Sunday, November 23, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

Down The Lees, "Alone On A Thursday"

Okay, so I love furtive, plaintive, pleading, emotionally wrought love songs. I love tortured orchestras of emotion: violins climbing a twisted vine, reaching for the high, daunting piano notes flaking off just above them. Instruments struggling to burst through the thicket, hoping to be the first to reach the sunlight. A dark, dusky, rich voice followed by a caterwauling Kate-Bush strangle. The singer says "Say you're mine, and I'll give you life". Taken as a straight plea for love, we could think she's talking to a would-be lover. Taken as a song about someone conflicted with her own wants, though, and we wonder if she's talking to herself. She could be promising freedom to her own emotions: If she could get control of her own emotions, she could cut through the thicket herself. "Each time you say goodbye, a little part of me dies and wants to stay alive". Is she telling a lover that their absence is painful? Or is she telling herself that each time she steps further away, she becomes a little more faded, a little more withered?

More Mp3s

Down The Lees is currently caterwauling. If you'd like to leave a message...

Horse Feathers, "Curs in the Weeds"

This song is as rustic as an old Oregonian barn: The singer's voice wavers as if time has degraded it, the elements rusting his resolve. The violins fleck the air, cutting up the surroundings like an old chainsaw: Part fiddle, part classic violin, part means-to-make-firewood. The lyrics are more dire than those folks in that American Gothic painting. The children "live in a house with no home". There's "dirt on the walls" and "blood in the yard". There's probably an old dog named Yeller, too. Oh, that book made me cry. I'm crying just thinking about it. I think I just need to go sit on the porch and rock myself 'till I feel better.

Label Site

This is my brother Darryl and my other sister Darryl.

The Sadies, "Why Be So Curious, Part Three" (Not a direct link--link takes you to a download page where you can get the song).

You have the tortured, the morbid, the sad in songs, then sometimes you just have the optimistic. The lyrics have a positive missive: an affirmation that everything could all possibly be okay. He tells us to listen to "the most beautiful things" and pay them heed. The lyrics include what is now one of my favorite philisophical sentiments: "Don't poison the well with worry and fear". The music sounds like the message being conveyed: Buoyant, melodic guitars meet with smooth, easy vocals. The listener can't help being swept into the swell. The singer tells us to "watch the river and feel the flow", which is a little easier listening to him; He provides the flow for us. If you don't feel calmed after hearing this song, then listen to it again. It even helps me, and I'm what the philosophers and deep-thinkers call "high-strung".


Elvis-impersonator casting call? Set of the movie "Blow"? The band The Sadies?

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