“Music is what feelings sound like.”

It’s colder than yesterday, far more seasonal at 38°, but I don’t mind. Neither does Gracie. I think it’s her favorite sort of day. She runs outside round and round the yard then comes in panting and walks over to me for a pat. I find her fur cold to the touch, especially her ears.

Winter is the easiest season to see because the sun and sky have hues different from any other season. The blue is sharper and the sun looks far more muted. When I look out the window, I can see that cold and feel it in my bones.

In winter, my house is never quiet. Hot air periodically roars through the vents from the furnace. Throughout most of the house I only hear it, but in the living room I see it when the curtain flies in the air, and in the kitchen I feel it at my feet while I do dishes.

On my way to breakfast every Sunday I listen to NPR and do Will Short’s puzzles. The rest of the week NPR is also my radio station of choice, but lately I’ve also been listening to WEEI sports to keep up with the Pats in preparation for the Super Bowl. The only music stations programmed on my radio are oldies. My friends and I play trivia every Thursday night. We groan when the question is about music as none of us know the music of today. I was lucky a few weeks ago when the question asked about Dick Dale and The Ventures and their genre of music. I knew right away it was surf. We got it right. That’s a rarity. Most times we haven’t ever heard of the singer whose name answers the question. If my nephew Mike is there, he is our only hope at knowing any music beyond the 70’s.

I sing along with the songs on my radio stations. They are the songs of my high school and college years. My head bops and one foot beats along with the familiar sounds. I take comfort in knowing the words and sing loudly and strongly. Today is the last of the birthyear songs. It has been great fun for me. I got to sing along.

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29 Comments on ““Music is what feelings sound like.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    A nod to Big Lennie

    The Sunday Times (of London) gave Leonard Cohen’s new album a five star review and CD of the week. Strangely it’s the featured disc of the week at Best Buy being offered at $8.99 when it is released on Tuesday.

    Since the King of Suits (and porkpie hats) is an icon of the Katclub, I will look forward to the first review.

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I already have it-got it ahead of time. I am amazed by how much I like it as I haven’t liked much of his latest stuff. A couple of songs I listened to twice because I liked them so much. This is the best of his for a long time.

      • Hedley Says:

        His first studio album since 2004’s Dear Heather, Old Ideas is one of Cohen’s most absorbing works in ages — lyrically arresting and unflinching, and musically pared-down, for the most part mercifully dispensing with the synth-heavy soundscapes that bedevil some of his later oeuvre. “I love to speak with Leonard,” he begins, in his parched, lugubrious drawl, on the wonderfully wry opener, Going Home. “He’s a sportsman and a shepherd/ He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit.” It is one of many tracks on which the 77-year-old looks unblinkingly at the burden of reputation and expectation, at mortality, virility, fidelity — and at the woes of wider society. He addresses the last most explicitly on the bleak Amen (“Tell me again when the victims are singing / And the laws of remorse are restored”); yet, as ever with Cohen, the line between the personal and the political is a thin one. He invites us to negotiate that line: “Show me the place I’ve forgotten I don’t know” may, on the surface, be a lyric about waning desire, but it is also of a piece with the album’s secondary themes. Cohen is confronting the passage of time and the commodification of society, and contemplating — still — his sometimes vexatious relationship with romance and sex. Yet to call Old Ideas merely an elegy or an inventory would be inaccurate. It is too full of humanity and humour to be that.
        Sunday Times review

  2. Bob Says:

    Like you I am a devoted listener to NPR. My car radio is tuned to “Morning Edition and All Things Considered” while I drive to and from work. I haven’t been following the sports talk radio pundits since the Cowboys bowed out of the playoff picture. As long as Jerry Jones insists on being both the owner and the general manager they will field second rate teams. His answer to the question about hiring a GM is that every time he fires a coach he would have had to fire a GM also. I think Jerry would love to be the head coach, but he couldn’t fire himself when the team stinks up the joint. A lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client. Who does he think he is, George Hallis?

    The local oldies radio station now plays more music from the 70s and 80s than from the 60s. Like you I know many of the songs from the 60s but later music titles don’t come to my mind. My dad used to listen to an AM station that played music from the 40s and 50s. They no longer play that format because most of their audience has died.

    • Kat Says:

      I remember a trip I had to make to Buffalo, and I kept changing the dial until I found a local NPR or a local channel. One channel I found had the corn report, that was a fun channel, but mostly I kept looking for NPR. I have my radio tuned to the NPR in Boston, the one in Woods Hole and one in Chatham. I keep going between them.

      I like sports radio during the Sox and Pat’s seasons. Lately, of course, the Super Bowl is all they’re talking about, but I do learn more abput football by listening.

      Mine is a truly oldies’ station as I know most of the songs. I also have one which is an independent local, one of the few left and is out of Provincetown. They have the most wonderful mix of music because of the different DJ’s. Lady Di, who is a man, is my all time favorite. He plays the best music and it’s from all decades prior to the 80’s.

      • Bob Says:

        Luckily, many of these radio stations broadcast over the internet. If you tell us the call sign we can Google the URL and listen to the station. When I am in Toronto I listen to a Jazz FM station. I can listen to them in Dallas over the internet. Jazz.FM91

  3. olof1 Says:

    It would have been a rather nice day here if the wind hadn’t been so persistent. Just below 32F and sunshine big parts of the day, but the wind just didn’t allow me to enjoy it.

    I mostly listens to our county radio station, they play all kinds of music, from the early days till the ones that was hits a few months ago. But on fridays I listen to channel one, an almost non music channel. They have lots of great programs and they are never interrupted by any music 🙂

    But it does happen that I listen to one of those commercial funded stations that only plays the latest hits. But I laugh every time they say they’ll play an oldie and it isn’t older than six months 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      It’s already warmer than this morning and is 41°. There is a breeze but no wond. I agree about the wind ruining, at times, a perfectly lovely day.

      I am not a country fan.

      I’d laugh too if the oldie was six months old. My oldies are counted in years!

      • olof1 Says:

        No not country! County 🙂 🙂 :- I’m not a big fan of country either but it’s sure better than the music we have here called dans band music. Every song sounds the same but have slightly different lyrics 🙂 It is scaringly popular here and You should feel lucky it doesn’t exist outside scandinavia 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • J.M. Heinrichs Says:

      Just for you, Christer:


  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Yup. NPR here too. The picture today reminds me of when I was a DJ working my way through college. The controls, a rather crude dashboard, was hooked to a mainframe which it doesn’t show and the meters were used to make sure no one ran it into the red which would cause problems at the transmitter site. It wasn’t as complicated as today but I bet much, more fun. The Pats have to worry about the NY defense. That’s the only way NY can win the Super Bowl in my opinion.

    • Kat Says:

      I figured that picture would stir a few memories. It was what I’d see through the door window of my college station.

      There is also a vice versa-the Giants best be careful of the Pats’ offense: it can be explosive. I hope the Pats have plays galore to thwart the Giants’ defense.

  5. Kat Says:

    Thank you, My Dear Hedley

    I heard that opening and I knew I was going to like the album. One or two songs i can take or leave buut for the most part I am happily satisfied.

  6. Hedley Says:

    Ok…I’ll bite, how do you have an early copy of the Lennie ?

  7. Kat Says:

    The P-Town station is WOMR 92.1 Provincetown or WFMR 91.3 Orleans

    Here is its link: http://www.womr.org/

  8. Kat Says:

    My Dear Hedley,

    One year anniversary! That bears some sort of celebration.

    Rijngo didn’t have much to start with I think.

    Maybe I’ll do an old and a new on the big day!

    • Hedley Says:

      I hope that’s an complete Cohenimmersion, “……pictures, Kat reflections from the camp fire while listening to “Songs of” , Rebecca DeMourney…

      Yup pull out these 60 staples and let’s start again

  9. Kat Says:

    We already have enough music which gives me headaches. You mau keep yours!

  10. Bob Says:

    Thanks for the link.

  11. Hedley Says:

    It was a classic Peace Corps night in Ghana, the winds blew gently through the straw roofs of the village and the sky was alight with stars matched only by the embers of the camp fire. I was well rested after a full dinner of roasted wildebeest when Ralph strolled across the mud flats with his ever present guitar.
    “a new tune Kat?” says Ralph “I just got some rocking new songs from a dude out of Canada that isn’t Neil Young” (some poetic license here)….the night was warm, the Ghana Bud light had been flowing and it was time for music.
    Everybody leaned forward as Ralph picked up his guitar and began “Suzanne takes you down to a place by the river…” …suddenly silence, the place by the river was notorious for crocs stalking and feasting on villagers

    Ralph and Kat realized that Leonard Cohen would never really work in Ghana. Oh to live on Sugar Mountain.

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I enjoyed this thoroughly. Ralph knew by the silence that the river was taboo, that he had crossed a line and we all wondered if the villagers would forgive him!

  12. Kat Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    But they were warming to Lennie, albeit slowly but warming nevertheless.

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