Songs (for you) if you can’t sleep

Insomnia. I’ve experienced it off and on ever since I was young, for varying reasons. As an adult, it was often a partner to stress-induced anxiety. Because that’s when you really need insomnia, when you’re already in a constant state of “tired,” right? I just struggle to turn my brain off at night sometimes.

One method that I’ve developed to help myself out is listening to a specific playlist of music. Sometimes, by playing music from my iPhone near my head, I’m able to focus on what I’m listening to instead of my thoughts and essentially lull my mind to sleep.

I use a short playlist that I rearrange every now and then depending on what songs I most want to listen to, and I never put it on shuffle. Apparently, if my mind knows exactly what order the songs are going to come on, it relaxes more–I suppose it makes sense, because there’s sort of an anticipation aspect with the shuffle mode, and anticipation has no proper place in trying to fall asleep. My brain also prefers to know that the playlist is short so that the phone won’t be on for hours throughout the night. Conservative Brain. I typically start out with a song that has words, so I start to focus on the lyrics. The songs progressively become less inhabited by a voice, as well as softer in tone and slower in tempo.

I’ve used this method often enough to keep two playlists on my phone for these nightly occasions: one playlist that contains all the songs that I’ve used for falling asleep, and another that contains a short list of the ones I’m currently preferring.

So I thought that I’d share some of my favorites, in celebration of the songs that have helped me sleep and in case anyone is in need of something like this. I know I’m not the only insomniac out there.

  1. “Twinkle” by Tori Amos, Boys for Pele
  2. “Atlas Hands” by Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm
  3. “The Sun and the Moon” by Mae, The Everglow
  4. “This Place is a Shelter,” by Ólafur Arnalds, Living Room Songs 
  5. “Poland” by Ólafur Arnalds, Another Happy Day
  6. “Rosyln” by Bon Iver & St. Vincent, The Twilight Saga: New Moon 
  7. “The Houses of Healing” by Howard Shore, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – The Complete Recordings
  8. “You Belong to Me” (cover) by Jason Wade, Shrek
  9. “Come; Follow” by Great Awakening, Songs in Secret
  10. “The Bells” by From Indian Lakes, Acoustic EP
  11. “MLK” by U2, The Unforgettable Fire
  12. “Flótavik” by Sigur Rós, Med Sud Í Eryum Vid Spilum Endalaust
  13. “The Journey to Greyhavens” by Howard Shore,  The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – The Complete Recordings
  14. “You Are My Home” by The Sleep Design, All that is not Music is Silence
  15. “The Dirt (Alpha)” by Showbread, Nervosa
  16. “Possibility” by Lykke Li, The Twilight Saga: New Moon
  17. “All Alright” by Sigur Rós, Med Sud Í Eryum Vid Spilum Endalaust
  18. “Deora Ar Mo Chroi” by Enya, A Day Without Rain

Do you have any experience with this, or have your own songs for conjuring calmness? Let me know; I’d love to check them out.

Upcoming Showbread concept album/movie Cancer

Heads up, rocker people. Showbread’s starting a new project, called Cancer. This time the goal is…to make a movie.

Yeah, what? 

Cancer is a long-gestating idea that we’ve toyed with for years, but never had the resources to adequately accomplish our vision. A science-fiction concept album with an elaborately detailed universe fleshed out with music, lyrics, visual art and a movie,” the band says.

Those of you familiar with the band are probably just saying, “Typical Showbread.”

Those of you who are unfamiliar with Showbread, here’s the blurb: innovative musical harsh beauty that has morphed over the years from spastic screamo to strange pop rock, twisted into the realm of Nine-Inch-Nails-esque experimental vibe and back into post-hardcore with rock-and-roll leanings, leaving us with their last project at just plain, wonderfully chill rock. The band is fronted by Josh Dies,  a poetic lyricist who writes of the rough, raw, and redeeming aspects of life, sometimes using dinosaur imagery. Typically the band dresses up for concerts in costumes and exaggerated makeup, either as a part of the theme of their most recent album or just for the heck of it.

And just as likely as they are to talk about zombie movies or get a tattoo, they’re ready to get serious about their mission: to spread their music in such a way to proclaim the message of Jesus.

“The landscape of our last concept album, Anorexia Nervosa, was… grand. We want to go bigger. Much bigger. An intricate world of a story set to the soundtrack of a Raw Rock space opera and accompanied by it’s own feature film! We want to gather/combine all our creative resources into telling a massive, multi-sensory extravaganza of a story that screams an incredible truth: Jesus has conquered death!”

Like their last album, the goal of this project is to raise the money to fund its creation and then give it all away for free. You can read all about the project here  and donate if you feel led to do so. If interested in sort of obscure rock with a message that will strike you deeply in your heart, I highly recommend you checking these crazy bros out. Their last album Who Can Know It? is available for free download on ComeandLive!’s site right here. Get it and Like them on Facebook or something.

Raw rock on, my friends.

Scalene: Upcoming DIES album

Dear Showbread lovers and those who have a taste for Nine Inch Nails or Depeche Mode,

DIES, the solo project of Showbread’s lead singer Josh Dies, is dropping a fresh album this fall, Scalene.

I just wanted to let you know.

You can read up some more info right here, on Josh Dies’ blog. I hope you do. :)

Sincerely, Jenn.

P. S. I like the album cover. What do you think?

Hilarious Showbread song misinterpretation

Cover of "No Sir Nihilism Is Not Practica...

Cover of No Sir Nihilism Is Not Practical

This post is about a Showbread song from No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical. But first, I need to explain some things:

1. I promised you and myself to finish some blogs I started so you could read them (mainly about Emery and cookies).
2. I realized that being away from the Internet for 2 weeks would make this impossible.

Therefore:
1. I’m sorry for lying about posting things that I won’t be able to post for a while.
2. For the short break in those 2 weeks that I do have internet, I’ve written up this blog that is was scheduled to be published today. So, like, I wrote this earlier. Not today. If you don’t understand, it’s a blog thing, and it’s okay. Just…keep reading.

Anyways…

My friend and I were searching up “Showbread” on YouTube, and we found this video of a “misinterpretation” of Showbread’s song “If You Like Me, Check Yes, If You Don’t, I’ll Die” from their first album No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical.

If you’ve never heard of Showbread, you probably won’t completely understand the humor. For me, “Check Yes” was the one Showbread song I despised (gasp!) because it was so overly-screechy, but the creator of the video used the sonic chaos to rewrite the lyrics according to what his imagination decided Josh Dies and Tae were singing/screaming–basically, it’s a sort of odd twist on song lyric videos, complete with very silly pictures.

Oh, and if you’re wondering whether it’s worth your time watching this, let me just say this: the video’s tabbed on my “Bookmarks Bar” for necessary revisits and I now listen to “Check Yes” so I may gleefully sing completely inaccurate lyrics.

Enjoy. (If the picture of the “Gay” People magazine cover weirds you out, trust me that it bears no real significance.)

“God’s love for Osama” post by Josh Dies

In response to the varying standpoints on the death of Osama bin Laden, I felt the need to repost this blog written by Josh Dies. He poses some very interesting thoughts, and I strongly encourage everyone to read it. There’s also a pretty decent thread of discussion in the comments section.

Here’s a snippet of the post:

I was on tour a few weeks back when word got out that Osama Bin Laden had, supposedly, been shot and killed by US troops. Immediately, we were bombarded by a country in dark celebration.  Our (Showbread’s) immediate thought was that
someone whom Jesus had cherished (a human being) had been killed and that his loved ones were in need of prayer. But when you make an effort to lift the heavy cross of enemy-love that Jesus commands his followers to lift, it seems there are still many prepared to throw a few stones…

…This is one of the reasons I have decided to forsake all others and follow Jesus: his ways, 2,000 years later, are still too radical for the world to accept… even the ones who claim to be his followers.

You can read the rest of the blog here.