The first time I heard Today’s Song of the Day, “To Be Completely Honest” by Dawes, it was live, at The Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. The album, All Your Favorite Bands, which this track is from, had just been released that day, and the band was showcasing it at this live show. I’d been into Dawes for a while before that, but after this album, and seeing and hearing them play it live, I became a forever fan.
“To Be Completely Honest” was, and still is, my favorite from the album. It is one of my Top 5 favorite Dawes songs, too.
“To Be Completely Honest” by Dawes
from the album, All Your Favorite Bands (2015)
Song of the Day
“To be completely honest,
I think I know how it ends:
the universe continues expanding,
while we discuss particulars of just being friends.”
This song may be one of the most “honest” breakup songs I’ve ever heard. It is filled with the roller coaster of emotions that happen when in the midst of, and after, the ending of a relationship. The quote above especially hits deep because really, how many of us haven’t been there?
Whether you are the one being left, or you are the one that’s leaving, the idea of negotiating to be friends after, one of those things that “look good on paper”, but is so hard to make a reality, is just impossibly awful to hear. And really, to say.
The album, All Your Favorite Bands is said to maintain a theme of sentimentality and nostalgia, looking backward and wishing well friends and lovers with a very universal thought that all your favorite bands stay together.
To me, it iterates the idea that music is personal and vital to human existence, that love may fade, friends may drift apart, but your favorite music, and bands, they stay with you forever.
“To Be Completely Honest” embodies all of this, and then some, to me.
“To Be Completely Honest” (live) by Dawes
Three days into the New Year. Three days into new starts and resolutions. Three days into what I believe is going to be the best year yet. Three days into love and hope and commitment towards happiness and love. I am feeling so very hopeful right now.
Music is playing its part in these first three days of 2019. That’s nothing new though. Music is always playing a part in my life. I find myself leaning into old favorites, and opening my ears up to new discoveries. I’m always musically-curious, combing through playlists and recommendations, replaying old mixes and albums, and digging into new music, and new-to-me music. I hope to never lose my desire to hear more music. I hope to never hit that point in my listening life where I only want to hear what’s come before. No, I want to keep listening forward, and backward, and everything in-between.
Music Obsession requires open ears, open minds, and ever-evolving playlists. What are you listening to, and obsessing over, on this third day of the New Year?
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Thursday, January 3, 2019
1. “Low Rising” by The Swell Season
from the album, Strict Joy (2009)
“For the love of you.
I wanna sit you down and talk.
I wanna sit you down and talk about it now.”
Love is everything.
Love is magic. But, love is work. You have to show up every day with an open heart, with patience, and with a wanting to make it work with every part of you. Its worth it, the work, the patience, the wanting, and the showing up. It’s worth everything.
I know I waited so long to find the love I have in my life now. And, I know, without any doubt, that even on the rough days, our love is worth it. It is everything.
2. “Save Me” by Aimee Mann
from the Magnolia soundtrack (1999)
“You look like a perfect fit,
for a girl in need of a tourniquet.
But, can you save me?”
Love is magic, yes, yes that is true.
But, it isn’t a cure for everything that ails us. Sure, it helps. How can it not? Loving, and being loved, helps everything. It makes the world a little brighter, it makes hope a little more clear. But, we still have to do the work. On ourselves. We still have to show up for ourselves. We still have to try to save ourselves, before we can even think of saving another. Before we can believe that love can save us.
I’m grateful though, to have love in my life. And, even though I know I have to save myself, heal myself, and work on myself, I think that love helps in all of it. So, maybe, just maybe, love saves us, at least a little bit. I believe in love and its magic. And, I believe that it helps in all of it.
3. “Crack the Case” by Dawes
from the album, Passwords (2018)
“Countless revisions of history,
tryin’ to tell us the future,
between each commercial break.
I wanna call off the cavalry,
declare no winners or losers,
and forgive our shared mistakes.
You can pick the time and place.
Maybe that will crack the case.”
I love Dawes’ lyrics.
It is their lyrics that attracted me to their music first. The storytelling, and the insight into the human condition, especially in terms of love and relationships, and living, always seems to hit spot on. I feel it, and understand it.
I love the sentiment in the above lyrics of “forgive our shared mistakes”. I think that its sometimes hard to see both sides, to recognize that we all play a part, that we all make mistakes – and that mistakes in a relationship are shared. And that forgiveness is vital, for ourselves, for each other, for love, and for living itself.
This song is a nice reminder of that truth.
4. “Fruits of My Labor” by Lucinda Williams
from the album, World Without Tears (2003)
“Traced your scent through the gloom,
’til I found these purple flowers.
I was spent,
I was soon smelling you for hours.”
I love the desire in this song, the recollected passion, the way it evokes all of the senses in the lyrics.
This is a lyrical magic, this song. Easily my favorite Lucinda Williams track. I’m grateful to my boyfriend for introducing me to the song, and to more of Lucinda’s music than I’d previously been familiar with.
This song is one of many (so many) that remind me of us, of my love for him, for all our early moments of trading songs and lying in each other’s arms taking turns picking albums and introducing each other to our favorites.
I love that we still do that. That it is still so much a part of us, and our connection, and love. I think it always will be. I hope it always will be.
5. “What I Am” by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
from the album, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars (1988)
“Shove me in the shallow water,
before I get too deep.”
Another song, and album, that is full of memories of a much younger me.
The end of the ’80s, or at least near the end. I was 19. Another big year for me in terms of living and life experiences. There were be moments of great change, excitement, “firsts”, and little joys. There were also moments of pain, loss, sorrow, and damage that would leave semi-permanent scars (I’m always hoping to heal my past, wherever possible).
I heard this song, and album, for the first time working at my first record store job. Sam Goody. I remember buying it very soon after. On cassette. And playing it in my car. It had heavy car stereo rotation for the summer of my nineteen, and for some time after.
I hadn’t heard this song in a long while until it came on in my car this morning off of an old playlist I’d made. I think I’ll have a listen to the entire album today, as well.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of December 31, 2018
Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions were all songs I heard on my commute in this morning. They all mark different moments, and feelings, as I made my way through some sadness and pain, and turned it around to hope and a bit of a better mood. I’m still shaky and there are parts of me that are still sad, but I’ve decided to put it away in yesterday, put it in the past, and hang on to the good bits, the better mood, the hope, and so much love that I feel, more and more with each day. Sometimes the best coping skill is to get over things, move on, and not stop believing. That’s what I’m doing now…with a little help of 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Monday, September 17, 2018
1. “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan
from the album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
is better than ice cream,
better than anything else that I’ve tried.
And, your love,
is better than ice cream.
Everyone here knows how to cry.”
I haven’t listened to Sarah McLachlan, or Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, in years. This was a big album to me in 1994, and for the rest of the 90’s, actually. I saw her sing this song three times at three years of Lilith Fair, and a few times when I saw her live on her own. I always loved this song, but never really felt a love that this song fit. Not until now.
Hearing this song randomly this morning made me cry, and then made me smile, and laugh. Ice Cream is one of our things. Last night when things were tough and we were both feeling the aftermath of a first fight, and when I was so deeply sad, he suggested that ice cream would make us feel better. It did help a little. And, this morning, hearing this song, and thinking of ice cream, and our love, I know having these “us” things helps. Like ice cream. But that his love is bigger and better than any frozen dessert could ever be. Even with crumbled up Trader Joe’s Windmill cookies on top.
2. “This Thing That I’ve Found” by The Autumn Defense
from the album, Fifth (2014)
“What is this thing that I’ve found?
And can I handle it?”
New music discovery alert, thanks to this week’s Spotify Discover Weekly Playlist.
It was the first track on this week’s Playlist, and I hit repeat three times after the first listen.
It reminded me how rare, wonderful, and big this love is that I found. It took almost fifty years. I really had given up ever finding anything like this. But, then I did. We did. And it is everything to me. We are everything to me. And yes, even on the rough days (and nights), I know I can handle it.
3. “To Be Completely Honest” by Dawes
from the album, All Your Favorite Bands (2015)
“So, you don’t need to say a word right now,
all your reasons would just flicker in the darkness.
Maybe that’s why nobody knows how,
to be completely honest.”
One of my favorite songs by Dawes. This one was hard to hear this morning, though. Last night was the first time I saw that there could be an end to us, that that might be what you wanted. And, to be completely honest, the feeling of it, of losing you, still hurts. I don’t want to ever revisit that feeling again. I hope I never have to.
4. “Fireproof” by The National
from the album, Trouble Will Find Me (2013)
Nothing breaks your heart.
How’d you get so far.”
I used to be fireproof. I used to be buried alive behind a brick wall. Like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, except I’m the one who built that wall around me. It kept my heart from breaking. For years and years. But, it also kept my heart from really loving. It kept me from ever truly falling in love.
The fire may burn me now. My heart may break. But, I would never want to go back to being fireproof, and bricked up from feeling, and from love. Because honestly, no matter what, its worth it to love, to feel, to be yours. Forever, I hope.
5. “Bad Dreams” by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson
from the EP, Apart (2018)
Cover of “Worried” by The Echo Friendly
“Falling in love and getting over it,
and oh too fast.
I envy the futures of all my friends,
I get jealous about your past.
If it gets too close,
if it gets too much,
I’m scared I’ll disappear.
I might step back,
or go too far,
but I’ll wait for you right here.
Pessimistic as it seems,
sleep will never come that easy,
we will always have bad dreams.”
Watching the sky change colors through a fitful night of little sleep and bad dreams. I kept going through what happened, words that were said, and the fears that I have that I’m ever trying to quell. It’s hard when they get hit on in a way that my fears feel realized, feel true and all too possible. Losing him, and losing us, even though I worry about it, and even though my issues try to remind me of the possibility until last night I never really believed I could lose you, or lose us. Its hard to feel like I was wrong. Its hard to have heard the reality of it from your lips.
But, I’m determined to put it behind us. To believe it isn’t true. That it isn’t what you think, or want. Every time I fell asleep I had the same nightmare, the same bad dreams, that we were not what you wanted. That you were saying goodbye. But, those were words said in anger, and they were words that I am trying to believe were not true.
I’m determined to forget that it was ever spoken out loud. And, I’m determined to continue to push through my deep-rooted fears, and insecurities, and believe that we are forever. Because, in my heart, we are forever, and nothing will ever change that for me.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of September 17, 2018
Friday’s Top 5 Music Obsessions is here. Friday finally. This has been a bit of a bumpy week, though there were some wonderfully wonderful moments in the in-between parts of the week. It’s near impossible to let a week get to me when I have so much love and happiness in my life. Life is really so damn good right now, and I am so in love. And yes, today is Friday, which makes me smile even wider than I was already. Also, today is our one month anniversary. It feels longer, and shorter, all at once. Time is such a strange construct. I’m so grateful for what we have, and for this month we’ve shared together. The month that has changed everything.
Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day – July 13, 2018
1. “I Want You” by Concrete Blonde
“I know you don’t need to be,
caught in between my extremes,
but you’ve shown me things I so needed see.
So, believe when I say to you,
no matter where I am,
I’d rather be with you.”
I forgot about this song from Concrete Blonde’s 1990 album, Bloodletting. I stumbled on it this morning and had to play it a few times through. “I Want You” seems fitting for the way I feel this morning…and all this month.
2. “Here She Comes Now” by The Velvet Underground
“Now, she ever comes now now.
She ever comes now now.
She ever comes now.”
Lots of Velvet Underground lately. This one he sent me yesterday afternoon. We listened to it last night together, too. The band that isn’t a band, that is a band.
3. “Summer’s End” by John Prine
“The moon and stars hang out in bars just talkin’.
I still love that picture of us walkin’.
Just like that ol’ house we thought was haunted.
Summer’s end came faster than we wanted.”
I’ve been enjoying John Prine’s new album a lot today. I’m always a fan of his lyrics. I like picturing the moon and stars talking in a bar together on a hot summer night.
4. “Bitter End” by The Jayhawks
you can sleep tonight,
knowing you always live on,
in a song.”
Tied for my first listen favorite on The Jayhawks’ new album, Back Roads and Abandoned Motels. This song was originally written with, and for, the Dixie Chicks.
5. “Never Gonna Say Goodbye” by Dawes
“There’s not a way to someone’s heart that she can’t see.
She lives and loves with everything she’s got.
My dark days showed me how to ask, ‘Why me?'”
She’s shown me how to ask, ‘Why not?'”
Another song from Dawes’ latest album, Passwords. This one I feel completely. Reminds me of us.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of July 9, 2018
Somehow I missed that there was a new Dawes album. I heard the lead single but didn’t realize the album (Passwords) was out already. “Crack the Case”, the first released single, is full of all the things I love about this band – engaging and emotionally complex lyrics, a late 70’s meets mid-2000’s (what do we call this time?) sound that teeters between alt-country, folk, indie rock, and a throwback singer-songwriter vibe that attracted me to their music when I first discovered them. This is a band that really needs to be seen live. No matter how much I enjoy their albums, and songs, seeing them live has always blown me away.
Los Angeles lives in “Crack the Case”, as it does in so many of Dawes’ song. It resides within the sung stories in the way that I’ve always looked at the city. That whole love/hate thing that has made me leave, and lured me back, time and again. I’m not always sure what keeps me here. I’m not always sure what’s made me walk away. Both realities exist within me, as they do in this song. Or, at least that’s how I interpret it.
“Crack the Case” by Dawes
from the album, Passwords (2018)
Song of the Day
“It’s really hard to hate anyone,
when you know what they’ve lived through.
Not once they’ve given you a taste.
‘This is for you to overcome,
but I will always love you’,
in her perfect state of grace.
Maybe that would crack the case.”
Today feels tough so I’m relying heavily on music to pull me through. I’m really not a fan of this week at all.
Today is hard. I don’t feel like saying more than that. It is just very hard.
I’ll just play the Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day instead.
Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Lisa Hannigan
May 25, 2018
1. “Oh! You Pretty Things” by Lisa Hannigan
“All the nightmares came today,
and it looks as though they’re here to stay.”
2. “Ocean” by Goldfrapp, featuring Dava Gahan
“I’ve lost the will to.
I’ve lost my way.
I’ve lost this ocean.
I poisoned me.”
3. “Curse of the I-5 Corridor” by Neko Case, featuring Mark Lanegan
“In the current of your life,
I was an eyelash in the shipping lanes.”
4. “What is Love” by Lera Lynn and Dylan LeBlanc
“What is love?
I don’t know.”
5. “Crack the Case” by Dawes
“It’s really hard to hate anyone once you know what they’ve lived through
And once they’ve given you a taste
She said, ‘This is for you to overcome, but I will always love you’.”
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of May 21, 2018
Thank you for the music Lisa Hannigan, Goldfrapp, Dave Gahan, Neko Case, Mark Lanegan, Lera Lynn, Dylan LeBlanc, and Dawes.
Tuesday is a little heavier than Monday felt. My emotions feel strung out and threadbare. I feel internally exhausted and in need of a mental vacation. Last night driving in the pouring rain with so many accidents in my path I felt my anxiety rise to levels I’ve not felt in a while. I know that attacks of that nature take it out of me and that the next day I feel emotionally hungover. I think that’s part of my Tuesday makeup. A rush of bittersweet memories has been blowing thru me today, as well. Music triggered, of course, though my subconscious probably has something to do with it, as well. Music and my subconscious, they like to get together sometimes and make out for hours, causing memories and past feelings to get stirred up and enunciated.Electrified emotive responses, that’s part of what I’m feeling today. The only thing to really do is Turn the Music up and breathe. Inhale and exhale the memories, the feelings, the static cling of the past, and get to the other side.
Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions are indicative of how I’m feeling and experiencing the day. Song 1 is “Make This Go On Forever” by Snow Patrol. A best friend of mine put this on a February Playlist she made and listening to it I was reminded that the last part of the Song, the Lyrics and the way the pares down and becomes stark, always makes me cry. Today is no exception. “Day I Die” by The National is up next. I woke up in a National frame of mind as my Song of the Day today will attest, so I definitely needed one more Song. A new Tricky discovery is Track 3 of Today’s Top 5. “The Only Way”, which is labeled as the “Stripped Down Tricky” version, feels like a mix of Trip Hop and Dream Pop and is truly delicious sounding. “We Could Send Letters” by Aztec Camera is a trip back in time to 1983. Listening to it today I’m reminded of Belle And Sebastian. Last, but not least is one of my Favorite Songs from Dawes. The storytelling aspect of “That Western Skyline” is like a short story, the best in a collection, so vivid and beautifully heartbreaking. Lying back and listening close I can see it all plays like a Movie on the inside of my closed eyelids.
I hope this Tuesday is a good one for you and that your own Music Obsessions are filling you up. If it’s a rough one I hope there is Music to help you feel better. I know Music always does that for me – the best medicine there ever could be. Let me know what you think of these Top 5 Music Obsessions in the comments, and please share what’s playing in your world today, too.
Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day – February 27, 2018
1. “Make This Go On Forever” by Snow Patrol
2. “Day I Die” by The National
3. “The Only Way” (Stripped Down Tricky Mix) by Tricky
4. “We Could Send Letters” by Aztec Camera
5. “That Western Skyline” by Dawes
I hope you enjoy this Tuesday’s Top 5 Music Obsessions. This week is shaping up to be one of my Favorite Top 5 Music Obsessions weeks, so far. Do you have a Favorite Song, so far?
Top 5 Music Obsessions for the Week of February 26, 2018
I think its time for a Music Listography refresh. Its been awhile and lists are fun to do. They evolve over time, some favorites changing, others staying for the forever haul. I hope that you decide to play along. Feel free to add your 20 to the comment section, or put a Listography list on your own blog and/or social media.
I will include playlist links for Spotify and YouTube, as well as an in-post YouTube playlist, so you can press play and spin all 20 if you’d like.
Though I will be following the book from each list to the next, my answers will not reflect a particular order. I am such a music obsessive that it will be challenging enough to stick to things like “top 20“, much less try to decide whose #1, or #13, that’s just too cruel. So, without further ado, here we go with the first list.
List Your Top Twenty Favorite Bands
Listen to my list on Spotify and YouTube
courtesy of Music Listography : Your Life In (Play)Lists
1. Duran Duran
“Lonely in Your Nightmare”
2. The Beatles
3. The Rolling Stones
“Beast of Burden”
4. The Velvet Underground And Nico
“Oh! Sweet Nuthin'”
5. Roxy Music
“Love is the Drug”
6. Fleetwood Mac
7. The Libertines
“Up the Bracket”
“Coffee and TV”
9. The Jam
“Only Happy When It Rains”
11. The Clash
“Lost In the Supermarket”
12. The Who
“Behind Blue Eyes”
“To Be Completely Honest”
15. Concrete Blonde
“Still in Hollywood”
16. Mazzy Star
“Fade Into You”
“Hanging on the Telephone”
“Back On the Chain Gang”
19. The Kills
20. July Talk
Five Song Obsessions of the Day :: California, Part 3
Listen as a playlist on Spotify
Five song obsessions of the day, day 3, with the theme of California in a song. You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the Music Obsessions of Today :: Top Five playlist. I will add each five songs shared to the playlist each day.
1. “Los Angeles” :: X
had to leave,
Another leaving Los Angeles song, but peppered with lyrical regret. Another case, perhaps, of leaving, but not for good? I remember getting to see X perform this live, a few years back, at the Roxy, for a surprise show. It took me back to when I first heard them play, in Los Angeles, “back in the day”.
2. “Angeles” :: Elliott Smith
“I can make you satisfied in everything you do,
all your secret wishes could right now be coming true,
and be forever,
with my poison arms,
The darker side of Los Angeles, tinged with that indistinguishable hope (washed down with whiskey, more than likely) that permeates the air sometimes, in this city of angels. A dark bar, mid-day, though inside it feels like midnight. Two pool tables, three regulars, and two lovers huddled close, wondering if its time to leave yet. The city, each other, their lives all-together.
3. “Malibu” :: Hole
“Crash and burn,
all the stars explode tonight.”
Up the coast to Malibu, three stops up the hills, used to be a destination. Now it just all another memory for the both of us to distort the way artists do. We all become stories eventually, don’t we?
4. “Time Spent in Los Angeles” :: Dawes
“But, you got that special kind of sadness,
you got that tragic set of charms,
that only comes from time spent in Los Angeles –
makes me wanna wrap you in my arms.”
Jaded hopefulness/hopeless romantic version of Los Angeles shows up in the lyrics here. That “kind of sadness”, and that “tragic set of charms”, are all part and parcel to the way I see L.A., how I know it in myself. Third generation from Los Angeles, perhaps all that is in my bloodstream, my genetic coding, and in the tint of lens my eyes, and heart, see through. Or, perhaps we learn to transcend…perhaps I have.
5. “California” :: The Airborne Toxic Event
“All nightmares and daydreams,
Another juxtaposition of feelings and moods, of “nightmares and daydreams”, of hope and hopelessness. There is a loneliness here, all of us who live here have felt it, but there is connection, too, that you can find. I’ve left, much more than once, but I always come back.
There went Day 3 of the California-themed, Five Song Obsessions of the Day. Today it was X with some 80’s punk leaving/wanting to leave/not wanting to leave anthem, Elliot’s sad ode to the city, Hole’s beach reverie with its tainted underpinnings, Dawes jaded lyrical refrains of sadness and charm, and The Airborne Toxic Event’s melody about the nightmares and daydreams this state inspires.
What are you listening to?
My 5 Music Obsessions of the Day
1. Still Crazy After All These Years :: Tony Lucca
“And we talked about some old times,
and we drank ourselves some beers –
still crazy after all these years.”
2. God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise :: Ray LaMontagne
“When some of the boys,
get to talking up their girls back home,
I tell ’em none’s as fine as mine.”
3. Trailer Man :: Brian Matthew
gonna feel all right.”
4. Two :: Ryan Adams
“If you take me back,
back to your place,
I’ll try not to bother you,
5. That Western Skyline :: Dawes
“So, I wait for her all through the day,
as if I wait for her surrender.
And every time I get her to look my way,
she says I’m not where I belong.”