When I need to close off the noise and distractions of the outside world in order to write, I resort to earphones with music that best captures my current mood.
Oftentimes epic film scores fit the bill. This genre not only helps to drown out distractions, but its ever-increasing crescendos are a stimulant for the creative mind.
Currently, my go-to album is The Man in the High Castle soundtrack that I stream from the Amazon Prime music app. Overall the soundtrack sets a calming tone that serves as the catalyst to get my fingers typing and my creative juices flowing.
Although Edelweiss is the most popular track on the album, my personal favorite is Juliana’s Letter. The violins in that song are like candy for my ears and vitamins for my mind.
So, what is your current go-to album for writing?
Lukas Graham is one of those artists.
Son of an Irish father and Danish mother, Graham was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 18, 1988, where he grew up in the town of Christiania.
His father died at the age of 61, leaving an indelible mark on the young Graham. An experience that has left its fingerprints throughout Graham’s music.
With a raw honesty rarely seen in musicians nowadays, Graham’s songs broach such topics as loss, death, pain, and aging, all with a reflective component that makes you pause and take stock of your own life.
Graham’s unique pop-soul hybrid sound (combined with the occasional perfect piano accompaniment) buttressed against his melancholy far-beyond-his-age lyrics, has made me an instant fan.
The song Mama Said about growing up in poverty, also reminds us to keep family and friends close, while What Happened to Perfect can easily be the song countless couples cling to while desperately trying to salvage a fading relationship.
You’re not There is an anthem for sons who regret their dad’s passing before being able to show their dads what kind of a man they’ve become.
“As I struggle to remember how you used to look and sound, at times I still think I can spot you in the crowd. Every step I take, you used to lead the way, now I’m terrified to face it on my own. You’re not there to celebrate the man that you made, you’re not there to share in my success and mistakes. Is it fair? You’ll never know the person I’ll be, you’re not there with me.”
Even more counter-culture than soberly reflecting on the death of a parent, is the unaplogeticly high value Graham places on family. (Try finding that anywhere else in the barren landscape of today’s music . . . including the Christian market.)
One of my favorite songs on Graham’s self-titled album is entitled, Happy Home.
“I grew up with a lot of love in a happy home. My daddy used to play me vinyl but now daddy’s gone. I used to practice with my mommy on the piano; I still get nervous every time I know she’s at a show. Now my family comes first before everyone. I had the perfect dad, I wanna be the perfect son. Though I really feel sometimes I am on my own, I know I got a lot of love and a happy home.”
With the exception of songs like Strip No More (a song about “a stripper who stopped stripping”) and Drunk in the Morning (a song about, well, being drunk in the morning), all of Graham’s songs have the thread of family, friendship, and loss running through them. Which, for me, is what I love about this album.
Lukas Graham is clearly not your typical songwriter. In a world of Gagas, Mileys, and Beibers, it is truly refreshing to have discovered this young musician.
Even if you don’t care for his particular style of music, you can’t argue that his subject matter is an oasis in a landscape of noise that makes up most of today’s music.
If you’ve never listened to Lukas Graham, I leave you with his song, 7 Years.
“Soon I’ll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61. Remember life and then your life becomes a better one. I made a man so happy when I wrote a letter once. I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month.”
Fatherhood is synonymous with fishing, and what better way to kick off the Father’s Day weekend than with four fantastic fishing songs? Enjoy.
Huntin’ & Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day: Luke Bryan
Maddie & Tae: Shut up and Fish
I’m Gonna Miss Her: Brad Paisley
(She Thinks We’re) Just Fishin’: Trace Adkins
For more great songs, see The 20 Best Country Songs about Fathers.
Sometimes when I’m at a restaurant I allow my kids to blow the straw wrappers off their straws. It’s usually harmless and there are fewer things they find more delightful than firing off straw wrappers, especially when they strike their intended target (one of their siblings).
And like any other responsible parent, I recognize that there are some dining establishments you simply do not allow this behavior to occur in. But how do you get your kids to understand the difference between a Burger King and a Fogo de Chão? Children can’t always distinguish between the cashier with a name tag and paper hat, and the gentlemen in a suit who confirms your reservation before collecting your coat and hat.
(For the sake of transparency, we never eat at restaurants where they collect your coat and hat. And since having kids, I’ve forgotten what the inside of even moderately fancy restaurants look like, but I trust you still get my point.)
The other night I was able to enjoy a rare occasion with my family as we were blessed with the opportunity to dine at a nice restaurant. But much to my chagrin, no sooner did we sit down, did the first salvos of slender straw wrappers become airborne.
How did my kids not know this was one of those restaurants where straw wrapper projectiles are frowned upon?
It was in that moment it suddenly dawned on me how I can teach my kids to know the difference, and now I will share that epiphany with you as well. If your kids cannot differentiate between the two types of restaurants, then give them the same advice I gave my kids:
“If the restaurant we’re at plays Frank Sinatra, it is not the kind of restaurant where it is acceptable to blow your paper missiles at one another.”
Yes, folks, sometimes parenting is that easy. Now get out there and enjoy your kids!
Do you remember what the number one song was the day you were born? If you’re like most people, you don’t because . . . well . . . you were just a day old.
But have no fear, BirthdayJams is here. By inputing your birthdate into BirthdayJams you can find out. But don’t just limit yourself to birthdays. What was the number one song on the day of your graduation, wedding, or on 9/11? Find out at BirthdayJams.