Archive for the ‘ music ’ Category

in stitches. [my favorite song, and album, about losing faith.]

There are lots of songs about loss of faith, so maybe if I thought about this for a long time I would come up with one I like even more, but this one is just so haunting to me. The whole album is about lost faith, but this song in particular grabs my heart and won’t let go. A song to God about no longer believing in God. When Bazan sings,

/ the crew had killed the captain, but they still can hear his voice / a shadow on the water, a whisper in the wind / on long walks with my daughter, who is lately full of questions about you /

It gets me every time. Most articulations of faith these days, including those pronouncing a lack of faith, are silly and thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions that can’t begin to grapple with the huge existential questions with which they are attempting to contend. On one side they talk about faith but do so by arguing for something that has never been orthodox, and didn’t exist until around 100 years ago. On the other side, they argue for the god of science, but do so by claiming facts that are actually pseudo-pop-science, rooted in ideas scientists haven’t believed for at least 50 years. It’s rare to hear someone discuss their thoughts intelligently.

This album, Bazan’s memoir of lost faith, is instead one of uncommon power and thoughtful wrestling. It’s a poetic explanation as to why he could no longer believe in the God he’d believed in all his life.

There are days when this is my song, even though I still personally believe in God.

/ My body bangs and twitches /
/ This brown liquor whets my tongue /
/ My fingers find the stitches /
/ Firmly back and forth they run /
/ I need no other memory /
/ Of the bits of me I left /
/ When all this lethal drinking /
/ Is to hopefully forget about you /

/ I might as well admit it /
/ Like I even have a choice /
/ The crew have killed the captain /
/ But they still can hear his voice /
/ A shadow on the water /
/ A whisper in the wind /
/ On long walks with my daughter /
/ Who is lately full of questions about you /

/ When Job asked you a question /
/ You responded, “Who are you to challenge your creator?” /
/ Well if that one part is true /
/ It makes you sound defensive /
/ Like you had not thought it through /
/ Enough to have an answer /
/ Like you bit off more than you could chew /

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my favorite song about a mummy.

/ He opens his eyes, falls in love at first with the girl in the doorway /
/ What beautiful lines and how full of life /
/ After thousands of years, what a face to wake up to /
/ He holds back a sigh, as she touches his arm /
/ She dusts off the bed, where ’til now he’s been sleeping /
/ And under miles of stone, the dried fig of his heart /
/ Under scarab and bone starts back to it’s beating /

/ She carries him home in a beautiful boat /
/ He watches the sea from a porthole in stowage /
/ He can hear all she says as she sits by his bed /
/ And one day his lips answer her in her own language /
/ The days quickly pass he loves making her laugh /
/ The first time he moves it’s her hair that he touches /
/ She asks, “Are you cursed?” He says, “I think that I’m cured” /
/ Then he talks of the Nile and the girls in bulrushes /

/ In New York he is laid in a glass covered case /
/ He pretends he is dead, people crowd round to see him /
/ But each night she comes round and the two wander down /
/ The hall of the tomb that she calls a museum /
/ Often he stops to rest, but then less and less /
/ Then it’s her that looks tired, staying up asking questions /
/ He learns how to read from the papers that she /
/ Is writing about him and he makes corrections /

/ It’s his face on her book more and more come to look /
/ Families from Iowa, upper west siders /
/ Then one day it’s too much he decides to get up /
/ And as chaos ensues he walks outside to find her /
/ She’s using a cane and her face looks too pale /
/ But she’s happy to see him as they walk he supports her /
/ She asks, “Are you cursed?” but his answer’s obscured /
/ In a sandstorm of flashbulbs and rowdy reporters /

/ Such reanimation the two tour the nation /
/ He gets out of limos he meets other women /
/ He speaks of her fondly their nights in the museum /
/ But she’s just one more rag, now he’s dragging behind him /
/ She stops going out she just lies there in bed /
/ In hotels in whatever towns they are speaking /
/ Then her face starts to set and her hands start to fold /
/ And one day the dried fig of her heart stops it’s beating /

/ Long ago in the ship she asked, “Why pyramids?” /
/ He said, “Think of them as an immense invitation” /
/ She asked, “Are you cursed?” He said, “I think that I’m cured” /
/ Then he kissed her and hoped that she’d forget that question /

my favorite song about the area i grew up.

I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a few months. I like all the various themed posts I do here at RtM, and while some have fallen into disrepair and need to be revived, I wanted to add a new one called ‘My Favorite…’ Basically, I’ll write about my favorite something or other. Examples: My favorite song about stalking. My favorite song about universalism. My favorite movie where the ghosts are the good guys… etc. Maybe sometimes the lists will be a five things combo instead, like, my five favorite songs about gorillas who don’t like bananas.

The first one, since the time one misses the Hudson Valley most is definitely in the autumn, is my favorite song about the area I come from.

There are lots of songs about NYC, but very few about the dozens of smaller cities and bedroom communities in the first city’s shadow.

“Poughkeepsie”, by Over The Rhine, is a notably beautiful exception. It could also be in the running for my favorite song about suicide, but that list is too long because people have written some beautiful songs about suicide, which is sad. At least in this song she never kills herself, but finds hope looking out over the beauty of the Hudson River. Oops, spoilers!

Poughkeepsie – Over the Rhine — You can buy the song HERE.

As a bonus, you should listen to this lovely José James cover of Autumn in New York. Sure, it’s about NYC, but still…

Autumn in New York – José James & Jef Neve

lonely boy.

Saw this for the first time yesterday. Can’t wait for the album, El Camino, to release in December!

three more things.

As was sort of promised yesterday, here are three more things.

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1. Izze

I love Izze so much. How is this stuff only a mix of juice and soda water?!? It’s so delicious. Better than soda. I bet it’s like the frozen yogurt episode of Seinfeld, and soon we’ll find out Izze is full of all sorts of delicious and unhealthy things. Like sugar. And bacon.

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2. Helvetica

A documentary about type faces, specifically through the lens of Helvetica, the most famous and used font in the world.

It made me want to watch more movies about fonts. A few of the folks in there only got to talk a few times and they deserve their very own documentaries.

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3. A Tribe Called Quest

Been listening to a lot of Tribe lately, which I guess is always the case. So, I’ve been listening to even more tribe than usual lately. They’re still the greatest, and Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory are still my favorite Hip Hop albums of all time.

something awesome this way comes. [five things, 10.13.11]

The bad news, my job sucks to the point that I literally had to quit for my mental well-being. The good news, only six more shifts until I am free of Java Bean forever. October 22nd. To help me make it through, I have compiled this list of awesome stuff that is coming during my final days of work, and immediately afterward. There is goodness coming (and hopefully that goodness will soon include a new job, but we’ll see).

1. Friday, October 14th. Also known as, Tomorrow!!: Our new iPhones arrive in the mail.

I know, I know… these phones are only a new 4 and not the iPhone 5. I know that if you have an iPhone 4, many are saying to just wait it out. Well, Emily and I don’t have iPhone 4’s, or iPhone 3G S’s, but instead have iPhone 3G’s. Oooooooooold school iPhones. Over 3 years old, which is ancient in smart phone years. We are so excited to have phones that work again! It’ll be hard not to keep using it while I’m at work Saturday.

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2. Saturday, October 15th: Sounders Game

We get to go to the Seattle Sounders game on Saturday. The feel will probably be a bit different with the larger crowd, since they are opening up all the seating. Still, this is as much fun as you can have at a sporting event.

Seattle ’til I Die, bitches.

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3. Sunday, October 16: The Walking Dead returns. 

The first season started off so strong, and then moved into a hit or miss sort of field. Early accounts are that the new season starts off strong as well, but then Darabont left so who knows what the season holds. Either way, I know for damned sure I’ll be tuned in this Sunday.

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4. Tuesday, October 18th: Batman: Arkham City arrives in the mail. 

Batman: Arkham Asylum was so amazing. To use the vernacular of my youth, that game was dope! I can honestly say, without any hyperbole whatsoever, that I have never been this excited for the release of a video game before. Ever. To be Batman again, this time with added villains and allies. Oh, yes. Things will be looking up in the world of Bruce Way… I mean Scott Small.

Pre-order HERE.

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5. Monday, October 24th: Tom Waits – Bad As Me 

Tom Waits has a new album coming out October 24th.

Tom Waits. Has a new album. Coming. O.ut. Oct.o.ber 2.4.th.

Tom! Waits!

And the heavens opened up, and God said, “I love you, Charlie Brown.”

Get the single HERE.

more music. [five things, 10.11.11]

I’ve been away for so long. It’s been one thing after another, the final blow of which has been feeling terrible for a few days. Finally, I think I am starting to turn the corner into being healthy, but that might go out the window tomorrow when I have to be at work at 5:30am. I need to throw myself back into writing again, and it seems the best way to do that is with the easy-peasy world of RtM.

I have so much I’ve wanted to throw up on Roused, but just haven’t been able to. If I can find the time and stay healthy, I think I’ll do a few days in a row with five things posts. So much goodness to share.

First, to make things even easier on myself, music you should be listening to, if you aren’t already:

1. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger

The sophomore solo album from the lady who was once the female voice on all of Damien Rice’s albums. We got to see her live last week at The Tractor, and even though I had to sit in the back because I didn’t have the energy to stand, she was still delightful.

And, in case you want to see her perform for real, instead of pretending while people cover her in paint.

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2. The Kills – Blood Pressures

I got to this one a little late, I know. I really like this album!

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3. Feist – Metals

Still in my first ten listens to this one, so its early. So far, superb.

Here she is performing Graveyards.”

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4. Fitz and the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up The Pieces

I should have listened to Fitz and the Tantrums far sooner. They were talked up quite a bit last year on KEXP, but they just got lost in the shuffle as another band I really need to check out eventually. Well, eventually came, and I’m so happy it did. Please, friends, release another album soon!

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5. Liam Finn concert

So, this isn’t exactly in line with the rest of the post, and it means I’ll have to wait a while to share my love of the new Wilco album and my favorite movie soundtrack since Tron: Legacy. The Liam Finn show I got to see at The Tractor was so great. He’s a little manic kiwi rock god. So much energy and charisma, but in a down-to-earth, common way.

The crowd’s favorite part was always when he would get on drums, in addition to his brother, who played drums for the touring band, and they would double team the rhythm. So great. One of the best concerts I’ve been to, in a genuinely surprising way. I expected it to be a good show, not an amazing show.

Then there was the fact that, as those of you who follow me on Facebook already know, Eddie Vedder showed up for the encore to perform with Liam. There were only like 100-150 people there, so being able to enjoy the surprise visit of one of Seattle’s favorite sons at a divy little rock bar was pretty exciting.

If Liam Finn comes to your town anytime soon, be sure to check him out. It’ll be pretty cheap, but awesome! Do yourself a favor. Go.