Friday, January 21, 2011

And the Beat Goes On...

You know the feeling.

You hear a song for the first time, probably one you’re driven to listen to because it’s by your favorite artist/band. The song is amazing. It’s a great marriage of harmonious melodies, beats, and personally meaningful lyrics. For approximately 2 to 3 minutes, you’re one piece of a musical bond. You wade through the song’s second verse, bridge, and hook; automatically preparing yourself for the ending of the song. You’ve already made up your mind that you’re going to put the song on repeat to enjoy it again. And then it happens…

The singer’s/band’s vocals drop out.
The volume doesn’t fade, but steadies at its current pace.
The instruments spread their wings and soar across your heart, leaving an incredibly warm, resounding feeling behind. It’s as if they were using the song as a mere warm up.
And it’s beautiful.
And surprising.
And nourishing.
Even after the fiftieth time you’ve taken this journey.
It’s like the artist has given you a gift. As if he/she trusts the song’s melody enough to turn away the steady, watchful eye of their voice and allow it to roam and reverberate. The listener undergoes a tiny bit of sadness when approaching the end of a song.

But here, the melody is like a lingering kiss before the goodbye.

I love that feeling. It’s one of the things that I live for in music: when the beat goes on.
Here is a list of my favorite songs that do just that…

1. Do I Do – Stevie Wonder
2. Woman – Maroon 5
3. Papa Was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations
4. Got to Give It Up – Marvin Gaye
5. When Everything Is New – Little Brother
6. Kings and Queens – 30 Seconds to Mars
7. Waking Up – OneRepublic
8.  Surrender Saved My Life – This Beautiful Republic
9. Don’t Wait – The Foreign Exchange Feat. Darien Brockington
10. Red Letters – DC Talk
11. Dangerous – Michael Jackson
12. Moment In Life – Musiq Soulchild
13. Love Stoned/I Think That She Knows – Justin Timberlake
14. I Keep/Still Here – Jill Scott
15. Umi Says -- Mos Def

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me...

More ramblings of things I am figuring out about myself.
2011 is going to be a doozy, I can already tell....

1. My heart beats for quality time. If you don't like to invest your time in me, it is the equivalent of a slap in the face. My true friends seek to spend time with me, not just tolerate having me around.
2. I get annoyed really, really easy. And even though I am working on not showing it outwardly, I will always have an inner reaction. Kind of like rolling my eyes at you in my head.
3. I'm still waiting on my BIG MOMENT. Not sure what that means yet. I really feel there is something significant that I haven't done yet. But I know its coming.
4. I enjoy being hospitable. Like, really enjoy it. It's important to me for people to enjoy being in my home; comfortable, well-fed, and entertained. I want to have a night where people lose track of time and are at my house until the wee hours of the morning. I'm scared I'm not that interesting yet, though.
5. My need to get in shape has become more about livelihood and vitality and less about my figure.
6. I have quite an ear for music. I appreciate actual instruments and harmony in a song...which is why I'm so picky of what I listen to...
7. I'm tapping into my "go with the flow" mode. I'm planning on taking a lot of chances this year, and bounce back 100% times faster if they don't work out.
8. Two things give me a headache without fail: Stress and Not eating.
9. I don't want anymore close friends right now. I need to cultivate the relationships I have.
10. Last year, I struggled with really wanting to get married. I haven't had a single thought like that so far this year. Now, I am thrilled I'm not getting married anytime soon. Thrilled, I tell you.
11. Three things I love right now: Books, Welch's Concord Cherry Grape Juice, Big singing voices
12. Above all things, God has been my counselor. I've had a pretty lonely road, so I'm glad I had/have him to release my pain to.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SoulPancake (Yeah, I know...)

I've owned this book for about 5 hours and it has already started to change my life. It's fresh and successfully unhinged the glob of mortar that caused my writer's block.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When You Believe (My Go-To Inspirational Playlist)

It's funny how a single song...3:34 minutes of music...can change your whole perspective of a situation. That's the beautiful thing about music: it can mold, as well as express, a mindset. Most of the time, this is a negative thing, but I like to think that music was meant to inspire.

Inspire well-being, peace, and determination.

Granted, I do get in those moods where I only want to listen to Coldplay, James Blunt, and Sam Cooke. My deep melancholy is expressed in the music playlist of my choice. As it is when I'm in a romantic, praise-oriented, or thuggish mood. So, I figured I'd share my all-time favorite inspirational tracks. God knows with the cold, frigid weather we could all use a little warmth.

1. When You Believe - Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston (Prince of Egypt Soundtrack)
2. World's Greatest - R.Kelly (Ali Soundtrack)
3. I Believe - Yolanda Adams (Honey Soundtrack)

4. Hero - Nas (The N Word Album)
5. I Believe I Can Fly - (Yep) R Kelly (Space Jam Soundtrack)
6. Declaration (This Is It) - Kirk Franklin (The Fight of My Life Album)
7. Stand Out - Powerline/AKA: Tevin Campbell (A Goofy Movie Soundtrack)
8. Not Afraid - Eminem (Recovery Album)
9. Tightrope - Janelle Monae (The ArchAndroid Album)
10. In the Light - DC Talk (Jesus Freak Album)
11. Warm It Up (With Love) - Brandy (Human Album)
12. Black or White - Michael Jackson (Dangerous Album)
13. Lovely Day - Bill Withers (The Very Best of Bill Withers Album)
14. Dare You To Move - Switchfoot (The Beautiful Letdown Album/A Walk to Remember Soundtrack)
15. It's My Life - Bon Jovi (Crush Album)
16. Good Life - OneRepublic (Waking Up Album)
17. I Believe - Fantasia (Self-Titled Album)
18. River Deep, Mountain High - Celine Dion (c/o Tina Turner) (Let's Talk About Love Album)

19. Optimistic - The Sounds of Blackness

Honorable Mention: Whip My Hair - Willow Smith
 Did I miss any?