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Blues, Style, and Cool

   With May quickly approaching as we slosh through April’s rain showers, it’s no wonder that we’re all ready for a bit of sunshine and blossom. When I think of the color blue, blues music, or having the blues, I think of so many examples of effortless style that I love. While longing for bachelor’s buttons and deep blue/purple irises, I think of Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” from his album Songs of Love and Hate. It’s impossible not to think of love, loss, and incredibly chic New Yorkers while listening to this song. When he sings “New York is cold but I like where I’m living; there’s music on Clinton Street every evening,” the listener immediately conjures ideas of New York being a romantic and bluesy city. There’s always romance in melancholy. The somber, longing tone of the song is sealed when Cohen sings “signed L Cohen” (we know that this is a love letter of sorts) and “your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder.”

   ​When it comes to figuring out what to wear as warmer weather approaches, one can never go wrong with blue jeans. They’re a staple in every wardrobe: you can dress them up or down and always feel effortlessly cool. I’m reminded of Serge Gainsbourg’s album Histoire de Melody Nelson with a young, almost pre-pubescent looking Jane Birkin on the cover wearing nothing but patched blue jeans. She’s topless clutching a stuffed monkey while barefoot. Her shorn hair gives her an even more innocent appeal. She’s the girl with the perfect lithe body who doesn’t even need to wear a bra! So many young women want(ed) to be like her: the hip muse and English rose transplanted in Paris (before her untimely death a year ago, Peaches Geldof used “Melody Nelson” as a pseudonym for social media).

   If you’re looking for something else to listen to while you work your way into the groove of spring, you can’t go wrong with jazz. Try Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and you won’t be disappointed. It’s impossible not to feel cool while listening to Miles. Grab an old pair of blue jeans from your closet, put on a record and take a cue from “Ballade De Melody Nelson:” “she had love, poor Melody Nelson. Yeah, she had tons of it but her days were numbered.” Plant seeds of love this spring while the flowers are blooming like mad and see what grows!

 

 

By Katherine Sloan