musical musings



learned a new word today to finally describe this feeling i get when i listen to certain songs.

wikipedia definition: frisson (french for ‘shiver’) is a sensation somewhat like shivering, usually caused by stimuli. it is typically expressed as an overwhelming emotional response combined with piloerection (goosebumps). stimuli that produce a response are specific to the individual.

frisson is of short duration, usually no more than 4–5 seconds, usually pleasurable.[1] typical stimuli include loud passages of music and passages that violate some level of musical expectation.[2]

my definition: “scorn” by portishead (a remix of glory box that i discovered from watching an old favorite movie, the craft). this song gives me serious frisson.


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my year in music 2014

i’d like to think of 2014 as my “year of travel.” i usually sit back and reflect on the year as it comes to an end and try to think of one category to place it in. this year i traveled a lot (for me) – cruised to the southern caribbean, toured israel for my second time on a 10 day trip, spent 10 days in southern california, spent a weekend in nyc at governor’s ball, relaxed and partied in provincetown for a weekend, returned to my old stomping grounds in pittsburgh for a couple of days and hung out on cape cod.

my travels introduced me to new music as well as inspired me to dig back into the archives and listen to some old favorites to fit my mood.

according to spotify, who tracked my listening habits throughout the year (creeps!), i actually listened to a lot of reggae rock. weird. i didn’t even realize how much i had been listening to pepper (who i’m sad to say was horrible live) and damien marley.

one of my favorite songs of the year was “wotless” by kes the band. i heard this song on a boat in barbados that took me snorkeling on gatorade-blue waters and it was so beyond fitting for the scene that i could’t even deal. i didn’t have access to wifi out on the ocean (drats!) but i managed to use my super-savvy music obsession skills and wrote down some of the lyrics so i could look it up later on. i listened to “wotless” so many times after the cruise just to try and relive some of those moments. it made me a little less depressed that i don’t actually live on an island and i spend winters shoveling out my car every other day.

governor’s ball was huge for discovering new bands to listen to. after my weekend in nyc, i gained a newfound appreciation for disclosure, and started listening to the war on drugs, bleachers and banks. it also made me nostalgic for some old favorites like outkast, the strokes, julian casablancas, tv on the radio, the naked and famous and the kills. plus, i got to see jack white – and ended up seeing him again at fenway park, which was incredible.

my trip to israel reintroduced me to one of my old favorites, matisyahu. it just seemed right to listen to my fav jewish rapper while i was there. he totally gets it. i also started listening to bastille more while i was in israel because i had just seen them at gov ball a week before i went – i felt electric when it was 3:30 am with the sunrise peeping over the horizon and my tour bus was driving through the desert on the way up to mount masada and i had “of the night” playing in my ears.

going to california enabled me to see one of my favorite bands of 2013, haerts, as well as get to know another band i only vaguely knew, st. lucia. both of the bands had the perfect sound for my surroundings in sunny southern california. “wings” by haerts will always be one of my favorite songs and st. lucia was the perfect backdrop to my beach days.

i got to meet some musicians this year as well through my job at the river. i met ingrid michaelson, phillip phillips, melissa etheridge, deer tick (twice), the hold steady, paolo nutini, st. paul and the broken bones, foster the people and hozier. after meeting these musicians in person i typically went home and binge-listened to them for about a week. all of them were pretty cool, also – #1 coolest though was paolo nutini, who actually spent time with us during the promotion just chatting and goofing around – not just strictly business.

overall this year was fantastic all things considered – a lot of new changes and excitement with music to accompany everything that was going on. 2015, we ready.