24 December 2012

Falsas Promesas: Katherine's 11th Annual Holiday Mix

Falsas Promesas: Katherine's 11th Annual Holiday Mix
Dedicated to my grandmama, Virginia Ann

Falsas Promesas. 2012. 

It has been one hell of a year. As the end of the year approaches, I started thinking about all the happenings of the past year. Successes. Failures. Gains. Losses. Mistakes. Lessons. As we are prone to do when we review our past year. We often think of the big events from the past year. Births. Deaths. Jobs. Milestones. However, in doing that, the moments of day-to-day get lost in the haze of 2012. What was it that the young bard sang? Something about the journey, not the start or finish, but the in between. Indeed. And....it was quite the journey. A journey of highs and lows. A journey to the very bottom and swimming back up to the surface. There will be time for the big events in the coming week, but instead, I want this mix to be a tribute to all the moments in the betweens. 

The afternoons when Art and I galloped and danced through alleyways downtown. Or when Ashley and I spent the evening in a hotel room in London with ham and cheese sandwiches from room service. Those days and nights of baseball games with Michelle and Andrea. Walking to the post office, holding hands with a handsome man during those long days of summer. Jennie Ann and I's long late night phone calls, dissecting the world of academia. Carly and I's romantical dates to complete our tour of Nashville's culinary world-- and our extensive 5-star menus for every trip we take to "the cabins." The night after my dissertation proposal defense when I fell asleep in a young man's arms on "the tangerine dream." My family. Laughing at my mom when she passes out on the couch, every single night. When my whole family laughs together as one. My brother Taylor smiling when he pulled up at the airport at Thanksgiving. My brother John releasing a dove at my grandmother's funeral. 

Oh, right. There were some massive losses this year. 

A few days ago, I was thinking about how Michelle and I dubbed this year, "2012: The Year of Doom" and how it seemed no matter what-- the shit storm that has been this year just kept throwing punches at us. It was something akin to Marshall's year on HIMYM...“Lily, this year — this nasty schoolyard bully of a year — will not stop punching me in the face. How did we kick off 2011? My dad died. And now, after five months of unemployment, I just blew my dream job. Good news is in a few seconds I’m going to start heaving my guts out because that’s what life is for me now — just losing what’s inside until I’m just empty.” After reviewing this "schoolyard bully of a year," I realized...I no longer wanted to focus on the punches, but rather the journey...all those spaces in between. 

This year is my Eat. Pray. Love. year. It is 100% manufactured in cliche. It is full of self help tropes and motivational one-liners. I was forced to look my life squarely in the eye and realized, well, it looked like dirt (yes, quite literally for those of you who get the joke). But then I picked myself up and I felt much like Elizabeth Gilbert when she falls out of bed and says, "I don't know how to be here anymore." I wasn't sure anymore. I wasn't sure how to be here. I wasn't sure how to be the person I was at that moment. But I knew this...after a face full of dirt, I wanted more than anything to just be happy, to feel joy and excitement, to wake up in the morning with clear eyes and an open heart. For years, I thought one of my problems was that I felt too much. However, after some much needed therapy and medication, I realized, it wasn't that I felt too much but rather, I stopped letting myself feel anything. Anything at all. It was then I realized I wanted to to feel everything with a childlike curiosity and little trepidation. So, yeah, I became an Elizabeth Gilbert cliche. And you know what? I"m 100% okay with that. Because guess what? I'm happy. And if that means I had to go through all that crap from the past year, it was worth it. 

So....I present you with my 11th annual holiday mix: Falsas Promesas. It is dedicated to my dear grandmama, who helped me to gain some perspective, even it meant causing me to fall face down. 

*There are several ways to access the mix...all of which are listed at the end of the blog. 

1. Stuck on the Puzzle: Alex Turner

I've realized in the past year how music is not only embedded in happy memories, but also complicated emotions and memories. Sometimes the etching of a song becomes tied to a painful experience and any attempt at reclaiming the song is lost. It happened with Johnny Cash and June Carter's song "Jackson" because of a group of imaginary crust punks. And it happened with the soundtrack from the film, Submarine. It is quite a beautifully composed film that once was attached to fond memories now filled with messy contradictions. I suppose that is why it felt right to have this as Track One...broken promises are sometimes messy contradictions involving troubled young folks like Oliver Tate. So, let's proceed backwards...

2. The Waiting: Angel Olsen

I just came across this gem a few weeks ago. You know, sometimes when you figure out what it is that you want, it is worth waiting for. And sometimes, I need you to be the one to call. 

3. Yellow Wings: Ferraby Lionheart

If I could marry Ferraby Lionheart, I would. Not just because our child's last name would be "Lionheart-Everhart," but because I sort of imagine we'd spend our lives on an old farm while he sings to me and I bake pies in an apron. Yeah, I know, it is some sort of longing for a fictionalized rural past.  More importantly, this song reminds me of those long days in April and May when I watched my mom tirelessly care for my grandmama, as she sat in that hospital bed dying. 

"Mockingbirds perching, perching on a limb. Singing up to heaven for her to let you in. We've got to know that it's time to let you go. It's the first day of Spring and the last day of your life..."

4. The Gentlest Gentlemen: My Brightest Diamond

Sometimes it takes us forever to figure out what we want out of life, whether that be our career, the type of life we lead, the ways we like to spend our free time, or what kind of people we want to spend our time with. I'm particularly horrible at this last one, as I often expend incredible emotional energy on the least deserving. One afternoon, I walked through the park and spotted a couple sitting together, holding hands, watching the sunset. I realized, that is what I want. I want someone who wants to sit with me, holding my hand. Someone that wants to be with me. Someone who treats me with the same kindness and respect that I treat them. Someone willing to shed their defensive irony and guarded heart to hold my hand in a mutually assured vulnerability of trust. 

5. The Party: Regina Spektor

843 memories bound tightly in each note and lyrics. Saludos, mis panas. 

"For every road we can retrace. For every memory we can't face. For every name that's been erased. Let's have another round. May I propose a little toast? For all the ones who hurt the most. For all the friends that we have lost. Let's give them one more round of applause."

6. Catfish: Waxahatchee

Whiskey. Sam Cooke songs. Shooting Stars. Catfish. Moonshine. Truth or Dare. 1 in the morning. 90 degrees. Yeah, you know who you are. 

7. Every Single Night: Fiona Apple

Thanks a million times to Erin (Bergner) for taking me to the Apple show at the Ryman. It was one of the greatest shows of the year. In terms of why this song ended up on the mix, just listen. Plus, who doesn't want an octopus hat? 

8. The Death of You and Me: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

It was Track One on that mix you made me. We thought it was over. 

"Let's run away together you and me, Forever we'd be free, Free to spend our whole lives running, From people who would be, the death of you and me, 'cause I can feel the storm clouds, sucking up my soul..."

9. Becoming a Jackal: Villagers

My good friend Kyle introduced me to the Villagers. It seems like Kyle is always introducing me to the best music. Come to think of it, it is a bit of a mystery as to why he hasn't made a mix for me yet. Hmm. 

10. The Breeze/My Baby Cries: Bill Callahan

"I tried to follow the path that you're on. Something in me is stubborn. I keep going wrong. If you can forgive me now, we'll meet up in another land. When the breeze has killed me..."

11. Karen: The National

How can you not love The National? 

"I've lost direction and I'm past my peak. I'm telling you this isn't me. No, this isn't me. Karen, believe me, you just haven't seen my good side yet....I must be me, I must be me. Blackbirds are circling my bed..."

12. Hasta la Piel: Carla Morrison

Actually, how can you not love Carla Morrison more? Not only is Carla making some incredible music, her videos knock my socks off. 

"No te quiero perder que la distancia se devore nuestra miel y perdamos la fe. No te quiero tener y cuando menos piense perderte otra vez, me duele hasta piel."

13. Broke: Sea of Bees

Yeah. Somebody please. Just hear me.  Here's a quote from the artist about the album:

"I was just thinking of how lovely it was when I first met her, "Bee says from a cafe in Glasgow, where she's currently on tour. "With this album, it was all our experiences and good memories. I put them down in these songs. It was definitely hard. But [recording them] made me come to life. It filled my heart."

14. Never Get to Know: Paul Baribeau

If there is one tear jerker on the whole mix, here it is. It is my love letter to all my friends and family, against a backdrop of year filled with loss and addiction. Sometimes the hardest lessons are the most fulfilling. And it is for you, dear unicorn. Don't let me down.

"You might wonder why I'm an asshole. Or wonder why I'm so uptight. Or wonder why I don't just chill out and learn how to have a good time. But sometimes I'm scared right out of my mind and sometimes I just get angry. Because I've been let down by the people that I love. But I will not let down the people who love me..." 

15. Hold On Magnolia: Songs: Ohia

This one is for my dear friend Art. We will always be train bridges, magnolias, bananas, pickles, dance parties, lawyers, elves, UMB and umbrellas, and slightly insane. We will always be the laughter that echoes through the streets of downtown or the MCC. You are one of a kind, my darling. You are always there for me, no matter what with a heart full of unconditional love. I'll never forget when you came over, ordered me Chinese food, and stayed with me until I wasn't scared of el diablo anymore. I'll never forget when you called me and I ran downtown and we stood in front of the corner store, holding one another and crying. I'll never forget when you hugged me after I returned from Denver covered in bed bugs. I'll never forget when you brought over supplies for my "last night." You will always be my sweet magnolia.

"No one has to be that strong, but if you're stubborn like me, I know what you're trying to be...You might be holding the last light I see, before the dark finally gets a hold of me...Hold on Magnolia, I know what a true friend you've been...."

16. The Night: Exitmusic


Here's how to access the mix for your personal listening pleasure. There are several options:

1) Go to this mediafire link: http://www.mediafire.com/?vcrg318wh5pg3You should can download the zip file and the song listing and cover art. If you have trouble with the zip file, you can also download the individuals files in the folder, as labeled.

2) Subscribe to the mix on Spotify. Here is the link: Falsa Promesas: Katherines 11th Annual Holiday Mix

3) Watch and listen all the songs on YouTube. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQdVeReqUAy6hn0dZPoAQFMwxjjqIe4Xw

05 December 2012

My 30th Birthday: A Mystery

Last night, I had dinner with a close friend, Carly. She is leaving for Germany this weekend. Her birthday is in five days. AND, we won't see each other for almost a month. I envisioned in my mind a quiet evening out with dinner, desserts, and a glass of champagne. Shortly upon arriving at the restaurant, we were seated at a table next to two reserved tables, which we learned were for "Ryan's 30th birthday party." 

As the night progressed, Carly and I vacillated between enjoying the chaos of a birthday party enclosing upon our quiet dinner and being annoyed at having to scream above the party our research ideas. (Ha, right!). While we were having dinner, my-ex Tim caught sight of us and came to join us for dessert. The three of us laughed about the sheer number of people at this Ryan's birthday party. Man, this guy Ryan must REALLY be an awesome guy. It didn't stop there. Trust me. I've now posted a "Missed Connections" for the birthday party. Carly and I stopped on our way home to tell a confused (and, obviously drunk) dog directions to the party, "Hey Dog! You are going the wrong way, Ryan's birthday party is back that way!" We even fabricated an after-after party for Ryan's birthday. Yes, the end of the semester can be rough...and we all need to exercise our creative imagination at times. 

Regardless, the REAL reason for the post is that...I joked with Tim about what we did for my 30th birthday. I mean, right, it had to have been some big hoopla like Ryan's 30th birthday, right??? As far as we can remember, we were dating when I turned 30. I would have been writing my thesis on skateboarding at that time. But we couldn't remember. And still 12 hours later, I remain stumped, What did I do to celebrate my 30th birthday??? After some investigation through old blogs and pictures, I'm still at a loss. Here is what I know: I saw Sparklehorse play in February that year. Tim and I went to spring training in March. But what did we do in April? How did I ring in the big 3-0? (Incidentally, if you remember, I'd be much obliged to find out). 

And then it hit me, there are all these huge milestones and celebratory dates. New Years. Anniversaries. Our 30th birthday. We spend an incredible amount of time planning and hoping that these events and dates will be absolutely legendary. One for the books. But here's the thing, merely 6 years later....I don't have the slightest clue as to what I did to celebrate my 30th birthday. With that, I suppose, I must be getting old.