Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome Back You Dummy Idiot

Dear Friends,

It's been a minute. I'd like to write some thoughts here again on a regular basis.  Will you listen? My mom said she would. That's cool. Maybe she will comment.  The reason for writing in here again is because my best good friend, Tobin, has encouraged me to do so.  She encourages me from a "proud mom" standpoint because she knows that I have such endless passion for all things music and wants me to share my passions with the world (or five facebook friends who are marginally interested in what I have to say).  Secretly I suspect that Tobin encourages me so that she doesn't so often have to sit on the receiving end up my spirited ramblings about this "amazing" artist or that equally "amazing" artist.  (correction 8/13 8:09 PM -- this secret suspicion was confirmed absolutely false, she loves it all the time, naturally, and just wants me to share).

She knows that I will often proclaim that every band is the BEST BAND EVER and that I am prone to massive hyperbole after massive hyperbole, but who would Lauren be without all those lively comparisons and constant overuse of punctuation (ESPECIALLY exclamation points!!!!!) ????

So, if anyone feels like reading, awesome! I don't pretend to have anything earth-shattering to say... just some general sharing of my thoughts of a good song or a good album or some other musical exploit I've found myself in the middle of enjoying.  

Also, Spotify makes things SUPER helpful to recommend songs for you to listen to as well, so I'm going to sprinkle those links throughout wherever needed.

I'm going to start with the topic of THE SEEMINGLY ENDLESS SUPPLY OF GREAT MUSIC ON THE EARTH. I'm going to save my treatise on the questionable existential nature of music's place in humanity for another day (and really I am saving it, it's a good read, I promise).

So, I have this friend, his name is *Schmave (*Name has been changed because author is unsure she's acquired the rights to mention his name :-) ).  He is a career musician and a damn good one at that, he is also my bass teacher.  I am using him as the keystone of this particular entry because he is one of few people that I know (I really can count them on one hand) that is capable of continually recommending me an awesome tune, artist or album that I have not heard (which -- if you know me at all -- is pretty difficult to do -- since my enjoyment of music transcends the space-time continuum and every layer of Earth's atmosphere [plus the more concrete strata of genre, time, and category]).

So, one particular recommendation he made recently opened my eyes to THE SEEMINGLY ENDLESS SUPPLY OF GREAT MUSIC ON THE EARTH. What was funny about the recommendation was that it should have been obvious.  I should have already been there, fully onboard with Stevie Wonder's "Fulfillingness' First Finale" album. I consider myself a HUGE Stevie Wonder fan, in fact, anytime roomie Cliff (aka DJ PANEK!) was playing at Arts Garage way back when EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT, I am pretty sure he would make certain to work in Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do" for me or else I could not reach my proper dance pinnacle for the evening.

As an aside, it was either "Do I Do" or Michael Jackson's "I Wanna Be Where You Are" that would really bring the true Lauren out on the dance floor.  I could do the hustle to this song like it was nobody's business (Thanks to my Dad for teaching me how to do so ...) (PS-Why am I acting like I'm 62 and don't dance anymore!?)

Let's all clap our hands for Cliffasaurus Rex for being an awesome friend/DJ (even though the sightings of him on the tables are getting fewer and further between -- shoutout to the rare performance at Caliph/Todd's Bday Bash last month)

So, I'm a Stevie Wonder fan, I hold SO MANY SONGS so near and dear to my heart. However, have you ever LOOKED at his discography? It's borderline endless.

So, *Schmave (alright can we just call him Dave???) turned me onto "Bird of Beauty" and the majesty of the rest of the "Fulfillingness' First Finale" album.  There are several great things about the song. The first of which is the use of the Cuíca and it's noticeable unique alien sonic intrusion into the song.  I love looking up these odd instruments in songs, I always appreciate an odd sonic combination.  It makes me feel like the unique greatness of a particular song.  As I learned, from rabbit-hole-ing down a few Wikipedia links, the Cuíca is Brazilian friction drum. Play "Bird of Beauty" and you'll hear it immediately.  The other awesome thing is the incomparable Fender Rhodes and it's sugary sweet tones sprinkling themselves throughout the song.  

Which brings me to my NEXT POINT, which is that being ignorant of the functional nature of music for so long has also opened up a whole slew of possibilities for me as far as being able to now note common themes and threads between seemingly otherwise unrelated songs.  For instance, I'm pretty sure we arrived at "Bird of Beauty" through discussing the sweet majesty of Radiohead's affinity for the Fender Rhodes, especially in the song "Subterranean Homesick Alien."  It amuses me that Radiohead and Stevie Wonder could have something in common, but the unifying thread thusly identified (i.e. The Rhodes), my appreciation increased for a song I'd already so loved.  (I just hurriedly searched for an old high school notebook where I scrawled the lyrics from memory while sitting bored in an AP Government class but alas that book/moment must still be lost in the ether of high school [non]bliss).

Which brings me to a notion I often revisit - LYRICS.  I'm a huge lyrics fan.  In some ways, I don't care what you're saying, as long as it sounds good. But when some lyrics really grab me... THEY DON'T LET GO AT ALL.

The verse in the song that I marvel at is:

"Up above
Aliens hover
Making home movies
For the folks back home
Of all these weird creatures who lock up their spirits
Drill holes in themselves
And live for their secrets"

As terribly navel-gazing and introspective Radiohead lyrics (or ANY lyrics for that matter) can tend to be, I always enjoyed the vivid imagery of that verse.  Also, the remark on so many humans knack for keeping everything locked up tight and never showing their true selves -- it is a palapable sentiment.  

There's so much more I want to say, but I'll get to it later. Hopefully, anybody actually reading this has discovered a couple awesome songs for now (if you were not already pleasantly privy to this greatness).

I fully expect Dan Natale to critique my grammar and writing style, but ya know -- that's always happening. He never appreciates me trying to be conversational. I also know FOR SURE that he gritted his teeth everytime I incorrectly used quotation marks or capital letters. But who knows, maybe he's mellowed out in his old age.... (ohhh snap!) Jokes Jokes Jokes I really do love you DN.

PS - Tobin - They had TREBUCHET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as an option on this old thing :-) :-) :-)
Life rules.

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