An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • totally off topic, but it hit me yesterday…when Leta says “juice,” does it come out “dooce?”

  • I’m always amazed at what a strong effect getting back in the loop, musically, can have…I always start to feel a little detached and stale when I don’t hear anything fun and new for a while.

    We went to see Art Brut on Sunday night and the opening band, these German guys named ‘The Robocop Kraus’ were so fun and great!

    Like a ton of 80s bands mixed together who then covered Minor Threat songs in German. Or something. Anyways, check em out if you’re so inclined!

  • Manda

    I know what you mean about associating certain songs with seasons. I can only listen to Jack Johnson in the summer and my Garden State soundtrack in the fall. You might like the new band The Sounds. They aren’t very springy but it’s pretty good stuff. PS there is a guy who looks just like DORJ! at my college.

  • I recently worked on a show that went behind the scenes at CSI. They have quite a few technical advisors to make sure that they are as true to life as possible. The equipment – as far as I can remember – is all real, but in many cases is way too expensive for most forensic departments to even consider buying. (So that shampoo program probably does exist). All this is just to say that you are sooo justified in watching as much CSI as you want.

  • Mack’sMom

    CSI comment: How about how they ALWAYS have to use their mini flash lights, even when their in a room with light!!

  • Maiken

    Someone beat me to telling you about so I will simply add my suggestion to visit this site. I have found so many new artists and songs that I would never have been exposed to otherwise. Also, you can add songs to you own favorites list to remind you of myriad of songs you will find.

  • My husband ALWAYS rants about the crap they do on CSI and like shows, back when he was blogging he even wrote a post about it. It makes watching TV with him oh so enjoyable, I tell you. Glad to hear you’ve got the beat back in your life. I agree it makes everything better.

  • Melissa

    I do the same exact thing with music. I have a 45 minute commute on the NYC subway, so that gives me time to listen to whatever I want over and over and over. I’ve also been on a CSI kick for about 2 years, as we have limited cable service. That means we get TBS and Spike TV, along with the network channels, and Spike shows back to back CSI reruns every single night and no, I don’t really get sick of them. Warrick Brown is hot.

  • Nessacole

    Long-time reader and hardly commented


    I absolutely insist you listen to:
    Corinne Bailey Rae

    Spring will spring, blossom will blossom and all the babies in the world will sleep through…


    Thank you for your truly wonderful blog – as a mother of two, you make me feel sane
    (hee heee what a responsibility!)

  • Heather, I’m so happy you’re happy! Music is so powerful, and I love the way it can transport you to a different time a place or make you feel a feeling you haven’t felt for years. Enjoy!

  • kate

    Hey Heather… I’m not sure if you’ve heard him yet, but I think Rocky Votolato is particularly dreamy. The first track on “Makers” has an extremely high “repeat until you end up hating it” factor.

  • i love seeking out new music.. if ony just to be able to say.. “I knew them when…”

  • Mack’sMom

    Thank you for explaining yesterday’s photo title. I had to read it a couple times b/c I thought I wasn’t reading it right. Now that I know it’s a song lyric, it doesn’t need to make sense!!!

    I’m on a bubble of Spring Happiness…no need for the background music. I have spent more time outside the last three days than I have the entire winter!
    Minnesota winter are usually pretty harsh, and actually this winter was extremely mild…but I have the same reaction to Spring! “THANK YOU GOD!”

    Now my pasty flesh needs to start experimenting with the sun, and the layers need to start peeling off. The biggest bonus is getting my 2 year old outside to run off all of her energy!!

  • ahhh… wolf parade. ‘this heart’s on fire’ has been my mantra for months now.

    and i’ve got tickets to see them tomorrow night in dc!


    you should check out “clap your hands say yeah!” if you haven’t already.

  • Odd coincidence but I am spending most of the day at work making my Spring mix CD. I say most of the day because I had to go to lunch and the bathroom. Here’s the list in case you or anyone else is interested:

    Built to Spill – In the Morning
    Beirut – Postcards to Italy
    The Arcade Fire – Rebellion (lies)
    The Flaming Lips – Have It Your Way
    Neutral Milk Hotel – The Fool
    Pelican City – Track 6
    Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
    The Go! Team – Ladyflash
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cheated Hearts
    The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
    The Polyphonic Spree – Hold Me Now
    Neil Diamond – Hell Yeah
    Otis Redding – Dock of the Bay

  • brandy

    Thats how I felt when I got my ipod, I was taken back to the freedom of mixed tapes and not having to listen to others talk whilst on the subway. I used to be a music snob and then one day I wasnt, it was very odd.
    Sadly I have yet to see a blossoming tree in my neck of the woods.
    Wolf Parade are amazing!

  • latchkeymom

    The first signs of Spring AND new music that you love – instant serotonin increase!

  • What a lovely description of the birth of your relationship with Jon. You are the queen of words, Heather.

  • I’m so glad for you! We’ve had spring over here for almost a month now, and it would have been sooner if it weren’t for the rain. Guess we need that too.

  • tsans

    oh, i do that with songs, too. the one i’ve been listening to on repeat lately? it’s stellastarr*’s “damn this foolish heart.” i dare you to get it out of your head once you’ve heard it three times. my 4 year old sings the chorus (“i’m gonna go insane”) and it makes people stare at me in public places. used to that, though!

    i like the wolf parade song, too. another new favorite: the 88’s “all cause of you.”

  • The photos are absolutely beautiful. But it’s very disappointing to be denied the blue marker photos! You could have said it was a historical re-enactment, like Mel Gibson and the lads in “Braveheart.”

  • Angela

    It is wonderful that you sound so happy.

    I have been with my husband for almost 19 years (only married for 4.5 of them), and a whiff of the cologne he wore in high school still gives me butterflies.

  • RS

    Heather, have you checked out Pandora dot com–the music genome project? It’s worth a look; they have some good suggestions and you can “build your own station” based on music you already like. Very cool.

  • i recently found out that all three of the guys on whom i’ve hard hardcore, world-ending crushes on since college are majorly into wolf parade. i don’t know what this means. they, otherwise, have almost no overlap in musical taste. it frightens me, a little.

  • Becky

    Beautiful photos. Happy spring!

  • alex

    The thing that always got me about CSI is the lab. They basically work in a chemistry lab, right? So why is it always so dark? Turn on some friggin lights.

  • Katie_B

    Thanks for the post – I love the way you have pinpointed that feeling you sometimes get from hearing a perfect new song, or an old one that reminds you of something important. I met my partner about this time of year (five years ago, too) and the combination of the spring air and one or two songs I was listening to makes me feel exactly the way I did then. Thanks also for the Wolf Parade song. Neko Case is getting me through the end of the semester, especially “Star Witness” and “The Needle Has Landed”. I’ve had the album on repeat for two weeks now…

  • Lovely.
    Just lovely. 🙂

  • from.ung

    wolf parade love! i also recommend jose gonzales, jenny lewis, and philip glass. i always recommend philip glass. “the hours ost” and “naqoyqatsi ost”.

    cherry blossoms! they’re blooming on my campus, too. i’d take pictures, but i’m lazy.


  • It’s probably been said already – I haven’t taken the time to read all of the comments, but I just wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE the colours in these photos, they are stunning… I want to create something with those colours – I’m thinking quilt, which is weird because I don’t quilt…

  • squirrelmagnet

    Allow me to put in another vote for They even have podcasts for the lazy music seeker.
    My obsessive rotation song lately is Rhett Miller (with Rachel Yamagata) “Fireflies”, which you could download here: “”
    Welcome back to the world of music geeks!

  • nahanni

    I know exactly what you mean…although it was my own fault for letting music fall down my priority list. But I’m working to bring it back full force! My husband is a music freak so it’s always around me…I just need to make it mine again too.

    Also, my husband and I have been together for 13 years and I still have flashes of what it was like in the beginning…and how it hasn’t changed much since then. We’re still giddy in love and can’t wait to see each other when we’ve been apart…even if it’s only been from morning to after work. True love seem to work that way 😉

  • Neil

    As someone who live in Los Angeles and loves hearing live music at the clubs in West Hollywood, etc., I should remind you that concert-going when you’re single in LA is a a whole lot different than when you’re married or with kids. All of a sudden, you’re less thinking about the music than “Who wants to stand for three hours?” Wolf Parade is playing at the Coachella Music Festival in April. I’m hoping they’ll have cushioned, air-conditioned seats with food service for the over 30 crowd. Probably not. Maybe it’s just time to listen to them in the car. Sigh.

  • Amen. I have worked in the music industry on an off for over 10 years now. I cannot imagine my life without it. If you haven’t already, check out Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! They are much fun 🙂

  • Kala Lily

    Here is a Kiwi band for you that you may love… they are a cross between Regee and Funk and they are wicked.

    Oh and P.S. LOVE the new haircut… very sexy.

  • Music is so much a part of my life also. When i get mad I can just listen to music, any kind of music, and start to feel better, it also brings back all emotions from different events in my past, certain songs are linked to certain memories, good, bad, and sad. I love your pics of spring, I’m in Alaksa… we just got snow again last night… I’M READY FOR SPRING!!! ok, just alittle rant… sorry!

  • Funny, Wolf Parade is on my most recent blog post too! My new recent favourite is The Go! Team.

    Here’s my latest picks from my iTunes playlist:

    Bongo Song – Annie
    Balls Out – Bloodhound Gang
    You Are a Runner and I am My Father’s Son – Wolf Parade
    The Glamorous Life – Paul Oakenfold
    Primary – The Cure
    I’m Down – Goldfinger
    Wet Blanket – Metric
    Go It Alone – Beck
    Southern Girl – Rahzel
    Gimme That – Sloan
    Debaser – The Pixies
    They Shoot Horses Don’t They – Apostle of Hustle
    Leave Me Alone – Butthole Surfers
    I Am Not Surprised – The Organ
    Prussia – Jake Fairley
    Daft Punk Is Playing At My House – LCD Soundsystem
    Huddle Formation – The Go! Team

  • Athena

    Heather (this sounds so personal, me calling you Heather…) anyway, I just wanted to tell you that as a person from Utah, recovering from being raised a Mormon, having a young daughter (just one) that makes me to want to smother her with kisses (or just smother her all together on occasion), with a passion for sarcasm and a love for all things Apple… I just wanted to tell you that I would be a sister wife with you any day. And I’m not even trying to kiss your ass. How about that? Your style and wit are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderfully crazy life.

  • villagegirl
  • MindeHankins

    Heather, check out Bonnaroo!!! You and Jon could go away for a couple of days, see a zillion new bands, hear a zillion new sounds….dance your butts off! is the site….looks like it might be your cuppa, ya know?
    It’s my hubby’s and my annual vacation. Just love roaming around hearing all this new music! It feeds our souls.

  • Heather, You rock! But for some that song reason is making my ears bleed. Hey, To each her own. (Says a woman w/ 20 Law & Orders currently Tivo’d.) Happy spring!

  • Kelly S.

    one more thing. is a radio station here in Seattle. They broadcast live online and play a really eclectic selection of indie rock, blues, etc. They also have archives you can listen to and have live in-studio shows regularly.

  • “months that were hectic and raw and so full of hope and panic that every day seemed like it would collapse in on itself”

    – one of the best descriptions of early love I have ever heard…

    about music..I agree, in motherhood I have let my love of music fade – for the same reasons you listed. When I make a conscious decision to make music a priority, I too feel that rush of youth, newness and energy.

  • hotdiggity

    such a lovely post… you totally nailed a couple of ‘truisms’: the habitual need to enjoy (induldge in) things we obsessively love (hello? chocolate?). And also recognition of those sweet, tiny moments when you remember a part of your past life (for me, specifically that person/that life before kids). Rings so true!

  • d

    Hahaha. “Mortified”. Quite punny.

  • Em


    If you’re into indie, underground, indepenent, alternative FANTASTIC music … he’s got it all!!

  • I miss music too. I’ve moved from Los Angeles where I could hear everything to god-of-music forsaken Charlotte NC where they actually brag that they are a national program where people in Charlotte are not really involved.

    I need to get satelite music. I miss my brain and heart working together over a song.

  • Kelly S.

    When you used to post “Listening To:” I swear we had the exact same music collection. So, from one indie rocker to another, here are my recs:
    1. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    2. The Like (super cool, yet grounded chick band)
    3. Band of Horses – so wonderfully cathartic.
    4. Broken Social Scene (their latest is really great)
    5. Bike (Take in the Sun) – not new, but nice and sunny music.

  • dre

    Happy Spring to you!! Your photos of the blossoms are absolutely gorgeous. Perhaps I should blow them up and paste them on the inside of my windows until spring decides to bloom in NorCal – it’s STILL wet, gray and down-right miserable here.

    p.s. Love the new masthead – too cute. 🙂

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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