I’ve been struggling lately with myself, or with the daily stuff surrounding myself. Its been easy to let work swallow me up, devouring the waking hours of my day, taking up most of my creative energy. More than that, though, I’ve let it eat up my appetite for music, for reading, and for the drift and flow that music and words and visual art take me on that lead me to my own writing, my own creating. The world is rough and thorny right, sharp and dark and full of chasms of hopelessness. Work is like math or science maybe, predictable, solvable. You do this, you get this result. Rinse. Repeat. Expectations granted. And I get it, why I’ve let myself swim so deeply into it. But, I’m losing myself in the process. I’m losing all the things and people I connect with, too.
Work then a TV numbing. Binge watching and turning into a glazed out self when the day is over. Its not that I don’t enjoy film and TV. I do. But I am self aware enough to know when I’m using it as a numbing agent. When its become my pain killer, my opioid. So, I’m turning up the volume. I’m digging through playlists and albums. I’m pulling myself out of the murky muck, splashing ice cold water (and music) on my face. Diving into it, swimming around, shocking my system until I’m awake again. Until I’m connecting again.
Its been a few months since I did a Give Me Five. Seems like the right time for a set of five addictive sounds.
Give Me Five – September 5, 2020
- “Easy Come, Easy Go” by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal
from the album, Blindspotting: The Collin EP (2018)
“Aye aye, captain, I’m first to mate.
You sloppy seconds, get a plate.
I play the part of party rocker well, I paint it like a Rock-a-well.
I rock a welfare line like I was headlinin’ at Rock the Bells.
Raisin’ up the bar, these jumpers is far below –
They want a rockstar, why you playin’ Guitar Hero?”
If you haven’t seen the film Blindspotting go now go. Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough. It gives a close-up view into the differences between the black experience and the white experience, set in Oakland, California. It also delves into friendship and relationships existing within these different experiences. Daveed and Rafael portray best friends whose relationship is tested due in large part to those different experiences. The city of Oakland plays out as an interesting backdrop to the story, the city’s gentrification and evolution also illustrating the differences in experience, and how money and privilege, and lack of both, play a part in day-to-day living, and surviving.
Hit play. Have a listen. Enjoy. Then go find the movie and watch
2. “Children of the Revolution” by Kesha
from the album, Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T-Rex (2020)
“Well, you can tear a plane in the falling rain.
I drive a Rolls Royce ’cause it’s good for my voice.”
A Marc Bolan/T-Rex fan for forever. That’s me. Ever since I heard Power Station cover “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” when I was sixteen, which led me to dig for the source, and keep digging, digging everything I heard, digging Marc’s style and sound, and digging the whole everything of Glam. T-Rex has been in my Top 5 live music I dream of time-traveling back to see, for forever. All that said, I was more than a little hesitant to dive into the newly released Bolan/T-Rex tribute album. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge lover of covers. Huge. But, when a whole album takes on a beloved of mine, well, I get a little wary.
As with most tribute albums, there are some hits and some misses. Like with any compilation – short stories, anthology TV, soundtrack albums – there are some that just hit me in the best spots, and others that miss me by a long shot. My first listen favorite? The first track (and perfect choice for the first track), Kesha’s take on “Children of the Revolution”. Fucking powerful, emotional, raw, and wonderful. Go Kesha, after all the shit you’ve been through, I love seeing you shine.
Bonus for me are the clips of the original recording, with Marc, Elton John, and Ringo Starr among the Glam-or-ific fray.
3. “I Think She Knows” by Kaki King
from the album, Guilt By Association, Vol. 2 (2008)
“Those flashing lights come from everywhere.
The way they hit her I have to stop and stare.
She’s got me love stoned.
Man, I swear she’s bad, and she knows.
I think that she knows.”
Another cover, this time a tribute to the Justin Timberlake song, Lovestoned/I Think She Knows”. This came up when I selected “go to song radio” from a track from Bully. I love happy accidents like this. Kaki King’s Justin-take led me to this cool cover collection that I can’t wait to dig in further (and also find Vol. 1, and give it a listen).
I love how sexual/sensual Kaki’s cover is. Deliciously addictive. You can’t just listen once.
4. “home with you” by FKA twigs
from the album, MAGDALENE (2019)
“How come the more you have the more that people want from you?
The more you burn away the more the people earn from you.
The more you pull away the more that they depend on you.”
Every time I listen to FKA twigs’ album MAGDALENE I find a new song to obsess over. Lately its this one – “home with you”. Her music is magical to me, cinematic, other-worldly, sci-fi/fantasy/dreamstate stuff that I take in more and more deeply with every listen. Today, this song makes me feel, and it makes me cry.
She is pretty incredible.
5. “Doot Doot” by Freur
from the album, Doot Doot (1983)
you take a bow.”
So overfilled with nostalgia, with memory, with feeling, that sometimes this song is too much for me to hear. But, part of my reconnecting with music, and reconnecting with me, is allowing myself to FEEL. And, oh my stars, this song makes me FEEL.
It reminds me of people who are unreachable and long gone from my life (and this world). Sometimes when I listen though, they feel closer, close enough to touch, if only for the contents of this song.
What songs are you listening to this week? What songs can you not get enough of? What songs are making you FEEL?