Call me crazy, but I have a sort of tumultuous relationship with music. Like most relationships, we experience ups and downs, highs and lows, loyalty and betrayal. Usually we talk every day, but sometimes droughts set in -- times when I'm dispassionate, disillusioned, and disenchanted with the power of sound and forgetful of the good times. But inevitably, thunderclouds rumble across the horizon to dissolve my amnesia, and I always hurry back to make up.
I recently found myself in one of these periods of aural poverty...I just couldn't find anything to really light my flame. But sure enough, the right tune made its way to my ears and now I'm back on the trolley. With that in mind, I thought I would share
Nine songs that made me fall back in love with music :
Carrie Anne (The Hollies)
The melody was so good in this one they didn't even need to bother with rhyming.
Say Yes (Langhorne Slim)
This whole record reminds me of 'Astral Weeks' -- an ecstatic corps of instruments quivering behind a hopeful, jittery, utterly brilliant vocalist. I have no idea why this record didn't receive more acclaim. Anyways, Slim never fails to get me fired up, and after losing track of him for a few months I pulled up his myspace and heard this number.
Tell Him I'm Not Home (Chuck Jackson)
I heard this song on a Sunday morning radio program in my car and immediately pulled over to write down the name of the singer once the deejay announced his name. I swear, between the organ and the swaggering cello, this song could've been released in 2009, some 40 years after it first came out.
Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha (Sam Cooke)
I always knew I loved Sam Cooke's own vocals, but this song helped me appreciate that the background parts lurking in his tunes are always entertaining. I realize it might be a little hokey pokey for some people, but I can't help but do a little dance along to this one.
My Banjo and I (Hanggai Band)
I have no idea what this and the rest of the band's traditional Mongolian folk songs are about, but they sure did leave an impression on me.
Hard On (Charles Latham / Withered Hand)
I liked this song so much that I sang it in soundchecks for two years. To my surprise, a band from Edinburgh somehow discovered it and recorded this admirable version.
Manteo (The Love Language)
In the song descriptions for their Daytrotter session, Stuart McLamb says this song is about a friend whose parents are heroin addicts, which might explain the emotional weight packed into this song.
Monkey Chant (Glenn Kotche)
This song is apparently Kotche's attempt to translate the sound of this religious ceremony onto a drum kit, and I just think that's a really cool idea.
While We Have the Sun (Mirah)
I finally got tired of classic rock radio in high school -- one day I flipped to my local college radio station and this was playing, which wound up being my gateway drug to indie-rock. Thank you Mirah! Come to find out she re-recorded it for (a)spera, but I still love this original version.