Category Archives: colourfulMUSIC

My Birthday Anthem

Happy Birthday to me! I decided to pick a song for my birthday, heck, for the next year. And Dog Days are Over is the winner. Congratulations, Florence, would you like to make a speech? Call me.

It is my absolute favorite song, evidenced by the fact that is has been on constant repeat. Constant. I’m listening to it while I run, while I clean, while I dance, while I cry, while I drive. And yes, I know that the song is not even on Florence and the Machine’s newest album, but have I ever been one to be current on music? Just the other day, some tweens had to tell me that I was listening to a Michael Jackson song. Yes, I cried a little inside.

***Update: I just went for a birthday run (CLOTHED!), and listened to my anthem to finish it off. It was tough and hot and my face was refusing to sweat, so I pretended the people in the video below were throwing glitter at me too to cheer me on. Just as the run finally ended, it started to rain. I swear it was as epic as Shawshank! My hands were extended into the heavens. I’m sure I looked just like Andy, minus the poo and the shirtless-ness. Andy’s classic quote seems rather fitting too on this the day of my birth: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”



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Cranberries: The Fruit, The Festival & The Band

In early October, my Aunt Sandy and I took a beautiful fall drive to the Cranberry Festival in Warrens, Wisconsin. I have never seen so many cranberry related items in all my life. Cranberry Wine. Cranberry Apple Crisp. Cranberry Brats. Cranberry Preserves. Cranberry Everything!

All of this cranberry talk got me to thinking about THE Cranberries. Remember them? Zombie, zombie, zomb-A-A-A. Ya, those guys. I decided I should stalk them on the internet, and guess what? They coincidentally have a new album coming out next year, called Roses. To get a free copy of one of their new songs, click on this link for a little free Cranberry love.

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Audio-Visual Candy: Colourful Stop-Motion

Seth found this amazing video.  I had to share!

“The new music video for ‘Against The Grain’ from emerging Melbourne indie-folk artist Hudson sees him collaborate with film maker/animator/VJ Dropbear (aka Jonathan Chong), producing a vibrant and colourful clip based around a mainstay from our humble artistic efforts throughout childhood – coloured pencils.” — Vimeo

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Iron and Wine


You know when you listen to certain music it has this comforting, peaceful quality, and it doesn’t matter how many times you listen the feeling of being grounded and at home resonates so strongly it’s like chatting with an old friend.  Sam Beam’s music is like home to me.  That is the only way I can describe his music.  When I am feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, I listen to his music and I feel connected to myself once again.  Not only is Sam an amazing vocalist and guitarist, but his lyrics are like poetry.  I am drawn to Naked as we Came, not because it is particularly upbeat, but because of the reality and truth that is told within it.



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Role models for love

Fran & Marlo Cowan (married 62 years) seized the opportunity when they saw a piano in the Mayo atrium.  They didn’t expect that their  performance would go viral on youtube and inspire people to live more passionate lives.  I hope this puts a smile on your face as it did mine.  Let’s try to emulate even a fraction of the joy these two share.

If you are curious about their background, they were featured in an Iowa Public Television show.  It is is worth watching.  After 62 years of marriage, it is inspiring to witness two people who have lived a lifetime together through all their ups and downs, and yet still have adventures – this is truly living!

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Mourning in North Minneapolis: “The Women Gather”

As some of you may know, two young men-only boys actually-were killed in my neighborhood. The first happened over the weekend and the second last night. Before I moved here, I might have been able to forget and just thank God that it didn’t happen in my backyard or in my neighborhood, similar to how I often put out of my mind other atrocities happening in the world around me. But now that these killings did happen in my neighborhood and in my backyard, I’m forced to actually consider it. My heart aches for the mothers and families of these children. I can only imagine what they are experiencing right now. It’s shocking to think I might have interacted with these boys while walking the dogs. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all, but I have discovered my thinking has changed. Regardless of where you live, shouldn’t we all feel collective responsibility? As MLK said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Often it seems that if we aren’t ignoring the oppression outright, we are blaming the victims. I hope I can become more active in the fight against injustices like these.

I saw Sweet Honey in the Rock perform the first song in the video clip below a few years ago. It came back to me today and it is quite fitting. The song is an ASL interpreted performance; however, the camera doesn’t stay on the interpreter so I included the lyrics below.

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Rap and Sign Language Coalesce

I was chatting with my co-workers Jules and Maria today at work about a conference they were able to attend.  Maria and Jules shared that there was a deaf finnish rapper at the conference.  Maria was able to go to the forum to see him perform, and she said he was amazing.  Watch for yourself.  Signmark is the first deaf person to actually get a record deal with a music company.  Watch his vlogs to find out about his journey, and don’t worry for the signing impaired people there are captions available.

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Colour Tracy Chapman’s World

I’ve been obsessed with Tracy Chapman lately. I love her voice. But to be honest, I thought she was dead. Isn’t that horrible!? In my defense, you all know I came to “secular” music rather late in life. So, as far as I knew she was ancient. I had no time context whatsoever in which to place her. I had never really seen any pictures of her except for the little tiny album covers that pop up on Pandora which frankly don’t quite convey a person’s age adequately much less their current life status. What a pleasant surprise to google her and discover she is very much alive and youthful. Even better, I checked out her website; it’s interactive. You literally get to “colour your world.”  Go play on her website! Each link has a new page to colour, and at the same time, you can listen to one of her songs!



The Indomitable Spirit of the May Day Parade

My favorite part of living in Minnesota is the way we embrace spring. I tell myself if it didn’t get this cold, I wouldn’t appreciate spring nearly as much. Every May 1st, the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre welcomes spring along with thousands of others at their annual May Day Parade. This was my third time attending, and it was by far the coldest. I was wearing long underwear. We had snow flurries. Still, the artistry of the costumes, the floats, and the music made the three layers of blankets worth it. I was completely inspired.  Please, the people and dog watching alone kept me entertained during the blustery day!

(Nancy, Joby, and I took the pictures below.)


Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

Have you heard of composer Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir? If not, you are in for a treat. It all started with a fan who sang one of his pieces and uploaded it to you tube. He was inspired by her idea and decided to create a virtual choir by uniting voices from disparate places, ages, and backgrounds. He sent out a video of himself conducting the song, and then had people audition with their specific parts. All the videos were then consolidated into one glorious result. They now have two full classical pieces completed. Remember each individual part was recorded separately in homes all over the world, from Alaska to Italy. His latest piece included over 2,000 different voices and 58 different countries.

To hear him tell the story live, check out this video. Yes, I cried.

The songs–watch both of them–they are beautiful. It’s amazing how technology can be used to unite people when used effectively.

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