Give Me Five…Featuring Princess Nokia

Sometimes my dreams consist of conversations with people I can never talk to again. I’ve often wondered if it is my subconscious working through things that were never resolved. An internal grasp for closure maybe? I’ve been thinking about grief lately. How we grow up never knowing what it is, how it feels, what it’s timelines are. Most of what we get are movie scenes. A rainy grave side with tears and sad music playing in the background, a dramatic outburst at a memorial service, casseroles and “I’m sorry for your loss.” Scene jump, time jump, one year later, or whatever, and the griever is getting on with their life. Or at least we are told they should be. Grief has never been that way for me.

It feels more like a thing inside that will always be there, woken from its idle state with a song, certain smells, a moment of stillness and silence when it feels safe to wake it up. Reminders, like those dream-conversations that feel so real I wake and expect that person to be next to me. That we’ll continue talking over coffee. As I sit here listening to the songs I’m meant to write about, coffee in hand, I suppose the conversation is continuing. I think there will always be something more to say.

But, for now, I’m going to finish my coffee and press play. Shake off this melancholy and maybe even dance around the kitchen.

Give Me Five – June 3, 2021

You can listen and follow along with June’s Give Me Five at Spotify and YouTube

Song 1: “The Conclusion” by Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia "The Conclusion" Give Me Five
Princess Nokia – Photo by Daniela Spector
“The Conclusion” by Princess Nokia – from the album, Everything Is Beautiful (2020)

“I love writing poetry.
And I love acting stupid.
I take my experiences and I go out and do it.”

I used to carry a journal around with me everywhere I went, tucked away in my purse, or backpack. Whenever the words hit me I’d pull it out and write them down. I miss pen to paper some days. I think I wrote more that way, or perhaps it is the physical of it, the feeling in my fingers as I over-pressed ink onto the page.

I used to love writing poetry. I don’t love it like that anymore. But, I still love to write, write to live, to breathe, to survive.

“The Conclusion” is part of the “beautiful” side of Princess Nokia’s two albums – Everything Sucks and Everything Is Beautiful. I tend to listen to the beautiful over the sucks most of the time, though I dig both of her releases.

This lyric always makes me laugh a little, and nod “uh, yeah.”

“I turn my heartbreak to poetry when it shatter in pieces.
Don’t fall in love with a poet, they really are leeches.”

We are all leeches, and thieves – us artists, writers, poets.

If you’d like to hear more of Princess Nokia, and if you’d like to help support her music, you don’t have to choose to suck or be beautiful, just click here.

Princess Nokia "The Conclusion" Give Me Five - Song 1 Photo by Jedidah M
Princess Nokia – Photo by Jedidah M

Song 2: “Drifting, Falling” by The Ocean Blue

The Ocean Blue "Drifting, Falling" Give Me Five
The Ocean Blue
“Drifting, Falling” by The Ocean Blue – from the album, The Ocean Blue (1989)

“Drifting, falling.
Watching all your dreams roll by.
They roll by.”

Dreams again. It must be a theme with me today.

I remember listening to this song, this album, one late afternoon, mid-summer. I was lying on my bedroom floor. You were lying there, too. Close. Our fingers barely touching. We were breathing in the music together. It was a rare kind of magic, that afternoon, that made me believe we were something more. It was one of those perfect moments. We never had one again. But, that’s okay. We had it, I was there. The song starts up and I can see it, feel it, I can go back there again.

I loved this album so much when I first bought it, in 1989. All the songs captured the time and the way I felt back then perfectly. It was one side of me. The Cure’s Disintegration was the other.

If you’d like to hear more of The Ocean Blue, and if you’d like to support their music, drift on over here.

The Ocean Blue "Drifting, Falling" Give Me Five - Song 2
The Ocean Blue

Song 3: “I’m Not In Love” by Kelsey Lu

Kelsey Lu "I'm Not In Love" Give Me Five
Kelsey Lu
“I’m Not In Love” by Kelsey Lu – from the album, Blood (2019)

“I keep your picture up on the wall.
It hides a nasty stain that’s lying there.
So don’t you ask me to give it back.
I know you know it doesn’t mean that much to me.”

The more I listen to this cover the deeper I sink into it. It’s haunting, ethereal, a little spooky, a little beautiful. At first listen, I thought it a pretty straight-forward “tribute” kind of cover – but there is so much more in this version. Layers, sounds, feelings that start to wash over me as I listen. The more I play it, the more obsessed I get.

Kelsey Lu is from Los Angeles. She’s a cellist, as well as a singer. She is another artist to be introduced/recommended to me from my daughter. I think it was this cover actually, that she sent to me one day.

If you’d like to hear more of Kelsey, and if you’d like to support her music, float on over here.

Kelsey Lu "I'm Not In Love" Give Me Five - Song 3
Kelsey Lu

Song 4: “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)” by Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder "I Believe" Give Me Five
Stevie Wonder
“I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)” by Stevie Wonder – from the album, Talking Book (1972)

“And the words of love I speak to you,
will echo in your mind.
I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever.”

This song transports me back to my childhood. Music-memory-recall-time-travel. I’m in the song, and then I’m back in my childhood home, or in that pale blue station wagon with the radio on. I can hear my mom’s voice singing-a-long.

Stevie Wonder co-wrote “I Believe” with Yvonne Wright. The song was featured in both the movie, High Fidelity, and the too short lived Hulu series ‘High Fidelity’, with Zoë Kravitz.

To hear more about Stevie Wonder, and to support his music, believe and find yourself right here.

Stevie Wonder "I Believe" Give Me F Song 4
Stevie Wonder

Song 5: “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake

Nick Drake "Pink Moon" Give Me Five photo by Julian Lloyd
Nick Drake – Photo by Julian Lloyd
“Pink Moon” by Nick Drake – from the album, Pink Moon (1972)

“I saw it written,
and I saw it say.
Pink moon is on its way.”

Nick Drake reminds me of my favorite book, God-Shaped Hole.

It reminds me of mixes and playlists, and deciding that some songs are “love songs” even when they aren’t about love.

Nick Drake "Pink Moon" Give Me F
Nick Drake

When you woke up today, was there a song in your head? If so, what was it?

June Miller (Uma Thurman), Henry And June

Give Me Five – June 2021

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