Thursday, December 16, 2010
While trying to satisfy both my dad's music tastes and my own, I suggested some James Taylor. My dad put it on, and was clicking through the shuffle for a song that sounded pleasing to his ears. On came 'Close Your Eyes.'
When I was little, my mom always sang this song to me as a lullaby when she tucked me in. Of course, at the time, I never knew it was James Taylor.
What a cool mom for singing me to sleep with some JT. That's all I'm saying.
Friday, November 26, 2010
mom, dad, brent, & austin;
mexican food, state fair, bigger & better;
for Milton Avenue;
pay day, tetherball, videos & the backhouse;
birthdays, haunted houses, four-wheelers & old chairs;
bon qui qui.
coffee shops, the village chapel, grimeys & the belcourt;
music, the quad, caf waffles & v-necks;
labor day, bon iver, acquaintances & then friends;
potential horror film.
balconies, ashlee simpson, cupcakes & susie’s;
for Rock Island;
cigars, cake, s’mores & moonshine trail;
happy 0th birthday.
for Fifth Floors;
stairs, roommates, jeep rides & hat shops;
chocolate, cashews, ichats & lip syncs;
humidity, pea gravel, 12-year-olds & amazing race 2012,
christmas, records, pumpkin spice, & shiela;
for the Clubhouse;
dry erase boards, LaFontaines, pizza & movie nights;
road trip, bijou theatre, cereal bar & snow;
every smile, every occasion, every inside joke & every friend;
counting my blessings.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Almost four years ago to the tee, on the weekend of October 18 sophomore year of high school, I was invited on a whim to go celebrate an acquaintance's birthday at her farm in Mineola, Texas, about an hour and a half away from Dallas. While we knew each other from school, we didn't really associate with each other outside of class, so it was a bit odd that she invited me, but I didn't have anything better to do so I went for it.
That weekend we partook in a haunted house adventure (scared out of our minds by the local high schoolers in clown costumes), cooked sausages over a fire, tied a rope to a chair and rode behind a four-wheeler, and fed the cows. That weekend was also the beginning of my friendship with Jenna, who had invited me, and the rekindling of my friendship with Margaret, whom I had known throughout the years but had never really spent time with. Little did I know that that one weekend would be a life-changing one. Now, four years later, we are hundreds of miles apart - Jenna goes to Colorado State, Margaret's down in San Antonio at Trinity, and I'm in honky-tonk Nashvegas, Tennessee. I would give anything to go back to Mineola next weekend with those two.
That Mineola trip was the first of many to come, and almost a year later, we returned for an august summer adventure. This time, we decided to float the "river" (which was really a creek with a foot or less of water) in an inflatable raft made for two people (and there were three of us). Because it was only made for two people, the only way we could really fit is if we all, for lack of a better term, straddled each other, with our feet over the edges of the tube. I was in the middle. Jenna and Margaret are naturally tan individuals. I am not. With her unique laugh, Jenna remarked something to the effect of "look! it's an anne tanwich!" as she took a picture of the stark difference in the color of our legs (seen here in exhibit 1):
I was definitely a happy camper.
Needless to say, it was not the most successful raft trip, as we hit rock bottom at one point, popped the raft, and ended up having to walk the rocky shore line all the way back to the house. What should have been a one hour float turned into a three hour adventure with me getting out to gather lost paddles and other various items the majority of the time because Jenna was convinced that there were alligators amidst the waters and Margaret believed her. That being said, I wouldn't change a thing about that trip, and I wouldn't trade these two for the world.
Friday, October 1, 2010
So maybe I woke up today and realized that I wasn't at home on Christmas day in my comfy bed with bacon on the stove downstairs and coffee waiting to be sipped on. Instead I was in a dorm room. But I found that instead of disappointment, I felt contentment. I swung my legs over my lofted bed, fixed a bowl of cereal, put Nat King Cole on the Crosley, and settled into my hammock. Molly and I decided that because it was October, it was now officially fall and the season of holidays. Which is the best time of the year. And the reason I felt so content this morning is because I have decided my favorite part of my everyday routine is waking up in the room, feeling at peace with no cares in the world. There is absolutely no feeling of being rushed... we eat, drink coffee, read, journal, have a quiet time, and listen to the record of choice for the morning. Not a bad way to start the day.
This morning, I opened the book "Bittersweet" by Shawna Niequest, and sure enough, the chapter is called 'love song for fall.' She talks about pumpkins and changing leaves and moving forward as seasons change. She elaborates on how we were made to create and how it makes us feel whole and alive. She notes that there really is no need for another artist in the world, but then interjects, saying that the world may not need another painter or musician, but you might. Sometimes it is so easy to put aside your craft - whatever it may be - and just do mindless work: clean the kitchen, do your laundry (read my accounting book...). But as an artist, sometimes you just have to set that stuff aside and focus on your craft. Get off your butt, get off that wifi you're stealing from your neighbor, and create.
Sometimes all we need is someone who is pursuing their own art to be right there beside us for that boost of creative energy. Shawna talks about going to a coffeeshop to meet a friend, and while they don't talk much, they both know they're there for each others encouragement. That being said, I think the best friends you can have are those whom you can share silence with and not feel awkward, but at peace. And while Shawna focuses on honing your craft, your innate drive to create, there's also something to be said for enjoying those artistic endeavors of others - music, literature, paintings - whatever they may be. One of the greatest artistic endeavors I marvel at is the world that was created for us to live in.
While this morning could not be better as of yet, the plan for tomorrow morning involves a walk to a coffeeshop, the outdoors (tis the season), and Harry Potter. Oh, yeah.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The other day I was looking on google images for a potential computer background photo of Sufjan. Instead, I came across this article. It's all about the new 'Hipster Faith' that has emerged... everything in this article describes Belmont (and myself, to be honest) to a tee. The reason I came across this article in the first place is because it mentions the popularity of musical artists like Sufjan among our generation. And while it points out the good things about our generation and how we live out our faith, it points out what needs to be fixed as well. It's a good read, it's relevant, and it's where my mind is at, so I thought I'd share it with anyone and everyone.
P.S. I'm on facebook & twitter hiatus right now (indefinitely)... so please stay in touch through things like this blog or phone calls or talking in person (preferable the last option, unless you don't live in Nashville).
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I have no idea. And the stress of not knowing what the future holds seems to be on the minds of everyone I know here at Belmont... it's something everyone has - that whole "mid-college life crisis" thing. Today my dad came in town and asked me how things are going, jokingly adding the "You aren't in the sophomore slump, are you?" I didn't even give myself time to think of the question before I answered... immediately I began to list of things I was involved in to prove that I was spending my time wisely, even though I really have no idea what spending time "wisely" entails. Is it more important to cram for that test the next day, or spend time with the friends who will last you a lifetime instead of 3 credit hours one random semester? How about that movie at the Belcourt? Waste of time?
I think the conclusion that is beginning to take form in my mind is this... college is another four years of your life you get to spend "growing up" (as they say). Does anyone really go to it for the diploma? High school is a pre-mature version of college, as you still live with your parents. You go off to college - and life never seems as exciting as it does your freshman year. Everything and everyone is new (at least in my case where I ran off ten hours from home to a small private school), and you get to do whatever you want. Cafe Coco at 12 AM? Hell yeah.
Now that it's sophomore year, you've got everything down. Not so fresh like freshman year. Now that I'm knee-deep in college waters, I'd like to think I'm ready for more intentional conversations - meaning what you say, and saying things that have meaning... past the shallow get to know you's and small talk. Putting the "s'more" in the word "sophomore," instead of letting it become a slump.
Belmont has encouraged us to "Live a Better Story" this year. A couple weeks ago, Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) spoke to the student body and everyone at the event was given an envelope with either a $5, $10, or $20 bill with the reminder that it was (and is) God's money. With the money was a short Bible study and instructions to multiply the money in some way to "Live a Better Story." Do I have any idea what I'm going to do? Nope. But I'm excited for this opportunity... what a cool way for Belmont to encourage the student body to be serve.
Right now, I'm feeling my feet drag a bit. I want to serve, but I don't know how, or when, or in what capacity it will be... I want to have more intentional conversations but find myself caught up in the drama of the day even when I don't want to be. It's okay. That's life. But the goal of this year? Live a better story... The encouragement? "Shun the cravings of youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, peace and love along with those who all on the Lord with a pure heart."
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Besides that, there's not really much to report on. Getting back into the groove. When I have something interesting to write about, I'll come back...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Those who know me well can tell you that I hate babysitting. After a couple of bad experiences (one of them involving the kids shooting me with air-soft guns), I quit trying that whole "taking care of kids" thing. That being said, I was a bit nervous that being a counselor would be like babysitting... it wasn't.
I had Cabin 13 - aka Excellent Deal - aka the oldest two-weekers in camp - aka 12 and 13 year olds. My co-counselor was none other than Michaela Prince (a veteran counselor that I had heard nothing but fabulous things about).
If the job description for being a counselor had to be reduced to three adjectives, those three adjectives would be fun, exhausting, and worthwhile. That was my experience to the tee.
The twelve girls in my cabin were spectacular and my co-counselor showed me what it takes to be a counselor by setting a great example. We all had fun, but we also got serious at devos and tuck-ins. And while kamp is for the kids, working at kamp, whether you're an office girl, photographer, maintenance man, or counselor, is always just as beneficial for you. I learned a ton not only through the Matthew Bible study, but also via my girls, via late nights and early mornings, and via all the staff that surrounded me. And I had a blast!
Callie, my Bible Study leader, mentioned Psalm 16:11 in my final evaluation and it really hit home with me:
You make known to me the path of life;As I head back to school, my prayer is to not only remember that verse, but continue living life as Paul advised Timothy to:
In your presence is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Shun the cravings of youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, peace, and love along with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.The girls in my cabin were striving to live out that verse. When I finally had the chance to crawl into bed late at night, I would look around and see flashlights glowing on the pages of Bibles. Left and right girls were serving our cabin in the dining hall or comforting others when they weren't feeling well or were feeling homesick. Not only do I miss their pure hearts, but I miss sweating myself to sleep, helping them make their beds for honor cabin, being a proud parent when they performed in their plays, and watching them do improv skits. Thanks for sending your kids to kamp, parents... I had the best cabin a 19-year-old college kid could ask for!
P.S. My level of maturity has returned to that of my 12-year-old self. I don't mind.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
One of my favorite nights of sleep was one where I barely got any at all. A couple of weeks ago, I was on a whitewater river trip with my family. We set up camp on the rocky shore of the Colorado River with the red rocks of Moab surrounding us on all sides. Instead of taking a snooze in the traditional tent, I cozied into a little cove of rocks I found. I laid back and stared in awe of the millions of stars in the sky. That's something you don't see in Dallas.
I love sleep because I love the opportunity to lose total control of my mind and track of time... sometimes you have nightmares, other times you have the most wonderful dream and you wake up believing it's real. I love that we were created to have such creative and intricate minds that keep ticking every second of the day.
p.s. In a week I'll be dreaming on a bunk in a cabin back at K-1. I'm returning to be a counselor for the last two weeks of the summer, and I'm more than excited.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
As a middle schooler, I spent my most formative summers as a kamper at K-1. On the first of June, every summer, I'd get up in the wee hours of the morning to meet other kids in the mall parking lot to be shipped to Branson via bus for the following 25 days. After five years of Kamp life, and after my freshman year of high school, I 'grew out' of kamp and quit going. But those years I did spend at kamp were some of the best times of my life.
After being interviewed during the school year and a few phone calls, I was hired to come back to K-1 and serve as a photographer for the first term this summer. I was relieved (the summer job search was over), ecstatic (I was returning to the place that I knew and loved), and anxious - I didn't feel quite worthy to be among so many other college kids who were clearly seeking out the Lord more than I was.
As soon as I pulled in the gates of K-1, I was welcomed with open arms. I immediately recognized faces - ones of those who had worked at kamp when I was a kamper, and ones of those who had been kampers alongside me during those years, and who, like me, had decided to come back to the place they had loved so much.
After checking in, my 'Aunt' (veteran counselor who helps lead new staff during work week), Rebecca, hopped in my car to show me where to park and help reacquaint me with kamp life. I then ran into none other than Laura Gabriel, a previous cabinmate for four of my five years spent as a kamper at Kanakuk. Yep, I was going to get to work with someone I had been in cabin 2 with as a 10 year old. If there's one character trait that describes the Kanakuk family, it's loyalty. Others I met at work week had been kampers for several years or this summer was one of many spent on staff.
My time at Kamp looked a bit different than most staff because instead of serving as a counselor I played the role of photographer. In one sense, this meant I wasn't responsible for any kids. I lived in a cabin with the girls who worked in the office and I came up with my own daily schedule. In another sense, this meant I was responsible for every kid. My job was to capture a smile on every kamper's face every day so any mom or dad could get on the Kanakuk website and make sure their kid was enjoying kamp when they hadn't written home in awhile. For some kids, this was a simple task, as they would ask me for photos multiple times a day (I later found out that some of these kids had parents that were paying them a dollar for every photo they were in). Others were camera shy and the only way for me to get a photo was to catch them in the act of participating in one of many fun activities.
Because of my role, I got to know everyone at some level. As a Komo (Kanakuk language for girl), I spent more time on the girls side of kamp, getting to know kitchis (girls who served in the dining hall), office girls (who I lived with), counselors, osages (komo counselors in training), and last, but not least, kampers. It was important for me to have just as much fun and be just as involved as everyone else was at kamp - I didn't intend to just lurk in the background and get pictures of everyone else having a good time. When the night was coming to a close and I already had 300 photos of kids just from the dance party, I knew when to set the camera down and have a good time myself.
And while kamp was a place of extreme fun all the time, it was more so a place of growth. Every staff member was in a group bible that met a few times a week and a small group that met every day. After several evening events, there was late night counselor worship. One of favorite times of the day was nighttime devos in the cabin. In the latter half of the term I semi "adopted" a cabin that I specifically wanted to get to know. This cabin of 11 and 12 year olds consisted of the most energetic yet sweet girls with the most innocent and pure hearts. At one point, when one of the counselors was on time off, I had the opportunity to help with 'tuck ins' - which is when you get to go around from bunk to bunk, asking the girls about their days and if they have any prayer requests, and getting to pray for them. These girls blessed me in more ways than you could ever imagine, and I can only hope I made a fraction of the difference in their lives that they made in my life.
This was really only a snapshot of kamp life. I've never felt so loved and encouraged in my life - and I think I loved kamp this year even more than I did as a kamper. Saying goodbye to all the people I had begun to develop relationships with, staff and kampers alike, was difficult. I appreciate Kanakuk even more so now that I see it from a fresh perspective. I can only hope that I get to go back next year, and for a longer period of time for that matter. While it feels good to be back home, I miss the place - the crunch of the pea gravel, constant cheering, even the breath-taking (literally) stairs. Thank you everyone (not to mention the amazing leadership team) for making it one of the best summers.
p.s. I kinda got a bit of a tan while I was there... you can tell from the camera strap line on my neck in some of the following photos.
is the from the top of the hill probably around 11 at night or so... I
love the sky here, and the lights in the trees.
End result after the staff color party during work week.
That red stuff is paint, I assure you.
with a "c" at Kanakuk is spelled with a "K." This is at the K-Extravaganza party (hence Krispy Kreme) with the two funniest kampers at K-1.
Rachel Welch with her kampers.
Another favorite photo of mine... one way to get kids to jump in
the lake is if you promise to take their picture. The lake is the coldest I've ever been in... probably around 60 degrees.
Cabin 9 pre-honor cabin trip to see Toy Story 3.
Kanakuk rented out a screen at the local movie theater for
the kids who kept the cleanest cabin all month/two weeks.
I got to go too (thanks, Reno)!
Kelsey and Lindsey... two of my favs. This was when new
two weekers came in the middle of the term.
I think I would've loved to work in the kitchen just as much as I loved
being photographer... right here with the one and only Megan Gelmers.
Part of superdeal... aka the oldest month kampers around.
Laura Gabriel, Jacqi, Rebecca Cooper.
1) Ben Rector - all his songs. He was once a counselor at kamp, and came back to play a show for all us staffers during work week.
2) Fly Golden Eagle - Orangitango. I had never heard this song before camp. During the chorus, you just wave your arms up in the air like an orangutan. Yep.
3) Justin Beiber - One Time. The whole girls side of kamp learned a dance to this song, and it was probably heard at least 10 times a day.
4) Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me. Duh.
5) Jordin Sparks - Battlefield. Why does love always feel like one?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I haven't really done much besides get ready for camp and spend time with my mom... however, I was a lucky individual because I got to see, in person, the molly rodgers (in waco) and the jane ellen bryant (she came up to dallas). I also got to video chat with mr. thomas bain and molly selby (who is now counselor-ing at pine cove). And I got to spend some quality time with friends from home... sarah and marge - who I intend to see tonight, because tomorrow, I leave. I will be at kanakuk 'til the end of june snapping photos of campers for their parents to scroll through online! because of this, I will be MIA from this blog, facebook, and twitter (which I'm actually excited about). so, those of you who still know how to use pens (not keyboards) - please write me letters! I can't wait to write people... you can send notes to 1355 Lake Shore Dr, Branson, MO, 65615.
I will miss everyone, but am excited to return to the place that was my summer home for five years as a kid...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Rode my bike here - first around White Rock Lake and then stopped to smell the flowers (literally). I reminisced when I took a gander at the Beatrix Potter flower display/tribute... Mrs. Tiggle-Winkle, Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tittlemouse. I remember all those books (and hope we still have them somewhere).
I finally found a semi-quiet spot in the midst of all the joyful/screaming children. I love going and exploring the dirt/gravel paths here... something about the unpaved road. One of my favorite things is the crunch of gravel beneath my footsteps. It reminds me of simple times, Texas ranches, camp. I want to record that sound for a song someday.
On another note, i almost ran over a squirrel riding my bike around White Rock. I think that probably would've sent me flying and hurt me more than the squirrel.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
When my last final crept up on me and I finally had to head to Biology at five o'clock last Friday, I couldn't believe it was over. And I was sad to think that I would be saying farewell to Belmont, Nashville, and friends from around the country just a few hours later. Summer didn't have the same "ring" to it and I didn't get that feeling of excitement that had taken over my entire brain, body, and central nervous system in years past. Essentially, I'd be saying goodbye to a new life I had created in the last nine months in Nashville and to a time of life that I'd never experience again - freshman year of college.
Now this is starting to sound cheesy, but I don't really care. Never again will we be 18-year-olds heading off to a new place to:
1) learn things we genuinely care about (provided that one's major pertains to what one loves),
2) start taking care of ourselves for the first time (...with the help of our parents wallets),
3) establish a complete new network of friends whom you have no prior background knowledge about (well, I didn't know anyone at Belmont before I came), and
4) ultimately begin to find out who you are personally (without mom and dad breathing down our necks).
When I said "expect the unexpected," I spoke from experience. I had no clue what I was getting into when I decided to go to Belmont. I had applied to the place on a whim (after I had found the school on Google), visited for the first time after I had been accepted, and enrolled in late April when the May 1st deadline was approaching and I decided that I had felt slightly more comfortable on Belmont's campus in comparison to the other nine schools I had applied to.
Considering these things, I'm glad Belmont was right. And for reasons unexpected.
I didn't expect to find such a good friend in my roommate. Although we had requested to be each others' roommates, we had only met once before school started. I think we both agree now that we had completely erroneous perceptions of each others' personalities before we moved in. Considering that, we worked pretty well. From late night conversations (she was good at telling when I had something on my mind) to spontaneous dance parties, no one could ever replace Molly.
I didn't expect to forge such solid friendships early on. I remember leaving town one weekend in mid-September and missing everyone so much after being gone for just a couple of days. When I got back and Jane and Molly Selbs sprinted to give me a welcome back hug, it felt as if I was seeing them for the first time in months, when in actuality I had only known them for less than a month. Now I feel like I've known everyone for years when I've only known them for nine months.
I didn't expect to have so many friends from Texas. But I also didn't expect to have friends from so many other places as well - Ohio, Georgia, California, and even Canada... just to name a few. I didn't expect to spend time with friends in so many different places outside of Nashville, either... from some random state park off I-40E (for a spontaneous camping trip one night) all the way to the Big Apple (for a three day weekend celebration).
In addition to these great things, I found a great church in a matter of weeks and classes went very well. I had the chance to enjoy a good number of concerts and experience a lot of what Nashville had to offer. But there were also some unexpected hard-times this year - I struggled with division between various friends and my roommate leaving Belmont. Very recently, Nashville was devastated by a disastrous flood (although I personally was not affected, the city and its population will be recovering for years to come). On a less serious note, I didn't expect Miley Cyrus to be my first celebrity sighting... how disappointing.
All things considered, Belmont was an adjustment - but a relatively easy one at that. I can't believe the year's over. I'm already missing everyone. But instead of looking back, like I've done in this ridiculously long post, I'm looking forward to a summer of growth - I'm excited to work at Kanakuk, to spend time with friends from home, to travel, to invest more time in my hobbies, and to enjoy simple pleasures.
flat anneley (take me with you on your adventures)
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
When this week came about (last week of school), it was my intention to blog a sort of "recap" on the whole year. Freshman year has definitely been a whirlwind and lots of things in my life have changed - but the idea of writing a 'recap' and how I've changed, etc, got me thinking... how much time do we spend dwelling on the past? That is, remembering the good times and trying to forget the bad?
Think about it. A lot of this here blog just recaps past events. I was going to recap my entire year in this post, but decided not to (maybe in a couple weeks when I have more time to think about it). We all post photo albums and comment on them. We quote inside jokes from the 'good times.' When we have nothing to talk about with friends, we ask them what they did that day or how their week has been.
At the same time, we try to block out all the bad memories. I just got a gig as a photographer for a camp this summer, and when I was talking to my mom, she said "Just don't tell them about that time you dropped the camera at the middle school dance!" Horrible memories rushed to my head. I had blocked that night from my mind, and when she brought it up, I remembered it vividly - dropping the school camera, bawling my eyes out, having to explain to my yearbook teacher what happened. I hated that I remembered it and never wanted to think about it again. Even now, when it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, I don't want to think about it.
I don't really know what to think about this whole concept - people always say to "live in the present" when so much of our lives depends on what we've already done. What if we started anew everyday?
Just food for thought.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
it's bittersweet. it'll be hard to adjust to not seeing everyone everyday.
in the mean time, I have a different paper due every day this week. yikes.
I also need a job this summer.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
It's been awhile. Life's been passing by fast. Sometimes it seems like lots of things have been happening, other times it feels like I'm wasting the days away.
Yesterday was the epitome of a perfect day - because there was no agenda. Selbs and I went to Grimey's for Record Store Day (and dropped some cash on some gems - most notably the Monsters of Folk self-titled album on clear blue vinyl, which I'm listening to now). The rest of the day was literally spent without a care on our minds... we looked at the calendar and calculated that we had not had a chill saturday since around, hmm, February. That was awhile ago.
I've made it a habit to spend hours on the quad almost every day... I'll settle in next to my tree, listen to tunes, and chat with those who come and go. I'll say hello to someone when they're on their way to class. It's almost guaranteed I'll be in the exact same spot when they get out of class. I might be getting a little more tan. That may be an exaggeration. The sun has had an effect on my attitude, though - it simply just makes me happier and more energized. Must be that Vitamin D.
Lots has happened recently... finally housing is settled for next year (TK '10... whoop), went to North Carolina for Easter, had a summer job fall through, went camping spontaneously, celebrated National High Five Day. Tomorrow, I'm volunteering for the Nashville Film Festival, Tuesday I'm recording Selbs for my final recording technology project, Wednesday I'm seeing My Morning Jacket, this weekend is Best of the Best Showcase, and in just three weeks I'll be back home in Dallas for the summer. In the meantime, I've got a case brief to write, a five page paper and a couple of three pagers. All in good time.
Hope all is well with everyone. The weather is just shy of 70 and sunny here in Nashville... another perfect day, they keep piling up (Ahead of the Curve - Monsters of Folk).
P.S. Be sure to buy my friend Emily Reid's new single on iTunes called "Out of My Hands." It's great. You can also see a ton of videos of my friends' performances on my vimeo account: www.vimeo.com/annefogerty.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Last Wednesday in my recording technology class we nixed any note taking plans on the syllabus and headed straight towards a discussion to find the answer to a question that is continuously circulating throughout the realm of the music business today: why is the music business falling apart, and what can we do to fix it?
People have come up with a number of plausible answers to this question – at least the first part. We can blame iTunes, record labels, and uneducated consumers all we want – and they are at fault to an extent. However, in the end, it seems like it may all boil down to what the business revolves around – the music.
Is there too much music out there? Technology has done wonders for the business, and nowadays, any old average Joe or Jane can put his or her tunes up on the web for all to hear. Ahhh, but there’s the problem – any old average Joe or Jane can get his or her music out to consumers. Even when the music is, let’s say, average. Back in the day, our grandparents didn’t scour the internet looking for obscure talented artists. Now, it’s trendy to do just that, and because there’s so much music out there, we don’t necessarily feel the need to pay for all of it (guilty as charged). How many of us can say we honestly listen to everything that is on our iPod?
New technology and tools musicians are using to record – whether it’s in a dorm room or a studio – are making it harder to find the good stuff as well. You can fix any shortcomings with the click of a button. A mediocre artist has the opportunity to sound stellar (case in point: Taylor Swift). It’s a bit like a false ad. You hear something, and thus expect that quality when you hear the artist live, only to find out that they don’t have “it.”
Music has become like a thrift store: we have to sort through all the crap to find the good stuff. Record Labels complain about consumers only buying singles. Maybe that wouldn’t be a problem if the artist could create an entire album that is just as good as that one song.
On that note, I saw a lot of artists that proved themselves this past weekend. First off, I went to an in-store show at Grimey’s featuring “The Civil Wars” – a duo with killer harmonies. Afterwards, I headed to Hotel Indigo to see Jane, Emily, and Ben perform. They were amazing. Jane closed the show with a new song, Thinking Clear, that Ben sang harmony on. I’ll let the performance speak for itself:
Jane also had a stellar performance of her song “Suddenly.” Unfortunately, a good number people were casually late and missed it. You can see it here:
I have a few videos of Emily as well that will be up in about week (my quota on my vimeo is full at the moment and it won’t let me upload anymore).
On Saturday, Molly Selby and I drove to Knoxville to catch a couple of shows that were part of the Big Ears Festival. We saw a group known as The 802 Tour (802 referencing the area code of Vermont where they’re from) first. They were… interesting. Some things I appreciated (Sam Amidon and his folksy voice), other things I did not (attributing noise to be music).
What we really drove to Knoxville for was Sufjan – yes, I saw him in the flesh. We agreed that it wouldn’t even matter if he sang, as long as we could look at his face for an hour. Fortunately, he sang. And played piano. And played banjo. He was performing as a special guest with the band Clogs. Every musician in this band was what you would call a true musician (I mean, they got Sufjan to perform with them, which says something). Sufjan only played one of his songs – Barn Owl, Night Killer – but the trip was well worth the three-hour drive there and back. Now I can’t wait to see him perform an entire sets’ worth of his songs.
Last night was truly a treasure. Joanna Newsom performed at the Mercy Lounge, but more importantly, Robin Pecknold opened for her. Robin Pecknold may not be a household name, but Fleet Foxes is, and Robin is the lead singer of Fleet Foxes. He played a variety of covers, Fleet Foxes songs, and brand new originals that he had never performed live before. If you hear the lyric “Oh man what I used to be, oh man, oh my, oh me” on the next Fleet Foxes album, I’ll be privileged to say, like those trendy hipster kids, that I was one of the first to hear that one live. Joanna was great as well (very different), but my true love was for Robin.
Considering I went to five different shows this weekend, it’s obvious that there’s plenty of good music out there for all ears to hear. I don’t mind excessive amounts of the good stuff, but maybe the people without the talent should make way for those who have it.
I hope everyone has a great Easter this coming Sunday – we truly are blessed to be living like we do in this day in age.
Friday, March 12, 2010
this week has been the perfect break. a little bit of high class partying at the deb ball, a little bit of casual relaxation at the ranch, and a bit of winding down at home. couldn't have asked for anything better. I'll let some photos speak for themselves.
Dinner at the Ball!
Getting our dose of the Alamo on the way down to the ranch Sunday afternoon.
It was a jolly ole time, and I can't wait until we get to do something like this again. come sunday, I'll be back in nashville rockin 'n rollin... and when life seems to drag, I'll think about spring break 2010.
hope everyone has had/will have a wonderful spring break
(p.s. all of these pics were taken from my friends' cameras... thanks friends)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It's still freezing here in Nashville. It keeps snowing, even though it's not sticking anymore. Needless to say, I'm going to back to Texas for spring break! In just two days until I'll be making my way to Austin.
Last weekend I got to go to Lindsay's home in Ohio. The ground was covered with snow when we got there and stayed for the weekend. I loved getting to go see where she grew up and spending time in her home with her parents and pets (ellie, cricket, and fat mike - the biggest cat I've ever laid eyes on).
On Friday night we went to see the CCM's (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music) musical, Anything Goes. It was a pleasant surprise when I found out a friend from home, Christine (who is a freshman at CCM), was in the show! CCM did a great job and it was great to see Christine perform with other equally talented actors. We talked briefly after the show.
I'm officially two weeks into my facebook/twitter fast, and I'm loving it! It actually has been that difficult. I spend my time doing other things that are actually more enjoyable than surfing people's profiles (although that can be a lot of fun sometimes).
The past couple of weeks have been productive but not that exciting... hence the lack of words on this thing here called a "blog." I'm reaching for words here - and for that, I'm sorry. When I think of something that might be mildly interesting to expound upon I'll be sure to share.
Peace, Love, and Texas,
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Anyway, what I was really stressed out about when I wrote my last post were my summer plans. I had a lot of options, but only some were solidified, and there were pros and cons to everything... I finally decided (yesterday) that I'm going to work at Kanakuk this summer. I'm really pumped now. I'm going to be doing videography for six weeks at one of the kamps. I'm going to be around a bunch of other college students and around a bunch of kids with tons of energy (which will keep me energized). I'm looking forward to the experience and being back on familiar turf... I was a kamper there for five years myself. I also look forward to writing letters and being pen pals with lots of people.
What's really exciting is that two weeks from this moment I will be arriving in Austin, Texas for spring break. A bunch of us are going to the deb ball that Jane is in and then we are gonna hang at her ranch for a couple days. Even the Ohioans are coming! And my roommate, Molly, who lives in Fredericksburg. And I get to spend the second half of the week at home. It truly is the best of both worlds.
Just a few weeks after Spring Break I will probably poop my pants. Why? Because Molly, Jane, and I (and anyone else who wants to come) are going to see Sufjan. SUFJAN. SUFJAN STEVENS. He isn't playing his own set, but he is playing with a band called Clogs. So what. I will be seeing Mr. Sufjan Stevens in the flesh. If I could scream in a blog post, I would. This is probably what it would look like:
P.S. I officially gave up facebook/twitter for lent. So far, so good. Life feels much more free. And Molly Rodg and Thomas are on facebook leaves of absence too! Woo!
Monday, February 15, 2010
1. the warm texas heat. nashville, the first couple of snows were cool (it was only last week that I was saying I wouldn't mind another blanketing of snow), but now I'm getting a little bit miserable in the cold.
2. brent, austin, mom & dad. I talk to my parents a lot, which is good, but I only talk to my brothers occasionally. they're all in dallas. I'm here in nashville.
3. my grandparents. my grandma writes me letters all the time (I got two last week alone!) and I talk to them on the phone often, but it makes me just want to see them. I'm named after my grandma, and I'd love to be anything like her. she is probably the most warm-hearted, loving, optimistic and unselfish person I know.
4. europe. I got to travel there with 30 some-odd friends this past summer. I miss the places. I miss the people. we had a reunion over christmas break, which makes me miss them even more. I miss the gryffindors the most. just kidding. but seriously, we sorted all the to 30+ people into harry potter houses. we were that cool... okay, yeah, it was my idea.
5. video tech family. I worked rock showcase at belmont this last weekend and got to do camera-op, which was incredible, but it made me miss all the people I spent the last four years of high school with in classroom G209 edit rooms A-F. I miss mr. preston: the best teacher in the world. I miss working the film festival in dallas and talking to all the filmmakers who were working hard to get their films out there. I miss being able to go to all those screenings alone without feeling self conscious at all and talking to the strangers next to me in the theater.
6. good records & the polyphonic spree. owned/operated by the same people. i miss volunteering for the holiday extravaganza shows and dressing up as an elf. singing/shouting out of joy into the microphone. high-fiving the flautist.
7. trips to jenna's farm in mineola, texas. playing the alphabet game. four-wheelers. attempts at making scary movies. karaoke. line dancing. cornhole. roman candle wizard duels.
8. dora the explorer (my old car). I miss using a wrench to turn on the lights. I miss holding the stereo with my right arm so the CD wouldn't skip and driving with my left hand. I miss picking up karen for school while blasting polyphonic or eisley (depending on what phase I was going through). I miss driving to my horrible parking spot on the ramp going to no where junior year//backing into my horrible spot around the corner senior year (hoping every time I wouldn't get hit).
The list goes on and on... don't know why I felt the need to blog this. I guess one of my new years resolutions was to blog once a week, and while I haven't been blogging that regularly, this blog has been a good outlet for whenever I do need to get something out of my system... or feel like I have something to share that someone else might enjoy reading about. I don't know.
Blogs really are self-indulgent. Look at me! Read what I have to say about stuff! Blah blah blah blah. Same with twitter. Same with facebook. Except I feel like blogs require some more thinking. They are longer than the 140 character updates you post for @everyone to read (and hope that one of your "followers" will find entertaining or insightful). Unlike facebook, there isn't any kind of etiquette that you need to know... you can write whatever you like.
We are technology addicts. We are "social networking" addicts. I'm on facebook, twitter, linkedin, last.fm... list goes on and on. But none of those really require me to think. They are time wasters. They're fun, but I know that I don't get anything out of them.
I'm sorry this blog is really turning into a rant. It's more me being upset with me and how I'm spending my time. Unlike all those other sites, blogging does feel worth my time because writing is fun. I haven't really had to write much for school yet. That's why I started this little doodad: to have a reason to write and to have a place to organize my thoughts into sentences. This post isn't really organized at all and is a horrible example of that. In fact the majority of this post is grammatically incorrect.
Maybe it will be really hilarious to read this blog twenty years from now. But right now, I'd love to have something else to read. So, I'd encourage anyone still reading this post (doubtful) to start a blog and then promptly tell me where to find it. I want to read it. I probably love reading the blogs of people I know (and don't know) more than I love writing this crap. Which is what it is. Especially tonight. Crap.
p.s. maybe a facebook/twitter break is in order for lent. anyone want to commit to it with me?
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Last weekend, though, it SNOWED in Nashville. I mean, because I'm a Texan, I felt like I was in a blizzard. We're talking 4-5" of snow. Snow that you can pack into a little ball and throw at someone. Snow that you can turn into an actual life-size snowman.
On Saturday, I went to downtown Franklin, a little cute city right outside of Nashville, with Lindsay, Thomas, and Nichole. Although most the stores were closed due to the icy roads us southerners don't know how to handle, it was great to see the town covered in snow.
It's funny that we were in New York a few weeks ago and the weather was relatively warm when we expected it to miserable. Now that we're back here in Nashville the biggest snow storm in years hits (and it's supposed to snow again this weekend)!
"[Nashville] looks lovely in the winter time -
all the sidewalks are white as snow..."
-Much Farther to Go, Rosie Thomas
(original lyrics say New York instead of Nashville)
cherish the snow!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This past week has been quite the whirlwind.
Over the three day weekend, I went on a short girls trip to New York City with Molly Rodg, Selbs, Linds, Janearoonie, and Midi. It was great – we saw the sites, we navigated the metro, we walked the streets (until our feet fell off), we ate good food, and we enjoyed each other’s company. That was really what the trip was about – enjoying each other’s company. Some of the best moments were had when we were just taking it easy in the apartment.
However, one the most striking things we did while in NYC was visit the World Trade Center Museum. Quotes from survivors describing the pain from 9/11 lined the panels. Short videos explained the importance of the twin towers to NYC and how they functioned as a community in and of themselves. Missing person posters lined one entire wall, and I began to individually look at all of their faces. One particular individual jumped out at me. She was smiling and laughing at the camera, as happy go lucky as she could be. For all I know, the picture could have been taken just a week before the attack.
The next day, shopping around Soho, the two Mollys and I walked into a cute hat shop. We began talking to the owner of the store, who proceeded to tell us her story. Linda, an English woman who had also lived in Venezuela, Holland, and New Jersey, had spent many years working Wall Street. One day, unhappy and dissatisfied, she quit and started bartending to support herself while she worked on her business plan for The Hat Shop. Now she was living her dream. She told us to pursue our dreams – if you want to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be. People will notice and respect you for what you do. Figure out what you’re passionate about and pursue it. You can take tests that will tell you where your skills lie and what you’re good at, but they won’t tell you what you’re passionate about.
We returned home Monday afternoon from our journey, that night, I found out my roommate and beloved friend Molly would be withdrawing from Belmont and moving out shortly. While I completely support her in her endeavors, and understand her reasons for moving forward, life at Belmont will not be the same this semester. I will miss her a lot.
On Tuesday, school started back up again. It was difficult to try and get back into the groove while telling people Molly was leaving. When I came back to the room, I found out an acquaintance from high school had passed away in a car accident the night before. While I wasn’t the best of friends with Raegan, I did know her, and she was a great girl.
That afternoon I called my mom just to talk and tell her what was going on. I started crying, and it felt good to just get it out. I can’t remember the last time I cried—it might’ve been years ago.
What I’ve taken from this past week is this: cherish every moment. People come and go. Life is quite the rollercoaster. I have hope that God knows what He’s doing, although a lot of the time I really don’t understand. Last semester was interesting, and I thought a lot about life, friends, and God. It’s weird. Right now I find myself at a standstill where I want to grow in my faith, but am reluctant to jump in with two feet, not knowing where to start. I find myself wondering what I should do with my life on earth – wondering what I am passionate about and how whatever that passion may be could serve a greater purpose. It’s a lot to think about.
New Yorkers, although I now have a greater grasp on what happened that day, I will probably never be able to completely comprehend the pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Linda, thank you for the inspiration and living the dream.
Molly, this is just the beginning. Thank you for being the best bunkmate I could’ve imagined and making last semester what it was. Thank you for introducing me to everyone I now love to spend time with at Belmont. I owe you a lot. See you soon.
Raegan, I vividly remember our chemistry class. I loved joking around with you, Alejandra, and Andrea. While the class may have been boring, our table certainly made it hilarious. You were a light, and will be missed here on earth.
love to all,