8.22

Friday at last. Ending a short summer with a really loooooong week, which thankfully, is over. This song puts me in a great mood and it is 100% a Friday song. 

Slaptop “Sunrise”  enjoy!

Swedes

I love the music of the seventies, but until my recent trip, I had never really listened to the 70s station on XM radio. I was surprised to hear Casey Kasem (who is recently deceased) hosting the weekly top 40. I was driving with my dad listening to 1976 in real time and Elvis was still alive. Very odd. My dad, however, was beaming. In fact, the entire trip was suffused with the music of my childhood. My parents had ABBA on steady, constant rotation, which is ok, because ABBA is pretty great. It got me thinking about dialects and accents and how much the Swedish voice lends itself to beautiful music, its lilting, sweet intonations adding a unique quality to the songs.

Today’s song is from Swedish alt-folk group, First Aid Kit.  I am pretty taken with their sound, it makes me happy just to hear it. And today’s song is about just that: finding contentment in the moment.

First Aid Kit “My Silver Lining”

Budapest

I’ve spent a week in my favorite place for a get away. Coming back home brings a bevy of to-do lists and catching up from the time away. The girls start school in a week and I am struck yet again, by how fast the summer has flown. I came home to a stack of mail, but also, happily, to a stack of magazines. I get an obscene amount of magazines. Too many, actually. It might be a case in point about the law of diminishing returns, as I sometimes can’t remember which ones I’ve read. That being said, upon return I found a special edition InStyle called Fashion Rocks, whose cover boldly promised “Your 10 New Fave Bands (You Just Don’t Know It Yet)”, and while some of their 10 are already current faves, and some are decidedly not my thing, I did find one that I truly love. George Ezra. His sound is happy, effortless, breezy fun. I dig it.

George Ezra “Budapest”

Enjoy

 

Something about Meg

I was lucky enough to get to see Ray Lamontagne for the second time last weekend and I’ve been mulling it over all week. He was quiet between songs,as he was the first time I saw him; compelled to communicate solely through his music. I’m not even sure he said “Hello Dallas!” or anything like that. He performed a mixture of new and old songs and it was a relaxed and very pleasant evening. One of his old songs that he performed is one that was a slow burn for me…not the instant love type of song, but one I gradually came to really enjoy. I think the beginning threw me initially with its kind of corny old timey Western opening, but as soon as the “Meg White-ish”drumming kicks in the song, it becomes pretty great, with its minor chord changes and intriguing message. Did he really have a long distance crush on Meg White? I looked back at interviews from around the time when Gossip in the Grain came out and found that he was somewhat cagey in his response, or at least not very direct. But what he does address is his proclivity for silence between songs. He claims to like mystery; comparing musicians who talk between songs to magicians who do their tricks and then afterwards tell you how it’s done.

Piquing my interest even further in Meg White in general is the fact that Jack White’s solo efforts haven’t quite resonated with me the way that the White Stripes ever has. The White Stripes seemed full of mystery to me. I remember when I first heard them and read up on them and you really couldn’t find out whether they were married or siblings (odd thing to create mystery about, but intriguing nonetheless). They were married for a time. Maybe they decided that keeping that part a mystery created a more interesting public persona. I don’t know.
This June there was a fascinating article on Grantland about Jack White’s current career trajectory and the fact that Meg White seems to haunt his current repertoire.
http://grantland.com/features/jack-white-meg-white-white-stripes-lazaretto/

I love seeing musicians influence, impress or motivate other musicians. Pretty fascinating.

Circuital

Whenever Chris and I roadtrip, we generally like to mix things up a bit because we get really tired of our music after a while. It was on such an occasion recently, that we heard an old NPR podcast featuring My Morning Jacket, whom we love, but an album that we hadn’t ever heard, Circuital. It was recorded in a Gymnasium and it has a beautiful and kind of mystical sound that hooked us both right away. Jim James’s voice is sort of echo-y in a way that only a gym could create. Enjoy!

My Morning Jacket “Circuital”

a bit dance-y

This song is sure to get you moving, even if just a little bit. It’s been a little while since I’ve had a love at first listen, but this one fits the bill. I’m just glad to have it before the summer and its long evenings end.

Ray

I will see Ray Lamontagne for the second time in a few months. I can’t wait. He is amazing. BUT, I must say that as his singles roll out one by one in an orderly and very calculated/marketed way, I am longing for the Ray of old. (I’m sorry, it’s true.) I’ve devoured articles about his newest album, incredulous that he battled debilitating self-doubt to the point of stopping his creative process and that this album, this Supernova, is what came to him as a freeing process that unveiled itself, songs revealing themselves, etc. yada yada. I mean no disrespect, but HOW does an artist question the veracity and beauty of something like the album, “Til The Sun Turns Black,” which while not as widely received as “Trouble,” is masterful in it’s execution. It is such an album-y album. The last two songs must be in tandem or it is just depressing. Together, it is stunning. Til The Sun Turns Black has only a beat between its conclusion and the beginning of Within You and it is perfection . You are taken to the nadir with “Til The Sun Turns Black” and then you rebound with Within You and the sum total is transcendent.

you go from:

“Can you see the corporate man
He’s winning on the telephone
His possessions are his throne
Till the sun turns black”

to:

War is not the answer
The answer is within you

Love, love
Love, love

I am looking forward to the concert, I will listen to whatever he creates, but I hope/wish  that he can harness whatever self-doubt he was battling because his past, more heartfelt albums are exquisite.