Oppressive heat overtook the weekend and ignited yet another brush fire in the close-by mountains above. When was it that fire season became a think in Los Angeles? It seems embedded in our lack-of-seasons around here, fueled by climate change and carelessness (in some ways the same thing really). Out the window this morning one might mistake it as a cloudy Autumn morning, tricking me into thinking I needed a sweater, and that it might be time to pull out all the spooky decorations. Two steps outside though and the wall of heat mixed with the ash snowflakes falling brought me back to reality. This is a heatwave. This is fire conditions. My eyes burn and my throat hurts, asthma waving hello and saying “you didn’t think I’d forget you”. I clean and fill the water bowls for the neighborhood stray cats (“the outsiders”) and worry about my city-neighbors without air conditioning, without homes, without shelter. I’m grateful for what we have. I give where I can. I wish I could do more.
I bake when I’m anxious. In this heat I had to start early. This morning it was a beer bread made with a favorite mix from Trader Joe’s, a cup of shredded cheddar, and a bottle of Stella. I listen to Tricky’s new album as I mix and knead and pre-heat the oven. I pour a cup of coffee. Sit down to right as the bread bakes. Clyde and Nia and Evie (3 of 4 of our “insiders”) sit close. The house is cool, for now. Cool enough that I throw the couch quilt over my shoulders. I’ve tried a few times this weekend to work on my novel, but I can’t seem to tap in to the story. Not this weekend, I guess. The muse is all about music right now. So, I write here. I hit play and I write what comes. At least I’m writing, I think. I’m learning to give myself a break sometimes, to not hold so tightly to schedules when it comes to creativity. It is a set-up for failure when I do. I’m learning that, too.
Sometimes real life weighs to heavy, requires attention. Sometimes I can’t play around in the make-believe. But, I know its still here. Waiting. My character friends in the desert. They aren’t going anywhere without me.
Give Me Five – September 7, 2020
1. “Hate This Pain” by Tricky, featuring Marta
from the album, Fall To Pieces (2020)
“What a fucking game.
I hate this fucking pain.”
I love the piano start, how bluesy it sounds, how timeless. Then the expletives. I’m fond of a good use of “fuck” in a song. I feel like this song fits how so much of us are feeling right now. It taps in to how so much of us are sick of all of it – the social injustice, the prejudice, the violence, the virus, the isolation, the state of it all. Don’t you fucking hate it, too?
Check-out the whole album. As always, Tricky’s albums are so good.
2. “Come Near Me” by Massive Attack, featuring Ghostpoet
from the single, “The Spoils” (2016)
“We’ve been here before,
don’t fear me.
Don’t stand by the door,
come near me.”
I’ve been digging in, and digging, Ghostpoet lately. Or again. I’ve been in this music-dig with him before. Its good to be back. Love this collaboration with Massive Attack. They always work with such magical music makers.
I love the thriller/horror vibe to the song. How the video captures that vibe. The tension. It has such a cinematic feel to it, don’t you think?
3. “Savior Complex” by Phoebe Bridgers
from the album, Punisher (2020)
“Baby, you’re a vampire.
You want blood and I promised,
I’m a bad liar,
with a savior complex.
All the skeletons you hide –
show me yours,
and I’ll show you mine.”
Phoebe is one of my favorite artists of the year (and last, as well), Her album, Punisher, has been on constant play/replay since it came out earlier this year. This year. It has sped and it has dragged. It has felt like no year that has come before.
Savior complex. I’ve worn one like a full self mask for most of my life. Equating saving with love. Equating what I could give/what I could fix to what my worth is/was.
But, I’m learning that I can’t save anyone except me, and I’ve never been all that good at saving me. I’m learning too, that instead of trying to save a partner, maybe I should work on doing my part to save the world. Maybe I’ll be better at that then saving a person/saving me.
Not that I can save the world. But…I can do a part of it.
4. “Blue Skies Again” by Jessica Lea Mayfield
from the album, Tell Me (2011)
“Suddenly I can see blue skies again.
Beauty says nothing less than our hearts will mend.
I promise you…
Hope. I keep hoping for blue skies, for safety, for it to be okay to go out into the world again. Hope. I keep hoping for real change. Not just performative social media. Not just temporary outrage. Not just “thoughts and prayers”. Real change. I’ve always been a hopeless hopeful type, and not just in the “romantic” sense. I’m trying to hold on to that hopeful girl.
I happened in to this song this morning. A happy music-accident. It reminded me how much I love Jessica’s voice. It reminded me of what I need to hang on to. Hope.
5. “Something Bout the Rain” by Pip Millett
from the EP, Do Well (2019)
“Let go of the sadness.
Lingers on its own.
You dug it by yourself,
can’t get out alone.
Depressed for a while,
couldn’t find my smile,
couldn’t find a fuck to give,
but fuck this.”
I discover a lot of music from TV and film. A good soundtrack goes a long way with me. I wish I could moonlight as one of the people who pick the music for a TV series, or movie. What a dream job that would be.
Insecure, on HBO, has a super keen soundtrack. I’ve discovered so much new music from the series, and have spent/spend a lot of time listening to the soundtrack for the show, on Spotify. This is one of my favorites from the show.
I love the throwback feel to it. The soul. And the lyrics, the bookend well with Tricky’s opening track. It is the hopefully-ever-after ending to today’s Give Me Five selection – with another good use of “fuck” in song.
What songs are you listening to this week? What songs can you not get enough of? What use of fuck in a song do you like the most?