One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
There is not much that I love more in this world than good music. In fact, my friend Ilana says that I have an unreasonable need to constantly have music playing around me. But, you see, nothing in the world, besides perhaps a great book or movie, inspires me more than music. And this summer, thanks largely to being assigned sign out duty with Ben Burns at work, has been a summer filled with more musical discoveries than ever before. It really is beautiful.
I could talk for days about how amazing some artists are and these are no exception. But instead of rambling on and on about how these singers and bands break boundaries and blow my mind, I figured it would be best to give you a sampling of their songs. So, if you're a fan of amazing music I recommend that you give these a listen.
Here is what has made up the soundtrack to my summer:
As my friend, Nicola, once said: Bear's Den is the perfect fireside band. The band's amazing lyrics combined with their haunting sound creates something that I've never experienced before, and that everyone should. It was difficult to pick just a few but here are probably my top four most played songs: "Above the Clouds of Pompeii", "When You Break", "Agape" and "Isaac"
Everyone knows the song "Take Me To Church" but not many know the rest of Hozier. I have to admit, my best friend told me that I should start listening to him about a year ago and I just shrugged it off, thinking that I would eventually. I didn't realize that I was missing out on some of the best music I've heard in a long time. The raw emotion in his voice and the beauty of his songs is something gets deep into your bones and makes you feel as though it's a part of you. Here are some of the best: "Work Song" and "Like Real People Do",
Sleeping At Last
I'm not ashamed to say that I learned about this man from one of the Twilight soundtracks. He sings the song "Turning Page", which is hands down amazing and the song that plays in the wedding scene. Say what you will about those movies but they have damn good soundtracks. Anyways, so my sister and I started to listen to his other music recently and, surprise surprise, it's amazing. Like crazy amazing. Like make you want to cry because nothing should be that beautiful amazing.
He has a ridiculous amount of music out there, but by far his best EP is one called "Light". Take a gander. Here are the songs "Light", "You Are Enough", "Turning Page" and "The Projectionist" (my all-time favorite because, lyrics).
I learned about the staves via the documentary, "Austin to Boston", which I was turned on to by Ben Burns. It is a film about Bear's Den and several other musicians, including the Staves, who travel in VW Vans across the U.S. on tour together. It's amazing. Watch it. And it was there that I learned about this trio of women who, when you hear them harmonize, you'll wonder if you're being serenaded by angels. No joke. Their harmonizing it on point.
Here are the songs "Black and White" and "Wisely and Slow".
Ok, many of you already know that I am a fan of Passenger and have been for a little while. But since January my love for this man has grown exponentially. He is hands-down one of the best lyricists I've ever known. He is a true poet and I could talk days on end about his talent and the complete honesty of his music. It's unlike anything I've ever heard before and he doesn't just sing silly love songs. He's awesome. Really pay attention to the lyrics.
Here are some of my favorites: "The Wrong Direction", "Whispers", "Riding to New York" and "Fear of Fear".
Choosing these were very difficult, so I have to also say that you should listen to, "Holes", "All the Little Lights", "Things That Stop You Dreaming", "Scare Away the Dark", "Heart's On Fire", "Catch in the Dark", "Start a Fire", and like a bunch more...sorry.
Of Monsters and Men
So I've always loved Of Monsters and Men, ever since they came out with their first album a few years back. I knew they were releasing a new album since there were posters for it covering the metros in Paris towards the end of my stay but then I came to the U.S. and I didn't really hear anyone talking about it so it just fluttered from my mind.
Then Burns and I remembered this album, entitled "Under the Skin", and played it a few weeks ago during Sign Out at work. Long story short: IT'S AMAZING.
I know I've been saying that a lot this blog post, but trust me.
It's also nothing like the other artists I've posted thus far. It's louder and more of something I would work out to, which I do. I get to the gym, put this album on and go. It's great.
Some of my favorite from the album are "Hunger", "Human", "We Sink", and "Wolves Without Teeth".
My good friend and roommate, Victoria, introduced me to this band of 6 and boy am I glad. They're great. They are also on the louder, more upbeat side and we will be seeing them live in Brooklyn on Tuesday for $20. Those are the perks of loving artists more unknown.
This is a powerful band, perfect for blasting in the car ride home from work and to start you off I've put some of their more well-known songs, "Bottom of the the River", "Dance in the Graveyard", "Scared" and "Chasing Twisters".
Hope that you enjoyed at least some of these artists. I've been finding more and more artists every week and it's been great, the best summer for music since I can remember!
Here's one more song for good measure!
Thank you for reading,
Song of the Day
"Moving Forward" by Colony House
I have known Ariana for the greater part of my life. I was first introduced to her when my mother enrolled me in dance classes at her mother’s dance studio. I was three and she five. I won’t pretend to remember the first time we met or our first interaction with each other. In fact, the earliest memory I have of her was when she was the assistant teacher for one of my dance classes and she had us all sit in a circle and stretch while she introduced herself to us. It’s a pretty fuzzy memory but I remember being blown away when she said that she was eleven or twelve. So I must have been about nine at the time. This just goes to show how poor my memory is.
Anyway, years went by and I continue to have limited interaction with Ariana. I would gape from afar at the clear talent that she possessed even at an early age and how she was choreographing entire routines for competition when she was thirteen. Thirteen people!! And they were award winning routines. Already there is reason enough for her to be inspiring.
When I started performing in routines with Ariana is when I started to really get to know her. At first I was extremely intimidated. She was an amazing dancer, winning overall everywhere she went, and teaching classes before I could even use a staircase without falling. And suddenly I was in classes with her while also being taught by her. But my nerves were all in vain. Because I soon learned that there was nothing to be intimidated by because to top it all off, Ariana is one of the most kind-hearted people you will ever meet, especially in an industry so cut-throat and terrifying as the world of dance.
Over the years my friendship with Ariana blossomed over common interests – books, music, art, morbid themes, and storytelling – and today I consider her one of my closest confidants. I can always rely on her to be there with a smile on her face, willing and eager to hear what I have to say. At times our similarities can be detrimental to the point of being kicked out of restaurants because we can’t stop talking and stay for four hours, other times it’s a great thing when you really need someone to go see the latest teenage-dystopian-themed-blockbuster-movie with. She is always there. No matter what. So thanks Nan.
But back to the good stuff.
If you knew how much work this young woman put into her craft you would probably die of exhaustion just hearing it. And yet she does it. She has been choreographing nearly all the competition dances for her and her mother’s studio, Chickee’s Dance World, for the past several years, choosing music and editing it, creating amazing concepts, holding classes at other studios, participating in her school’s dance team and company as well as a local dance company on the weekends, and all while attending Stonehill College and graduating with amazing marks and in the Honors program.
She makes appearances at other studios, runs summer camps, while offering summer class series like her much loved “5 for $35” series or the current college and adult class series and continuing the regular choreography sessions with her competition students, over 30 of them, simultaneously.
Ariana has had an award named after her, been a judge at dance competitions, attended many conventions and taken classes so widespread that it shouldn’t be possible. And every year when we think we have seen it all. We think that we’ve witnessed her very best, believe that she can’t possibly top the routines that she’s putting out there. But then she comes back the following year with something even bigger and better. She has truly proven herself to be an important up and comer in the dance community and at the impressive age of 22.
What I think is most inspiring about this young woman is her ability to touch the hearts of those around her through her craft. Her routines really mean something and when you watch them performed by her students, or even better – by her, the passion, the meaning, the love is tangible. It is in the air, filling the minds and bodies of all who are lucky enough to witness it. And that, my friends, is why she is a human that inspires.
Nan, I am extremely proud to be able to call you one of my closest friends. You are beautiful inside and out. Thank you.
Song of the Day
"The Projectionist" by Sleeping At Last
A beautiful song about the art of storytelling
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.