A flash in the pan.

I know it’s been forever, so please forgive me.  Not having internet is cramping my style.  Big time.  Just need to refocus and realize that these outlets are beneficial.  I missed you guys!

Lately I have listened to more electro-pop.  And yes, One Direction.  They are on the playlists lately.  Don’t hate me too much.  That song (“What Makes You Beautiful”) is catchy as hell.  And though it has no real value as a work of musicianship, or hell, it’s not lyrically brilliant either, but – DAMNIT! – it makes me dance in the morning and some days you just need that.

About a week ago I was at my local coffeehouse and plugged into my Spotify and came across this freaking amazing song (and I cannot find it on iTunes or Amazon ANYWHERE) called “Warrior”.  If you like Foster the People, then you will probably LOVE this song, as Mark Foster (of Foster the People) is a contributing artist.  Reminds me of 80s pop mixed with the electro driven beats made favorable by bands like M83 (which by the way, their new album, I LOVE IT!).

I know this is a very non-traditional post (no links, too many parenthesis, no real suggestions format), but it’s because I am going through ideas on how to re-vamp this blog, along with my introducing a new blog from yours truly!  I decided that with my frequent reading habits (it’s like crack, I swear!) that I should begin a book review blog.  I need to refine my writing and make myself profitable.  Within each of us in a small business waiting to be opened.  I just want mine to involve things I love (i.e. music, books, and writing!).  Okay, I need to stop with the “!” — it’s beginning to annoy even me.

Anyways, I hope you tune in for further music suggestions and reviews and hop on over to http://www.belleandthebook.wordpress.com for some reading suggestions.

Love to you all!


Music and Emotions: the girl and her iPod.

I am thoroughly enjoying the shuffle on my iPod.  Cruz was always good at choosing the perfect music for the moment.  I have always been intrigued about how there always is method to the madness in music.  How a note can evoke something deep within your soul.  How a lyric can say something so profound, or so stupid.  And of course, the moments when you begin to listen to the radio, or some mix CD long forgotten, and every song seems to say something, strike a chord, know exactly what to say in relation to how you are feeling.  Right now Cruz (yes, I named my iPod) is choosing the perfect songs.  I have over sixteen days of music, and even with that immense amount of choice, Cruz has managed to play perfect examples of my thoughts and feelings, has managed to pull emotions out of my chest that I knew were there, barely dormant, and breathe life into them.  The question becomes, do we see and hear what we want from the music, or does the music really know us.

I am not saying that Cruz, even if he has personality, has artificial intelligence.  He does emote, he cannot talk, he does not walk, and though I love him like a person (his death will be felt), he is not a person, he cannot relate to me.  But here he is, with shuffle going, bringing out songs that echo my sentiments.  And believe me, not every song on my iPod would echo what I am feeling now.  But somehow the first five songs (and only five songs played so far) have struck something deep within me.  (And I haven’t touched my iPod in two weeks, there has not been frequent listens, and if there has been in the past month, those songs haven’t been played, nor do they exactly portray what I am and have felt.)

Music is a beautiful thing.  I never knew how to handle people who did not appreciate music, who could not listen to it and experience it.  I know everyone has different ways how to handle things, but my outlet has always been music.  I cannot play it (flute and guitar were my two instruments, though I failed miserably at both), but I know the importance it carries to musicians.  I feel there is a part of me that was/is a musician, but something broke within me before I could fully learn.  Like the ex-athlete who coaches for a living.  Music always surrounded me when I was young.  I was a dancer, and learned to emphasize rhythms and beats with my body.  I am a poet and appreciate lyrics.  And even though I feel more wordsmith than musician, I understand the poetry in music, the story behind it, the rapture and emotion evoked by notes blending together, by bass rhythms and percussion, twinkling harp and piano, and methodical and mathematical guitar.  These are the things I feel in my chest, ricocheting out my extremities, buzzing in my head.


I am listening to Florence + the Machine and feel as if the music is pouring through my body.  I can imagine the notes tumbling out of the speakers and falling head first into my ears.  Each note gracefully makes its way through my ear drums and causes a nervous reaction in my brain.  Small circuits of electricity fire as the drums from “Cosmic Love” pound; the twinkling ignites images of blue static and soft glows behind my corneas; the harp sends spiraling shivers through my extremities.  It registers in my emotional center, and a part of me wants to dance a tribal rhythm out, pounding my bare feet upon the floor, but then the controlled self that simply harnesses that energy and focuses it into an intellectual dance as my fingers fly across the keyboard pounding out alpha numeric steps.

It is intriguing that the two songs that I crave are “Cosmic Love” and “My Boy Builds Coffins.”  Both songs have strong percussion.  Each song, though, uses percussion in different ways.  One is the heartbeat to the song, giving life to the experience.  The other drives the lyrics swiftly forward, leaving little room for breath or acknowledgement, almost as if she is singing these words in the last moments before eternal sleep.  I cannot help the shivers that run through my spine as each of these songs progress to a climatic moment.  Florence Welch, with soulful voice and devastating honesty, belts out secret truth, an unknown puzzle come together, from deep within me: “The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out, you left me in the dark.  No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight, in the shadow of your heart.”

“Cosmic Love” has been a favorite of mine since first listen.  The music echoes what I feel; the words wrap around my head and my heart, responding to a deep knowledge, something intrinsic, unintelligible, inexplicable.  “My Boy Builds Coffins” has poetry in the music, with plucking guitar rhythms and constant percussion, it spins circles in my mind, answering thoughts with confusing roundabouts and circular wordplay.  It is these features that have led me to Florence’s altar of beauty.  Her words, her music, her heart and soul that manifest itself; these call to me like a lonesome song in the midst of a dark night.  (“I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too, so I stayed in the darkness with you.“)  And the beauty reminds me again and again that I need to let go of my ghosts.  Her boy builds coffins, he makes them all day, he made one for himself, and one for her, and one day he’ll make one for me.


There is nothing as great as listening to Chicago bands while getting psyched to go out and canvass in Chicago.  It makes the whole experience seem interconnected, a beautiful cycle of giving and taking.

Come out to Clark and Diversey and say hello, and also learn about The Champions program with the American Red Cross.

P.S. More concert updates this upcoming weekend.  I promise.  Along with some more suggestions.  GET EXCITED.

A quote that caught my eye.

I just wanted to share this quote, taken from The Name of the Wind written by Patrick Rothfuss.  I believe it explains my attachment to music accurately:

“I was so deeply in the music that I couldn’t have told you where it stopped and my blood began.”

The arts are alive. Help them survive.

As you know from earlier posts, I am all about supporting local artists.  With this economy, it is hard to follow your passion in full force.  Other things, like making a living at jobs that may pay well, but have no connection to what is important to you, get in the way.  Few people ever have the opportunity to set off on the path that leads to a goal or dream coming to fruition.  And that, I believe, is sad.  The arts are one of the most affected areas when it comes to budget cuts, yet people fail to realize that in times of great depression (monetarily and emotionally) that entertainment has always been a saving grace.  When the world is unhappy, we turn towards the industry to give us a break from reality.  Why, then, are we not nurturing the future of art?  Why do we not support, with all of our heart, mind, and body, future artists?  Really think about it.

Plugs for music, jewelry, photography, and more…

Green Music Festival.

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  This weekend there are many opportunities to get out and about in the city!  One is the Green Music Festival this Saturday and Sunday at Wicker Park.  I will be there both days.  There is a $5 recommended donation.  It is a family fun event, with many activities for the little ones.  Also live music split between two stages.   Come learn how to serve your planet better and discover new ways to go green!