Love’s In Need Of Love Today

13 Jul

I tried publishing this post on July 9th, but WordPress would not allow me to save/publish. Here is the post…a few days later.

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It has been over a year since my last post.

Too busy this past year; looking for a job and planning a major move for my family.

But the music still moves me and sometimes in the most profound ways. I have been struggling to process the events of the last few days. I’ve been reading the posts on facebook, which there are many. I have been uncertain about what to say myself or what to share that others have written. I’ve been sitting silent. Unclear on where to my find my voice. When I was driving home yesterday, I heard a cover of the amazing Stevie Wonder song, “Love’s In Need of Love Today”. It is a version that I have never heard before and I was immediately drawn in. An intense wave of sorrow rose up through my body and then came trickling out in soft gentle drops from my eyes. For now, this is my message and I share this song with you.

 

Duets

3 Jul

There is something about the melding of two voices together in a duet that I absolutely love. In addition to the layered voices and harmonies, I love the complexity of the story telling between the two “story tellers”. You can feel the tensions and emotions build as they progress through the song. Last winter a friend of mine turned me onto a great song by a band called Shakey Graves. This song is “Dearly Departed” and it it features a woman named Esmé Patterson. Listen below. It is so good! And lucky me…I will see them this summer at the Newport Folk Festival.


I’ve always had a soft spot for duets featuring a man and a woman. Here are some of my favorites from years past…

1. Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty: Stop Dragging My Heart Around

2. Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes: Joan of Arc
If you like this song or are already a Leonard Cohen fan, you should be sure to check out the rest of the songs on Famous Blue Raincoat, an album that he did with Jennifer Warnes. Brilliant.

3. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

4. The Civil Wars: Poison & Wine


I’m certain that there are many, many more duets that I could share with you. But for now, I’ll call it a night. Happy listening my friends…

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

21 May

Too many times I’ve intended to write about a song that I believed was going to be the next big “hit”. Alas, I get bogged down by all the “squirrels” in my life (that is what we jokingly call the pesky things that distract us and take us off into a different direction.) And as a result, I come up a day late and a dollar short.

Before the radio stations started playing Lorde’s song “Team”, I knew that it was going to be the next big hit for her after “Royals”. I also have been meaning to write about a fantastic song called “The Wire” by a Haim (rhymes with “time”). They are three sisters (one named Alana!) who have such a fun and 80s-retro kind of sound. My girls and I LOVE it. It is very upbeat and a great tune to crank up loudly. My last “day late, dollar short” song that I had intended to write about a few of months ago is called “Nothing More” by Alternate Routes. The band is from Connecticut and according to their website, “the song came together quickly and was created to help support Newtown Kindness, a non-profit organization that grew out of the tragic school shootings that happened in Newtown, CT. When you purchase “Nothing More”, half of the proceeds go to support the organization.” Additionally, Lily Costner (Kevin’s daughter) sings on this song. My guess, is that if you listen to any “pop” radio stations that you have probably already heard these three songs. If not, I guess I’m not too late to the game and I hope you enjoy them. (See links below.) 

I also wanted to share a song that I only recently heard on XM radio (The Spectrum). It is infectious, moody, catchy and overall a fantastic song. It is not quite a dance song, but it really makes me want to move and grove. Perhaps a good song to run to. I am hopeful that I am not a day late and a dollar short in sharing the song called “Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance. I think it is going to take off and be a big hit for this quirky duo from Germany. Wikepedia states that “Milky Chance is a German alternative pop folk rock duo with reggae and electronic music influences made up of Clemens Rehbein as vocalist and musician and Philipp Dausch as DJ.” I say…I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

With all of these songs, I encourage you to just listen as opposed to watching the video (I was able to find audio versions for two of the songs.) I often find that the video takes away from the experience of listening to and appreciating the song as it stands on its own. Without further ado, here are links to all of the songs mentioned in this latest entry….

Milky Chance: Stolen Dance

Lorde: Team

Haim: The Wire

Alternate Routes: Nothing More 

 

 

Music from Down Under

27 Feb

Greetings from Australia! The wildest thing just happened and I feel compelled to share. I’m in Australia visiting a dear friend that I used to work with when we both lived in Boston. She had to work today and the weather is rainy, so I’m spending some quiet time in her flat. I was listening to music, checking my email and all of sudden felt inspired to post to my blog. I thought it might be interesting to write about artists that hail from the land of Oz. To be honest, I rarely know where an artist/band is from and was surprised to discover that some of the songs in my playlists are the masterpieces of native Aussies. I only discovered this by googling “Australian musicians” and perusing the list. As it turns out, the exact song that I was listening to when I got the inspiration to write is sung by an Australian. I only have one song (a cover) by her and never really paid much attention to her name. The singer is Clare Bowditch and she does a beautiful rendition of Fall At My Feet, which is one of my favorite songs by Crowded House (a band with ties to both Australia and New Zealand.)

Have a listen…

1. Fall At Your Feet by Clare Bowditch.

The only recording I could find is from a performance at the Opera House. Most of the video is a black screen and the song doesn’t actually start until a little over a minute into the recording. It is not the best recording, but still worth a listen. You can find this song on a complication CD called “They Will Have Their Way” – The Songs Of Tim & Neil Finn (you can find it here.)

2. Riptide by Vance Joy.

This is a more stripped down version of the song. I didn’t really like the official video, so decided to post this one instead. If you can, try to listen the full studio version of this song as it is quite good.

3. Look What You’ve Done by Jet.

This is also a slightly stripped down version.

2014…Guided By Inspirations

2 Jan

The start of a new year inspires many of us to reflect on the year that just ended and to set intentions for the year to come. I’ve never been big on new year’s resolutions. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it always seemed a bit cliche; return to the gym, eat healthier foods, learn to do something new. Blah, blah, blah. Maybe the word “resolution” just sounded too harsh and inflexible. What happens in February when I wasn’t feeling up to following through on those resolutions that I proclaimed just a month earlier? That would feel crappy. And who needs that?


But this year, I am feeling a bit different. I recently saw a short video called the “The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude” and was so moved by this simple little experiment. If you have not seen it or heard about it….check it out here:




And if you are too busy or just not inclined to take a look, I’ll give you a quick summary; expressing your gratitude will make you a happier person. Seems kind of obvious, but I also know how easy it is to slip into the habits of worry, fear, complaining and general negativity. We all know that habits are to hard to break. And for me, I think that is why taking on new year’s resolutions sort of feels like a set-up for failure. So instead of resolving to break undesirable habits, I am letting myself be guided by inspirations. Like expressing gratitude each day. In addition to the happiness project, I saw a few people share a FB post about creating a gratitude jar for their family. Each day, everybody writes down something they are grateful for and drops the piece of paper into the jar. At the end of the year, you can read all the things that were written down. It made me smile and I felt like that shouting “Yes, I want that in my life!” So I am going to do it. And if we forget to drop our notes in the jar one day or one month, no big deal. Creating new habits, even good ones, can be a challenge and just putting the jar out there is a fine start.


In addition to feeling inspired to express gratitude with more regularity, I’ve been re-inspired by music and have been noticing how songs can shift my mood so intensely. Nothing really new…that is what this blog is all about…the music that moves me. And that movement goes in all sort of directions; sometimes up high, full of beats and fist pumping energy and sometimes it brings me down low, to a place of deep contemplation and sadness. Powerful stuff, for sure. And the reality is that music never really stopped “moving” me, I was just getting stuck at the writing part. So in 2014 I feel inspired to share more of my musings. And I am realizing that they don’t need all to be profound, insightful or beautifully written. But as I said earlier, habits can be hard to break. And the perfectionist in me can prevent me from moving towards the place where my heart desires to be. But I also know that each day is opportunity to create new habits, habits that bring me to a happier state of mind and a more authentic and true self.


As I sit on the plane writing this blog entry…a song from one of my 2013 playlists came on and it immediately catapulted me to so many different places. The initial strumming, plucking and upbeat-ness brought a rush of joy and toe-tapping happiness that filled my heart and then seconds later the tears were rushing down my face. I felt like I was hearing the song for the first time, which I know is not the case. But the words, the sentiments and the intense emotional ride expressed through the flow of the music made me FEEL it, and I mean really feel it, for the first time. Like I said, powerful stuff. No need to write more about it. Just listen. You may even consider looking away from the screen the first time so that you can really listen to the song and not be distracted by the video. As always, thanks for reading.

“You & I” by the Crystal Fighters


Oh and keep in mind that I was only listening to the words as I had no internet access and was not watching the video. Imagine my surprise when I saw that video actually incorporated the lyrics!

Bring in the Violins

27 Sep

Just a quick one today. Last winter I discovered the song “Gold” by Wake Owl and found it to be hauntingly beautiful. I knew right away that it was the violins that added a layer of complexity that made this song intensely emotional for me. In the subsequent months, I’ve noticed that many songs that pique my interest also have violins (or perhaps another bowed string instrument; my ears are not that finely tuned.) All of them seem to have similar melancholic undertones that tug at my heartstrings. I’m sure there are many more that I’ve been drawn to, but here are four that I thought I’d share with you. 

 

Gold – Wake Owl



The Willow – Joshua Radin
I could not find a video for this song, but click here to listen to sample of the track on Amazon. In order to really hear the violins to their fullest, you will need to buy the track.

 

Let Her Go – Passenger




Down & Out – Benjy Davis Project
Again, no video for this song, but you can listen to the track in full on their myspace page.


Old Pine

12 Sep

Once again I find myself apologizing for taking so much time to get back to writing about music. It is certainly not for lack of ideas or inspiration. I’ve been intending to write about the song “Old Pine” by Ben Howard for many months. Last January I sent myself an email message with a link to the lyrics to this song as a reminder that I needed to include the words of this song in my post. Well, this past weekend provided me with the push that I’ve been needing to get myself blogging again.

I was fortunate to go a very special overnight camp on Cape Cod with a wonderful group of girls/women. Last year it was the 50th anniversary of the camp and one bold camper/friend organized a reunion. I was only able to stay for the 1st night, as I had a wedding to attend that weekend, but how amazing it was to reconnect with so many inspiring women from my past. This past weekend I was able to stay through the weekend which meant that I did not have to miss campfire. For any of you who have gone to overnight camp, I’m sure you can agree that campfire is one of the most special times at camp. The songs, the rituals and the smells all become cemented into your soul in a powerful and emotional way. After my oldest camper year in 1985, the camp became co-ed and campfire became a slightly contentious issue that had to be sorted out. Wingate had her way of “doing” campfire and Kirkand had his way. The camp director at the time moved swiftly and with precision to appease both sides and come up with a solution that planted the seeds for a new set of traditions, rituals and songs for a new generation of campers. And what I learned this past weekend, is that even within our Wingate community, that there were different campfire traditions through the years. There were songs that some older campers sang that we never sang when I was there and vice versa. Which leads me to this song….

When I first heard “Old Pine”, I immediately thought of camp. The lyrics grabbed my sentimental side and wouldn’t let go. And it made me wonder… “what do they sing at campfire these days?” Had contemporary music made it onto the song sheets or were people still singing “Fire & Rain” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane”? If newer songs have a place in current campfire traditions, I am sure that people must be singing “Old Pine” somewhere.

Read the lyrics first and then take a look and a listen to the song.

  • Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
  • I’ve come to know that memories
  • Were the best things you ever had
  • The summer shone beat down on bony backs
  • So far from home where the ocean stood
  • Down dust and pine cone tracks
  • We slept like dogs down by the fire side
  • Awoke to the fog all around us
  • The boom of summer time
  • [Chorus]
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • As the old pine fell we sang
  • Just to bless the morning.
  • Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
  • I’ve come to know the friends around you
  • Are all you’ll always have
  • Smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone
  • Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
  • With weightless souls now.
  • [Chorus x2]
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • As the old pine fell we sang
  • Just to bless the morning.
  • We grow, grow, steady as the morning
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, steady as the flowers
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
  • We grow, grow, older still

 

 

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