Thursday, September 23, 2004


When I was younger and stupid, ie: in high school, my music tastes did not wander too far away from the top 40 station. The exception was my disturbingly large collection of musical soundtracks. Actually, the musical soundtracks were my clue as to what my taste would develop into, once the facism of high school was behind me. What I like about music is the singing. Why? Selfishly, it's because I like to sing. I like music I can sing along to. Loudly. When I'm in the car. Or doing the dishes. Or just walking down the street. I have a pretty good voice, I'm not ashamed!

So when the hardcore grunge of the early 90's slowly gave way to the singer songwrite, I was in heaven! Especially the women artists like Sarah and Jewel (yes, Jewel, before she sold out and become all whore-y).

I think the reason I love that kind of music so much is how expressive it is, capturing nuances of emotion that I could never express otherwise. I am not a poet or songwriter. I don't scribble my pain away on tablets. I envy those that do. Instead I sing my pain away in songs that other people wrote. I have lived my life as soundtracks. Songs for the sad times and happy times, when I'm in love or when I'm brokenhearted. It's pretty safe to say that I've got a song playing in my head most of the time. And not always the annoying ones, like the winky winky song.

The Indigo Girls have been around a long time. I knew of their existance when I was in high school and college. I knew that their music was right up my alley. But, and this is perhaps one of the stupidest notions I have ever had: I was afraid to buy a CD or listen to their music much. Why? Because they were...gasp! lesbians. Don't get me wrong, I had no qualms with lesbians. But I went to college in a very small, very rural town. People were not very open minded about alternative lifestyles. I was afraid that if I listened to music sung by lesbians, people would think I was a lesbian. After all, I wasn't really dating anyone. I was not sleeping around with the college boys. I was teetering on the edge, apparently, and I didn't want anything to push more over the social ledge.

Now, is that about the dumbest logic you have ever heard in YOUR ENTIRE LIFE??? I am ashamed to even admit it.

Fast forward to my first year in Atlanta. A friend in my class asks if anyone wants to go see the Indigo Girls in concert. Sure! Why not? I was curious. And slight more evolved than I had been in college (I hoped).

That was one of the most amazing concerts I had ever been to. That music took hold of me. Every song Amy and Emily sang was TO ME! Like they knew me! They were singing my soundtrack!!!

After the concert, Least Complicated was my new favorite song. I went out and bought some CD's. Like an addict, I wanted more!

I’m just a mirror of a mirror myself
All the things that I do
And the next time I fall I’m gonna have to recall
It’s isn’t love it’s only something new

It was the best song ever. That song is about me, definately. And I listened to my new CD's. OMG! Galileo! That's my new favorite song! I am using way too many exclamation points!!!

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of galileo
King of night vision, king of insight

I’m not making a joke, you know me
I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there’ll be no nuclear annihilation
In my lifetime I’m still not right

It was something I could roll down the windows of my car and sing at the top of my voice.
I own quite a few Indigo Girl CD's now. But for Christmas a few years ago, my friend JN bought me the CD that I listen to the most: Retrospective
It's kind of a "best of" CD. They have a few out, but Retrospective is the best. Every song on it is my favorite. I know all the words.

I imagine, maybe...one day...in the distant future... sitting next to a cradle, singing a baby to sleep with Power of Two. Not really a lullaby, but I like the part about scarying away the monsters.

Now we’re talking about a difficult thing
And your eyes are getting wet
I took us for better and I took us for worse
Don’t you ever forget it
Now the steel bars between me and a promise
Suddenly bend with ease
The closer I’m bound in love to you
The closer I am to free

So we’re okay
We’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take them apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the power of two

Get Out the Map is another one of those feel good, fuck the world, I'm rolling down the windows and screaming it from the top of my lungs kinds of music. You can't help but sing along. Also a good "piss off to this town" kind of song. I sing it whenever I get sick of Atlanta - which is more and more, these days.

Why do we hurtle ourselves through every inch of time and space
I must say around some corner I can sense a resting place
With every lesson learned a line upon your beautiful face
We’ll amuse ourselves one day with these memories we’ll trace

Get out the map
Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town
Don’t drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone
I’m gonna clear my head
(I’m gonna clear my head)
I’m gonna drink that sun
(I’m gonna drink that sun)
I’m gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young

Go is a feminist anthem. Real girl power, not that slutty fake poppy shit.

did they tell you it was set it stone
that you'd end up alone
use your years to psyche you out
you're too old to care
you're too young to count

did they tell you, you would come undone
when you try to touch the sun
undermine the underground
you're too old to care
you're too young to count

And then there's Ghost. Very few songs make me cry. In fact, only two do. Angel, by Sarah McLachlan, and Ghost. Angel, because that was the song that was all over the radio when my brother was in the hospital. And Ghost because it is about how painful love can be. I defy anyone who's had their heart broken to listen to Ghost and not cry. Here's all of it:

There’s a letter on the desktop
That I dug out of a drawer
The last truce we ever came to
In our adolescent war
And I start to feel the fever
From the warm air through the screen
You come regular like seasons
Shadowing my dreams

And the mississippi’s mighty
But it starts in minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down
And I guess that’s how you started
Like a pinprick to my heart
But at this point you rush right through me
And I start to drown

And there’s not enough room
In this world for my pain
Signals cross and love gets lost
And time passed makes it plain
Of all my demon spirits
I need you the most
I’m in love with your ghost
I’m in love with your ghost

Dark and dangerous like a secret
That gets whispered in a hush
(don’t tell a soul)
When I wake the things I dreamt about you
Last night make me blush
(don’t tell a soul)
And you kiss me like a lover
Then you sting me like a viper
I go follow to the river
Play your memory like a piper

And I feel it like a sickness
How this love is killing me
I’d walk into the fingers
Of your fire willingly
And dance the edge of sanity
I’ve never been this close
I’m in love with your ghost

Unknowing captor
You never know how much you
Pierce my spirit
But I can’t touch you
Can you hear it
A cry to be free
Oh I’m forever under lock and key
As you pass through me

Now I see your face before me
I would launch a thousand ships
To bring your heart back to my island
As the sand beneath me slips
As I burn up in your presence
And I know now how it feels
To be weakened like achilles
With you always at my heels

This bitter pill I swallow
Is the silence that I keep
It poisons me I can’t swim free
The river is too deep
Though I’m baptized by your touch
I am no worse than most
In love with your ghost

You are shadowing my dreams
(in love with your ghost)
(in love with your ghost)
(in love with your ghost)

I don't know why I felt moved to dedicate an entire post to the Indigo Girls. Probaby because that's the CD I have playing in the car, so I've been listening to it again for the past few days. A good sountrack to calm me for the crappy stuff I've been dealing with in the lab. And also because I don't have deep thoughtful poetry to post. I'm not a songwriter. I am amazed I have kept this blog for as long as I have, or that I've been able to string words together into something not only legible, but potentially mildly entertaining as well.

Make of it what you will. I need to get to bed!!!