Kayla, or The Title My Parents Gave Me

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. - Mary Oliver

Summer groovin. 

Youtubing the live version is worthwhile, too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

What Patton Oswalt said about the Boston Marathon Explosions

Boston. Fucking horrible. 

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

I know this Kendrick Lamar single off good kid, m.A.A.d. city has been rolling around on a lot of airwaves and in a lot of headphones for more than a quick minute now, so this isn’t meant to be a big reveal.

HOWEVER.

I really like this song. I have to admit that it totally got me when I first heard it. The hook led in and I thought, “Oh yeah, cool, dude. Another rap song about the glories of infinitely available substance in excess. Tell me more about total lack of consequences and how fun it is to dive into swimming pools full of liquor.”

BUT THEN. My thought process went something like this from the first line of the first verse to the end of the song: “Pause, hold up. Did you just acknowledge a childhood spent around alcoholics?

OK, alright…play.

Wait, was that a mature and empathetic list of reasons why people abuse alcohol…self-medication, addiction, social insecurity? And you identified yourself with the least sympathetic of all of those rationales, and self-deprecatingly acknowledged the ravages of peer pressure, which is actually what that chorus is about?

Oh my God. Did you just pronounce “dive in” a lot like “die in” to drive the point about substance abuse devastation? And a third-person conscience plea capturing the self-loathing associated with alcohol abuse? AND A BRIDGE ABOUT THE RELATION OF ADDICTION CULTURE, PEER PRESSURE, AND GANG-BANGING? Ok, Kendrick. I had you all wrong. I have learned my lesson.”

The video is rad, too…love the imagery: how so much of his movement seems stumbling and dazed, standing in the devastation of what seems like his childhood home, the hypnosis of a party scene like that one, the falling, the everything.

Also it manages to be simultaneously brooding and catchy as hell, so there’s that. Good work, k.dot. Compton must be proud.

Wolf Alice. Because:

  1. These opening chords are a little Nirvana-esque, and I’m into that.
  2. The other song on this single is “Fluffy,” and boy do these young people have some attitude in that one. I’m into the contrast.
  3. This frontlady has some marvelous ethereal vocals. YOU KNOW I’M INTO THAT. Don’t pretend like that comes as a shock to you. Ugh. Why do we play these games with each other?
  4. "I see big things for you/I made plans for you and I/I scream screams for us/’cause I have dreams of bigger stuff."

Thanks, H

I’m staying open, Rhye.

This is one of those videos, songs, that makes me feel like its message is just out of reach somehow, but it still has me aching just in the hearing of it. Maybe I’ll get it on the 546th listen?

They have a new album out, y’all. Worth a listen.

Two posts in two days, tumblr. Because I love Frank Ocean, this song, this girl’s voice, this acoustic arrangement, and some beatboxing.

Where can I find this in DC? Where ARE ALL OF YOU PEOPLE?

Such glorious, delightful musical madness.

It is my Lent to break my Lent,
To eat when I would fast,
To know when slender strength is spent,
Take shelter from the blast
When I would run with wind and rain,
To sleep when I would watch.
It is my Lent to smile at pain
But not ignore its touch.
It is my Lent to listen well
When I would be alone,
To talk when I would rather dwell
In silence, turn from none
Who call on me, to try to see
That what is truly meant
Is not my choice. If Christ’s I’d be
It’s thus I’ll keep my Lent.
-Madeleine L’Engle

Oh hey! I didn’t just disappear off the face of the planet. What do you mean? Whatever. Prove it.

Oh, the transition still feels awkward? Check this out to distract you from that.

Your memory warms my Christmas Eve. Miss you, B.

On Joy and SorrowKahlil GibranYour joy is your sorrow unmasked.And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.And how else can it be?The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Your memory warms my Christmas Eve. Miss you, B.

On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.