I need sunshine

In the last month I have made a concerted effort to seek out new music, and I’ve set aside a thirty minute time period every day to go searching online for artists I haven’t yet heard. I used to do this for hours every day when my life wasn’t filled with other priorities, and when I lived in LA I often attended three or four live shows a week. That was also a time when I had an hour commute to work every day and I could concentrate on nothing but the music on the stereo and the endless line of cars in front of me. My longest rides in the car now are the ten minute ones to the hardware store, and it’s hard to hear the music when Screams-A-Lot is demanding that I turn around and hand her the book she just threw at the back of my head.

My favorite place to find new music is my husband’s hobby project, 3hive, and if I’m not careful I can lose an entire day of my life looking through the pop section alone. I’ve noticed a difference in my mood since I started searching for new music, a new lilt in my step that keeps rhythm with the melody in my head. It’s been so long since I’ve made music this much a priority in my life that I’d forgotten what it was like to lie in bed awake at night with line after line of lyrics running through my brain like the words on a teleprompter.

Last week I downloaded a few MP3′s from the newest Wolf Parade release, in particular the song “I’ll Believe in Anything,” and I haven’t been able to listen to anything else since. That’s a nasty habit of mine, I find something I like and then I beat the thing to death, whether it be food or a television show or a website and in that instance I just sit at my laptop and hit refresh, refresh, refresh. In the last couple of months I have forced Jon to sit through probably 75 episodes of “CSI” which is for the most part a pretty crappy show because hello? That computer program they just used to determine which brand of shampoo was used to wash the hair follicle retrieved from the corpse? IT DOESN’T EXIST. And I’m sorry, but I’d be mortified if a man that hot was inspecting my naked dead body. But I cannot stop watching it much like I can’t stop swinging at my head with a meat cleaver.

The Wolf Parade song I have on endless repeat has become the official soundtrack to the changing of the seasons, to the end of what has seemed like the longest winter of my life. It hasn’t been a particularly bad winter, we’ve just been stuck inside with a toddler and a limited number of toys, and while I’m not yet willing to let her create art on the walls or the imported rug on the living room floor, there have been enough snow storms this season that we once passed the time covering every inch of flesh on our faces with a blue marker. I didn’t take a picture because I knew that someone would send me an email to tell me that there is lead or some other deadly substance in markers and how could I claim to love my child while displaying such flagrant disregard for her safety. How? It’s easy, you just pop the top off the marker and start coloring her forehead.

Over the weekend Spring finally arrived in Utah, and I played the Wolf Parade song whenever I got a chance as loud as the volume on the stereo would go. We took long walks around the neighborhood and I had the lyrics to that song in my head the entire time, lyrics like the title to yesterday’s daily photo. When I hear this song I feel like the colors in these photos:

And I can’t stop thinking about the early months of my relationship with Jon, months that were hectic and raw and so full of hope and panic that every day seemed like it would collapse in on itself. I love that almost five years into my relationship with him I can hear a few notes and feel what it was like between us during the first few hours we ever spent together. And that is what this whole rambling entry was for, to say I am so happy I have brought music back into my life.

  • http://motherhooduncensored.typepad.com Motherhooduncensored

    I cherish those rare quiet moments in the car when I can flip off the darn “Who-be-whatzit-sings-about-what-be-whozit” cd and listen to something that is mine. Granted, it’s far from new, but it’s all mine.

  • http://www.postednote.com eddeaux

    Heather, I liked the Wolf Parade, but it reminded me of Modest Mouse, Death Cab, The White Stripes, Orenda Fink, Brian Cline, Coldplay, and a host of other musicians that I broke up with when I broke up with my last girlfriend. We used to listen to this stuff over and over and over and now I can’t freakin’ stand it and I am upset at her all the more for taking this away from me. I hope that one day I get over it. That every time I hear Coldplay “Fix You” that I don’t get queasy.

  • http://desylwood.blog.com/ Desyl Wood

    Will you PLEASE turn up your stereo? Its still snowing here in Munich. For the love of God.

  • JenButNeverJenn

    WP is a good live band too – was lucky enough to catch them at a show about a year ago. If you haven’t already checked out the tracks Grounds For Divorce or Dear Sons & Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts from S/T, they’re well worth the mouse clicks.

  • coelacanth

    I agree with Amber. I’d love to know what Heather and Jon are listening to whilst whiling away the hours at their computers.

    http://www.last.fm/

  • http://www.catheroo.com catheroo

    After weeks and weeks of rain (and it’s still raining) in the Bay Area, I was thinking the same thing. I need sunshine. I almost forgot what it looks like. Thanks for the reminder with your springtime photos.

    I’m always looking for new tunes too. Last night I saw Willy Porter in Santa Cruz. He’s pretty mellow, acoustic guitar. Great songwriter, lovely voice. You should check him out. He’s got 4 albums, I think. And Holly Brook opened. She’s a pianist with a sweet Sarah McClachlan/Tori Amos sound.

    Also, have you tried lala.com? It’s a CD swap, where some of the proceeds of the $1.49-per-trade go back to the artists. You can unload the CDs you no longer like and try something new and different. If you hate a CD you receive, someone else might swap ya for it. I have discovered some sweet new stuff that way. I have extra invites if you want to join. (No, I don’t work for them. I just dig lala.)

  • victoria

    OK, I’m posting this question because, not only do you not have to answer it, you don’t even have to leave it up: Was the beginning of your relationship with Jon hard because he had kids from his first marriage? Or was it just generic Mormon guilt? I’ve always wondered. And now I’ll leave it alone and never ask again.

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com rivetergirl

    Yes. Those moments early in a relationship when it’s always a perfect spring day. It’s magic. Especially when those moments turn out to be seeds that grow into love and trust and happiness. Yes.

  • http://www.journeyingthroughit.squarespace.com Beverlee

    Glad to hear you’re in a good place. Doesn’t life just seem so much better and, don’t you wish you could stay there? I’m going to go and listen to Wolf Parade now ..

  • http://www.geokaz.com geokaz

    On a slightly irrelevant side note regarding cabin fever blues and not enough toys, did you know most public libraries have lending programs for toys? Not just a few measy little things, but like whole sets of building blocks, doll houses, learning toys galore, etc. You can check them out for weeks or a month at a time. Makes a great solution for when you’re stuck inside and your old collection of toys just isn’t cutting it anymore, but you don’t have Bill Gates money.
    Just a thought.

  • http://www.landrumdesign.com JimmyJazz

    Hey Heather,

    I read something you posted about Arab Strap awhile back and wanted to say thanks for the gem. I saw them at the Knitting Factory last week and they were awesome.
    Just in case you miss LA, it’s been cold and raining here. I’m still waiting and hoping that any day now, the sun will start shining again.

  • elleninha

    liveplasma.com

    I have spent more hours there than I care to admit.

  • http://www.dykstraupdates.blogspot.com Angella

    New music, spring, and the love of a great husband. Some of my very favourite things, too. :)

  • http://www.moderndayhermit.com Modern Day Hermit

    I, too, find when I’m actively listening to music I am in much brighter spirits. It can certainly give you that special lift to keep chugging along in the day, that’s for certain.

    And, I also have the same habit of finding songs I like and listening to them until I can bear it no longer. *sigh*

  • jennk

    I just saw Wolf Parade Sunday night and my ears are still ringing. Fancy Claps is my new song of the moment.

  • monkey

    I get very temperamental with music- much like I imagine most other women would get with their clothes. I complain that I HAVE NOTHING TO LISTEN TO and that I’VE HEARD ALL THOSE SONGS BEFORE. Definitely a fan of Pandora, and WOXY (I miss the actual station here. It was a sad year in Cincinnati when that happened. First the best coffee shop closes, then the best radio station. Sigh.) Right now I’m protesting my ipod because I don’t have the “right” music on it. I have NO idea what the right music is, of course. I’m just moody. LOL

  • http://www.drowninginkids.com drowninginkids

    Yippee for canadian bands. I second the recommendation for LastFM as well Paige at Miss Domestic and Swoon has lots of really awesome recommendations and MP3′s. My current faves are Snow Patrol, Wheat, Wolf Parade and Rogue Wave.

  • Melanie

    I’ve had music from pandora.com in the background at the office for weeks now. You tell them what music you like and they make a personalized radio station based on the qualities of the music. I’ve heard a lot of great stuff, and if you don’t like it, just give it a thumbs down and it plays the next track.

  • http://cribceiling.blogspot.com Krisco

    You turned your stereo up as loud as it goes – so – all the way to 11?

    (Haven’t read all the comments. Bet it’s been said already. : )

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0004595 Meg

    Okay, I just checked out Jon’s stuff at 3Hive, and I HAD NO IDEA YOU WERE STARS PEOPLE. But I suggested it thinking you might be. That just makes sense. Brilliant.

  • http://johnsthing.blogspot.com John

    I’ve been obsessed with music lately. I won’t go anywhere without my iPod, not even for a moment, so I can catch up on all the stuff I buy/download. Here are some of my new finds/favorites…

    *She Wants Revenge
    *Love Is All
    *Mates of State [I'm sure you've got them]
    *RJD2
    *Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    *Athlete
    *Ratatat
    *Brandtson
    *Further Seems Forever [esp with Chris Carraba...I hope you already have this, too]
    *Tegan and Sara
    *Rilo Kiley

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bethy bethology

    Thanks for the inspiration, Dooce. I’ve been sitting going through 3hive for about an hour now. I tend to do that in bursts, and always get a pleasant surprise.

  • http://www.eighthourlunch.com Eight Hour Lunch

    Found this yesterday:

    http://www.jonathancoulton.com/lyrics/ws-duty

    and this:

    http://www.jonathancoulton.com/lyrics/skullcrusher-mountain-demo

    A little creepy, but funny (I hope he’s joking).

  • http://eyesaverted.blogspot.com/ Wicked H

    Happy times, Dooce. HAPPY TIMES!!!

  • http://www.lesleygraham.blogspot.fr Lezzles

    …. and the spring sex is great too, right?

    Did I just say that out loud?

  • italian saint

    i was going to comment, but i can’t think of anything witty and my baby boy is crying so i’ll just leave it at thanks

  • http://www.inapuddle.com Anne

    Good song choice :)

    So now I’ll make a recommendation for the one I can’t stop listening to lately: Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins. She’s the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, but this album of hers (Rabbit Fur Coat) is just the sweetest thing. And I don’t do sweet. As much as I don’t want to like the remake of Handle Me With Care, I ADORE it.

  • http://chatswithcat.blogspot.com Cathy

    WOO HOO! Wolf Parade’s from Montreal!!! We’re a great city. Come visit us sometime!

  • syzygy

    Public radio is the best these days. I listen to KCRW out in LA but when I lived in Colorado I used to live stream it at work. It was the only thing to pass the time and help the ennui I felt staring out my cubicle window. In other news I think Bent (electronic duo from england not the rapper) and i monster have some of the coolest sounds I’ve heard in a very very long time. Just check out Hey Mrs. way funkadelic & puts a wiggle in yer ass.

    http://www.imonstermusic.com/ss/heyhigh.html

  • http://wellbehavedwomen.blogspot.com LucyArin

    sorry, apparently my html skills suck. That should be http://www.913thesummit.com. Thanks.

  • http://haleyscomment@blogspot.com Haley

    Have you ever listened to Hawksley Workman? http://www.hawksleyworkman.com/
    I loved lover/fighter and am really getting into Treeful of starling.

    Spring hasn’t sprung for me until my daffodils are out. Maybe soon……….

  • calicokitty

    matisyahu. i just discovered these guys. http://www.matismusic.com/

  • LucyArin

    Sorry, but when anyone mentions NEW MUSIC, I can’t resist the urge to pimp my favorite online radio station, which is located at The Summit They’re a public radio station that plays all kinds of neat stuff, from Death Cab for Cutie to Neil Young. Please take a listen.

    I’m really glad to know that I’m not the only one on the planet that re-plays a song over and over and over…..

  • http://lovemydox.blogspot.com Lovemydox

    OOoh! I have made it my personal mission in life to find cool new (mostly) indie music lately (even though I have a four month old – in short, I am INSANE). So – I give you my latest discoveries (but you’re so cool you’ve probably already heard of all of these people) P.S. Wolfparade was on my list.

    1.Elbow – very cool brit band. Don’t know how “new” they are, but I love their song “Leaders of the Free World”

    2. Sufjan Stephens – pretty cool. It’s like Damien Rice meets Phyllip Glass (at least some of the tracks give me that impression.

    3. The Boy Least Likely to – cool and quirky.

    4. Iron and Wine and Calexico – very folk-y, but groovy as well. (Actually this is a colaboration album from Iron and Wine and Calexico called “In the Reins”)

    5. The Stills

    6. And I KNOW that this is so passe, but I’m going to have to recommend the Arctic Monkeys because I think they’re totally worth the hype.

    That’s all for now.
    Ginger

  • beckyann

    This is about the coloring all over oneself with markers. I let my kids do this. I have to say, though, that I only buy Crayola Washable products because I have tried everything else and these are the best. Also, if you feel like letting your daughter color herself with paint, you can do face and body paint with the siad brands’ Kid paint. We have a face painting poster on the wall in the kid’s bathroom and when friends come over they usually end up in a tank top paintng their face, arms, legs, and feet. I am the fun mom who believes in letting the kids express their creativity. Just some mommy to mommy advice. Have fun!

  • doodlepie

    Love love love Wolf Parade and was so giddy when I saw your photo title from yesterday.

    My favorite line “…but God doesn’t always have the best goddamn plans, does he” (from “dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts”)

    If you like Wolf Parade, you might want to check out the National. I went through a big WP kick a few months ago and now I’m on to the National at the moment.

    And I want to echo the last.fm recommendation… very cool site.

  • Samantha

    Spring is such a great time for me. Being in the dark throws of winter are so depressing.

    I just got married in October and moved about 8 hours away from my home town and started a new job and new day care for my kid and I have been depresssssssseeeddd and on meds and I thought I would never come out of it. I’ve had depression before but It can come back so quickly.

    I’m feeling better too–I’m glad you too girl.

    I know that you don’t have any religious beliefs, and that you are a recovering mormon so you probably don’t like hearing this but:

    I pray for you and your family.

    That’s it I’m not going to preach at you and I’m not going to say that I pray for your conversion to whatever I believe–I pray for your happiness and your well being. That’s all.

    I hope that feels like a hug from far away.

    Cheers!

  • http://tinybubblespoems.blogspot.com/ michelle

    Heather, if you like Wolf Parade Helio Sequence and Architecture in Helsinki to name but a few, check out Indie Pop Rocks the station at Soma FM – http://www.somafm.com/. The station is broadcast live from a basement in San Francisco. :)

  • http://www.gusgreeper.com gusgreeper

    ok it just took me about 6 hours to sign in just to say

    I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO NEKO CASE right now.
    i can’t. i won’t.

  • heidivoltmer

    I’s like to recommend Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm. I got it about a week ago and have listened to the entire album at least once at day. All the songs rock and can really motivate you as you plow through piles of work.

  • Allie

    Check out The Submarines – they are my new make me happy band: http://www.thesubmarines.com/

    (FYI site needs flash)

  • kendall

    Heather, I love Wolf Parade. My hubby and I are going to see them Sat. night here in Baltimore! woohoo! That’s so awesome that you like them :)

  • http://www.ilovedietsoda.com Elaine

    I think music is what’s missing in my life. Lately I’ve been feeling there’s a void in my life – I’m happy, just not extrememly happy. I need to go download some music. Thanks Heather!

  • http://katehopeeden.blogspot.com katehopeeden

    I have been listening to The Trews and Hot Hot Heat like crazy.
    I totally envied you and Jon that you got to go to SXSW where The Trews were actually playing a show in the US!
    ~K

  • http://kimbanelson.blogspot.com/ dancingnancy

    Thanks for the spring pics of Utah – I’m missing it like crazy!!!!!! Is it too much to ask to get some sunshine up here in Oregon!??! PLEASE!??!?!

  • http://www.photoengrave.blogspot.com blu

    I was just thinking this morning how I miss hearing about what you are listening to. In the past, it seemed we have similar tastes in music.

    I also want to say I love the pictures you took of spring.

    And one more thing, the new picture of you is absolutely stunning. Did you use an effect in Photoshop to make it somewhat hazy? Either way, the subject matter is beautiful. Makes me want to chop my hair off again.

  • mmoxxie

    so in light of beating something to death…

    pandora.com

    seriously. it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread and the internet.

  • http://www.beautifulcandy.blogspot.com angela

    Are you trying to turn your toddler into a mini Druid with that magic marker? Did she smell like blueberries after (do you remember those scented pens from the 70s)?

    Here’s a neighbor friend of mine, who I often hear working out new music on her piano. She’s a bit Beth Orton, a little Mazzy Star, maybe some Joni Mitchell, and has the slight vibrato of Chrissy Hynde. Mostly, she reminds me of 70s chanteuses – folky rock, with that touch of country. Her voice is rusted honey. Quite different from Wolf Parade, but I imagine your musical taste to be quite broad.

    She is friends with Brian Jonestown Massacre, and appears on their albums, and in their new doc “Dig” (with the Dandy Warhols). She sings on two upcoming tracks by Tricky. She’s had a hit in Japan.

    You probably already know her.

    http://www.mirandaleerichards.com

  • Grace D

    Listening obsessively to my stepkiddo’s boyfriend’s band, The Silversun Pickups, ‘Kissing Families’.

    And, coincidence! It was previously listed on 3Hive:

    http://www.3hive.com/2005/09/silversun_pickups.php

    Bonus – listen for the moody cello undercurrent.

  • Laurlee

    Heather – A Pablo Neruda poem says “I want to do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees”. I am overjoyed to ‘be witness’ to your renaissance! Your new portrait shows your transformative process. You look fabulous, dahling. Ride the melodies in your life, and be careful… Second babies are never what you THINK they’ll be to your life!