I was no longer there.

The next night, I did it again – went to a concert alone. A different concert, this time. I went to Detroit, Mi (to the coolest concert venue ever, Saint Andrew’s) to see this kid named George “Watsky“. He’s from Youtube. He’s a poet/rapper/awesome person.

Watsky!

His show was so different from the Father John Misty show. First off, the crowd was totally different. At FJM and Youth Lagoon’s show, there were young, hippy sort of kids. Clean cut, pop-drinkers. At George’s show – more young kids. Younger, I think. A lot more males. A lot more baseball caps on backward. A lot more head-bopping and fist-waving. It was cool, though. If a little crowded (we were in the basement!). Also, there was a minute there when I thought I was going to die. (No biggie.) Can you say, everybody in this already-sardine-can of a room rush to the front of the stage as fast as possible? Me, I clung onto a ceiling-support beam and allowed the mass of people to surge by.

It’s really hard to feel alone when there is a human stampede happening all around you.

While these alone-adventures were scary, they were also really rewarding. I felt proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone, and for proving to myself that I really didn’t need other people to go out into the world and do and see cool things.

More and more, I’m realizing that doing things you are afraid of moves you closer and closer to the person you dream of becoming.

So, who do you want to be? Are you good at being alone?

Another monday has found it’s way into our lives. Fear not – I’ve got some good music for you!

What is good music? Have you heard the junk they play on the radio these days? Aren’t there any talented musicians around?!

Of course! But they can be hard to find…

Wait! What about all that music that was made not-so-recently? As in, in the past? What happened to that music? People liked music way back then, right? Where did it go? There’s got to be tons of good music, just waiting for us (modern music archeologists, if you will) to dig it back up out of the dust!

I’ve found the first musician for you. (You’re welcome!) I was watching Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home (watch it on Hulu! Fo’ Free!) when who should appear on the screen but

John Jacob Niles

What?! What a voice! (I’m a falsetto lover) I didn’t even know this guy existed! How many more fantastic artists have we forgotten? Let’s dig ’em up! (Not literally.)

Here’s another, if you’re into high-pitched male voices.

Yeeesss, please!

This stuff is from the 1930s. Can you believe it? People made music back then! Yes, shocking, I know.

Here’s a tip to remember: When the music on the radio is really bad, remember that there is tons of good music floating around waiting to be discovered! You may be surprised by what you find. I sure am! Ok, now, off to listen to more of Mr. Niles!

(Also, can we talk about how cool a name he had? John Jacob Niles, everybody!)

Add some J.J.N. to your ipod! No more crappy radio music for you!

Go ‘Way From My Radio.