“You and I were born in motion/ Never in one place for too long a time”

Driving relaxes me.  When I was a kid, my sister and I used to play this game where we would drive around until we were ‘lost’ and had to figure out how to get back home.  I was in a car with my dad the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit and howled out the window like a pre-teen lunatic.  When I came back home with my tail between my legs after two months of couch-surfing, unsuccessful job-hunting and bad relationship choices, i didn’t even unpack: I drove.  And when i was suffering with my worst bouts of insomnia and felt like dying, my only salve was creeping out in the middle of the night to drive.

I do some of my best thinking in the car.  You feel something; you let it sink in and you drive away.  I’ve never had a problem that felt as dire at the end of a car ride as at the beginning. The world around us is constantly changing and that’s never as abundantly clear as when you are driving fast and the stereo’s on shuffle.

When We Drive is my favourite song off of the ninth studio CD from Death Cab For Cutie called “Thank You For Today. ”  That introductory bass line sounds like what it feels like when you slow dance your arm with the breeze outside of the passenger window on a hot, summer day.

I like the way that your hair tangles
The way your sun tan’s only on one side
We always keep the windows open wide

There’s never anything as pure as secretly watching someone you love. The million little things that ignite your heart.  Like the way he crinkles his nose when he sings the girl parts of a song or the involuntary head nods that begin whenever the bass gets a bit too heavy for his taste or the shoulder shimmy he substitutes for full-on mosh-pit dancing in the car.

I can’t expect you to be honest
Or to be faithful every day ’til the end
I just need you to be always a friend

Ben Gibbard‘s voice was made for melancholy laments on relationships that just fizzled out. No huge blowouts; no dramatic ‘I hate you’ torrents; no scandal; just rueful respect and love and regret.  I think these break-ups are the worst kind because you are not mad and you have too much respect for each other to be anything but kind in the aftermath- so you just feel sad and alone.

But you can always take solace in your memories.  Memories that fester and expand until they become unrecognizable to the original experience.  But I think that’s natural.   Your brain decides if it was a good experience or a bad experience and your thoughts and emotions attach to that memory until it’s becomes something entirely different: an homage to a movie scene from 50 years ago or a music video for a song that wasn’t even invented at the time.

This song reminds me of a trip to Chicago we took early in our relationship.  It was a difficult trip to say the least.  Then on a whim, one day we decided to rent a car and drive down Route 66. It changed everything.  We visited po-dunk tourist traps. We danced in gas stations.  We stopped on the side of the road to pet a cow.  We fell in love all over again watching the most amazing sunset fall behind a row of windmills as we drove.

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Sometimes you just need the rain and a country song

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/preetybird/playlist/1p6Fsu6RRfQu7OghU7ynOv

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Dear Life: What is my meaning? My reason?

We’ve waited four years for Tha Carter V and it does not disappoint. Despite the legal issues with his record label, his health scares and personal drama, Lil Wayne’s final solo release is more than anyone expected and reminds everyone why we were so hungry for this drop.

No one raps like Lil Wayne.  His songs are at least 2,000 words deep and he doesn’t write his lyrics down.  He freestyles his verses in the studio and doesn’t cheat by making up words or repeating himself or using gimmicks (Hi Mase, Migos, Eminem).

“Open Letter” is the most brutally honest song on the album, which is saying a lot considering he recounts his suicide attempt asa child on “Let it Out,” and what it’s like to be scammed by a woman in “Mona Lisa.” The difference is Open Letter is blatantly introspective, not set up like a story or littered with false bravado. It’s a naked look into his genius mind which is plagued with self-doubt, thoughts of suicide, regret and contradictions.

I’m a angry lion hangin’ by a string
I can’t describe it
Feel like a anchor tied to my finger
Got me sinkin’ to the bottom of my drink

Maybe because he has four kids now, or because this is his final solo release or because he’s just growing up Lil Wayne is considering his purpose without ego.

The object in the mirror is more near than it appears, oh shit
And sometimes I fear who in the mirror, that n**ga weird
He done died so many times but still here
Why am I here?

Whatever the reasons, it’s so powerful to hear someone in his position be so vulnerable.  In fact, as he discovers through the song, it’s through sharing his vulnerability that he comes to understand his place in the world.

Never come in second, make the most of your seconds
They so precious
‘Cause if we could buy time every store would sell it
If you want me to read your mind, need correct spelling
I keep it real, n**gas better keep it copasetic

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I won’t forget the way you held me up when I was down

There are so many types of love.  All-encompassing, romantic, tragic, fated, passionate, comfortable, safe, benign, unhealthy, obsessive, fearful the list could go on for days.

Most loves float through these types predictably like the phases of the moon until they settle into some sort of balance that is a mix of history, companionship and admiration.  No matter how much you love your partner, there’s a kind of gradual inertia that envelopes you when you realize you will never again experience the full moon of emotions from a fated vacation tryst.

But the end of firsts doesn’t mean the end of love, just maybe the end of love that you hear about on Top 40 radio.

All this to say, my favourite love song is not about any of these overwrought phases or types of love.  It’s “This will be our year” by the Zombies and is a perfect, classic love song. It’s one of my favourite songs ever because it is simple, vague and most importantly, optimistic.

Don’t let go of my hand
now darkness has gone
and this will be our year
took a long time to come. 

The lack of details in this short sweet song are what make it so perfect.  I love references and details but there’s something so free about not getting bogged down with the history of the songwriter’s relationship.  Like most relationships it had it’s ups and downs but instead of revelling in the mistakes, he’s looking forward.  He’s saying thank you for staying with with me and it’s going to get better.

You don’t have to worry
all your worried days are gone
this will be our year
took a long time to come. 

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Sometimes I question who I am, sometimes I question why I’m here

I’m not sure if I would classify myself as a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis fan.  I hate that new song Downtown, so much. It’s corny AF.  But I really, really love their Nardwuar, the Human Serviette interview where they give him a present! (Definitely in my top five favourite Nardwuar interviews.  They are so sweet and Nardwuar seems genuinely surprised by their thoughtful gift!) But I didn’t like that lame text drama from Macklemore when he won the Grammy for Best Rap over Kendrick Lamar.   But I do still love Same Love and White Walls from The Heist and the fact that they are from Seattle.  But I do not really like any of their videos that much.

My long-winded point, is I was not expecting to like some free download from Macklemore worrying about having a baby when he’s a millionaire with a million fans moving through this life and hitting all the generally-expected milestones and I’m this sad old woman with dying eggs stuck destined to live common law for my whole life.  I  feel like my life is stuck at the 25 year-old’s milestone. Dealing with boyfriends and parents and siblings and jobs that just don’t fit.  But the reality is, as much as I’d like to believe I’m stuck, I’m not really.  Time is moving forward.  We are all growing up, whether we like it or not; hitting milestones or not; making babies or not.

Don’t get me wrong, Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) doesn’t  give me baby fever.  It makes me realize that time is passing and we each have things to share or pass along whether to our partners, our friends, our biological kids, our nieces or nephews or younger people that you meet through happenstance and take under your wing for a week, a month or the rest of your life. We all have something worth sharing.

I recommend that you read “The Alchemist”
Listen to your teachers, but cheat in calculus
Tell the truth, regardless of the consequence
And every day, give your momma a compliment. 

 Time is so strange. Some days feel like years, but years pass in what feels like days. Everything between 2006 – 2015 seems just like one very long day.  But the two years when my mom was sick felt like ten.

Times are changing, I know
But who am I if I’m the person you become
If I’m still growing up, up, up, up
I’m still growing up. 

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I could freestyle to a dolphin and a tambourine – @Jodyhighroller world’s funnest & funniest MC

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Riff Raff is your favourite funny rapper.  His 2014 CD, Neon Icon, is filled with weird and hilarious rhymes and infectious, pulsing beats.  It’s official, you can no longer sleep on Riff Raff, aka Jody Highroller, aka the Versace Python, aka the White BLANK, aka Peach Panther aka James Franco’s muse.  Riff Riff is pure excess and energy.  His life and music is an unapologetic caricature of 90s extravagance and the Dirty South subculture.  I don’t get it, but I love it.

Most funny rappers bore me.  Besides, The Real Slim Shady and My Name Is, most of Eminem’s supposedly funny raps just seemed lazy to me.  Tyler the Creator, Devin the Dude, and 2 Chainz are just not the MCs I keep on a tight rotation.  I have a pretty low tolerance for stereotypical humour (Black people be late; Indian moms be making curry; Japanese girls be giggling, etc.)

The difference with Riff Raff is that he’s happy to be that over-the-top lothario 24/7.  I don’t know where the persona ends and the man begins.  After an all-night Google deep-dive into his career, I wonder if even he knows the answer.

Aquaberry Dolphin is one of my favourite songs on Neon Icon. Riff Raff’s flow is comedically slow, like he recorded his rhymes at his regular cadence, typical of slow-drawling southern rappers, and then slowed down the track further. But the beats are still fast and fresh which makes it sound like he’s teaching, talking nice and slow so you don’t miss the grandeur of his claims between shots of jaeger.

I’m on a beach, David Hasselhoff (what?)
Hassle me I’m Tim McGraw, I don’t pass the ball (no)
Ball hard, fourth quarter, shoot the lights off. 

Riff isn’t preoccupied with dropping the hottest or most current references. He used to be in a rap group with Andy Milonakis and Simon Rex.  I don’t think he cares what mentioning Tim McGraw or David Hasselhoff will do for his street cred.

 The mansion, three-stories, living room with trampoline
Mi casa so big it took the maids the whole week to clean
I don’t like to drive Versace jeans in the limousine
 I could freestyle to a dolphin and a tambourine. 

He’s a self-professed alien. He’s working on breaking into the WWE.  He rocks neon braids, reportedly has had sex with thousands of females, including  a three-way that involved a dolphin and handful of magic mushrooms and has a deep connection to Bart Simpson.  He personifies everything I fear about  “Spring Braaak,” but I can’t help but be intrigued by his flagerance and authenticity.   I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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Life Gets Busy and Hard & Sometimes You Need to Just Get Stoopid

This is my gift to you, the #GetStoopid Playlist.  It’s meant for sweaty dance parties, calling in sick to work from the Airport and not being able to see straight.

Hey, summer: I missed you! Now let’s lose our minds.

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