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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Twenty-one years ago I met a boy — well, two boys to be specific. They were best friends and I was with my best friends and after a very strange first night we all ended up becoming friends for a short time and one of them became my boyfriend for an even shorter time — so short that my own mother doesn’t even remember him. I’ve seen him exactly once since then, and that was nearly two decades ago, too.

And yet to this day, he has left an indelible mark upon my life. You see, I grew up in a place and time where country music was verboten. You just didn’t listen to it if you wanted to be thought of as some version of “cool.” I think we still said that back then. But this boy and his friend — with whom I spent a great deal of time — loved it. I don’t think they listened to anything else. I was in the boy’s bedroom the first time I heard John Anderson’s Straight Tequila Night, which is still one of my favorite songs. (Fast-forward another dozen years to the first months of dating my fiance and we went to see Anderson play at a little bar called The Barn in Sanford, Florida. I guess old Johnny is a pretty big musical deal in my life.)

Garth Brooks, Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL, Oct. 18, 2014. ©Renée M. Liss

Garth Brooks, Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL, Oct. 18, 2014. ©Renée M. Liss

So the country thing stuck. It isn’t the only music I listen to, but it grew on me. I find it fun but also it can be pretty poignant. After all these years, it finally came full-circle when a friend mentioned one night that the legendary Garth Brooks was going to be in Jacksonville, Florida, for one of his new world tour stops.

I have a couple of his CDs, and like most of America, I love his iconic Friends in Low Places. Even so, I never really thought myself a particularly huge Garth fan. Regardless, he’s Garth Brooks. He’s a legend. I had to see him. And I did — last Saturday night with my best friend of way-too-many-years (who was there when I met the boy and there when I met my fiance and has just always been there for just about everything that has ever mattered whenever possible) and my fiance. I couldn’t wish for two better companions for that night.

Despite my belief that Garth was no more to me than a casual interest, sitting in that arena listening to him play 26 years worth of his music, I realized just how much he had been a part of my life’s soundtrack. Every song held a memory — most good. I was nearly in tears by the end. I barely sat down at all through the entire concert. I have never enjoyed myself that much at another concert ever. Had Garth played every song he ever recorded, we would have been there all night and it still would have been too short.

Others had mentioned that this man puts on a great show, but I had no idea what that meant until I actually experienced it. Every person walked out of that concert with a smile. I don’t think anyone left disappointed.

Garth isn’t young. I’m not sure his exact age, but he’s been recording music since 1988 or 1989 — I was in middle school then and I’m pushing 40 now. Yet he spent hours on that stage, playing guitar, singing, running around, climbing props like he was 5 years old.

I hope I get another chance to see him one day and if you do, go. Just go. Even if you hate country music, even if you have to spend your last penny. Go.

An addendum: I have been listening to Brooks’ music for the last couple days on CDs and MP3 and I had to add that you haven’t experienced him if you haven’t heard him live. He’s 100 times better in person.

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What Makes me Sad

I wasn’t a fan. I don’t think I ever once listened to an entire song by Amy Winehouse. I didn’t know her. I don’t know anyone who knew or cared about her.

But she was a human being. And there are people alive in the world who loved her and were frightened for her life every day for the past who knows how many years, until last week when what they feared most came to pass.

And the world, the members of which who have not had to stay up nights frightened for the lives of loved ones are extremely lucky, reacted with jokes about a very young and (reportedly) talented woman who died a senseless death.

It’s bad enough that random people posted jokes on Facebook about her, but then The Onion joined in. And not only did The Onion post a link to its story once on Facebook, but twice. And in the comments, people berated those who found it offensive for having no sense of humor.

Those of you who know me know I have a very good sense of humor. I can laugh at just about anything, including myself. It may be dry and reserved, but it’s healthy and full. I loved The Onion. Ninety-nine percent of its stories are laugh out loud funny.

But this … this was wrong. Hurtful and wrong and unnecessary. I should have “unliked” The Onion the first time the story appeared. I didn’t. But the second time? That was the last straw.

The Onion and all the rest of you who find something like this funny — just because you didn’t know her — should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m disgusted with the individuals who took part and incredibly sad for society in general that we can’t find something else to laugh about.

Winehouse made her own bed. This is true. But she never hurt anyone but herself and those who loved her most.

I wonder how you would all feel if someone you loved ended up like Winehouse and the rest of the world could do nothing but laugh?

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Memory

Daylight
See the dew on the sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower
I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

Midnight
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Every streetlamp
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutter
And the streetlamp gutters
And soon it will be morning

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn’t give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory, too
And a new day will begin

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale, cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is

Look
A new day has begun

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Destination Unknown

by Marietta

From the Top Gun Soundtrack

I see life and it’s passing
Right before my eyes
And the past is the past, don’t regret it
Time to realize
I need to walk on the wire just to catch my breath
I don’t know how or where, but I’m going
It’s all that I have left

It don’t matter where it takes me
Long as I can keep this feeling
Running through my soul

Never took this road before
Destination unknown
Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Destination unknown
Won’t be coming back this way
Gotta go it alone
Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Destination unknown

See a chance, gotta take it
Wanna meet my fate
‘Cause the last thing I ever wanted
Was to find out it’s too late
No way out when you’re in it
Deeper than the night
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
I see it burning bright

It don’t matter where it takes me
Long as I can keep this feeling
Soaring through my soul

Never took this road before
Destination unknown
Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Destination unknown
Won’t be coming back this way
Gotta go it alone
Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Destination unknown

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Circle

Sarah McLachlan

The commercials she does for the ASPCA make me cry and usually turn the channel, but I forgive her because Sarah McLachlan writes and records music that speaks to me in a way no one else ever has. Most of my playlist created for when I write consists of Sarah. I think I uploaded the majority of three full Sarah CDs to my MP3 for that playlist.

The music is melancholy, the lyrics often angry, depressed or hopeless. But I can relate to every word. Can you?

Circle

There are two of us talking in circles
And one of us who wants to leave
In a world created for only us
An empty cage that has no key

Don’t you know we’re working with flesh and blood
Carving out of jealousy
Crawling into each other it’s smothering
Every little part of me

What kind of love is this that keeps me
Hanging on
Despite everything it’s doing to me
What is this love that keeps me coming
Back for more
When it will only end in misery

I know too many people unhappy
In a life from which they’d love to flee
Watching others get everything offered
They’re wanton for discovery

Oh my brother, my sister, my mother
You’re losing your identity
Can’t you see that it’s you in the window
Shining with intensity

What kind of love is this that keeps me
Hanging on
Despite everything it’s doing to me
What is this love that keeps me coming
Back for more
When it will only end in misery …

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Animal

The cable channel TNT plays reruns of Bones and to advertise recently, the network has been playing the song Animal by Neon Trees in the promo. That’s the first place I heard the song, but it’s been played a lot on the radio recently, too. I’m totally in love. It’s a perfect hybrid of the best music of the 1980s and the 1990s Grunge era.

Enjoy:

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Fat man sitting on a little stool
Takes the money from my hand while his eyes take a walk all over you
Hands me the ticket smiles and whispers good luck
Cuddle up, angel, cuddle up, my little dove
Well ride down baby into this tunnel of love

I can feel the soft silk of your blouse
And them soft thrills in our little fun house
Then the lights go out and it’s just the three of us
You me and all that stuff we’re so scared of
Gotta ride down, baby, into this tunnel of love

There’s a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-d
I’m laughing at you you’re laughing at me
There’s a room of shadows that gets so dark, brother
It’s easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love

It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love

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