Looking Ahead

I’ve been wanting to write a post about music for a long time; ever since I started this blog, in fact. I have very strong opinions about music—and as you may have noticed, I kind of love to share my opinions. For some reason, though, it’s been nearly impossible for me to decide where to begin. So I’ve chosen my three favorite albums of the last year (well, the last 6 months or so), and extensive investigations of those albums will follow in a few parts. For now, though, an introduction.

Source: Wikipedia for "Steal the Light"

Steal the Light

First up: Steal the Light, the 2013 creation of Australian genre-defying band Cat Empire. Intriguing amalgamations of ska, jazz, and funk with a liberal dose of Latin. The music is thrilling, the lyrics inspirational, the beats unbelievably danceable. Taking a trip through this album involves moving to some brilliant rhythms and simultaneously realizing the profundity of the themes that thread throughout the record. Undeniably my favorite album of the year, though I came to it late.

Source: Wikipedia for "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action"

Round two: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, the third album from my longtimefavorites Franz Ferdinand. They nailed it this time. It’s a brilliant record: it’s got some fantastic dance numbers, a couple of straight-up pop songs, and some heartbreakingly exquisite ballads—all, of course, with that hint (sometimes more than a hint, I suppose) of offbeat weirdness that makes FF’s work so eternally entertaining.

Source: Wikipedia for "We Need Medicine"

And finally: Seven Nights, Seven Days, another third album by another British band, this time the Fratellis (I swear it’s a coincidence that two of my top three are British…). After a bit of a hiatus, the bold wit is still there, but there’s now a new hint of maturity that adds some substance to the trio’s work. The result is a record that can evoke entirely opposite emotions at precisely the same moment; it might make me laugh, but at the same time I’ll wonder why I feel like weeping. It’s a fascinating balance with an extremely satisfying result.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a close look at each of these albums—this post is more to keep me on track than to entertain you lovely readers (I do love having readers, but it’s the truth). Watch for something about Cat Empire within the week!


Smoke and Mirrors

So I’ve been wanting to write more, right? Life (well, the start of another semester) has interfered thus far, but I decided it was time to try out one of WP’s daily prompts. We’ll see how long I can keep up with them, but I’d rather blog than read for things like Media Law, so here goes.

Today’s prompt: “Mirror, mirror.” Internal vs. external. How you feel vs. how you look. How apropos.

Today was a rough day, in terms of mental health. I’m still not very good at this whole remembering-to-take-pills thing (after 6 months, you’d think I’d be better at it), and two days of said forgetfulness has led to a surprisingly vicious war of manic-depressive emotions. By the end of the day, I was slumped at my desk, head in hands, apathetic, overwhelmed by the mess of rage and pain and sadness of a depressive episode heretofore held at bay by those little white pills I kind of hate but apparently need. Moments like that make me introspective, though. They make me wonder if anyone knows, if anyone would know had I not shared my little secret with them—“hey, I guess you should know, I kind of have this thing….” It’s not something I’m accustomed to, sharing something so intensely personal.

I think I’m good at keeping up a façade. I always look put together; maybe I come off as cold, or aloof, or distant, but I rarely betray my internal chaos by allowing it to rage across my face, poisoning my interactions and broadening that gulf between me and the unfortunate soul with whom I’m attempting to interact. Unless, like today, I’ve lost control of my emotions and can’t maintain that smooth composure. Somehow, though, I think that tactic has masked not only those chaotic emotions, but also my warmer, friendlier, empathetic tendencies. Much like those little white pills flatten my moods, my strategy for composure has flattened the expression of my personality, leaving instead a carefully reconstructed version of me to present to others, a neatly wrapped package concealing the nature of its contents.

Shake that package, though, and something inside might rattle.

Look! Progress!

At long last, I’ve added some new content! Check out the equestrian page for all things horses–I’ll update it occasionally with stories of my riding exploits, and soon it will chronicle my efforts to qualify for the American Eventing Championships next fall. But for now, it’s all about polo


The best laid plans…

I started this blog immediately before embarking for Scotland, intending to use it to record my study abroad adventures. I clearly got a tad distracted. Wrapped up in life at St Andrews, I wrote nothing for four months (honestly, I barely wrote my papers for class). After such a hiatus, I’m finally ready to get back to writing, so this page will get a bit more action; expect more rants about literature and media, maybe some politics, definitely some reflections on Scotland. Cheers!