slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.


lo, how a rose e’er blooming

When Kat and I went to the Minnesota State Fair this year, we were convinced that we’d grab some swag and make off like bandits with plenty of free stuff. Slubs are, after all, huge fans of anything with a big goose egg on the price tag. That dream was quickly snuffed out, unfortunately, as we searched in vain for cardboard pickle hats and plastic neon rulers. We each limped home that night with nothing more than giant food babies and a sticker from the MPR table.

That sticker is now proudly displayed at my desk space. It’s pretty much the coolest sticker ever – bright green with stark white writing for contrast, perfectly circular, aesthetically appealing. When you approach my desk it’s practically the first thing you see. And it also happens to loudly proclaim that I listen to 99.5, MPR’s classical radio station.

No one has ever commented on my MPR sticker…until yesterday. And who should make the first crack at my musical tastes but the Vice President of Marketing Development.

Bill McKinney is about as cool as they come. He flits in and out of the office because he’s crazy busy, but he’s got a normal desk like the rest of us and doesn’t like to show off that his boss is the President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He went to Carleton, a fact which he never fails to remind me of because he’s populated his office with Oles and is just now realizing how traitorous that looks. He comes in early, he stays late, but he loves talking sports with the cluster of men who sit a pod away from me. He’s just really, really cool. The high school popularity contest truly never ends, and for that reason I want him to recognize me because he’s a small but integral part of my eventual success.

Yesterday, as he was breezing past my desk to go talk soccer with the guys, he stopped short and said, “What’s that sticker for?”

I was thrown off my game. I tried to think of something witty and memorable to respond with. I said: “The classical station. MPR.” Genius!

He squinted. “You don’t really listen to classical, do you?”

I nodded.

He smiled. He was amused at my expense. “Only people in their 50s listen to classical.”

“And me,” I replied.

He conceded the point.

Bill McKinney will now know me as that Ole girl who listens to classical and is a generation or two behind her peers, but at least he’ll know me. And I’m okay with that, because I’m proud to say that I listen to classical music. And I’m proud to say that I love it.

As some of you know, I’m pretty obsessive about the holidays. It’s my favorite time of year, minus the fact God has chosen to punish our well-meaning state with freezing wind and mountains of snow. And to jumpstart the festivities, I begin listening to Christmas music on November 1st. I’ve maintained this tradition since I was a child. I will keep it faithfully until I die.

Listening to my classical holiday Pandora station this afternoon, in open defiance of Bill McKinney and his expectations for someone my age (please, like Katy Perry is so much better), Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming began to play. The song is so breathtakingly beautiful it made me pause and stare dreamily at my computer.

Listen to the hymn. Let it fill you. That is why I am 23 and an avid fan of classical music.

con amor,



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ode to snow patrol

Dear Snow Patrol,

I’d like to offer you a deeply personal truth:

You are my favorite band.

This isn’t an easy statement for me to make. I may not be directly involved with the musical world at the moment, but I’ve always had a deep-seated admiration for music. Actually, I don’t think that’s an entirely accurate description – I don’t just have an admiration for it, I need music in my life. Listening to music helps me sort out my emotions in a way that very few other activities could. It moves me, like it moves billions of people in untold ways around the world.

So when I say that you, Snow Patrol, are my favorite band, please don’t take it lightly.

I first discovered you when I heard “Chocolate” on the radio. After letting that song sink in for a few days, I bought Final Straw and the rest is history.

Like a 6th sense, your music has the power to transport me into past memories.

(When I was 16 I worked at a bakery at Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America, and I listened to Final Straw every day during that summer. Whenever I hear a song from that album I think of lunches in the break room and the quiet enormity of the mall after closing, of my first paycheck and my first date.)

(Once upon a time there was a billboard advertising the imminent release of Eyes Open in London, and listening to “Open Your Eyes” helps me remember the feel of the city I so deeply desire to see again.)

(Sophomore year of college I listened to A Hundred Million Suns like it was my lifeline. I was also taking Astronomy at the time, one of the best college courses I had the pleasure of experiencing, and it was so beautifully fitting that a cosmological theme wove itself through nearly every part of the album.)

(I bought songs from Up to Now sitting in a classroom in Egypt, and I remember how intensely homesick I was during those few weeks when I hear the acoustic melodies.)

More so than almost any other band – including my perennial lyrical favorites Angles & Airwaves and Tegan and Sara – I have an intense connection with the lyrics of nearly every song you have performed. As much as I appreciate the melodic composition of a song, let it be known that I’m an advocate of compelling and relevant lyrics. “You say you love me like the silence of the turning earth,” states Gary Lightbody in “Engines”. That image alone captures the power of your music — it conveys a metaphor which is beatifully simplistic in essence yet staggeringly immense in scope.

Your work has defined and given harmony to an entire chapter of my life. Snow Patrol: you are a true, deserving and genuine talent.

— A devoted fan

p.s. In case you’re wondering, my top five favorite Snow Patrol songs (in random order because I can’t distinguish them that much) are:

  1. Tiny Little Fractures(Final Straw)
  2. It’s Beginning To Get To Me(Eyes Open)
  3. Open Your Eyes(Eyes Open)
  4. Engines(A Hundred Million Suns)
  5.  “You Are My Joy” (Up to Now. Okay, this was actually done by The Reindeer Section, but there are three members of Snow Patrol who contribute to that band and Gary Lightbody definitely sings this song)

HONORARY MENTION: Snow Patrol’s cover of Bright Eyes’ “You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will.”