What Taylor Sterling Is Listening To #9

I’ve officially fallen back into my bad work habits: multitasking around my kids, scrolling social media too much and working late into the evening. Although there’s a caveat now: I have no other option. These fraught moments I squeeze in work are a privilege. My husband and I are bargaining for more time, debating whose task is more urgent (and more important). The winner of that debate is lucky if they get twenty minutes. Soon our routine will change again. It feels like right when I find a new groove during quarantine that I have to flip it on its head. This is the third time we’ve had to readjust our schedule in six months!

For me, the best and worst part of my job is the same. I have the flexibility to work at any time, and no one is supervising me. Yet, because I have so much freedom, my job takes a back seat to those with more stringent requirements. I haven’t figured out how I will do much of anything while juggling the kids and online school. It’s going to be a mess, but hopefully, these “bad” habits will get me through.

These audio pleasures are also getting me through. Here’s what I listened to this past week:

 

Podcasts

“Bryan Washington reads Haruki Murakami ‘U.F.O. in Kushiro.'”

I’m a fan of both Washington’s and Murakami’s writing. Bryan has a warm, monotone-style reading that’s different, but I enjoy it. This was a short story about a kind, good-looking businessman whose depressed wife leaves him out of nowhere. Murakami often has a unique perspective on relationships and experiences that I find fascinating. His stories are wonderfully weird.

On Being — “Jason Reynolds: Fortifying Imagination”

The On Being podcast is so thoughtful, and it often introduces me to amazing people. I’d heard of the writer Jason Reynolds before, but I didn’t know much about him. I found him to be endearing and extremely eloquent. The work he’s doing to inspire our youth is very inspiring.

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Music

Music is essential to me. I never understand people who say, “I don’t really listen to music.” How is that even possible?! It’s unfathomable to me. I have music playing at almost all hours of the day. It comforts me like nothing else. In the past two weeks, I’ve been leaning on music more than ever (which is saying a lot). I’m going to share a few extras for those of you who could also use the warm hug of a beautiful song.

 

“Are You Even Real” by James Blake

I rarely like every song by a musician, but James Blake is one of those artists. His music is true artistry—and he creates albums that are meant to be experienced as a whole, and not just standout songs (I also think this way about Frank Ocean). Blake’s new single “Are You Even Real” is the epitome of a dreamy, moody love song. His elusive lyrics and softness throughout is mysteriously alluring.

My favorite line is: “Then she ran her hands through my imagination.”

“All I can do is trust in her
Late nights I can see the lust in her
Acid rain is a first for her
Skies open up, share a cup with her
Cracking seals, guilty, no appeal
Trip down the hill, strawberry fields
Are you even real?
She said, “tell me how you feel”
Are you even real?
Are you even real?”

“Back, Baby” by Jessica Pratt

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I’m fond of soft music that’s eerie and ethereal, and Pratt’s music is all those things. Her music reminds me a little of Nico—a very ’60s vibe. I know this is technically “watching,” but her “What’s In My Bag” at Amoeba Records was so good!

“Sometimes I pray for the rain
You know I try, to see things from your side
To leave things undefined
But where would you advise?
That I generate a new design
For the missing piece, I had to disguise”

“Les Fleurs” by Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton has an exquisite voice. This song is majestic and mysterious —probably my favorite by her.

“Will somebody wear me to the fair?
Will a lady pin me in her hair?
Will a child find me by a stream?
Kiss my petals and weave me through a dream.”

“Songs To Turn Around A Crappy Day” Playlist

I share a lot of sad songs. This is because sad songs tend to be more interesting and thought-provoking. However, I have to balance them with uplifting music. I made a playlist of songs I love when I need a pick-me-up. I think many of its songs will be a delightful surprise.

 

 

Listen Lists:

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Author: Taylor Sterling

Taylor Sterling is the founder and creative director of Glitter Guide. When she's not working on all things GG, she can be found reading and sometimes art directing photoshoots for @LolaJayne. She enjoys spending time with her family and eating french fries (not necessarily at the same time, although that's definitely the best combination). Follow her at @TaylorSterling