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Can you hear yourself talking? Sometimes all I hear is the loud noise that comes from your lips. The whining empty words that don’t mean anything, the drift-less thoughts, the sentences just filling up time and space.

I wish I could sing like him. I wish I would take the time to learn how to make music, how to make more beautiful things. I can’t hear myself; I only listen closely to other people. I can hear when you’re not hearing me.

His hair is shorter now and his face is long. I remember the sounds in the room, the stillness of standing alone. My stomach grumbles and she asks me how to make soup. I will dream of it all tonight, music and carving potatoes and sharpening knives in the tiny, dirty kitchen.

When I wake up she is still here. A lot of people have disappeared, somehow. I am grinning and my jaw hurts. He tells me stories about the bay and people who ride bicycles. I imagine all of the roads I will have to drive on between here and there. Where will all of my books go, all of my stories?

I have so much to say, but he is not the one to say it to; I know, I’ve read the list of approved questions and answers. I have met him before over the years, I can see him and hear him well. My guitar is leaning against the wall; it’s ready to go, it’s waiting, too. Beautiful and terrible things and people just want more of everything even if you don’t have any to share.

The conversation goes on without me. He is singing in the background of my head and I’m not paying attention. Are you always this quiet? They ask, they are the same people, I have met them all before, I will meet them all again, I will love them until they don’t say enough.

She is eating a cheese sandwich somewhere on the other side of the world. She finally found a girl who will laugh at her jokes. She speaks softly and wants more for you than what you have. I want to be strong like her someday, I want my strumming hand to be strong, I want him to smile in photographs.

He is a straight boy with dyed black hair and thin lips. He looks like a mass murderer, really, but he’s wonderful. She swears to me she won’t talk to him today, but she does, she does, she does. I send her pictures of flowers and we talk about things that are important and I don’t feel guilty afterward like I’ve done something bad.

It seems like everyone good will end up there with me. You know how to tell the difference by now, don’t you? What good is growing older if we can’t shake their hand and see the outcome? But that is why you and I are not the same, that is why I love the people that I do, that is why you’re staying there and we’re leaving here.

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1. Who do you think you are?! No, really, who are you? Putting on different fake faces for different people isn’t a good way to live life.

2. Here’s the thing you forgot, the thing you’ve been searching for: it isn’t that you want to do it, it’s that you must do it.

3. If you leave the music on your iPod long enough, you’ll start to like at all again! (Might take several years.)

4. I’m pretty excited (geeked!) for the new Stars Wars movie. I didn’t even think I liked Star Wars that much! Where’s the VHS box set?! Dig it out of the basement, please. Yes, I did forget what VHS were called! I googled it.

5. I haven’t practiced French in 6 months. Oops! But really, when are they going to come up with an “upgrade” for my brain?! My computer has to update every once in awhile, why can’t some program add “French V.1.0” to my head while I sleep?! #questions

6. Being cruel in an attempt to be funny, isn’t. It just makes you an asshole.

7. “You found out what kind of person to be from your parents.” “But I’m nothing like my parents.” “You found out what kind of person to be from your parents.”

8. It’s all okay.

9. Where are we going? Why is it so confusing? Why is it so hard? Why is it so easy for some people? What’s wrong with them?! 

10. Where to now?

Who cares if the last Good Music Monday was more than a year ago?! I sure don’t!

It’s Spring! Birds are twittering and floating on air currents, chipmunks are scurrying to hide from my cat in the front yard, and I’m listening to weird/really good music that sounds just like all of that combined! It just happened. There are a lot of howls and weird noises and references to animals in these songs. But it’s all good, so just listen!

Happy Monday! (Please let me know if you have any weird Spring music that I can listen to!)

Wolves – Phosphorescent

Furr – Blitzen Trapper

Only For You – Heartless Bastard

Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys

First – Cold War Kids

Do You – Spoon

How Do I Know – Here We Go Magic

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1. How many times is too many times? How much is too much? How vague is too vague?

2. You know your life’s exciting when you find yourself researching how to keep your houseplants watered so they don’t die when you leave them for an extended period of time. My babies!

3. Maybe you’re not bored but boring.

4. So, the World Cup is pretty cool, eh? #American

5. I wonder if I’m annoying my apartment neighbor by playing Sondre Lerche’s Bad Law over and over and over…. oh well.

6. I get it, you have opinions. About everything. And you’re very outspoken. And you hate that other people have opinions. Because they’re always wrong. Or offensive. Or politically incorrect. Maybe you should just get off the internet, because sharing all of these articles and making virtual support groups for offended people is not going to solve anything. Or maybe you’re just bored otherwise?

7. He has brown eyes. Of course he does.

8. People on Instagram totally take some of those photos with like real cameras, right? It’s ok, you can tell me!

9. If you can go outside and look up and see blue sky, and if you can go to the grocery store and buy strawberries at any month of the year, you’re fortunate. Please feel fortunate, for me. The gray-sky, berry-less lady. Thanks.

10. Wake up in the middle of the night and smile to yourself and go back to sleep.

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1. Musical festivals are not your friend.

2. “I accidentally read a wiki page on it today.”

3. Oh, god, is it Summer already?! I forgot what hot, humid weather felt like! WHY did we want this?!

4. “If not now, when? If not now, never.” was something I told myself/fought with myself about last week. I was so so so scared to do something, something simple, even though I really wanted to! So then I did it. And it was great! SO JUST DO IT, OK, SHEESH. Whatever it is. Do it. You’ll be afraid but you’ll also be ok.

5. I’m beginning to like K-Pop. …SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM KOREA!

6. He was beautiful but not kind. So, technically, not beautiful.

7. I’m getting very tired of having to tell you to GET THE FUCK OUT. Leave. GO. Do something! Go somewhere! Be someone you want to be! People like you fade from my heart. Please don’t.

8. Write a letter to yourself in the future. Say anything. Tell them what you want to be doing in a year. Tell your future self what you had for breakfast today. Anything. Put it in an envelope. Wait six months or more to read it.

9. It’s not gonna be easy but it will be okay. HASHTAGlife.

10. Wanna write something for heyinfinity.com?! Of COURSE you do! And we want to hear from you! Send an email with your idea to: heyinfinityjenni@gmail.com

I was writing a letter to a friend today (snail mail, anyone? Heard of it?) talking about how even when you live in foreign countries, there are times when it doesn’t feel foreign at all. And then there are times when your “immigrant” status hits you right in your face when you’re crossing the street. Oh wait, that was a guy on a bike. But you get my point.

Today something like that happened, but in a positive way. There I was, wandering around a Seoul neighborhood, with only a vague idea of how to get back to the subway station, searching for a “mart” (aka grocery store) that was bigger than the dinky one in my neighborhood. As I walked, reading the signs that were in Korean like I knew any Korean at all, I enjoyed the nice Spring morning, the weird spindly trees, and noted the location of the numerous parks and libraries and cafes I passed. I had walked up and down three of the four cross-streets near the subway station when I finally found a big ole Mart. I stepped inside, grabbing bananas and hot sauce! and tortillas! and wandered around in the refrigerated section. I was doing some more eye-skimming of Korean words: colorful bags of something that looked like potato chips, crazy-large bottom-feeder fish that were in giants tanks in the seafood area, some tiny bottles of Yakult.

While this gazing and wandering was happening, a song came on the radio and for some reason it caught my attention. The beginning was only melody, no lyrics, and my face crumpled in confusion. How did I know this song? I’m not yet versed in any K-pop, I don’t listen to the radio. I know approximately zero Korean songs. And then…

Paolo Nutini started singing to me in the middle of the snack aisle. In English! My head whipped back in silent laughter. I was just listening to this song, talking about this song to my friends! Good old Paolo. It was a beautiful moment; I could have cried it was so beautiful. But I didn’t. In that moment, there in that strange store in a strange neighborhood in a new country, I didn’t feel so far away from anything, I didn’t feel so foreign. And I may have danced a little after that, still wandering around my new favorite Mart, singing with Paolo and pondering buying a weekly supply of seaweed.

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I’m sitting (actually laying) in a hotel room somewhere in Chicago. I’m supposed to be somewhere over the ocean by now, halfway to halfway across the world, on a plane to South Korea. Now that’s happening tomorrow instead. So, here I sit. (Lay.)

When I first walked into my temporary home, the huge bed, wide desk, and sofa/ottoman thing excited me. Look at all these large comfy surfaces!, I thought (or something similar).

Then I made some coffee. Because why not. And then I drank said coffee. Because I was bored. And then I turned on all the lamps in my hotel room (there are like six different lamps, including two built into the headboard!). Because the coffee was no longer entertaining me. Then I sat (lay) down on the extra-large bed with the white feather-stuffed blanket. And then the room seemed too large, the lamps too bright, South Korea, and me, too far away from all the people I love.

Doing interesting things is hard. Traveling is hard. Moving to the other side of the planet seems difficult. (I’ll let you know how that goes later on.) If you admit to being weak, does that make you any stronger? Do we always need people? What does that even mean? Am I just being silly? Emotional? Over-dramatic? I never can tell.

Maybe I can blame the people I’ve been hanging out with. Those humans I call friends, who make me laugh so hard my head seems to whip around on its own, who make me cry talking about the wonder of life, who embarrass me by talking about… well… stuff.

A few years ago, I never felt this way, like I needed people in my life. I think I was much more self-sufficient. Or maybe I was just wrong. Or maybe I just hadn’t met the right human beings.

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the blood of the lamb, I am the holy
I am the teller of tales, I am a story
I am and the elephant king but I am lonely.

I am the prophet's confession on his deathbed
I am the soil of the earth, I am the purebred
I am the listener hearing all that's unsaid
I am the magazines hiding under your bed

And you can't take my kingdom away from me.

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the voice of the song, I am the lowly
I am the chosen protector of the dreary
I am the elephant king but I am lonely

So take my jewels and gems, take all that shines bright
Take all the signs of my power away from my sight
I will go to a land of constant daylight
I will talk to myself 'til I am alright

But take good care, I'll be back sooner than you think
'Cause you can't take my kingdom away from me.

It’s Monday! Today we’re going to do something different. Today I’m going to make you a mix-tape. Cool, right?

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Oh, yeah. Maybe I should have mentioned that I call this “the mix-tape of sadness”. Sorry about that. But we all have those songs that we use to listen to over and over again and we loved them, and now when we listen to those songs it just isn’t the same! Maybe you heard the words too many times, or you thought of a certain person when you listened to a song, or you decided one Thursday that you had to stop listening to so much swing music. Whatever it is, however it happens, it happens. So, here’s my mix-tape of sadness. Tell me yours!

Automechanic – Jenny O. 

Maybe – Josiah Leming

Opportunity – Pete Murray 

Rewind – Paolo Nutini 

Came Out of a Lady – Rubblebucket 

Big Jet Plane – Angus and Julia Stone

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He was singing and lovely and every time he got close enough to the mass of people they rushed forward in a sudden attempt to touch him.

Hands reached up like they were stretching for the very last hanging apple in a starving world. But they weren’t really starving. Or were they? They didn’t know why they wanted to touch him. Or maybe they did.

The crowd surged forward in front of me, but I stood still in my tiny concert space, my hand still raised and waving in the air. The eight feet between me and the front of the stage, once spread thick with people, suddenly emptied; the twelve or fourteen inches at the front, the “front row”, suddenly full of all of those bodies who had once taken up much more space. Had needed more space. Had been people dancing and waving their arms. Not hungry apple grabbers. Not humans stretching for something they couldn’t quite reach.

I understood what was happening. I was a part of it too, am a part of it, I won’t pretend not to be. If anyone else had spit water into the crowd, a drop of it landing on my forehead like holy water, well, I wouldn’t be referring to it as holy water, now would I?

I’ve seen this so many times, I’ve experienced this so often, but I still go back. I still put myself in crowds of hungry people. I still am them.

“I touched him!” someone squeals after the wave of people returns to resting position. They grin, eyes wild, laughing at their own excitement, unsure.

Religion will always exist, even after all the gods are killed by man. Putting people on pedestals, whether or not they deserve it, whether or not anyone can ever deserve it, will always happen.

It’s ok, it’s fine. Isn’t it?

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.)