31 Days of Song {7-19/30} *the massive update*

It’s hard for me to remember and realize that I need to write and create, even when I am busy or tired. When I do not create, I get emotionally constipated and all I do is cry. Last week I was staying at my dad’s, and he doesn’t have wireless internet. This week I’m babysitting 4 of the coolest kids I know. But I realize that if I don’t stop and care for my emotional needs, I am of no use to anybody else. I get cranky and tired and nobody is fun like that.

Yesterday morning I didn’t have coffee and I forgot everything. Abi told me this morning that I once said I am no fun without coffee. We then clarified that I am more funny without coffee, but less fun.

I’d like to say “I’ve been writing my blogs every day!” but I haven’t been. I did, however, make a massive list of many of the songs I wanted to use this month. So this is a ketchup post and then starting tomorrow I will do one each day.

These are not super lengthy because I didn’t want to have one entry as long as a novel. That bores even me.

Song #7 Forever by Ben Harper
This song, without fail, ALWAYS makes me think of Sean Ingenthron. Maybe because I first heard it as his house or because I spent so much time with him during the months when “Forever” was on EVERY mix CD I made.

“Forever” is, essentially, my quiet, cry-in-my room-alone-at-night-after-indulging-in-masochistic-viewings-of-my-ex-boyfriends’-Facebook-photo-albums anthem. It reminds me of the finality of forever as seen on this side of Heaven, and it encourages me not to screw with it. No games for me.

The words are so simple and so true and I hope I never become too jaded, cynical, desperate or hopeless to be able to whole-heartedly relate to this beautiful song.

“No not me, I won’t let my forever roam.”

Song #8 Wake Me Up by Charles Kelley {youtube}
I am really happy that lots of people know who Charles is and I am so happy that he’s so successful and blah blah. But I am SO SAD that not many people know this song, a song he wrote with his brother and Dave Yaden. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite songs in the world. When I thought of this song, I remembered when Charles sent me the final cut of it and asked me what I thought. So I did some digging through MySpace {ancient!} and found this:

This song makes me think of 2006. It makes me think of California and New York, New Jersey and Ohio. It makes me think of Seattle and the Philippines. and Camp Arnold. This past summer when I was dude of the day, I’d wake everyone up with #1. Baby and then #2. Wake Me Up.

The lyrics… so happy. The piano part… so bouncy. The two random claps in the second verse and outro.. so perfect. This song is it.

Song #9 What Did I Get Myself Into by Kyle Riabko
 2004. Tickets to see John Mayer in Kelowna, BC prove to be cheaper and have better seating options. So that’s just what happened on Friday, February 13th.  I sat there with Karin as the scrawny little opener guy bounced around on stage and said “it’s too bad that singer/songwriter/guitar players are a dime a dozen, because this guy has no chance.”  Then I found out he was only 16 and I was like… !!!!!

I bought his EP online. Five songs, the first being “What Did I Get Myself Into.” I remember driving around Mountlake Terrace, WA with that EP on repeat. A year later, Kyle released his full length album and that song, with way more instruments, was the first track again. So much had changed in that year; I’d lost a lot of friends and gained even better ones. I was preparing to move back home. But I remember driving the same streets, going to the same bank and same Starbucks and feeling like I was standing at the same place on a circle, but I had gained that extra trip around it.

The top picture is from the second time I saw Kyle, about a month after I first met him. The bottom picture is from the last time I saw him when he was in town performing as the role of Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening.

So that first assessment I made of him?… not accurate at all. He’s one of the most driven, talented people I’ve ever crossed paths with. One day I will have a picture of the both of us all old and gray and wrinkly and will fondly look back on the very small changes these two pictures will represent.

Song #10 On The Wing by Owl City
Anything by Owl City makes me think of about 10 very dear people to me. In September 2010 I woke up at 3 am one morning, got in my car, and drove to California. Ocean Eyes was on repeat, and for the first time I really listened to On The Wing. It stayed on repeat. for a LONG time. When I was in Pacifica I would pick up the Birks kids from school and this song transports me to one afternoon in particular when we were driving home. Graham was shotgun.. Emily may not have even been in the car. The windows were rolled down and the ocean stretched out in all directions to our left. I felt, in that moment, like I was not in a car or on the earth but that Graham and I were limitless and floaty and outside of our selves, observing it all.

Song #11 Jessie by Joshua Kadison
From my wordpress.com blog:
My mom had a cassette tape of Painted Desert Serenade, and when I was old enough, she’d let me stay in the car when she ran into Safeway to get some groceries. I would sit in the car, my feet on the dash, and I’d listen to this song over and over. The lyrics or story of the song mean absolutely nothing to me; just another song about another crazy girl who leads a boy on. However, this song always reminds me of the ocean (“tell me all about our little trailer by the sea”) and the first eight measures still make me giddy.

Song #12 Sucker by John Mayer
Summer. of 2004, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11… at some point I will stick an old, unlabeled mix CD in my CD player and after scanning through will land on this song. and I will, at that moment, fight the urge to drive to Starbucks for a lite caramel frappucino and overanalyze John Mayer lyrics with Melissa. I will also remember the short clip I used to have of another time John did this song live and took requests from the audience and sang an inappropriate verse that I used to think was sooooo funny and now it makes me roll my eyes.

Oh and I will also pretend he wrote the line “I see your world with rosy colored glasses on” just for me.

Song #13 Grace’s Amazing Hands by Dave Barnes
I was late on the Dave Barnes train. But I jumped on full force. Singing this song to screaming babies always calms them down, it’s like magic. It also helps me sleep on days when my brain and my heart just won’t stop fighting or hurting or worrying. It’s like magic. Try it sometime.

Song #14 For The Longest Time by Billy Joel
September 2009. I drove to California with Andrea. She let me borrow her car to take to Los Angeles so I could stay the night at Dave’s house and attend his CD release show. Driving from Twentynine Palms to Los Angeles, I used the little iTrip to listen to Billy Joel and suddenly felt like I’d never felt the full potential of loving “For the Longest Time.” So I put it on repeat. and then, right before I made it to Hollywood, my ipod died. Not the battery, but the ipod itself.  Which wasn’t a big deal until it was time for the 3 hour drive back in the dark of 2 am. The situation became increasingly more and more urgent as each mile passed by and when I saw a 24-hour Wal Mart I immediately exited the freeway and purchased a Billy Joel Greatest Hits CD which I quickly busted into and spent the last two hours listening to just one song.

Song #15 I Don’t Wanna Sing by Stephen Speaks
Stephen Speaks. My favorite. For years. Almost ten years at this point! In 2003ish, a new album dropped. This was on it. I loved it. and listened to it all the time. ALL THE TIME. There’s not a whole lot more to say about this song except that I love it.

Song #17 Lighthouse by Ernie Halter
Let me tell you about the first time I heard this song. Ernie was playing in Seattle  but flew to Portland so we could drive up and back together. Our return drive was very late at night and Ernie excitedly pulled out his computer to let me hear a new song. Lighthouse. About unconditional friendships that see you through life. A BEAUTIFUL song.

Two months or so later, I was in the middle of an ugly breakup that really did a number on me and my heart. I broke the camp rules {sorry Mark!!!} and kept my phone so myself and that boy could hash things out. and somewhere in that time, I’d told Ernie. Ernie called me countless times, checking in and giving advice and just offering his love. After getting off the phone with Ernie, I’d cry myself to sleep listening to Lighthouse and reminding myself that I am a valued person despite how my immediate situation made me feel. and there is an amazing power when you hear a familiar speaking voice singing you words of comfort. It is a game changer.

Lighthouse helped me heal. Helps me heal.

Song #18 Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
One of the reasons I chose to do 31 days of songs was because of how music can be a tesseract, taking you to a specific place or moment in time or bringing up one face in your brain. This is the kind of song that brings up a face.

This song brings up the face of Willy Dressler. Towards the end of my use of MySpace, I found and started messaging Willy. Use Somebody was his profile song. I kept his profile open and would just continue to press play. Which meant I was continually looking at Willy’s MySpace profile.

I just “see friendship”ed myself and Willy and found this.

me: kings of leon reminds me of my friend willy.
rachel: really?
me: yeah. he is in europe right now i think.
rachel: why?
me: to adventure. willy adventures. maybe one day i can adventure with willy.

Song #19 Anthem of Our Discovery by Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers
Let me just say that this band has such a precious, special place in my heart.
This song was my song for the fall of 2005. I made a desktop background with the lyrics “we talked about things that would make your mind spin” on it.
Some songs have tangible memories, some songs have faces, and other songs just make you remember a feeling. This song makes me remember a feeling.