The Integrity of a Writer

I’ve let this blog fade out, but it’s done everything but die off completely. It stands as a nagging, almost taunting, reminder each time I glance at the WordPress bookmark in my browser of what I once aspired to be. Maybe it’s still something I aspire to, but the context has changed.

Too many people have been asking if I’m still writing and I have to brush off the feeling of embarrassment and failure each time I tell them “No.” I still get writing job listings emailed to me from a college professor whom I haven’t had the heart to tell I’ve closed that chapter of my life. Friends who work with great publications wonder why I never write for them. My former editor continues to toss stories my way. What was at first an irritating topic of discussion has recently gotten me thinking that I was too quick to jump the writing ship. I’m still wary — I studied alongside an impeccable group of writers, many of whom have already clocked time at some of the most prestigious publications. A handful of them have even published books. I was a good writer, but I didn’t see myself as great as them. I didn’t expect the world to notice my fade out.

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Sound Clips: Mumford & Sons’ “Believe”

Mumford & Sons are BACK! Finally. *queue massive sigh of relief*

“Believe” is the first taste of Mumford’s upcoming album Wilder Mind and sent music lovers into a minor frenzy when it dropped Monday afternoon. And that frenzy is completely justified.

The track is a pretty significant segue from that folkier Mumford sound of the past and sees the band trade in their acoustic guitars for electric ones. The boys announced last week that they’d be offering up a new sound on this album and had chosen to — hang on, you might want to sit down for this one — abandon the banjo. That anthemic plucky-folk sound is truly signature to Mumford & Sons aesthetic and there’s already debate on whether these Brits are following in Coldplay’s not-so-popular footsteps. Read: Great stripped-down rock band turned overproduced, major-label-signed pop-rock hybrid.

At any rate, “Believe” is a pretty powerful single and it’s not difficult to imagine the song resonating through a packed arena, in a cool way. I’ll hold off on rating Mumford’s new sound until the album’s release on May 4.

Stream the new track below!

Music Monday: The New Basement Tapes’ “Lost on the River”

Throughout the six decades we’ve admired and loved him, Bob Dylan has stood at the forefront of music culture and has continued to be a primary influence on the way artists create music. On November 11, a collection of uncovered Dylan-lyrics were released, presented via the vocals and music from some of the more archetypal artists on today’s scene. I will now introduce to you… Lost on the River from the New Basement Tapes.

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Music Monday: The Velveteins

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I stumbled upon the Velveteins through a delightful bout of Instagram happenstance. I gave the boys a fair listen and found myself scouring the internet for more.  While their catalog is light from being fairly fresh to the scene, their content is deeply satisfying. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pushing hard for these guys to get down to Los Angeles as soon as possible.

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Music Monday: Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories”

It’s been 14 years since “Yellow” broke the surface of the music industry and forced us to put Coldplay on our radar. Since their debut album Parachutes, Coldplay have continued to push the boundaries of sound, melding familiar tones with innovative beats and twists. With Chris Martin’s thoughtful lyricism and an emphasis on piano, Coldplay has earned themselves the title of one of the greatest bands of the millennium.

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LIVE: Lo-Fang at The Troubadour (4/2/14)

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It’s not often that you come across an artist and know right off the bat that you’ve just found your new favorite band. Maybe you’ve grown obsessed with one particular song, but to find an entire album that’s damn near flawless… Now, that’s rare.

Before discovering Lo-Fang, this had only happened to me once before, with Local Natives in 2009. I’ve stood by their music knowing that they were doing something different. Something entirely unique and important. These days, I’m exposed to more new music than I can keep up with and while there are plenty of good bands out there, they’re usually comparable to something I’ve heard before.

Then I met Lo-Fang and I swear to you my life will never be the same.

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