Give Me Five…featuring La Force

Monday. The first Monday of the new year. The first Monday back “at work” after the holiday breaks. “At work” meaning from my kitchen, still working remotely, since March of last year. For the most part I like it this way. I do miss some things though – time by myself, some collaborating in-person, seeing my work-friend more regularly. But, I don’t miss the long commuting (though sometimes I miss the audiobooks and podcasts I could get through). I really like being here at home, too. The time it allows me to cook and create, be part of a writing group (via Zoom), be more present for my kids, spend more time with my boyfriend.

Its harder to stick to routines though. My ADHD-anxiety brain is easily distracted and tends to take on too much which tends to end up with me not finishing anything non-work related. But, I’m trying to re-organize my days, simplify where I can, make space and time for myself – for alone time, for creating time, for time to try new projects. I’m trying, too, to bring this space back to life – and to listen to more and more and more music.

Speaking of…here is today’s Give Me Five – the first 2021 Monday edition:

“Mama Papa” by La Force – from the album, La Force (2018)

“I got phantom limbs.
Phantom feelings.
Phantom words.
Phantom beings of you.”

I’ve been dreaming of the past as if it is now. Phantom’s returning to say something, or nothing. Maybe its the resurfacing of grief, or feeling the bits of it I never allowed myself to feel. Even when things get better and things are for the best, loss still carries feelings to be mourned.

These lyrics feel like some of what I’m feeling, and subsequently setting free.

La Force is Ariel Engle, who performs under the name of La Force, and also with Broken Social Scene. I discovered her, and her music, today via this week’s Spotify Daily Mix 1. You can learn and listen to more La Force, and help support her music, here.

“Where or When” by Benny Goodman Sextet and Peggy Lee – from the album, Small Groups: 1941-1945 (1989)

“It seems we stood and talked like this before,
we looked at each other in the same way then –
but I can’t remember where or when.”

I’ve been playing old records of my grandparents on the record player my boyfriend got me for Christmas. So much of it is the big band sounds I remember hearing in their house. It reminds me so much of them – gifting me so many vivid memories. I miss them so much.

I love Peggy Lee’s voice with the Benny Goodman Sextet in this song. So good. I’d like to get this album on vinyl to add to the collection I inherited from my grandparents.

“Till the End of Days” by Bermuda Triangle – from the single, “Till the End of Days” (2018)

“Maybe God,
maybe God,
maybe God does exist –
’cause the way you look at me on mornings like this.”

Bermuda Triangle is a trio made up of Brittany Howard, Becca Mancari, and Jesse Lafser. Wow. What a trio. I wish there were more than just a handful of songs by these three.

I’m glad my Discover Weekly Spotify playlist for this week led me to this song.

“Help me kill my time,
’cause I’ll never be fine.”

How did I not know about this???? Mary Lou Lord (with Mikaela Davis) covering Elliott Smith??? Loving this cover so much!

Mary Lou Lord says this about the song: “I first heard ‘Some Song’ among the many early Elliott songs. I am from Salem, MA, and Halloween has always been a big deal in my hometown. I chose “Some Song” because it’s so haunting, and also very human. I love this song because it’s slow-burning and very intense, and I think it describes a certain human condition of madness and normal. A mask, but one that can be removed or put on at any given time.”

Last year Kill Rock Stars had artists cover songs from Elliott Smith’s eponymous album for its twenty fifth anniversary. This year is their thirtieth, so they’re having artists cover songs from their entire thirty year history! (Thanks, If It’s Too Loud for this info).

According to the above sourced blog (It It’s Too Loud), Kill Rock Stars will release songs, single-by-single, throughout 2021. I can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Mary Lou Lord with Elliott Smith, back in the ’90s
Mikaela Davis
“Wasted Youth” by Jenny Lewis – from the album, On the Line (2019)

“Why you lyin’?
The Bourbon’s gone
Mercury hasn’t been in retrograde for that long.”

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Jenny Lewis?


Considered it mentioned.

I love Jenny Lewis.

I hope that when life comes safely back Jenny will tour again. I’m itching to go to another Jenny Lewis show.

I miss live music so much!

Check back frequently to see what 5 songs will be added next to the Give Me Five Playlist for January 2021. You can listen as it grows on Spotify and YouTube.

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