Step Up – Jose Gonzalez

People are innately beautiful. The complexities in unraveled thoughts. The skin rivers of populated hope. The smiling forests behind the bangs of friendship. From my favorite movie, American Beauty, lies my favorite quote that describes exactly what I’m feeling today:

“it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”

Often, I don’t know how to handle my view on this world. And it stays dormant in my mind. But today – I’m exploding. My heart’s confetti is being blown into the stratosphere and it’s up for the taking. If you choose to follow me in my path, take a listen to this song below. I’m on repeat #14, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

Oh, and I cannot wait for the movie which this song is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Here’s the track list, which keeps blowing my mind.

Advertisements

Like A Dream – Francis and the Lights

There are many reasons why I started my own music blog, but a large reason is because of the value other music blogs added to my life. One of my absolute favorites is SongsForTheDay, a fantastic blog which spits out mixes, videos, tunes, and writings that never cease to be brilliant. I’ve followed it for over a year, and tonight, ‘Like A Dream’ by Francis and the Lights  was released.

I’m giving my Thanks early this week and it’s to both SongsForTheDay and this incredible jam.

Also, this music video is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

Alone – Trampled by Turtles

One of my favorite movies from this past summer, The Way, Way Back ended with a fantastic tune from Trampled by Turtles. Since seeing the flick, I’ve not only been obsessed with the band, but also this live video played behind the scenes at Bonnaroo. Check out both the film and this song, and add it immediately to your music library. 

Vol. 1 Mix 5: The People Are Your Label

This past weekend I sat with my friends after our final college football game talking about the past four years. Reminiscing over our greatest memories, I came to the conclusion of how lucky I truly am to have such inspirational people around me. Often, I lose sight of how I got to where I am today, who were my influencers, where did my guidance come from. This weekend reinforced all previous thoughts, and answered this question: “If you were to start your past five years over again, would you choose the same people to invest time in?” My answer is a wholehearted yes. 

So, for this weeks Sixes mix, it is a dedication to those around me. With my two favorite rap artists (Dylan Owen and Macklemore) starting the mix, it sets the tone for everything I want this year to be about. 

If you want to hear my other Sixes mixes, check them out here:

Victory Lap – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Keep Your Friends Close – Dylan Owen
Lungs – CHVRCHES
Don’t Save Me (Cyril Hahn Remix) – HAIM
Coming Down – Monkey Safari
Minnesota, WI (Daydreamer Remix) – Bon Iver

Noah Gundersen – Ledges

benblood

I’m a huge believer in Noah Gundersen. And this song, Ledges, has really hit home.

See, lately I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to be a good person. Is being ‘good’ defined by those around you, or do we define our own sense of goodness? The opinion of others must be balanced with delicate ease. In a conversation I had with a best friend yesterday, we debated about the amount of focus and time we spend on those around us. I wholeheartedly believe I am who I am because of those I surround myself with. I’m not saying this is a bad belief, but when do we pass from the threshold of influence of others… to definition by others. Too often I have found myself too far on both arguments; shrouding away from others for self-reflection or losing myself in others and forgetting personal identity.

Noah, before this song states that being a good person “is to own the decisions you make, not necessarily be proud of them, but to accept them and not run from them”. So within my debate with my friend, we finally agreed upon this statement. That at the end of the day our definition can be made of others or of self. But we must own the decisions we make. Hold steadfast to them.

Now, in Ledges, Noah states that he “stands on the edge of the ledges I’ve made, looking for a steady hand.” And he’s right. We all constantly search for reassurance in our identity, our “goodness”. We reach out to others for confirmation, and ultimately definition. Sometimes those around us will save us from our ledges, but more often the hand we reach out with is the one which will save us.

If you enjoy this, please go listen to the other incredible music by Mr. Gundersen and his family.

“I want to learn how to love, and give it all back, and be forgiven all that I’ve done.”

O. Chapman – Obedient Son EP

Image
This week has already been exhausting, and today I was searching for something to smooth out the rough patches. Along came Britain’s O. Chapman. Check out this stream of his EP, “Obedient Son”. Slow strums across his guitar, the magnificent backup strings, and the drippings of Faith Barker’s voice have been helped me settle into a groove. Sometimes simple is needed, and with O. Chapman’s meadow walk creating a sonorous wading pool of darkly shaded vapor through folk strings, we all win. Happy Tuesday.

NONONO – Pumpin Blood

Image

Your eyes open, close, open. You sneak your toes back under the covers. Glance to the window – suns not up. The groan slips out of your mouth as you realize the week is about to begin. The to-do list begins to pile up in your head. Stop the madness. Clear your mind. And play this.

Pumpin Blood by NONONO is exactly what you need for this Monday to get your blood flowing and feet out of bed. This Swedish band is a cure-all.

Sam Smith – Lay Me Down

ImageThis groovy jam has been the perfect mood-setter and homework go-getter. Whether you’re using it for some motivation late tonight, or for the perfect set-up for this weekend, check out Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down. His EP “Nirvana” is coming out real soon, and if its anything like this – y’all better buy it.

Infinite Nakedness

I was asked recently in a job interview “What is one thing, which those around you describe you as, that is completely wrong.” Great question. It’s not often when you come across an interview question that allows for such honest self-reflection. Here, a question dove down to the core of the concept of image, portrayal, and societal influence.

As I answered the question I started thinking about my image around those closest to me: friends, family, coworkers. And if the way we try to present ourselves aligns with the way others see us. Often, blinders come up, walls are built and we start after a goal losing sight of our raw image, our infinite nakedness. It takes questions like above to open one’s eyes to the prospective of self-reflection. For a long time, I’ve been unaware of who I am. What does Logan stand for? People tell you that integrity is all you have to your name. But what is the cost of integrity, when you don’t know what your name holds?

Throughout the recent job process, this senior year, and the ever-changing relationships that drip in my life, I’ve only been true to myself when random moments of self-reflection flood my thoughts. But forced self-reflection is not as rewarding as the moments when life slaps you across the face with a stark realization of identity. This is where music sets in.

My absolute infatuation and adoration for music lies in its ability to turn emotions into play-do, evoking tears and smiles – laughter and anger – and most important of all: self-reflection. The following mix is of songs that heave, breathe, and come alive in my mind. They echo the dissolution of blinders, and have often set me straight. Maybe they won’t do this for you, but finding a mix of songs that wipe your foggy mirror clean is pertinent to progressing through and out of the muds of life and into the sun meadows. I call this mix “Infinite Nakedness” due to both translation of one song’s lyrics, and due to the lyrics ability to tear myself raw and produce purpose for my biological makeup. I’ve been trying to expose parts of myself throughout this blog, and if you listen closely to these words, it’ll tell you more than I could. Enjoy.

Infinite Nakedness