winter.

Oh December, the most bittersweet time of the year. Bitter, because of the snow, the frigid temperatures, the stress placed upon the buying of the presents, and the sad notion of time flying by too soon. Sweet, because of the Christmas lights, the hot chocolate, the family traditions, and all the food and cookies. And bittersweet, because while it marks the end of something, it also signifies the beginning of something else.

This time of year is especially hard for many people, myself included. It’s as if the harshness of the cold weather and the bleakness of the grey skies emphasize the cloudiness of our own lives. Whether by broken heart, empty bank account, fragile body, or sick mind, whatever cloud hovers over your life, I hope you find some sense of peace this holiday and winter season. I hope I do, too.

Here’s some songs that sound like winter to me – both the bitterness and the sweetness of it all.

**Alison Krauss & Union Station

 

 

 

 

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New tunes!

Obviously, “MmmBop” isn’t new, but this version is!

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

I (luckily) stumbled upon the cinematic masterpiece that is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri one night about a month or so ago… and it’s now one of my all-time favorite movies. As someone who stays on top of pop culture, I was aware this movie and the actors were nominated for Oscar’s but was indifferent to seeing it, which is how I usually feel about Oscar nominees. Side note: how that DISASTER of a movie, The Shape of Water, won top honors is beyond me. Waaaaay beyond me.

Anyways, now, having seen TBOEM, I have to say that both actors – Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell – highly(!!!) deserved their awards. Frances McDormand, in particular, was so freaking phenomenal as the fierce, grieving Mildred Hayes that I often found myself clapping along to all of her memorable quips. Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage and Caleb Landry Jones were all excellent as well.

Aside from the acting, what really set the tone for me (as it always does when it’s right) is the music and original score. Carter Burwell’s work for this movie has an appropriate underlying theme of solemnity to it, yet beautiful twinges of hope and bad-assery seep through to highlight various characters at various times. It’s all just so fucking fantastic.

In addition to the phenomenal instrumental music,  both versions of the song “Buckskin Stallion Blues,” as well as “His Master’s Voice” by Monsters Of Folk were perfectly suited for the movie. TBOEM is a stunning work of art all around that I’m fortunate enough to have seen by chance. So, if you happened upon my blog by chance, I highly recommend checking out the movie for yourself.

Jez Dior “Cocaine”

Been a Jez fan for a while back from when I used to work in music, and I think this song could be the one that crosses him over into the public eye and ear. At least it definitely should.

Unrequited.

A list of beautiful-yet-sad songs for those times when the music is the only proof that you’re not the only sucker in the world who loves someone who doesn’t love you back.

The Acid “Tumbling Lights”

Anyone else loving the creepily satisfying limited series, Sharp Objects, that’s currently on HBO and stars the amazing Amy Adams? I was hooked after one episode (i.e. I had to know whodunit) so even though I was properly freaked out, I’m still watching it. Disclaimer: I bought the book after 2 or 3 episodes and finished it in 3 days so am less scared now that I know what happens (FYI, I knew it!) Anyways, the way the show is shot, the acting, and the music are all phenomenal. Speaking of which, this 2014 track from The Acid plays during the end credits and that eerie bell beat chimes in various places throughout the episodes. This is a perfect example of how important the combination of music and story are.

Dan + Shay “Keeping Score” f/ Kelly Clarkson

Ugh. From the first few piano notes, I knew I’d like this song even though it would make be sad that I don’t (ever) have someone to dedicate it to. Dan + Shay and Kelly Clarkson are both class A acts in their respective genres so it’s no surprise this future wedding song would be anything but beautiful.

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