Sunday, August 10, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

*The podcast will be up later this afternoon. I had a slight recording problem. I also posted a special podcast a few days ago. The shownotes are already up for that.

Bark Hide and Horn, "Treasure of the Everglades"

Bark Hide and Horn list the "spirit of invention" as an influence. I would say it's not so much an influence as it is their style. They create music using the spirit of invention as the base and originality as the only extra ingredient. They're only familiar in the sense that I feel like I've been to this part of the forest before, but in a dream. They're obviously inspired by exploring (the whole album is based on the band's imagining of the stories behind the National Geographic magazine series). I told you--original, and not afraid to be as geeky as I am. This particular part of the imagining is a trumpeted, enthusiastic love song to a snail (presumably from the view point of another snail, not a human...not my place to judge, though). He waxes about the other snail's "magic feelers" (and no, he's not referring to the type of "magic feelers" that you get at specialty stores). He wants to see their "colors meld" and he wants to crawl into the other snail's shell. The snails may be entering into the last of their lives and they may be the last of their kinds; he just asks for a few more glorious moments with the other creature. I love songs that personify something not human, making us ponder whether we're so different from other creatures. "Treasure of the Everglades" tells a story that we're all familiar with--wanting companionship and love--but puts it in a very different context. Sometimes doing that makes a very old story seem very new.


Why, ho! Is that the Treasure of the Everglades I spot?

Marching Band, "Travel in Time"

The picture featured on the band's website is a good representation of how their music sounds. Strange, but fascinating. Like Alice must've felt looking at the land beyond the rabbit hole. I want to figure out what this sparkling song is about. I want to listen to the song intently enough to pick out every unusual lyric. I also kind of want to go to sleep so it can be incorporated into my dreams (I usually dream about whatever I'm listening to as I fall asleep--not good if I'm listening to a horror audio book, but great if I'm listening to something with a hint of psychedelia, as this does). There is just a hint of psychedelia here; not enough to twist the song to frequencies beyond our ability to comprehend, but enough to make one crave cherry plums and maybe some powdered pastries (or is that just the munchies?) It stimulates the part of my brain that makes anything seem possible--flying, travelling through time and maybe even just resting quietly, looking at a limitless sky.

Website (There are also a few other mp3s available)

Nothing unusual here...

Ed Laurie, "Albert" (Thanks to Fingertips for the link)

This has a bit of a gothic air about it; haunting, in a foggy, Victorian London kind of a way. Maybe it's the Sherlock Holmes adaptation I saw on PBS last week influencing me. Perhaps it's the beautiful instrumentation putting me in an anachronistic mind frame. The hushed and reverent vocals lay a gossamer cast over the song, creating a sense of calm intensity, like a storm that is deceptively (and momentarily) tranquil. The gorgeous clarinet breaks through, adding texture to the smooth facade, dispersing the glimmer slightly. This song actually has a timeless, placeless quality. It belongs anywhere there is space to hold it, whether it be a well-worn trail in Eastern Europe, the streets of yesterday's London or maybe even the deep recesses of New Orleans, the parts too firmly rooted, too interwoven into the land and the water to be evicted by any force of nature.


Ed Laurie talks to himself and looks slyly into space

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