13 (ew bad number) Influential Songs


SIA-Breathe Me

The combination of the piano melody and Sia's raspy voice is so powerful. I loved this song the minute I heard it. It's undeniably raw and honest. The song builds and builds until you are completely sucked in. I have always wanted to do a dance piece to this song. Beautiful.

JOHN MAYER-Stop This Train

This song was one of those songs that just fit. It came out literally the week that I left for college and all of my best friends went to opposite sides of the country. I think this was exactly how everyone was feeling then. You know you have to go and that it's really a good thing, but in that moment when you have to hug your friends goodbye, all you want to do is stop that train and stay put. 



This is definitely a rock out song. The rhythm is infectious. Who knew Feist could be such a rock star? This is a great song to listen to when you just need a minute to let everything go and shake your hair around. Or dance around your house. You know. 

SUFJAN STEVENS-The Mistress Witch from McClure (or, The Mind That Knows Itself)

This song always makes me smile. The banjo melody is perfectly happy and the lyrics are ridiculous in the best way possible. This song feels like one of those crazy, insane family stories that lives on for generations. And...there is a horn section and mention of an Oboe. 


What a beautiful song. Truly heartfelt, but powerful. He sings this song like he really means it. It manages to be heartbreaking and courageous at the same time. Enough said. 

PAUL SIMON-Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes

This song sends me straight back to childhood. The intro with Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a perfect set up for the mellow rhythm of the rest of the song. One of my earliest memories of music is from this song. Great song.


My introduction to the amazingly talented Leslie Feist was through this song. The hand claps and the tambourine give this song such a distinctive sound. It sounds like a beautiful sunny winter day. I hear that there is actually a town called Mushaboom in Nova Scotia or something, and that is what the song is named after. By far one of my favorite songs of all time. 


This is one of John Mayer's earliest songs, from his first demo album. A lot of people don't know about it, which is a shame because I think it is one of his most intimate songs. I like this song because I feel the same way sometimes, just quiet. The blue lights from the TV dancing around. There is safety in just being quiet. I like that. 

SUFJAN STEVENS-Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL.

I was always taken by this song. The melody is stunning and eerie. Something perfect for a UFO sighting. There actually was this sighting, too. I saw a show on TV that was entirely about this specific UFO sighting, and the lyrics in the song are completely accurate. The witnesses even talked about how it looked like three stars. There is a beautiful youtube video that someone did as a visual for the song:


I think everyone wishes they had a river to skate away on sometimes. That, and Joni Mitchell's impossibly perfect voice, is probably why everyone loves this song. Another good song for when you feel quiet. 

SUFJAN STEVENS-John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

After you listen to this song all the way through, it is sometimes hard to believe that it is about an infamous serial killer. Sufjan Stevens manages to underscore the terror involved in these crimes and show compassion and empathy for the killer. I think it takes a hugely talented artist to accomplish that. 


Sultry is the perfect word to describe this song. It could describe Chan Marshal's voice pretty well, too. I never get tired of this song. Itunes says that I have listened to it 55 times. Only Chan Marshal could make spoken word come off that sultry. 


This is kind of my song. I don't know what it is, but this song fits how I usually feel about life in general. Not to be broad and sweeping or anything. This is ironic since I like photographs so much, but so be it. I think traveling does bring me back to life. It energizes the soul to see a sunset or just a beautiful, nature-made place.
 I saw him in concert at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington last summer, and he said: "I wrote this song about a place like this," and then played 3x5. As cliché as it sounds, I felt like we all appreciated and felt the same thing in that one moment. Everyone understood. 

OK. Enough of my blabbing. I could do this for so many more songs, it is ridiculous. But I will spare you. :)
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Yes we can.


This video is one of the greatest, most creative shows of support for a candidate I have seen. 

It gives me chills every time. 

I was always drawn to Barack Obama for his charisma and inspiring attitude. I took a good long look at his policies and those of Hillary Clinton, but I am willing and ready to say that I truly, deeply want Barack Obama to be our next president. 

Beside the fact that his policies go along with everything I believe in, there is something special about this man. I feel it in my gut when he speaks. He is not here to play a game. He is here to change this country. He will make a difference. He could change the way we think about politics. I can imagine being inspired by our own president and striving to mimic his example. That would be a much happier country than the one I know now. 

His wife Michelle also seems to be an amazing and admirable woman. I want a family like theirs to represent what this country is really about. 

I want change. 

I hate that people are trying to criticize him about his use of the word HOPE. Isn't that something we could all use a little more of? What have we come to when we are even cynics about hope?

"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

I truly believe this man can unite this country. I am more emotionally involved now than I planned to be. But hey, caring matters.

"Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for CHANGE."

Yes we can. 


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Grammys, etc.


I watched the Grammy awards with my roomie Jenna last night. The performances were surprisingly entertaining, but most of the awards did not go to my favorites. C'est la vie. 

The fact that an obviously intoxicated Amy Winehouse won five awards is distressing, to say the least. It is disrespectful to place her above artists who actually take their careers seriously. I'm sorry, but drugs or no drugs, she should not have beat out Feist for best new artist. Feist is not a new artist either, so evidently whoever gives out the Grammys does not do a lot of research. 

Kanye West's performance with Daft Punk was a highlight of the show. His tribute to his mother was also quite stunning.

Kanye's outfit was quite possibly the greatest thing I have seen in a while.

In other news, I now have three papers due on wednesday and one midterm. Yikes! I am going back to Portland on thursday so I can interview all kinds of people about hybrid cars. This promises to be an interesting week. 

Here is some Kanye and Daft Punk: 

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