A modern day Western of a song.
A modern day Western of a song.
In a post not too long ago at all, I declared 2020 as “The Year of Live Music”.
As time presses on, I am more and more wrong.
Here’s the updated roster:
My pity party aside, please do not misunderstand: I think it is much more important for everyone to stay inside for as long as it takes, the government to do more, and have an organized plan for this time and reentry.
While my planned adventures have waned, I have been continuing my adventures in a mundane fashion within a 4 mile radius:
Honestly, that’s about it. The little escapes and things continue to be everything as I am not great at being positive at the moment, and as I believe negativity is toxic, I am trying to improve on this and some habits. Ever a work in progress.
Here is a one of my favorite songs for times I’m processing but time still passes. Also it’s just a damn good song.
I will be retuning more soon with Vinyl Days and other musings. I’ve been in the weeds with work, school, some freelance stuff, as well as caring for my mental health (a constant!).
Okay okay, enough serious stuff. Who is ready for some smutty, troubled dolls and puppets?
Well it doesn’t matter if you are ready or not because that’s what’s happening here today.
There are a surprising amount of music videos out there showing the explicit or tragic actions of our beloved dolls. These jams as well as videos are two of my favorites that are often left off these lists:
The first video (JJ Grey & Mofro) is pure fun, but it quickly becomes uncomfortable when you get into the Sweet Spirit video. Enjoy!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post winds a bit. The music is towards the end if you want to skip the rest.
While I am no longer located in the Alabama and feel very much the Bitter Southerner, there are some tastes I can’t (and won’t!) change:
Now that I have lived many places, I feel safe (with caveats) saying that the contemporary South gets a bad rap. Much of what people hear is the “squeaky wheel” of the South– the loudest folks aren’t always the plurality or the majority. From personal experience, it is hard to be “different” in the South and feel okay speaking up about it because of the squeaky wheels. While I high-tailed it to Chicago, many of my more progressive friends stayed and are speaking out and making a difference in Alabama.
It has taken me a long time to learn this and come to terms with this Southern part of me. Growing up, we weren’t taught about too many figures to be proud of in school (DISCLAIMER: There have been many GREAT Alabamians, but they get lost in the shuffle of bad Alabamians and bad Alabama history). So many of my favorite Alabamians came from works of fiction like the wonderful book To Kill A Mockingbird and, of course, the wonderful book turned film Forrest Gump.
What is to love about the movie version of Forrest Gump? For one, the soundtrack is great and MASSIVE. My sister had the soundtrack on c.d., and I believe it was 2-4 discs. However, there is also a lot to love about the main character: from a poor boy from a single parent home overcomes learning and physical disabilities to become a college football player, war hero, and shrimp tycoon, Forrest Gump teaches us to, at the very least, try. And damn if he can do it, so can any of us!
I also admire that his story tells of several different phases of life. The phase that always struck me the most was the Forrest’s running phase.
Running was a theme throughout Forrest Gump. As a boy, he runs to escape bullies. As a teen, he ran to escape the same bullies. As a college student, he runs as a football player at the University of Alabama. As a troop in Vietnam, he runs to save the lives of his comrades and ends Lt. Dan ancestral deathwish. And finally, as an adult, Forrest deals with his heartbreak after Jenny leaves him in the night.
After running across the country for three years, Forrest finally stops. Running went from a primal tool of escape from predators for Forrest to a form of escapism, processing, and therapy.
Finally, an exhausted Forrest announces he is tired and returns home. Were there problems to work out? Yes, but maybe Forrest found peace and worked through some problems.
Running for three years is an excessive way to work out your feelings, but running is a scientifically proven to
There are a slew of other benefits to running that are scientifically proven, and I appreciate that so much because science is king. The scientific points I posted above are the ones I am most focused on right now. With the pandemic, political instability, rampant narcissism, a family, friends I treasure dearly, work, school, a massively annoying writing hobby, and a tendency to get stuck in my own head, running helps me from becoming my own worst enemy.
I have been running actively since I was 12. I started off with track and field (yay) and then picked up cross-country (boo). I ran both through majority of middle school and high school– mainly doing well in middle distance. It was consuming, and I loved it. But I needed to know there was life outside of that hobby. I found out that, yes! There is life outside of running. 🙂 I continued running (for fun and health) in college and beyond. I was never much of a distance runner, but I did it for so long solely to manage my anxiety and, admittedly, maintain a hot bod. Now that I am not getting any younger, I am more focused on my own health– physical and mental.
With age, I focus less on running and more on lifting weights. However, the pandemic has made weight lifting a challenge. After my gym closed because of The Covids, I tried body weight workouts. I even got a pull up bar, but I have felt supremely uncomfortable doing this in a confined space that I am also working and living in. I also create a massive amount of heat. There was only one option: start running again.
Haters will say it’s fake, but the runner’s high is real which is why I keep doing it…20 years later (geez lord that’s nuts). I have often felt the vicious cycle of depression (thanks genetics), and I would tell my friends or other folks that suffer the same if you can do any one thing, I recommend walking, jogging, or running (and proper sleep). The depression, anxiety, and sleep might need help from a medical professional, but even with that help, running is effective. I think Forrest Gump felt all of this on his long runs.
Finding the motivation to run is difficult, especially when you are in the dumps. However, there are two things that usually get me going:
Since 2016, I have created 10 running playlists specifically for running. They are in different states of completion. There are duplicates on the lists (because these are the songs I find help me run most effectively). So, forgive me for the disarray, but to quote this meme man “It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.
I’m going to share half of those playlists right now. As I have begun making a new one quarterly, these are from the past year. I will go in reverse chronological order and post one song per playlist:
This is my latest running playlist. There are some old standbys on this (Rodrigo y Gabriela and Rage Against the Machine), but one very COVIDy track is The I.L.Y’s “Wash My Hands Shorty”.
This instance of the running playlists took a strange turn because I was not feeling so great. So going through it kind of makes my tummy hurt. However, here is a tune from Death From Above 1979 that is a good one:
This playlist was also made during a weird time. For a brief period of time, I was taking tap dancing classes. I would listen to this playlist both running and going back and forth to tap. I would often listen to this song on repeat:
This playlist is a bit more…normal: extensive, diverse, etc. It was also developed over months (probably because the weather was warmer, and I was more active).
I love this song so much and haven’t felt able to listen to it for a few months. However, I am still super into it after listening to it for this post:
While Forrest Gump had a great soundtrack to back-up an inspiring character, I also need my own motivational music while I heal my own mind and body with running. As I finish up this post, I found myself thinking of running as transcendent without even remembering the meditation connection. It’s true– if you push and will it, running is transcendent. I often feel among the moon and stars while doing.
I have another 5 running-specific playlists that are a bit less organized. I will share those in another post sometime.
If you read this and have songs you like to run, workout to, or that you think would be good for either, I would love to hear them. I would also love to hear any Forrest Gump, running & mental illness, or just general running stories.
Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” is a song that so many people (in the U.S.) at least are familiar with. It is another song that so eloquently says “eff right off,” and is a post-relationship review of how she fell victims to schemes and lies.
I posted the above version because I love the classic, no distractions song. I also really love the album cover because Carly Simon looks so beautiful and stylish. Eat your heart out, mouthy babes like Denise Richards.
There is a music video for “You’re So Vain” that is pretty…uh…interesting. The song takes a different turn than the version above, and I found it to be jarring, but perhaps you will feel differently.
Carly Simon has been mostly coy about who “You’re So Vain” is about. However, she has revealed more recently that the song is about three different men. Additionally, she revealed that the second verse is about Warren Beatty:
Oh, you had me several years ago,
When I was still naive,
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair,
And that you would never leave,
But you gave away the things you loved,
And one of them was me,
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee,
Clouds in my coffee…
Damn you, Warren.
I have, personally, taken issue with Warren Beatty ever since I was in 8th or 9th grade and first saw the film Splendor in The Grass, a 1961 starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, in his first theater role. In the film, Warren Beatty plays a young man who essentially drives a young girl crazy after dumping her under his father’s orders and societal pressure.
I’ve put the preview below, but I recommend a watch of the movie. This film was a crutch for me in early break-ups where I felt a sense of shame. The screenplay won an Oscar and is directed by the famed and controversial Elia Kazan.
Warren Beatty is a known player off-screen, which is no crime in itself. I do cringe a bit when I read he refers to himself as a “nice guy that has never misled anyone.” That’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one.
The on-screen and off-screen antics of Warren Beatty aside, I appreciate the parallels between the “wisening up” after a heartbreak that Carly Simon sings about and Natalie Wood plays out in both pieces of work.
And ending on a happier note…we all learn to move on from the pain– victim no more:
Just the other day, I posted praise for Phoebe Bridger’s gentle but blunt diss.
Today, I want to appreciate another woman who is a master at asking someone to take a hike: Emily Nenni, a rising honky tonk star that comes from Nashville.
Her Spotify bio is wonderful:
Here is the first rack of hers that I heard. It’s called “I Owe You Nothin'”:
Ask me for something,
Well get in line,
I owe you nothin’,
You can get with the times.
She has another great song along the same lines called “Hell of a Woman”.
I drank some te-kill-ya,
They said it would heal you,
But I nearly lost my reigns,
And Lord how I cried.
I’m a hellllll of a woman. x2
I’ve been disrespected,
But they’ve been corrected,
It’s expensive to own how you feel,
Cause talk is cheap,
And that’s not me,
Maybe once in a while when the liquor’s flowin’ free.
Anywho, this wonderful gal came out with a new EP called Long Game today. If you are into some honky tonk or girl power tunes, I definitely recommend you check her out.
I am very lucky to have a great, safe space to be in during the pandemic isolation. One of my favorite places to sit is an enclosed porch. Today, I was sitting out there, and it started to storm something fierce, and then, as I have mentioned we call it in the South, the devil started beatin’ his wife.
No matter. We’ve had a few beautiful days here in Chicago, and the rain came in to wash it away for bit. But I hope it will also calm the many moods. My own. And others.
Last week, I stumbled upon a really great band through an unexpected source, the 2009-2013 HBO series “Eastbound & Down”. I love the series, but that opinion aside, the soundtrack is seriously good. The Tindersticks song “The Organist Entertains” was the song that stood out to me most:
I fell down a rabbit hole and have found Tindersticks to be even better than the taste above. Tindersticks in an English band that has been around since 1991. I think if you like Nick Cave, you will very much be into Tindersticks. It was very difficult to pick only a are a few of my favorites because they are all damn good:
There is a future coming up behind,
And I can feel it but I don’t know where it’s coming from,
And I can hold it but I; I cannot see its face,
And time is out of my hand.
Bound together, separate,
Take these stones, build something,
Define the walls, decorate,
Our mouths on the glass, we believe we taste,
Everything we could have had.
I went flying around,
And I had my strings cut,
I wasn’t coming down.
I am not sure if Tindersticks is new to you, but whether they are or not, I hope you enjoy some of their songs. They have certainly touched my heart.
I have made a Spotify playlist over the past few months called “Dignity”. You can probably guess a few reasons someone might need to make themselves a physical manifestation of dignity, and one of those reasons is probably the reason for the creation of this playlist.
It is a playlist that has evolved over the past two months to the point where the tracks have evolved into other feelings (you can see the mood evolve as the numbers in the date column ascend). I still listen to it, and it comes in handy to process thoughts.
I like all of the songs on the playlist, as I did make the playlist. However one of the stand outs is this one that Tommy, who recently shared a guest post with me, recommended.
This track will sound super peaceful upon first listen, but it is a gentle veil over a burn. As Tommy informed me, this a diss track about the gross and abusive Ryan Adams.
I have emotional motion sickness,
Somebody roll the windows down,
There are no words in the English language,
I could scream to drown you out.
Super pumped about the absolute bangers I have for you today on Day 10. Catch up on the other days here.
Jim Croce is one of my favorite singers, song-writers, and performers. He generally seems extremely wholesome. I honestly can’t say I know this at all, but based on his Wikipedia page, he was a very hard worker and family man with a drive to make music professionally.
Sadly, he died in a plane crash after playing a concert in Nachitoches, Louisiana (from personal experience, a placename that is pronounced very differently than it is spelled). Although I know a bit about the things I write about ahead of time, I do learn some things, and I felt a little punch in the gut to learn Jim Croce was only 30 when he died.
This album was released 8 years after Jim Croce’s untimely death, and there are so many wonderful songs on it.
First, let us gaze upon this magnificence that is Journey. On the front side of the album, we have this very historically appropriate graphic, and on the back side…THE OUTFITS. Honestly, the backside should be the front. We’ve got polyster, some weird shiny space outfit, HAIR…the hair.
Evolution is Journey’s 5th studio album. Can’t say I am a huge Journey fan, but they are a karoake or car-ride or shower sing-a-long classic. And I respect the vocal power of Steve Perry.
This album includes “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”, which is probably my favorite Journey song if forced at gun point to choose one. I am pretty sure the guys are wearing the same outfits in this video as they are on the record sleeve:
I think this one needs no introduction. It also happens to include my favorite Elton John song:
This wraps up Day 10. Also, I checked, and I should have roughly 20-21 more “Vinyl Days” after today. The series beats on!
My friend William has posted the latest from his vinyl collection. I really appreciate the Men at Work. In the U.S., most of us are familiar with “Who Can It Be Now?”, and I will be singing it for the rest of the day. 🙂
Here’s the next four in this collection which are a couple of hippie albums, 50’s musical and 80’s Aussie one hit wonders! Keelin @ Bicthfork is now up to her vinyl day nine, linked here but it’s only second one by me this Wednesday morning:
Business As Usual by Men At Work is the very first Aussie album here, my parents are a little more mainstream in Aussie music than me which might be a good thing for some listeners/readers? At least everyone should know them and I wouldn’t need to go into details who the hell they’re? In Australia they did have more than one hit but everyone oversea’s with only know Down Under song but I’m picking opening track Who Can It Be Now?
Singer-songwriter Colin Hay total wins the most C-19 lyrics today with Who Can It Be Now? A lot or almost all the words if…
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