Out of Tune: Alexi Murdoch – Orange Sky

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‘Orange Sky’ has been playing on repeat in my brain for a couple weeks. With this whole daylight savings thing, I’ve seen some beautiful orange skies in my rear view mirror on the way to work.

It makes me think of my brother and sister, both in separate places, and I wonder if they see an orange sky too.

Sometimes a song can make you feel warm. Maybe it’s the color orange. Maybe it’s the way it lulls you to peace. Maybe it’s a memory, a soundtrack to a moment, an instant of light…Or it’s played during a really great episode of ‘House’ and it follows you.

“When I’ve lost all care for the things I own, That’s when I miss you, That’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you, You who are my home, You who are my home…”

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Out of Tune: Sting – The Dream of the Blue Turtles

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Why was this a part of my letter writing soundtrack on Sunday? As I mentioned previously, I was in a part of town that isn’t part of my regular stomping grounds. I was there a while ago on a date. As I was parking my car I saw one of my “one date wonders” walking in the neighborhood, arm in arm, with a lovely lady.

I am very happy for him.

He was nice and interesting and intelligent. He laughed at my jokes and found me clever. But, alas, it was a one date wonder. We didn’t have that much in common…

And the majority of our conversation was about his pet turtle.

And the turtle is not a euphemism for anything. It was a real turtle. To be fair, I was very interested in how one ends up with a pet turtle, so I asked a lot of questions, but we talked about the turtle for altogether too long. It was kind of sweet how much he loved his pets, but it just wasn’t my vibe. Not to mention, turtles live for fucking ever. My idea of turtles start and end with the teenage mutant variety. They fight crime, eat pizza, and contribute (in their own way) to society.

Realistically, we probably talked about the turtle because we had didn’t have that much to talk about to begin with.

BUT in honor of Master Splinter finding what may be love, this song was in my head while I wrote letters. I hope he’s happy, and if he ever reads this, I hope he doesn’t think I’m trolling him, because I’m not, I just remember the humor in awkward situations.

Out of Tune: Les Miserables Cast – Do You Hear The People Sing

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I’ve never been a huge Les Miserables fan. Not even after Joey sang her rendition of ‘On My Own’ in Dawson’s Creek. (I think that was the start of the Les Mis revival of the late 90’s.) Or when Wolverine became Jean Valjean. It’s like when everyone was into Cats! – it just wasn’t ever an interest, and I’m allergic.

There’s a lot going on in the world today, and I can’t say that the highlight reel from the last few months would be categorized as wonderful. However, I have been awed and amazed by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Their resilience, in the face of tragedy, has created a movement that didn’t end after one news cycle and that has gained momentum throughout the country. Those students, and all the students that have stood up and said ‘No more’ are WONDERFUL.

Change can sometimes be painfully slow. It can be scary. It can be uncomfortable. But it starts the march towards progress.

I am not going to get overly political. I’m a realist and know that my soap box is not better or sturdier than yours. You are entitled to your opinions, just as I am entitled to mine. Since November 2016 there have been many days that have filled me with a general sense of dread and helplessness.

And so these kids have amazed me. They have provided me with hope. And whether you agree with them (or not), they should amaze you too. Because every time I’ve read about them or seen them on the news, they’re strong, and honest, and passionate about turning a terrible tragedy into remarkable change. Every time I see them, in the back of my brain, the drumbeat starts, and what sounds soft, becomes louder. And that, is progress.

Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see? Then join in the fight, that will give you the right to be free.

Out of Tune: Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives

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Today I went to a really cool event in Dallas put on by a group called Address Me Dallas. April is letter writing month, for all you postage fiends out there, and Address Me Dallas set up an event at Wild Detectives, a local book store/coffee/wine shop. It was FREE! and open to the public, all you had to do was show up. The provided stationary, cards, pens, stamps, washi tape, etc – all for you to easily write to someone. It was AWESOME! They also had calligraphy groups there that would trick out your envelopes and make them fancy, and old school type writers to give your letters that true vintage feel. (Although, feathers and ink would have been truly vintage.)

It was great! I honestly just went to check it out and see what it was all about. I ended up writing 6 letters. I also haven’t blogged in a while so it gave me an outlet. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the blog into random letters. It took a couple letter to get the juices flowing, but I just put in songs I had been thinking about recently. It was cool. And low key. And amazing.

And then I treated myself by buying a book, in Spanish, and taking myself out for Cuban food.

So the next few posts I’m going to write about will be the songs I sent to some of my pals.

So this song goes out to the Wild Detectives. Thanks for hosting an awesome event.

‘Just like watching the detectives, Don’t get cute, Just like watching the detectives, I get so angry when the teardrops start, but he can’t be wounded cause he’s got no heart’

14) Van Morrison – Moondance/My Funny Valentine Medley

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This is the perfect song to end the Valentine Mixtape. It’s a great deal – 2 songs in 1. Plus it’s got tempo, romanticism, and two great hooks- ‘It’s a marvelous night for a moondance’ and ‘Everyday, everyday is Valentine’s Day.’ I found this medley back in the early 2000’s. It took a somewhat cheesy song in ‘My Funny Valentine’ and switched it up. It had rhythm and a message.

So whether you’re celebrating with a loved one, or with your gal pals, like I am, remember to celebrate your love for one another today, and everyday. It sounds super idealistic and mushy, and it feels like we should be sitting around a campfire, singing songs to a crappy guitar, and saying how these are the best days of our lives.

The truth is – maybe they’re the regular days of our lives. Or the worst days. Or maybe, if we’re lucky, they’re the best days (even if they don’t feel like that). No matter what kind of day you’re having, that crazy guitar circle with everyone hugging, laughing, and singing off key, is there. Be present for your friends and loved ones. Tell them they’re important and that you love them, not just today, but ALL the time. Even if it’s in a small way. Pause your afternoon, write a friend a letter, pick up the phone and have a conversation, bring someone flowers – just because. ‘Be excellent to each other.’ Have a happy, wonderful Valentine’s day!

Everyday is Valentine’s Day.’

13) Fitz & The Tantrums – Fool

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I really like Fitz and The Tantrums sound lately. I love how it mixes a couple different genres – it’s a little pop, a little Motown, and a lot of fun.

This is definitely a song to groove to while you’re cooking in the kitchen – gourmet style, or heating up a Lean Cuisine.

The lyrics are catchy and clever. You learn that not all momma’s boys are created equal from the video. And basically, if you’re a bad significant other, eventually your partner is going to find out because ‘Momma didn’t raise no fool’.

‘You’re the type that Kanye told me ’bout’

 

12) The Who – You Better You Bet

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The Who was weekend music in our house growing up.

For some reason, I’ve had this song stuck in my head since the holidays. According to Wikipedia, this was the 4th song played on MTV ever, and the first song to be played twice.

Those Brits. I love the cheekiness of ‘When I say I love you, You say you better. You better you better you bet.” It’s a nice, little, sarcastic play. Plus it gives the girlfriend all the power and it’s kind of bad ass. And the keyboards add a great layer of sound to the song.

And with that, I hope it gets stuck in your head too.

 

11) Third Eye Blind – I Want You

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I have been listening to Third Eye Blind’s first album since it first came out. This CD still lives in my car and gets played regularly. My last car, McGruff (he liked to take a bite out of things), had a 5 CD changer and this CD lived in slot 1 for 5 years.

It was the soundtrack of my first college visit to San Francisco. It was played on my discman while I studied at The Silo library in college. It has been blasted through my sound system from the deserts of Arizona to the oil fields of Texas. I play it when I was getting sleepy behind the wheel, when I get home sick, when I lament some sort of heartbreak, when I’ve kicked ass and had a personal victory. This album, as a whole, covers all emotions and scenarios for me.

Third Eye Blinds first album was a huge radio success with five great singles – ‘Semi-Charmed Life’, ‘Jumper’, ‘Can I Graduate’, ‘Losing A Whole Year’, and ‘How’s It Going to Be’. All really great songs. However, the beauty of this album lies in the back end, with songs like ‘The Background’, ‘Motorcycle Drive By’, ‘God of Wine’, and of course, ‘I Want You’.

Obviously, with a title like ‘I Want You’, this song belongs on the Valentine Mixtape. These are the top three reasons why I love it so much:

  • The subtle “Send me all your vampires” in the background in the beginning that builds. A vampire reference in a love song is genius. Third Eye Blind did it before ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ did.
  • “You want to know how deeply my soul goes, Deeper than bones. Deeper than bones.” This gets you right in the soul.
  • “There will be no regrets when the worms come, and they will surely come” 

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10) New Radicals – You Get What You Give

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Let’s take the way back machine to 1998. ‘You feel your dreams are dying, hold tight.’

I think this is a great Valentine’s song. It’s not romantic or sappy or sad. It’s more of a mantra song – bad shit’s going to happen, but you’re still awesome. ‘The only way forward is through’ type of mindset. It doesn’t just apply to love, I think it applies to everything in general. I listen to this song when I’m really sad about the state of the world, which seems more often than before.

Some people hate the 90’s music. I really like it. I think it’s because it was the soundtrack of my teen years and there weren’t as many things to distract us back then (the internet was in it’s infancy), there was still a basketball hoop in the driveway, and we drove around and listened to the radio for fun (because my friends could drive, I could not).

Live your mantra.

And that’s all I’m going to say about it. I have to go to boozy brunch. #priorities

‘Frenemies, who when you’re down ain’t your friend. Every night we smash their Mercedes Benz, First we run and then we laugh til we cry…’

9) The Cure – Friday I’m In Love

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‘I don’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s gray, and Wednesday too. Thursday, I don’t care about you. It’s Friday I’m in love.’

Way back in the year 2000 I was a freshman in college. I had a Napster account and the ability to download music on my desktop computer to my heart’s desire. I had also received a kick ass speaker system with a subwoofer from my parents to help round out my college experience.

I would blast this song every Friday. I tried to make it loud enough that you could hear it from my 5th floor dorm room while you were waiting for the bus. (I don’t think that ever worked.) But it made me happy. I hope it makes you happy too. Especially on an actual Friday.

‘I don’t care if Monday’s black, Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack, Thursday never looking back, it’s Friday, I’m in love.’