music

2017 in three minutes or less: my year according to Spotify (100-90)

lisa

(credits to somewhere on Tumblr.)

I saw High Fidelity for the first time in high school after countless people recommended it to me. Almost all of them would tell me John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, reminded them of me. If you have seen the film, it’s probably no surprise why I would struggle with this comparison, but I prefer to think my friends meant well, and were talking about Rob’s almost compulsive need to make lists and use music as the driving force behind his autobiographical narrative. This aspect of Rob’s personality is true to my own, and I’m really fond of it! I think compiling music into lists is the most accurate representation of your memory because it can inspire a flashback better than anything else.

I can go on about the massive change and attempts at growth I’ve gone through this year, but it can be mundane for me to recall and for you to read, so I’m going to try my best to keep my narrative of an incredibly difficult year “catchy”, if you will, and present the songs I listened to the most according to Spotify.

Continue reading “2017 in three minutes or less: my year according to Spotify (100-90)”

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favorites

trash by taylor: november favorites

ash

(my best friend’s strict order to slow down on the mashed potatoes from Publix, during my post Thanksgiving feast. I DID NOT LISTEN)

The root word in “November” is “No” and this word sums up how I have always felt about November. I’m sure I have been pretty vocal about my indifference (read: blind hatred) of Fall; the change in season makes me sad, and makes me feel as if I’m running out of time to finish something. Perhaps it’s a left over feeling from being dragged around school supply shopping by my mom for thirteen years plus college!

I can go on and on about how I have just come to realize I will never have to study for finals again, or how much time I spend studying my cats while they’re gazing outside, waiting for Robert Mueller to come with good cheer for the upcoming holiday season, but instead I’ll reflect on how weirdly peaceful November has been. The nagging voices in my head that have constantly been telling me I’m not doing things “right” as a post-graduate have quieted down a little. I’m learning to move at my own pace, and to listen to my intuition more often. This could change tomorrow but I’m currently relishing in my new understanding.

OKAY, HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

MEW-SICK

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~Tommy Keene- “Places That Are Gone”: I’m incredibly disappointed to jump on the Tommy Keene train posthumously. Keene crafted extremely fine and perfect power pop in the 1980’s, which is my bread and butter kryptonite. I had heard his name from his collaboration with Robert Pollard as the Keene Brothers, but unfortunately haven’t taken the time to discover his music. I immersed myself in reading about Tommy’s legacy via obituaries and essays on Twitter and have been indulging in his music and escaping down the YouTube rabbit hole!

~David Johansen’s Animals medley- Between the New York Dolls and the Buster Poindexter era, David Johansen recorded a live album with a medley of songs by The Animals. The video for “We Gotta Get Out of This Place/Don’t Bring Me Down/It’s My Life” got a lot of airplay on MTV when it was released, and it was one of the few music videos from the era my father remembers with pleasure and does not grumble about incessantly. It was one of those songs I remember from growing up and never grew tired of.  For some reason I have spent a lot of time strutting around while “working out” this month, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. Johansen’s vocals are gritty and sexy, making his tribute ring true to the original.

~Modest Mouse- “Beach Side Property”: Modest Mouse was a band I’d been exposed to through my time at my school’s radio station, but never really truly discovered until I went back to their discography myself, as it served along with Whiskeytown, as my chosen soundtrack to ~cleanse~ myself whenever I’m up in arms about various affairs of the heart. Modest Mouse is really so much more important than that; their earlier releases serve as a blueprint for independent music as we know it. I’m really partial to their first two records!

~Kristin Kontrol- “Concrete Love”: I’ve been a huge fan of the Dum Dum Girls for a long time and was really excited to discover one of the members had branched out on a solo venture. I discovered “Concrete Love” as part of the playlist my friend and former partner at the radio station made me, in order to keep me hip on the new releases in the college circuit as I sit and wither away while listening to Steely Dan. Kristen Kontrol’s music is right up my alley with its mysterious synth pop laden sound.

~Ray LaMontagne- “Let It Be Me”:  I’d heard this song many times upon its release on the radio, and am kind of embarrassed to admit I brushed LaMontagne’s music off because I don’t know how to pronounce his name! I really started to pay attention to his discography while binge-watching (sorry, Ford) my current Netflix choice, Parenthood. I’m a sucker for music that pairs well with a movie or television scene, and “Let It Be Me” went very well with a poignant moment in season one.

PODCASTS

Sometimes the only way I am able to get in the mood to work and conquer my procrastination habits is to listen to podcasts! My two favorites of the month are Girly Mags and Capsule ’98 which both fuel my fire for an era I was too young to fully experience first hand, except for my ravenous Titanic obsession which I’m still in the midst of, thank you very much. I’ve been obsessed with teen girl culture for as long as I can remember, so these podcasts make me want to wear glitter again!

~Beauty~

I feel really out-of-place but official when I write about beauty. My skin is ULTRA sensitive which prevents me from wearing makeup (I felt like a champion when I wore mascara for a ~date~ earlier this year). My relationship with acne has been my worst and I’ve spent the last decade trying to find a remedy for it which had some pleasing long-lasting effects. As if the internet gods were listening, my grandmother looked up the various uses for apple cider vinegar. lo and behold, it was mentioned a lot as an acne remedy! I apply a cotton ball’s worth every morning and tear up a little (in all seriousness, it can burn, so keep that in mind) and let it soak into my skin. I am incredibly happy with my results after two weeks! My adult acne has done a number on my self-esteem so to have found something that truly helps has been an incredible mood booster!

So, in conclusion, this particular November wasn’t filled with as much “No” as previous Novemembers. I’ve got some pretty cool projects in the works, and I’m finally feeling somewhat optimistic over what’s to come!

 

favorites, trash by taylor

october (the month where i discovered mushy peas. does anyone want to hook me up with some)?

babymarsha

October was a MONTH. Not just a month, but a MONTH! I normally do a “favorites” post at the end of the month, but I forgot last month and just really didn’t feel like I had a lot of “favorites” in October. It was sort of the beginning of the fall season and I have a “thing” about hating fall because I have an unexplainable fascination with time passage, and I associate it with sadness; I honestly had zero expectations for this month.

I kept meaning to write some separate posts for events that happened in October and unfortunately I  felt like I couldn’t write because they affected me really hard. Tom Petty passed away suddenly early in the month. He is probably my second all time favorite artist; he and the Heartbreakers are responsible for creating a big chunk of my life’s soundtrack. I don’t think I listened to any music not featuring Tom for two weeks afterward. It’s a waste to mention his music ruled my entire month! I’m planning to write a more detailed post about my relationship to his music.

The biggest event (and shake up of my life) happened at the end of the month, and I’m so thankful to say it has been resolved! My cat went missing one Sunday night and was AWOL for six days. It was really devastating because Marsha has always been an indoor cat, and none of us had left the house or opened any doors leading outside. It was one of those events we couldn’t explain; she had somehow made her way into the garage and out the door. She won’t fess up to where she’d been, but she came home the following Saturday, running full speed into the garage… I had seen her run into my old doll house out of the corner of my eye and discovered it was Marsha, and not a possum! I don’t think I have cried more in my life and I am definitely so much more thankful for the wonders of the universe. I’ve long struggled with the idea of relying on unknown powers above us and I’m worried about coming across as pretentious or hypocritical, but I have definitely felt an influence of protection from the universe. Marsha was not hurt at all and she was relatively unscathed from the experience. She has been home and has relaxed for nearly a week, and I am still literally crawling on the floor behind her and showering her with kisses!

No matter what happens, I always have time to discover new music and create new playlists! Here’s some stuff I’ve gotten into this month:

 

The M. Ward track was discovered via the credits of the new Patton Oswalt Netflix special which is highly recommended and has the Trash by Taylor Seal of Approval (I’m never going to do that again). It deals with the constant universal confusion of living in the era of Trump, which of course is something I deal with on a daily basis. Oswalt also speaks candidly on his grief over losing his wife last year; I was touched by Michelle McNamara’s mantra for life and kindness in this world, “it’s chaos. be kind.” I’ve thought about this nearly every single day since watching the documentary.

Of course I’m still watching my favorite, “This is Us”, and bothering everyone with my weekly post-episode sob-by exhale. I’m currently binging (sorry, Ford) season two of “Stranger Things” and it has been incredibly helpful with getting me into a Halloween mood amidst a lot of grief.

My outlook of life has been better during the last few days and I’m thankful for it. I’m getting excited for this year to be over! cheers, y’all. hug each other! kiss your pets! if you’re me, listen to someone else besides George Jones!

music

fall by numbers

blog photo

 

I’ve got an extremely complicated relationship with Fall. I can remember feeling unhappy in the third grade for the first time during the season because my mom made me go to church choir against my will, but that is definitely another story for another time.

this playlist contains music dating back to my freshman year of high school, when I started to make a point to try to remember song association. The latest tracks are from last year. A lot of songs chronicle growth, heartbreak, triumph, and other lessons that occurred with leaves turning orange.

I hope you enjoy this playlist! Let me know, and I will post more from my Spotify library.

 

 

favorites

Trash by Taylor: August favorites

hot

(hey, hi, it’s me. i know it’s been a long time, but i’ve just been trying to live life, y’know?)

August was a weird month. It was one of those months where you find yourself as a character in a coming-of-age film, but John Hughes didn’t write your film, so there is a whole lot more flailing than falling in love with Jake Ryan, or something. My graduation from college became official with the very unexpected arrival of my diploma on my doorstep, when I was anticipating a cassette tape rack. I went to the beach and got to eat a Whataburger, and I got caught up on the different documentaries about Princess Diana, while the ocean roared in the background.

Continue reading “Trash by Taylor: August favorites”

favorites

Trash by Taylor’s July favorites

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This is my first “favorites” post and I’m pretty excited about it! July was a good month. I’m a little biased because I was born in July and love the heart of the summer! I’ve gathered a few things this month that have gotten me through the heat and the thought of getting older and life decisions; I always get really pensive around my birthday, and I think a lot about change. My favorite stuff this month has helped with change and the idea of moving on, and they have definitely helped with the process!

Things

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Don’t Stress Meowt Journal from Charming Charlie: I’ve been keeping a journal since I was in the fourth grade, and this birthday gift was  a pretty purrfect contribution to my love for the kitties! The journal also features a cute “C” bookmark charm for Charming Charlie, to keep your place for when you get tired of writing various C words in your journal.

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Vanilla LED Candles       from TJ Maxx: I’m going through a big LED candle phase right now and these are pretty perfect. They come with a timer and a remote, and they’re really relaxing and make me feel like I’m getting stuff DONE.

July TV Favorite (and quickly became favorite show of all time)

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I started Breaking Bad at the end of May after everyone else in the world, and it was phenomenal and I have no idea WHY I waited four years after its conclusion to start watching, but I’m so glad I got around to it. I finished the show two weeks ago, and I don’t think I’ll be the same person ever again or watch TV quite the same. If you’re able to watch the show with your grandmother, then I HIGHLY recommend you do!

Music

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https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/227erflpbxb3ard7tkt5yhe6i/playlist/21O2xdCKFLn8H0IQsmHbEN

I made a mini playlist of my discoveries this month featuring Sun Seeker, HAIM, Liza Anne,  Leon Bridges, and selections from the Baby Driver soundtrack, because good lord.

I hope you enjoy some goods and sounds for your summer! I’d like to do this every single month. What are you into this month? Give me a shout and let me know!

 

 

 

music, trash by taylor

Who Makes These?!: My love of mix tapes

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I feel like this post has been a work in progress for ages, and you might feel the same if you know me, even a little bit. It is common for me to wake up every morning and my gaze turn to a pile of dusty cassette tapes on my shelf. Some days I look back on them with nostalgia and other days, I just look at them and wonder why I ever stopped making mixes on cassette. I felt like they became such a part of my identity, even before I knew what an identity was.

My story with mix tapes has a beginning, middle, and an end, like all stories do. However it’s a story with a bunch of noise in between and I think about continuing the story often. I can recall images of childhood glances toward my father’s big cassette cabinet, where every tape featured his incredibly meticulous handwriting. I can recall an image of sitting on the floor of my new boyfriend’s dorm room, sprawled out with CD’s, in an attempt to show him what I could do; Mix tape creation felt like a secret talent. I don’t remember what I put on that first tape for him except a song by The Clash, but I do remember I never made him another tape for the four years we were together. I struggled with how much time he spent making his own tapes for me, especially when we were in a long distance relationship. He was attempting to write a story featuring Gordon Lightfoot and They Might Be Giants songs, and I guess I realized I had stopped “writing” by then.

My story with mix tapes isn’t all sad; it’s a story of joy, laughter, questions, confusion, and a whole batch of emotions I can’t make sense of, but they are all perfectly outlined on the tapes I’ve made. I was inspired by an article I saw recently from NPR about conveying the right message when making a tape (specifically, how to not “look like a creeper”). When I read the article, a story immediately came to mind from high school where I had given a mix to a guy I’d really liked. I don’t think we had anything in common except for our mutual love for music. I made and gave the tape pictured above to him, which he examined closely and proclaimed “WHO MAKES THESE?!” I was really upset because I realized this was the first time I had realized making tapes had become my favorite way of expression. I was the “who” in the situation for the first time.

I specifically remember making this tape for Dude No. 2 (the number two is very significant. I didn’t like him as much as I liked Dude No. 1, and he was also a piece of number two). I’d considered the mix just to be a mix of songs I really liked but this tape was probably the first and only tape where I did not construct a mix full of meaning. My very idealistic teenage self searched for meaning in absolutely every lyric, and I spent hours agonizing over how the person giving me the tape felt about me, and what possessed them to put a certain song on the tape. I drove my friends absolutely nuts with the constant squealing and questioning over the next few years of tape looping; something they chose to slowly reveal to me much later. 🙂

I’ve got a ton of mixes and a ton of stories to tell through songs so I’ve decided to dedicate my next few blog posts to these tapes and stories. Some have been long worn out and some of them are still going strong with new mixes being created, and a few are really cringe worthy and give me feelings similar to the stomach flips I felt after dropping my beloved purple boombox in an elevator while moving. I consider that to be the “end” of the story, but there is a ton of feedback in between for your listening pleasure!

“Who Makes These?!”

December 2009

Side A:

“Shabby Doll”- Elvis Costello & The Attractions

“Beware of Darkness”- Concrete Blonde

“Wendell Gee”- R.E.M.

“Can’t Get There From Here”- R.E.M.

“A Million Miles Away”- The Plimsouls

“Candle In The Wind”- Elton John

“The Bucket”- Kings of Leon

“Hey! Hey! Nadine”- R.E.M.

“Burning Down”- R.E.M.

“All The Young Dudes”- World Party

“Skin Deep”- The Stranglers

“And Your Bird Can Sing”- The Beatles

“Other Arms”- Robert Plant

“In The Mood”- Robert Plant

Side B:

“Take A Chance On Me”- Roxy Music

“Everywhere At Once”- The Plimsouls

“Love My Way”- The Psychedelic Furs

“(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear” Blondie

“Mirror In The Bathroom”- The English Beat

(note: “Mirror In The Bathroom” was apparently the only song he liked).