Obviously, April’s been a bit busy for me…. But we’ll now return you to your regular blogging program, complete with Music and writing tips.
I promise I didn’t just fall off the face of the earth. My little cos-family lost a dear member at the end of March. I planned, coordinated and ran an online fundraiser for Relay For Life that raised almost $1,300. And then I took a little bit of time off and went up to Pinedale and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Which, let me say, is a stunning part of our country. Check out the picture below if you don’t believe me.
So, all of those things tore me away from blogging for a little while. But after that all that, I figured a playlist about wandering might be fitting. So this is equal parts songs about the journey and songs to listen to while on the journey.
I spaced last week and forgot to post the playlist of the week, so to make up for that, you get two for the price of one today: Modern Romance and We’re not Robots.
Modern Romance is just a little gather of love songs that feel a bit more like what love really is to me. Some of the songs are quirky and sweet, and others are a little more deep. Some of the songs are about those first butterflies, and some are about working at it a little further down the line. And maybe a little bit of heartbreak, of course.
Here’s the track list:
Tell Her You Love Her – Echosmith
Walk Through Hell – Say Anything
If You Don’t Mind – Sam Behymer
Between Me and You – Brandon Flowers
What I Wouldn’t Do – Serena Ryder
La Luna – Lucy Schwartz
You Are Enough – Sleeping At Last
Stolen Dance – Milky Chance
Modern Romance – TV On The Radio (This is a cover, definitely check out the original by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.)
10,000 Emerald Pools
Here’s the link:
We are not Robots is inspired by a few things this week. My husband is an engineer with a very scientific mind. I made playlists about how opposite we were when we dated. This week I had been listening to some Marina and the Diamonds around the house, and he happened to hear “I am not a Robot” later in the week on one of his podcasts. It just reminded me of some of those songs and why I love them.
So it’s equal parts songs about technology, robots, songs sung by a robot and love in the technical age. Here you go:
I am not a Robot – Marina and the Diamonds
Science Vs. Romance – Rilo Kiley
But She Beat My High Score – Say Hi (I do not condone dumping your awesome gamer girlfriend. Just propose, she’ll game with you forever.)
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – The Flaming Lips
Still Alive – Aperture Science Psychoacoustic Laboratory
Want You Gone – Apeture Science Psychoacoustic Laboratory
I’m the first to admit I love Disney Princesses. I also grew up loving shows like Buffy, Dark Angel, Charmed and of course, Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. That love for Wonder Woman has followed me most of my life, so I always wanted to stand up for the innocent and defend the defenseless.
Gail Simone has a quote about Wonder Woman that I love:
“If you need to stop an asteroid, you call Superman. If you need to solve a mystery, you call Batman. But if you need to end a war, you call Wonder Woman.”
I think in recent years, due to lack of representation and lack of toys, girls haven’t gotten the message they can be both a Princess and Warrior. I’m hopeful that’s about to change, since there’s been so much public outcry.
“What makes a good leader?” has also been on my mind a lot this week. In the past, I’ve deal with “Queen Bees” and “Kings” who think they lead because of superiority. They lead because they’ve got the crown, but I think a real warrior princess doesn’t use her crown as a status symbol. She gets in the mud, puts her shoulder to the wheel, and helps her people move forward.
This playlist is about all of that. Being a warrior, being a princess (or a queen), being a leader.
Be strong. Be sweet. Be diplomatic. Be whatever you need to be, and want to be, to get the job done. Go forth, lead and conquer.
Here’s the playlist:
Castle – Halsey
Warrior – Kimbra, A-Trak, Mark Foster
Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde
I Know What I Am – Band of Skulls
Crown on the Ground – Sleigh Bells
Heavy is the Head – Zac Brown Band featuring Chris Cornell
I dig a lot of spy things. Spy TV, spy movies, spy stories. I have a particular fondness for Natasha Romanoff aka the Black Widow. So this week’s playlist is inspired by my favorite red-headed femme fatale. There’s still a lot of debate over whether or not she’ll get her own movie, but I think a few of these songs would make a great James Bond style opening.
Ready or Not, Here I Come – A Natasha Romanoff Inspired Mix:
I’ve sort of dug Harley Quinn since her creation (hah, take that fanboys who would seek to exclude me from my beloved comics! She was created within my life time! Life long fan!), but it wasn’t until my twenties that I really started to relate to the character.
I figure a lot of women who have been in abusive relationship, whether the abuse was verbal, physical or emotional, can find a chord or two in common with the clown princess of crime. I think deep down, Harley has a heart of gold and a resilient spirit. Maybe some insecurities too, but we all have those. So this week’s playlist is from the part of me that reminds me of her. Because my crazy matches her crazy, from time to time.
I think we all meet people in life that try to shove us into boxes we don’t fit into. It’s easy to let those people hurt us or tell us who we are, but today’s playlist is all about pushing back against those preconceived notions, and continuing on toward the life we want.
Most of the songs on this playlist are used to inspire me to write, to show the people that told me I wasn’t a good enough writer or tried to use my writing for their own gain. As the inspirational Kelly Sue DeConnick once said:
“Sometimes spite is the only reason I get out of bed in the morning.”
When you get blocked or frustrated, I hope you’ll listen to this playlist and use a little bit of that fury within to get yourself back on track. Here’s the track list for this week:
Wild Things – Alessia Cara
You Will See Me – Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip [Explicit]
Giving up the Gun – Vampire weekend
Renegades – X Ambassadors
Cheap Sunglasses – RAC featuring Matthew Koma
(All Along The) Watchtower -Devlin featuring Ed Sheeran
So this playlist was going to be angsty one, about ditching bad friends and moving on, since that’s where my head has been at this weekend thanks to a dream I had about a person no longer in my life.
Instead, you’re getting light, fluffy, electronica-ish music.Partially because I need a pick-me-up since it’s been sort of a rough weekend. I had a blast with friends at the Superbowl and our monthly game night, but the Mr. has been working night shifts at work, so we’ve been ships in the night for the last few days, passing each other by and sleeping on opposite schedules. I’m the kind of girl that loves a good routine, so it’s throwing me off in all sorts of ways.
So yeah. Let’s float on and drift away. Here’s the track list:
How Did I Get Here – Odesza
This song has been out awhile, but I only recently discovered it. The music is sort of fills you and wraps around you, like you’re entering some kind of Alice inspired Wonderland.
Pretty Thing – Broods
Broods plays with form a lot, which is why I love them. What might sound like indie or pop songs takes on a different shape entirely.
Illuminate – Afrojack, Matthew Koma
I fell in love with Matthew Koma when he sang on Zedd’s Spectrum. He seems to work with a lot EDM artists. Illuminate feels really positive to me, “Somewhere, you keep all your halos, scared of what they don’t. Open your window shades and illuminate. There’s nothing in your way. Go on and shine on.”
Professional – Halou, Robin Guthrie
This is probably the most chill song of the playlist, but the lyrics are really interesting. They’re probably about a butcher, but the first time I heard the song it reminded me strongly of a blue-haired ninja/assassin character a dear friend writes about. Despite the implied violence, this song always makes me feel tranquil.
It’s Alright Now – Bombay Bicycle Club
This song has a very airy feeling, compared to the other songs from this band that I’m familiar with.
Serotonin – Audien, Matthew Koma
If you don’t know, Serotonin is thought to be the chemical in your body that induces feelings of well-being and happiness. And it’s Matthew Koma. So I dig it.
Soon Come Soon – Young Fathers
I’m not sure where I found this song, but it’s one I’ve come back and listened to over and over again. It’s got a vibe that combines both hip-hop and electronic elements and they jive really well.
Fantasy – Kozoro
If you like the kind of music in this playlist and you haven’t checked out MrSuicideSheep on Youtube, you definitely should. There are no lyrics on this song, just really lovely flow.
Shadows – Camikaze ft. Zoe A’dore
I’m a sucker for light, airy vocals over electronic backing. This song is super lovely.
Heartbeats – Grum
And we end this one on a high note. Dance-able and upbeat, this is the kind of song I find myself tapping and jumping around to now and then.
My love of music was definitely something that I got from my parents, especially my Dad. As early as I can remember, he’d challenge us to name a song, the artist/band or something else about a tune on the radio. Usually he’d reward us with a quarter or fifty cents for a correct answer. I’m sure the incentive helped, but it was more than that. My father loved music in a way that ran deep in him. We’d sit in the car and wait until the song finished before going in the house. He’d have things you just “needed to hear” and he would play them for you and listen in wonder.
So this week’s playlist for Music Monday is dedicated to the bands he loved and the work they’ve done with some of the bands that I love.
Read My Mind (Pet Shop Boys Stars are Blazing Mix) – The Killers featuring the Pet Shop Boys
If you listen closely, you can hear Neil Tennant’s voice echo that of Brandon Flowers, each time he says “Can you read my mind?” Tennant is of course the singer for the Pet Shop Boys.
Who – David Byrne and St. Vincent
David Byrne, known for his quirky 80s pop hits with Talking Heads, pairs up with one of my favorite ladies in the music industry for this one. It’s just as quirky as you’d expect from the two of them. There’s actually a full album to go along with this one “Love this Giant” which is definitely worth a listen.
Reflektor – Arcade Fire (with David Bowie)
Arcade Fire tends to have a running nostalgic theme in their music and Reflektor definitely holds true with that. Bowie plays mostly a background role in this song, but if you listen closely, you can definitely feel his vibe in there. He can be heard clearly in the line “Thought you were praying to the resurrector, turns out it was just a reflektor” as well as some of the backing vocals through out the song.
Speaking in Tongues – Arcade Fire ft. David Byrne
I think the title of this track may be a nod to the Talking Heads album of the same name, and toward the end of the song you can hear Byrne’s voice sing “Ahhhh, speaking in tongues.”
Rise Above 1 – Reeve Carney, Bono and the Edge.
This song is actually from the Spider-Man Broadway Musical. Though it perhaps is meant to be about Peter Parker and his father figure, Uncle Ben, you can definitely hear Bono’s own connect to his father in the song. For me, this song reminds me a lot of my own father and what’s left in his wake now that he’s gone. “You’re silence in a crowded room, louder than the loudest tune, I hang on every word.”
Save Rock And Roll – Fall Out Boy ft Elton John
I don’t think my dad was a huge Elton John fan by any means, but I do remember a few tracks he enjoyed from John. Like most slightly rebellious people my age, Fall Out Boy resonates with me. I specifically love this line: “You are what you love, not who loves you.” It’s become a personal motto of mine.
I can change – Brandon Flowers
Another collaboration, sort of, between the Killers and the Pet Shop Boys, or at least from their singers. I didn’t even realize Neil Tennant was on this track until I watched the lyrics video for this song. After further research, apparently Tennant recorded the spoken line “And when you’re looking for a change…” onto Flowers’ voice mail, and then they added it later to the track in the second verse.
Clocks – Rhythms Del Mundo and Coldplay
This is more of a bonus track, since it does not feature musicians from two different generations. This song used to play in a cafe I worked in, and I loved the re-invented sound of it. My father spent 2 years in Chile and kept up his fluency in Spanish until his death. I like to think he would have enjoyed this song.
Next week I hope to do a full playlist of at least 10 tracks. I’ve got a lot of ideas for themes but I’d loved to hear what themes you’d like to see. Leave them in the comments and I get working on a playlist to match!
Also, what tracks did you share with your parents or your parents shared with you? What bands did they love that you now love? Which of their bands inspired your favorite bands?
So in addition to loving writing, geeky things and comics, I’m a huge fan of all kinds of music. I regularly make playlists for what I’m working on or have playlists about random things that help me get into the right writing mood.
Each Monday, I’ll give you my recommended tracks for the week, as well as a link to a spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. Sometimes there will be a theme, other times there won’t be.
This week, I’m just going to share some of stuff I’ve recently discovered, or found myself listening to all over again.
Force of Nature – Bea Miller
Somebody New – Joywave
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive – Death Cab for Cutie
Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay
Cream on Chrome – Ratatat
Compass – Zella Day
Lose It – Oh Wonder
Run – Daughter
I Found – Amber Run
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1 – The Flaming Lips