I believe 2 / Small joys 6
Time for a topic mashup. Also I am using LJ's new entry publisher, and I have no idea how it works. Let's go.
~ Check out the new IGTV track 'Time is on your side' posted last week here. I like the lyric animation effect on the video, I feel like it has its own message to layer on top of the song message, although that could be fanciful thinking. Layered meanings, multiple interpretations and alternate perspectives are all common in Magne's music. Need more time with the lyrics before deciding if I want to write more about the song, but I like the sound of it and how it fits with the other two songs he's posted recently.
~ The video for 'God is in the details' reminds me of my family's first dog — a brown and cream husky with endless energy who loved to play in the snow :-) She'd lead us on wild chases around the neighborhood and joyfully jump into piles of leaves that we had spent hours raking for her amusement and attempt to hide under my bed when it stormed (despite the piles of toys and other junk) and watch Orioles games on TV with my father and sister on long summer evenings. Random thought: Magne is 10 years older than me and he has more energy to play with this wonderful puppy/dog than I could probably muster these days ;-) I'm inspired by watching that snowy play session to find more playfulness in life myself, it would add greatly to my ever growing list of small joys for sure.
Anyway I do really like this song, although it took longer to grow on me than the other two new ones, and some of the lyrics need some work IMO...but musically it is wonderful, and he did say it's a rough demo, so it's all good. Sometimes it could be better to hear a work in progress and grow to appreciate it before the final product — as evidenced by the 'Square Peg in a Round Hole' remix extravaganza. I loved most versions of all of those songs, so I imagine I'd love to hear evolving versions of Magne's solo songs as well if given the opportunity.
Also have you noticed the new prevalence of spiritual/religious terms in Magne's solo music WXL and after? They are all over the place, and this intrigues me, but I haven't yet attempted any kind of real deep dive to investigate this. Particularly the use of the word 'savior' often gives me pause, but not in a bad way. This rabbit hole will have to wait a bit, I think.
~ Still not ready to write about 'I'm in'. My son goes back to college this Friday after being home since my birthday in November, and once I go back to daily solo walks, I will no doubt begin composing something mentally while I am out and about. (As I mentioned before, my son and I walk every day, whether we are together or not. I am now up to 262 days in a row of walking 2-3 miles, and between March 28 and the end of 2020 I walked 822 miles. Our goal for 2021 is 1000 miles. Try to stop us.)
>> Ok, I was interrupted while writing this, and I have no idea how the site now handles drafts, so I am going to post as is and come back to add to this post. It has the potential to be quite long, since I like my mashup title and don't want to waste/negate it by splitting the post. Defeats the purpose. You get it. Anyway, more soon.
>> Whoa, this new editor on LJ is super different. I'm back to add a few new thoughts here.
~ Sometimes a small joy is finding someone else who not only feels the way you do, but is able to put into words how you feel in a way that you might experience as a kind of revelation. Magne's lyrics and poetry often does that for me.
Lately, due to the situation we're all living through, for a natural optimist, having new dark or pessimistic thoughts sometimes can be disorienting and unwelcome. I believe that things will get better, I know it serves no good to dwell on the negative, but these days the struggle to stay positive is real.
I have recently discovered an account on Twitter called Plague Poems, which you can also find in blog form here. In one sitting, I devoured months' worth of poems, dating back to the beginning of the pandemic. If you want to know where my headspace is much of the time when I am not focused on work or occupied by daily chores and family time or distracted by the TV or any of the new podcasts I have discovered, these poems come pretty close. Reading them has helped me to understand my own thoughts and feelings these days, and maybe they will help you, as well.
Two poems I come back to over and over are these:
How this these poems tie into this blog is simple: Magne sharing his Oslo concert with us, and his recent new songs, feels almost like this. In the midst of so much sustained sadness, worry, stress and isolation, to be given something that brings you joy at a time when joy feels alien and undeserved and somehow more precious than ever before, is difficult to grasp. Times are so hard now, thousands of people are dying each day, I haven't seen or hugged my mother in a year. A YEAR.
I hope somehow he knows how important these gifts have been to so many people who needed some joy desperately. He certainly does if he happened to go back to the full concert on Facebook to read the comments posted even after he left the chat — hundreds of posts from people, most simply saying 'thank you'. Following many months of disappointing silence from a-ha, the music and engagement from Magne meant so much to people.
~ Speaking of the comments from fans on the concert, what I loved to see was how everyone seemed so glad to have a reason to be together. Magne asked if anyone was even watching the concert, or were they just chatting (haha!), and I think that was bound to happen when we were given the chance to engage with him and with each other over something pure and wonderful that we all share. It was also great to read his comments of appreciation — about everyone who contributed to his video project, those who joined to watch the show, folks who came out to the a-ha shows before the shutdown, fans waiting patiently in countries where a-ha hasn't been ever/in a long time, etc. He covered so many bases and I am sure everyone felt somehow included in his comments of gratitude. There's not only a special skill in that, but there's also *intention*, which means even more.
~ Why does it always make me happy to hear about potential future concerts? I don't know, it just does :-)
"re further plans for WXL concerts: yup, will try to schedule some for next year - we had booked spaces in london, berlin and oslo this year (on off days with a-ha) - but alas covid happened. hope to resume next year!"
~ Remember after WXL came out in the latter part of 2019 and my Spotify Top Songs list came out, and I was hopeful that my 2020 Spotify Top Songs list would be full of Magne's songs? It happened, but also one better — in the past, my Top Songs list has always included songs I didn't play that often, but since I'm not on the app that much, even songs I only like slightly made the annual list of Top Songs. So there have always been skippers, even on this supposedly 'list of faves'. Anyway, my 2020 Top Songs list doesn't have a single skipper on it, no doubt due to Magne's songs filling up 15 spots (of course!), but also because during the shutdown I have worked from home and listened to Spotify more. So the songs that made the list are actually songs I listened to a lot. I had made my 2018 playlist public, and here is my 2020 playlist, for anyone interested. It would be cool to see what Magne's Top Songs list was, but he hasn't made changes to his public playlists in a while, so I doubt that will happen ;-)
~ Edited to remove what basically amounts to self pity and whining. I'd rather focus on the gift of music, and my gratitude for it. Besides, no one's intentions were bad, things are what they are.
~ Time to wrap this up on a high note. Love this picture, it makes me smile :-)