The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

a blog for people who still read

Posts for LISTEN Category

2020 AUGUST: 21 SONGS, 1 HR 36 MINS

LISTEN - September 13, 2020

Top Five August:

“Six Pack” – ESG

“Tezeta” – Mulatu Astatke

“En cavale” – Juniore

“What Is Love?” – Deee-Lite

“Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” – Baccara

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2020 JULY: 35 Songs, 2 HR 25 MIN

LISTEN - August 10, 2020

another month over.

another playlist for your pleasure.

Top Five July:

“Consciousness” – Joy Postell

“Funny Thing” – Thundercat

“A Boat to Drown In” – Metz

“Tonight the Streets Are Ours” – Richard Hawley

“Habbie Doobie” – The Texas Gentlemen

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Interview with Lauren Rose : The Mind Behind Vagina Slims

ART, INTERVIEWS, LISTEN - July 26, 2020

I wrote the following before I ever reached out to Lauren Rose; I was listening to one of her Vagina Slims episodes while crafting the questions I would later email her:

For lack of a better word, I will be referring to Vagina Slims as a podcast. But it exists in a world apart from the idea that comes to mind when you think of a podcast. Vagina Slims gives me old school radio DJ vibes. That one hour hosted by your favorite radio DJ, sharing their thoughts while playing some favorite tunes.

I still stand by this sentiment, but as you get deeper into the interview, you might find it amusing how I was instinctually was picking up on the intent behind Lauren’s refreshing form of expression.

When I was crafting the interview, I was trying to figure out a category to put Lauren and Vagina Slims into, find a way to T-up, or justify my outreach to her. However, the truth is simply that she doesn’t fit into some “creative box”. I just enjoy seeing the world through her eyes, and she mostly shares that viewpoint via her Instagram or Vagina Slims, which up until recently (aka pandemic free-time) was more sporadic. Years and years ago, I stumbled on her YouTube, maybe a month or two before she shut it down, which then led me to follow her Tumblr to than listening to Vagina Slims after she started that project. I’ve always been drawn to her taste, and in my eyes, I believe she moves through the world with an artist’s spirit.

Yes, you could say this interview is designed to support the effort of Vagina Slims, but really I just wanted to know more about a person that I found interesting.

(internal dialogue: do we always need some profound justification or reason for simply finding out more about the people we find intriguing?) 

I digress – Please do not go and listen to Vagina Slims with the expectations associated with the structure of a podcast as it is in 2020. If anything, pretend you’re on a long road trip flipping through the radio stations and somehow landed on the frequency that is picking up her radio waves. She answers questions from listeners, plays fantastic music, sometimes shares her thoughts on recent movies she watched or sources of inspiration, and always confesses her musing on life in general.

My favorite part of road trips is flipping through radio stations. I’ve found a Majauna themed station in Northern California, a preacher comparing a woman’s sex life to KFC chicken in Lousiana, and a weird Christian storytime in the plains of Kansas. Vagina Slims is how I enjoy the magic of a happenstance radio program from the comfort of my home. Plus, I’m aesthetically amused by her dreamy walks and wherever she roams via her IG Story.

Without further ado – I hope you enjoy meeting Lauren Rose as much as I have over the years via the internet.

Name &/or Nickname:
Lauren Rose

Zodiac Sign (bonus points if you know your moon and rising sign):
Sun: Aries
Moon: Scorpio
Rising: Aries (I swear I’m not crazy!!)

Favorite Color:
Sunbleached peach

Childhood Hero:
Helen Hunt in the movie “Twister” 


(fun fact: i went to high school with the bleach striped hair guy)

What inspired you to create Vagina Slims? Do you remember how you were feeling 5 years ago when you started this project? 

I initially had the idea for Vagina Slims after watching a 1990s film called “Pump Up The Volume” starring Christian Slater. In the film, his character runs this underground pirate radio station that is more or less stream of consciousness talk and his related music picks. He actually pitches his voice while on air so no one can recognize who he is and it suddenly becomes super popular at his high school and starts this revolution of sorts.

In a sense I wanted to create something similar, an open diary “My So-Called Life” format that allows for change, growth, and dissection of topics that I’m into. I’ve always been an internet kid in some way or another growing up so this was a great medium for me to talk about music/movies/life without exposing myself too much. I felt very charged when I first started it like I was finally getting closer to the truths that I’ve wanted to speak about for so long.  Years later I still upload in varying degrees, I haven’t tried to capitalize on it and that’s what I cherish the most. It is just for me and the listeners and no one else.

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2020 June: 16 SONGS, 1 hr 13 min

LISTEN - July 9, 2020

This playlist is brought to you by Drunk History, Insecure, Betty, Skate Kitchen, my husband, and a guy walking down my street at the same time I was walking my dog. No joke, I used Shazam on half of this playlist and stopped a man to find out what he was playing on his Bluetooth speaker (it was The Dells).

I’m all about giving proper credit where credit is due, and I wasn’t listening to nearly as much music in June as I usually do. So, if it weren’t for the above — this playlist would be twenty-minutes tops.

Top Five of June:

“Elastic” – Joey Purp

“Magnificent Romeo” – Basement Jaxx

“When The Going is Smooth & Good” – William Onyeabur

“Slippin” – Quadron

“Run For Cover” – The Dells

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Interview with Draag – A trustworthy group filled with Virgo placements

INTERVIEWS, LISTEN - June 26, 2020

The sound of a cold morning where the dew on the leaves has frozen.

I usually do a write up about how I know or discovered the person or band I’m interviewing. How the music makes me feel or the images it conjures in my mind, but today I’m called to go in a different direction.

I had reached out to Draag for an interview on May 17th, before our country and world took a sharp turn toward collective radical social justice reform. Radical because I think a majority of society was sleepwalking. A shift has occurred, and whether that shift makes you excited or you’re just waiting for things to “go back to normal,” a fundamental shift has happened so buckle up. I view this time as a moment filled with growing pains good and bad. One of the bad growing pains is cancel culture, I’m not here for it and I hope we evolve past it. But I do think there should be more accountability for the voices you give a platform to, and that is a responsibility I am taking on by publishing the voices of other creators. I’m happy to share I did a little social media sleuthing, and Draag is black lives matter aligned. Because I only want to highlight the people who believe in making the world BETTER for other people.

Jessica, the vocalist for Draag graciously responded to my request for an interview quickly after I reached out. I was excited to read through the band’s answers and was looking forward to getting Draag’s interview up, but Camari Carter had also sent in her reply quickly and she had an event coming up that same week that I wanted to help support.

Then I was asked to pause and listen, and I did – happily. As I work towards creating what my new reality will look like and the content I share, I’m VERY excited to share this great interview with Draag. I’m not sure how I came across them but their track Trauma Kit was added to my February playlist, and I’ve been getting into their dreamy escapism sound ever since. I don’t know what you call the wee hours of the morning, but if there is an A.M golden hour – that is the time in which I’d want Draag to be my soundtrack.

original photo

Name &/or Nickname:
Draag

Zodiac Sign (bonus points if you know your moon and rising sign):
Adrian: Cancer Sun, Cancer Moon, Virgo Rising
Nick: Taurus Sun, Aries Moon, Virgo Rising
Shane: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Aries Rising
Ray: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Taurus Rising
Jessica: Leo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aquarius Rising

Favorite Color:
#E6E6FA

Childhood Hero:
Marilyn Manson

Home Base:
Sylmar, California

When was Draag born into this world? What is the origin story?

Adrian revived some songs he wrote when he was 9 years old on his karaoke tape deck in September 2013. He wanted to condense everything he loved about music into this project, so he recruited a bunch of audiophile toneheads, female vox, and a lot of synths and guitars. Our first EP Nontoxic Process was released in 2018, but we buried our first two mixtapes, made during a time that felt like a completely different band. 

Photography by Elijah Reynozo

Who are some of your creative influences? They do not have to be music related, just creative people who have developed work and put themselves out into the world in a way you admire and perhaps subtly influences your own creative choices?
Kobe Bryant, Ed Templeton, Anna May Wong, Alexandro Jodorowsky, John Carpenter

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2020 MAY : 31 SONGS, 2 HR 4 MIN

LISTEN - June 25, 2020

Apparently my dog really mellows out to “All Mirrors” by Angel Olsen…

Top Five of May :

“Quarantine” – Levitation Room

“Twenty Four Hour Party People” – Happy Mondays

“Cynical Girl” – Marshall Crenshaw

“Jewelry” – Blood Orange

“Hope to Die” – Orville Peck

*Bonus: “Automechanic” – Jenny O.

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Sounds Like: Dr. Dog & Harry Styles

LISTEN - May 28, 2020

Please excuse my lack of words and ability to string them together in a fancy sentence structure.

I’m feeling drained.

I’m feeling tired.

Brain = Jello

But I have a great interview with the band Draag that I’m excited to post and I have a weird hang-up about back to back interviews. So thankfully I have this Sounds Like post I can put up between Camari Carter’s interview and Draag.

I admit this Sounds Like post is a bit of a reach, but I swear there is something here. I am picking up on some musical patterns and I hope you are too.

Harry Style’s ‘Sign of the Times’ sounds like Dr. Dog’s ‘Abandon Mansions’

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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2020 APRL : 54 Songs, 3 hr 41 mins

LISTEN - May 8, 2020

Where the f*ck did April go?

We’re 8 days into May and I’m finally getting my April playlist up. One of my longest playlists to date. I’ve always been a music fan, there are examples of it all over this blog, but this past month I leaned on music in a way I haven’t experienced since my late teens.

Is the uncertainty of the time bringing me back to the simple escapism of a good tune — possibly (probably).

Top Five of April:

“Still Life” – The Horrors

“Night of the Vampire” – The Moontrekkers

“Fuck Up” – Sarah Shook & The Disarmers

“Pool Party” – Rudy Willingham

“Money – Edit” – The Flying Lizard

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SOUNDS LIKE: Holy Motors ‘Honeymooning’ & Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’

LISTEN - April 16, 2020

It’s been awhile since I’ve published one of these, so let me T-up this series.

I have zero musical talent. I think it’s why I’ve always been a “music person.”  I used to interview local bands on the regular, interned for a music magazine, was a part of the music department of Myspace music (when that was a thing). I always fantasized about falling in love with a musician (spoiler alert – I married one). And like I said, I have zero ability to actually make or produce any type of rhythmic enjoyable genius sound outside of dorky sing-song melodies about an activity that I’m actively engaged in. i.e. I’m making a pie – oh my, yes sir – I’m making a pie (apply any tune you’d like)

However, I have one talent that can be applied to music and that is spotting patterns. I love patterns and connecting the dots. Every once in awhile I’ll be listening to a song and think, hey I’ve heard this before, this sounds like another song I’ve heard. I’ll then play the tracks and find their subtle similarities. It will be the same melody except one is slower than the other, or similar chord progression. It’s like the songs come from the same parents, but are completely different. They have the same DNA just different configurations.

I don’t pull sampled music into my Sounds Like database, because those are samples. To me, it’s like cloning a part of a song. I try to find the more nuanced connections.

On that note, here is a very non-nuanced connection as “Honeymooning” by the Holy Motors immediately can be identified as sounding like “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak – but it’s not a sample, so I think it falls on the list.

Looking forward to sharing more sounds like connections.

And for the record — I totally like Holy Motors video better than Chris Isaak’s video, although I feel like Wicked Game was one of my favorite songs as a kid. I was a moody child.

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2020 MAR : 23 Songs, 1 hr 40 min

LISTEN - April 5, 2020

Sticking with last month’s layout (inspired by a technical glitch) you can find the screenshot representation of my March playlist after the jump.

However, since Spotify is now communicating with WordPress properly, below is the playlist embedded into the post.

Top Five of March:

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