It seems like I have been on the road a lot lately between work and weddings. Just this past week, we took a quick trip down to the homeland to hug our Brasilian family goodbye for the next couple of years. As we drove across the prairie, I started compiling a list of my top road trip albums. I thought I would share the list with you. The Outsiders -Needtobreathe. this album never fails to bring back memories of college buddies crammed in the back of vans and miles and miles covered during choir tour. (Honorable mention: Rivers in the Wasteland, but we've already talked about that) Young Love -Mat Kearney it was the winter after I came back from Johannesburg and I was trying to figure out what life was supposed to look like and where I was supposed to fit in. this album kept me company on many solitary drives. Babel -Mumford and Sons lyrics from this album find themselves scribbled all over my pages. trips I did take. trips I dreamed of taking. dishes and laundry at the house on days off. homework and the hammock. Home - Mike Mains and the Branches highway 71 and that summer I spent with sand on the seats and lake water in my hair and a map of the Black Hills at the ready. I tried to narrow it down to ONE Jack Johnson album, really I did. But, I can't unravel lyrics from each other and songs from albums because they have so intertwined themselves to the soundtrack of my life, that I can't pick just one. Although On and On brings back memories from school breaks and talks with friends that made me look hard deep down in my heart and challenged my perceptions and paradigms. Growing days, shaping days. I and Love and You -The Avett Brothers. because, this is so stamped upon all of my newly married adventures. and them live has forever endeared this album to my heart. Love and War and the Sea In between -Josh Garrels. northern california and wedding shenanigans and hiking through snow drifts and past frozen lakes in tank tops and shorts. driving down to durango for a weekend ski trip that turned into a weekend hospital adventure. middleofnowhere south dakota and The Resistance on repeat for an hour or more. I could list more. But these are at the top. My top 7. Ish. Whatever. How about you? What are your go-to road trip albums or playlists?
(Let's just pretend it's Monday, OK? ok.) True confessions: I haven't always loved The Avett Brothers. I got a free song download (thanks, Starbucks), and it found its way into a playlist. I listened to them when they popped up in my tumblr feed and on blog posts. But I didn't go out and buy an album, or youtube obsess over them for days. HOWEVER. When my mainmusicman (read: brotha) saw that they were going to be in DEADWOOD, there was no way I (we) were going to miss good live music so close to home. (The struggle is real around here. Either you can get country artists or other random and lame artists. This was kind of a big deal.) We got tickets for general admission a couple days before the concert, and weren't really sure what to expect. After all was said and done, it would have been worth it to pay the extra cash to stand a little closer and be separated from the people who came just to get drunk and be loud. As it was, we were right up against the barrier, and had some pretty chill other enthusiasts to stand/dance by (except for the random people who always push through the crowd halfway through the concert expecting you to move so they can get in front of you. Ha.).
Concert buddies. (espresso for days)
Pictures don't do justice to these guys' high-energy, two hour + performance. So, so good. They have such a range of style and sound and talent, it was impressive.
I would go see them again in a heart beat.
As it is, I just have to settle for watching youtube performances.
Here's a few of my favorites:
Pretty much in love with these guys. What are YOU listening to these days?
Sometimes it feels like I am in multiple different seasons at the same time: personal growth, friend circles, job cycles, planning/waiting. Some I choose, some just happen naturally.
Lately, though (and by lately, I mean the past year), it seems that I have been in a season of sorrow, a season of grieving. So much unexpected loss of loved lives on this earth.
I am selfishly tired and worn out from all the soul aching that this brings.
I cling to and believe in my heart of hearts the truths of the Bible that speak hope in resurrection and a God who has purpose in everything that happens on this earth.
But I still sorrow.
I still have the puffy eyes and raging head ache that comes from processing loss.
I still have my breath taken away when I remember that all of those future memories I was planning on making with a loved one are not going to happen, that they are not a phone call away, that I will not see them multiple times a week or at the next reunion or on a road trip.
I still get secretly annoyed at social media friends lamenting the loss of a celebrity... as if that really affects them and what do they know of loss anyways?
But I forget that the universe is not wrapped up in my private hurt and sorrow; that every other person on this earth is fighting their own hard battles and facing their own hurts and going to bed at night, hoping that when the morning light comes there will be some relief from the brokenness that they feel. I have always, always loved the season that surrounds Easter. This is one of the most meaningful holidays to me, and I think it it is so indicative of the loving God I serve that after weeks of discussing with my youth group how Jesus brings us reconciliation and redemption and resurrection because of his sacrifice on the cross and his burial and his conquering death three days later... that after celebrating the resurrection with my local church body after weeks of music practice and over an hour of celebratory scripture reading and singing... that after a sermon series on themes regarding the Passion Week... that just hours after being challenged and encouraged by the passage in 1 Corinthians 15... a man who has played such a huge role in my growing years away from home, who constantly sought me out to tease, listen, share stories, and laugh (oh, did we laugh), died quietly and unexpectedly in his sleep. I could say so much about him, and honestly, it would be echoing so much of what others have already testified to. Jerry and his wife knew how to make people feel loved. They knew what it meant to lay aside their own preferences for the betterment of others, they knew what it meant to seek out people on the fringes and those who felt a little new or awkward and make them feel right at home. They knew how to have a good time (and did they have the stories to prove it), they knew how to share their love for God with others. They knew how to reach beyond social stigmas and reach beyond their generation to invest in lives. If I close my eyes right now I can see Jerry standing on the edge of his porch, waiting in welcome and saying with a huge grin,"Well Lizzy, waddya say?" Or seeking me out at church, or whatever gathering we happened to be at, for a good old Jerry hug and questions about how my week was or how life was treating me. I'd ask him if he was staying out of trouble, and he would tell me he was getting too old for that (this man who was in his seventies and more active than most 50 year olds I know). He used to tease me about finding a boyfriend and getting married, but after my customary eye roll, he finally told me to not worry about boys and just travel as much as I can and love every second of being single, because you don't get to do it over. When I (finally) started dating my boyfriend he would just laugh and tell me "You two deserve each other." Followed by, "Two of my favorite people are marrying each other and I couldn't be more happy!" Also followed by, "Are you two gonna get married before I die?" Bittersweet.
I hope I can love people as well and as much and as freely as he did. I hope that somewhere in the midst of all his celebratory worship and joy up there with Jesus, he gets a tiny glimpse of how big of an impact he made for Christ.
It is no secret that I have been a NTB fan for quite a while, but let me just tell you that since they came out with their new album "Rivers in the Wasteland," I have had it on repeat more than any new music discovery/album release in recent Liz History. The last time I overdosed on an album was probably the day that The Lone Bellow released their self-title album last year. I've had "Rivers in the Wasteland" on repeat since it showed up in my mail box.
I started loving NTB when I heard their album "The Heat," and by the time that "The Outsiders" came out, they were pretty much a solid part of my life soundtrack (Garden, Girl Named Tennessee, Let us Love). I think I can safely say it's my favorite album yet.
They have some fun, new sounds in this album, but they definitely still kept the classic NTB sound. Fo' sho an awesome road trip partner. I am feeling challenged by the task of picking a small list of favorite songs because mine is about as big as the album, but here goes nothing:
Honorable Mention goes to: Oh, Carolina, The Heart and Rise Again.