What have you been listening to lately? I’m open to suggestions as I’m looking for a good soundtrack for the season. I tend to get driving anxiety and music usually helps keep me calm. I made a little tribute to Stevie above, since Fleetwood Mac has been my go-to for any long drive or road trip. Also because she’s just awesome. In case you’re also looking for music, here are the albums/songs I’ve been into over the past little while. I’m always late to the party when it comes to new bands or artists, so please, feel free to share!
Taylor Swift- Welcome to New York: alright, no judgements here, everyone needs a catchy pop song once in a while. And as far as pop singers go, Taylor seems like the kinda girl I could hang with. As in, she’s the type of friend you can lend your favorite dress to and not be worried she’ll bring it back with a giant wine stain. She can keep it together, even when things aren’t going so well personally. Not the type of friend who you have to hold her hair back in the bathroom cause she had way too much, again. Bonus: She’s a fan of Joy the Baker, loves cats, points out sexism in music.
Jenny Lewis – The Voyager: A great indie folk country album, perfect for when I want to listen something a little melancholy. Loved her since her Rilo Kiley days when I was kinda emo, so it’s a familiar comfort.
Mac Demarco – Salad Days: Love this album! it has a happy summer stoner vibe, jangly guitars and reminds me both of Harry Nilsson and Ariel Pink.
I can get really defensive about my city. Yes, the weather and the politics can be frustrating. The shortage of good jobs available is always a challenge. That aside, Montreal has a solid arts scene which offers so many cultural events that even the brutal cold can’t seem to impede.
I recently attended a Lou Reed Memorial Singalong, which was held in an airy loft in the Plateau. A musician played a grand piano to all the songs we know and love, while a crowd of about 70 people sang as loud or as quiet as they wanted to. Lyrics sheets were provided to help follow along, and food and drink were served. As I looked around at the room of people singing, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of them were smiling and seemed to be transported somewhere else in their minds. I think many of us associate Lou Reed’s music with a particular time in our formative years, and it often triggers past memories and emotions (at least for me, anyway). There’s something really cathartic about singing a song that is so familiar, the kind that you’ll never forget the words to, like running into an old friend. Singing in harmony with a group just brings it to another level.
Best of all, this event was a fundraiser for CKUT, our local college radio station. Great event planning for a good cause. I give it an A+.
What are some of the original events or fundraisers you’ve attended?
Last year I read Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” and I’m currently getting into Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. Non-fiction literature has been pretty awesome at exposing readers to powerful female voices lately, with so many women opening up about their experiences. I couldn’t have been more excited when I recently heard Kim Gordon’s interview on NPR about her new memoir, “GIrl in a Band”.
I first saw Sonic Youth play in concert when I was 17. It was after having watched Richard Linklater’s SubUrbia, which featured the band in the soundtrack, that I became so interested in their unique sound. During their live shows, my eyes were always drawn to Kim Gordon, the bassist/singer. Women in the alternative music scene were especially rare back then, and she had this way of performing… she came off as shy and mysterious, but at the same time was so self-assured and feminine that I forgot about the other members sharing the stage
As someone who was learning to play the bass throughout my teens, I mimicked men in terms of my attitude, clothing and hobbies. Most musicians were male, and it felt like the only way to be part of that scene. I tried to skateboard, wore unflattering punk shirts and adopted an almost “macho” persona, which I mistook for confidence. Kim Gordon made me realize a very important thing as a young woman: You don’t have to pretend to be a guy to be in a band. You can still be you. Seeing her twirl on stage while playing bass in vintage dresses quickly turned her into a role model and style icon of mine.
I can’t wait to read her memoir and get to know her. From interviews I’ve seen or read, she never sounds like she’s trying to be anyone but herself. I just wish my teenage self could have learned that a little sooner.