Sometimes we need people’s warmth and empathy to feel whole. I often meditate on the wisdom of others when I’m lost or stuck or struggling with an idea, an action, or a decision. As a list person, I tend to write them down and pin them to the wall by my desk at home. In particular, I’m grateful for affirmative sentiments like:
“Be confident, you’re great”–something a student wrote on an evaluation
“The first thing that happens is that your best gets better, but what really matters is when your worst gets better.”–Louis C.K.
“Imposter syndrome is actually only something that afflicts people who are good at what they do.”–Ann Friedman
And did you hear Laurie Anderson’s rad acceptance speech when Lou Reed was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? In particular, I was struck by the rules they lived by together:
The first one is don’t be afraid of anyone. Now can you imagine living your life so that you are afraid of no one? And second is get a really good bullshit detector and learn how to use it. And third is be really really tender.
It’s in this spirit that this playlist was assembled. The musicians’ words and voices soothe and guide me during times of reflection and uncertainty. I also remember the ways some of these songs were originally delivered. For example, the lead track first appeared on a treasured mix CD from a good friend. May they bring you comfort and clarity too.
1. Yoko Ono (ft. Cat Power) – Revelations (Yes, I’m a Witch; Astralwerks/Apple, 2007)
2. High Places – Shared Islands (High Places 03/07-09/07; Thrill Jockey, 2007)
3. King – The Story (The Story EP; KING, 2011)
4. Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra – Only Now (Bosq Remix) (Only Now single; Ubiquity, 2014)
5. Jill Scott – 1 is the Magic # (Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds Vol. 1; Hidden Beach Recordings, 2000)
6. Linda Perhacs – River of God (The Soul of All Natural Things; Asthmatic Kitty, 2014)
7. Electrelane – Two For Joy (Axes; Too Pure/Beggars Banquet, 2005)
8. Thao & Mirah (ft. tUnE-yArDs) – Eleven (Thao & Mirah; Kill Rock Stars, 2011)
9. Deerhoof – This Magnificent Bird Will Rise (Reveille; 5 Rue Christine, 2002)
10. YACHT – Utopia (Shangri-La; DFA, 2010)
11. Lady – Sweet Lady (Lady; Truth and Soul Records, 2013)
12. Saâda Bonaire – More Women (Saâda Bonaire; Captured Tracks, 2013)
13. Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance (Youth Novels; Atlantic Records/LL Records, 2008)