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“For slavery fled, oh glorious dead, when you fell in the Foggy Dew.”

Being of Irish heritage is a lot like Irish music; it makes you feel simultaneously triumphantly happy and devastatingly sad at the same time. It’s the feeling you have when you are flying through the air during that split second of the Slip Jig where you hold yourself in the air for but a moment and your heart has never felt more free.

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The feeling you have when you listen to “Into the Mystic,” by Van Morrison in particular The Swell Season’s live cover version.

It’s because you have to carry lotion with you everywhere year round because your skin was meant to be somewhere it rains all the time, not in the dry midwestern climate. It’s also how you carry sunscreen everywhere in the summertime and try to explain how you got “slightly tan” but all your friends see are more freckles on a pale backdrop. And how you look so pale and ghostlike in the winter that you can see your veins and you startle your cousin when you accidentally end up in the background of her snapchat photo. It’s how the only thing marking you as a person and not a ghost is your dark curly hair.

It’s the smile of your soul when you hear a bit of witty humor or wordplay or a beautifully worded phrase whether spoken or written because at heart all Irish are poets.

It’s in the lovely genes you inherited that make you glad you look so young yet irked when you get carded every time you buy whiskey.

It’s the pang in your heart when you visited Kilmainham Gaol and heard Sinead O’Connor’s version of “The Foggy Dew” over and over in your head and shed a tear for those jailed or killed during the Easter Rising. It’s that same pang which rises and boils up to a fiery rage and you hear “Zombie” by the Cranberries in your head when you see a t-shirt that reads “Ireland 1916.” Or someone casually mentions Orange vs. Green or that Oliver Cromwell was an interesting man and all you see before your eyes are mists of blood and genocide and starving children and your forebears suffering. When you see how much they sacrificed to get here and so you could have the privileges you have.

And you feel for your people every time someone uses a stereotype or you see a leprechaun because they aren’t even that important in Irish mythology. Why don’t more people know about CuChulain and why don’t we read The Tain instead of Beowulf, I love Beowulf but The Tain is still better and it explains my soft spot for cows. And what’s up with all these four leaf clovers masquerading as shamrocks which actually have only three leaves because how else would St. Patrick use one to illustrate the trinity? It’s how your Irish literature professor told you you are not allowed to answer anymore questions because you know too much about the Vikings.

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CuChulain

It’s the empathy you feel for the other cultures that come to America and get stereotyped or slandered or encouraged to forget their culture and melt into the melting pot.

It’s that feeling of warmth and comfort you feel the first time you learn to make soda bread with your mother. It’s the smell of the rick dark coffee when you finally get to participate in after dinner coffee and conversation with the adults at family gatherings. It’s the coziness of your Aran knit sweater on a cold night. And it’s when the last words your Grandmother speaks to you are praising what a great cook you have become.

It’s when you are crying while listening to “The Long Journey Home” on the plane home from Ireland partly because you have a sinus infection, but mostly because your heart belongs there and you don’t think you will ever experience anything as painfully beautiful and home-feeling as that country again.

Well, at least that’s what being Irish means to me.

Hold on to your culture. Do not let anyone take it from you, because if you lose it, what do you have left?

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Today I bring to you, 11 fun facts of my week. Some of them might not be fun but they are all facts.

  1. Everyone should listen to Hamilton. Just do it. You’ll thank me later.

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2. It’s practically March so that means it’s time for what my dad refers to as Irish Ramadan. (Cultural appropriation can work sometimes). That’s the best way to describe the celebratory time leading up to St. Patrick’s day on the 17th. Growing up of Irish-American heritage this was like a second holiday season where I was often dancing at various events and parties. Albeit, it’s also during Lent, so it’s not like there was a ton of candy or anything. Just family, friends and fun times. Thus, I find myself taking a break from listening to Hamilton non-stop to listen to The Chieftains, Van Morrison, The Corrs, The Cranberries, Glen Hansard, The Dropkick Murphys, and many others. (We Irish are a prolific and musical folk). I’m particularly into this collab with the Chieftains and Ziggy Marley “Redemption Song.” 

The Corr’s version of Buachaill on Eirne is always a favorite as well. This video I linked translates the Gaelic into English and Spanish. It’s basically about this guy bragging about how awesome it is, yet in Irish it sounds so beautiful. Even the English translation of the last line is very poetic.

And your kiss is no more to me now than a shoe worn for a year

Burn.

3. Along with this time of year, Wack-Arnold’s (McDonald’s for the uninitiated), trots out their Shamrock shakes. Being lactose-intolerant, (which is odd for an Irish person), I cannot partake in the joy of a shake I once thought was made from actual Shamrocks. But Pinterest to the rescue! I found some really great dairy free and vegan Shamrock shake recipes I am definitely going to be trying out this month. Linkity link.

4. In the realm of more recommendations from me, the Liz Lemon-esque unrepentant fangirl, everyone should watch Agent Carter on ABC. The second season just ended and there are rumblings that it won’t get renewed which is awful. (Pro-tip, read this next part in Stefon from SNL’s voice). It has everything: late 1940’s fashion, Marvel, feminism, 2 British people, Chad Michael Murray, and a Joss Whedon-esque musical number.

HAYLEY ATWELL, ENVER GJOKAJ

I am not joking. Look how much fun they are having.

5. Tomorrow is Leap Day. Can we remember that the last Leap Day, four years ago 30 Rock was still on the TV and they aired their Leap Day Williams episode, which was weird, wonderful and I loved it. 30 Rock you are missed but never forgotten.

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Happy Leap Day!

6. This week while eating Mild curry thai food I proclaimed that I had the highest spice tolerance in my family. Coming from an Irish family, this is not saying much and is not really a boast.

7. Lentil loaf is good I learned. Delicious even. Perfect for having gone vegetarian for Lent and being on a Student teacher’s budget.

8. Today my brother was trying to think of what Secret Santa is called. Instead he said “Blind Santa Claus.” I honestly think Blind Santa Claus is what I am going to call it from now on.

9. I have been so overstressed with work that I definitely needed the two snow days we had this week. When you get overstressed, you say weird things to the kids like: “Holden Caulfield is not really a woke bae,” “We all need to focus, like a Ford Focus,” and “Today I dressed like an Urban Outfitters ad.”

10. I am in love with this Ham4Ham video featuring all the Kings George from Hamilton lip-synching to the Schuyler Sisters song. Ham4Ham is when people wait to win tickets for the show in a lottery and sometimes the actors come out and do a little performance for them. You may recognize Andrew Rannels who is Elijah from Girls, and Jonathan Groff who plays Christoff in Frozen.

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11. This video of Nanci Griffith singing the Irish tune, “Red is the Rose,” with the Chieftains is gold. The “Thank you Chieftains” at the end has become a catch phrase among my siblings and I. Not sure why, just one of those weird phrases you pick up like “the scare-floor will be painted.”

I am totally obsessed with the Hamilton musical. It’s an addiction. Another blogger explains it perfectly here. The internet loves this musical. Just look at tumblr and Buzzfeed. And listen to the soundtrack, you’ll be listening to those 46 songs for days.

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Lin Manuel Miranda you are a musical genius. Here I detail my addiction in the form of poetry.

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ALEXANDER HAMILTON


The Hamilton soundtrack is like crack

the biography like candy

I haven’t been this addicted to something

since The Little Mermaid as a small child

or The Lord of the Rings as a preteen.

I love it more than I ever loved

1776, the former placeholder of my favorite musical

it mirrors though how I used to listen to the

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

soundtrack every day and pour over the lyrics sheet

like I was running out of time

There’s a million things I haven’t done

I’m hopeless

but I’m not throwing away my shot

Listening is easy, breaking this addiction is harder

but should I?

It fuels my nerd fire

it motivates me to get things done

How lucky am I to be alive right now?

I love you Hamilton

you were my first historical crush

(those are a thing)

this musical about you is my milieu

how does a bastard orphan immigrant

become a hero and a scholar?

There’s a million things I haven’t done

This is not a moment, it’s the movement

is anybody there?

Do you see what I see?

We are just like our country, young scrappy and hungry.

Rise up!

The country is older and colder or is it warmer

global warming is real.

We need more people who stand for their ideals

like Hamilton.

There’s a million things we haven’t done

we will never be satisfied.

I will write like I’m running out of time.

I’m eight chapters deep into teaching The Catcher in the Rye to high school juniors this week and this has spilled over into the songs I’ve been listening to and thus I made a playlist heavily influenced by New York City (and Hamilton). I think it’s also heavily influenced by my need for spring to come. I’m normally pretty ok with winter, having lived in Michigan my whole life I have to be. And there are plenty of magical things to love about winter. But lately I’ve been longing for warmth. The feeling of the end of winter and the beginning of spring is here. I can sense it. Every season has a feeling and now that February is breezing by, spring will come soon. This time of year also seems to be when I listen to a lot of Vampire Weekend and Beach Boys, particularly the Pet Sounds album.

  1. Empire State of Mind, by JAY Z and Alicia Keys.

No NYC themed playlist would be complete without this song. I feel like Holden would enjoy this song. I tried to sing this to my students before we started chapter 8 since that’s when Holden decided to go into the city. Their reaction was Callaghan, why. This song just makes me feel awesome and I wold like to play when I finally get to go to NYC. It’s probably most well known for the misheard lyrics. Liz Lemon’s version is my personal favorite. Also the Adventure Time bacon pancakes mashup version is pretty choice. orig-21701769

Here’s my favorite real lyric.

I’m the new Sinatra, and, since I made it here
I can make it anywhere, yea, they love me everywhere

2. Theme from New York, New York, by Frank Sinatra

Another quintessential NYC song, this one makes you feel like you can accomplish anything. Sinatra was the Jay Z of his day basically. They both swank out a song that is a great ode to the city. One of my most permanent memories of this song is from the end of the Vampire Weekend concert I went to with my cousin. At the end of the show as people were clearing out, this song came on, most likely as a tribute to the band’s New York roots. I mean the album they were touring for was Modern Vampires of the City, so it was fitting. But it just gave me this really happy but sad feeling, because the show was over and it was amazing and I knew I wouldn’t have that feeling of seeing that same show ever again. I get that feeling a lot after shows I really like and enjoy.

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If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York

3. Summer in the City, by Regina Spektor

“Summer in the city, means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage.” Regina isn’t wrong. This melancholy song is definitely part of my hope for spring coming soon. Regina Spektor is great, I just love her anti-folk vibe and unique voice.

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4. Always Something There to Remind Me, by Naked Eyes

What does this song have thematically to do with anything? Not much. I guess, unless you compare it to Holden pining for Jane. I just listened to it again for the first time in a long time because it came up on my Pandora and I just remembered how much I love a good 80s synth beat. It brings me back to the summers of 07 and 08 when I worked in a Deli inside a Fruit and Meat market and the radio was always playing a mixture of 80s music and Nickelback.

5. Alexander Hamilton, Original Broadway Cast Recording

I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS MUSICAL’S EXISTENCE. For starters, I am dying to go see it.Lin-Manuel Miranda is very talented and a skilled lyricist. I love the many shout outs and references throughout this soundtrack. This musical is totally my milieu, I love Alexander Hamilton. He was my historical crush. (I was a weird pre-teen/teen). I love giant biographies, just downloaded the Hamilton one by Ron Chernow on audible this musical was based on. 1776 is also my favorite musical and there’s a shoutout/reference to it in this musical and I LOVE IT. JOHN ADAMS IS MY OTHER FAVORITE FOUNDING FATHER.

Hamilton: the musical for nerds, fans of 1776, and fans of Jay Z.

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Eyebrows on fleek

In New York you can
Be a new man—
In New York you can
Be a new man—

6. That’s Not Me, by The Beach Boys

“I once had a dream so I packed up and split for the city, I soon found out that my lonely life wasn’t so pretty.” This song follows the theme of going off to the city and trying to make your way. I always am reminded of my trip to Florida last spring and driving to Sanibel Island when I listen to this song.

7. Finger Back, by Vampire Weekend

The beat of this song and the fast paced lyrics are my favorite things. The Romeo-Juliet story of this song is actually based on a true story of an Orthodox girl falling in love with a falafel shop employee. It’s just so real and so America and New York and I love the way Ezra speaks the lyrics in that part of the song. Side note: I love falafel, it’s probably my favorite thing besides avocados.

Sing next year in Jerusalem
You know, the one at W. 103rd and B’way?
Cause this Orthodox girl fell in love with the guy at the falafel shop
And why not?
Should she have averted her eyes and just stared at the laminated poster of the Dome of the Rock?

8. America, by Simon and Garfunkel

No playlist about America and seeking one’s fortune would be complete without this classic. I think of this as the quintessential road trip song. I’ve purposely listened to it on trips even if I’m taking a plane or a train and not a car. I also associate it with road trips as a child and falling asleep in the back seat.

“Kathy”, I said, As we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh,
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four days
To hitch-hike from Saginaw.
“I’ve come to look for America.”

9. Obvious Bicycle, by Vampire Weekend

The opener of the Modern Vampires of the City album, there’s always been something beautiful, haunting and sad about this song for me. It has a weird nostalgic feeling to it, even from the first time you hear it. I love the chorus of “Listen, oh,” it’s as if they are invoking the muse and inviting listeners to hear the rest of the album. Ezra has said the narrator of this song is like an old wizened version of the narrators from songs off the other albums. I love that Vampire Weekend albums serve as a sort of Bildungsroman of sorts, or like the progression of Brideshead Revisted. 

So while the sun’s coming out
Cover ground, cover ground
And if you find some love for these clowns
Turn around, turn around
I’ll be half asleep on the floor of a high school gym
Thinking of you and wondering if anyone else could begin

10. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times, by the Beach Boys

No truer words were spoken or sung. I think everyone feels like this at some point. Sometimes despite all the cool and great things going on and how maybe this seems like the best possible time to be alive, there are things about any day and age that make you long for simpler times.

I think what I admire most about the Pet Sounds album is all the pathos in music that seemingly sounds so happy. Which connects them to Vampire Weekend in a way because VW does very similar things with their music. So does Passion Pit come to think of it.

Sometimes I feel very sad
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can’t find nothin’ I can put my heart and soul into)
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can’t find nothin’ I can put my heart and soul into)

11. Heroes, by David Bowie

“We can be heroes, just for one day.” But really we can be heroes any day and every day Bowie. He will be King and you, you will be queen. He just wishes you could swim like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim. This song really does make you feel like you can do anything and go anywhere and be anything. The power is yours. Long live Bowie.

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Are these songs all love songs? Not really. Just the songs I’ve been listening to recently and some of them happen to be about love of all different kinds. A lot of them I just particularly love because of the artists who wrote/perform them.  I spent my V-day with a cold and watching movies with my teenage cousins. Not a bad day overall.

  1. What about Love? by Heart

80s power ballads are where it’s at man. So many feels man in such an epic format. Also the 80s had so many rad girl bands. Bring it!

What about love?
Don’t you want someone to care about you?
And what about love?
Don’t let it slip away
What about love?
I only want to share it with you
You might need it someday

2. Down 4 So Long by ILoveMakonnen featuring Despot and Ezra Koenig

I heard this on Ezra’s itunes radio show and fell in love. I think I just love Ezra too much. Usually songs with too many people “feat-ing” on it are no, but I really like the verses on this one, Ezra’s guest verse goes all over the place and it’s an enjoyable ride. This song is just too smooth.

“I hate myself, I think Americans are whack, but other countries leave me feeling weird like afternoon naps.”

Ain’t that the truth, Ezra.

3. The Shade, by Metric

This song is more of a summer jam but I’ve been listening to it lately in hopes of warmer times soon I guess? The Groundhog predicted an early spring. But I live in the Midwest so who knows. I just like the feeling of this song. She wants it all. She’s ready to commit. Plus it has a great beat.

With eternal love, the stars above
All there is and ever was
I want it all, I want it all

4. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out To Get Us! by Sufjan Stevens

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Probably one of my favorite Sufjan songs of all time and that is saying a lot because I love him so much and he is the dreamiest. Great lyrics and storytelling as always, Suf gives us a story of childhood friends and childhood love. So simple. So pure.

Thinking outrageously I write in cursive
I hide in my bed with the lights on the floor

5. Unbelievers, by Vampire Weekend

I listen to this song all the time, every time, in all of the times of year. But for some reason I’ve been listening to it the most lately. It’s just one of my most favorite Vampire Weekend songs. Ezra puts so much emotion into the vocals in this one. I also love the mix of Irish instrumentation in this song. It makes me look ahead to March, and St. Patrick’s day on the horizon and celebrating my heritage and spring.

6. Sweet Thing, by David Bowie

The live version of this is bae, to use teen speak. The lyrics are great and I just like how smooth and beautiful it is. Bowie is great. I also love how this song connects with the Candidate song and Sweet Thing reprise on the Diamond Dogs album. I love when songs connect. It needs to happen more.

I’m glad that you’re older than me
Makes me feel important and free
Does that make you smile, isn’t that me?
I’m in your way, and I’ll steal every moment

7. All I Want Is You, Barry Louis Polisar

Song I fell in love with on the Juno soundtrack and is just the cutest weird love song and no one can stop me from loving it.

8. Have I the Right, by Vampire Weekend

This is a cover of the Honeycombs, a British band who originally released this song in 1964. I feel like Vampire Weekend are the perfect group to cover it, since it’s such a fun song and they are a fun band. Ezra’s vocals are the best, as always.

9. There is a Light that Never Goes Out, by the Smiths

Ahh emo Smiths love song but I can’t help it. And it’s on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack so that makes it extra good. “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.” Quote that line to any self-respecting hipster you are crushing on and they are putty in your hands I guess?

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10. Piazza New York Catcher, by Belle and Sebastian

This song this song this song. I love it so much, the lyrics, and the folky strumming of the guitar are so choice. I think what I love most about it is it’s simplicity and yet the lyrics are incredibly complex. Lyrics genius that stuff.

Elope with me Ms. Private and we’ll sail around the world
I will be your Ferdinand and you my wayward girl
How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take
How many nights of limping round on pagan holidays
Oh elope with me in private and we’ll set something ablaze
A trail for the devil to erase

11. Sweet Jane, by The Velvet Underground

Probably my favorite Velvet Underground song. This playlist today is just full of all my most favorites. The beat of this song is so great and I love jamming out to it. And the lyrics are my fave. Especially this one: “All the poets studied rules of verse
And those ladies they rolled their eyes.”

So Buzzfeed posted this list last week about songs you will remember if you were in college from 2007-2011. This is my milieu, but as ridiculously specific Buzzfeed has become I could not relate to this pop chart list. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some hipster hater, I remember all of these songs, especially Lady Gaga. (Because I hated her at the time, now I think she’s cool but it’s not like I want to go pick out curtains or anything). What I’m saying is they did not evoke fond warm college memories for me. I really think your musical journey is your own, especially in college, and if you were just listening to whatever happened to be release during those four years, well I feel bad for you. We live in an age where it is so easy to find and explore music that is new to you. I think finding music that speaks to you especially during the college years is such a beautiful and profound journey every young person should go through.

So without further ado, I bring you my influential college musical finds. Some of them came out when I was in college, others did not, but I discovered them at this time.

Freshman year:

My musical taste at this point kind of sounded like a cross between music you’d hear in an American Eagle Outfitters and Apple Commercials. Basically late 00’s alt/indie rock. I was really into Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, The Killers, Metric, Ok Go, Hot Hot Heat, Weezer, Relient K, and Tegan and Sara. (see links for notable songs by these artists).

Then my life changed when I heard 1234 by Feist on an apple commercial and watched the music video and discovered the rest of the album. I remember singing it on the way to take my French final. During the Winter semester of that year was when my musical life changed again. I saw Juno and immediately purchased the soundtrack. Discovering Kimya Dawon, The Moldy Peaches, and more importantly Belle and Sebastian.

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Ellen Page slayed in this film

The winter of 08 was also when Vampire Weekend’s first titular album came out and my life changed forever. Literate Indie rock with afro-pop influences? FOREVER YES. That whole first album was amazing. As an English major, I do give a f*** about an Oxford Comma. Pretty sure Ezra Koenig does too, considering he was an English teacher before the band took off.

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Baby Ezra Koenig you made my life

Sophomore Year:

This Fall was when my 80s New Wave phase began. I was listening to a lot of Tears for Fears, Echo and the Bunnymen, Flock of Seagulls, and Modern English.

It was also when The Killers album Day and Age came out. The single from that album was Human, and it made all us indie rockers wonder whether we were human or are we dancer. Stylistically and musically, this album fit nicely in with my new wave phase. I also remember listening to the Sawdust album by the Killers a lot during this time. Tranquilize featuring Lou Reed was my favorite on that album.

 

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Brandon Flowers was rocking feathers before the all the indie basics at Coachella

That spring I got super into Arcade Fire, MGMT, Chairlift, The Fruitbats, and the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist Soundtrack.

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Kat Dennings slayed in this. Proving that Michael Cera will be upstaged by every woman who is in a film with him.

Junior Year:

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JGL and Zooey slayed equally in this film.

This was the definitive year where I really started to become the person I am today musically. I was super into Peter, Bjorn and John particularly the Writer’s Block album, the 500 Days of Summer Soundtrack, Simon and GarfunkelBon Iver, She & HimFleet Foxes, Passion Pit, …and SUFJAN STEVENS. Sufjan is very important. He is the core of my musical taste.

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Perfect Indie Dreamboat. Usually seen with a banjo. 

Winter 2k10 was when Vampire Weekend’s second album, Contra, came out. I got very into Belle and Sebastian, particular 90s Belle and Sebastian and then the Write About Love album that came out that year, and Grizzly Bear at this time too.

Remember Hipster Runoff? The site where Carles talked about relevant indie buzzbands? Well the site was bought last year, so I can’t link to it, but I remember reading that site a lot because they skewered a lot of indie music culture in funny and relevant ways. I remember there was a post about who was the best indie dreamboat, Sufjan Stevens or Ezra Koenig. I kid you not. Maybe there were a couple other guys in there but I remember it because I was like yes! I can’t decide either!

The choice is up to you. But now I’d have to say Ezra, he rocks a nice sweater while Sufjan prefers that bro-dude look. Ezra would also be able to have a normal conversation and talk about books with you. Sufjan probably would make you tea and then forget he made it because he was busy crocheting and hiding from the world.

Senior Year:

This was the year I got really into Bowie, I started off with the Best of Bowie album and took off from there. I also finally got around to seeing the movie Once and became obsessed with the soundtrack. Sufjan released two albums that year The Age of Adz and All Delighted People. I was obsessed with both. I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim movie soundtrack, once again where Michael Cera was upstaged by everyone else in the film. Metric did a great song on there for the fictional Clash at Demonhead. I also had my Radiohead phase at this time.

Arcade Fire released Suburbs and won a Grammy for it, much to the chagrin of the internet Twidiots. Iron and Wine’s Kiss Each Other Clean came out, I saw them live on my last day of classes and it was glorious. Right after I graduated, Fleet Foxes released Helplessness Blues, the perfect album for my post-grad ennui.

There you have it. My musical road through my undergraduate collegiate years.

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I’ve experienced a lot of beautiful things in my life. And lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what beauty means to me, really and truthfully, not just as a concept.

Maybe it’s because I’m standing on the brink of a summer teaching job where I’ll be showing children the joy of books or it’s just because several beautiful artistic experiences have occurred in my life.

First, I finished reading Anna Karenina a few weeks ago, which took me pretty much the whole school year to read because it’s mad long and I did put it down and pick up other things in-between. I’m human, I can’t devote all my time and attention to one book at a time. Sometimes you need a Salinger fix while you’re trying to get through the agriculture section of a Tolstoy novel. Anyway there was a lot of beauty in that novel and it really has changed my life and made me look at everything differently.

tumblr_mksv3xbl591qlz4imo1_500Then I went out of town for work and while I was there I read “The Fault in Our Stars” because I figured after reading an 800+ page novel it was time for some Teen Lit. Boy, this was more than just teen lit. I’ve read other teen lit and sorry Hunger Games and Twilight, you just don’t cut it. This was actual literature. John Green is handling a lot of complex ideas and stuff that is pretty darn serious but he doesn’t think teens won’t be able to handle it. He throws it right out there with honesty, warmth, humor and a lot of literary references too. I love that about this book. And him, I’ve been a longtime fan of vlogbrothers and nerd fighters.

Ok so after that I took my cousin to see Vampire Weekend. Words. Cannot. Express. Alright so I’ve loved VW since they came out when I was in college. Each album was better than the last and I really feel they have ‘grown up’ so to speak with me. The first couple albums were pretty collegey but their most recent one grapples with death, life, and what life means and faith and relationships and so many things. I mean you could listen to the music and just thing musically wow this is really good and beautiful and fun but when you really listen to the lyrics you can see they are doing great stuff here. And that goes for all their albums but especially this one. You can really tell they are smart guys, especially Ezra Koenig, their frontman. (He has an English degree, so I’m super biased. Which means he uses words like ‘perforative’ and ‘bildungsroman’ correctly and unironically in spoken sentences. Not to mention he’s just a really beautiful person). Modern Vampires of the City, their latest, is my favorite album of all time. No doubt about it. But anyway their live performance was amazing and beautiful and just such a good show. Great guys, great band, put on a great show, go figure.

There is just something really poignant about seeing a band live, it changes your experience with how you listen to their music at home. It’s kind of like when you travel you always come back a different person than when you left. And that’s another kind of beauty too, no?

So silly but I had to share because Ezra is awesome.

So silly but I had to share because Ezra is awesome.

 

Edit: ok so after I published this I found an awesome video of Vampire Weekend covering the Honeycombs “Have I the Right.”