Posts Tagged ‘ music ’


So I spent Memorial Day weekend in the gorge at Sasquatch Music Festival. It was terrific. So much happened.

Let me tell you about Ryan.

After the Mumford and Sons show, my friends and I had agreed to simply wait in the flat area in front of the stage for everyone to clear out so that we could find one another. The tides of the crowd pushed me to the back, where I waited.

As the mob cleared, I scanned the stragglers. I spotted my group, and started weaving my way to them.

On the course I had chosen stood a man. Dressed in jeans and a hoodie, he was standing stock-still in the middle of the floor, obviously stoned.

As I passed, he called, “Excuse me!” Surprised, I turned, “Yeah?”


“Okay,” I complied.

“Let me see your hand,” he said, catching my right hand and turning it over. “Ooookay,” I considered pulling away.

Holding my hand like a sinner begging a priest for forgiveness, he earnestly said, “My name is Ryan, and I have no idea where I am.”

I made a sympathetic comment as, still clasping my hand, he continued, “I was with friends, but they left me, and I have no idea where to look for them.”

“No idea like, space, or time, or what?” I asked, jokingly. He just stared at me blankly.

“I’m looking for my friends, too,” I continued, realizing he was too spaced out to understand my mocking. “I think I just spotted them, but if you head uphill I’m sure your friends will find you. It’s a high traffic area. I’m going to go now.”

“Okay,” he said, “Let’s hug it out.”

Since I had already hugged some strangers that weekend, and he really looked like he needed it, I complied. “Ohhhhh,” he sighed, “You’re the best hugger ever.”

“Oooookay,” I pulled back quickly. “High-five again?” Ryan asked. I high fived him. “Give me your hand,” he said, and took it. He kissed my hand, said, “Thank you,” and tenderly, so tenderly, kissed my hand a second time.

I pulled my hand from his grasp, shouted good luck, and ran.

I charged into the circle where my friends stood at top speed, simultaneously whimpering and laughing.

There were no more stranger hugs that weekend.


Inspiration vs. Discouragement.

Lately I’ve been re-reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I figured it’s about time, since I haven’t gone galavanting around the galaxy with Arthur and Ford since high school.

Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors. His way of looking at the world is so pessimistically original that it resonates with my very soul, and every carefully constructed concept is seasoned heavily with his very particular sense of humor.

I find his style very inspiring, and if I could be ten percent as brilliant, clever and funny as Douglas Adams I’d be totally happy with my life.

Whenever I’m exposing myself to something I find inspiring, however, whether it’s words or art or music or anything at all, I can only absorb and consume so much before I stop being inspired and start being discouraged.

It’s like I have a inspiration quota, and anything that overflows the inspiration tanks goes immediately into the discouragement tanks.

Through the first half of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I thought “Wow, this guy is brilliant, I should read all of his stuff.”

Slowly though as I’ve read more and more of his work, my thoughts have evolved from admiration and aspiration to that level of brilliance to “Douglas Adams is so much more awesome than I could ever hope to be. Why should I even try?”

That’s the point at which I put down the book and go do something else with my life.

Unfortunately though this is my relationship with so many things– Music and the Internet in particular. If I spend a short amount of time online looking at art and then get offline, I’m much more likely to then spend time creating things than if I stay and continue seeking inspiration. (Which is part of the reason I’ve been so bad about blogging regularly lately; I’ve been seeking inspiration on the internet which is almost always like chasing after the wind.)

The same thing also goes for my newly-renewed fitness goals. I have to very consciously set my goals small, because if I dream too big I’ll only end up being disappointed in myself. The story has to go “I’ll make it to the top of this hill,” or “I’ll just do a few more,” instead of “I’m going to run a marathon this summer,” or “I have to do fifty.”

I’m trying to learn how to recognize my inspiration quota so I spend more time creating and being and doing and less time wishing I were better at creating and being and doing.

That’s all.

In Which there are several YouTube Videos of Awesomeness.

I mentioned in last Friday’s un-post that I was going to see an epic concert Friday night, and epic it was indeed.

Blind Pilot opened. I was a bit surprised because I thought they were much better-know than the Head and the Heart, but it didn’t bother me. They were terrific.

Then we heard from the Head and the Heart. I admit I hadn’t really actively listened to this band before, but I certainly am going to start. They by far played the best and most energetic set of the evening.

Finally, the headliners.

The Shins played a gorgeous set, with a good solid mix of their older and newer songs. It was amazing.

I had a few favorite parts of the evening. There were two songs ( 3 Rounds and a Sound and New Slang) when the whole audience was singing along, and it was intensely magical. Another favorite moment was when Charity started belting Rivers and Roads. So amazing. And the last favorite moment is when James Mercer came back onstage for the encore and played by himself.

This concert got me thinking about why I love live music so dearly. When I was listening the Oh, Inverted World earlier today I figured it out. After I see a band live, they’re suddenly more real to me. I picture the band playing the songs instead of just hearing, so I pay more attention and internalize the music better.

I also find live music to be exceedingly inspiring. Since I’m kind of a flaky musician, seeing concerts is sort of like a kick in the butt to continue practicing.

I have to throw this out there though– the Decemberists’ set last year is still the best show I’ve ever seen. (And it’s not because I’m not-so-secretly in love with Colin Meloy and yes I know he’s married so shut up.)

I’m planning to see Michael Franti and Spearhead in August. What concerts are you going to see this summer? Discuss!

Let the World be Quiet

Frequently, I have no idea what to blog about. Oftentimes when that happens, I want to run around outside to clear my head and hopefully be struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration.

Lately I haven’t been doing that though, because I’ve been living in Lake Oswego and I haven’t met the neighbors, and they might get freaked out and think I’m a crazy person and then give the LO police department something mildly interesting to do, like come to my house and make sure I’m sober and sane.


Tonight when I didn’t know what to write, I decided to indulge my desire to go outside and think about what to write, since I’m in small-town Redmond where my neighbors either can’t see me and wouldn’t care if they did because gosh dangit they should be used to me by now.

Earlier in the evening, my dog was sitting on the back deck, bolt upright, ears perked forward, apparently listening intently to the family of frogs. “That’s pretty cute,” I thought, then sat down in front of my mom’s computer to scroll through Facebook and listen to my latest music obsession on YouTube.

However, the Internet never ever inspires me. I’m not sure why, but I only ever get ideas from real life and conversations with people.

So I went outside and looked up at the stars.

“What should I write about?” I asked, not expecting an answer.

The frogs chirped happily away, not knowing or caring that I was having writer’s block. Frogs are prone to chirping at night in the springtime.

I stood listening to them for a moment, struck by how musical frogs are. I am prone to forgetting how musical nature is.

Remembering to shut up for a second and listen for sound in the silence is something I’m very bad at– I always have been. I was talking out loud to myself before the frogs interrupted me, reminding me that my voice isn’t the most important voice in the world.

My voice is just another lil blip in the cosmos, and I need to be quiet sometimes and enjoy the answers in the silence.


Off-Schedule post! Gasp.

Hey my darling readers, I just wanted to share this with you. It’s, again, the only video garnered from a performance of mine last night.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Music: God’s gift to mankind.

This last Friday I had the honor of playing a short set at the coffee shop where I work to open for the Selfless Riot and Third Seven.

It just struck me how so many different sorts of people will come together in the name of music.

I think music is the single strongest uniting force in the world. People come together for other causes, sure (Occupy Wall Street, anyone?) but nothing can bring so many people of different backgrounds together quite like music can.

That’s all I have for today.

More musics

This isn’t exactly my normal fare, but I just wanted to share with you guys some stuff from my life.

Last Friday, the 16th, I performed music at the coffee shop where I work. It was so much fun– I sang about an hour long set, and I did a bunch of songs that the demographic of people had no idea what they were. It was amazing– especially the reactions when I sang Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, or Freeze Ray from Dr. Horrible. The crowd was very obviously not nerdy. Of course,  I didn’t mind. It was perfect to follow up a country/western ish act with that stuff.

Anyway, my pastor very kindly took a video of this song for me on his iPhone. I learned this song from my friend Beth who’s at YWAM DTS in Lutsk, Ukraine. I didn’t work on it for very long, (F#m just kills me,) but I was pretty happy with it.

If you like my musicalness, feel free (okay, please do) subscribe, share, thumbs up, whatever floats your boat.

All in all, it was a very fun performance. I was scared, but again, that’s 90% of the fun.

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