Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Journey is the Reward

Can't Go Back Now - The Weepies (mp3)

When Bob, my partner in crime, suggested back in March that we start this blog, it took maybe 20 seconds to agree to his proposition.

Write? About Life? About Music? Share the space with a guy whose musical knowledge and taste kicks Promethean ass? What was there to decide, really?

Although I still think we're searching for our "voice," for that thread, that feel that binds all of it together (or at least I am), only two months in I've found this blog doing more for me than I would have ever reasonably expected of it.

Primarily, it has awakened me to a world of seriously good music that I'm certain I would never have discovered on my own. Because I've focused most of my music postings on songs from my past, I've neglected to promote two months' worth of amazing recent songs from an array of bands with a menagerie of styles.

For the first time in four or five years, I'm more inclined to spend my "allowance" (yes, mock if you like... but that's a topic for another time) on music than on movies. And spend I have, gleefully. What's superkewl about the bands I'm discovering is that their albums are usually on discount. iTunes or Amazon will have the digital versions for $7.99 or less. Now, thanks to a dozen or so very enjoyable music blogs (see our links at bottom left) and other music sites, I have a means of testing out entire songs, reading reviews, and then purchasing at a discount.

Here's just a sampling of the bands whose songs I've seriously considered posting but held off because to do so would somehow break my self-imposed imaginary rule of "no new s#it" (in order of my discovery of them):
  • Goldfrapp
  • The Bravery
  • Sia
  • The Blakes
  • The Heavy
  • The New Frontiers
  • The Weakerthans
  • The Weepies
  • Mates of State
Of these, I'd say The Bravery's "The Sun and the Moon" is the weakest. I bought it because they're an '80s flashback to The Cure and... well, mostly just The Cure. But it still gets played plenty. In this collection, "the weakest" is only slightly damning.

Goldfrapp is some super-sultry dance music. The Heavy is a flashback to the great days of '70s Rock & Soul. The Mates of State are pure male-female pop deliciousness, and The Weepies are just one notch down on that same scale. The Weakerthans have a Mountain Goats feel to them, and The Blakes are catchy indie rockers. The New Frontiers feel like what might happen if Coldplay listened to more country and folk. And Sia is Goldfrapp after a gallon of Goldschlagger, but I mean that in a mostly complimentary way (I was gonna say "Goldfrapp on valium, but the alliteration was too tempting and tasty).

I couldn't pick a favorite if I tried, although having purchased the new Mates of State album earlier today, I'm gonna have a hard time NOT listening to that album for at least a couple of weeks. It's delish.

But my larger point is, ain't a damn one of these bands I would have heard without starting down this Bottom of the Glass yellow brick road with Mr. Scarecrow.

I agreed to start this because I love writing, and I looooves me an audience, even if it could fit in my living room. What I never expected, not in a million years, was to have a universe of amazing music opened up to me.

I'm including the first song off The Weepies' "Can't Go Back Now" in honor of high school graduations everywhere. Simple yet beautiful lyrical advice for those souls departing adolescence and entering a new dimension of sight and sound.

"Can't Go Back Now" is off Hideaway, available both on iTunes and's MP3 site.


Bob said...

I'm a big fan of that Weakerthans song "I Hate Winnipeg." I know that's not the name, but that's the hook.

I didn't realize we were staying away from the modern.

I understand what you mean about the blog's voice: I suspect it will emerge more coherently after we get all of the things said that we thought we needed to say when we started. Our "why did you choose this song" intent has changed, for example. Some "missed hits" but that isn't what is driving the choices. They're more thematic.

Jennifer said...

Looks like I have two months of reading, listening, and absorbing to do over Memorial Day Weekend. Fantastic!