As a disclaimer for honesty, I'm actually writing this week's Tuesday Tunes on Friday. My friends, this week has been TOUGH. Among other, more personal issues, which left me crying in bed for hours watching Gilmore Girls, I'm now working on Week 9 of a 10-week festival. One of my supervisors is leaving today, and my homesickness is at an all time high. I have applied to six full time jobs this week, which is a record for me. That's six different cover letters I wrote. Amazing!
Therefore, I think the music that should represent my week should be total comfort food music. Nothing that causes potential emotional turmoil. Just don't laugh when you see what I picked.
John Dowland's Lute Compositions
As you all may or may not know, I am a huge fan of fantasy books and games, and at one point when I was younger, I was interested in becoming a medievalist. For much of my life, I have heard of this instrument called the lute, and I have certainly heard small sections of what it might sound like. But I can now proudly say that I have "a favorite lutenist," John Dowland.
I don't know much about Dowland himself, but I do know that this is the only music I've found recently that I can listen to while writing, while reading, while in the midst of a 3 day headache, while trying to sleep, and it doesn't throw me into the Pits of Anguish. Luckily, he must have been fairly prolific, because there are hours of this soft lute man on YouTube and Spotify, recreated in large part by musician Paul O'Dette.
Incidentally, it's worth noting that my main character on the well-loved MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online is an elven minstrel whose preferred instrument is a lute. As a minstrel, I strum my lute at forces of evil to summon the wrath of the Tolkien pantheon down upon them. If it inspires you, while you listen to these calming strums, you may imagine that they are felling your corrupted enemies with no harsh words or actions – only the most pleasant of sounds.
Where can I listen to this?
There are multiple options on YouTube; as you might imagine, a Renaissance lutenist is probably not held down by too much copyright. Here are a few longer selections:
There are also myriads of options on Spotify, although the one I've been listening to nonstop is My Favorite Dowland, played by Paul O'Dette.
MUNA: Loudspeaker EP
I originally heard of MUNA through my school's radio station, and the music labels give to us in the hopes that we will review and play it. Sometimes you listen to those and you're like, "eh." But I instantly knew we were soulmates.
MUNA, a Los-Angeles based trio (Katie, Naomi, and Josette), has been described as a "queer girl" band, and a "dark pop" band. What's not to love? The following articles give you an even better glimpse into the band, which I fall in love with more every time I think about them.
I was originally introduced to the song "Winterbreak," which was a single at the time. It struck all the right chords. Have you ever heard a singer whose voice makes your heart ache? Yeah, it was like that. Additionally, the lyrics were so captivating and relatable to everything I'd been feeling that it was both hurtful (how dare you broadcast my thoughts to the world?!) and a relief (thank God someone else knows how this goes).
Later on, earlier in the summer, MUNA released an EP, titled "Loudspeaker" after their single by the same name. Since there are only four songs, I can't exactly tell you my favorites, because they all stand alone in their most awesome individual ways. But it's definitely a cohesive piece, and you should just go listen to it right now.
How can I listen to MUNA?
And check out their twitter as well. I promise every bit is golden.
Str8kdt: Tabletop RPG Soundtracks
This entry is fully indulgent in my penchant for RPGs and gaming. It has nothing to do with the fact that lyric-less battle music is great for when you are sad and angry and pounding the keyboard harder than is strictly necessary to enter data into a spreadsheet.