Dear Patti Smith, the godmother of rock! Your memoir tugged at my heart strings, made me shudder, smile, and feel anxious. There was a slew of emotions that come with reading your memoir. I want to start off by saying, thank you for letting us into the details of your and Robert’s life. To learn about your young struggles made me put somethings into perspective. We are all young at one time, reckless, and are just doing anything to scrape by whilst being ripped into the expectation of adult-hood.
“The artist seeks contact with his intuitive sense of the gods, but in order to create his work, he cannot stay in this seductive and incorporeal realm. He must return to the material world in order to do his work. It’s the artist’s responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labor of creation.” Your words hit me like meaningful lyrics you listen to at 3 a.m and nothing is quite wrong, but nothing is quite right. One of the many things I admire you for is your devotion to art…and not just your own art. The things you gave up to let Robert create art bewilders me in the best way. That was a selfless act of love, not only for him but for art. Another quote that really emulated this feeling of selfless devotion was “We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.” I also think it was an important aspect of your book to be so open and non-judging of the AIDS epidemic occurring at this time. The stigma about AIDS was centered around thinking “homosexual men are dirty, and they are being punished by the lord for their sexuality.” This was an honest look at the tragedy of this disease, and showed that it effects more than the infected. The slow dwindling of Robert’s health was hard to read and I really felt for you. If you had the power to go back and not have anything of this illness happen to Robert? Are you a true believer in “everything happens for a reason?” Thanks for putting words on pages, I really liked them.
Dear Musical MD, I have lost motivation for the end of school, whilst popping adderrall I just can’t seem to make it through these next couple weeks, what should I listen to while trying to study for Women’s Literature?
Dear Drew, I know that the end of the year can be very difficult. With finals right around the corner, and end of the year parties around the other literal corner I understand the lack of motivation you are experiencing. You have to keep your eye on the prize though! Summer is almost here, and besides having a summer job your options are about to become endless! I’ve come to realize the important of having something to look forward to. Trivial day to day struggles become a lot easier to deal with when you have epic plans in sight. So, instead of doling out a playlist that you probably wouldn’t even like, due to understandable musical taste differences, I have other suggestions! As far as getting through these last couple painfully slow weeks of school, I suggest starting to set up plans for live music this summer. Its an exciting time of the year where early-bird tickets are going on sale, and the major headliners are finally being announced at all sorts of festivals and shows. GET EXCITED! Seek out the artists you want to see, and go on fucking tour! Make a vision board/calendar that will help put dates into perspective and time you need to ask off from work. You can color code, have a legend of high importance to low importance, throw some glitter on that bitch, print off band symbols to get you pumped, whatever you want, just have something tangible that reminds you that you have big plans this summer. Like I said, two more weeks and we are free! Don’t stress, put down the adderall, and start stoking yourself up for festie season!
But for now, listen to Panic’s set at Wakarusa 2013
Dear all-knowing Musical MD, I am in dire need of your help. I feel like my mother did a great job raising me, I really do…But I can’t help but feel like she fell behind in one department, music. I hear stories all the time about how so-and-so’s dad gave them their very first Steely Dan album and they were allowed to blast in while cleaning their room, or how so-and-so was strapped to their mother during the Grateful Dead show in Telluride years and years ago. My mom listened to talk radio and never really gave me any musical platform to build off of. I’m 22 now and have absolutely developed my own music taste but I feel like I’m lacking in knowledge of the classic bands that shaped our parent’s generation. I guess my question is how do I go about learning about music and culture that I wasn’t present for. I want to know more about my mother’s musical taste too and I’m having trouble going about either of these problems I have.
My iPod, I can’t begin to explain how much music is on that bad boy.
Would you rather listen to an album all the way through or pick individual songs?
If it is the first time listening to an album, all the way through.
Do you listen to sad music when you’re sad or do you listen to happy music when you’re sad?
I listen to sad music when I am sad, and happy music when I am happy. Music has a unique way of using the emotions you have and make connections. Sometimes when you’re sad and you listen to a sad song, it breaks you down and in order to get out of your bad mood sometimes you have to cry or hit rock bottom. Music can help you do that, so you can start to recover faster.
What do you rely on to discover new music?
Are you drawn more towards synthesized electronic music or real instruments?
I love instruments, I play several myself. Bands that use instruments exhibit a passion for hard work and real music notes in ways that synthesized bands sometimes cannot. I am always drawn to an artist who has a relationship with their work or with their instrument. I guess
6) Do you prefer up-tempo or down-tempo music?
I love ballads and orchestrated pieces, sometimes they are up-tempo, but usually they are slower paced.
Did your parents pass down music taste, if so what?
YES! My Dad introduced me to almost every good artist I know. Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Heart, and so many others that he said are undoubtedly superstar vocalists and musicians. He also got me started on Pink Floyd, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Santana and classic rock bands that are also undeniably talented
Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears?
Christina Aguilera. I love Britney, but I can’t deny that Christina is far more talented as a vocalist.
Biggie or Tupac?
Biggie. My first high school party had Party and Bullshit playing and I felt pretty bad ass to be listening to biggie as a white, girly, 16 year old.
If you could choose 1 for a great concert what would it be? A Killer outfit or a bottle of booze?
I would have to choose the booze. I can’t take a shot of cotton or nylon to cheers to my band.
Phish. One of my dear dear friends introduced me to phish years ago.
When you were searching for an identity, which artist/band did you identify with in middle school? This might sounds ridiculous, but Avril Levine and I shared some deep moments, as I msn messaged my friends and listened to complicated and its a damn cold night when I was feeling angsty.
Who would you rather party with? Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison?
Jimi Hendrix. I know about his little head band tricks…
Would you rather be back-stage, front row, or mixed in with the crowd?
Front Row. I love knowing that I was THISCLOSE to the band or artist.
What song/artist is your guilty pleasure?
Guns n Roses. They are so different from anything else that I EVER listen to, yet I’ll hold them in my musical heart forever.
If you could form a band in any era what would it be and what kind of band?
I would want to be in a girl rock band. Like Heart. In the 80s or 90s.
If you could pick up any instrument and have it mastered? What would it be?
I stopped playing piano several years ago. I would do anything to get it back and master it
What was your favorite childhood tune/nursery?
There was this little song we sang in choir class that was about a little alligator. I loved singing it and singing it in rounds. It goes like this: Have you ever been down the water spout? To the very bottom of the water system, there you’ll find a little alligator who goes by the name of alred, if you do hes mine! I lost him, I threw his down the water spout and now I’m feeling lonely cause hes gone, I miss him.
Finish these lyrics, When the bee stings, when the dog bites…
When the bee stings, when the dog bites, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad. – The Sound of Music, My Favorite Things.
Personally, what do you think is the most important aspect to music?
Its ability to captivate so many thoughts, feelings and emotions, in ways that you can’t express just through a regular conversation or communication.
Stray away from Barry Mantilow this Valentines Day. There is so much sexy music out there! Whether this may be baby-makin’ music or protected lovin’ music, I’ve got the jams for you. The duration of your time with your love is up to you, but I picked a few songs that hopefully you will get through 😉
I started with some down-tempo synthesized jazz to get you started and in the moooooOOoooOoOoOooOd, into a sentimental song ( this is not for one night stands!) Then into a classic Pepper song, with the finale being Pretty Little Thing by Fink.
~Enjoy to the fullest extent of joy~
To catch a thief-
This song comes from the album Lovage. The album they say thats “Music to love your old lady to” I chose this song for its down-tempo jazzy style. The song starts out with dialogue.
“I feel like you shouldn’t get involved with an intimate relationship until you are emotionally mature to handle it and cope with your feelings and sexuality without yield or inhibition or phoniness, but with love, tenderness and honesty.”
Then the song jumps right into some baby-makin’ melodies, sure to please you and your lover.
I see a theme in the music I like to make love to. This is another slow jazzy melody with some electronic aspects. The synthesized sexy woman voice adds to the ambience of the song. I also think the repetitious beat helps you or your lover have a tempo to…you know.
Alright Lovers, this is a change up. Here is a classic. This strays away from the first two jazzy/electronic themed songs. This song is not for a fuck-buddy, this song is for someone you truly love and have a connection with. Soft-spoken lyrics such as “Don’t look for love in faces, places. It’s in you, thats where you’ll find kindness. Be here now” Although, you probably won’t be listening to the lyrics, this song will make you hold your babe just a little bit closer
Green Hell by Pepper honestly is just a personal favorite to sexxx to. I chose this because it has both components, of upbeat fun sex, then it will slow down, reeling you back into the sensuality of the song (and your lover!)
I cannot get enough of Pretty Little thing by Fink. The acoustic guitar accompanied by the smooth voice of Fin Greenall swooshes together to make you feel all warm, AND sexy inside. The passion of Fin’s voice dubbing (you) his lover a hot little thang, a pretty little thang, and you “can do whatever you want” just turns me the hell on. I promise it will for you too. Bust out this tune when you and your companion are a little nervous about making the first move, maybe this will help you. Put this song on and make some fucking eye contact, I promise there will be results.
Honestly, I would like to say that the psychedelic tunes of the 60’s through the 70’s resonate with me those most, but that would be a lie. Inside my mind, when I got back in time and think of an era of music I can actually say something valid about, is the good ole’ 90’s. A time where we played outside, got dirty, actually had dinner with the family, and the most advanced piece of technology we had was our Tamagachi’s. My first CD ever bought was the Charlie’s Angels movie sound track ( don’t judge me). And the very first song I memorized every single lyric to was “Booty got back” by Sir Mix-a lot. There I was, in my room, with the karaoke machine ( I must have been 8 years old) screaming lyrics such as ” My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hun” and “That rap guys’ girlfriend….looks like a total prostitute.” Although I wasn’t reflecting critically about the lyrics and the messages, they were still being engrained in my mind as an acceptable way to view and talk about women. Growing up and having this stress on being sexy at a very young age was confusing, and when my mom would see this phenomena happening, instead of sitting me down and talking to me about the importance of intellectuality and compassion she would punish me for my young, malleable, half-brain-washed, mind. BUT! on the other hand I had music such as All Star by Smash Mouth, which was my soccer team’s warm up song. So on one hand I had music messages telling me that boy’s “anaconda don’t want none unless (I) got buns hun” and on the other hand I had messages like “Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on go plaaaaaay!” So I have to say that the classic Smash Mouth was a savior for my self-worth as a kid. I still jam out when I hear it come on the radio (and thank god it still does!)
Michelle Olson, also known as Flower, grew up in Denver and has been immersed in music, such as The Grateful Dead among other influential classics, ever since she was very little. She can credit her Father and Mother and general up-bringing for her music taste. She is now a Sophomore at Fort Lewis, where she has her own radio show and promotes for companies such as Black Spy marketing. Here I discuss with Flower 5 songs that have impacted her life thus far.
Eyes of the World- Grateful Dead
M: Eyes of the world will always be one of my favorite Dead songs. Whenever I hear it, I think of my dad because it’s his favorite Dead song too. When I was old enough to actually appreciate my parent’s wonderful taste in music, my dad took me to my first Furthur show at Red Rocks.While we were chatting before the show started I asked him what his favorite Grateful Dead song was and why, and he told me this song because it was the first song he heard after I was born.
L: Wow that’s so cool! How many Grateful Dead’s shows has your dad been too?
M: Including the past two years of us going to Furthur together, he’s been too 14 dead shows!
L: Is he or you going to The Dead’s 50th anniversary in Chicago this summer?
M: As much as we both want to be there I’m not sure. I’m going to Telluride Bluegrass with my parents for my birthday a week before that, so the chances of having the finances to see The Dead is slim- BUT I’m keeping my mind open about it. Who knows, I may end up there!
L: I definitely feel that, I want to go so bad too!
M: Haha, yeah. It’s going to be so magical.
To Build A Home- The Cinematic Orchestra
L: So how has this song made an impact on your life?
M: The lyrics in this song are what gets me. Been one of my favorites since Freshman year of High School. “Out in the garden where we planted the seeds, there is a tree that is old as me. Branches were sewn by the color of green, ground had arose and passed it’s knee’s. By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top, I climbed the tree to see the world. When the gusts came around to blow me down, I held on as tightly as you held on to me. I held on as tightly as you held on to me.” How beautiful is that? If I could sing you the whole song I would right now no joke, haha. The lead singers voice is absolutely flawless, and so relaxing a pure. It’s just one of those songs that touch your heart and give you goose bumps at the same time.
L: Yeah I agree, he has a really great voice! When you listen to this song does it make you remember a certain memory?
M: I have a couple different memories to this song for sure, but I have one that sticks out more than the rest. It was my junior year of High School on a Saturday night, and my best friends at the time, Alison, Alli, Collin and I decided to drink copious amounts of cheap wine, slapping the bag in the basement of Alli’s parents house trying not to get caught.Once we started feelin’ good we decided to take a 1 am walk to this giant field right by her house to go watch the stars. So here we are, all laying drunk under a sky full of stars just taking life in, and Collin decides to play this song on his phone.Then came the heart melting, goose bumps that I was talking about earlier. We all were silent, except for the slight humming along to the song. I just remember how amazing that moment in time was, especially since I was in that period in my life where a lot of things were confusing, you know? It’s not some outrageous story, but it definitely is a memory that I won’t ever forget… especially when I hear this song!
Foxy Lady- Jimi Hendrix
L: I love Jimi! What significance does this song have for you?
M: *blushes Haha this song… I honestly can’t believe I’m telling you this for a school assignment, but hey- it’s a good story! This song reminds me of this once brotherly figure in my life, but at the same time a lover of sorts, from Grand County where I grew up. His name is Tone Wood, and he is this sexy mountain native incredible creature who I fantasized for so long about in High School.His parents were out of town for the weekend, so he invited me over for movies at his house. Haha “movies.” This was one of the first times I stayed over at a boys house while lying to my parents about where I was. They thought I was at Brittany Donnadios, and they loved her, it was fool-proof!
L: Oooooo! I remember the first time I did that too.
M: Yeah, it was pretty scandalous. But yeah pretty much we watched one of my favorite movies Across The Universe, which I ended up leaving at his house and still haven’t gotten it back… But anyways yeah. I don’t want to get too into detail about the song Foxy Lady, but when Tone put that song on, he had a different look in his eyes. He started singing that song to me, twirling me around and around, and it was honestly one of the first times that I had ever felt sexy before. I’m sure you can guess the rest, haha. Now every time I hear that song, I have some extra spunk in my walk, and a lil’ grin on my face!
Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
M: This one really hits home, my mother used to sing this too me when I was a baby and young girl to put me to sleep. Her voice was always so calming, and it’s just such a beautiful song.
L: Are there any lyrics in there that you would consider your favorite?
M: “Well time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too, Oh I’m getting older too.” Always makes me tear up.It’s just one of those songs that make you think of your past, present and future. It’s a growing song and I think that’s why my mom sang it to me when I was so little.I wanted to surprise my mom in High School by singing this with my friend Trevor at our graduation, but the freakin’ administration didn’t pick us.
L: You seem a little angry about that, what’s the story?
M: Well Trevor and I had been singing/ playing guitar in school performances since Freshmen year. We were like known at our school for it and would perform at all types of school events. The office or administration I guess would constantly ask us to perform, and sometime even create original pieces for them to do at stuff like ‘Back to School Night’ and others. So when graduation performance try outs come around, we figure we were a shoe-in because we had done so much for the school, and everyone kind of expected us too. Plus I was so stoked to surprise my mother with Landslide, I knew it would make her cry. So anyways we tried out and they didn’t pick us! I was so mad because they picked a Beach Boys cover that literally had nothing to do with school, growing up, or graduating.
L: That would annoy me too, did you ever end up telling your mom your idea?
M: Well when I found out I didn’t make it I came home crying that day and my mom being her came to see what’s up and I told her. She did her mom super powers thing and made me feel better, but as you can probably see I’m still a little worked up about it!
Mercedes Benz- Janis Joplin
L: Janis! What does this song make you think of?
M: My senior year of High School I performed this song at our annual talent show. It was awesome! I used no microphone, and just stood by myself with one white spotlight on me and sang in front of 400+ people, and just sang a capella.It was like on of the first times I felt my rocker funky chic voice come out, it was nerve wracking but incredible all at the same time.
L: Did you win?
M: No, I made it too the second round though. After I straight killed it the first night, I celebrated a little too hard smoking bong after the show. Then when I woke up the next day I barely had a voice, just in time for the final round. I sang it, but it was a little too raspy for the judges taste. I’m just happy I got to experience it.
L: What made you choose Mercedes Benz to sing?
M: My friends and family had always told me they thought my voice reminded them of Janis, so when I was going over potential songs to sing I tried out Mercedes Benz. I knew it would be a hard choice but I stuck with it and practiced all the time. I wouldn’t have been able to do so well the first night if I didn’t practice so much, it’s defiantly a hard song to sing!
L: I agree, it is! Well thanks for sharing your 5 songs with me, it’s been great!
M: Well thank you! I had fun talking about it.
Flower’s music selection leans towards the classics Jam-bands and artists of the hippie-movement of the 60’s. Although she wasn’t alive during these times, Michelle can appreciate the music for what it meant in that era and also relate some of those songs and themes in this day and age too, which can be complicated with the increased overall business of day-to-day life. Michelle may have been born in the wrong era, but she is here to bring back the classics many of you whom grew up in the 60’s may remember, (or not!)