Sunday, June 5, 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lend Me Your Ears: Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats

You know what? I've missed writing about music. I've missed reading about music.  Don't get me wrong, I still listen to plenty-o-music, but it seems like a lot of the music blogs or even lifestyle type blogs that used to have a post or two about music, have faded, not that I even know why that would ever happen.  Music is great in itself, but sometimes I love hearing a little why you think that song is so good, or the first time you heard it, or the memories that it bring up.  Sometimes I like to grab you by the shoulders and explain using all my words, why this song is important. So let's get back to being all chatty about the tunes?

The very first concert that I reviewed on this blog was Mumford & Sons at City Market in good old Kansas City, MO. One of opening bands for that show was a Missouri born (represent!), now living in Colorado, musician named Nathaniel Ratliff. And even though, he only got one picture and a couple of sentences on that first mention, once his  got in between my ears, he never quite left. I Am is still one of my favorite, let me just lay here on the floor in the dark and contemplate my life, songs. 

In 2012, a music documentary was released called Austin to Boston. It follows a bunch of bands traveling across the United States in vintage VW vans. Very hipster leaning, think of it as a modern day fairy tale involving roading trip in brightly colored vans with all your friends and good music, and a plentra of tambourines.  One of my favorite part of the documentary is where Nathaniel Ratliff talks about growing up in rural Missouri and the death of his father. It is so raw, and so true, and it is exactly the reason why I am so in love with his music. There is a heaviness to it, at times almost a sadness, but it is also layered with the complexities of life that makes the sadness bearable.

Last year, he released a new album (Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats) and it was by far one of my favorite albums of the year. It's soulful in a way that makes you feel all the feels AND makes want to dance,  and of course, it makes you want listen to it over, and over because you know that it is on the verge of achieving world peace. No, I don't think that I will grew tired of this one.

If you catch me dancing on the subway platform, chances are super that it is to this song, man alive, it is so good:


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Let's Just Pretend It's A New Year and We All Just Finished our Vision Boards.

For some reason this year, June 1 seems a lot like January 1. It feels like a time to make new goals, because the goals you make for the summer are completely different then the goals you make at the beginning of the year.  And since time is eternal, and just goes on and on, every day is basically the beginning of a new year, don't think about it too much, just believe it. And summer! Even though the years of summer vacation are so far in the rear view mirror that squinting doesn’t even help, it still seems like summer is the time to actively try to cram in as much fun as you can in 3 months-DO EVERYTHING! And since I am  living in a place where there are distinct seasons, the urge to be outside all the time is even stronger because I know that the howl of the cold is lurking down the timeline.  They say that to everything there is a season, and sometimes you just have to wait for the season (literally or figuratively) to change. 

Ok, enough with the deep stuff, there are some other things I need to get of my chest: 

You know when you learn a hard lesson and you want to tell everyone about it so to save them from not only making the same mistake, but also the deep, deep heartache said hard lesson can cause? I am about to this. DON’T TRY TO MAKE BROWNIES HEALTHY.  Last week, I tried making those dastardly black bean brownies. I don’t know why. I tried years ago and they were horrible, like throw the whole pan out horrible. But a food blog that I have always had good luck with posted a recipe for black bean brownies, and I thought I might try them again. NOPE. I took one bite, and yet again the whole pan got dumped into the trash and I got really ticked off about wasting black beans and some of the good cocoa powder. The good cocoa powder. Oh, the shame. And yet again today, I found myself tempted by a brownie recipe that called for sweet potatoes, and I had to have a very serious talk with myself about my life choices. And believe me, I am a hippy at heart, I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar every day, and nutritional yeast is a pantry staple for me, but for the love of all that is glittery in the world, if you want brownies, make them good, make them decedent, swirl in that peanut butter, throw in a handful of M&Ms, use the chocolate you usually save for special guests, and  make them the  brownies that you know you want deep in your heart.  Friends don’t let friends get their hearts broken by baked goods. 

 So politics is a little wacky in these United States right now. And wacky is totally code for, “please don’t talk to me about it, or I might burst into tears, or vomit, or both.”  I just want the elections to be over already, so we can clean up the pieces and get on with our lives. And if the Apocalypse is ushered in, at least I have my harmonica. And I will become that person wandering from one desolate campfire to the next, singing old tymey songs about how life was in the days before the “event.” I feel all the end of the world movies I have devoured my entire life have prepared me to become that lonely troubadour carrying the weight of protecting and preserving the history of the world after the end has come. I also feel that I like to dramatic. It’s the youngest child in the me, forever looking for attention.    

Confession time: last Saturday I put on my workout clothes just to go the library and pick up a book. The library is only a 12 minute walk.  But the book was a large print edition which I had to carry all the way back home, so #girlswholift. See also, it was Saturday and the thought of putting on real clothes got voted down by all the voices in my head.

I’m kind of getting bored with TV lately. Can’t someone just come over and read me a story out loud every now and then. Wait, is there such a thing as Storytime for grownups? That should totally be a thing, right?

This article about what happens to unclaimed bodies in New York City is probably one of the best things I have read recently. It is incredible sad, it details the case of George Bell who died alone, without any family or friends to claim his body, but it is also so beautifully written.  I am sure that this happens a lot and we just don’t realize it, in fact there was similar story recently about a man here in DC who passed away and his neighbors all chipped in for burial costs.  We interact with so many people every day, but how many of these people do we really even know a tiny part of their stories?