Sunday, April 06, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

FYI: I'm going to take a break next weekend from writing the blog post. I'm exhausted--I'm worried about finding a job, and it's affected what little mental health I had, so I'm going to rest next weekend. So, the next thing for the blog will be in two weeks--I'll do both the blog post and the podcast then.

Leatherbag, "Tennessee" (I got permission from the band to link to the song, even though I figured it was alright since Hear Ya sponsored a showcase Leatherbag played at, but I figured I'd make sure, anyway).

Okay, so this song is two years old. We're not going to focus on my propensity for being late to the party. We're going to focus on how beautiful this song is. I've only been to Tennessee once, and even then I just went to a big aquarium. Still, when I think of Tennessee, I think of beautiful, broad forests contrasting sharply against a piercing blue sky, rivers that roll effortlessly down ridged embankments. I think of hills and mountains that give you a view for miles. I think of silience broken only by the distant chirp of birds or the rustling of an animal. I think of places like Georgia and Alabama, just a little bit south of Tennessee, but very familiar to me. I always thought Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama would be somewhat similar to Tennessee. This song sounds like Tennessee to me, or my image of it, anyway. It gives me the same feeling of serenity. It reminds me of the ease of a beautiful day in the woods, or hiking along a river, or sitting on a rock that's jutting out of a mountain.

Label Site

Leatherbag has a new album out, and he gave me permission to use songs from it, also. I haven't had a chance to listen to it thoroughly, but I expect I'll be using a few songs from it.

Randy Reynolds of Leatherbag dares you to tell him he looks like Buddy Holly. He dares you.

4th of July, "I Don't Want To Lose You" (Not a direct link)

This is the kind of song I would belt out unself-consciously, until I became painfully aware much, much later that not only had I lost the entire audience, but I had perhaps alienated everyone who's ever known me, even if they weren't there. So the irony is there that if I abandoned all sense and sang this song the way I wanted to, I probably would lose a lot. Luckily, this band isn't prone to obnoxiousness like I am. This song has a great sing-a-along character, especially in the way the lyrics change slightly through the song ("I don't want to bore you at all" morphs into "I don't want to ignore you at all" and then changes to "I don't want to lose you at all"), allowing the casual karoake singer to get at least 95 or so percent of the chorus right even if they really have no idea what part of the song they're on. For those actually paying attention to the song and not reading off a karoake cue, though, there's a enough rollicking substance to energize a crowd or a single person listening on headphones in their bedroom.


I hope 4th of July ordered the wallet sizes, also.

Tender Forever, "Heartbroken Forever"

When I first heard the name "Tender Forever" I kind of brushed it off. The name conjures images of pastel pop princesses touring malls, but I knew I'd only cheat myself if I didn't listen to it--afterall, that sort of discrimination kept me from Buffy The Vampire Slayer for the first three years of its existence, and those are three years of joy I'll never get. So, I listened to it. The first few seconds sound like an electronic nursery rhyme, with a keyboard refrain that sounds kind of like a xylophone. All whispers of a nursery tale are blown away with the vocals, though. Her voice is strong, determined and passionate, demonstrating the resilience that she says she has. I believe her when she says that her "heart is okay and it's strong and it reels and it can take anything and it takes everything ". She sings swiftly, breathlessly, personifying the urgency of the lyrics. Her voice is overlayed in stereo, surrounding you until you can't ignore the tension and the strength of her conviction.

Label Site

Melanie Valera of Tender Forever looks very serene. Maybe it's from living in France, or because she makes really cool music.


Hera, Feels So Good (Video)

(I used her song "Don't Play This" a few months ago--this is an equally great song, and the video has puppies.)

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