Wednesday, March 16, 2011

School of Rock

I genuinely like this song (and the movie it came from). My kids and I all love Jack Black's exuberant performance as fraudulent substitute teacher Dewey Finn, and secretly dream of being able to perform with the band! I would sign up for classes at his rock school in a heartbeat. What a crazy genius.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chordly love

Listen to that strumming and finger picking. And the chords. A-mazing. I have such an itch of late to get up on stage, any stage, and sing or strum or stamp.  This song ("Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons), and my spirited sing-along in the kitchen, scratches that itch just a bit. No drummer, just the lead singer pounding away on that bass drum pedal, plus various shakers and tambourines in the hand of the keyboardist.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Foggy conditions

Here's the email I just dashed off to a friend I thought would like this tune, "Everyday" by oh minnows, then I realized that everyone should AND could like this tune:

"I am in love with the chord progressions of this song - "Everyday". Don't you love the guitar stuff?Super vibe-y, sweet, but foggy too. The singers has created a hazy distance. He seems intentionally far away. The lyric is a bit ominous - "this day will be the last" - but the mood is peaceful. I think this might be a zen love song."

Take a listen, won't you?
Here are a few of the lyrics (and there are only a few lyrics) that grabbed me:

Now what am I going to do?
I am nothing without you.

What am I good for?
Who am I good for?

Everyday I want to see you and this will be the last.
Everyday I want to reach you and this day will be the last, will be the last.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wanting to coast

Calling all Pacific Northwest lumberjacks: come and join the wonderful Band of Horses. They will put your facial hair to good use. This song - "Islands on the Coast" - is simultaneously sweet and sad to my ears. The introduction is unexpected. Eight quarter notes then an explosion of guitar. Then Ben Bridwell's gentle yet piercing voice.

Here's the band playing it live. I like the lead singer's smile. The second clip is the same song but the album version, just a bit cleaner.


Here's a copy, the rest that you know,
and put the kind words to bed.

For man don't say why, or even know how,
it's only awful as the hell that you know.

When islands want to coast, islands want to coast,
they'll know how, yeah, they'll know how.

And only hours before the house had burned down,
he shut the other door.

But if i don't see now, or even know why,
it's only awful as the hell that you know.

When islands want to coast, islands want to coast,
they'll know how, yeah, they'll know how.

Home (x4)

He was riding in the next thing you know,
let's take the other door.

Now if i don't think right, or even know how,
it's only awful as the hell that you know.

When islands want to coast, islands want to coast,
they'll know how, yeah, they'll know how.

Home (x4)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In the bleak midwinter

It's not actually bleak here. The temperature is ping ponging between 80 and 50, so ambivalent midwinter is probably  more appropriate. Still, I have a little time on my hands, time I am SUPPOSED TO BE USING PRODUCTIVELY, and mostly I am (repainted daughter's bed, cleaned closets, worked on novel, worked out, ate "extra" bag of chocolate with pumpkin caramel filling), but there are moments when the nights feel long. I am a skittish sleeper, and, no joke, often sleep with the lights ON when I'm alone in my house. Last night, I let Chris Martin sing me to sleep with "Everything's Not Lost".

Friday, December 17, 2010


This tenor aria from Handel's Messiah is just about the prettiest thing I've ever heard, and it is one of my favorite Christmas season songs. Or anytime songs. "Comfort Ye" comes right after the orchestral overture, so the first line of this aria is the first vocal line of the entire oratorio. I especially love the way the second "comfort" just floats in the air like a leaf borne on the wind.

The text comes from Isaiah, and although I had always interpreted this text to be about John the Baptist, I recently learned that its meaning also applies to the exiles in Babylon who had been carried off when Jerusalem was destroyed. The text in Isaiah that follows the "Comfort Ye" lines, the text of the next tenor aria "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted", can definitely be interpreted as a hope for homecoming on the part of the exiles, a dream of a clear path back to their city, temple and homeland.

My favorite voice for "Comfort Ye" is Paul Esswood, the soloist on the 1995 Mormon Tabernacle Choir recording. The choir's recording is phenomenal, truly stunning. But alas ... youtube yielded many other tenors, but not Mr. Esswood. However, this soloist will have to do.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Health and wealth

Youtube is like a treasure chest. Sure, there are plenty of videos made by dreadful bands playing unoriginal music. There are who knows how many clips of people covering someone else's music, usually in cramped bedroom with inadequate lighting. And no amount of apology will atone for the introduction of Fred Figglehorn. But the site yields hidden gems as well. Like this one.