Tag Archives: playlist

[sic] homecoming + playlist

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Dancing, searching for home.

Ashley is a sneaky genius and psychic friend. Seriously. The shift from “Home” to “Homecoming” is a slight one, but it completely changed the trajectory of this playlist. See, when I read the word, “Home”, the first song that came to mind was the epic Homecoming segment from Green Day’s American Idiot album, and I figured I would use it to end the playlist. Then, that little change. Suddenly, Homecoming became the starting point. What if you come home so changed from an experience that your notion of what home is becomes completely fucked? How do you navigate what used to be your base but is now foreign territory while grieving for the places (and people) that took up residence inside your heart?

Well, in my case, I tried to drag remnants of my new life into my old home, and it was disastrous. I was devastated, a mass of sobs and sadness. Then, I slowly woke and began to claw my way through the wilderness with bitterness and cynicism. I shoved my grief deep, deep down. I drank and danced and made a glorious mess out of my feelings. The ache was still there, of course, the longing for home, and it would make itself known, usually in the quiet hour in between the end of the party and my head hitting the pillow. I also had nightmares where I would return to my happy landscape with a palpable dread, feeling that something was off, knowing that I would wake up to a life that was at once completely suffocating and strangely hollow.

This time in my life was painful but necessary. I found my voice because I had to make my presence known in order to survive, and I started to go beyond merely existing. I started to live. It was even fun a lot of the time. I laughed and wore too much makeup. I played and had a recklessness about me that allowed me to try things I never would have had the courage to do before. I kissed strangers and partied in my pajamas. I sweated and screamed in mosh pits and chased after rock stars. I tottered around in high heels and push-up bras and short skirts. I cried a lot, too, but I kept that mostly to myself. Somehow, as I went through all of this, I managed to create meaningful friendships. Some were short-lived and some are still going strong, but they all helped me to live through hell and figure out how to make a home again. I got to try on different versions of myself, little bits seeping under my skin to help me become who I am today: a fighter, a storyteller, a marvelous weirdo who can face all the fucked-up realities of life and keep going. I built myself from the ground up. I am home.

Enjoy this sonic interpretation of my journey. I hope you all find yourself at home in your own skin.

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[sic] week one: synchronicity (with playlist!)

“Synchronicity weaves like a web when you were meant to be a meal”–Incubus, Smile Lines

I have always loved that part from the song Smile Lines. The surprise of the unexpected, the elation of pieces coming together and the universe aligning with your dreams and desires.

On the other hand, synchronicity can reinforce your deepest fear, as it did when Ashley drew my tarot card for the year: 8 of Swords. Its meaning? Trapped and powerless. I have been grappling with these feelings as the demands of the world have left me exhausted, filling me with a sense of hopelessness. I ache to write more and tell my stories. My characters are suffering. My dreams are suffering. I am suffering. This is not to say there isn’t any good in my life. Lover Man is a constant source of love and support, and my family and friends are wonderful. I still feel isolated and panicked, and no one, no matter how wonderful they are, can reach inside me and change how I’m feeling. No one can magically alter the circumstances that are making me feel trapped and powerless. They can only try to help me through this hopefully brief period of pain.

I had begun work on my vision board for the year 2014 before I was dealt the card that confirmed my sad state, but after the card, it didn’t just seem like a fun thing to do. It was necessary to  put my positive intentions  out there. Ashley, being a good friend who probably didn’t want me to have a nervous breakdown–welcome, panic attacks!–did a more complete reading for me. This is how the cards rolled out:

The course of action.

The course of action.

Wheel of Fortune: destiny, fate, change of course.

The Fool: Innocence, Naivete

Mother of Swords: Experienced, All-Seeing.

The answer is clear: I can get out. I will stumble about. I won’t know all the answers. I may fall and fail, and I will endure growing pains, but I will be okay. Somehow, I will be okay.

The suite of cards is now my desktop background. Lover Man got me some adhesive strips to hang up my vision board since the blue painter’s tape I used at first was not having it.

Naturally, music has been getting me through some of my hardest days. New songs from old favorites like Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam are speaking to me, lifting me up, alternately whispering and screaming at me to keep going, move forward, break free, be authentic, create! Of course, I have also been seeking out songs that provide comfort and allow me to reflect on my issues. Death Cab for Cutie playing at the local cafe as I waited for my cup of coffee enticed me to sit and enjoy five minutes of writing time while warming myself up by their gorgeous fireplace. Songs have kept me warm and sane while trooping through biting cold and snow in the mornings to get to work. (Yes, that would be me chair dancing on the bus. Accept it and move on.)

I was inspired to reach my goals in art and life before 2013’s end, but I am clinging to motivation now more than ever. Every little spark in my cupped hands.

For our first Kindred playlist of the new year, I decided to create a vision board and merge my art and music inspiration together. Enjoy the playlist, and let’s all take control of our lives in 2014.

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Synchronicity: Listen here! Synchronicity

[sic]

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[sic] masculine playlist.

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Getting in touch with my masculine side.

Masculinity is a weird concept to me.  I grew up in a household full of women, so the men that appeared and, ultimately, disappeared, became fodder for study. Maybe that’s why the whole “alpha male” thing is so gross in my mind. It’s a shame that men aren’t supposed to emote or bring their feelings to the table. I can’t relate to a man that can’t connect with who he is inside. Society tells us a lot of shit and sells us on lots of bullshit. Gender norms is a big one. Here I present my playlist for masculine. Men who sing about love, boredom, longing, loss, triumph, tragedy, rage, depression, surrender. How could Jeff Buckley’s voice not pierce your soul? Those anguished wails of lost love take me to church! John Frusciante shines as a solo artist, taking the soul he gave to Red Hot Chili Peppers and channeling it into telling tales of his own personal demons. Johnny Cash takes Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt and gives it a new layer of pain and regret. I love Coconut Skins by Damien Rice because it’s a rare upbeat moment in his catalog, a song he claims is about wanting a better life but letting opportunities pass you by but also has a bit of a dirty edge to it. Nothing is more masculine to me than Johnny Flynn, a folk singer who also happens to be a Shakespearean actor, continuing the tradition of men playing women’s roles. The more genderfuck in my Shakespeare, the better. Iron and Wine does flamenco in a whisper. The Avett Brothers and Patrick Wolf pay homage to my two favorite places in the world, Brooklyn and London, respectively. Elliott Smith, the king of lo-fi, evokes so many emotions with quiet grace, while Devendra Banhart lulls me to a dreamlike state. Mumford and Sons get angry, and Beck sings the slow, devastating aftermath. Nirvana brings it home with the perfect mix of sadness, anger and surrender.

[sic]

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[sic] playlist: the water sustains me.

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I just want to run and dive in.

This picture is from the last time I was at the ocean. It was at a wedding; the air was crisp and perfect. The waves gently lapped against the shore, and I wanted to dive in so badly. I was wearing a navy cotton eyelet dress and shiny patent flats, which I took off to dig my toes into the moist sand. I wonder when I’ll ever be able to go to the ocean again.

I wasn’t going to write about this or bitch about it any more than I have, but to hell with it. I miss the ocean. I feel the swell in my belly and my breast, but I cannot go to the ocean right now. I have solar dermatitis, which is a skin rash that flares up in the sun, and boy, the sun has been one hell of a showy bitch this summer. I have to be outdoors for work, and that is bad enough. The itch is immediate and strong. My skin is deeply tanned but blotchy and bumpy, little white spots peeking through the caramel in a mocking sort of way. Mind you, I am religious about sunscreen, so it’s not for my lack of sun safety. No, the heat and brightness of that big star has overpowered me.

One week, we had continuous clouds and rain every day, and I was actually joyous at times. My skin had stopped crawling for a few days. But now….

I have, of course, made a playlist of all the songs that bring me some sense of cool and calm, that speak to my longing for water. I wish the beach was close enough that I could at least visit after sundown, just go and inhale the clean saline scent, feel it on my skin. I feel so lost without it. Perhaps my love for autumn has manifested itself as a burning hatred for these hot and humid times.

Enjoy while soaking up the sun or, if you’re like me, looking outside your window and wishing your body wasn’t rejecting summer.

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Shadow Self

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I made this playlist at the beginning of the week.  Shadow makes me think of my dark side, my Shadow Self.  I think all my friends would laugh at me and say I have no dark side, but it’s like MAdM says, everyone has a dark side.  I don’t speak much, but what I say tends to have a sharp jab of truth.  I am blunt.  My mother calls it “brutal honesty”.  I blame her.  She always told me not to lie, so I don’t.  I remember watching Harriet the Spy when I was twelve and Golly was explaining when it was appropriate to tell little white lies and I thought man, I really need to figure this out.  But I still haven’t. 

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“the shades and shadows undulate in my perception”: [sic] musings on shadow

This one was tough. I thought I had all these great ideas but nothing was working right. It all seemed forced or contrived. Then, I found myself in the dark, thinking about everything all at once, and the succubus known as anxiety came to sit on my chest. She peeled herself off the walls and became everything. All I had to alleviate the burning hot coal in my chest was my pen and my journal.

shadow.

thick brown curtains,

elegant and unassuming,

block out the sun

cocooned in black

the air itself is a shadow

looming over me

heavy

blackened fingers of night press

firmly into my chest, pry

open my rib cage

with each breath, a

crack

indentations and

claw marks on the muscle

each score

a concern, a

blight

a fear that

trickles down

infects

lungs stomach liver

bile

sloshing as the depths

consume me and i am

no longer woman

no longer

human no

longer anything but

fuel for the

monster.

This is when  things eased up a touch, and I was able to breathe. An exorcism? Hardly. More like a desperate prayer. I keep moving, keep trying, keep working.

I turn my face to the sun.

As always, mood music.

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[sic]

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This Playlist and a Closet Full of Dresses

…are pretty much the only girly things about me.

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Dance Your Way to Worlds Untouched: Another Playlist

This post was inspired by the playlist that Jessa made for this week’s theme. Music transports me to another plane of conciousness, and it got me thinking about the places that I go when I listen to these kinds of songs. So here’s a playlist I have made of tunes that take me out of the grind and into other worlds of magic, beauty, light and darkness.

Sigur Ros:  Saegolpur
I am walking through a forest covered in snow. I can hear the crunching of it under my feet, and there are crows above me in the trees, their eyes to the sky and their beaks open and they are making the strangest noises, of static, of clocks ticking.
There are shapes moving in between the trees, dark shapes with glowing green eyes.

As I approach them, moving deeper into the thicker parts of the forest, they begin to move faster, circling me, faster and faster until my feet are lifted off the ground. I am born up through the canopy by the mysterious shapes, and soon I am flying, over snow-capped mountains, across forest, and ocean.
I am so overwhelmed by the beauty of it all that I do not notice we are being chased. Bright colours are exploding around us, clouds of dust like the ones you see in India. The sky cracks open with thunder and lightning, and all that I feel in that moment swells up in my chest and bursts forth from my mouth.
The shapes that bore me lay me down gently on the peak of the highest mountain, and I am watching them leave with the piece of my soul in tow.
I am waving goodbye.

Yes Anastasia: Tori Amos
I am running. Through streets of a city that I know but the streets does not look familiar to me. My dress is red silk but it is torn in many places and my hair is long, falling out and down my back. I am climbing over fences and through people’s backyards and my hands are streaked with blood and mud. I reach the edge of the city, where the old, stone sewers meet the ocean. I climb up to the lip of the sewer, and turn to face my pursuer; I can barely make him out in the darkness; I see red eyes, steam rising from his nostrils, and his feet, which shine in the moonlight but look more like hooves than polished leather shoes.  
I take a breath, and dive heard first into the sea.

Shake It Out: Florence and the Machine
I am at a party and I am the only human being there. There are foxes dressed like the 10th Doctor, wolves dressed in leather jackets and combat boots, birds of paradise wearing nothing but jewels and lace and panther wearing an authentic Japanese silk kimono. I am wearing a peacock green dress with real feathers in my hair. We are all drinking champagne and dancing like wild animals.

Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush
All I see when I listen to this song is this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Dirty Paws: Of Monsters and Men
This is such a story song that I am always transported to the world of the creatures of snow. Listen to it and then tell me what the world looks like for you.

Urge for Going: Joni Mitchell
I am sitting on the roof my house watching the seasons change. There is a weather vein with a large golden angel top it. It turns to face me when there is a north easterly wind.
I am watching people come and go; it is winter now, and some of the people are leaving to chase down the summer. I want to follow them but I can’t, because the angel hasn’t given me my wings yet.

Bloodbuzz Ohio: The National
I have the ability to dissolve my body into a cloud of free particles that move about like a swarm of bees, and I use this power to travel the world.

The Gentle Roar: Niki and the Dove
I am a street urchin living on an abandoned train platform, and we’re performing a ritual dance to protect us from an unknown darkness hiding in the tunnels. There is a fire burning and the air smells sweet and we have painted sigils on each other, talismans for protection with glow in the dark paint.  

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[sic] playlist: heightened states of consciousness

[sic] playlist: heightened states of consciousness

Some songs have this magical way of helping you become conscious of both what is happening inside of you and the world around you. It’s a beautiful marriage. Here, a playlist, perfect for an hour of wandering, meandering, and reflecting:

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by | January 12, 2013 · 10:32 pm

New Year’s Shuffle

I have this weird little tradition that I started back in 2008. On New Year’s Day, I like to take a quiet moment and sit down with my iphone, hit shuffle, and take note of the first few songs that grace my ears each year. So, here is my own randomized New Year’s Mix for 2013:

foundations

And that’s also my first mixed-media piece of the year. What does it have to do with Foundations? Well, I think music is the foundations for most of my friendships. I’m a real music junkie and I actively seek out others that share my passion. We don’t even have to like the same kind of music (I married a metalhead, but honestly I’m not much of a headbanger, give me some Belle and Sebastian, please), but I can appreciate anyone’s musical obsessions. Make me a mixed tape and we’ll be bff’s for life.

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