Playlist

back by E

I am about to hit the 2 year anniversary of the day which changed everything for me and nearly the 1 year anniversary since posting a track review. I don't believe explanations are needed as the site left my personal story the day the music-rag.com domain was bought and I lost the total control of 'my' site that I had on the blogosphere (and we both know personal posts aren't popular unless you're my mom or older sister), but I will say that after my experience, I felt a need to return to the work my parents had been doing since I was 2: reiki, readings, healings for animals and humans alike, timeline therapy, soul clearings and retrieval; all that weird shit I had to hide in public school because people still think crystals are a joke, familiars are a myth, and ancient practices are a mockery (honestly, the first time friends heard my parents mention the phrase "electronic belt of protection" I realized I needed to shut down in order to survive the rest of school and college).

After an NDE that left me with pretty severe PTSD, some still healing fucked up Deadpool hands, and an ache where someone I loved used to be, I felt the need to return to the things that made me a freak for so long because I am what I am and, in doing so, that took me out of this for a while.

Though I did not post for you or respond to emails, music was there the entire time, especially as I drove from South Florida to the other side of the country in the middle of a blizzard, driving in snow for the first time ever, with 3 cats, a dog, 2 suitcases, and a family size bag of twizzlers packed in the back of the car I picked up 6 hours before leaving. Screaming along to Rationale's "Kindred" as I crossed the St Louis bridge at 3AM was incredibly cathartic. I definitely listened to The Strike's "Human Right" more times in a row than any healthy person would or should while trying to stay awake on the infuriatingly everlasting Kansas highway. And the karmic timing of Walk Off The Earth's "Home We'll Go" starting the moment I crossed the last state line I'd pass before landing on 'home' was the first sign in years that things were going to get better. I fucking love a good soundtrack to life.

The world seems pretty shitty right now and music helps so, as I logged in and read emails from so many beautiful people with thoughts and music to share, I realized I didn't want to just forgo payment and quietly end the website. Obviously there are so, so, SO many other choices of music sites for you to choose from and I'm not going to go full out like I did when I was naive enough to think I could actually make a go of this job-wise, but I will start giving you some links to good music for your soul and your head when it's all too heavy. And hopefully my writing skills will come back; it's been a while and you guys deserve better than "loved. I've listened 12x this hour" (Barns Courtney's "Hollow", no joke).

After a lot of fresh air and room to breathe in a safe place which is blissfully far from other people. After a lot of singing and dancing and crying and losing friends because you can't possibly explain all which has happened. After a lot of drinking and late nights and early mornings and sisterly bonding. After a lot of time and grief and love and joy and healing and music. After all, I think I can tentatively say that you can expect some okay reviews from me and this site again.

Some things you should/n't expect: Interviews won't get more intense. I'm never going to feel comfortable asking strangers about their personal lives and the basic set of questions I use are succinct yet open enough that if someone is interested they can talk and explain and share; and if someone never wanted to talk with me in the first place we can just end the call as quickly as possible. Going off that, I'm also not going to agree to every interview anymore because when people are nice and into it it's awesome and I love them for being kind and open and beautiful; when they're not, those calls that last less than 7 minutes feel like an eternity and make me want to go back in time and stop my smug 2012 college self from posting an 11PM blogger post that would one day lead to this hell. I'm not putting myself through that anymore because I just don't feel like it. I already died once. I'm not going to waste my time on something terrible because I feel indebted to someone I've not/will never meet. Album reviews aren't going to happen because, unless it's an artist you truly love, who has the time? Everyone I know has heard me go on and on and ON about Lizzo and FATT and Taylor Swift and The Head And The Heart's new albums and I'm not going to put you through the exaggerated gasps and instagram memes and lyric quoting. And I'm legit just going to fill Who To Know with artists I enjoy/full out love because why not? Who cares if Samm Henshaw or Wrabel are already known? Their music still gives you those good chills and carries this enigmatic energy that wraps itself around you until you're just a little bit better able to handle whatever's been eating at you: they're people whose music you deserve to have in your life.

As stated, I dithered about for a bit while deciding whether or not to renew the site and music was there the entire time. So. I paid for the site renewal, I'm here for a bit at least, forever at most and I've got a Spotify playlist of some good stuff below for you which I've been loving over the past year or two since reviews and Media page updates halted (warning: there is so much, even after removing tracks I love. Shuffle if you care for a year worth of tracks). If you're one of the ones who've been checking back daily or weekly just to hear the Song of the Day and see if anything was updated, I quite actually adore you. Lovely people deserve lovely things and I'm going to do my best to give you just that.

Happy Holidays / Christmas Playlist by E

In the spirit of this site’s annual Christmas playlist, my personal playlist is here and below for you all to listen to (because it’s Christmas Eve and I’m too lazy to go through YouTube and put something together/Spotify is easier to stream than YouTube across devices). It’s a massive variety, all with the same holiday sentiment (because it is made for my sister who doesn’t like Christmas music; my dad who believes in the spirit of yule, good tidings, and Elvis for all; my personal affection for belting dumbass tracks like “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” and “Santa Tell Me”; and my grandmother who is super into Hallmark and any song featured in one of their movies. Ever).

I know that this year’s posts were few and far between, but 2019 will bring far more posts and a possible, super plausible, return to the old writing style (i.e. less formal because who has the time when all I really want to say is “I fucking love everything Samm Henshaw puts out and why are Smith & Thell still such a secret when Soulprints was gorgeous and Telephone Wires is a snapshot of sweet longing?”). Plus, it’s just not fun anymore when you take yourself out of it.

I truly do appreciate every one of you who continued to visit the site and check the Song of the Day while I took time to return to my family’s business and work in an environment that had little to do with technology while playing with crystals and brushing up on my reading and intuition. Music by good people only helped to fuel my connections but it took a lot to put my all into being authentic only to turn around and cut myself out of the equation while writing objectively.

Check out the Christmas playlist, skip and repeat what you may, and look for more posts about good music from kind people in the new year; because there’s always good even if all else seems bleak and music is good at helping you to remember that.

Here’s to very good music, new posts, and a bunch more Mueller indictments in 2019. Cheers and happy holidays!

P.S. Enjoy this photo of my dog in Christmas gear trying to think of a reason not to hate me.

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Womens March Playlist by E

“If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?” - Malala Yousafzai

Only a few of our favorite women in music are featured below but, as 8 year old girls everywhere are about to have to answer writing assignments asking "what would you do if the president came to dinner?" and bullshit power essays about a pleasant dinner with a man who's committed sexual assault, we'd like to take this time to remind you that women are unstoppable. Never "just stop" or silence yourself for someone else's comfort; keep talking and keep fighting, no matter how insurmountable it seems. This weekend's marches - and the next four years of undoubted fights - are not limited to women (they are pointedly, intelligently, beautifully set to represent us all), but women have been fighting established ideas since birth and I know you've developed a tough enough skin to keep going; we were conditioned and raised to fight for our right to be heard.

Remember to protest peacefully this weekend. Peaceful protests take a lot of slack but they gave equal voting rights to black men and women, they gave women bodily autonomy and the right to choose the future they want, they gave us the right to marry whomever we love, they gave Muslim school kids in New York City the same rights to religious holidays as Christian and Jewish children (and in many more cities, too!), and just a few weeks ago they re-directed an entire oil pipeline (that's amazing, guys). There's still more to do in every instance, but peaceful protest got us there and it will continue to get us far, no matter the hate you face and the people who insist you're only whining about something as infantile as not getting your way.

It does take far more strength to love and forgive than it will ever take to hate and fear, so continue fighting and take care to choose mob love over mob hate, every time.

"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. - Shirley Chisholm

Pussyhat Project             #ICANTKEEPQUIET

Christmas Playlist and End of Year Note by E

We can all agree that 2016 was pretty shitty. All around. For everyone and for countless personal, national, and global reasons. There's nothing you can really say to make it better in the face of larger issues and a piece which sends out goodwill and cheer to all seems like a farcical cry for attention, but we're gonna do it anyways! (We know that the beginning is dense and dark, please read through to the end)

The night of the election I, like every other person I knew and have met since, cried while texting friends before calling my mom who told me, "I don't know how, but we will get through this," and it's a sentiment I'd like to share with you. It seems insurmountable but somehow we will make it through the next four years after one of 2016's last insults to humanity. Small minds have been given strength and validation, but I do believe that our generation, for all the mocking we take of our stance as SJWs and 'lazy Millennials', will be known for our empathy and care for others and I think these next four years will give us more opportunity than ever to exercise our right to love and overcome, through peace or fight, when we're being expected to turn in.

Black and brown lives matter, wearing a hijab is as open to society's discussion as wearing a cross on your neck, gay rights are human rights and the only people who make a mockery out of marriage are those like the president-elect who's cheated his way out of 2 marriages so far, and intersectional feminism needs to have some tough talks about the fact that white feminism has forged ahead without the rest - we have to stop putting one person ahead of another if anything is going to change. This is all without discussing the very real fact that we're about to experience a mass extinction among animal species; that climate change - an absolute fact - is being written off as 'liberal propaganda' for the next 4 years; that white nationalists have been given the nice little misnomer of 'alt-right' as if extreme radicalism in any form is safe; that public education and proper minimum wage are both on the chopping block (because, apparently, literacy is not a right); and that in our lifetime we watched genocide take place and, as fellow human beings on this Earth in 'safe' countries by chance alone, allowed the powers that be do nothing for years.

It's not right - and is certainly unfair to the generation after us - that so many of these Christmas songs from when our parents and grandparents were our age or younger are still relevant. That "Someday At Christmas" is everlasting because every child that has ever grown up knows that "some day at Christmas, men won't be boys, playing with bombs, like kids play with toys" has been but a fantasy you let go with age; that John Lennon would be gutted to see that "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is not only still relevant, but that we continue to regularly enact war upon each other while most media outlets - and people - seemingly grow tired of the coverage; that world peace has never been anything but a notion, a single dove on a non-denominational holiday card sent to co-workers and distant relatives.

The giant, burning, fuckstar of 2016 aside, there are always good parts in life and you can not let the bad of the world dull you and make you think that all people are terrible, not when so many are still fighting and speaking out for the good of us all. Be conscious this time of year because those good moments (with the close friends and family you're actually happy to be with) are worth being present in...

When you're sitting on that creaky piano bench surrounded by the people you love with sweet guitars and a twangy mandolin and a ukulele with a loose C string (and someone who thinks the couch back is a drum) and a whole slew of wonderfully average singing. When your dog or old cat lets you put them in a Santa hat, for a few moments at least. When you find the perfect gift to let your best friend know how much you love them, even though you may be stuck on opposite sides of the country. When your little cousins remind you of the untethered magic of the holidays and the importance of sprinkles, and your older cousins remind you how great gluehwein is when family time becomes too much. When everyone chimes in to your family's favorite holiday movie (every family has theirs), with perfect timing and matching enthusiasm. When you're tapped to taste-test new cookie recipes. When you're driving around looking at Christmas lights and a song everyone knows comes on and there are those few minutes of joint singing and total peace and laughter. When the fire is starting to die down and everyone's drifting off or throwing out the forgotten plates and finding a 'bed'. When you're sitting on the floor, surrounded by sleeping pets and people you love and tossing balls of ripped wrapping paper at each other. When your friends and family and all the people you love are together and under one roof, if only for one night, and you know that you're all safe and happy and together. When the holidays let us know that, no matter the horror we endure and the pain we face, we always have people who will stand by and support us, in years' past and in this future. Those are the moments worth being present in this year.

This playlist is all Christmas songs (because we're self-centered bastards) but we do wish you all the very best and most merry holidays with the people you love most, the ones you consider family and the ones who enrich your life by simply being a part of it. My silly outlet blog during anorexia recovery shouldn't have become a music site that hosted tracks and interviews from so many truly amazing people - it was a rightfully acknowledged 'rag' on Blogger and I still don't deserve whatever's happening - and, because of what you've allowed this to become, I still and always will love you all. Have a beautiful holiday and a wonderful new year, you're deserving of that and more.