Music for the Soul

Songs of My Life: May 2016

Mentally, I was all over the goddamn place for May. Most of it was in a good headspace but damn the days where it was a bad headspace. I’m good at recognizing patterns my brain takes and signs of where it’s going to fuck with me so I can luckily do a preemptive strike on most of those bad headspace days but the days I couldn’t stop it from happening seemed like what the fuck moments times a billion. I survive though. Mostly through sheer will and my sidekick, music. Some of those bad headspace days, you just crawl into your bed, pull the blankets over your head and go to bed the moment your day ends and some days you share those bad headspace days with someone and their simple words of understanding help more than they know.

“Family Affair” by Mary J Blige
The first time I heard this song was while I was having brunch at Bloody Mary’s. I knew then as it drifted through the air I was going to add it to the May list. The 2nd time I heard the song was two days later while at the chemist (which is a drugstore back in the US). I murmured out loud to The Universe, I got it. It’s on the list. The 3rd time this song popped up into my life was mid month while on the phone with one of my best friends, Jennifer, and she said, “You know the Mary J Blige song…<insert lyrics she sang for me>” and I said, funny you should mention that song. Again, Universe, thank you. This song is just about letting go and being in the moment. “…We don’t need no haters. Just try to love one another. We just want y’all have a good time. No more drama in your life. Work real hard to make a dime. If you got beef, your problem, not mine. Leave all that BS outside…”

“California Love” by 2Pac
This song played after Mary J Blige at Bloody Mary’s and I also knew this song was going on the list, because it is just a great fun song and I was thoroughly enjoying my company, our time at Bloody Mary’s, and discussion on 1990’s rap music.

“Grey Room” by Damien Rice
Back in 2006, Damien Rice played XM Studios and I was privileged enough to sit in the same room and witness the performance with a handful of his fans and it was probably the most intimate and beautiful performance I have beared witness to. I am fortunate to have a recording of the entire performance and as Damien played each song, he gave the fans a little insight to the song and for “Grey Room” he said, “And then this is a song about getting to the point where you just look at yourself and go will you ever stop writing depressing songs for godsakes…” As someone who battles the ups and downs of depression, this connected to me this month. I have sat in that grey room and felt these lyrics: “…if someone is prayin’ then I might break out…even if I scream I can’t scream that loud. I’m all alone again. Crawling back home again. Stuck by the phone again…I’ve been here before. Sat on a floor in a grey grey mood. Where I stay up all night and all that I write is a grey grey tune…”

“Free” by Rudimental featuring Emeli Sande
This entire song is pretty much me in a nutshell and that’s why it’s on here. I am always encouraging people to “just do you” or “just be you” and sometimes, I forget to listen to my own advice.  I just needed a reminder that it’s okay to be me. I’m not perfect. I over think. I over analyze. I over feel. I have an insane admiration for drag queens and will quote Spaceballs or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells any chance I get. I am not the normal girl with the perfect everything. I am an imperfect girl that will muster up the courage to say what’s on my mind after I’ve practiced what to say a 1001 times and then I’ll still screw it up. But, I’m honestly being me and that’s okay.  
…Not many people want me at their parties. Trying to find my place, some place…And I drink a little more than recommended. This world ain’t exactly what my heart expected…c’est la vie. Maybe something’s wrong with me, but at least I am free…Spend Sundays asleep I’m just another dreamer…Just trying to find my home sweet home…”

“11:59” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
I have written about “11:59” in the post “The Song That Opened my Soul”, and as I was walking one bright sunny morning, this song popped into my ears and it brought tears to my eyes. I don’t mean little wimpy tears. I mean, full on crocodile tears and turned me into a sobbing mess. SOBBING. MESS. I don’t know what it was at this particular moment, but I think I just needed a hug or something and the Universe did the best it could at the moment and it was this song. Some of us just lost faith all together…No way, they say, it can’t be this way. That’s why so many people stand up and say: One love, one blood, one heart, one soul and one drum and only one rhythm, One tribe and all of us singing…”

“Closer to the Edge” by Thirty Seconds to Mars
And the Universe continued the message from above by playing me this song next. If you know me, you know my love for this song. If you don’t, click HERE to discover my love for this song and how much it means to me. This time, I know the Universe was giving me a hug from my mom which just turned me into a bigger sobbing mess but I couldn’t have felt more loved than I did at that very moment. When I hear this song, I know she’s with me. These lyrics, always: I will never regret. I will never forget. I will live my life closer to the edge.”

“Ocean of Night” by Editors
This is my favorite song of their latest album and this song became a fight song for me and these lyrics: “…This is a slow dance. This is the chance to transform. Pause for the silence. Inhabit, the calm of the storm. This is your ocean, an ocean of night…Love is a feeling. Buried with me in the yard. Gaze at the skyline. Under the ocean of stars. This is your slow dance and this is your chance to transform. Lost to a moment. The moment you confront the storm…I am your hope down the wire so you can hold back the fire…”

“Gett Off” by Prince
Fast forward one week and back to Bloody Mary’s. This song was drifting through the air. I just dig the bass line in this song.

“Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan
Don’t remember how this song landed on the list. Don’t really care because it’s Chaka Khan and this song is amazing. Any time Chaka plays on my iTunes, my inner fierce mother fucking drag queen lip syncs the shit out of her songs.

“Dirty Little Heart” by Lostprophets
On the day, this little gem played, I wasn’t in the best head space and I just connected to the sadness in this song. “This dirty heart still longs to beat…These broken bones will take me crawling on through the debris of my dirty little heart…”

“Victim” of Eighteen Visions
I miss the music of 18V. I know 3 other people who probably feel the same. Looking at you Patrick, Jonathan, and Mark B. Fortunately, I was able to see this band perform live more than once and even got to meet them (still thanking Sherry A for making that happen) and meeting them is still one of my favorite radio memories with my “little bro” Patrick. This song just came on when I was having a “FUCK YOU” moment with the Universe, life, people, things, and so on. I was able to take all my angst and anger and scream it out with this song. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to say these lyrics to someone: “So give me one good reason I should be forgivin’ you, when I don’t care anyway. So give me two good reasons I should be forgivin’ you, when I’m the victim today…”

“Beat’s So Lonely” by Charlie Sexton
This song and the two after it arrived to me via Nick. I knew the name Charlie Sexton as a guitarist but not as a solo artist. What a wonderful song this is. I love these lyrics: …wanting him only but the people never see her heart burning, that’s the secret that she keeps…you will see the things will happen but only if they’re meant to be…before you give up all you’ve got. You’ve got to come closer, you’ve got to give it one more shot…”

“Authority” by The Church
Another song courtesy of Nick. I know The Church mainly for “Under the Milky Way” as it was played a lot back in the States. The Church is bigger in Australia than they ever were in the States and that’s a loss for those who missed some great gems from this band. What I love about this song is the imagery in the lyrics. As a writer, I would kill to be the creator of these lyrics: …The sounds of my breath, what do you expect? Echo in the hall. The ghost of the picture still haunts the master bedroom mirror wall…The stale perfume in her old room. Heart of a shark…”

“Absolute Beginners” by David Bowie
How did I not know this Bowie song existed? Shame on me. Thank you Nick for bringing it to my attention. These lyrics, I love. “I’ve nothing much to offer. There’s nothing much to take. I’m an absolute beginner, but I’m absolutely sane…As long as you’re still smiling, there’s nothing more I need. I absolutely love you, but we’re absolute beginners, but if my love is your love, we’re certain to succeed…”

“Purse First” by Bob the Drag Queen
If you know me, you know I love me some drag queens! I live for RuPaul’s Drag Race. Season 8 wasn’t my favorite season of Drag Race though. It was a bit boring and too nice. I wanted Sharon vs Phi Phi epic fights or throwing of the shade like Willam. Nevertheless, I watched all season. Bob won. I would have been happy with either her, Kim Chi, or Naomi to be honest. Any who…this is Bob’s first single from her upcoming album and it it just fun and if you’re not singing “purse first, purse first” over and over in your head, your ears probably should be checked. It’s a fun and campy song.

“Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie
May has been the month of Bowie and I’m not mad about it one bit. This song was stuck in my head for days on end.

“Under the Milky Way” by The Church
One of my favorite songs from the 80’s. I always enjoy when iTunes on shuffle plays this song and it just seemed appropriate that it would pop up this month. I always connected to the lyrics “…I wish I knew what you were looking for. I might have known what you would find and it’s something quite peculiar. Something that shimmering and white. Leads you here despite your destination under the milky way tonight…” In the same vein of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, I have no idea what I’m looking for under the milky way or in broad daylight.

“Some Days Are Better than Others” by U2
Another Bloody Mary Sunday, another day where the music inspires. This time the U2 song playing inspired albums that we liked by U2. Not a lot of people like Zooropa. It’s one of my faves along with Songs of Innocence, Achtung Baby, All That You Can’t Leave Behind and I completely forgot that this song was on Zooropa. Boy, does it perfectly sum up each day of May. These lyrics: “…Some days take less, but most days take more…Some days it all adds up and what you’ve got is enough…Some days are honest, some days are not…Some days are work, most days you’re lazy; Some days you feel like a bit of a baby…Some days I hear a voice taking me to another place. Some days are better then others…”

“My House” by Flo Rida
I completely blame Chris D’elia (comedian) for this song. I follow him on social media because he’s a funny ass dude and loves dancing. He posted on a video of him dancing Instagram and the rest is #RealDancing history. I’m sure this song would have found it’s way on a list eventually as I do dig the tunes of Flo AND if I’m completely honest, my hermit self completely agree with these lyrics: “Sometimes you gotta stay in…We don’t have to go out…Morning comes and you know that you wanna stay, close the blinds, let’s pretend that the time has changed. Keep our clothes on the floor, open up champagne. Let’s continue tonight, come on, celebrate…But my house is your house if you throwin’ it back…”