Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Verse: "Question" - May Swenson


Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen 
Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt 
Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when my Body my good
bright dog is dead 
How will it be to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye 
With cloud for shift
how will I hide?

                   - May Swenson                                                                           

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Music for your Midweek: Beach House - "Wishes"

And now one of the best music videos ever ever ever.
For once, I am not exaggerating. 

The winter/spring of 2014 was all one hazy blur. In January, February, March, and April the only things I remember are going to the gym, eating KFC, and sitting in my dad's old green chair while watching endless Netflix and Hulu. Beach House's Bloom was in heavy rotation in my car. I would leave work to pick up whatever fast food for lunch. Driving two blocks. Sit and sit and sit with the sun coming through the car windows. Feeling sick about having to go back to work in that freezing office. Every day was the same thing. A pretty lonely, miserable time.

I'm glad that it's over with.

Sometimes, hearing songs that are so connected to certain eras in your past can be painful. But when I listen to Beach House, all I can think is GOOD RIDDANCE to that time and isn't it great I'm not there anymore? 

Thanks to baby brother Jeremy for showing me this music video.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday Verse: "Her Management" - May Swenson


She does not place, relate, or name
the objects of her hall,
nor bother to repair her ceiling,
sweep her floor, or paint a wall
symmetrical with mountains. 
Cylindrical, her tent
is pitched of ocean on one side
and – rakish accident –
forest on the other,
granular, her rug 
of many marbles, or of roots,
or needles, or a bog –
outrageous in its pattern.
The furniture is pine
and oak and birch and beech and elm; 
the water couch is fine.
Mottled clouds, and lighting rifts,
leaking stars and whole
gushing moons despoil her roof.
Contemptuous of control, 
she lets a furnace burn all day,
she lets the winds be wild.
Broken, rotting, shambled things
lie where they like, are piled
on the same tables with her sweets, 
her fruits, and scented stuffs.
Her management is beauty.
Of careless silks and roughs,
rumpled rocks, the straightest rain,
blizzards, roses, crows, 
April lambs and graveyards,
she chances to compose
a rich and sloven manor.
Her prosperous tapestries
are too effusive in design 
for our analyses –
we, who through her textures move,
we specks upon her glass,
who try to place, relate, and name
all things within her mass.

- May Swenson                                                                                  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Music for your Midweek: Giorgio Morodor & Phil Oakey - "Together in Electric Dreams"

The weather has been too nice, and we don't even deserve it. We had practically no winter, and now it feels like it's practically summer? I don't mind. Though I'm a bit nervous that my apartment is going to be unbearable hot. I lived through it once, so I can live through it again. I guess? This song is dedicated to this lovely city at this lovely time. The place I would like to live most of my life. Listening to Electric Dreams reminds me of living at the Animal House down in Provo, watching this video that Laura shared with us, and everyone loved. That spring allowed me to delay adulthood a little bit, and was one of the funnest I had:

Hope you like it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday Verse: "Walking Around" - Pablo Neruda

Walking Around

Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.
Sucede que entro en las sastrerías y en los cines
marchito, impenetrable, como un cisne de fieltro
Navegando en un agua de origen y ceniza.

El olor de las peluquerías me hace llorar a gritos.
Sólo quiero un descanso de piedras o de lana,
sólo quiero no ver establecimientos ni jardines,
ni mercaderías, ni anteojos, ni ascensores.

Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas
y mi pelo y mi sombra.
Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.

Sin embargo sería delicioso
asustar a un notario con un lirio cortado
o dar muerte a una monja con un golpe de oreja.
Sería bello
ir por las calles con un cuchillo verde
y dando gritos hasta morir de frío.

No quiero seguir siendo raíz en las tinieblas,
vacilante, extendido, tiritando de sueño,
hacia abajo, en las tapias mojadas de la tierra,
absorbiendo y pensando, comiendo cada día.

No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
ateridos, muriéndome de pena.

Por eso el día lunes arde como el petróleo
cuando me ve llegar con mi cara de cárcel,
y aúlla en su transcurso como una rueda herida,
y da pasos de sangre caliente hacia la noche.

Y me empuja a ciertos rincones, a ciertas casas húmedas,
a hospitales donde los huesos salen por la ventana,
a ciertas zapaterías con olor a vinagre,
a calles espantosas como grietas.

Hay pájaros de color de azufre y horribles intestinos
colgando de las puertas de las casas que odio,
hay dentaduras olvidadas en una cafetera,
hay espejos
que debieran haber llorado de vergüenza y espanto,
hay paraguas en todas partes, y venenos, y ombligos.

Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos,
con furia, con olvido,
paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia,
y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre:
calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran
lentas lágrimas sucias.

- Pablo Neruda                                                       

English Translation 

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoe shops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Music for your Midweek: Sufjan Stevens - "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross"

Sufjan Stevens just released a 2nd track of his soon-to-be-released album this morning. He had previously released "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross", but I couldn't get myself in the right place to listen to it.

I take these things very/too seriously.

Illinoise was a special part of my last year of high school, first year of college. Age of Adz was the on repeat for a a good 6 months while I cruised through the lonely woods back and forth from Aspen Grove to Provo to Salt Lake.
Nothing could make me heartsick like those albums could.
So you understand my hesitation.

Both of these new tracks are very beautiful, of course. And I'm sure the new album will become another life soundtrack.

I'm masochistic and decided to give this new collection of Elliot Smith covers by Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett a listen this gloomy afternoon. To be honest, it's hit and miss. But when they get it, they really get it. Give it a listen here, for the next few days at least. And revisit a post from a couple years ago when I first heard them cover Elliott Smith.

Friday, March 6, 2015

March Mix: "All my old friends wait"

Boy oh boy. Things have been curiouser and curiouser around here. I guess that part of it is sticking around the city you grew up in. Watching so old friends and family change (or not change at all). Returning as a substitute teacher at your old middle school (I don't recommend it). Catching a birds eye view of your life, and comparing to what your parents were doing when they were your age (I promise they were not watching and re-watching "Call Your Girlfriend" so they could learn the choreography). Throw a birthday in the mix, and you have the perfect storm.

My quarter-life crisis has dragged on a couple extra years. But good news! I think I'm finally coming out the other side. Couldn't get things together in time for a February mix, so I hope this one will do the trick. It's for old friends, new friends, and most importantly, your best friend... YOURSELF!

Give the whole thing a listen (minus the LANKS track) on Spotify...

or check out individual songs below:

1. My Baby Don't Understand Me - Natalie Prass

2. Gunshot - Lykke Li

3. Take It As It Comes - J. Roddy Walston & The Business

4. Violent Shiver - Benjamin Booker

5. Confidence - Conner Youngblood

6. Adult Diversion - Alvvays

7. Better Man - Leon Bridges

8. I Just Want To - Majestico

9. Lazaretto - Jack White

10. Continental Shelf - Viet Cong

11. Graves - Ravenna Woods

12. Suburban War - Arcade Fire

13. My Kind of Woman - Mac DeMarco

14. All Back - Chris Brown

15. That's Alright (Live) - Laura Mvula with Metropole Orkest

16. Hold Me Closer - LANKS

17. This Is My Hand - My Brightest Diamond

18. Fire - Jake Bugg

19. Stardust - Nat King Cole


1. Natalie Prass sings oh so true

7. Catch him in SLC

9. As always, my favorite, most dramatic weirdo

10. These kids are causing all sorts of trouble. Sort of. Here's an article with their comments on their band name before the infamous show cancellation. But isn't this supposed to be the sort of thing punk rock is about anyway? IDK. Is it bad that I still want to go to their show

12. "...what I got from [church] was a sense of belonging to something bigger. What I really miss is being forced to be in a community with people that aren't the same as you. Then, you really have to work through the ways you're different. I think that's important and it's missing in youth culture. I guess some of the songs are a reaction against the tyranny of youth culture, where you only hang around with people who dress like you, think like you and listen to the same music as you. Even though we are seen as the quintessential indie band, I feel very far from that culture a lot of the time."
Winn Butler speaking some truth in this interview

13. Tell me more about this Mac DeMarco...where have I been on this?

14. Thanks to Sarah for this track. Who knew I lived with the biggest Chris Brown fan? She's showing me his best work.

17. You can just listen to this song in place of going to temple preparation class, if you want.

18. Cute little Jake Bugg with this cute little song. I love him like a mom.

12. Give me a Norah Ephron movie any day. This scene is tender. I'm a sentimental sap at heart.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thursday Verse: The Big-Timer - Langston Hughes

The Big-Timer

Who am I?
It ain't so deep:
I'm the guy the home folks call–
The Black Sheep. 
I ran away.
Went to the city.
Look at me now and
Laugh – or take pity. 
I'm the bad egg, see!
Didn't turn out right.
My people disowned me–
So I'm hustlin' in the night 
Drinkin' and gamblin' now,
And livin' on gals.
Red-hot – that's me,
With a lot o' sporty pals. 
Spendin' money lke water.
Drinkin' life like wine.
Not livin' like I oughter,
But – ain't my life mine? 
I got a high-yaller.
Got a diamond ring.
I got a furnished-up flat,
And all that kind o' thing. 
I got a big car
And I steps on the gas.
And whoever don't like it
Just gimme some sass 
Cause I carries a switch-blade
And I swing it a hummin'
And if I don't get you goin',
I'll cut you down comin' 
You say I'll meet a bad endin', heh?
Well, maybe I will.
But while I'm livin' – I'm livin'!
And when I'm dead – I'll keep still. 
I'm a first class hustler,
Rounder and sport.
Sometimes I'm settin' pretty,
And again money's short. 
But if I wanted to go straight
I'd starve and – oh, well –
I'm just a good-timer
On my road to hell. 
Lots of old schoolmates are married
Home, kids, and everything fine.
But I ain't got nothin' real
That I can call mine. 
But don't let it matter to you
'Cause I'm all right.
I'm eatin' and lovin',
And holdin' things tight. 
So don't worry 'bout me,
Folks, down yonder at home.
I guess I can stand the racket
And fight it out alone. 
I guess I know what I'm up against
I don't cry over troubles
Look 'em in the face and
Bust 'em like bubbles. 
I turn on the radio,
Mix up a drink,
Make lots o' noise,
Then I don't have to think. 
Call in a gang o' women
And let 'em have my money,
And forget that they lyin'
When they callin' me honey. 
So what's the use o' worryin'
Or thinkin' at all?
We only got one life
And I guess that one's all– 
So I'm takin' it easy
And I don't give a damn–
I'm just a big-timer,
That's all I am! 
That's ... all ... I... am.

- Langston Hughes

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Music for your Midweek: "The One That I Want" (Grease cover) - Lo-Fang

A few weeks ago, Julia sent me a playlist of covers compiled by Spotify. It was hit and miss, but I was happy to find this little gem. Apparently, I'm a fan of over-the-top, moody drama. I was looking for a video of a live performance of this song, but could only find this Chanel perfume collaboration,

It is too much.

Giselle, looking flawless on a serfbort.
A mysterious man in powder blue who I guess is super busy and can't wait for her to just get inside the house and have a chat?
Her most darling daughter (and nanny).
The drive into the city in a vintage luxury car.

It all has a Gatsby feel to it and it is ridiculous. And it's all for Chanel No. 5 which I always try on in Sephora, but I'm just not glamorous enough (or mature enough?) for it.

Anyway. I love this video. Duh.

If you liked it too, you should definitely check out this one with Pharrell. Again, too much.