Music Medicine

So, the mild throat pain I experienced after disembarking from the plane home has turned into the full-blown flu. Or, possibly the flu. I rarely-to-never get sick, so this feels apocalyptic to me.

My sweet fiancé has been wonderfully catering to my needs. I have been too germ-infested to cook, so he brought me soup from Panera last night and he ran to Dunks to get me an iced coffee this afternoon.

I finally mustered up the courage to take (2-years-expired) NyQuil last night. The taste of cough medicine has always triggered my gag reflex. It’s added insult to injury; I already feel like death, and the only cure is vile chemical liquid that tastes like dead hopes and dreams? Unfair. It did the trick, though. I slept from 11 pm to 8 am, woke briefly to call out of work, and then went back to bed until 1:30. Apart from the runny nose and the sinus headache, I actually do feel slightly better. Hopefully I’ll be well enough to work tomorrow. Know what’s super great when you have a college education to fund and a wedding coming up? Going on an unpaid vacation and then being too sick to go back to work and get dat money.

One of the perks of being home alone and immobile all day is it’s a great opportunity to listen to the 15 or so CDs I purchased from Amoeba & Rasputin. Right now I’m listening to this Mutemath record:

Mutemath, MUTEMATH (2006) image via Amazon

I think I’ll need to give the album another listen to truly evaluate it. I’ve been meaning to check them out for ages, mostly because their drummer, Darren King, is married to Stacy (Sucré) from my favorite band, Eisley. My obsession with the DuPree clan will become apparent as this blog grows.

The other albums I bought while in California:

*all above images via Amazon

I had owned many of these albums before, in mp3 form, but I’m really committed to buying all of my music in the best digital quality possible, and right now, that remains CDs (unless that Neil Young PONO situation gets off the ground).

Anyway, thanks as always for reading. Anyone have any thoughts on my new acquisitions?

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Tunesday

World's tiniest herb garden.
World’s tiniest herb garden.

Despite my literal green thumb (courtesy of Essie Mojito Madness), I am notorious for killing every plant I come into contact with. That’s why the fact that these little buddies are still kicking is an immense personal triumph. Thankfully, my boyfriend is more thoughtful and attentive than I am–he’s their main source of water.

The weather was super gloomy in the Boston area today, so comfort food and comfort music are absolute essentials. For dinner, I’m preparing a braised lentil dish, adapted from an incredible recipe that can be found here: Braised Lentils & Vegetables.

It’s simmering away on the stovetop right now, and the whole house smells like soup, which is basically happiness manifest. I also picked up a bottle of vinho verde at Trader Joe’s, and, as an aspiring Portuguese person, I’m in bubbly heaven right now.

Lentils, carrots, celery, and onions soaking up some Pinot Grigio.
Lentils, carrots, celery, and onions soaking up some Pinot Grigio.

Much like the smell of soup can evoke feelings of warmth and contentment, there are certain pieces of music that can feel like wrapping a soft blanket around yourself. Lately, I have not been able to get Sufjan Stevens’ “Eugene,” from his most recent album, Carrie and Lowell, out of my head. It is 2 minutes and 24 seconds of pure sweetness. Despite the heavy Christian imagery and influence in much of Sufjan’s music, his genius art has resonated with me deeply for the past ten years. The new album is so spare and haunting, yet imbued with so much hope and positivity. It is so vulnerable and human that it almost takes on its own life. “Eugene” finds Sufjan reminiscing about his childhood upon the death of his stepfather. Despite the gravity of the subject and the yearning refrain, “I just wanna be near you,” the song is strangely uplifting. Or maybe Sufjan is just tricking us with major chords. Who knows?

In any case, it’s worth listening to “Eugene.” And then buying Carrie and Lowell. And everything else he’s ever released. Hey, Asthmatic Kitty, can you hire me for PR?