Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Only Place

Are you sick of me posting about my hair already? Yeah, me too. But since it is a major change in my being, I suppose I ought to complete the visual log of this transformation. However, in the interest of having some actual substance to this post, I'm gonna share some of my current favorite tunes with ya'll.
                                     Dress- a gift from Nicole
                                   Necklace- a gift from Sara
                                          Mocs- the Fair
                                  petticoat- free from The Dump

In the summer I often find myself craving quiet after the hectic days working in town, but come fall I'm suddenly ravenous for new sounds.

As I've mentioned in a previous music post, one of the funny things about "growing up" is that you become less passionate about new music. Call it the sound of settling if you will, but that is one of the enduring rhythms of life: the older you get the less receptive you are to the Zoo of the New (and more likely to cultivate annoying references;).
Which I think is totally okay, because There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, continues to be the most perfect song in the Universe. Meanwhile, though other, less perfect songs are created from the free radicals floating among the stars who's cosmic resonance is totally worth hearing. (Ah! Here's to out-hippieing myself once again!)

Personally, I would so much rather be like my 71-year-old friend recommending the new Cat Power album to me, than my 25-year-old friend that only listens to music from the 60s and 70s. Both have excellent taste in music, but one is more in this world as it stands right now, not bogged down with too much nostalgia. Which in this case is for an era that they didn't even live through.
Depending on your age/engagement with the musical universe (ah! I get such kicks out of this.) you might wonder how one gets exposed to new tunes. Here's my tips:
1. Podcasts/ Emusic.
Find a podcast of new music from a station you like. Seems simple but it works. I listen mostly to KEXP's "song of the day", since the NPR one went on hiatus.

Like many long time Emusic users, I continue to be disappointed by the changes the service keeps undergoing, but still find it to be hands down the best, cheapest way to find new tunes. For sixteen bucks a month I get two-and-a-half (used to be four-and-a-half-though!) albums of music, most of it pretty alternative and under the radar. With a subscription, it's easy to try out new things with little regret. See something you like? You already paid, might as well try it out.

2. Young hip sister/ friend/ blogger you follow:
My sister has pretty similar taste in music to mine. Except hipper. Find a friend who's taste you like and ask them to share their new favorites.

Alternatively, find a music blogger who's tastes coincide with your own and follow their reviews. Music bloggers are typically the kind of junkies you used to be in your mid-twenties and will analyze and over-analyze interesting new releases for your pleasure.

3. Doe Bay! Doe Bay!
Need I say more? Go to a festival. Go to a show. Go see music live. Even if the headliner is your old favorite, the opening band might be brilliant young hopefuls you've never heard of.

Naturally, as I mentioned in the Doe Bay-post, Noah Gundersen pretty much blew me away with his set, and him and Abby have been on heavy rotation at our house and the shop ever sense. His tortured voice and moody songs are perfect for crisp fall air.
                                    Dress- Flaming Hag Folkwear on Etsy
                       Bracelet-gift from Nicole (in the pocket of the dress I bought!)
                                      Everything else- free from the Dump

I don't know about you, but I love fall. September is, in fact, my very favorite month. Because of how our school years were arranged it marks for me new beginnings, shifting energy, new plans, dresses, tattoos, hair, hobbies (more about that later!), new harvest, abundance, especially here on the Island, since we have not only fruits and vegetables and berries, but money, for once, after the summer.

I know Best Coast's music songs are in amour of California, but that doesn't deter me from identifying with The Only Place. You can keep your waves and rays, Golden State, I have everything I need here. And  as long as I can hang out with some of your babes, from time to time, I'm happiest where I am. Why would I live anywhere else? This is the only place for me.
Things to marvel at in the fall: my bees killing off their drones. When it comes time to hunker down for the winter the hives get rid of the loaf around males, pushing them out of the hive and attacking them if they try to re-enter. Sad, but necessary.
You can see two sets female bees attacking drones in this shot.
                                         Dress- free from The Dump
                                         Clogs and vest- thrifted 
                           bag- The Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium
                                       Necklace- gift from Missa
                      Bracelet- gift from Nicole (These two just magically happen to match, right?)

Another fall perk: The return of the outfit shot. I have to admit, I often miss this, the most frivolous aspect of blogging.

In the fall I  have time to run again in the morning. For the last year and a half Mumford and Sons have been a staple of my morning run, and I'm happy to retire them for a time in exchange for these fine fellas. They're perfect for making a fall morning appear even more etherial than it already does.

I raved about them when they opened for the Bowerbirds and they're just as good on record. If you think you can fall in love with a band made up from former hardcore boys, one of whom dropped out medical school for their record deal and who sound like medieval court bards gone awry, you can fall in love with Dry The River.
My ducklings have gone feral in these last few months. Every couple of weeks we play a game of hide-and-seek, me looking for their nests in the thicket, the ducks trying their best to conceal them.
My prize: duck eggs galore, ducks safe and sound in the coop for the night and ancient artifacts accidentally uncovered in the process.
There's so much fun junk in the thicket behind our house, just waiting to be uncovered.

For those darkening nights, cuddling up to your book, kitten, tea mug, or partner,  I recommend Laura Gibson's La Grande, or perhaps Regina Spektor's latest What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. These albums are both dark, moody and oddly joyous, full of stormy night energy.


I love how Regina Spektor continues to eschew any preconceived notions one might have of her music.   She is somebody who is completely original in today's music scene. I don't think I'll find her work predictable. Except maybe in it's unpredictability.

 The Deep Dark Woods have also been in heavy rotation around our homestead. Mali had their 2009 album The Winter Hours on her computer and after a couple of rounds I was completely enamored with it. Take a listen of this gorgeous rendition of All The Money I had is Gone, from this utterly under-appreaciated band who hail from the romantic sounding Saskatoon, Canada. Singer Ryan Boldt's voice is guaranteed to make shivers run down your spine.

That pretty much covers my musical exploits this, the melancholiest  of seasons.

Oh, but I do a actually have one more music-related tip: really good, huge headphones. They make it sound like Alex and Jade are singing just for you. Which they are. In your own personal Musical Universe.

Questions, comments, musical recommendations?


  1. you look like a mermaid. love the hair. and i am the person who won't listen to new music. i'm lazy and i never like anything i hear that's new, beyond fun radio rap music that makes me want to booty dance. i'm happy to listen to old blues and jazz and rock and call it a day.

  2. I agree. The hair is fabulous :) All my favorite shades of blue/green in there.

    I also quite enjoy this post because D. and I were having this exact conversation the other day. About how when we were younger we swore we'd never be "uncool." We'd always be up on current music and musicians. We'd listen along with our kids(who would also think we were totally cool). It's funny how important that once was to us. What you don't realize when you are younger is how much other stuff becomes more interesting to you as you get older. And-- I agree-- there are some songs and bands who will always just be better--ones you can't even top-- so why keep looking? Who can hold a candle to a well-written Bob Dylan song or pretty much most of Belle & Sebastian's records? Seriously.

    So, thanks for sharing these tunes to keep us up to date...

  3. It looks fantastic! The duck, eggs and cat are some kind of fabulous as well :)

  4. No way! I was considering dyeing the underside of my hair to match my turquoise nose stud! We're on the same wavelength, sister.

    Speaking of wavelengths, I too have been delving deeper into music. I finally am starting a band with my friends! I just needed to clear room in my life for it. Thank you for expanding my fall playlist!

    You still thinking of coming city-way in the fall? I'd love to meet you!

  5. Yay! I love when you do these kinds of posts. You have given me so much music inspiration (hello bowerbirds) and I can't wait to buy some albums from these artists. I particularly want to further check out Dry River Bed and the Deep Dark Woods.(ooh i like those two names together, sounds like a mysterious nature night). and that Best Coast song (and vid) is hilarious! not much waves and babes around here, but sun in spades for sure. leave your coat behind indeed. I love how you intersperse musical gems with little glimpses into your september life. and i LOVE LOVE LOVE your perspective on september which is so different from mine!you get get a real taste of fall up there with the sudden decline of summer's madness and the harvest and darkening cool nights and extra time on your hands for runs and outfit shots (HOORAYYYY!!!) i have the extra time, but the feeling of new energies of fall doesn't show up until the cooler temps of october (lordy i hope!) today i am going to take a very summery walk (plastered sweaty hair and least clothing i can muster) with my hot and sweaty little babe over to my mama's house for a visit. I will be daydreaming of your northernlands fall and maybe playing some of these new tunes on my ipod! Thanks for making it that much more pleasant, and lest I forget to mention: YOU LOOK AMAZING. The hair is perfectly mermaidy and the DRESSES, sweet jesus the dresses.

  6. oh. I have no time! I only get to listen to music when everyone else has gone to school or work and I'm at home taste is not so refined my dear, I'm listening to the smooth tones of jack Johnson right now with some Flight of the Conchords hilarity and a late 90s album of Regurgitator (an Australian band)...I can't wait to listen to your choices though. x

  7. What I REALLY need to seek out though, is Accordion music. Every time I hear it...on whatever or wherever, it catches my ear and mind for a blessed moment.

  8. Firstly Milla, your hair is fabulous - really suits you! I loved hearing about your older friend, who is "more in this world as it stands right now". This struck a cord with me, as, I know everyone loves vintage and '70's smocks and bellbottoms and just about everything to do with that time, but as a teenager in the 1970's, those clothes were dreadful back then! Synthetic, everything had some orange or brown in it and fit badly, yikes, I'd never want to go back to that era. I'm definitely more in the 'now' as well. Happy September! x

  9. SWOONING over your mother of pearlescent locks my dear young hip sister/friend/blogger I follow ;) Love love love it and it looks so good with all these amazing dresses! Woohoo, the return of the outfit shot, yes, let's start a movement :D

    The matching bracelet!!! So cool. It's fun to see you with smooth straight hair too, though I love your wild curls so, and look forward to seeing them all awash in these new colors.

    Loving this glimpse into your Northlands September world and you know I always dig your musical recommendations, so many good ones here! I am becoming especially enamored with this Noah Gunderson whose album I happen to be listening to as I type and through nice big headphones no less, so as not to awake my sleeping fam, but it's so true, it really does make a huge difference. Yeah, so, I'm gonna have to say that "Fire" is well on its way to becoming my new fall jam, thank you very much :)

  10. I'm with look like a mermaid! or perhaps selke is more apt. :) so happy you went for the greens and blues, despite the goth fears....i think you need to make a moss garland, fitting for queen of the deep dark woods.

    love the music recommends, thank you so much. favorite bloggers who post links and lists have def been one way i've found new tunes the last few years. also by listening to radio shows...kpfa in the city has 3 bluegrass shows on sundays, and i keep a pen and paper nearby while listening.

    also really loving all the mundane magic in this post. the simple signs of a turning season, but also fantastical and wild...ho hum the bees, duck eggs, magical trinkets in the back i know what you look like...Faery Queen of the Forest. truly. love you!

  11. Your hair looks great and thanks for music recommendations! Adding Fire to one of my playlists (plus Noah is a cutie!) and the River dudes are interesting too.

  12. Love this whole post! Thanks for sharing the green locks, looks like fun- my girls are off in October and I told em we'd try it out!! I think if I sneak a little inside my hair, I could hide it if... hhhh hhhm, for WHEN I get a job!

    Love the guard duck shot, she looked like she really meant business!

    I have a sister who is 8 years younger and always sends music suggestions my way, and my brother DJs (used to do it for raves... now more like bdays and weddings), so I get a lot of fun new music from the two of them. I think I'm right in the middle of nostalgia (70s music) and todays stuff. Edward Sharpe is stinkin amazing, I've had them playing on spotify for a while.
    I keep going back to Andrew Bird who I can't get enough of. While I was in school for my RN, I listened to it some 200+ times because it wasn't distracting while I was studying. I keep listening to it and keep saying I should support the poor fell and buy his album "Break it yourself" which is great from start to finish. I initially discovered him on a college radio station playing the song "give it away."
    Think I might always be in love with Squirrel Nut Zippers, especially their "Hot" album, and found out that Andrew Bird used to play with them (totally makes sense when you hear some of his other stuff). We listen to Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas album every year :D
    the end. (this was book long :D) Happy Monday Lovely!

  13. Yay! I love the color of your hair, you look like a mermaid <3

  14. Thanks for this. That last one just made my day. I would say one of my favorites right now is Kathaleen Edwards.

  15. first off, your hair looks awesome. i love the colors! great outfits and i love the herbal symposium bag!

    i would like to add that having a 13 year old son is another way to hear new music :D max's favorite band is mumford and sons and he really likes edward sharpe (that video ruled btw) as well. to be honest, i don't listen to much new music. not because i'm stuck in a decade i didn't live through but for some reason i just don't connect with MOST (not all) newer music. that being said, i actually REALLY liked the deep dark woods! he doesn't sound like every other guy singer out there which is a breath of fresh air to me. maybe that's it! i feel like all the singers right now sound very similar.

    there is a light that never goes out is one of my favorite smiths songs. and the smiths are my ultimate september band. for some reason i connect them to september and fall. always have. they are one of my favorite bands to sing along with :D

    honsetly i could talk about music all day. it is one of my favorite topics :D one of my all time loves is nick cave and the bad seeds. if you have chance watch the video henery lee with pj harvey. he can really do no wrong in my eyes. and for good moody instrumental music check his band mates side project- dirty three. it's really pretty and perfect background music for a lazy, stormy day. i could go on and on and on but won't :D

  16. i had to come back and tell you that i listened to the deep dark woods album, winter hours, and i absolutely love it! you don't understand how stoked i am. now i can't wait to listen to the rest of their albums. thank you ever so much! you gave me a renewed hope in modern music :D for reals.

  17. Thank you for all the new music recommendations! Oh, and the Man on Fire video made my heart swell... so thanks for that bloggy love as well.

    Your hair looks fantastic, and I always enjoy your outfit posts. Also, I had no idea that bees behaved this way. Fascinating! Thanks for another great read!

  18. dude, you are unreal. are you for real? seriously, so beautiful.

  19. I like how you and your duck have the same groovy green tone going on too!

  20. Ohmygosh thank you for posting about Noah Gundersen. I cannot stop listening to him now! P.s. your hair matches PERFECTLY with your free-from-the-dump dress and makes me think of Nereids :)

  21. Oh My how beautiful that is. It suits you so perfectly, and it is peacock colors, just lovely.
    xx E