2016 will be forever to me, the year of the concert. I’ve seen big acts in big venues, but mostly smallish names in more intimate settings, and what has been the most striking is that some of the best concerts were the ones that I expected the least. Expectations can be killers. Sometimes bands don’t connect with the audience, or are trying something different and going in a direction that feels wrong, (ahem, Ray Lamontagne) but when they do, it is magic.
Case in point, Rhye, whose lead is a small white male who is the vocal doppeganger, of Sade on his album, but in real life is that and so much more. Gregory Alan Isokov, whose voice is as effortless and exquisite as they come, exceeded any expectations by adding orchestral arrangements; transcending his genre entirely, and the Lumineers were so close to perfect that I’m afraid to see them again and mar the memory. Tomorrow, it’s the Head and the Heart. I had trepidation about this one because one of the lead singers is in Rehab/Recovery and not touring with the band. The album was created during his struggles and in the midst of a dark space, but it has an undercurrent of hope. The last album was gorgeous and heavy. This one seems to be a reckoning and a rebuilding. I like that.
Library Magic is my current fave; it is like First Aid Kit and Simon and Garfunkel made a baby.
I awoke, Winter weary, to a snow so beautiful that it seems almost defiant. Ok, March, give me what you’ve got. We are home for what seems like the 10th day and there is a restless energy in me that is hard to define. I think it is the anticipation of Spring. When we lived in the Midwest, Spring’s arrival was heralded by people wearing shorts in fifty degree weather. Neighbors would appear, their children taller and older than when you saw them last, and people were supremely joyful. Really.
This Winter has not been that bad… but I am really glad that we got a real bonafide Winter because it will make the Spring more precious.
My run is most likely side-lined today, but this kicky little song is new to my playlist and I thought I’d share. The beginning sounds like Paul Simon’s, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, which I love… the percussion starting that song has always been a big part of why I love it, and then it rounds into sounding like something Terrance Trent D’Arby might make. Whatever the influences, I really love it.
Natural Self “Feet Keep Moving”
The new Alt J album, This Is All Yours, is out today and I feel like I’ve been invited to an elaborate meal with many courses. I’ve been a bit anxious about this second offering, as the initial 3 singles are so diverse in their scope, but I really like this on first listening. It is really pretty… and pretty weird in expected and unexpected ways. I am obsessed with Warm Foothills. It is gorgeous. I would never think that an Alt J song would be reminiscent of Andrew Bird, but this track is.
I’ve watched this video about 5 times today. The dancing is ridiculously great and I think it is pretty much guaranteed that you will smile watching it. And you might have a little extra swag in your step after watching. I adore watching people who are 100% passionate about the art they create and This. Is. It.
Sinkane “How We Be”
I took some time last weekend to have a little special time with my eldest. Driving alone with her always yields some insight into her world and Starbucks drinks are like a magical potion resulting in mother/daughter camaraderie. I’ll take it. Always. Sometimes it’s just the feeling, not even the conversation.
There was a violinist that we saw on our venture who was playing, recording and looping his sound and it was fun to see and made me think about all the wonderful opportunities that technology has brought to music. This song is quirky, dreamy and kind of murky in just the right way.
Emily Wells “Johnny Cash’s Mama’s House”
A loud storm brought my little one into our bed early this morning and as I scooped her up and drew her in I was overwhelmed by the pleasure of being able to comfort her so completely. She snuggled in and was snoring away in mere seconds. I wish that all issues that my kids bring to me were as easy to solve. Whether it be fears that they may have, friendships they are struggling with, pressures they may feel, or just coming to terms with things they can’t control, their lives are already filled with many complex realities. What has surprised me of late though, is how much my counsel to them would cause me to look inwards. Introspection brought on by objectifying an issue. It’s a gift really, parenthood. I get to have these two beautiful souls in my life and in my home.
Today’s song is a cover song of Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird, a real Christine McVie treasure. Stevie Nicks gets so much of the spotlight of Fleetwood Mac–and deservedly so–that it is easy to forget just how beautiful of a voice Christine McVie has. That being said, I am posting Eva Cassidy’s version because I love her voice so much and her short life reminds me that today is what we get. Use it well.
Have a wonderful Friday!
People are fascinating. Whether or not I slow down enough to watch and notice, there are so many unusual quirks and idiosyncracies that make us who we are. I was reading recently about people who believe that they experience something called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or ASMR, which Wikipedia defines as: a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.
Basically, it is anything you hear (or see, touch, smell etc) that for some reason of another gives you the goosebumps and a tingly sensation as well as inducing a calming effect on the listener. For some people this is triggered by whispering voices, or scratchy, rustling sounds. Google Bob Ross (the “Joy of Painting” Bob Ross) ASMR and you will find that there are people who watch him paint because it induces this tingly calm. There are whole sites of compiled ASMR videos of people wrapping presents, turning pages in books, whispering etc. It is a tad bit weird, yes… but i’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people can remember at least one incident where a sound, created an almost transcendent goose bumpy calm. Yes…..? Just me?
This is totally not my usual type of song particularly for this blog, and I think its heavy airplay might make it off-putting, but the clicks get me every time.
Martin Garrix “Animals”