The best quality music brings to my life is the ability, over most other art-forms, to tap me into primal urges, simple but profound needs, desires and truths. It affects me from the inside out, makes my heart beat faster, harder, louder. It activates and stimulates both sides of my brain at once, provoking thought and feeling. At once we connect with others who are sharing the same frequency and sensation when reacting to this music; but also there’s an independent, unique memory now attached to your story, forever marking this era in your life. Whenever you hear that song or album, you’ll immediately be thrust back to those sense perceptions and emotions accompanying this tune. For me, this experience is still somewhat rare, perhaps because I have a dog like loyalty to musicians or bands and I’ll obsessively listen to them for months, even years, in a small group of others until someone snaps me out of my trance. And there's simply not enough time in the day to experience enough art. Regardless of how or why, I enjoy these extraordinary experiences with music, and songs in particular. I’m fortunate in receiving this gift from people I know, people I call friends and soul mates, the members of the exquisitely special and talented band whysowhite. I plan to share many insights and thoughts on my journey with whysowhite in the future, but for now I just look forward to their impending reunion, leading to a great gift for humanity. There’s enough to placate me until then, please give them a listen and spread the Love. Please check out this video on my hub’s vimeo page, where he showcases his hard work while shining a light on others. There are a few gems in there, and two joyful, infectious whysowhite videos, providing merely a speck, a glimmer into the infinitely talented 7 man band we can’t get enough of, and those we’re patiently waiting until we get even just a little more. While you’re at it, hop over to our friend and enigmatic member of whysowhite’s music blog, Moonspeak. The man lives, breathes, communicates music. His knowledge is cavernous, taste impeccable, and instincts are more sound than anyone I’ve ever known. His equally beautiful and talented brother (another profound member of wsw) lends his skills and personality to this very well thought-out selection of artists, albums and songs. Imagine Van Gogh having an art blog. You’d be a fool not to read, listen, watch, absorb and retain. I’m forever changed by their presence in my life and now I’m aiming to spread the joy and love they’ve so generously given me. Enjoy this feast for your eyes, ears, minds and hearts, and then spread the soulful love.
Currently there are a few songs playing on shuffle, both in my iPod and in the space between my ears, where my beautifully operatic voice sings to me while I tread lightly on the slippery, cold streets of Chicago. It’s pretty incredible how great I sound inside my head, or how great my mind plays back songs I’ve listened to on repeat. I do my best to open myself to any genre of music. I’ve found modern country to be a bit nauseating but I’m willing to admit my reluctance in listening to a lot of it, so there’s bound to be some great artists out there I just haven’t made time for, choosing instead to listen to every single Black Keys song over and over, keeping my ears occupied between podcasts and until their next album releases. Let me quickly recommend El Camino if you haven’t given it a go yet. It carries this great quality of feeling nostalgic, providing everything I’ve loved while somehow bringing something new to the table. It’s quick drum beats, unique guitar riffs and some seriously special use of the keyboards. I’ve been in love with the shy two-man band for 5 years now and could not be happier for their success. I will not hide my enthusiasm simply because they’ve become popular and there’s sure to be backlash. I’m sticking by them and strongly urge everyone to explore their earlier work. One of my favorite comedic artists lent his talents to spread the Black Keys greatness.
Their albums tell their own specific story by exploring with various melodies and tones, instrumental and lyrical themes, while weaving them all together with a single thread that is signature of the Black Keys. They evolve their sound while staying true to their essence. Give it all a go. If I were to encourage you to listen to a few, perhaps one from each album, I’d of course say listen to them all (I change my favorites depending on the day, the mood, what sounds and words I’m resonating with), find your own story within the album’s; but for right now, give Nobody But You, Heavy Soul, Have Love Will Travel, Everywhere I Go, When The Lights Go Out, You’re The One, Same Old Thing, The Only One and Sister a go. I just want to express how difficult that was. As I leafed through their amazing catalogue, I found it nearly impossible to choose just one song from each album. Each song is on it’s own planet, with Dan Auerbach’s lead vocals showcasing more than just a great rock range, he chooses a key for a reason and that reason is to better tell the story. The wise progression and combination of instruments makes their music a perfect package. You may want to check out Dearest, the excellent Buddy Holly cover, and Dan’s solo album, Keep it Hid is a densely rich album with a slew of favorites as well. Check out Heartbroken, In Disrepair. And last thing, one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard is from their album Rubber Factory. It's called The Lengths. It was the first song I ever wrote about. I’ve heard it hundreds of times and never tire, my heart wants more. I hope you love any of these half as much as I do, because I know you’ll feel the transformative effects great music can provide. Being a human being is awesome!
I don’t know how it happened but somehow I managed to gather a significant number of very talented friends, who also have talented friends, so like a bunch of hippies we just gather and have artistic conversations and I get to be wowed on a consistent basis by the limitless potential of the people around me. At times, I feel insecure and unworthy, like I should be relegated to another room where I just listen but don’t actually participate with those who are clearly on a different plane. It’s because most of them are artists and that’s a difficult word for me to attach to myself, regardless if I feel creative, I cannot give myself that descriptor, but I’m opening to it. They never make me feel like I don’t belong, which is a credit to their hearts and their inherent generosity, so I figure the least I can do is express my awe, my admiration, respect, enthusiasm and Love the best way I can, through a rambling selection of words. My roommates, who happen to be my brother and my husband, both are aspiring cinematographers, geeking out over lighting and shots in ways I cannot even comprehend, but I love watching their passion and seeing them work together. The videos provided above include a collaboration of their skills and artistry with our ingenious friends. They recently were members of a small crew helping to make a music video with another up-and-coming group of musicians, Secret Colours, on their gut punching rock song Faust.
It begins with a low, quick bass riff, and quiet lyrics, almost whispering, lurking, preying, like a tiger slowly approaching it’s dinner. Then, in a flash of musical brilliance, the base goes to 11, instruments in fast forward, pulling you deep into the moment, into the reality of the song. It moves like moments in life, fragments of stillness, waiting, approaching, and then bam, you’re in it, no escape, just ride it out. According to legend, Faust is a scholar who sells his soul to the devil, in exchange for knowledge and power. A befitting metaphor for any era in humanity, Secret Colours builds their rock anthem beautifully, with gripping lyrics, music that drives the story and punches it up in the right moments. This song has been on a short list of songs providing the soundtrack to my life at the moment. I certainly recognize moments where I have and occasionally still feel faustian, but mainly I’m just drawn to this sound. I liked the song immediately, from one second in, with the first bar I said yes, I want to hear more. When I learned my bro and hub were working on their video, my excitement shot through the roof and I knew I had to do my best to share this beautifully combined gift. The crew busted their balls, shooting into the early, freezing Chicago morning, and outside in the cold dark of night (sounds like a corny line from a screenplay, apologies), then going back to earning a modest income to support their passion until they hopefully reap some fruits of their labor. It certainly is a labor of love, and they all deserve and have earned this success. I hope it continues to grow for all of them. Enjoy the video, if you like it, share it! And feel free to pass along recommendations to me, that’s how most brilliant works of art have come my way. I’m grateful, keep it coming.
The last song I’m choosing to share as the year approaches it’s dissolution is another tune I liked immediately, within seconds, and after just one listen it stuck, permanently weaved into the fabric of my being and onto the script in my brain. This song affects me in the most profound way. It conjures and inspires primal instincts, making me hungry, thirsty, lustful, provoking a different breath, internal swelling and movement, and one of few that reminds me how I prefer to love and be loved, with reckless abandon, raw, cut open, prepared to bleed out forever. That may sound a bit twisted, but if you ignore propriety and how society relentlessly tells us to behave, and instead turn the focus inward, respond instinctually, combining our very advanced left and right hemispheres to operate with thoughtful passion, organized enthusiasm and pure, unadulterated Love, everything will feel much more sensual, natural and heightened. Often the world diminishes the importance of satisfying these intense urges, telling us our bodies are dirty, our minds are sick, and reason always supersedes impulse. When it comes to potentially hurting others, these rules are important and should be heeded, but when we’re deeply entrenched in moments where following the instincts and/or the heart will benefit your soul, aid in your evolution, and we instead choose fear, perceiving judgment or ridicule, we lose. This song makes me want to run naked into the roaring ocean, passionately kiss regardless of the surroundings and satisfy any other urge or impulse my soul sees fit. The song is Future Starts Slow, by the Kills.
It starts with very rhythmic, tribal drums, activating the pelvis, eliciting dance, firing up the loins. Then, the hook, a sharp guitar riff, memorable, carving out your heart, the strings plucking somewhere deep in your being. Then simple, beautiful, intelligent lyrics fuck with your mind, tug at your soul.
You can holler You can wail You can swing You can flail You can thump like a broken sail But I’ll never give you up If I ever give you up My heart will surely fail
I swear I felt those lyrics just in listening to the music, from the beginning. It makes me close my eyes and sway, motion from the inside out. The song builds, slows, and just is perfection, rounding back to what I feel is a bold statement in support of Love, real love, strong loving between two exquisitely primal beings.
You can holler You can wail You can blow what’s left of my right mind
You can swing You can flail You can blow what’s left of my right mind
Um, yes please. Destroy me with who you are, in every way imaginable, by giving me your genuine self, to the core, in this moment with me. I don’t need your flowers, your greeting cards, or your modern expression of romanticism in front of others. I need passion, laughter, hunger, encouragement and release, in however that manifests in our present. All I want is You.
Sometimes music just makes me want to dance, smile, cry, and any myriad of actions and feelings on the emotional spectrum, from superficial to deep. Music, and most forms of art are expressions of truth, and if something resonates with you, then that’s clearly your truth in that moment. Thinking back to the art I loved as a child and re-living my artistic choices, both in experience and expression, it tells my unique story, giving me a time-line of emotion and thought for phases of my life. How those previous emotional attachments evolve is interesting to observe. Songs that used to make me sad, now make me cry from gratitude and the recognition of change within and without. Some just feel the damn same, clusters of happiness I repeatedly expose myself to and yearn to share with others. Whatever the reason, feel it, and if you feel it’s worth while, share it, whether you’re listening, viewing, tasting, smelling, feeling, reading or some combination of it all.
Absorb. Process. Express. Experience. Thank you.
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