the best stuff of last year for you to try this year: ears

Ohr-hoerenI guess I’m sometimes into memes, but I also dropped the ball (no, not really) because I was too busy enjoying my actual real vacation that lasted more than three days, so I’m not putting this out until January, instead of all the other folks who do this at the end of the year. Anyway, I am not a wealthy person, nor am I generally speaking a person who does gifts for the holidays. But I do like gifting things to people I love when I think it’s something they will love, so this is my virtual basket of gifts for my favorite people.

So. The Best Stuff of Last Year for You to Try This Year: Ears Edition.

Music was pretty excellent in 2014, and a lot of my favorite people put out good stuff. And there were a few surprises. I broadened my knowledge of popular top 40 music considerably due to attending lots of fitness classes. It was an interesting education. Continue reading

dear taylor swift,

I love you. You read my teenage diary and you get it. Your entire Fearless album is my jam. Love it love it. You might be crazy, you might date people just for publicity and then complain that nobody loves you, and you might be sometimes overrated, but you’re also a genius, and I respect that. (Let’s forget that Speak Now happened, because we all do hugely awful things from time to time and we just need to get over them.)

But why, oh why, can you not keep your pronouns straight?

You have problems in tons of your songs, but let’s take your latest and most egregious, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and break it down: Continue reading

quien ama la música ama la vida

I miss music. My stint in the Simmons a cappella group didn’t last long, and I really miss choir from college. But strangely, what I miss most is piano. It was my first instrument, but once I discovered that I could sing and that I loved it, I started thinking of it as secondary. And given that I’ve always had a problem with accompanying myself and singing at the same time (I have relative perfect pitch; rhythm is something I’m not awful at but have to actually actively apply my cognition to), I’ve sadly never been able to realize my dreams of being a YouTube-discovered indie piano pop superstar à la Ingrid Michaelson. (By the way, taking suggestions for activities to improve that cognitive skill, or for books that explain how it works and how I can get better.)

Missing music is kind of a crutch and a cop-out, though, because between crit/scholarly stuff, creative writing, and music, they’re always at odds with each other for position as my NUMBERONEFAVORITETHINGFOREVERANDEVERAMEN, and generally I am always required to be working on one, desiring to be working on another, and then missing the third and thinking that my life would be perfect if only I could be doing that instead. I have to do school, and the write-a-thon (plus my new writing stint that I will be starting soon at Paper Droids and some guest posts at other blogs coming up) says that I should be writing (as should my jealousy of how many friends of mine are getting published before I am), so of course I want music. And there’s absolutely no possibility for balance between the three right now, because my life just doesn’t have that kind of leeway in it. Continue reading