Tag Archives: music

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I’ve been working a bit on a new song. I think it started to come to me a few weeks ago in New Orleans when I randomly came across an art-gallery type area adjacent to my hotel that had a perfectly usable piano and no discernible reason why I couldn’t play it. At that point it was just the just the beginnings of a tune, and I think it totally slipped my mind for a while afterward, but lately I’ve started to mess around with it again and developed at least a good chuck of the first verse along with the instrumental intro. So far it seems to concern a similar theme as my previous post here: that of peace, quiet, and lack of any momentous happenings or emotional extremes (good or bad). I don’t feel any unbearable sense of discontent. I have a good life, all things considered. The only problem is that I know too much; my memory, despite my own efforts at times, is too good. I’d be fine with this if it were all I knew.

And really, I am fine with it. I generally project a positive demeanor to those around me rather than whining or taking a “woe is me” attitude. This journal and my previous one probably show a less happy version of me only because writing here is how I vent. I don’t really have a best friend or confidant, at least not in the sense of someone to whom I always turn when the going gets rough. Now there certainly exist people who would do, and in actuality have done, what they could to help me when I asked. I can think of a good few times when I did share a problem with someone, explicitly or implicitly, and truly appreciated the support I got. However, in general that’s not my style. For a combination of reasons, some likely intrinsic and some relating to specific experiences I’ve had, I don’t tend to lean on anyone else. When something is making me unhappy and I have no immediate or direct means of fixing the issue (yes, this usually means relationship or failed-relationship problems), I get myself through it. Partly by choice and partly by necessity, I continue on as if completely unaffected.

All that said, there’s currently no need for me to persevere through any such difficulties. I have a very simple life with few absolute responsibilities aside from doing my job and paying my bills. Though no one is perfect and I’m certainly not anywhere close, I think I’ve done a decent job trying to balance my primary commitments with spending time with my family (all of whom live over 1000 miles away) and doing things that I enjoy. As I wrote the other day, I could still do more in terms of helping others both locally and on a bigger scale, and I’m actively pursuing such ends. No one really criticizes the way I live, possibly because no one is “in my life” to an extent that he or she could offer informed criticism. That seems odd, and sometimes I wish it weren’t the case, but it’s the way things have worked out.

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Needtobreathe – The Heat

One of my favorite albums ever. Recycled review from a few years ago, though I promise some new ones will appear here before long!

http://hhtb.livejournal.com/2007/09/30/

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In Between Lights

I could write words here, or I could just let others do the talking (singing) for me!

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Gone Away

Apologies for the lyric video. I’d call this my go-to “deployment song”, although only portions of it actually fit what I feel a lot of the times when I’m over there. It really bounces between different themes and moods. It’s partly a love song, partly a breakup song, and one could even say parts of it are about suicide. For me, it seems to represent the tension between the very real, striking emotions that I do feel toward persons that I’m “missing here in this old life” and the forced detachment which serves to keep me focused and help me get through the immediate challenge of the next day, week or month.

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Absolute

The Fray is one of those bands that some people love to hate, and I don’t exactly love their entire catalog (they do get credit for two Kanuga songs–“Over My Head” in 2006 and “You Found Me” in 2009). This track, though, has been one of my favorites since I first heard it. Suggestion: Get a good pair of headphones and listen to the intro first in stereo, then with only your left ear, then with only your right. The two guitar parts are similar, but differentiated enough both to suggest what will be the song’s chord progression and to provide, in my interpretation, a feeling somewhere between discomfort and despair. As the track continues and other parts come in, everything just seems to mesh nicely and each instrument has its own contribution. I’ve also always liked the first line of the second verse, though it bears no relation to any life experience!

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You or she? (Cont.)

and certainly has personal meaning(s) to me. On the other hand, it is a rather whiny and self-absorbed song, so I won’t enter the emo-dom of any in-depth explanation of those meanings. 

 
Overall, clearly I still like the song. I would just like it more if the speaker could pick one way of referring to his ex and stick with it!
 
In terms of other tracks suffering from this issue, the first that comes to mind is one I’ve posted about before: The Band of Heathens’ “Rehab Facility”, obviously another one I enjoy despite the flaw. Anyone have other contributions?
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The Oh Hello’s – Second Child, Restless Child

As promised (and then forgotten about for most of a month)…

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Folks

Correction: I paid $0.99 apiece for those two Band of Heathens songs. Well worth it.

The Oh Hellos are my favorite new band of the moment. I’ll post songs/videos soon as appropriate.

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IN FUEGO!

Today was less quiet–and certainly less snowy–but a good day nevertheless. I spent a few hours flying, an hour or two studying, an hour or two reading casually (Guns, Germs and Steel), and a nice interval just relaxing and listening to music (on my best headphones, no less). Also, perhaps concurrently, spent a little while thinking about my schedule for the next few months and what events are coming up. There’s a notable discrepancy between the things I’d like to be doing and the things I will be doing. Such is a fact, undoubtedly, for many people who have jobs, school and/or finite resources, which is the vast majority of us. In keeping with my general striving toward positivity, I’ll note that there are certainly places, things and people in my near future to which I can look forward happily.

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Days of Wonder

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Dur0G3QoI

I’ve written about this song at least once before, I suspect more than once, but I decided that as my all-time favorite song it deserved its own post. I first heard the tune in 2005 when, as a subscriber to the now-defunct BMG Music Service, I got all kinds of deals on CDs. The Wallfowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart had come out that year, and although their popularity had waned since the ’90s when songs like “One Headlight” were all over the airwaves, I was an avid fan and had no doubt I would enjoy the album.

Back in those days I had an original iPod (a college graduation present), and I dutifully ripped songs off the CDs to my ancient iBook (which would be stolen that fall) and copied them to the little monochrome-screened, control-wheeled device. I don’t remember the exact moment when I first heard “Days of Wonder”, but it must have grown on me quickly. I know that through the years I lived in Charleston (2005-07), the song and album were frequently playing when I went on runs (reference the LJ post linked above).

So why is the song my favorite? I fear that answering that question my be akin to trying to explain falling in love with a woman, but I’ll still give it a shot. Musically, it has a chord progression of G – C – Em – D or, disregarding key, 1 – 4 – 6 – 5, not a ubiquitous sequence but not rare either–just among my other favorites there’s The Killers’ Mr. Brightside and Needtobreathe’s Restless, and probably others. The song is structured conventionally for at least the first half, going verse – chorus – verse – chorus – instrumental – chorus – instrumental – bridge – outro, so the lack of another chorus at the end is notable. However, I think the last portion of the song (starting with the piano solo around 3:35) is the strongest.

If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I generally like piano solos and songs/bands which feature the instrument prominently. Here, though, the piano (along with the lack of other instruments at that point) just accentuates one of three riffs which occur frequently throughout the song. The first two are initially guitar-based and can be heard in the brief intro before the first verse begins–0:04 and 0:12 on the youtube link above–while the third comes in concurrently with the second verse (1:36) and is played by perhaps a mandolin. After that point, all three motifs are frequently, often even concurrently, present.

More to come if I decide I want to keep geeking out on this stuff…for now, hope you like the song. The youtube view count suggest that most are not nearly as wild about it as I am! Oh well, de gustibus non est disputandum, eh?

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