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.

  • Miss A

    Dooce! Check out No-Fi Soul Rebellion (there are mp3′s on the site – http://www.nofisoulrebellion.com). We are a husband/wife band with lots of comparisons to Prince and Beck. Plus you know, we’re just totally fresh on our own. We even play in your neck of the woods on occasion.

    By the by I love reading your site!

  • http://www.lifeorsomethingjustlikeit.blogspot.com KaraMia

    The most important moments in my life can come back in an instant with just the right song. I love that about music, it’s an instant photoalbum

  • Sunni

    It’s so interesting to hear your taste in music. Not at all what I would have guessed. I listened to that song on Itunes and now it’s stuck in my head.

    Thanks a lot. No, really, thanks. I just bought it.

  • Gammy

    Wow, that first photo really looks like Van Gogh’s ‘Branch of an Almond Tree in Blossom.’ Beautiful.

  • Mine

    check out http://creelcommission.com/page.php?p=dow ‘swimming’ & ‘cigarette’ are a couple of my favourites plus I found this site the other day http://www.purevolume.com loads of signed and unsigned bands…

  • KellyCarwash

    Here are some other songs that give me that soaring feeling whenever I listen to them (which is all the freaking time…). Love that whole Wolf Parade album, by the way.

    Some newer ones:
    Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire (Thanks, Shannon from Shantastic!)
    Raindrops by The Reindeer Section (Thanks, Sweetney!)
    Over and Out by The Foo Fighters

    And some oldies but goodies:
    You Can’t Always Get What you Want by the Rolling Stones (See also Waiting For That Day by George Michael)
    Call and Answer by Barenaked Ladies
    Bartender by Dave Matthews Band
    All I Want Is You by U2
    Running to Stand Still by The Brown Derbies
    Sometimes by James

  • Erin

    Sarah Harmer is my spring.

    I’ve recently become obsessed with 24 and can’t even fit anything else into my head, other than “I wish I were watching 24 right now,” or when I’m watching 24, “I can’t wait to watch more 24 after this 24.”

  • http://www.vegasandvenice.com vegasandvenice

    I find it intriguing that music affects us in so many ways. That sounds can actually create and change our moods! I am glad you have music back in your life and that wonderful husband of yours! Oh not to mention blue baby Leta!

  • SAHM

    Thanks Dooce, that’s a real purty song. Lame to bitch about the weather in the pacNW, but DAMN am I ready for some sunshine!

    Another band, Loose Fur has a good spring time love song on their first release called Chinese Apple, and on their newest release is one to share with the family called the Ruling Class about Jesus smoking crack.

  • m.a.d.

    Music has changed my life living in nyc. Before the Ipod and the endless selection of music, the subway was a form of torture, destined to ruin my day. Alas, now I pick my music, pop it on, and suddenly the subway becomes a place where I’m at peace, entertained by the scenes around me.

    The Lovemakers – “Is it Alright” … was my “spring song.” I’ve been listening to it on repeat. (the only time it’s not on repeat, is when the album, as a whole, is on repeat.) This morning it had me in such good spirits, walking through the blooms of the dogwoods on my way to work, that I was actually (gasp!) smiling to myself when I got to the coffee-man. He gave me my coffee for free!! He said that my smiling face and evident cheerfulness was payment enough!! Now that’s a powerful music & weather combination. I got something for free in nyc!!

  • http://www.myaimistrue.com Amber

    Heather,

    http://www.last.fm
    Get into it.

    Amber

  • PinkPoppies

    Shelley came immediately to mind when I saw your photo: O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? Not sure why except those blossoms just said spring breeze to me. As for music, Arcade Fire’s Rebellion is a repeat favorite as is anything by Polyphonic Spree.

    Pink

  • trevordlb

    Hey Heather,

    So many people claim that music is such a HUGE part of their life, and then they’ll never really have anything interesting to say about it, so I’m glad to see that you do… I feel like a sound track is always playing in my life, even when I’m on the shitter, though then it’s mostly drum and base. LOL.

    Here are a few artists I like, that you may too:
    Second Opinion, my group, of course:
    http://www.trevandkat.com
    http://www.myspace.com/trevandkat

    Jason Mraz, you probably know him already, but still:
    http://www.myspace.com/jasonmraz

    Amy Atchley:
    http://www.myspace.com/amyatchleysongs

    Here’s my blog:
    http://www.xanga.com/trevordlb

    Trev :)

  • http://papernapkin.typepad.com Sheryl

    You have made such great strides in recovering from your depression. This post is full of hope, and I’m so grateful you’re feeling good!

  • Mine

    Its raining here in London UK but its cool because they have a hose pipe ban and we supposedly really need water (if they would just plug up the damn holes in the Victoria pipe system we could probably sustain the entire planet. Its great to see that we all stick together in situations like this though, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4896342.stm The tree outside our house has started to bud. It really does make you feel so much better and sunshine mixed with music is a pretty good remedy for anything. We did recently invest in a Lumi bodyclock which wakes you up with a simulation of a sun rise and sends you off to sleep with a simulation of a sunset, http://www.bodykind.com/product.asp?CatID=67&ProdID=125 its sad but we just don’t get enough sunshine here so I bought my own!

  • http://aideiadeoutro.blogspot.com Paty Quartarollo

    Hey…
    beautiful pics. Is it ok that I used the second one as wallpaper???? Here in Brasil is autumn so it´s just as lovely! :)

    And I can´t live without music. If I don´t hear it at least one time a day I feel so bad, so blue. I wake up and go to work listening to my mp3 and when I get home I turned on the radio.
    My friends know I´m sad when I don´t wanna listen to anything. Funny isn´t it?

  • http://www.notthelifeipictured.blogspot.com Deb_LA

    Isn’t it fun rediscovering things you love? I am having the same discovery. I still live in LA but have had satellite radio and just got rid of it. I am going to have to check out 3hive as I have completely worn out my Anna Nalick CD.

    PS.People, if you don’t have it, it’s not worth it yet! Wait until they figure out a way to improve the satellite signal.

  • javamama

    Heather
    Scent is also a powerful memory for me. Whenver I smell Dawn dish soap I remember the markets of Monrovia…
    I know i’ve read your site too much because y’day i was in Old Navy and noticed they sell the dog collar that Chuck wears??? maybe i need a new spring obsession…
    Happy Spring!

  • http://www.jodiferous.com Jodi

    Thank you so much for the music recommendation. One of the best things about the internet, and blogs in general, is learning about new music and books. It’s my favorite!

  • http://apt2024.blogspot.com Marisa

    There is nothing like music to give you a free trip to another time, place or experience. Walking home yesterday from work, the sun was out, it was fairly warm, and all I needed to complete the moment was a little Chuck Berry. Ah, it was perfect.

    If you’re still looking for new music, you might want to check out Raina Rose. She’s a folky/pop singer-songwriter with outrageous guitar skills. She’s also my sister, but I swear, I’d like her music even if she wasn’t.

  • Z

    KT Tunstall is my new music and I’ve been associating her with the Spring season too, although ours arrived weeks ago.

    We’ve overwatched C.S.I. too. Damn Spike TV and your early season reruns. Once we had seen them all? We started watching C.S.I. NY to get our fix.

  • ktmarie

    I am a HUGE fan of British rock. If you are too, let me suggest that you download some music from the Doves. To start out, try The Last Broadcast. Fabulous band, not well known, for those of you in Houston, they will be at the Engine Room in September.

  • http://www.hollyrhea.com HollyRhea.com

    All your searching is over.

    http://www.myspace.com/luvbeat

  • http://kassig.squarespace.com Kassi

    Beautifully expressed. The whole thing. And I love that you colored your child with blue marker. I think some day I just may do the same thing. I mean, she does it to herself all the time anyway. Hearts and flowers to you Heather. And sunshine…plenty of sunshine.

  • http://thebabydance.blogspot.com #1 Dancer

    I *just* posted to my blog yesterday about wanting to find new music for our upcoming trip to Belize. Music, for me, is like theme music for life. I feel that every moment in time should (and does) have appropriate music that fits it and plays along in my head. I have my itunes up and running first thing in the morning before I do any other thing on my computer.
    Here are my favorite theme songs for my life:
    Jump, Little Children: Cathedrals
    Psapp: Cosy in the Rocket (I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy but I came across their website and it plays constantly on the home page. I just left it open in the background and let it loop over and over and over…)
    Norah Jones: Creepin’ In (Dolly Parton just rocks)
    Mindy Smith: One Moment More (You can just hear the aching in her voice. The whole CD rocks.)
    Sia: Breathe Me (I think you blogged about that one.)
    Beulah: Calm Go the Wild Seas
    Aimee Mann: Driving Sideways
    The Be Good Tanyas: Anything really, but I like “Lakes of Ponchartrain”
    Big & Rich: Even if you hate country, they have an original sound. And they’re hot.
    That’s it for now… Hope you enjoy them!

  • Danni Munro

    Jon reminds me of Aiden on Sex And The City… Smart, Sweet, Strong and Sexy. Plus, he farts. Hot!

  • richellokitty

    Bahaha.. This is too funny (to me at least…) About a month ago my best friend was telling me about this great band she loves called ‘Wolf Parade’.
    Her exact words were “I love them. Love them, love them, love them. Which means in about a month, everybody in the world is going to be listening to them, and I’ll have to hate them because they won’t be cool anymore.”
    Of course she was joking, and poking fun at her own elitist attitude when it comes to music. But it’s just funny (and a little eerie) that exactly one month later I’m reading about them on Dooce.

  • Soylent Red

    You might like the British duo Lemon Jelly, particularly the album “Lost Horizons.” It’s happy but downtempo music and some of the “lyrics” have a nursery rhyme quality to them, which is not to say they are cutesy, but rather that they may appeal to Leta as well.

    One of my favorite tracks on the album is titled “Nice Weather for Ducks.” The only actual lyrics, which are sung in a British accent are: “All the ducks are swimming in the water. Fal-da-ral-da-ral-da…” It sounds crazy but it works. (You can listen to it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/profiles/lemonjelly.shtml)

    The track Space Walk, from the same album, takes an actual radio communication from an astronaut on a space walk and mixes it with really delicate piano music before the beat gets a bit more complex and quasi-electronic — bit it still stays dream like.

  • jwf

    The latest song in my head is Chiaya Chiaya – it is the credit song from Inside Man. You might want to take a listen. It is an incredible song with an incredible beat – it is hindu pop.

    You can watch and hear the video at http://www3.youtube.com/watch?v=-_2gW3zwMMQ.

    Have fun dancing! Leta will enjoy it too – my 26 month old does!

  • jo

    heather-i needed this post today so i wanted to say thank you. my relationship isn’t as bright as yours right now and reading your post and hearing this wonderful song really helped me cope. i hope you know how you brighten days with your website.

  • Stormhunter

    Heather, check out http://www.pandora.com I recently discovered it through a friend. You can type in a song or artist you like and it finds similar sounds. So far I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the music I have come across.

    Enjoy!!

  • katy66

    I am from Cincinnati and we have some AWESOME local bands here.

    The Heartless Bastards http://www.theheartlessbastards.com/

    My friend little e has the most soulful and powerful voice for a woman of 5’2.

    The Chocolate Horse
    http://www.thechocolatehorse.com/

    The Sundresses
    http://www.thesundresses.com/

    Plus, many more.

    Also, the new Soledad Brothers is off da chain!

  • http://doctortongue.com doctor tongue

    Music, gooood. CSI, baaaad. In all its incarnations. If you have to explain to your subordinates how the sciences and technologies your lab uses work, why did you hire them? And why are those labs so damn dark? And why are the women so damn hot? It’s like Soap Opera Land: no ugly people allowed.

    PFFFT!

  • http://www.gimmenoise.com Renee

    I usually listen to woxy (other people already mentioned it) or indiepoprocks.com. If anyone is interested, I have an internet station too.

    Lately I’ve been listening to Billy Bragg (his first 4 albums just got reissued), the Silver Jews and Man Man (the last one sounds like Tom Waits, Nick Cave, freaky circus music–just plain weird, but I like em). Also lots of X and the Gun Club. I just found out that Wire’s first 3 albums just got reissued too. Yay! Maybe *I* need to listen to something new? Too many reiusses!

  • Sara

    You may want to try Pandora, http://www.pandora.com. You put in the music you like and it creates a station with similar music based on all this stuff I don’t understand. It’s awesome especially when I’m at work.

    As for spring, It’s been here for more than a month in Austin. Love it.

  • eliane

    Hey Heather !

    I wont be the first to say this but the same thing is happening to me right now. It feels like i just woke up from a deep sleep and suddenly spring is coming back, the sun is shining and songs are singing and man I feel alive ! let us know of some good music you find !

  • http://wendymacblogs.blogspot.com Wendy Mac

    Heather you seem so happy! It’s so nice to read some happy stuff today. I, too, recently re-discovered music. I finally got an mp3 player (even though, according to the kidlets, I am an ancient dinosaur) and can’t allow myself new music every day, but every month I do manage to go seeking for new stuff.

    I am the same way- when I find something I like, I will play it over and over again.

    But it does, indeed, became the soundtrack of your life. How cool is that??

  • ProfessorBananas

    Thanks, Heather. On a really bad morning you made me feel springtime yellow, purple, pink and hopeful.

  • http://stridey.blogspot.com Charles Hawtrey

    I just started listening to my new spring music today too. It’s great to see the flowers budding everywhere, and “Here Comes the Sun” may be cliche, but it gets the job done. :)

  • http://workingfromhometoday.blogspot.com Working From Home Today

    May I recommend the CBC Radio 3 podcast? I don’t love all of it, but usually there are 2 or 3 really great songs per download. Can be found on iTunes.

  • http://www.poppymom.com Robin

    My daughter’s a few weeks younger than Leta. When I got pregnant, one of my big fears was that I wouldn’t have room for my music nerdiness once she was born. And yeah, it’s gotten shoved aside and I miss it.

    Last month I took the plunge and bought a 60GB iPod. Sweet holy little shiny black techno saviour! I sneak off to the basement every night while my husband gives the kid her bath, and I feel more like myself than I have since becoming a mother. Nerve deaf, but sane.

    I’d say that I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t, earbuds and all. But I get it. I so get it.

  • Wendielu

    My own Debbil’ child is running around here, so I didn’t actually read all the comments – if you have not hear Cowboy Mouth, you should. http://www.cowboymouth.com. They are permanently implanted in my brain, cd player, mp3 player, Rhapsody account, etc. Love them! Oh, long time reader/first time commenter. I didn’t even comment on Lurker Amnesty day, or about the sleep stuff. But THIS….THIS, I have to comment on!

  • http://lepistol.org kristen

    http://emusic.com

    oldies, new music, whatever, I love it and I am addicted to it.

  • pomegranate

    One of the richest places I know of to find new music is the CBC Radio 3 podcasts. They’re amazing! (They are how I discovered Wolf Parade). The host of the podcasts is Grant Lawrence, formerly of the Smugglers. The music is entirely independent and, ahem, Canadian. Enjoy!

  • Helen

    The thing about CSI is that it’s crappy and pretty good at the same time. Very high production values but characters who behave like high school kids, except for Grissom and Horatio. I wouldn’t be so worried about the cute guy seeing me when I’m dead, but I do worry about why all the girls have loose, tumbling hair and lots of lip gloss when they’re poking about in things you wouldn’t want to get on your hair or lips. Eeeuw.

  • Teeny225

    I’ve got the spring feeling too (despite the fact that it keeps snowing here in the UK!), and just the other day made up a new bouncy playlist for my ipod. I’m also one of those people who plays songs to death – I’m currently unable to stop listening to Dani California by the Chilis. It’s weird how music can connect you with a particular time of your life or experience that you’ve had – Red Alert by Basement Jaxx immediately transports me to a friend’s relative’s back garden in Boston, where I went when I was 18.

  • http://www.hiddenmonsters.blogspot.com Danielle

    Oh man, Wolf Parade. I went to see them Saturday, and let me tell you. Some of the most innovative and lovely music I’ve heard in a long time. Plus! Canadian! Who doesn’t love Canada and all it’s maple-leafy-parliament-style-governmenty goodness? I’m sure you’ve heard of it, because you are Teh Lord of Teh Intar-wubs, but there was a website (www.pandora.com, I believe) where you could look up an artist and it would make suggestions based on what searches you did (basically). I think it was down for maintenance but it could be back up again soon.

    Umm.. I guess that’s all I have to contribute.

  • http://www.randomandodd.com Kristine

    the Ruse.

    http://rusemusic.com/

    I photographed them at a gig here in town and was blown away. They are very U2 sounding.

    I’ve been lucky enough for them to call me, ‘Mom’ now.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/obnoxiousaries/sets/72057594068212271/
    to see the pictures of the band. SO adorable!

  • Velma

    This is an excellent idea for me to consider…actually *making* time for new music in my day. I need to dig out some of the old favorites that have spring-is-springing memories, or even just “remember when” melodies. Like, summer of ’98 was Soul Coughing time, and now I just can’t listen to it in the winter.

    Actually, I’d be happy with pretty much anything that would bump the SpongeBob “F.U.N.” song from my brain.

  • http://www.myspace.com/couple encikaidil

    Hey there!! You’ve got fans here in Malaysia!! Why not check out my band, Couple? If it’s sunshine you need, you’ll get that with us! Head on over to our myspace page and have a listen to our little tunes at:

    http://www.myspace.com/couple

    Hope you’ll like what you hear!! And hope we’ll get to hear from you soon!!

    Hugs & kisses!!
    -couple-