Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Blog Site


Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnnings

We were saying our goodbyes on New Year's Eve; making the rounds between friends we'd seen yesterday and those we hadn't seen in months. The evening had been one of those rare occasions when, for a moment, we were all together again. In that moment, it was like we had never left, never grown older, never lived different lives or made other friends. Everyone was drunk off the newness of the year; indulging in the feeling of possibility that only comes around every 31st of December. We laughed, hugged, slurred promises we knew we'd never keep, secretly wanted to believe that this year we would.

I went to bid farewell to my friend Ken, who had returned for the holidays from several months of military training. As we were saying our goodbyes and happy new years, he got a serious look on his face.

"So, there's something I've been wondering..." he said.

"What's that?"

"When are you going to write another blog post?"

I burst out laughing.

"I checked your blog the other day, thinking, 'I must have missed tons of posts,' and when I got there, there was nothing! C'mon Katy, I need some 'Courting the Muse' in my life."

That's when I remembered my own collection of un-kept promises; pieces of myself that I had left somewhere on the wayside of the Real World. It began to hit me that when I left "Courting the Muse" I left more than an insignificant blog read by a few supportive friends; I left people, music, and words that were more real to me than anything I've found in the grey corners of my so-called 'Real World.'

I don't know what I plan to do with The Muse now that I've been reminded of its existence. I'm toying with transferring the blog to Wordpress, finding a new music embedding service, radio, and other gizmos, taking my own pictures, adding new features, even doing this for real and seeing if I can get it picked up by a blogging site...all of which have a significant chance of not happening.

Only time will tell if these pipe dreams will join the pile of other un-kept New Year's promises, but I promised Ken a post, and a post he will get.

So here's to you, Ken, for being my most loyal reader, and here's to new beginnings.

ETA: Don't worry, I'm not copping out of writing an actual music-related post. Look for a review of the new Decemberists album coming soon. (Lucky me, it dropped right around the time I needed new material to write about. The New Year really is full of possibility, my friends.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Retail Therapy

I have been doing a lot of music purchasing lately.

The first purchases were a bunch of CDs that I bought at a consignment shop. Turns out, you can find some real bargains in unexpected places. In general, consignment shops, thrift stores and garage sales are great for unearthing treasures as long as you are willing to dig. (At the very least you'll get a chuckle out of some of the other CDs in the pile. I found a Ru Paul CD at the consignment shop and almost bought it just for shits.) The CDs I found were 50 cents a piece, except for the Clash CDs which were five dollars for two CDs. They are as follows:

"The Story of The Clash, Volume 1," The Clash
"Violator," Depeche Mode
"Made in England," Elton John
"The Big Picture," Elton John
"Pablo Honey," Radiohead

The second purchases I just made tonight. Remember that music fund that I started a few months ago? I finally had the change counted. It came out to $14.97, almost exactly enough for a 15 dollar iTunes card. I had an accomplishment to celebrate tonight, so I eagerly scratched off the silver stuff on the back of the card (anybody know what that stuff is actually made out of?), typed in my code, and went shopping. I bought:

"Eye of the Tiger," Survivor - It's my motivational theme song and I didn't have a copy of it. For shame.
"Don't Stop Believin'," Journey - I love to belt this song at the top of my lungs.
"Chicago," Sufjan Stevens - LOVE this song
"You and Me and the Mountain," Maps & Atlases - recommended by a friend
"The Ongoing Horrible," Maps & Atlases - while I was buying "You and Me and the Mountain" I came across this song, liked it, and checked "impulse buy" off my list.
"Sunshine (Go Away Today)," Jonathan Edwards - classic
"Piazza, New York Catcher," Belle and Sebastian - just...nice
"Me and Mia," Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - really cool song, even if it is about Anorexia
"Walking to Do," - This song almost always cheers me up.
"I'd Rather Dance With You," Kings of Convenience - I love it when songs actually (effectively) include string ensembles. Maybe it's the former violinist in me.
"Get Over It," OKGo - classic OKGo style
"Don't Ask Me," OKGo - This song is so funny. And true. Sometimes it's better to just NOT be friends.
"Here It Goes Again," OKGo - yes, the treadmill song

The only thing that kind of sucked was that iTunes has raised its rates on "popular" songs. The Journey, Sufjan Stevens and OKGo cost me $1.29 each. It seems to me that with many people choosing free downloading sites, music ripping, and paid downloading subscriptions and with the economy in shambles, it would not be such a smart move to raise your rates. But I guess iTunes is confident in their sales. (And maybe with good reason)

Anyway, I may or may not do some reviews of the new stuff. Let me know if there's anything you are particularly interested in hearing about.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Also known as the most boring cello part known to man...

I've been sort of a Youtube junkie lately. Wading through the mix of videos of dressed up pets, people ranting about stuff and adolescents covering rock songs, I found this rather interesting music video. I'm not a huge fan of Pachelbel's Canon (also known as Canon in D), but this video is pretty cool. I like the collision of traditional and modern, as well as the Eastern and Western musical influences. Let me know what you think:

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Muse Returns

Hi everybody,

Sorry that I have been absent as of late. A lot of things have been going on, one of the most major being that I graduated. Now that all of the proverbial smoke has cleared, I am renewing my efforts of posting on a regular basis, and hope that you will continue to support the blog. As always, thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson: August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

The news channels, newspapers, websites and radio stations have all been reeling recently from the death of Michael Jackson. Flipping through the channels on TV, one cannot avoid the video montages that play on loop on every station or the heartbreaking photos of Jackson as a sad-eyed, adorable child in the days before plastic surgery and skin bleaching.

I feel that as a music blogger, I cannot neglect to write about the passing of such an influential pop icon and yet, as I sit at my computer in my small Midwestern hometown, I can't help but wonder how do I possibly address the death of such a monumental musical (and cultural) figure?

I guess for starters, I'm glad to see that Jackson's talent is taking the forefront in the media. Nobody will deny that Jackson's life wasn't without controversy or that he was downright strange sometimes; he led a hard life and was clearly dealing with a lot of inner turmoil. However, the man had talent. The influence that he had on music, dance and pop culture has left an indelible mark on the American (and international) psyche.

Although this is probably the case for many celebrities, one of the things that is so intriguing about Jackson is how little people could actually know of him from his public representation of himself. He was a true performer, and though he was constantly in the spotlight, even shoved down our throats sometimes, his public face revealed very little about who he was. His personal life was as shadowy and locked away as the grounds beyond the gates of Neverland Ranch. Between court cases and odd pictures sent to "The Enquirer," it was always hard to tell fact from fiction with Jackson.

However, it is in his art that we are able to see his true humanity and genius.

When Jackson sang, he sang with his whole body. Music didn't sound like something that he chose to do; rather, something that he had to do. He hit the emotional mark exactly in every one of his songs, and boiled each emotion down to it's most concentrated and intense form. The anger in "Beat It," the pain in "Billy Jean" and the lightheartedness in "Black or White" are - in a word - pure.

His dancing is otherworldly. As a former dancer, it is hard to even begin to describe or comprehend Jackson's skill. He has said that he was inspired by many artists, including Fred Astaire, but Jackson's style was all his own. He was at once natural and precise; fluid and explosive. Every movement he made was completely controlled, but he made it look as effortless as walking.

Michael Jackson's death is a huge loss for the artistic world, but he has left behind a legacy that shines through the videos and music he created and the numerous artists he inspired.


"Billy Jean" (1983)

Billie Jean - Michael Jackson

"Man in the Mirror" (1988)

Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson

"Black or White" (1991)

Black Or White - Michael Jackson

Videos - The youtube videos stated that embedding had been disabled by request, so out of respect, I am posting links instead:

"Thriller" (1982)

"Smooth Criminal" (1987)

"Beat It" (1982)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Before "Single Ladies" there was...

Haha, I don't know what it is about really mismatched covers that is so hilarious. This one brightened my day:

Crazy In Love - Snow Patrol