Turn it Up: A Familiar Returning Favorite

Song: “Wherever is Your Heart”

Artist: Brandi Carlile

Why I picked it: I was shopping this weekend in an adorable boutique and had one of those moments where you stop and ask the owner what playlist they have playing. Brandi Carlile’s new album was playing a number of times and this song in particular was the one that punched me over the edge to ask. I was swaying, smiling and wondering why I had never really listened to her before–even though I’ve heard about a million times. (Hello, one of the biggest Avett fans ever right here.)

Best part of this song: When a chorus has really great lyrics I don’t mind repetitiveness. This one rings genuine to me. And maybe it’s because I feel it in my day to day. Ignore the sappiness, listen and see if you feel the same way about someone.

Favorite lyric: Wherever is your heart I call home / Though your feet may take you far from me, I know


Turn It Up: Oregon Cabin 8-Track Smooth

Song: “Buddy”

Artist: Willie Nelson

Why I picked it: When we stayed in a tiny provincial…rustic…cabin this weekend at the Oregon Coast one of our sources of entertainment was an eight-track player. I kid you not. Lucky us, there was an excellent eight-track selection from Waylon Jennings to Johnny Cash, and even Willie Nelson. This song has been on repeat in my mind ever since it played in the background of Andy and I playing a game of “Stratego” Thursday night. It was a really wonderful simplistic night and everything that I love about this song was what I loved about that evening. It’s a wonderful reminder of the soothing, smoothing, familiarities in life that we should embrace more often. A maybe simplistic melody and lyric combination; but it’s what is so straightforward about it that breaks your heart right around the song and makes you hold on tight.

Best part of this song: Willie Nelson isn’t all the tough guy he always seems. In fact, he can write quite the love song for his man friend. Buddy.

Favorite lyric: Laugh with me, buddy / Jest with me, buddy

Turn it up: Loretta Lynn + Portland

Song: “Portland, Oregon”

Artist: Loretta Lynn & Jack White

Why I picked it: The strange pairing of Lynn and White is pretty much the exact funkiness of my morning today. I wandered around the grocery store for no less than 20 minutes this morning at 6 a.m. until I picked out some freezer waffles and chicken sausage. It is a fuzzy funky morning.

Best part of this song: Portland really is love. And gin. And I’m not just saying that because my love lives here. And I like gin. It’s a slow-moving, fuzzy kind of city that is pretty well represented in the slow-moving fuzziness of Loretta’s crooning.

Favorite lyric:  Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz / If that ain’t love then tell me what is

Turn it up: Band of Horses

Song: “Laredo”

Artist: Band of Horses

Why I picked them: I’ve always liked the acoustic, rock style of any artist like Band of Horses. Soft lyrics. Surprising harmonies. Strong vocals and touches of instrument variety. Similar to Dawes in some ways. Surprisingly I don’t think I’ve included them yet AND Andy always likes to play them for me when we’re together. (They’re from Seattle, spoiler alert.) I’m still in my Andy hangover so of course he influenced my Tuesday music.

Best part of this song: I love how upbeat the melody is–you can’t help getting your shoulders moving while you listen.

Favorite lyric:  Impossibilities at the door  //  I won’t be needing them anymore

Turn it up, Monday morning: Mandolin Orange

Week 45: Mandolin Orange

This week I return to my homeland with a North-Carolina based duo, Mandolin Orange, who have been playing together since 2009 out of Chapel Hill. Such a beautiful blend of vocals and string. I feel pretty comfortable classifying them in the bluegrass spectrum, but I don’t think you have to like bluegrass to like Andrew and Emily’s music. “The House of Stone” is their most well known; but you can hear a pretty great cover with Roseanne Cash of “Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow” or, my favorite, “Life On a String.”

Turn it up, Monday morning: Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers

Week 43: Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers

I’ve missed the last two weeks, eek! I need to stop drawing attention to when I’m underserving this blog–but part of me feels like that’s some accountability to step it back up. Zoe Muth was pointed out to me this weekend (credit to Andy)–and they’re pretty great. Reminds me a little bit of Americana like Gillian Welch, but also with some ties to old country like Johnny Cash and Patty Griffin. Definitely par for the type of music that makes me feel at home and the same music you know I love so dearly to share with you. I like the one above, “I’ve Been Gone,” but also like “Heart Like A Wheel” also. Now I’m in a very country mood, hope you are too–Happy Monday.

Sunrises, Don McLean and Bagels–This Wednesday, Man.

It’s 9:41 a.m. and I’m already caught up in how lovely today is.

After a 5 a.m. wake-up; it was a task in dressing as warm and lightly as I could. Then a short ride to Harvard Stadium.

Dark as night. Bright stars. Glowing moon.

You would’ve thought it was 11 p.m. instead of 6 a.m.

Just a start of day.

Just a start of day.

Barely seeing the bodies pushing up and down the stadium rows; headlamps and glow sticks in tow.

The largest group I have ever seen at a November Project work out.

A loud chorus of “GOOD MORNING” and “F*** YEAH” and then puffs of breath you could see, burning legs you could feel and a rising sun that painted one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen on a Wednesday morning at Harvard.

Rows and rows and rows. But for once I could feel progress.

After a work-out, a film session. Capturing all of the other struggles and finishes. Listening to more people talk about the community of November Project. Hearing that one member was on his first work out . . . since his surgery to remove a brain tumor.

God is good, right?

Man, if you ever need some motivation to get out of bed in the morning––think of that guy.

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And the push of a sunrise.

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And then a very full beautifulness.

Then an interview. One of my best. With the Runner’s World contributing writer who has documented an incredible story about November Project that everyone has to look for in the December issue of November Project.

The lighting was great.

The setting was right.

The quotes were flowing.

A long bus ride home.

A still rising sunshine and the cutest little girl talking her mom’s ear off for seven stops.

A stop for a hot bagel and coffee and the realization that this is probably the last warm-ish week––and I should get better gloves.

Like, seriously, the best post-stadiums bagel.

Seriously, the best post-stadiums bagel.

And then, this song came on.

And if I hadn’t already been in the most lovely mood; this song alone probably could’ve done it. Because the whole walk home I was back in a place 13 years ago in my parent’s house with my mom’s CDs playing and dinner cooking and fall candles burning  . . . and how can you not feel happy when you’re in a memory like that?

Here’s to enjoying a day so much at only four hours in. Hope everyone else’s hump day is just as wonderful.


Turn it up, Monday night: Bryan John Appleby

Week 42: Bryan John Appleby

Should I rename this series “Turn Indie up, Monday morning”? I don’t know. Maybe. But I did post Selena Gomez last time . . . Regardless, back on track this week with Seattle-based songwriter Bryan John Appleby. Very mellow and laid back, this primarily acoustic artist is a new favorite. I somehow found him based on liking The Lone Bellow and have really been enjoying this main hit, “Honey Jar” shown above. Happy Monday night, my friends.