Sunday, 19 July 2015

Beautiful, Funny and Creative - Tim Foust Originals

It's been a while since I've written anything about Home Free. They haven't released a new video since the beginning of June, and the Fries are eagerly, and patiently, waiting for a new one. We have been spoiled with a couple of videos a month, and this is the longest without a new one since I discovered them almost a year ago. But we all know it we'll get there eventually. Sooner rather than later, I hope!

Meanwhile I thought I'd say something about the song writing skills of their Bass Man, Mr Tim Foust, because it is worth mentioning. Tim writes beautiful songs, and funny songs, and really, really good songs, and sometimes he mixes it all into one. His songs makes me dream myself away to beautiful places, and they make me laugh out loud. They make me feel alive, sad, happy and normal.

This first song is called I've Seen and Tim co-wrote it with Henry O'Neill and Joe Bilotta (all three on lyrics, Tim and Joe on music) and it's about being away on the road, traveling and missing the one you love back home. It is one of my favourite songs from the Crazy Life album, because of it's smooth harmonies (buy Crazy Life here, here or here). The video is footage from Home Free touring, and it's beautiful, filmed by Kristine Slipson who also made this video.

The next song is funny and sing-along-friendly, and it has some of Rob's awesome whistling on it. This is written by Tim alone. Have a look at the video, it's pretty nice and features some of my fellow Home Fries, and has a cameo by Avi Kaplan from Pentatonix. And Austin is shirtless in it. Need I say more? Champagne Taste (On a Beer Budget) is a song about that wife that spends more money than the husband makes. According to Austin every guy has that experience.

The last song is an unofficial, unintended sequel to Champagne Taste (On a Beer Budget), and it is a beautiful Christmas song, from their Christmas album Full of Cheer, that also features some of Rob's whistling, and the first 40 times I saw this video I laughed out loud several times. Listen to the lyrics, and look at the video. It will probably take a few times to catch it all. This is beauty in so many ways and it also shows the Guys goofiness. This is also written by Tim alone.

So what to you think? Don't you just love it?

There are other songs on the Crazy Life album that Tim wrote, and we are hoping that some of the original songs on the next album will be by Tim, and we're hoping to hear some of the other Guys song writing skills as well. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

You can also check out Tim's solo album The Best That I Could Do, it's full of Tim's awesomeness!

And, please, follow Tim on Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Fiction; Coming Alive

- Maybe, I said, we can go there some day? I looked thoroughly at Sam, trying to catch even the slightest glimpse of life, but there was nothing. He was just laying there, not responding to anything I said or did. Not that I could blame him. He was, after all, hooked onto life support machines of all sorts, shapes and sizes. He had been for a few months now. There were wires and tubes everywhere, and beeps and all different kinds of other sounds. I usually had some soft music playing in the background in an attempt to drown it all out. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

The doctors didn't give him any chance of waking up, but I just couldn't make the decision to turn the machines off. I wasn't ready. Not yet. "Maybe some day I will be", I thought to myself, "but not yet." Part of me knew I was being selfish, but the other part of me thought it would be selfish to turn it off. It wouldn't make his life easier, it would just make him dead. It would, however, make my life a lot easier. It would actually give me a life again. I wanted to say give me back my life, but nothing could ever do that, so it didn't feel right to say it. It would give me a life again. A different life from before, but a life compared to now.

I looked at the sweet man that was the love of my life, trying to see him as he used to be, but it was hard. The memories were there, of course, but they were just memories, this was the reality now. Sam would never be what he used to be. He would never smile or laugh again, never cry or get angry either. I would never see the twinkle in his eyes when he thought of something funny, or have his hands softly touch my skin. I would never again hear him say my name, or feel the warmth inside my chest when he told me he loved me.

Was he in pain? Obviously nobody knew, but I didn't think he was, it would have been an easy decision to make if I had thought so. I didn't want him to be in pain, I just wanted him alive. I sighed; "Alive, that's a joke, he's hardly alive. Neither am I although I'm a lot more alive than he is."

- I'm sorry, Mrs Kent, it's time to change his sheets., a soft voice said behind me. One of the nurses looked at me with guilt in her eyes.
- Thank you, nurse Colleen, you have no idea how much that means to us., I told her reassuringly. There was no point in having Sam's carers feel like they were in the way. Without them I would be even less alive than I already was, and Sam would most likely be sleeping in a lot dirtier sheets. The nurse's big, blue eyes lit up and she smiled.
- Thank you, it's nice to hear that, you are always so kind to us., she answered back with a touch of relief and appreciation in her voice. I smiled at her; - I'll get out of your way, it's time for dinner anyway.

As I was driving home I thought of all the times I had driven that particular way in the last few months, between the hospital and home. Our home that was becoming my home more and more. One small thing at a time it was changing. Once the doctors had told me there was no hope I had completely re-done the guest en-suite and made it my bedroom, my domain, my haven at home. It was a room that Sam had never spent any time in. It was out of that room my strength grew, step by step; my strength to move forward, to move on. Next thing I had done was to paint the kitchen; I had always wanted a warm colour on the walls and cabinet doors, but Sam had preferred white and steel grey. He wasn't there to argue with me about it right now, so I had made the decision to go for it. I had to admit it was a lot out of anger, to make him just as mad as he had made me when he drove that car so recklessly against the red light. If he ever woke up he couldn't blame anybody but himself for the accident. Well, that wouldn't be a problem because he wasn't waking up anyway. 

After I had re-done the kitchen I just kept going, I needed something to occupy my mind with, so I had changed the whole house except for our bedroom and Sam's office. They were in a time capsule, a reminder of what was and of my pain. The pain he had caused me. I had started to forgive him though, he wouldn't have wanted to be the way he was now, I figured. He had been careless, and he had paid the price. Soon it would be the ultimate price. At that moment I knew I had to let him go. It was time.

"Take a left here." I voice in my head said, all of a sudden. Without having the time to think about it I did. - Well, it's nice with the change., I said to  myself out loud. "Maybe this is the next step, changing my route home?"

I had learnt to just go with it when these thoughts of change hit me. In the beginning I just didn't have the strength to fight them, and after some time I started enjoying it. As time had gone by I had understood that it was something I had to do, that it helped me move forward, step by step. 

I started to feel excitement rise within; I was wondering where this change would lead me. Literally, as I had no idea where I was geographically. "Oh, this is fun!", I thought to myself as I turned the music on for the first time since Sam's accident. I listened to music at home, and played music to Sam, but this was the first time I had turned it on in the car since Sam's crash. The Police thought he had been doing something with his old car stereo when he had been hit, it had been the old type where you use a cassette tape. Sam had loved it. It had made me loath the combination of music and driving, but this time it felt good. It felt right. 

Driving on an unknown road, with my favourite song playing made me wish I had a convertible so I could have felt the wind in my hair. I actually felt alive. "I feel alive!", I said to myself with surprise. "I AM ALIVE!", I shouted when the feeling had sunk in. I laughed, and sang along with the music, and I looked around at the landscape. Yes, I was alive.

Far behind me, at the hospital that I had just left, Sam opened up his eyes. "I am alive!", he said quietly to himself. He started to move his fingers and legs, before he sat up. He could feel his wife's spirit, her energy, hit him. "That's what woke me up.", he thought. Sam smiled and pressed the little buzzer next to his bed. 

Nurse Colleen opened the door and stopped mid sentence while saying she thought Mrs Kent had left. Her jaw dropped and her already big eyes turned even bigger. She stared at Sam. She couldn't speak, she couldn't find any words to say, so she just continued to stare. 

Sam smiled at her and said; "Nurse, could you please call my wife and tell her I'm alive."


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Rock Meets Country

Is there a new star rising on the Country Music sky?

Steven Tyler, 67, singer in the legendary, bestselling rock & roll band Aerosmith already is a star on the Rock Music sky, but he just released a music video for the first single off his up-coming album.

The song is called Love Is Your Name and it is different from everything we have ever heard from Steven before. This song is country, but it is kind of a Steven Tyler rock-y type of country, and it is really good. This is not pure, old-fashioned country music; this is tougher, rawer and rockier than traditional country, but it is still country, but it's sung Steven Tyler style.

As a fan of both Aerosmith and Country Music - this is fun.

Love Is Your Name has beautiful lyrics; it's got violins and other fun instruments; and some nice harmonies in it and of course that makes it all country - and it has one of the worlds greatest rock singers, and it works really well together. Fun, fun, fun!

Steven Tyler didn't write this song, Eric Paslay and Lindsey Lee did, but he has co-written the majority of the songs on the album which is due to be released sometime during the winter, and it will be all Country Music. This song makes me look forward to it, especially after Steven said in a press release about the video that "This song and video both resemble what the album will sound like." Yay!

Tyler says he has always loved country music, and this is in some ways him going back to his roots, and that is featured in this video, which is said to have many personal elements in it.

One of Steven Tyler's signature looks is the accessory of a bunch of long, thin scarves and in the video we get to follow those scarves. It begins with them being tied onto a mic stand in a big, empty arena followed by a beautiful girl, who is representing Steven's muse, dragging them through some beautiful scenery and scenes representing various stages of Steven's life. There's the cabin where he grew up, Steven as a child, and the pet raccoon he had as a boy living in the cabin,; there is love, family and friends and a lot of gypsy-chicness representing coming from a family that was a touring band. There is also a bonfire which burnt his eyebrows off while shooting the scene.

In an interview for Steven Tyler revealed that he cried when he saw the video for the first time, and that tells me this is right for him. It certainly sounds right to me.

Also, I would love to hear Home Free cover this song. I think it would be amazing.

What do you think?


Friday, 3 July 2015

Life Lessons, and Unintentional Giving

A couple of days ago I withdrew some money from the cash machine outside my branch. My son and I had done the grocery shopping for the week, and I needed some cash so we could have a cool drink while waiting for the bus home to arrive. So I withdrew 70 euro (approximately 77 dollar) while keeping an out on the tables outside the coffee shop to see if one would free up. There are a few tables positioned so we can see when the bus arrives, meaning we don't have to stand around and wait at the actual bus stop since the buses are rarely on time here, and we wanted one of those tables. But, since they were all occupied when approaching the cash machine on the other side of the street I kept my eyes on them.

And we were lucky, as I was in the process of withdrawing my money a table became free and I we rushed over there. Once seated we ordered our drinks and I got my purse out to pay the bill, but imagine my surprise when my money weren't there!! What the heck!?

I then realised that I had not actually taken the money out of the machine, I had only taken the card and the slip, but not the money. Obviously because of the distraction of the table. Also, correct me if I'm wrong Swedish readers, I think in Sweden the slip comes out last, here the money come last, and I think in that moment I was on an old auto-pilot from way back in my Swedish days. When the slip comes out you're done! I do remember looking at the slip before putting in my purse. I might be wrong about the order of things coming out of the machine, though.

Anyway, I rushed back to the cash machine but the money weren't there. Of course.

At this moment I had a few options on how to react;

  • I could get mad - but obviously that will not change anything except my mood. 
  • I could get annoyed - with the same result as if I got mad. 
  • I could laugh at it - and improve my already good mood.
  • I could be happy about it - because there is a lesson to learn here. 
  • I could be grateful about it - because I probably made someone else's day. 
Well, I started out laughing at it, I mean seriously, how can you not. I certainly think I would have laughed if someone else had done it, actually my bank lady laughed at me when I told her about it the next day. How can you get so distracted by a table that you forget 70 euro? She completely understood though, she had seen it plenty of times and she'd done it herself. At least I'm not alone, right!

Then I thought, well, that will teach me to be focused on the task at hand. Lesson learned, it cost me 70 euro - it took a split second. Maybe sometime in the future I can charge someone that to teach them this lesson? Ha!

Thirdly I thought about the person taking the money; and I sincerely hope that it was someone that made something special with it. Maybe it meant that they could take their girlfriend or boyfriend out to dinner, maybe it meant they could treat their family to something unusually nice, or maybe they needed a new pair of sandals. Or maybe they just needed some food in their stomach or a bed for the night. Whatever they did with it I choose to believe that they appreciated it one way or another. 

Sure, I had things to do for the money, but I am lucky enough to have more than enough to live a good life in every way. And maybe that person do too, but hey, free money is always nice, right! 

So then I thought, lesson nr 2 learned; remember to be grateful for everything I've got in my life, and remember to be grateful for everything that brought me here. 

Life is so precious, and we take it so much for granted most of the time. I think sometimes we need a reminder of that. And I think it's important to remember the gift of giving. This experience reminded me about all this. And that makes me grateful.

So, I threw myself a curve ball, and I caught it, and I (unintentionally) made someone else happy. That to me, is worth a lot more than those 70 euro. 

Whenever I find myself in a situation where I so obviously can choose my reaction, action and emotion (yes, I believe it is almost always a choice) I get proud, and I feel love for life. 

This song was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, a Swedish win just like this year. 
It always raises my mood and energy. I hope you like it. 

Here's Loreen with Euphoria.