My friend, Nick, has posted a list of albums that he connected to in 2010. After a bit of conversation with him during a class break, I decided that I would do the same. Like Nick, most of these albums are not albums released in 2010, but albums that I found myself constantly returning to.
"Furnace Room Lullaby" - Neko Case
I was introduced to this artist by my friend, Julia. We used a Neko Case song as a background for a group project, and I was immediately captured by her unique sound. I was taking an intensive class in January in which I was studying the Doctrine of the United Methodist Church. When I felt very boxed in to the "system" to which I was submitting my career, I found freedom through the sound of this album.
"Evolve" - Ani DiFranco
I have always considered the title track from this album to be a "mantra" of sorts for my life... "So I walk like I'm on a mission 'cause that's the way I groove. I've got more and more to do. I've got less and less to prove. It took me too long to realize that I don't take good pictures 'cause I have the kind of beauty that moves." What headstrong woman finding her way in the world wouldn't relate to this lyric? (As you will see emerge later in the year) I have a tendency to re-listen to albums both before and after I see an artist in concert. I saw Ani with my friends Julia, Chrissy, and Deana. She put on a spectacular show and put in motion a lot of thoughts about how I can be both a married woman and an activist for women's rights.
"New Moon Daughter" - Cassandra Wilson
March contains not only my birthday, but also an opportunity for me to spend time with my sisters and brothers of GCSRW. I always feel quite tapped into the universal feminine when I listen to Cassandra Wilson, and in the celebration of my birthday in Chicago, my GCSRW friends made a monetary gift to the Advocacy for Women Endowment. I felt as though they said to me, "You're womanhood is a legacy."
"Kansas" - Jennifer Knapp
As I prepared to attend the West Ohio Annual Conference, I had been in much prayer and conversations with Christians and non-Christians alike about the relationship between hetero-sexism and faith. Around the middle of April, Jennifer Knapp, a successful Christian recording artist, came out of the closet. Hearing not only this album from Jennifer Knapp, but also listening to her interviews alongside my preparations for a heated week at annual conference made me keenly aware of many issues surrounding sexuality that have permeated many conversations, churches, communities, etc.
"The Everglow" - Mae
This is just an overall great album that holds a lot of memories and emotions. As I transitioned out of my "second year" at MTSO and into the summer, this album just held me together.
self-titled - Corinne Bailey Rae
Annual Conference, mentioned above, occurred in this month. Corinne Bailey Rae served as a calming presence. Her music is light but full of soul.
"Call Off the Search" - Katie Melua
July took me on a journey to Germany. My dear friend Vici, her husband, Hauke, and their BEAUTIFUL (no really, she is the most gorgeous child in the world) daughter Mathilda had graciously hosted me for a few days. As we were all enjoying a typical German breakfast, Vici put on this album. I was instantly hooked. I listed to this album not only for the rest of July, but for the rest of the year.
"God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise" - Ray LaMontagne
A newly released album that was long awaited from this Ray LaMontagne fan. His album set the tone for the beginning of my last year in graduate school (FINALLY). I have always loved his music, and the collaboration with the Pariah Dogs somehow captured my feelings of stress, worry, sadness, and the beauty that comes from them all and represented them musically.
"Wreck Your Wheels" - Kim Richey
Again I found myself with my wonderful GCSRW friends in Nashville. We went to the Bluebird Cafe to listen to songwriter's perform, and we all fell in love with Kim Richey. I had heard a song of hers on Grey's Anatomy, but never followed up. She is another woman who performs with soul.
"Simplicity" - Katie Reider
As I arrived at church one Sunday morning, a parishioner asked if she could play a song that she heard at a wedding to celebrate the anniversary of two of our beloved congregants. The song was beautiful, but she didn't know who sang it or where it came from. Quite ironically, the next day my friend and colleague, Don, posted a status on FB about a Katie Reider song. As I read Katie's story and listened to more and more of her music, I discovered that she was the writer/performer of the song in church. Her music captivated me and encapsulated her life of hope and love. Her story is all at the same time heartwarming and heartbreaking.
"Lonely Avenue" - Ben Folds & Nick Hornby
This album was released this year, and I haven't stopped listening to it since. I saw Ben Folds in concert with Garrett and my friend, Bethany. It was incredible.
"On a Rolling Ball" - Gabe Dixon
December held a lot of stress and distress, and this album on repeat settled my mind as I entered what will no doubt be one of the craziest years of my life.
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