New Orleans: The Sensuous City (Part 1)

NOLA Music-6As a musician, I struggle with the fact that most of the centers of art are cities like New York and LA. I don’t function well in hustle and bustle, fast-paced rat race rigamarole. I get overstimulated. After three days in NYC, I start to feel jittery, and ready to leave. I need a place that feeds my soul as I move at my own pace, processing and engaging with my world. New Orleans was a lovely little haven, and after a week there, I’m already to return. I feel I’ve only tasted a hint of what the city has to offer….like a first sip of gumbo, the heat lingering on my tongue leaving me wanting more. Continue reading

8 Post-Election Songs for the Liberal Soul

South Africa DAY3-9As a liberal, last night was difficult. Feelings are running high in my Facebook feed. My own feelings are powerfully churning through me. In these moments, I turn to music to get me through, to help me process. Here is a list of ten songs I am listening to today to get me through this. I hope it helps some of you cope as well.

To Those We Love (Nonqongqo) — Miriam Mkeba

It translates to “They are sitting together in prison, They are sitting together in Nonqongqo.” A reminder of all those who fight against oppression. An honoring of all those oppressed in the process.

Save Your Soul — Jamie Cullum

“Know this: It’s a universal truth people let you down.” I feel that disappoint me wash over me in this song, and the anthem in the chorus with the key change pull me towards my own strength.

Breathe — Alexi Murdoch

“Don’t forget to breathe.” Emotions are running high. Breathing gives us access to shift the tempest swirling inside. Use the breath, to channel that energy. The goal isn’t to stop feeling. The goal is to use the energy of those feelings to a more powerful aim.

Midnight — Coldplay

Coldplay often gets a bad rap, but they often have greatĀ tracks that don’t make it on the radio. This is one of them. There’s something about the drone that captures that sense of being lost, just swirling in sound. In the midst of it, his voice calls to us, “Leave the light on.”

Blackbird — Brad Mehldau’s cover

This Beatles tune was written in support of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. Aware of my privilege, this is a reminder for all of us of the potential impact on minority communities. I vow to stay vigilant and vocal in defense of your rights.

Torpedo — Jillette Johnson

Be strong. Be fighters. Take the hit. Get yourself up. Move on. Here’s your fight-song anthem.

The Call — Regina Spektor

The work is just beginning. There is a new day dawning. We head out into it together.

Shake it Out– Florence and the Machine