2018: Songs In Rotation

I spent most of 2018 listening to Brandi Carlile, so this list will include many of her songs. Some tracks below were released prior to 2018—some way prior—but captured my ears or imagination for one reason or another this past year. I heard some in coffee shops, some from YouTube binges on sleepless mornings, some on the radio, and some from streaming stations. I hope you like the list, or in the very least, discover a new song/artist or rediscover an old favorite.

In no particular order, here are the songs I listened to the most for the past twelve months.

The Joke

Brandi Carlile

From the Album of the Year, By The Way, I Forgive You, I first heard “The Joke” listening to Radio Woodstock on a cold Hudson Valley February morning, still in my PJs and in front of my friend Mark’s fireplace.

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Poetry Without Motion

Over the past few months, I’ve been sifting through and purging old photos, memorabilia, books, games, and anything I saved in a shoebox, wine box, or folder.

I had a couple of binders of newspaper clippings alone. Stories, opinions pieces, or articles I must have felt I couldn’t live without. I kept letters and cards that mattered to me at the time, which meant almost every one I ever received. A few of these letters came from people I now don’t remember. There are several letters from a guy who lived in Colorado. I have no memory of this person. But we must have exchanged a half-dozen letters. And since the letters were handwritten and mailed, I don’t have any of my replies, which is so different than seeing entire conversations in an email thread. The smell of the old letters, and the tactile experience of sliding them out of their envelopes, then unfolding and holding the pages of ink felt like a relic from a bygone era. And I loved every second of it. This is something my son will most likely never experience. I doubt he or anyone his age is stashing away emails in a wooden Mouton-Cadet wine box.

This morning, I began sifting through my computer files. Tucked away in a folder within a folder of a main folder called “Writing,” I found a bunch of poetry. In my teens and twenties, I used to free write and free associate—with a pen and notebook—ideas for poems, stories, characters, or just random lines I might want to include in a play or story one day. At some point, I must have transcribed these ideas and “poems”—quotes because I’m not sure they can actually quality as such—into Word documents.

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