My Jam


I’ve said before, quoting naughty Jonathan Franzen, that literature is my religion, which is mostly true, but I am just as religious, if not a little more addicted. As I shift between yoga morning me to work to the barn, the range, or other activities, to home to sleep, my extremely eclectic, basically weirdo taste in music helps me make the mental shift more smoothly. Perhaps most critical for me is the post-work to barn playlist. It’s a longish drive from downtown STL to my suburban/semi-rural barn where I simultaneously need to shake off the often frantic end of my day, calm down, clear my mind, but also maintain good energy for a long ride. Here’s a typical to the barn jam:

1. Missing Pieces – Jack White (preconcert pic above)
2. Let the Rain – Sarah Bareilles
3. Tonight, Tonight – Smashing Pumpkins
4. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Live version) – Indigo Girls (sorry, Buffy, but Amy owns this song)
5. Where is My Mind – Pixies
6. Gold Lion – yeah yeah yeahs
7. Superwoman – Alicia Keys
8. Come As You Are -Nirvana
9. Burn – Elle Goulding
10. This Charming Man – Smiths
11. Parachute (accoustic version) – Ingrid Michelson
12. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
13. Nail in My Coffin – The Kills
14. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
15. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

It’s a long drive.

To work is a different situation because I need to both calm and center my mind, and get in a good mood. Generally I’ve been up for hours, but I still might be tired.

1. Steady as She Goes – The Racounters (also name of the first filly I breed)
2. So What – Pink
3. Run this Town – Jay-Z
4. Sugar Cane – Missy Higgins
5. Girl Gone Wild – Madonna
6. Fidelity – Rebecca Spector
7. We Are Going to Be Friends – White Stripes (sensing a pattern?)
8. Maps – yeah yeah yeahs
9. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
10. Come Out & Play – Offspring

Heading home, I am always tired and need to calm down and breathe

1. Sober – Pink
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out – Bessie Smith
3. Never Gonna Dance – Fred Astaire
4. All Apologies – Nirvana
5. Samson – Rebecca Spektor
6. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michelson
7. Today – Smashing Pumpkins
8. Fleet of Hope – Indigo Girls
9. Blackbird – Beatles
10. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
11. Oceans – Jay-Z/Frank Ocean
12. Old Timers – Leslie and the Badgers
13. Bravado – Lorde
14. White Blank Page – Mumford and Sons
15. Workin’ in Corners – Nanci Griffith (second gen blue grass, the original rockabilly songstress)

The rest of the day, either working (when I can) or puttering around the house/garden is classical or jazz. I am a classical junkie, particularly German cello and piano concertos.


Including this brilliant cellist, Daniel Lee, who has a Schumann concerto this weekend.

And jazz, both instrumental and vocal. Sometimes I play Miles Davis’s Someday My Prince will Come for my horse when I’m grooming him, because he is most definitely my Prince Charming. Often I will sing silly Ella songs to him when he’s cantering on his right lead to calm him down or bust out old Gershwin songs.

And if I’m lost and need to find inspiration, I lay under the stars and listen to Rhapsody in Blue and So What and am usually up in a handstand, backbend, or forearm balance against a tree before the grand finale of Rhapsody.

What music gets you through the day?


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