Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A LITTLE AWOL

"Never let your fear decide your fate."
~ AWOLNATION, 'Kill Your Heroes'

June, 2011
Kenny Carkeet
(aka Assassin)
It's 9pm and I'm walking into a very dark and very loud Irish pub in downtown Boston.  It's a Tuesday night and I'm here to see the band AWOLNATION.  Oh, and I'm by myself.  I look around that bar and notice that it's full of sports fans (the Stanley Cup is on), college kids, and maybe even some high school kids who aren't supposed to be there.  I am definitely the only 37 year old mom in the crew.  I grab a drink and walk to the back of the bar, pretending like I'm totally comfortable and acting as though I do this all the time.  I pull out my phone and try to look busy but I'm really playing free cell to kill time until the band comes on.  Earlier in the day, I'd heard the song 'SAIL' on the radio and it had struck a nerve.  I'd been driving into the city and I was sitting in traffic on Storrow Drive.  When the song ended, the deejay came on and announced that AWOLNATION would be playing a live show, one of their first, later that night in Boston.  I picked up my phone to call the station and ask if tickets were still available.  The deejay let me know that the show was actually free and asked if I'd like him to add me to the guest list.  I heard myself saying 'yes', even though I knew I would likely be going solo, something I had never done before.  Ever.  There was no chance in hell my husband was going out on a week night to see live music when he had to work the next day.  But, something in me was telling me I needed to see this band.  So I go.  The band is supposed to come on at 9:30.  It is now 10:00 and they are nowhere to be seen.  One can only play so many games of free cell.  I head over to the promo table and ask them what the deal is. They let me know that they're waiting for the hockey game to end (it's currently in overtime) because they want AWOL to have the crowd all to themselves.  I panic.  I have to get up at 6:00am the next day, make lunches, walk the dogs and get my kids to school on time.  I'm 100% sure that I'm the only person in the bar who cares what time the show starts and I'm starting to wonder if I've made a mistake in coming.  But, at 10:30, the lights go out and AWOL takes the stage, which is one small step up, maybe two and about the size of my living room.
Aaron Bruno
I can literally shake hands with Aaron Bruno, we're that close.  I look around again and realize how strange it must be to see an 'older' woman in the crowd by herself.  And then the band starts playing.  And nothing else matters.  I am totally mesmerized.  The crowd is freaking out; jumping, moshing, drinking, sweating and I am just a small part of the scene.  I'm taking it all in; listening, feeling the music, really.  We're three, maybe four songs in and I know this is easily the best show I've ever seen in my entire life.  Maybe it's because I'm by myself and I'm just here for the music. Maybe it's because I'm older and I'm hearing each song with a totally new perspective and appreciation for what it is.  Maybe it's because I haven't done anything like this in a really long time.  Maybe it's all of these things.  But, whatever it is, I am moved beyond words.  Every song sends chills down my spine and I feel like I'm having an out of body experience.  When the show is over, the band walks past us to get back stage.  I thank them and tell them they were incredible.
My 1st shirt (I have 4) signed
by Assassin
Kenny Carkeet, who also goes by Assassin, makes a point to say you're welcome and tells me I should come see them in NY the next night.  I laugh as I tell him I wish I could.  What I don't tell him is that I'm a mom and I have to get back to reality tomorrow.  Because that would be weird.  I do, however, buy a shirt and ask him to sign it because that's awesome and I know my kids will think it's awesome, too.  Maybe not now, but some day.  I hop back in my car and head home around midnight.  I am buzzing with energy and I know I will be forever changed by this experience.  I realize that music can move me in the same way that running does and in that moment the seed is planted for this blog.  It's not just because of AWOLNATION that I created RUNNINGWITHMUSIC.  But, they definitely had a lot to do with it.  Yesterday, they released the first new single, Hollow Moon, off of their soon to be released album, RUN.  No joke.....RUN.  How cool is that?  I am beyond thrilled for these guys.  And I will be forever grateful.

Listen to this:
Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - AWOLNATION   

* Pre-order AWOL's new album 'RUN' on iTunes here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

NO CALM

Inhale, exhale, level with the angels
Rolling with my head high, further from the pavement
On another level, on another level
~ Far East Movement, 'Level'

 

This morning I got up at 6:30am, threw on multiple layers and made myself a very large cup of coffee.  I wrote a note to my kids letting them know that I was out walking the dogs and asking them to please get ready for school.  No, this never really works.  But, I like to try anyway.  My husband is away, so I knew there would be many balls in the air and a lot of rushing around.  At least it's Friday, I thought to myself as I headed out in the dark.  When I got back in, the girls were changed and had started their morning routine.  High fives all around.  It was 7:15 and we had 45 minutes until we had to leave.  Is it possible, I thought, that we could get it all done and get to school on time today?  Maybe?  Here's how the rest of the morning rolled out:

Rosie: Mom, can I watch a show?
Me: No, Rose.  We're not watching tv before school.
Rosie: But we have 45 minutes. (we never have this much time, hence the request)
Me: Then read a book.  Wait, have you brushed your teeth yet?  Are you packed and ready to go?
Rosie: Ugh. No. (eye roll)
Grace: Mom, today's Edie's birthday and I need to give her a present.
Me: Okay, Grace.  I'll go grab something.  You get ready.
Grace: And I need a card for it.
Me: Yes, I know.  Wait, have YOU brushed your teeth yet? And you need socks.
Grace: No.  But, I haven't eaten breakfast.
Me:  Breakfast first. Then teeth.  Then socks.  Then backpack.  Then we'll get the card.
Grace: Okay, fine. (another an eye roll)
Me: Girls, I'm going up to put my contacts in and then we've got to get moving. 
Classic blunder.  When I got back downstairs, Grace was wrapping her present and Rosie was stuffing a canvas bag full of dress up clothes, including 2 superhero capes and a pair of disco-style bell bottoms.
Me: Girls?  What is going on?!?!  I asked you to pack up and get ready to go.
Rosie: It's Freaky Friday.  Kate and I dress up every Friday.
Me: What???  You can't bring that to school, Rosie.
Rosie: It's fine, mom.  We do it every week.
Grace: Mom, where are the scissors?
Me: I don't know, Grace.  But, you have to let me finish that.  We have got to get out of here.
Grace: But, I haven't finished the card.
Deep breaths.  In and out.  In and out.
Me: Rosie, please go put your shoes on and head out to the car.  Grace, pack up your bag and then I'll help you with the card.
Rosie headed outside.  Grace disappeared.  I started shoving folders and lunches into backpacks and tried to gulp down a second cup of coffee.  2-3 minutes go by.
Me: GRACE!!!!! Where are you????
She shuffled back into the kitchen with her LeapPad, several other miscellaneous toys and her blanket.  I threw my hands up in total exasperation.
Grace: They're for NH, mom.  I want to take them up with us this week-end.
O.M.G.  Don't lose it, Rebecca.  We're so close.
Me: Okay, fine.  Let's go.  Grab your stuff.
I headed out the door and got in the car with Rosie.  2 minutes go by.  I looked up and saw Grace at the front door waving her hands at me.
Grace: MOM.  I can't find my jacket.
Dear Lord.  I got out of the car and ran back inside.
Me: Grace, you are KILLING me.  We had 45 minutes.  What happened?
Grace: I was wrapping a present!!!
This was true.  But the task was totally unnecessary.
Me: Okay, but we are now really late.  Let's move.
Grace (crying now): All you do is rush me.
Now I felt bad.  But, I was also incredibly annoyed.  The worst possible combo for a parent.
Me: Grace, I don't like to rush you but we didn't have time for all the other things we tried to get done this morning on top of getting ready for school.  You have to let me help you next time.
No response from Grace.  Just a stormy walk off to the car.
We were finally all in the car at 8:10 and we had to be at school at 8:15.  It takes at least 10 minutes to get to school.  Epic fail.  We all sat in silence for a couple minutes and I was wondering what to say or not say to get my point across, yet again.
Rosie: Mom, what's it like when you go the eye doctor?
Aaaaand we're done.

Turns out, there is no calm.  Not on a weekday morning with kids, anyway.  It's all chaos, all the time with varying degrees of madness mixed in.  It's life.  Screw calm.  I'm going running.

Listen to this:
Colors - Genevieve   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ALL OF IT

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
~ Lucille Ball

On Monday, around 2:00pm, my girls and I were heading home from NH after having skied at Cannon Mountain for the long weekend.  When we left Franconia Notch, the weather was nasty.  But, by the time we were crossing the MA border, the sun had come out and the temp was a balmy 37 degrees.  Hmmm, I heard myself wondering out loud, I wonder if I can squeeze a run in when we get home.  Rosie, my 10 year old, chimed in from the back seat, Mom, she said, you just skied all morning.  Why would you want to go running, too?  I smiled.  Then I handed her my phone.  Rosie, I said, you know how you like to do this...



and this...


and this....


and especially this?! 


Most of the photos on my phone are of her and her sister doing the various things they love to do.  I figured I might as well share a few of Rosie's action shots with you for a reference and...well...because I'm her mom, I like to brag about her and she kind of blows me away.  Anyway, back to the story.  Here's how our conversation played out from there:
You know how you love to do all those things?  I asked.  
Yea, she responded.  
And you know that feeling of excitement, the butterflies you get in your stomach right before you're about to race or make your jump?  
Uh huh, she said.  
And you know that feeling of total awesomeness you get when you're in the middle of a game or your routine and you're having so much fun that you can't even believe it?
Um, yeah, she said.  
And you know that feeling of sadness or frustration that you get when things don't go the way you'd hoped and then how fired up you are to get back out there and try it again when that happens?  
Oh, totally, she exclaimed.  She got excited about this one.  Bless her heart.  
Well, I get all of that, ALL of it, from running.  
She was quiet for a minute; digesting, zoning out, who knows.  But then I hear, 
Wow.  That's really cool, mom.  
Yea, I said.  Yea it is.

Listen to this:
White Light - Waterstrider  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

THE 35 of '14


Today I'm psyched to hand the reigns over to my friend and fellow runner/mother/music lover, Nicole Mare Devine.  Not only has Nicole made several contributions to RWM, but she always keeps me in her music loop which is consistently rich in color, texture and flavor.  She recently reached out and asked me if I'd posted a BEST OF 2014 music list, as she was curious what my favorites had been for the year.  I pointed her toward my Soundtrack of 2014 post, which highlights my monthly picks for both songs and albums.  Naturally, I wanted to know what her selections were for the year and asked her if she'd be willing to share.  Unsurprisingly, she had a long list of 'go-to's, Lana Del Ray and BANKS being her clear favorites.  Knowing full well that she is the playlist master and makes one for just about any occasion, I requested that she put one together so we could have more to chew on as we start off the new year.  Thankfully, she was happy to oblige.  If you read this blog or follow the music selections on a regular basis, you'll notice that there is quite a bit of crossover (ie. Sir Sly, Dan Croll, & ).  This is because a) we have very similar taste in music and b) I often use her suggestions for my daily songs.  But, that said, she definitely has a style all her own and I happen to really dig it.  I think you will, too.  In her own words:

As a huge fan of music and consistent playlist creator, I'll listen to almost anything at least once, always trying to keep my lists as enjoyable and fresh for myself as time will allow. I also try my best to build a list of my favorite songs that were released as either singles or on albums during each particular year. My friend Rebecca has given me the privelege of sharing some of my 2014 favorites here with you on her site today. The list is a bit wide ranging in genres, but it definitely sums up my year in review of music. I hope you'll find something unexpectedly "new for you" on here that catches your ear, and maybe will end up on a list of yours as well!

by Nicole Devine

Broken Bells – After the Disco
St. Vincent – Digital Witness
Painted Palms – Spinning Signs
Ernest Ellis – Shine Like Me
Mr Little Jeans – Good Mistake
MØ – The Sea
Snowmine – Rome
Lana Del Rey – West Coast - Rob Orton Mix
SOHN – Artifice
Ed Sheeran Sing
Last of the Light Brigade Stimulator
Martin Solveig – Blow - Radio Edit
Mac Demarco – Salad Days
Caribou – Can't Do Without You
Banks – Beggin For Thread
Jack White – Lazaretto
Interpol – All The Rage Back Home
The War On Drugs – Red Eyes
Spoon – Outlier
Foo Fighters – Something From Nothing
TV On The Radio – Happy Idiot
Sir Sly – Gold
Iggy Azalea – Fancy
Saint Motel – My Type
Benjamin Booker – Always Waiting
Bear In Heaven – Autumn
Oliver $ – Pushing On
Shakey Graves – The Perfect Parts
Kiesza – Hideaway
Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
Ariana Grande – Problem
Dan Croll – From Nowhere
Jungle – Time
Route 94 – My Love
Vance Joy – Riptide
&
Listen to this: (Nicole's Favorite)
West Coast - Lana Del Ray - Rob Orton Mix