Tag Archives: Music

Music & Love. Love & Music.

Okay sorry.

I’m apologizing because I wrote a similar post about this, but I think the topic is worth revisiting.

I am someone for whom music infiltrates my inner being. I listen to music on the way to work & on the way home. I listen to music at my desk at work, when I’m perusing the aisles of Target on the weekends. I listen to music as I’m falling asleep, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I scrub the bathtub. Music is me. And that’s why I love it.

So I think it goes without saying that music plays a huge role in my relationships. I bring my tastes to the table and I am eager to welcome my man’s as well. I think music says so much about a person, especially if they can switch from rock to blues to neo-soul in a playlist and not skip a beat.

It’s perhaps also something that makes me feel entitled (sorry not sorry). I went on a date with a man who claimed he was in to abstract artists and that my claim of the same relating to music really piqued his interest. When he asked me to rattle off a few names (Fleet Foxes, Erykah Badu, Arcade Fire, Quadron, Vampire Weekend, Sixto, & Beyonce for a start) he blinked at me with extreme confusion and admitted to only really being familiar with Queen Bey and her sister (“what’s that girl’s name? The one with the kid?” Man, bye.)

It’s also something that can be painful. After Asif* I simply could not listen to Thievery Corporation. If I heard the familiar start of The Cosmic Game I would immediately change the song, exit the room, or start up raucous conversation to drown out the music that tied so closely to the memory of him. After Julian* I couldn’t listen to Drake for a full year. The man was obsessed with Drake – it was the only thing he brought to our (turn)table of love (I should have known we were doomed from the start of Houstatlantavegas). Shortly after the second (or third?) time we ended it, I found myself out to drinks with friends, there the bar played the full So Far Gone album from start to finish. I was instantly thankful for my girl Lauren, who encouraged us all to talk LOUDLY over the album until we had managed to raise the general volume of the bar to a level that was likely intolerable for the bartender, but just perfect for my heartbroken ears.

Most recently, with my last great love, Kev*, I really embraced my love for more “alternative” music. Why listen to Drake when there’s so much of The Black Keys to be had? When he departed from my life in the most painful of ways, he unfortunately took some of those great artists with him because my heart just couldn’t bear to hear the music we listened to while tangled in bed watching the rain pour down my window on one of those particularly lazy Sunday afternoons.

Something different happened this time around. While our ending may have been catastrophic, Kev and I had forged one of the healthiest, happiest, most amazing relationships I’d ever been in. Perhaps it’s with that knowledge that my heart is starting to heal a bit faster, and my ears are able to better tolerate the sounds of the songs we used to listen to into the wee hours of the night.

Am I the only one for which music plays such a huge role for in relationships and life? I’d love to hear thoughts too.

 

*Names have been changed to protect those that have exhausted the lengths to which my heart could deal with their foolishness.

6 Reasons Why I Can’t Stop Watching ABCFamily’s The Vineyard

I’m not the kind of person that can survive without cable. Everywhere I’ve ever moved, I’ve done two things first: 1) find my closest library to get a library card (that’s what having a librarian mom does to you) and 2) get cable. I suppose I need cable because I have a dirty secret: I have a thing for bad TV. Bravo pretty much rules my heart so when ABCFamily started promoting The Vineyard, I was intrigued.

ABCFamily The Vineyard Cast Katie, Lou, Jackie, Gabby, Martha's Vineyard

The Vineyard is a docu-series around the summer lives of 11 twenty-somethings, which basically means The Hills. The show has been on the air since July 23rd, there are 2 episodes left to air and much drama to be had. There are a number of reasons why I think you should tune into the series now some of which overlap with why I love Martha’s Vineyard. I apologize in advance to my Island friends, but I just can’t help myself. So, here goes: 6 Reasons Why I Can’t Stop Watching ABCFamily’s The Vineyard:

6. THE FASHION
Moxie MalibuLovers + FriendsAlexander WangRag & BoneJack RogersJames Perse. Just a small sampling of the amazing brands featured on the show. I’m constantly filling up online shopping carts, and then guiltily deleting items from them in an effort to not spend my life away on the TV show stylings of The Vineyard. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5. JACKIE LYONS’ MOM
One of the things I love about watching Sex and the City is that every episode feels like it’s dropping some sort of ultimate lady wisdom in my lap. I feel similarly about Jackie’s Mom on The Vineyard. Perhaps it’s because I miss my own mother, but when Mrs. Lyons is on TV dishing out the truth, I can’t help but listen in. Apparently I’m not the only one because now she’s on twitter passing on her advice to the masses.

4. THE BLACK DOG
I remember The Black Dog back in the early 1990′s when it was just getting popular. My dog, Sassy, had many black dog accessories and I had matching apparel, but back then, it was affordable and fun. Now, The Black Dog franchise as grown to such lengths that it doesn’t feel as accessible. That said, it was fun and exciting to see the brand I grew up with taking center stage on this show.

3. KATIE TARDIFF
What I’m going to say might be controversial, but I feel as strongly about Katie Tardiff as I did about Lauren Conrad during The Hills. Perhaps it’s her great style, or that she currently calls New York home, or that we share the same smiley nature, but I’ve just got one hyphenated word: tv-besties.

2. THE MUSIC
I’m not talking Blurred Lines, but less-sleazy sounding and more hippie feeling songs that were perfect for hot summer nights sitting on my NYC fire escape. The kind folks over at ABCFamily made finding the music easy for fans through a weekly music blog following each episode. One of my favorites, Caitlin Crosby’s Boy In The Benz.

1. THE VINEYARD
No matter what season or time of day, there’s nothing like the stunning beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. ABCFamily’s take on the island doesn’t nearly do it justice, but I live for the stunning shots of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Gay Head, Menemsha, and more. Every sunrise and sunset takes my breath away, and makes me feel a little bit closer to a place I used to call my home away from home.

Have you seen the show? Let me know what you think!

I Grew Up On Whitney

I danced to her first album at the age of 2. I watched my VHS of The Bodyguard so much with my mother that the tape is warped. I have choreographed dances to songs from the soundtrack, the best being to I Will Always Love You, I’m Every Woman, Run to You, & Queen of the Night, because those songs are just brilliant. When she released My Love is Your Love, I had gone through my first heartbreak, and as a result, played Heartbreak Hotel on repeat. Whitney influenced my life immensely and I know I’m not the only one.

Having spent the beginning of the new year planning a number of events surrounding the biggest week in music, I was eager and excited for a potential glance at this incredible musician. The week culminated in the news that (1) I would be attending the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday night, and that (2) my music icon, Whitney Houston passed away in a hotel room in the Beverly Hilton. The Clive Davis Gala, which was scheduled for that same evening in the same hotel, was briefly cancelled, and then back on, serving as a chance to gather music greats in a space to celebrate her life.

The next day, I entered the STAPLES Center, I expecting a feeling of mourning to emanate from the arena. Instead, I was greeted with a prayer from LL Cool J and a celebration of music. A gorgeous tribute by Jennifer Hudson was tasteful and not flashy. The focus was on a beautiful voice and raw talent – just like Whitney.

May she rest in peace.

My Love Is Like … Clay?

I get my eyebrows threaded at this great little hole in the wall place in Astoria on Broadway. I love it because the prices are cheap ($6), the women don’t talk much, it always smells like incense (which reminds me of my father’s man cave), and there’s always some sort of Bollywood movie playing on repeat. As I closed my eyes and settled in for the threading, I started to reminisce on my previous obsession with Bollywood… it fell parallel to a man I was dating at the time.

We met at a Central Park picnic. I slipped in mud and he cleaned my foot with ice. That’s when I knew he was putty in my hands. He showed up at my birthday party a few weeks later and we were inseparable from then on. On my favorite date with him, we ended up at a gorgeous UES restaurant where he ordered everything for me (something some women hate but I happen to love). Several of the items were more traditional, and not on the more America-friendly menu. It was at that point that I fell in love with his culture and thought of myself as an “insider”. My Netflix queue held a disproportionate amount of Bollywood movies, I cooked Bhindi Masala and Baingan Bharta like it was part of me, and when I went out to dinner, I ordered off the menu like I knew what I was talking about. He introduced me to the smooth sounds of The Gotan Project, a quirky Parisian electro/nuevo-tango group.

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In 2005 I studied abroad in London and met the former love of my life, referred to on the blog as Old Flame. He introduced me to the real London, he showed me the joys of the outer city and the underbelly of Harrod’s (he was a pastry chef there) and as we dated, I felt myself growing. It might have just been me getting fat because he was a pastry chef and was always feeding me treats. It also might have been my heart exploding, which was an unfamiliar feeling at the time (also known as “falling in love”). Regardless, I was hooked and as a result, I started to mold myself to him. While in London I started baking uncontrollably. I ran around the Harrod’s food halls like I owned the place, and I toyed with the idea of permanently to the UK daily. Because of his Parisian roots, I vowed to learn French – I even took adult language classes at night after school when I returned to the states.. He introduced me to Cornielle, a French R&B; crooner with family in Germany, Rwanda and Canada.

I mean, the examples could go on, and on, and on. The more I got to thinking about it, the more curious I became about how I change as I date. Thinking about this on Sunday afternoon, I took to my iTunes and ran through my music. Unchecked song after unchecked song brought back memories of a lover, an ex-boyfriend, or a situation that ended in tears. I realized that my iTunes steadily reflects exactly who I’ve dated. The timestamp of their download date highlights when we were together, and the missing check is an easy indication of their departure.

Being a music head, my initial thoughts were sadness towards all of the wasted music. You’re supposed to grow and change, and your realities are supposed to be expanded when you date someone. But the more I reflected I couldn’t help but wonder… how much is too much?

New York has broken me

You could call me an “emotional chick”. My father does.

I cry at (almost) everything. In fact, there’s no way I can get through an episode of Grey’s Anatomy without announcing to my roommate “I’m crying now” so we don’t have to sit there in awkward silence while I try to discretely blow my nose and wipe my eyes.

The sweetest sentiment can move me to tears. From a thoughtful comment by one of my girls to a “this made me think of you” trinket from my mother, tears are likely to bubble up quickly.

With good news comes tears of joy. And goodbyes? Fuggetaboutit.

But I’m writing this post because I’m convinced that living in New York, this beloved city, has broken me.

Broken.

I cry for them. The people we all so often come face to face with, begging for money with a song, a baby, an apology for the inconvenience.

And when I hear the familiar sounds of a song I was raised on, I find myself tearing up, reaching for my wallet, and giving anything I can afford to give.

A blind man gets on your Astoria-bound N train with a beautiful, broad smile and starts serenading you. When he graciously thanks the man across from me who caught him as the train swerved and he couldn’t see to find the pole to steady himself. And I find myself tearing up at the tragic scene, a happy, homeless man singing “What a Wonderful World” with nuances of Louis Armstrong – well, I’m convinced you do anything you can to make his song a reality.

Perhaps this is the naivety of a girl raised in the suburbs of Boston… But my parents raised me well. And I know good music when I hear it.

Written on my iPhone

Weekly Gratitude

Fourth of July Edition!
(1)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, recipe from my favorite foodies, Sues and Chels over at We Are Not Martha. Clearly, these were spicy, but I live for Frank’s Hot Sauce so they were a dream with every bite.

(2)

Garlic lemon shrimp, recipe courtesy of my mother who said “don’t put anything in this other than butter, garlic, lemon, and shrimp.” Lesson? Always listen to your mother, because this shrimp was a hit.

(3)

Johnson Family Potato Salad, recipe also courtesy of my mother. My favorite thing about her potato salad is how light it feels. Not nearly as creamy as what you might find at the supermarket, you might even trick yourself into thinking this is good for you. It’s probably not.

(4)

The finished product. I should have taken an after photo of the damage done by myself and my friends. My roommate rounded off our meal with the most amazing gluten free cake, which we topped with whipped creme, strawberries, and blueberries.

We watched the fireworks from our rooftop in Astoria, Queens, which offers a 360 degree view of fireworks being set off throughout the city. From Macy’s to home made explosives (eep!), it was a perfect night.

Happy Fourth of July!

All photos taken with instagram.

iCovet Friday, v.4

I sort of love this little writing prompt. Though it doesn’t actually result in much writing at.all. #Womp.

Anyway, here are my favorite things this week!

Lazy Random Days Off


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After an incredibly busy month of events (my own and volunteering at others), I have finally had a day to just relax. I was able to do normal things like go to the post office, which is always closed by the time I get out of the office. I spent time walking around the city, then walking around Queens. I bought a new wrap dress and tried it on with new shoes. These are the things you can do when there’s no expiration date on your laze. Seriously, one of the best weekdays I’ve had in quite a while.

Karmin Music

Okay, okay, fine. They’re old news by now, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t find them absolutely incredible. Even more important (and what makes this post relevant) is that this duo has just scored a record deal! Love!

Mom & Dad

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When things don’t go as planned, it’s hard to get backup and keep trying. I’ve got a really strong support group behind me thanks to Mom and Dad, both of whom have helped keep things moving.

What to see what else I’ve been coveting? Check the iCovet tag.

xo

Why Frank Ocean is Winning

Just like everyone else I simply cannot get enough of the Frank Ocean Nostalgia,Ultra mixtape. If you aren’t listening, you clearly don’t have internet or friends. Womp. Luckily for you, I’ve mentioned it here, which means you should go download it now, and pretend you were in the loop from the get go.

Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, let’s get back to the purpose of this post: highlighting all the reasons why Frank Ocean is Winning. Or most importantly, speaking my language.


Press play.

I’m walking down Broadway to meet the girls for dinner when something stops me dead in my tracks – Nature Feels comes on and those beginning beats (copped by MGMT’s Electric Feel) are getting under my skin. Then he goes in:

[Verse 1]
I’ve been meaning to fuck you in the garden
Been breathing so hard, we both could use the oxygen
Just hop on my back, I’ll take you down the stairs
Into my backyard and lay you right on the grass

You had me at garden. Perhaps because I hail from the suburbs, where I grew up on a half acre of land that included many failed attempts at flourishing gardens. The idea that he wants to you-know-what in the garden means more to me for this reason.

[Hook]
Give it you over again, over again over again
Over again over again, over again over again
Making love, underneath the cherry leaves
Baby girl, tell me how my nature feels
Said oh baby, up against the cherry tree
Baby girl, I’ll give it to you naturally, naturally

The notion of this all unfolding in a garden under a cherry tree is both incredibly sexy and hopeful. Cherry Trees represent death (eep!), rebirth, and (naturally) new awakenings. This moment outside is more than just some sexytime between two lovers – to me, the cherry tree involvement highlights new strides in their relationship.

[Verse 2]
Feeling like Adam when he first found out this existed
Me and my Eve trying out our first positions
And it’s all good, and it’s all free,
And it’s all you, and it’s only me
Playing in the dirt, wrestling myself inside you

The Adam and Eve reference isn’t lost on me. Knowing Eve was made from Adam, this seems to conjure up a heightened sexual reference – there is a fluidity of bodies moving together, creating together. And besides, who doesn’t love to wrestle?

[Hook]
Give it you over again, over again over again
Over again over again, over again over again
Making love, underneath the cherry leaves
Baby girl, tell me how my nature feels
Said oh baby, up against the cherry tree
Baby girl, I’ll give it to you naturally, naturally

[Bridge]
My cavewoman, I’m a caveman
Doing wild things in a wild land
We keep going baby, we keep getting it baby
We’ll get pebbles maybe a couple bam bams
Bam bam, bang bang, girl your heart
Goes bam and bang, feel my heart go, go, go

Not gonna lie, he loses me here – talking about making little Pebbles and Bam Bams. Granted, I’m trying to dislike children less, but the magic for me ends at the thought of babies. Sorry, bro. But just when I think I’m done you bring MGMT back at the end with the original bridge and outro, and I’m lost in this song again.