I wasn't looking for it, but Florist's album Emily Alone is right now my lead candidate for AMR's 2019 album of the year.
Recommended if you like: Julien Baker, the pastoral side of of Animal Collective circa Sung Tongs and Campfire Songs. Go ahead and listen here.
On Wednesday of this week I heard The Vaccine's "Norgaard" (not a new song, and not new to me either), and I got caught up in who this person was that they were singing about. It felt like there had to be a specific muse, at a minimum. Turns out, there's a whole story there, and the person's name actually was Amanda Norgaard.
It was pretty fun to track this down, learn a little bit about a person I had previously been unaware existed, etc. I had kind of the same experience once upon a time with Leonard Cohen's "So Long Marianne". And while there are plenty of songs about people who are famous or otherwise known to the public, I think there's something especially engaging in a song about a real person who is unknown to you.
Anyway, talk songs about real people, especially the unknowns, and drop lists if you got them.
So the past week or so I've been listening to music from the Woodstock festival from 50 years ago. The performances that we all are familiar with were great of course, but the others I found were not so compelling and downright tedious at times (lots of drum solos). Some of the Santana stuff put me to sleep. Also I noticed that most of the performances would fall under the rhythm and blues category of rock. I'd argue that if the same event was held today it would be classified as blue festival. Interesting how music has changed over the past 5 decades.
The other day Jeff A mentioned that he didn’t see the big deal about Pancho and Lefty. In true Padre fashion, he admitted that it was a popular song, he just didn’t get it. Well Pancho and Lefty is a popular song. Considered Townes Van Zandt’s best song, covered numerous times. Even considered the 17th greatest western ong ever written by American Cowboy magazine. (True story). The song has earned its bona fides.
It got me thinking, are there popular, well regarded songs out there that you “should” like given your particular tastes but just don’t? I know someone who is a big Beatles fan, but can’t stand Hey Jude. How about you?
So on my summer mix for 2018, I ended with Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had A Million Dollars". My kids had been listening to the mix again, and my daughter and I were driving last night and that song came on. She asked about the artist, and I mentioned that she knew a couple of their songs ("Old Apartment" - also on a summer mix, "When You Dream" - often sung to them at bedtime). So I pulled out my old Stunt CD and started listening to that.
Man, there were a lot of songs on there that I had no desire to listen to.
But! There were other songs that I absolutely adored and wanted her to hear.
At the time it seemed a somewhat strange dichotomy. And really, though I acknowledge it isn't all that uncommon, isn't it a little weird? Are there authors who you say "I love these 3 books, but can't stand these other 3?" Probably not too many. Or painters where you look at half of their paintings and love them, but you'd be glad to toss the other half? It seems unlikely.
So what is it about music that can make it so hit or miss? And are there other artists out there for you where this is the case? Who typifies hit and miss music to you?
Tonight I’ll be seeing Willie Nelson at Target Center. This is a bucket list show for me as I have never seen the Red Headed Stranger. Given that Willie is 86-1/2 years old, it very much could be the last chance I’ll have too.
Now I know he relies pretty heavily on his family at these shows but who cares, it’s Willie Freakin’ Nelson.
So does anyone have any bucket list artists they want to see? After tonight it will be Van Morrison, Patty Griffin, and Radiohead for me.
Who’s on your bucket list. Also drop ‘em if you got ‘em.
Well, as of this week, we've made it through just about every major summer activity our family had planned. Baseball is done. Softball wrapped up. Other softball finished a little while ago. Vacation Bible School and other Vacation Bible School are completed. Summer Recreation has wound down. Family camping trip has been camped. Summer birthdays have been celebrated.
It's been a busy two months, and now we get to sit back and hopefully relax a little bit.
So let's talk relaxing songs today. Not just the slow ones, but the legitimate relaxing ones. Songs that seem to help your worries subside and increase the dopamine flowing to you brain, or however that biochemistry stuff works.
Long ago, there was a song I enjoyed (and yes, this story would be greatly improved if I could remember the identity of the song) where I heard the lyrics to one key segment in a very specific way. M
later, I heard a live version of the song, where the singer enunciated the lyrics much more clearly, and I could hear what he was actually singing. Whereas the lyrics that I THOUGHT he'd been singing had been clever, the actual ones were juvenile and dull. It ruined the song for me completely.
So, tell me about instances where your head Canon outshines the real thing.
So the kids and I are driving out to Glacier National Park a week from Sunday. It's a 17 plus hour drive there and then back so I need to think about what songs I want for the drive. The family rule is that the driver gets to pick the songs so I will be subjected to the whims of a 24 and 26 year old as well. What do I pick when it's my turn to drive? I've always thought R.E.M. was good road trip music and also good guitar trippy stuff like Built to Spill or Ride is always fun. When I drove to Memphis last year I did the whole 11 CD Stax set, which literally brought me to the City limits of Memphis. I listened to Minneapolis-based musicians on the way home. I could just put the needle on my Guided By Voices collection, I bet I easily have 35 hours of their music :o)
So what songs/artists/genre's do you like on a road trip? What's the purpose? Keep you awake, fit the setting, something you haven't heard before?