Summer has finally arrived here in Chicago, and it’s that time of the month:
I’m in dress/tech rehearsals for a play that opens next week, I’m DJing on Sunday and performing in a cabaret on Monday, and sometime in the next few weeks I’m moving into a new apartment – but I still want to write more this month. Sometimes it’s easier to do so when I’m already busy, to ride the momentum. Sometimes my aspirations are ridiculous and I need to spend more time lying down to recuperate. Or sometimes there are also significant emotional events happening in your life that matter more than rehearsals and blog posts, but you keep going anyway with the mundane, otherwise all the wheels might fall off the cart. Better to stay in motion. So here are some songs about keeping on, getting it together, riding it out, and other various motivational platitudes – just cause isht ain’t original, doesn’t mean it’s not still useful – to help move through a feelings hangover.
Get Better – Mates of State
“Everything’s gonna get lighter, even if it never gets better.” The most accurate piece of real-life advice I’ve encountered in a tune, but she manages to make it still sound encouraging.
I Don’t Know What It Is – Rufus Wainwright
Wainwright inspires some fierce devotion amongst his fans. I tend to listen to songs by his sister Martha a little bit more, but there are a few choice Rufus songs I do love, and this is one of them. “Is there anyone else here too in love with beauty?” He’s probably the patron saint for the melodramatic heart, but the phrase “I don’t know what it is, but I gotta do it” pretty much sums up my approach to difficult things.
Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight – Amos Lee
This song is almost too earnest, you might need to listen to it with headphones, away from the ears of others. It is also a very satisfying song to learn to play on guitar, for when you need to take it there, alone in your room. Sometimes, we do forget who we got.
Spitting In the Wind – Badly Drawn Boy
Or, alternatively, “Pissing in the Wind”, depending on what side of the pond you’re on, or how sensitive your ears are. When this video premiered in 2000, I felt like a video had been made of one of my daydreams. I’m also going to go out on a limb and say this video was a precursor to the rise of “cougar” awareness in pop culture.