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Just Be

I know, I know, another playlist so soon?  What can I say?  The cold, wintry weather has me daydreaming of summer, the languorous hours spent on an impossibly hot day, every moment measured and blissfully sweet.

“Beauty and the East” – Bombay Dub Orchestra

“From the Same Hill” – Brian Eno

“Where is My Love” – Cat Power

“Alone Together” – Chet Baker

“Berceuse in D Flat, Op. 57” – Chopin

“True Love Waits” – Christopher O’Reilly

“Appalachian Spring – Very Slowly” – Bernstein conducts Copland

“The Rain Song” – Led Zeppelin

“Pass in Time” – Beth Orton

“The Big Ship” – Brian Eno

“Thai Lullaby” – Stewart Matthewman (Twin Falls Idaho)

“Smile” –  Telepopmusik

“Promenade” – U2

“Water From a Vine Leaf” – William Orbit

“Passion” – Peter Gabriel

“Shepland Pony” – Roberto Linderez (My friend!  Have a listen here)

“By This River” – Brian Eno

“Sentimental Walk” – Philip Aaberg  (Diva)

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Happy New Year, gentle readers!  I hope you had marvelous holidays.  Ours were fun, sometimes raucous, and blissfully peaceful – that’s life for you.

One of our ever-so-generous and much appreciated presents was a gift certificate from my parents for Amazon (Thanks again!), and we spent more than half of it buying up songs for the I-Pod: click, click, boom!  In honor of that, here’s a playlist with a wild assortment of the old and new to start the year off with an optimistic shake and shimmy, just the way I like it.

Also, just in case you’re not a local, the bridge is the St. John’s in North Portland.  It is not an overstatement to say that it is my favorite bridge in the world. Sure, there are others that are more marvelous, spanning greater lengths and heights, but none of them give me the sensation of seeing this bridge.  I can remember the first time, sitting so stately and serene to the north on Highway 30.  I gasped at the exquisite color and the fantastically Gothic arches, just wanting to hover, hummingbird-like and admire its beauty.

Back to the music – it might just make you gasp, too.

“Well You Needn’t” –  Chet Baker

“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + the Machine

“God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys

“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” – The Rolling Stones

“London Calling” – The Clash (also one of the greatest album covers ever)

“Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” – Paul Simon

“Riga Girls” –  The Weepies

“Up on Cripple Creek” – The Band

“Let ‘Em In” – Wings

“Them There Eyes” – Billie Holiday

“Fidelity” – Regina Spektor

“Stay by Me” – Annie Lennox

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult (Oh yes I did!)

“Star Eyes” – Charlie Parker

“In Between Days” – The Cure

“A Boy Named Sue” – Johnny Cash

“Don’t Stop Believin'” – Journey

“Move” – Bireli Lagrene

“What Is and What Should Be” – Led Zeppelin

“Les Portes du Souvenir” – Les Nubians

“Expectations” – Belle & Sebastian

“L.A.Woman” – The Doors

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As someone who nearly always has a song in my head (and in my heart, for that matter), it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  It brings together, for the first time, three rather iconic guitar players (an understatement, to be sure) to play together, discuss their craft, or as Jack White says, “To trick them into sharing what they know.”

The result is a marvelous glimpse into the lives and creative processes of three very skilled musicians.  I loved learning about them as people (of course) and their vastly different ways to approaching the guitar.  Jack is very interested in the raw and bare bones.  The Edge is a tinkerer, with myriad gadgets to make myriad and often surprising variations in sound.  Jimmy, I’d say is the most straight ahead (if that’s the proper term).  What can this guitar do?

There’s also some great history and footage of each in earlier years and previous incarnations and hair cuts.  I found it all rather fascinating, and pretty touching, too.  Each has such reverence for music and sound.   Then there is the story of how each came to play.  Serendipity – a random poster on a school wall, a guitar left behind, another bartered for the use of a pick up truck.  It really makes me wonder if there are no coincidences in life.  Pretty darn cool!

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Twangy, lofty, earthy, and ready to party.  It’s back to school!

“High on Your Love” –  Kings Go Forth

“California Stars” –  Billy Bragg and Wilco

“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” – The Allman Brothers

“What I Wouldn’t Do” – A Fine Frenzy

“Search Your Heart” – Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

“Big Jet Plane” – Angus & Julia Stone

“I’mma Break it Down” – Eazy-E

“Une Annee Sans Lumiere” – Arcade Fire

“I Summon You” – Spoon

“Cornbread and Butterbeans” – Carolina Chocolate Drops

“Girls” – Beastie Boys (A little trivia – according to the Oxford English Dictionary, they have the first recorded use of the word “mullet!”)

“A Pillow of Winds” – Pink Floyd

“Sigh No More” – Mumford & Sons

“So Far Away” – Carol King

“Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”  – She and Him

“Rien de Rien” – Osi

“Love Street” – The Doors

“Dead Flowers” – The Rolling Stones


Pride is a funny feeling.  At times, it can be an almost overwhelming presence casting an enormous shadow and causing a lump in the throat.  Other times, it is more subtle, that rosy glow on a smiling cheek.  Or, as it is for me in this moment, a flash of joyful tears.

The source of my joyful tears is the fantastic music of a former student from my ever so brief period of teaching high school English.  It was a rather unfortunate beginning for me and Daniel, actually.  I came in two weeks after the school year started to help with overcrowding, and though I was excited and academically quite prepared, I never anticipated the hard feelings being uprooted from other classes would stir up in my students.   Daniel was among the worst instigators, making it very plain that my presence was not welcome.  Fortunately for both of us, I turned out to be something unexpected and likable and was forgiven in time, even praised by my big hearted students, and again, Daniel led the pack.

So when he found me on Facebook recently, I gladly accepted his offer of friendship.  What I didn’t expect was the music.  Though Daniel sang in the choir at school, and was quite good, I might add, I could never have fathomed that this sweet and oftentimes goofy (we have that in common, to be sure) boy (ahem, man, Ms. Sohn – he’s in his twenties!) would have such great lyrics and music to share.  Seriously, the more I listen, the more I like it, and not just because it is his.  I am not that kind of person.  It is marvelously layered and just the kind of music I enjoy – with a little of this and a little of that to make a fine package.

What’s more is Daniel’s fearless nature about his music.  He is out THERE, promoting, recording, packaging, selling and generally believing in himself.  I am just so proud of him and truly believe that with his passion, talent, and smarts, he’s headed for the stars!  But you don’t have to take my word for it – give his music a listen (please buy some, too, I did!) and remember the name Daniel Van Dyk.

Oh, and Daniel, let’s get a picture together sometime soon – the ferris wheel, while not at all shabby, is a poor substitute.


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