Sunday, December 23, 2007

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

The Avett Brothers, "If It's the Beaches"

Lola's letting her folky side show today. What? You didn't know I had any other side? Okay, fair enough. Yeah, I like the folk music. I love music that sounds like it was ghost-written by heartbreak, in a wooded area, surrounded only by a creek and maybe a small wooden cabin. Of course this guy is offering every type of scenery available: the beach, the mountain--whatever his love wishes. I'd settle for the wooded area, the creek and the cabin.

Yeah, and now that I'm reading their website, I'm finding out they were here in Jacksonville a few weeks ago. Maybe he could get me a time machine too :)


The Avett Brothers are waiting for you to decide whether you want the beaches or the mountains. They're very patient like that.

Marla Hansen, "Wedding Day"

This is a little different than the folk music I usually listen to; the viola is downright Appalachian in its sparse pluckiness. A clarinet comes in to add a little bit of noir soul. Her voice has the tremulous wavering of the British singer Beth Orton. The song is an inventive mixture of contexts--befitting of a musician who has worked in so many different styles: classical, hip-hop (Jay-Z, Kanye West), modern folk (Sufjan Stevens), modern rock (The National) and modern enigmatic (My Brightest Diamond, whom I absolutely adore).


Marla Hansen is so pretty. I love the way the flower looks in her hair.

Alaska in Winter, "Close Your Eyes - We are Blind"

Before you say "This sounds like Beirut!", first know: This is partly Beirut. Also: Beirut's style is so awesome that I welcome it in as many songs as possible. Also: the first time I heard Beirut, I thought "That sounds like Devotchka!" Then I realized that I loved the Eastern European style so much that I welcomed it in any song. It's so grandly festive. It makes me feel like I'm part of some great gypsy caravan, stopping for a few hours' celebration, lighting a bonfire to ward off the dark and the snow on these well-travelled roads. Yes, I always make up stories for the songs I hear.


Alaska in Winter

from "Dance Party In The Balkans"
(Regular Beat Recording)
Buy at Amazon

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