Monday, May 31, 2010

On setting the pace and Broken Bells

I'm listening to Broken Bells this morning. It's a change of pace. Lately I've been rotating among my Jeremy Enigk playlist, Local Natives, and The Jealous Sound. JE because I always listen to him- it soothes me somehow, Local Natives because they're my new obsession band (there's always one of those when I'm writing- last book was Silversun Pickups), and The Jealous Sound because I really love them and titled my new book after one of their songs (Above The Waves). Anyway, every now and again I'll throw in something different, a little something to mix things up. Sometimes The Big Pink, sometimes Band of Skulls, sometimes Blitzen Trapper. Today Broken Bells.

*Aside* I do not claim to have OCD or anything, but I do tend to like bands in phases based on the first letter of their name. Like the last two years I went through this HUGE "S" phase and almost everything I listened to began with the letter S. And this year I'm listening to a lot of B bands. This is not something I do intentionally, and I never notice it until much later. I also tend to organize all my playlists alphabetically. Songs just sound better when they're organized. True story. Anyway, I like to think this is a charming little quirk and not an indication of a major personality disorder.

Back to Broken Bells already. Sweet Jesus, KB, you distract. I really like this album. I remember first hearing about it, on MySpace, on The Shins page (a really good reason to keep your MySpace account, IMO) and thinking, James Mercer, could you please make more music with your already awesome band? Maybe more frequently than every 4-5 years? Or a tour for the love of God? And I was kind of pissed that he was doing the Danger Mouse thing. But then I heard their first single and was ashamed for being such a music snob. I get that way sometimes and need a lesson in humility. Here it was.

The album is pretty chill. Like I could dance to it, but not crazy. And it's a little slower than I like to workout/run to, but I listened to it this morning when I ran. I was only going to go on a short run because I have a lame cold and my lungs hate me, not to mention (but I just did anyway) the thick, warm air I hate breathing. It's like running through soup. But this morning, this album was just perfect to run to. The beat's slower and set my pace slower than usual, but allowed me to run farther than I planned and I did my usual run.

Sometimes I'm having that kind of a day, where I'm not feeling up to par. Where I'd like to take it easy on myself, or I feel no confidence and my self-talk just sucks. Days where I know I can't perform to my own standards. And I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. If it's not going to be the best, I'm disheartened. Actually, I have these days a lot lately. And I think my writing is suffering because of this. But I'm glad I had this Broken Bells morning. Because it reminded me that it's okay to slow your pace. And that sometimes a slower pace is all you need to be able to achieve what you wanted to, but didn't think you could.

xo. kb.

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