Musical M.D.

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Earlier this week, I received a submission from The Crazy Cripple (Michelle Olson). It said:

Dear Musical MD,

Welp. I seem to have caught the broken girl blues. I can’t stop injuring myself, which is really making it hard for me to go to concerts. Even just easy, light dance moves hurt. Plus, I can’t carry a drink on crutches. I’m so lost, do you have any ideas to make it easier for me to go to shows hurt, or any advice to give me on how to kick this broken girl blues out of my head?

Sincerely,
The Crazy Cripple

I came up with a couple ideas for Michelle, with my response being:

Dearest Cripple,

Boy do I feel you on this one. I tend to be super accident prone, whether it’s a dislocated shoulder or a sprained knee. And it really fucking sucks when it gets in the way of doing what you love.

A backstory from my own experiences: I’m an avid snowboarder and two seasons ago, I stuck it jumping cliffs right under the six pack. While everyone was pointing and laughing, I was struggling to figure out what the pop was I had heard upon impact. Turns out I couldn’t bend my knee and would be out for a good six week minimum on the account that I tore something. I was extremely bummed at first, and felt utterly lost. But as it turns out, my friends had my back more than I expected. They brought over schnapps and hot chocolate, joints, and snowboarding films; they had brought the mountain to the comfort of my couch.

My advice is to find some good friends that would be down to kick it with you at the casa. If weed and schnapps ain’t your thang, they can be substituted, with things like macaroni & cheese and wine. I’m personally a big fan of mac & cheese as a comfort food. Invite some friends over to make some mac & cheese, pour a glass of pinot, and blast some awesome tunes in the background.

mac and cheese4

Get the recipe here.

I’m also a big fan of doodling or writing with some super chill instrumentals when I’m injured, or catching up on movies and documentaries on Netflix. Both of these can be done alone or with a good friend, depending on your mood.

A couple song selections for chilling out and creating. Or a classic music movie to watch such as “Almost Famous.”

 

Lucky for you, it’s concert and show off-season (for the most part). This means you also have time to save money from all the shows you’re not going to right now and opt for an awesome music festival later on in the season. Depending on how long you’re out for, a couple of my suggestions would be Telluride Bluegrass, All Good Music Festival, and Electric Forest, since they tend to fall a little later and the lineups are out. If you’re good to go in a month, my number one pick for you would be Summer Camp.

I hope that these suggestions will keep you preoccupied until you’re fixed and ready to get out in the summer sun and shake your booty. Until then, rest easy and get by with a little help from your friends.

My Musical Taste From a Restaurant Perspective

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Colorado. Big town, little city. Possibly Boulder.

This is where I would establish my restaurant based on my musical taste.

My restaurant would operate from breakfast ‘til the late hours of the night, with a variety of music tunes based on the meal.

Breakfast

Banana Pancakes, compliments of Jack Johnson.

Soft, acoustic folk and bluegrass would play in the background as guests would enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with their homemade biscuits and fresh eggs. Ben Howard would accompany the fresh-squeezed OJ and the dancing bubbles of the champagne in a mimosa. Railroad Earth just sounds oh so nice mixed with a little Mandolin Orange and a benedict.

Lunch

Moving through the day, the mood turns more to Indie and Alternative Rock.

Hot and cold sandwiches are served with baked sweet potato fries and a little Phoenix and Absofacto.

Mac & cheese is brought to the table in a mini cast iron skillet, a house salad, and some Two Door Cinema Club or Local Natives.

Soups served fresh and made from scratch, a dash of Hymn de Lune and Arctic Monkeys to compliment the flavors.

Homemade pizza, built to your liking, as the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Strokes compliment the conversation being shared amongst you and your friends.

Pair any of these meals with a wide selection of beers on tap, all from local Colorado breweries.

Happy Hour

3-6. Specials on drinks and appetizers.

Let’s throw a little instrumental, downtempo, hip hop on the system for guests to relax to. How about a little Wu Tang “Slow Blues” or Imagined Herbal Flows “Clouds” to keep the vibes chill on a sunny afternoon as the drinks are delivered to the table accompanied by a light snack.

Dinner

Things are starting to pick up a little. The pace is quickening and the wait list has grown exponentially since 5pm.

People are waiting for a nice cut of steak, rosemary garlic mashers, and sautéed vegetables to dine on with a chill yet electric vibe present. We’ve got just the thing with a little Flume, Ta-Ku, and Odesza to get the night going. Add a glass of wine from a nearby winery and you’re all set.

Late Night

Everyone is fed and happy and is either clearing out contently or waiting for the party to get going.

The night is reserved for the revelry that will take over the bar and back room. Dance party is the theme every weekend, with the sounds of Pretty Lights, GRiZ, and Gramatik getting people up and moving. Maybe try one of our handcrafted mixed drinks with local liquors, and dance the night away.

Nancy Sinatra’s Introduction in Kill Bill

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“Bang Bang.”

This is the most famous line from a song that introduces the background story for Kill Bill Vol. 1. Quentin Tarantino has been known to use a wide range of musical genres in his film. From classic Western themes to Kung Fu anthems, Rockabilly tunes and 50’s jukebox songs, Tarantino’s soundtracks are some of the most eclectic in the film industry.

The beauty of Nancy Sinatra’s, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” is its ability to compliment the opening scene in Kill Bill so well. The movie begins with a conversation between Bill, and Uma Thurman’s character, whose name is blatantly censored until the second installment of the two-part chronicle, when the audience finally discovers her true name. Until then, she is known as “Black Mamba” or “The Bride.”

The song begins after we hear the sound of a gun go off, and the opening credits roll; white font on a black screen. With the deep voice as well as the slow and somber tone of Sinatra, the immediate setting of the movie is thrown into full swing. Sinatra’s words are accompanied by a single guitar, which pulls the sadness out of the lyrics, assisting in the deeper understanding of the words. These words, originally sung by Sinatra in 1966, relate to the movie that hit theaters in 2003 better than any other song could have.

Tarantino has a knack for selecting the perfect and most iconic songs for his movies. However, when it comes to Kill Bill and Nancy Sinatra, the two go together like a failed murder attempt and vengeance.

*WARNING* video contains graphic content in both black & white and Spanish subtitles.

What is Your Musical Spirit (Wo)Manimal?

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This quiz was designed to see who your musical soulmate is. I had Jaimie Welbourn take this quiz. Her answers are highlighted, with her result at the bottom of this post.

What do you like to do on your day off?
a) go shopping
b) hang out with family
c) hide from the world
d) start partying early
e) go for a hike

What is your dream vacation?
a) fashion hunting in Paris
b) viva, Las Vegas!
c) a music festival with friends
d) spent in a city, like Los Angeles
e) a spiritual place experience in India

Where would you retire?
a) the beaches of a tropical island
b) on a farm
c) in the city
d) Cali
e) London

Favorite color combination?
a) plaid
b) rasta
c) black
d) silver & gold
e) tie-dye

Pick a drug…
a) heroin
b) antidepressants
c) lsd
d) weed
e) cocaine

If you found a $100 bill, what would you do with it?
a) donate it to a charity
b) spend it on clothing and jewelry
c) buy a concert ticket
d) bottle service
e) buy a new musical instrument

Pick a scene.
a) jazz club
b) dive bars
c) camping
d) beach house
e) nightclub

Pick a Disney Movie…
a) Oliver and Company
b) Aristocats
c) Lilo & Stitch
d) Fantasia
e) The Jungle Book

Pick a food…
a) salad
b) burger & fries
c) seafood
d) ice cream
e) steak & mashed potatoes

Pick a dog…
a) bulldog
b) pomeranian
c) golden lab
d) komondor (dreadlock dog)
e) mutt

What would you be arrested for?
a) smoking weed in a public place
b) public intoxication
c) public indecency
d) cocaine possession
e) attempted suicide

What would you change in the world?
a) a cure for depression
b) world peace
c) legalize marijuana
d) no more racism
e) more appreciation for rock music

What is your instrument of choice?
a) five-string banjo
b) turntable
c) keyboard
d) electric guitar
e) vocals

Pick a Genre…
a) soul
b) rock
c) rap
d) reggae
e) grunge

How would you like to die?
a) suicide
b) drug overdose
c) cancer
d) heart attack
e) murder

How many kids do you want to have?
a) 4
b) 1
c) 2
d) 13
e) 0

What age would you like to die?
a) 27
b) 36
c) 27
d) 53
e) 24

How many people would you like to perform with?
a) 9
b) 3
c) 1
d) 0
e) 2

If you were in a band, where would you like to perform?
a) Electric Forest
b) All Good
c) Warped Tour
d) Coachella
e) Lollapalooza

Pick a religion…
a) Judaism
b) Rastafarian
c) Buddhism
d) Catholic
e) Atheism

Congratulations! Jaimie’s spirit manimal is Jerry Garcia!

Jerry guides you through a magical world, where you can spend your free time day-trippin’ and camping out with friends. Your favorite band is playing in the background at an outdoor festival, while you daze off into your own blissful state.

 

Current “Love” Songs

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For me, certain love songs mean something very different depending on my relationship status. Of course, love songs go with that tickle in my stomach feeling, breakup songs help to get through tough times, and those in-between songs evoke lust, or longing, or that awesome independent feeling related to the good ol’ single life. However, aside from the norm, my choice of love songs correlate with the people involved in my personal relationships. Thus, I will never associate particular love songs shared with a love that has already existed.
I am about to celebrate my one year anniversary, and can only think, “how the hell did this happen?!” This will be the first relationship that has hit this mark, so in honor of Valentine’s Day and my anniversary, I am dedicating these five love songs to my boyfriend, Matt.
The next five songs were chosen based on the fact that they have been relevant in our relationship in the past year. These will be the songs I take out of this relationship.

“You’re my spark of nature’s fire
You’re my sweet complete desire
Sunny one so true, I love you.”

Marvin Gaye is a classic. I came across this remix earlier this year, which I fell in love with. I love seeing an artist take a classic song and be able to alter it in such a way that adds contemporary tones while maintaining the timeless essence of the original. This is an example of a great oldie mixed with a modern beat.

“Be in my eyes,
Be in my heart”

I have been in love with this song since I first heard of The Lumineers on the up and coming Colorado music scene a couple of years ago. This is one of those songs that I can play on repeat and fall in love with a little more every time. My boyfriend and I share a taste for the folk and bluegrass side of music, and this song is a resting spot for us through all of the other genres we differ on.

“I’m so full of love I could barely eat
There’s nothing sweeter than my baby
I never want once from the cherry tree
Cause my baby’s sweet as can be
She give me toothaches just from kissin’ me”

This is one of the more recent songs that I fell in love with. Again, this song falls into a genre category that both Matt and I enjoy. I also love the deep, husky sound of the artist and the power behind the words. However, I am somewhat bummed that this song was used for a Nicholas Sparks trailer, and that this is the reason why many now know and associate this song with a sappy love movie.

“Sway! Just move with me darling.
And I’m going to move with you too.
Can’t stop, now we can’t miss, darling
On top – such a beautiful view.”

This is where my boyfriend and I differ when it comes to music. I tend to lean more towards electronic, while he has begun to dabble in the genre just a little to keep me happy. I was playing this song one day when Matt asked me who this was. From that moment, this song has now become a favorite of his and is on our road trip playlist.

If Matt and I have one musical thing in common, it is a shared passion for live music and festivals. Our first big festival together was the Telluride Bluegrass Festival last year. Andrew Bird was the beginning of a beautiful Saturday afternoon, this particular song mingling with rays of sun enveloping the crowd, opalescent clouds adrift overhead. The subtle qualities of the song, the softness of the violin and the whistling, all helped in setting the mood for an afternoon that I will never forget.

 

 

Looking Back

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Many people have that one guilty pleasure within the confines of their musical preferences, that one genre that is kept below the surface. For me, this genre lies in trance.

I began listening to trance back in high school, thanks to my mom and her fascination with most electronic music. This included house, d&b, and dance music as well, but it was trance that caught my ear. I was engrossed in the smooth sounds of the synth, the progression of each song into the one big “drop,” and the soothing vocals that complimented the melody; anything from Tiësto and Armin van Buuren to Paul van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold.

Not many of my friends listened to trance back in high school, except for one friend that I would indulge in conversations regarding new songs and the up & coming artists that we liked. With everyone else, however, I discussed different genres that they could relate to.

By the end of high school, my friends that had criticized me for my love of trance music had turned a new leaf and started attending raves, where trance music reigned popular at the time. It all began with Armin van Buuren at Beta in Denver, CO. Then came Ferry Corsten at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Then Tiësto at the Belly Up in Aspen. I watched from afar as trance slowly made its way into the spotlight for many of my friends.

In today’s musical world, trance has made a name for itself, especially with the likes of Tiësto, who has turned his music towards more of a pop following. Nonetheless, I will always remember him and other artists for their earlier trance music and how it has impacted me so.

Guest DJ – Shaquana Desiderio

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I sit across from Shaquana Desiderio, waiting to hear the five songs she had chosen as her most influential songs. With the broad spectrum of music that rides the soundwave in present day, I thought about how hard it is to choose only five songs. Just five. However, Shaquana presented her five with confidence and provided excellent examples as to how these songs have impacted her throughout her life thus far. From Rock to Country to Pop, here are Shaquana’s 5 Most Influential Songs:

Shaquana’s first song was “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana. This was one of the first bands that Shaquana became obsessed with, which led her to purchase the acoustic dvd that included this song. During her younger years, she enjoyed listening to rock and alternative grunge. This began in elementary and trailed into middle school. Nirvana in particular is special to Shaquana because of the memories she has of the friends she made in school, which return when she is listening to this song especially.

The second song that Shaquana chose was “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. The memories attached to this song comprise of early mornings spent at her grandmother’s house with an old radio in Smoke Signals, AZ. Shaquana described the radio as old and dusty, with some of buttons not even working. However, “Landslide” could be heard emitting from the radio, sometimes three or four times a day, while Shaquana and other members of her family helped her grandmother clean or cook. “It just really reminds me of my grandma and the memories I’ve created with my mom and my siblings and my younger cousins,” Shaquana said.

During a more serious period in Shaquana’s life, “Sweet Dreams” by Patsy Cline reigned significant. This was the song that Shaquana’s mom listened to when Shaquana’s parents were having issues, when she would be upset and angry. Shaquana remembered her mother sitting in her room playing this specific song, and the sadness attached to it. “Whenever I hear that song I think of my mom and the harsh memories of when they used to fight or bicker,” Shaquana recalled.

 

Shaquana returned back to the memories made during school, only this timeframe consisted of her high school years. The song chosen for this period of Shaquana’s life was “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin. Shaquana attended Valley High School in Arizona, where she remembers getting ready to go out with friends and sneaking out of the house. Shaquana and her friends would then go drive around or get into trouble. One friend in particular named Charmayne is responsible for Shaquana’s love for “Going to California.” Shaquana recalled Charmayne playing the song all the time, including the occasions where Shaquana would go over to her house. Therefore, this song is an important reminder of Shaquana’s friendship with Charmayne.

 

To wrap up the fifth and final influential song, Shaquana chose “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey. This was the first song that Shaquana had heard from Lana, which also reminded her of going into her freshman year of college. She reminisced of the experiences she created during that first year, as well as the homesick feeling she developed. Shaquana is now a junior at Fort Lewis College, and is still reminded of the memories she created while listening to “Video Games” those few years ago.

As I sat and listened to Shaquana share the songs that had impacted her life, I caught a glimmer of flashback in her eye and the sound of sincerity in her voice. I thought picking five songs would be hard, but I never expected the storytelling behind these decisions to be just as difficult. Shaquana shared some personal moments with me and described these events in her life in a way that allowed myself to glimpse into her past, both through her voice and tone as well as through her music choices. It was nice to see Shaquana open up through her love for music and be able to speak of such monumental times in her life.