To Know…

Dec 12
Posted by admin Filed in Indie

I have cool friends. For a good many of us, life is about our possessions. It can be a exhausting, never ending race to acquire stuff. We covet what is in thy neighbor’s driveway, and on our co-workers wrists and fingers. Second homes, and a TV for every room vie for our pocket book’s attention. Every once in awhile, as we zone out to hold muzak while getting our credit card limit upped, we might take a second or two to think about our most important possessions, our friends.

Friends come in to our lives from random directions. We might strike up a conversation with a complete stranger while waiting to get our picture taken at the company holiday party. We sit next to someone in trig class as sophomores in high school and end up being there for every important moment for the rest of our lives. We share food in the parking lot with football fans wearing the same colors, and then share more toasts, hugs, and good times at least six Saturdays each autumn, every year thereafter. We meet a new co-worker who signs up for softball.

That new softball teammate turns out to be someone with whom you share lots of common interests. You end up having lunch together once a week. You discover that you share far reaching musical tastes and guilty pleasures hidden in concerts you once attended. When work doesn’t get in the way, you realize that you both embrace your inner 8th grader as pranks quickly slide down the slippery slope ending with each others desk trinkets and coffee cups being camera phoned in compromising pictures in public bathrooms. Jennifer, more often known as Jen, and who in some parts of Alabama would be known as JEH-nay ceased to be my co-worker and became my friend long ago.

This is the Jen post as she was the second person that I managed to get a playlist out of per my FB request. I didn’t really intend to turn this blog into “dedication hour” once or twice a week when I said that I would write about my friends and their musical preferences but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would be a nice way to tell a bunch of people that I know, like, and love that I really value their friendship. That being said, I’m really glad that Jen replied to my message and posted some songs.

Jen will soon be a former co-worker as she will be moving on at the end of the week. Those of us who meet all of the following conditions are sad to see her go but are happy that the day has come: work with her, care about her, prefer relationships with REAL people over office politics and “Atta Boys.” To varying extents, everyone wants to be known. People who want to be known in a positive way do things like teach Sunday school, coach little league, work as greeters at Wal-Mart, say good morning to strangers at the bus stop, play sports professionally and visit sick children in the hospital, feed homeless people out of their own pocket, or add value in the workplace by being a good team mate and partner. As you come to know people through interaction in any of these ways, you most likely gain a little respect for them and make them feel that their efforts are appreciated. I know that Jen began to feel unknown sometime ago in the job that she will soon be leaving. I also know that those of us who met all of the conditions have heard her voice and felt her presence each and every day. I think that we all want to know that what we do matters. We want to know that the friends that we cherish feel the same about us. Good luck to Jen, and congratulations to her new friends that will meet her when she signs up for her new work softball team.

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This was one of Jen’s songs on her playlist and is a good fit for this post. Jen and I are musically compatible, and complimentary as we help each other discover new and interesting stuff. Miike Snow is a perfect example of our musical relationship. Until today, my Swedish musical library consisted of: The Knife, The Tallest Man on Earth, and José González. I just listened to the Miike Snow debut start to finish and and was pretty much blown away especially by: “Sans Soleil”, “A Horse Is Not A Home”, and “Faker.” Thanks Jen. Thanks for the teasing, hard work, being a good teammate, lunch date, and most of all, for the friendhip. I’ve got cool friends, and they are most prized possessions.

… is to love.

“Animal” – Miike Snow – “Miike Snow” (2010)

I change shapes just to hide in this place but I’m still, I’m still an animal
Nobody knows it but me when i slip yeah i slip
I’m still an animal

– DAVE

“The Dreamer” – The Tallest Man on Earth – “Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird (EP)” (2010)

Nov 30
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

Every time that I listen to a Tallest Man on Earth song, I hear traces of other great vocalists. I hear Deer Tick’s John McCauley. I get hints of Jeff Buckley at times. And, I even hear a skosh of Willie Nelson in some songs. Hailing from Dalarna, Sweden Kristian Mattson has been at it for a few years now as a solo artist.

The EP that bears today’s song is a real treasure. There are five perfect songs here to plug into your head, relax and/or contemplate life – yours or everyone’s. There are a lot of questions, some eloquent observations, and flinching hopefulness crammed into less than 20 minutes of music. Do yourself a favor, and listen to the whole thing two or three times in a row.

– DAVE

“Heartbeats” – José González – “Veneer” (2003)

Oct 15
Posted by admin Filed in World Pop

There’s cover art, and then there’s the art of the cover. If you’ve never heard the original by The Knife, YouTube it, right after you listen to González’s version off of his debut album. I don’t want to get to verbose in describing this song preferring to let it speak for itself. It’s pure, simple, and rich. It sounds like Mr. González’s guitar strings are coated in Louis XIII. Enjoy. Indulge.

One night of magic rush
The start – a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief
Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

– DAVE