These are the songs that shaped my 2017, at least according to Spotify. They are the played, probably overplayed, and now deeply ingrained into my brain. They are the foundation and the framework, that held me together, gave me direction, and anchored me to myself. I could (and maybe should) write entire posts about some of these but let’s see if I can get through a quick and dirty version.

1) The Chainsmokers + Halsey :: Closer ( Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD )
Like far too many, I was obsessed with this song for half the year. I played it incessantly. It became a staple on weekly Rock Band sessions with my brother. Something about the hook, something about Halsey, something about the tattoo, Boulder, and the Jeep Rover. They were touch points to things I brushed past briefly in my history though I’ve never experienced the exact circumstances. I don’t have an ex this applies to in its entirety. But that first line…

“Hey, I was doing just fine before I met you–“

That applied so many times. It’s funny the people we hold close, the people who to twist us up, the people we allow to matter. I could say that line about several people I’d met and crushed on over the last two years. Funny coincidence, I had the opportunity to see the band live at a work event of all things in January, with someone I had eyed from afar but never really pursued. That ended up being the night I met his girlfriend. C’est la vie.

2) Green Day :: Still Breathing ( Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD )
This. This creature. This thing. This song. 2016 year was fraught with surgery and recovery, stress and heartbreak. 2017 seemed to be about getting over all of it. So many of these lines were already part of my running mental dialogue:

“Am I bleeding, am I bleeding from the storm?”
“… barely keeping it together.”
“Are you scared to death to live?”
“I’ve been running all my life just to find a home…”

It was everything. If I could pick one song (out of several) that reminded me I had to keep going in my darker moments, this was it. And of course, the chorus and that eventually prophetic last line:

“‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way, away
My way to you.”

Little did I know, the end of the year would show me a path away from the more destructive one I was courting, to a better, brighter future, with a fellow traveler.

3) Linkin Park :: One More Light ( Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD )
I almost didn’t include this in the countdown as it rightfully deserves a post of its own. I’m not sure I could do it justice however, even after months of listening, of healing, of rising above. I admit, my love for Linkin Park has waned over the last few years. Their songs were a fixture in my past however, during a period in my life I’m slowly letting slip from memory. That doesn’t mean it hit me any less when I heard the news of Chester’s passing. He had been there, a contemporary, not quite as unreachable as Bowie or Prince. We were of the same generation. His words anchored countless sleepless nights and saw me through just as many days. Like Dir en grey, who I credit with getting me through my marriage, Linkin Park screamed for me when I couldn’t. Cried with me when I wouldn’t. Held me when I didn’t think I was worthy of much of anything.

“Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well, I do…”

Two weeks ago, I attended a winter solstice celebration. It was a lovely gathering with wonderful people, that culminated in a group trek to a nearby lake with candles. In the dark, we lit them, and shared something we wanted to let go of, and something we wanted to invite into our lives. Afterwards, they blew out the candles but I wanted to hold on to mine. I didn’t want another light to go out.

Eventually, I let it go and blew. A prayer, a wish, a benediction. A change, a hope, a new light.

4) The Chainsmokers :: Something Just Like This ( Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD )
Which leads us to this. Manifestation. Do I believe in it? I don’t know how the universe works but I’m not about to discount the fact that I hung onto this song the first time I heard it. The lyrics are simple: “I want something just like this…” but it was what I wanted. Something beyond the tears, the frustration, the endless chasing of romance into rabbit holes that eventually ended up dead ends.

I no longer wanted a superhero. I was well on my way to saving myself.

I wanted someone to kiss, to miss, to share my life with.

And in the end, that person entered my life at the height of my listening obsessively to this song, sending the call out to the universe. Call it what you want– fate, coincidence, chance, luck– but being clear about what you want, and asking the universe for it couldn’t have hurt.

5) Flo Rida, Sage the Gemini :: Game Time ( Amazon: MP3 )
It’s kind of funny that this song made it to the list, to the top 5 even. It caught me at the height of said romantic frustration. All I wanted to do was scream and yell and get attention. Maybe for the wrong reasons. I was sick of meeting people who couldn’t decide if they wanted me in the friend zone- or in the bed zone for that matter. I remember cranking this up and screaming along with it down the freeway, trudging through traffic, even in the quieter streets in Beverly Hills. It’s game time. It was. That’s what dating in LA is. Or seems to be more than half the time. A game. I wasn’t happy. But I could still play. Besides, I do love a good pun.

Rounding out the Top 10: Read the rest of this entry »


The Killers :: Heart of a Girl

Posted: September 19, 2017 in Songs

The Killers :: Heart of A Girl
Available on Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD

Fate is a funny thing. Maybe not fate. Coincidence. Signs? As a romantic (and recovering Catholic), I tend to want to believe things happen for a reason. If not God, then the “Universe.” If not the Universe, then fate. Something. I don’t know how else to explain my current status. Perhaps there’s no explanation. It just is.

Looking out my window
An angel in robes appeared and nearly pulled me apart
A million miles of freedom, a million miles of road,
But I still don’t know where to start

After being single for going on 3 years, after losing and subsequently finding myself, after finally giving up and resigning myself to meander through life alone, I find myself in a bona fide relationship. We met online, of course, as is the case with many of the significant (not necessarily romantic) relationships in my adult life. You could argue that my last real romance was with someone I met online, not through a dating app, but through a messageboard for our favorite music at the time. I flat-out resisted dating apps for years, partially because of the stigma, partially because I was convinced I’d meet someone organically, just going about my day.

She wrote her number down
And she gave it to me
They had to scrape me off the floor
In this transient town, waiters and dealers
Trying to get their foot in the door

Somewhere between giving up on someone I’d met at a bar in Hollywood and letting go of another person I’d met at a bar in the middle of the Aegean Sea, I decided to give one app a go. Read the rest of this entry »

Dark Waves :: Beast Like Them

Posted: April 5, 2017 in Songs

Dark Waves :: Beast Like Them
(Not yet available)

I missed a month somewhere. Work has been a slow slide into madness. It’s not retrograde (which I’m told is coming up. Eek.) Not that I put a lot of credence into that but people do. It’s hard not to feel the change in them.

This song is both a bane and a balm. It catches me in a state of mind I don’t particularly want to be in, but have to acknowledge before I can start climbing out. It’s a state of mad despair and desire, a black hole I can continue to fall in to, with the ghosts of everything I could’ve been, done, and want swirling around me, just out of reach.

It hit me like a gut punch once, during a live show. I wasn’t quite in the mood but was teetering on the brink of it. I had also just sorted out enough lyrics to scream out. So I did.

“When my heart starts beating and the love starts slipping away
Like the ghost of a soul that can never be saved
I don’t know where I go but I don’t wanna stay.

When my heart starts beating and the love starts slipping away
Like the ghost of a soul that can never be saved
I don’t know where I go but I don’t wanna stay.”

The song hit me hard. I fell and felt like I was going to drown. But a friend anchored me. Wrapped his arms around me tight. I could feel my nails digging into his hands but he just held on. He knew, somehow, without me having to say it. Though we’ve since grown apart, I’ll forever be grateful for that moment.

Last week found me similarly sliding. I’d hit a point at work where I wasn’t sure if I was making things worse by my presence. I wasn’t being effective despite putting in extra hours and effort. Something had broken, disconnected. I didn’t know how to fix it.
Read the rest of this entry »

George Krikes :: ( Untitled )

Posted: February 8, 2017 in Music, Songs

Life in LA has been full of #moments when I've felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Tonight was no exception. First show of the new year gave me the exact words I needed to hear. Thank you @gkrikes @rossgarren @stateweho & the guy who shared his fries with a starving stranger for a lovely evening. PS. Since this song is truly the gift that keeps on giving, I'm still on about it a month later. #livemusic #happyplace #acoustic #guitar #harmonica #healing #heartbreak #recovery #answers #thisishome #singersongwriter #californiaswampblues #americana #StateSocialHouse #TheAttic #TuesdayMusicClub #GeorgeKrikes #WeHo #WestHollywood #SunsetStrip #LosAngeles #LALife #musiclife #musicislife #gratitude

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Sometimes a song comes into your life seemingly at random, and it forms the baseline of your existence from that point on. At least, the message is so strong that you want to believe it should.

This particular one entered my life as stated above, right when I needed it.

“So go find answers, go find proof
Let the wings of your spirit guide you
Go find new love, take it in
And let your heart break again and again.”

That is what I needed to hear then, that is what I need to hear now. I’m coming up on yet another heartbreak. I wasn’t even particularly invested in either. I keep breaking my own heart– no one is doing it for me.

Much of my life thus far has centered around the concept of “need.” You need to eat. Sleep. Work. You need money. Love. Romance. I have a bad relationship with need, particularly when I fixate that need on people. Need does weird things to my brain and I end up doing stupid things in the name of it.

But what if… I didn’t need to need anything? What if I didn’t have to chase a high? This doesn’t mean apathy, it means acceptance and letting go. The line between “want” and “need” is sometimes a hard one to distinguish. But what if I could? Read the rest of this entry »

King Washington :: Evelyn

Posted: January 25, 2017 in Music, Songs

King Washington :: Evelyn
(Coming soon but catch them on tour here!)

It’s been ridiculously difficult to get rid of this song once it’s in your head, particularly when it syncs with your current state of mind. The song itself is sweet, catchy, with unexpected but very welcome harmonies, and a bridge that could go on forever.

Tyson or George (vocals, guitars), possibly both, once described this song as inspired by someone they met once, somewhere, and never saw again (I think). At least that’s what I got out of it. For someone who falls in love at the drop of a hat, it’s bittersweet and validating all at once.  Read the rest of this entry »