Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't go home, Angelina

A photographer found these negatives while rummaging through a box of pictures in a thrift store.
Aren't they beautiful?

You can read more about them, and the campaign to find the girls in the negatives, here.

"Stay with me, hanging around in the lost and found."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recap: Owen Pallett and Blonde Redhead

I wrote this up over a month ago, and never got around to posting it. Better late than never? I'll let you be the judge.

2011 was a weird year.

I spent the first third of it at Aspen Grove: running in the woods, playing house with a fake husband, and thoroughly confused about school. I spent the summer just outside DC: running on the Washington Old Dominion Trail, making no friends, and reading lots of books. I spent the last third of the year back in Provo: not running at all, watching too much Gossip Girl, and slogging through 19 credit hours in my final semester.

It was my most varied, puzzling year, a great time for a thorough introduction to Owen Pallett. His songs were as unsettled as I felt. I remember listening to Heartland while driving up Spanish Fork canyon after a Relief Society retreat. It was just like girls camp. Except I was 24, and feeling totally out of place. We had a devotional by Hillary Weeks where she talked about struggling to stand up for the important things that you believe in. Like modesty. And then they had these pedicure station set-up for "glitter toes". And duh, I got them done, but I was conflicted about it ok? I was one of the oldest ones there, and was feeling pretty odd.

I woke up early the next morning and snuck away. It was beautiful and the air was crisp. And I listened to Tryst with Mephistopheles over and over, and tying not to pay too much mind to the lyrics. Mephistopheles is the devil from Faust, the collector of damned souls. My dad always claimed he got my named me after the Gretchen character in the story who meets a tragic end. Too eerie. 

Faust and Mephistopheles Waiting for Gretchen at the Cathedral Door - Wilhelm Koller

Ever since then, Owen Pallett has maintained a special place in my heart. Each of his songs is about THE STRUGGLE and I love it, His last album is just one big tribute to existential crisis, so you know that's a good time. 

I was thrilled when I found out he would be playing the new Ogden Twilight concert series. I even opted to take an early hour-and-a-half long bus ride to make sure I didn't miss any of his set. It was worth it. The sound wasn't that great, but being reminded of all those songs was sweet enough.

Image from here
Check out In Conflict from his latest album here. Warning, it's a bit much:

And one of my fave songs from went he was known as Final Fantasy:

The headliner was Blonde Redhead. Their music is beautiful, but listening to one of their songs is the same as listening to 10 of their songs.

Image from here

This one stood out to me though. So pretty:

We hung around, hoping they would play Misery is a Butterfly, but no dice. Listen to it:

Ogden was good to us. Long live Ogden.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Verse: "Ears in the Turrets Hear" - Dylan Thomas


Ears in the turrets hear
Hands grumble on the door,
Eyes in the gables see
The fingers at the locks.
Shall unbolt or stay
Alone till the day I die
Unseen by stranger-eyes
In this white house?
Hands, hold you poison or grapes?

Beyond this island bound
By a thin sea of flesh
And a bone coast,
The land lies out of sound
And the hills out of mind,
No birds or flying fish
Disturbs this island's rest.

Ears in this island hear
The wind pass like a fire,
Eyes in this island see
Ships anchor off the bay.
Shall I run to the ships
With the wind in my hair,
Or stay till the day I die
And welcome no sailor?
Ships, hold you poison or grapes?

Hands grumble on the door,
Ships anchor off the bay,
Rain beats the sand and slates.
Shall I let in the stranger,
Shall I welcome the sailor,
Or stay till the day I die?

Hands of the stranger and holds of the ships,
Hold you poison or grapes?

                                                           - Dylan Thomas

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Verse: "Bridal Veil" - Alice Cary

Fellow spinster Alice Cary keeping it real.

We're married, they say, and you think you have won me,—
Well, take this white veil from my head and look on me,
Here's matter to vex you, and a matter to grieve you,
Here's doubt to distrust you, and faith to believe you,—
I am all as you see, common earth, common dew;
Be wary and mould me to roses, not rue! 
Ah! shake out the filmy thing, fold after fold,
And see if you have me to keep and to hold,—
Look close on my heart—see the worst of its sinning,—
It is not yours to-day for the yesterday's winning—
The past is not mine—I am too proud to borrow—
You must grow to new heights if I love you to-morrow. 
I have wings flattened down and hid under my veil:
They are subtle as light—you can never undo them,
And swift in their flight—you can never pursue them,
And spite of all clasping, and spite of all bands,
I can slip like a shadow, a dream, from your hands. 
Nay, call me not cruel, and fear not to take me,
I am yours for my life-time, to be what you make me,—
To wear my white veil for a sign, or a cover,
As you shall be proven my lord, or my lover,
A cover for peace that is dead, or a token
Of bliss that can never be written or spoken.

- Alice Cary                                                                                     

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Music for your Midweek: Gillian Welch - "I Dream a Highway"

I listened to this a couple weeks ago walking through Memory Grove at night. Fourteen minutes wasn't long enough. I wanted it to never end. Hypnotizing.

"I'm an indisguisable shade of twilight
Any second now I'm gonna turn myself on
In the blue display of the cool cathode ray
I dream a highway back go you"

Monday, July 13, 2015

The year the locusts ate

     On New Years eve, a few years back, I turned down all the invites for parties and Veags trips so that I could go to the shores of the Great Salt Lake. Or at least, where I thought the shore would be. I forgot that in the winter the water recedes, so those beaches are just frozen salt. I had a vision of floating a candle on the water out into that darkness. A solitary send-off to 2012. I packed my favorite mix, tin-foil to make a raft, a small votive, matches, and drove west.

     I just wanted to see how it would look. A prayer to start the new year.

Image by Charles Uibel

     It was too snowy and I remember the sky was orange from the Magna factory lights reflecting off the the clouds. I had to drive slow and worried I would get in trouble parking on the frontage road. Worried that someone would stop me. They might think I was losing it or that I was drunk or that I was high and lost my way from the EDM party underway at Saltair. And if they stopped me, what would I say? My reason for being there wasn't any more rational.  I stumbled through tall grasses and snow, and eventually realized there was no way to reach water before the midnight deadline. I stopped and crouched over the nearest friendly snowbank and burrowed out a spot for my candle. Pulled off my gloves and went through 5 matches trying to light it. When the wick finally caught, that little flickering flame seemed like the smallest sweetest thing. So fragile compared to the dark ahead of it.

     As I stood there, I felt it. Full of weight like a wave. I knew that something was going to happen in the upcoming year. It would be heavy and and difficult and I would be powerless against it.

     I don't know how many of you have felt like you had spiritual promptings, but usually they came to me like a feeling of peace, relief, and assurance. This was like that prompting, but the only comfort in it was knowing that I was so small in comparison, the only thing to do was to go through. It would not be a brave choice, it would be the only choice.

From February
    6 months later, my dad suddenly passed away.

    Last month on Father's Day was the two year anniversary of his death. I relive certain moments in my head from that time: Seeing my uncle walk into my room on the phone with me mom to tell me what happened. Watching The Bling Ring with Katie and Melinda the night of his memorial. Staring at the computer screen at work, doing absolutely nothing. I remember a lot of things. But so much of that time was lost. I couldn't do anything.

     A friend from one of my singles wards in Provo shared this scripture from Joel and her thoughts on her blog:

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.                                                                                     Joel 2:25-26

     I feel as though those moments are being restored to me. That heavy weight is slowly lifting. But the past still colors everything I do. It informs every decision that I make. I don't need to distance myself from that grief in order to believe that "there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind".

     Last December, my family went to see a children's production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to celebrate my dad's birthday. When the play reached the part of the death of Aslan, the lights went out, and the narrator read straight from the book:

         "I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been - if you're been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you - you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again...  
          Hours and hours seemed to go by in this dead calm, and they hardly noticed that they were getting colder and colder... The country all looked dark grey, but beyond, at the very end of the world, the sea showed pale. The sky began to turn red. They walked to and fro more times than they could count. Then at last, as they stood for a moment looking out towards the sea... the red turned to gold along the line where the sea and the sky met and very slowly up came the edge of the sun."

From our trip to Antelope Island

     Those hours.
     Those years.
     They're coming back.
     I can see it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Music for your Midweek: CHAMPS - "Vamala"

Here's a slide of my dad as a kid.

And here's just a nice little song:

That's all.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Verse: "Wild Geese" - Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, your, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
                                                             - Mary Oliver

Thanks to Julia for this one.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July Mix: Sugarless

Gettin' things out in a timely manner. This goes out to all y'all that feel like a Trident girl in a Bubble Yum world. Happy Independence Day.

1. Back In The Saddle Again - Gene Autry

2. To Die in L.A. - Lower Dens

3. The Sad Sun - Deer Tick

4. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

5. My Wandering Days Are Over - Belle & Sebastian

6. Slipping Away - Tanlines

7. 80's Comedown Machine - The Strokes

8. Gibraltar - The Radio Dept.

9. Hyperballad  - Bj√∂rk

10. True Affection - Father John Misty

11. I'm On Fire - Bruce Springsteen

12. Really Love - D'Angelo & The Vanguard

13. Our Love Comes Back - James Blake

14. Love Of Mine - Nickel Creek

15. Look At Miss Ohio - Gillian Welch

Here's your Spotify version of the mix:

4. "a breakdown of sorts"

9. "Because everybody has a dark side, everyone."

10. Father John Misty is a little bit awful. But this is more than fine

12. Hide yo' kids. This song's too sexy.

15. For Georgie in his birthday month :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Around and back again

From a trip to a Panguitch for the balloon relay last weekend

The past couple months, I've been trying to keep steady and plan my next moves. I'm playing that game where I think about where I was a year ago, and how different things are now. It's one of my favorites, and usually helps me to feel encouraged. Some things are constant. So many troubles stay. But though it may look like I'm doing the same old things, I can see myself becoming a different person. It's exciting.

I found this old post from around the same time last year. It is more true than ever. While so many of the things I used to cling to for truth seem to be disintegrating in my hands, there are those precious few that remain solid. Here's to those things.

After Her Death 
I am trying to find the lesson for tomorrow. Matthew something.
Which lectionary? I have not forgotten
the Way, but a little,
the way to the Way. The trees keep whispering
peace, peace, and the birds
in the shallows are full of the
bodies of small fish and are
content. They open their wings
so easily, and fly. It is still
               I open the book
which the strange, difficult, beautiful church
has given me. To Matthew. Anywhere.
                                                               - Mary Oliver

Trying to capture the moon rise from my apartment last night

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Music for your Midweek: Torres - "New Skin"

Torres is carrying on setting the stage for a moody summer. I've been listening to "Strange Hellos" and "Sprinter" whenever I'm feeling angsty/on the daily. Here is Mackenzie Scott playing my fave version of "New Skin". Her voice can get quite dramatic, so I like the simpler accompaniment.

Found this article yesterday about Christianity and indie rock. An interesting read. It cites a Pitchfork article which might also be worth your time. From the interview: 
"For some reason I just feel as though I was predisposed to some sense of loss from childhood—my nightmares were about losing my parents to a car accident or a fire. I've become more acutely aware, as I age, that I have less time in my own body and with the people that I love." 
So you can tell Sprinter is going to be a great album for care-free summertime fun! Give it a listen.