Thursday, July 29, 2010

Famous Blue Raincoat

I was introduced to Famous Blue Raincoat about 10 or 12 years ago when I was still living in Pennsylvania. I went with a friend to listen to two of her coworkers perform. The guy played guitar. The girl sang. She had a marvelous voice. Sounded a bit like Natalie Merchant. They sang a lot of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Dave Matthews Band. And then she started talking about a Leonard Cohen song that Tori Amos covered. She then started singing Famous Blue Raincoat. I fell in love right then and there with that song and the love affair continues. I have even tried to study the origins of the song, Mr. Cohen's meaning. Google it if you'll find a million explanations, but no consensus. What I can tell you is that it's a letter, and it is beautiful.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Black Star

Please tell me what it is about this sing that keeps me from breathing until it's over? If you see me with earphones on and my face is awash with undigested emotion, blame it on the Black Star.

I love Radiohead...I especially love the acoustic version they perform of this song:


And probably unlike most true "music people," I actually love covers...if I like a song, the more people singing it, the better (unless Britney Spears decides to do a rendition of it; then I will just cringe).

So I was happy to hear Gillian Welch's lovely interpretation of Black Star. I like some of her music, though she tends a bit too bluegrass-y for me. But I think she captured the soul of this song perfectly.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Captain Jack

My love of Billy Joel comes directly from my Mom, who was a fan from way back in the day. My favorite Billy Joel music was all "pre-Christie"...before he met Christie Brinkley in the mid 80s and his music seemed to become a little puppy dog love mushy for me. Not that I still don't like him or any of that music...I just prefer his older stuff. Nylon Curtain. Cold Spring Harbor. The Stranger.

A great jukebox pick at the bar...Captain this case, the live version.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rue St. Vincent

You know when I'm writing on a Sunday that it will be with a certain solemnity. Claire's daddy brought her home from his weekend with her, and he left about a half hour ago. My child is so happy when both of her parents are with her. It's melancholy, but I think I hide it well.

Her dad and I shared a love of similar music. I like to think we introduced each other to some new favorites...from him I got Metric, Placebo, Blonde Redhead...from me he got The National and my Garden State soundtrack.

Back in the day before romance became extinct, we made each other CDs and would listen to them in the dark. There is no one more sentimental than me when it comes to someone personally choosing songs for me, so it was very special. I don't think I have that CD; at least I can't find it anywhere. But I remember many of the songs. And one of my favorites was Rue St. Vincent by Yves Montand. During those hours in the dark, I spoke of how I wanted to dance to this with him on the sand at our wedding. I still dream of that, even though a dream is just a dream...


Friday, July 16, 2010

My Soundtrack

My music blog begins. Like most, I enjoy many different types of music. One style keeps resonating. What should I call it? It's theatrical. It can border on operatic. And it usually draws the most emotion from me. It began so many years ago with Freddie Mercury. Queen's music dominated my high school experience. The voice from God is how I feel about Freddie. And the accompaniment matched the drama of the voice. Listen to Who Wants to Live Forever. Seven Seas of Rhye. Teo Torriatte.

This continued and I grew to love the music I felt tore into my soul, whether bellowing or a bare whisper.

There is an artist I love named Vienna Teng. She is a beautiful songwriter with a sweet, strong, nectar voice. One of her songs falls into what I'm trying rather unsuccessfully to describe. I find it best to listen to this at night in the darkness. I feel as if I could be in a fantasy movie...Highlander, Dune, something mystical. This song affects my mood and is a regular on my play lists.

Vienna Teng, My Medea