Dreams.

Dreams are funny. Where would you be if all your dreams had come true? Obviously you’d be in a million places. These things change a lot.

Ever since I started riding horses at 9 years old, I dreamed of having a horse. In middle and high school I dreamed of being a vet. My friend at the barn was going to be an Olympic rider and I’d be her vet. That dream was dashed when I realized you had to be good at math to go to vet school. Faaaack.

I dreamed of leaving Indiana for college. I wouldn’t trade those four years for any other college experience in the world. Then I had a dream of going into the Peace Corps. I was even accepted, but I chickened out. My life would be pretty dang different if I had spent the two years after college in Mongolia or eastern Europe.

I dreamed of making a permanent life in North Carolina after moving down there for a year after college. I tried so hard to find a job. I never, ever dreamed I’d be living back in my hometown, making it my home.

I dreamed that I’d marry a certain boy. That would’ve been hilarious.

I heard this song the other day on Pandora. I actually stopped what I was doing (sweeping up clouds of dog and cat hair that float around my house with reckless abandon) and had one of those “that’s it, you speak to my heart” moments with the lyrics … “Where would I be right now if all my dreams had come true? Deep down I know somehow I’d have never seen your face. This world would be a different place. Darlin, there’s no way to know which way your heart will go.” (Which Way Your Heart Will Go, Mason Jennings)

What if even one of those dreams had come true? I wouldn’t be here, making a huge pile of black and white hairs (none of which came from my head, thank you very much. I’m so not  in complete denial about my growing number of gray hairs.), that’s for sure. I wouldn’t know the faces, the important ones, in my life, at least not in the same way. Maybe I would’ve had great experiences abroad, met fantastic friends making a life in North Carolina. Hell, maybe I could’ve been a damn good vet. Funny how you take certain turns, certain dreams don’t make the cut, and that all puts you where you are now, surrounded by the people you love.

Right now, I’m pretty much living the dream. The Dream. The one I never knew I had, but that’s dang good.

Love.

 

I’m certainly no expert on love. Who is, really? I do know what not love is, the platonic variety and the passionate lustful variety. Maybe you don’t know what love is until you thought you had it and then you realize you were wrong wrong wrong. Love does not betray you.

It sets you free!

Those Mumford and Sons, they know, I think. Their music sets me free, so I suppose I love them, right? Yes.

They totes inspire me, and as such, I like their new single. “I Will Wait.” I sure will wait, I’ll wait for you. Hey, that’s what love is!

 

Fun.

We Are Young, Fun. You’ve probably heard this song if you’ve had the radio on for more than five minutes this summer. It’s gotten so much air time that I dare say it’s been over-played. But that doesn’t stop me from singing at the top of my lungs every time I hear it, or even purposefully looking it up on YouTube on my drive home so I can rock with the windows open.

This song beeped onto my radar awhile ago actually. Maybe like late fall of last year. I was immediately struck by how the chorus sounds like an anthem, this wild declaration, “Toniiiiiight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun!” Can’t you just hear bars full of college students joining in song together, their Bud Lights raised in the air? I make Fun., but like I said, I love it.

In case you’ve been under a rock for the last few months (it’s OK, don’t feel ashamed, sometimes I, too, live under a rock called I hate the radio and pop music.), here’s the video, which actually really makes me uncomfortable. Why is everything in slow motion?!

Then one day, I branched out from this one song. I typed Fun. into Spotify and lo and behold! This band has two albums! And they’re all bright and fun and poppy without being annoying. They lyrics actually say something. I can listen to these songs over and over. Let’s not even talk about what happens when you create a Pandora station based on Fun.

One of my faves from their album Aim and Ignite is Light a Roman Candle With Me. It’s sweet, and when I first heard it, I pictured a couple walking down a grassy lane, hands entwined, arms swinging. Upon closer listen I realized it wasn’t this idealistic song, much more realistic in fact. Give the two of us, give this thing, a chance, and maybe it’ll work out. You never know until you light the roman candle and let it fly.

Listen to some Fun. this weekend. It’d go well with cookouts, day or night drinking, dancing in the kitchen, bike riding, state fair going, summertiming in general.

Song of the Week

Here I am. Back from Spain. Refreshed. Tan. (OK sunburned.) Happy. No further rundown here. I’ll give you a brief trip summary with photos later this week.

As for now, I’ve been desperately trying to catch up on my Google Reader. Joseph Arthur caught my eye in my NPR First Listen feed. He’s a singer/songwriter from Ohio and his new album The Graduation Ceremony comes out May 24th.

I’m sitting here at work, catching up, reading through layouts as deadlines approach, getting high on carpet glue fumes that float through the office hallways today, and listening to this album. It’s enjoyable. Typical singer/songwriter pleasantness. Perfect for a too-cold-and-rainy-for-May day. Then the last song plays. One line leaps out at me.

Love never asks you to lie.

Hey, turns out that’s the name of the song! And that line is repeated again and again. I listened over and over again.

Love is not having to lie, not wanting to lie, not being too scared to say the exact thing on your mind, even if that thing is scary. You have no idea what a relief it is to be able to be open, to feel comfortable saying everything and anything. The best loves, whether they’re friends, family, or significant others, don’t ask you to lie. They allow you to be completely honest.

Oof. Deep for a Wednesday afternoon? The post-vacation days have been kind of rough. I’m glad we had vacation time when we did.

So anyway, here’s your song. Love Never Asks You To Lie, Joseph Arthur.

Song of the Week

Happy Friday y’all! (I’m missing Green Cove something fierce right now so just go with my use of southern dialect.) Do you have big weekend plans? I’m planting the three tomato plants, two basil plants, and rosemary that I bought at the farmer’s market last weekend. Also weeding. The flower bed area along the side of my house is filled with green. I can hardly tell the actual plants apart.

Now for a song of the week. Or two.

Meet my newest and latest band crush: The Head and The Heart. I bought this album a few weekends ago at Luna Music on National Record Store Day. It’s been playing quite a bit on the iPod and in the CD player of my car. I’m such a sucker for boys playing guitars and/or banjos with a nice alt-country sound. See Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers. The Head and The Heart gets extra points for including a lady in their band. I love when her sweet, high voice chimes in contrasting with the heavier voices of the rest of the band.

What perfect music to turn up and sway and dance around to while you shut your eyes dreamily. Sometimes I really start feelin the music (ya know how that goes) and my body involuntarily starts shaking and moving in foolish ways. Then either Mira barks at me and breaks me from my music coma or the other editor chuckles from her office and I remember that I’m sitting at my desk at work.

The first video, I just love this song. It was my immediate favorite after listening to the album once through. You know, the song that just jumps out at you for no concrete reason, the one that you go back and listen to a few more times before you finish the rest of album.

The second song, this one took a few listens for me to start loving. The lyrics sing to me right now. I get them.

All the Good Music

I watched the second half of the Grammy’s Sunday night. The Grammy’s always make me sad because they recognize a lot of crap music that’s being played on the radio and sold on iTunes these days. Only a handful of real, honest, musicians get nominated and even fewer win. So today I had every intention of writing an angry post about how music today is crap and how most mainstream artists don’t know how to even put on a good live performance.

And then I got into work Monday morning, sat down at my computer, and found so many inspiring songs, so many talented musicians, and I wasn’t angry anymore. (Well, not angry about music at least.)

So I’m just going to share all of my happiness with you. And hopefully these songs and these people who seem to love what they do will change your day and make you smile.

Iron & Wine, Naked As We Come. One that I can’t quite decide if it’s incredibly sweet or really depressing. Either way, I adore Iron & Wine’s soft, ripply, guitar-picking style.

An absolutely mind-blowing Grammy performance from last night by Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers, and a somewhat mediocre performance by Bob Dylan. Though I can’t blame the man. He’s older and his voice has always been pretty raspy (which is part of his charm). Mumford & Sons tore it up with “The Cave.” A great song from their debut album. And the lead singer, how cute is he? Avett Brothers never fail to disappoint me and I like their choice of song, “Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promises.” And everyone played with Bob Dylan on “Maggie’s Farm.”

Continuing on the Grammy’s theme, I had no idea who the Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding was until thankfully NPR enlightened me this morning. She plays this huge double bass and has a sweet, clear, jazzy voice. This video is a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR. I like the smallness of this concert series always.

Adele. She’s amazing, gorgeous, fashionable (hello, is that a cape in this Tiny Desk Session?), and has a freaking powerful voice. Like the kind of voice that could blow you over but never screams. She has a new album coming out February 22. You may still be able to get a peak on NPR’s site. This is another Tiny Desk Concert. I love that she does the whole thing a capella.

And, lastly, a song for Valentine’s Day, “Fearful” by Beat Radio. I know, I know, it’s a video montage. But it’s of Jim and Pam! I love Jim and Pam. I cried when he proposed to her at the gas station in the rain and I bawled during their wedding episode.

Happy listening!