Monday, 30 July 2012

Love Is A Mix Tape Part 2

Here is my 2012 Summer mix jam tape.
1. Little Broken Hearts - Nora Jones
2. It's Only Life - The Shins
3. Idle Tales - Cowboy Junkies
4. Say it Again - The Folk
5. Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys
6. Small Town Moon - Regina Spektor
7. Settle Down - Kimbra
8. Blunderbuss - Jack White
9. Myth - Beach House
10. Youth Without Youth - Metric
11. Sigur Ros - Fjogur piano

Sunday, 29 July 2012

On Running: A Note On Literary Inspiration

I've been running on and off the past two years. My routine almost daily; 4 to 6 days per week covering 5 to 10 km per outing. Last month I fell into a funk. I had no desire to run. Lethargy and apathy took hold of me and I cut back to maybe once a week. I chalked it up to being too busy with job hunting (true about the hunt but the time consumption should not have cut that deeply); too busy with school and blog writing (I contribute to an online music magazine All lies. What I needed was an intervention - not  in the classic sense - something to inspire me. Get me back up on my feet again.
Funnily enough, I found my running inspiration within the confines of a short story. One penned by Stephen King. I discovered "The Gingerbread Girl", in King's short story collection "Just After Sunset". It's the story of a woman, Emily, who is metaphorically running from her past. She's also physically running in her present life in search of hope and the desire to keep living for the future. At least that's my interpretation.
The way King writes about her running progression - Emily starts at her front door and barely makes it to the end of her driveway - out of breath, out of shape. She starts with baby steps; going farther and farther each day. The running becomes all consuming and her daily ritual becomes a soul soothing balm. Shielding her from a tragic occurrence in her past, it becomes the most important facet of her daily life. But just as we start to think that perhaps this obsessive behaviour is detrimental to Em's health, a very twisted story unfolds (how very Stephen King of you!). The physical training that Em's body has endured over the past few months become the most important thing in her life - her increased physical strength comes in handy to say the least. Emily wakes up to the notion that life is worth living when hers is threatened. There is nothing more life affirming than the notion of some psycho wanting to end you before you're ready.
I love that this character whose life is adversely affected by tragedy at the beginning of the story, becomes a physically (and eventually, mentally) strong woman whose outlook on life once again changes with the advent of an even greater tragic event. In the end, the running is what keeps her sane, strong and helps her to endure.
Yep - I think I'll keep on running. Can't hurt, can it?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Love Is A Mix Tape Part 1

Today I realized that nothing makes me happier than a perfect song transition on the radio. Listening to while on my morning jog, they played Gotye's "Smoke and Mirrors" followed by Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues". It wasn't until I heard the smooth vocalizations of Mr. Gaye that I realized a new song was playing. The seamless transition between the two songs gave me chills. It makes me happy to realize that the owners of my favourite radio station care enough about their listeners to take the time to put some thought in to their playlists. The same outcome I strive for when I make a mix tape - or CD.
Any true music lover will agree that the time and effort that goes into the creation of a mix tape is a covert illustration of their love; be it for the person you give the mix to or the love you have for the songs. I learned all about mix tape manufacturing back when I was in college. I had a secret crush on my best (boy) friend. He showed me the ropes so to speak. He owned the stereo equipment and he gave me the technical skills to create a mix tape. I owe him for that. But ultimately, the secret to my success as a mix tape artist, is the joy I derive from music and the outpouring of my heart into the mix.