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.

  • vermontchickie

    My first dooce comment!

    I’ve been reading your site for a while and love it.

    I totally know what you mean about finding something and becoming obsessed with it until you get tired of it. I do the same thing with music and food. And CSI.

    It’s great that you’ve found music again. It definitely adds flavor to life.

  • I sometimes believe music is a stronger “memory sense” than smell. It’s amazing how a song can bring you back almost instantly to a moment.

    So…I have to ask… what would the soundtrack to the significant times of your life look like if this is true?

    And, he’s not “new”, but he’s getting “discovered” now after years in clubs and on the college circuit. Ari Hest.

  • Glad to see recommendations of on here. That site is the BEST. A friend just recommended it to me today, actually (hi Robin!) and I’m officially obsessed. Give it a try. Unless you like having free time, that is. Personally I consider free time to be overrated.

  • I just blogged about this too! Here’s some of my new favs…don’t know if we have similar taste,but I’m diggin on them right now (and hitting repeat too!)

    Matt Costa – Songs We Sing
    particular songs I adore
    These Arms
    Sweet Rose
    (But the whole album is stellar)

    Magic Numbers – She Don’t Love Me

    Train – Cab

    Beth Orton- Conceived

    Rhett Miller – Help Me Suzanne

    Augustana – Boston…Love this one.

    My favs, the Weepies, both their albums

    Little Willies (Norah Jones singing with them), this is a great album.

    Hope you find something you can groove on. Ok, my girls are acting like they’ve been possesed…gotta go perform an exorcism. I’ve got other stuff listed on the blog…can’t think of it now due to the screaming. Good lord.

  • catherine d.

    ok random comment but kinda related to music:
    do you know the band metric? their singer emily haines? well i think you totally look like her. i also think she’s freaking hot.

  • i’m happy you have brought comments back into ours.

  • Never mind the non-existent computer or the 24 hour turn-around DNA (uh, no). I need to know which CSI you’re calling hot. Gil or Warick(?). Certainly not Nick.

  • SDCrawford

    I also suggest the music genome project I’m also a big fan of radioio – has a bazillion flavor stations available w/ subscription fee. If you listen through iTunes radio a few streams are free. I have learned of lots of new artists and unknown songs through radioio. Enjoy.

  • HomoGirl

    Luv the new do, Heather! I recently went even shorter, cutting off hair that was at my mid-back.

    Music . . . I spend hours upon hours exploring and downloading new music. Perhaps I should get more of a life.

    I’ll definitely check out your recommended beebops.

  • I will pray for you Heather…and John too.

  • ETK

    Hi Heather, like you when I find something I like I become all OCD about it. Right now, my online obsession is reading your website. I’ve spent many hours reading through your old posts. My #1 goal in life is to catch a post as soon as you make it before anyone else comments. LOL, what a sad life I lead. Really enjoy your blog. That’s all I wanted to say! Have a great day!

  • That last paragraph is beautiful, Heather. One of my favorite lyrics is the line “a song is more powerful than most people think.” You capture the essence of that sentiment well. Thank you.

  • PS I presume you’ve come across I was introduced to it recently, and it’s great for finding new things.

  • stefaniwanne

    Dooce I loved this post. Once when I was a distraught teen I thought about committing suicide – but then I actually sat down and thought seriously – what if they don’t have MUSIC in heaven or hell or wherever I was going to? and that I just couldn’t bear. Songs remind me of every moment and every memory of my life good and bad and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I love Spoon, they’re an older band I know and I’m sure everyone here has heard of them but I love their song “Stay don’t go.” check it out if you haven’t already. I adore your blog. Thanks!

  • lah217

    Lovely pictures. They remind me of the tree blossoms Van Gogh painted.

    Isn’t it funny how we all have soundtracks to our lives? Like the summer of my 23rd year was Toadies. I feel a little like John Cusack’s character in “High Fidelity” Anyway, not sure of your musical tastes but this band is a good time. They never fail to get my butt wigglin’ (they do a mindblowing cover of War’s “slipping into Darkness”)

  • Bird Lover

    What an uplifting post. At first I thought you meant you were coming out of the longest winter of your life, metaphorically speaking. Either way, I appreciate the sentiment.

    I also know the restorative effects of music on the soul. When I was growing up I would memorize songs and play them verse by verse, note by note, in my head any time I had to walk somewhere. There were times that I turned down rides so that I could be alone with nothing but the music in my head. I realize how crazy that sounds, but it worked for me.

    Rock on.

  • kawaface

    the rhythm *totally* got you.

    damn you, gloria estefan!!

    have you heard the editors?(maybe there isn’t a the…i dunno) they are somewhat like interpol…sorta.

  • Fyse

    I fixate on new music too, often to the extent that I then can’t listen to it for a few months. Then when I stumble across it again, the whole cycle just repeats. The soundtrack to ‘Garden State’ was a prime example, and it introduced me to so many new artists. It’s woefully rare that I find new things to listen too. Perhaps I should make it a higher priority in my life too.

  • lilsarah

    I also fell in love with Wolf Parade. If you like them… you may also like Neutral Milk Hotel.

  • roolb

    You probably already know all about, but in the off chance that you don’t, try it. It is interesting to say the least.

  • VinnyGirl

    Dooce, you rock. And so does Chuck.

  • I just went to the Wolf Parade to listen to the song.

    The moment the song came on, my 10-month-old daughter got a huge grin on her face, started waving her arms around and bouncing up and down.

  • I’m not sure if it’s been recommended yet or not, but I LOVE Basically, that site is going to bankrupt me because I can’t stop buying music that it recommends to me.

  • I brought not just music, but sheer JAZZ back into my life a couple of months ago. I can’t explain how I lived without it for years; it wasn’t that full a life, I can assure you. At least you’ve one (awdorable) toddler to “blame” for changing the focus; I can’t account for any accomplishment.

    You’re so blessed to be with Jon the way you two are (bet you haven’t heard this before). Closest possible to the way you two are; I can’t wish for more. My latest love and I (under one year, and long god-damn distance) have one major thing in common: we think scarely alike. We’d have the same idea, feeling, or comment at the same moment.

    Each time I feel too much BLUES, or spleen, or even too long a winter (apart) I recall just how naturally we manage to SMS the same thing at the same time, or how he can turn my worst paranoia into laughter within seconds. I hope this blessing stays with me, with us, for at least as long as yours–with Jon.

  • Miranda Puckett

    Personally, I got stuck on Wolf Parade’s “Shine a Light.” Since you gave this song such a stellar review, I’m going to have to buy Apologies for the Queen Mary now.

    Stuff I’m stuck on these days? The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s new cd “Show Your Bones” (not as violent sounding as Fever To Tell, but good stuff), Neko Case, “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood,” Belle and Sebastian, “The Life Pursuit,” The New Pornographers. ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky just gets me in a happy spring mood… and makes me want to jog too, so it obviously gives me delusions.

    Love 3hive, and keep us updated on your music choices too! Sounds like you have good taste. 🙂

  • I’m happy for you, Heather.

    And I feel like saying (almost breathlessly), Heather, Heather, Heather, you’ve got Robin’s egg blue sky!

  • Kristen from MA

    sorry if i’m repeating someone else’s comment (i don’t have time to read them all, though i’d love to…)

    music is a natural anti-depressant (my psychiatrist told me so). so crank it up!

  • Nicole

    Refresh, refresh, refresh – kind of like I do here all day long. If comments are open I get to refresh those too.

    Jason Mraz – “After an Afternoon” and “Sleeping to Dream” from the Tonight, Not Again album are great!

  • Finding new music you like and can relate to is always a gem. Unfortunately, sometimes the gem tarnishes and loses its color. That was a bad analogy.

    Anyway, Alaska is the suicide (or homicide? pretty sure suicide) capital of the US because of the long dark days and snow, aka Cabin Fever. It causes people to go a little loopy those days they’re stuck with the same people day by day.

  • Vikki

    When I was in college, I would spend about two hours per day writing music and playing the guitar. It truly fed my soul. Then, I moved out into the real world and don’t have time for it anymore. I don’t really play anymore and the only time I listen to music is in the car (and I don’t have complete control of the CD player because I live with a 4 year old music critic). Good for you for finding a way to bring music back into your life…I sure hope I can find a way too.

  • I am laughing my ass off right now because I am also in the CSI funk! What the hell is going on with us? I was a strict once-a-weeker for the last bajillion years it’s been on, and now suddenly I’m watching it like ten times a day.

    Maybe it’s because now they are all like new to me.

    Maybe it’s because it airs eight times a day on three separate channels.

    Maybe it’s because I too am wrestling with the question of how my spirit-world self would feel being examined by Hottie McHotnesses Nick Stokes and Warrick Brown.

    PS – do you listen to Hot Hot Heat? They’re from BC and I love listening to them when the sun is shining – it makes me happy.

  • annlee

    lis, neko is my neighbor:)

  • Heather, your last paragraph is just one of the many reasons I stop by here every day. That kind of love, so beautifully expressed, is truly refreshing to read. Brought tears to my eyes. thank you. 🙂

  • Yes, music. I know what you’re saying. It moves me from my core, it awakens something inside of me and reminds me I’m alive. Unfortunately, my husband’s taste in music is all classic 70s rock which isn’t necessarily bad, but he just doesn’t understand the alt stuff I like.

  • futurepest

    I’m telling you, . Next to my Joe it’s the only thing that keeps me alive. Radio like this doesn’t exist anywhere in SLC, but I’m grateful it exists somewhere!

  • lis

    She is not so new, and I bet you know her, because she’s in like five bands. But if you don’t, you should introduce your ears to some Neko Case. She is way better than the blasted ice cream truck outside my window right now. : )

  • cosima

    Thanks for the tip on the Wolf Parade. I think I found a new favorite band!

  • happy

    CSI tries to be plausible. We watched Crossing Jordan when it first came out. They were using forensics to find a kidnap victim “in time”. At the end the FBI stepped back and let Jordan(the pathologist!) go in first and release the victim. Yeah, the FBI would do that. Totally lost us, haven’t watched the show since. Some shows have no respect for their viewers’ intelligence.

  • Thanks for the lift, Heather. Music was so central to the early days my relationship with my boyfriend. I’m so going to rock out on my way home from work tonight.

  • I totally agree with WordGuy about Nick’s mustache. I hate the way he looks lately, with or without the mustache. He used to be so cute! What happened, Nick?

    Anyway, I just wanted to agree that music has a magical way of bringing you back in time. Your post today reminded me of the first moments I spent with my husband, as we ran away together in an old car with no air conditioning. It’s been almost 10 years since that day and I’ve never regretted it. We listened to the Beatles White Album over and over again… maybe I’ll have a listen tonight 🙂

  • Toasty

    All I can say is the Long Winters (, good old fashioned indie rock pop by a man who once walked across Europe. I mean, who couldn’t love a band described as the river otters of indie rock?

  • Word Guy

    Miz H.,

    Just stumbled across the Dooce the other day. Lovely site. The cross-stitch kills me. Anyway, you need new music? Hie thee to Dave’s True Story and pick up Sex Without Bodies on disc or from iTunes. And then Dave’s True Story and then the rest of their stuff. It’s outstanding.


    Bill Walsh

  • Word Guy

    P.S. Seriously, what was the deal with Nick’s ‘stache on C.S.I.? Not only was it a parody of some sort of ’70s-gay-bar or Magnum-era porn ‘stache, but most of the other characters barely even mocked it. I always assumed George Eads was working on some other mustache-mandatory project, but I haven’t seen evidence of it.

    P.P.S. Oh, here’s the link that didn’t come through when I tried to embed it above:

  • Askew Adventures

    I used to rely entirely on a radio station back in Philly, 88.5 WXPN, for all my new music. It is the greatest station for finding great new artists. I’ve missed it desperately now that I’ve moved to SLC, but at least I can listen to it online at work. Do you have any suggestions on good SLC radio? I haven’t found any good music stations yet. All I listen to is KCPW, one of the NPR stations.

  • Luka

    Your photos make me want to buy your Nikon camera, I sure hope that Nikon is sponsoring you now. 🙂

  • closetOCFan

    Wow, never made the connection b/w 3hive and Jon. Been visiting there for a while now.

    Also, here’s another digg for And Canada’s hot with Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Stars, Metric. Just got back from Montreal where I saw a new band, Land of Talk that I can’t stop listening to. Did anybody catch Wolf Parade Sunday night? I like em but they sound a little too close to Modest Mouse for me anyway. Which makes sense but still…

    Anyway here’s a separated at birth for you:

    Heather and Metric’s Emily Haines. Yes/no? Whenever I see Metric live I can’t help but think of the similarity.

  • annlee

    LOVED the song, Heather. Thanks for sharing!

    Calexico’s new CD hits stores today. It’s different from their usual sound but I like variety so I am really enjoying it!

  • There is something so perfectly cleansing about sunshine, about spring-time. Something so fresh. I love that part. (Beautiful! pictures.)

  • Amy Jo

    I love this comment thread. Memories connected with the senses is just an amazing part of being alive. I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, but a smell or a song takes me back 20 years, to an exact moment in time. When something is really great, and maybe not repeatable, I try to make myself reflect so that I might remember like that.

  • 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.

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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