So. Life has been full of some tough things, recently. (At the same time that it's been full of joyful things! Oh, Life, you confounding thing!) I don't know if I'm dealing with these tough things that well, but, to help distract me, I thought I'd write about music instead, because that always makes me feel better.
1. Shake It Out, Florence + The Machine
Okay. I know I just recently mentioned my favorite song of all time, and for sticking-with-my-guns sake, I'm sticking with my guns on it. But I have to say. The very first time I heard Shake It Out, it blew my mind so much that I immediately thought, THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. I know all the cool kids on the internet are freaking out over this song so it's almost old news to freak out about it at this point, but OH MY GOD. That first night I listened to it (and credit is due to Shelby for telling me about it) I had to listen to it a hundred times, and then I had to listen to it a hundred times the next day, and the day after that. This four plus minutes of music LITERALLY GIVES ME CHILLS. Let's be honest, this entire entry should just be about this song, because, because. IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. I haven't had a single song knock me down like this in, uh, years? The only thing I want to do with my life is listen to this song over and over. It is so magical. I don't even understand how you create something like this. Jesus Christ. Oh my god it is so good. Is this enough about this song? I don't think so. SHAKE IT OUT SHAKE IT OUT!
2. Hair, Lady Gaga
This blog is seriously lacking a full entry about Lady Gaga, because I have so much to say about her. But I'll say her new album and me are finally starting to really get to know each other, and while I know it's almost completely full of songs that are supposed to make you want to dance, my most frequent reaction to them is crying. Is this weird? I think this is weird. Seriously, Born This Way makes me cry almost every time because it is so monumental and amazing and the fact that such a song can exist now and be played on dance floors across America makes me want to bawl my eyes out. That said, I think the best song on the album is undoubtedly this one. It is so strikingly personal and universal at the same time, telling her own story while reaching out to freaks everywhere. It is so crazy empowering and beautiful I can't even handle it. Hence, why I cry almost every time I hear it. Living as free as your hair, Ms. Gaga, is an ideal we should all live up to.
While I really love the studio version (the dramatic drum beat chorus near the end? Shut up, so good), the video is one of her acoustic performances because all of her acoustic performances are always freaking remarkable. And even if you don't want to listen to the whole thing, you should watch until 2:23 or so, when she completely stops the song to put a TURQUOISE WIG ON HER OL' BALD HEAD. What a fucking rock star. Oh, my weird emotional state allows me to curse more, so get ready for it.
I love both of these above songs SO MUCH PEOPLE. SO MUCH. I almost made this entry just about them, but then I realized I really like a bunch of other songs too, and I like the 5 Songs format so much. But. These two. THESE TWO. Okay, moving on.
3. Down in the Valley, the Head and the Heart
WARNING: We are completely switching gears here, people! Completely! If you were tempted to get out your Lady Gaga CDs and dance for awhile, I completely understand, but now you should make yourself a cup of tea and find a warm blanket and a nice porch in the country to sit on and listen to the Head and the Heart. This song hits the most perfect folky lonely pitch, the best folky lonely pitch I have heard in a long, long time. I would have been even MORE all over this shit than I currently am if I was myself in high school or early college. This jam would have been in my Discman over and over again. Like all great songs, this is also a beautiful building song, and my really favorite part, what really makes me love it, is the build up to 2:10, when they start this bridge:
I know there's California
And all of the places I ain't never been to, but
Down in the valley
With whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hiding
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go.
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started.
Oh my goodness it is lovely. And let's be honest, any song that mentions "whiskey rivers" is a song I'm going to like. I know the band is from Seattle (which means I should really invest in perhaps seeing them live in their hometown sometime), but this bridge makes me want to move to the South right now and tramp through some real good Eastern forests full of crunchy oak leaves and pine needles.
Although, The Head and the Heart, just to let you know, I have been to California and Oklahoma, and while California is definitely a place you can pine for, you really ain't missing much in Oklahoma.
(OH HEY ANY READERS I HAVE IN OKLAHOMA, [WHICH IS PROBABLY NONE] JUST KIDDING! I LOVE HANSON! YAY TULSA!)
(BUT SERIOUSLY YOUR STATE GAVE ME EXTREME ANXIETY!)
4. Death of Autotune, Jay-Z
OK, Head and the Heart people, put your cozy scarves and mug of tea away now and get ready for Brooklyn, y'all. OH WHAT IS THIS LIST RANDOM ENOUGH FOR YOU YET? I love this whole album (okay, mostly) but this song is a clear stand-out. I'mma gonna say this is simply one of the best rap songs I've ever heard. Although let me also say, I freely admit that I know nothing about rap, so, that statement probably means nothing. But this is my blog so I can say whatever I want.
The guitar riff in it is GENIUS and impossibly catchy and badass, I love the moment of silence, the soaring sax that joins in every now and then is awesome. And it's hard not to love a song with so many winners of lines. Such as,
I know we facing a recession
But the music y'all making gonna make it the Great Depression.
This ain't a number one record
This is practically assault with a deadly weapon
UH. UH. UH. And let's discuss how beautiful the transition on the album is from this right into Run This Town. Bad ass, or baddest ass?
5. Someone Like You, Adele
OK, OK, we're done with Brooklyn now! We're ready to hide under the covers in bed all day and cry, aright! OK, so everyone likes Adele, it's almost boring to mention it, but there it is. Before this song started getting a lot of play on the radio it was on a playlist at work and when I was working by myself at night whenever it came on I had a habit of playing it OVER AND OVER at least a few times, because it just seemed like a really good soundtrack to scrub dried syrup off of countertops to. This habit may or may not have caused every customer in the store to consider slitting their wrists, but OH WELLS.
The thing about this song is just how NICE Adele is in the whole thing at the same time that she's so sad. Most songs about lost loves are angry or regretful or SOMETHING, but this one is like, logical and good-hearted. "I wish nothing but the best for you"?? REALLY, ADELE? This song would be so much less heartbreaking if you weren't such a good fucking person!
Also, Adele is way hot. Right?
On that note, I'm out. Thank you, music, for being awesome. I'm going to go listen to Shake It Out until I pass out!