Thursday, November 18, 2010

Music To Make Happy By

It has been a bad few weeks around here. Economic problems have finally hit home. Employment's down. My health care costs are way up. Daylight is down. Obama's down. The nearby Cici's has just gone out of business. America's standing in the world is down. There's a serial killer in the town next to where my daughter goes to college. Stocks are down. Disposable income is down. Blogpost comments are down. I'm down. Maybe you're down.

But I realized, for about the one billionth time, driving into work this morning and listening to Paul Westerberg's "Dyslexic Heart," that, yeah, listening to music makes me happy even when most of everything else doesn't.

As we head into the darkest days of the year, here's a little counterprogramming, a little bit of something to perk us up. Make you some happy. Now.

The stuff that follows is fresh, mostly new, most of it bands I don't normally listen to that I encountered while cruising around the web. Hope it picks up your day.

Atmosphere--"The Best Day" (mp3) My daughter sent me this one. I don't listen to a whole lot of hip-hop, but this one is catchy and positive and catches me where I am right now.

Scott H. Biram--"Lost Case Of Being Found" (mp3) I hear echoes of Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" in this creaky little folker.

Lelia Broussard--"Dancing In The Dark" (mp3) Splendid cover of the Springsteen song. It's cool how she's able to maintain the intensity with just some sparse piano. And, wow, the song itself really works from the female perspective. Who knew?

Oh Land--"Sun Of A Gun" (mp3) She catches your attention because she's beautiful, and then you stay for the music.

The Decemberists--"Down By The Water" (mp3) You don't expect to find the Decemberists on a "happy" mix, but there's something about this one, a little REMish because Peter Buck is on it, a little sweeter because Gillian Welch is singing backup, that just makes it a bit friendlier than the typical Colin Meloy. Maybe it's the trashcan drums that kick the whole thing off.

The Sadies--"Another Year Again" (mp3) One of those resignation rockers that somehow triumphs over regret and inevitability.

LoveLikeFire--"From A Tower" (mp3) "Close your eyes/Rest tonight/You can try again tomorrow." 'Nuff said.

Oh Land--"Wolf & I" (mp3) See "Sun of a Gun."

Lloyd Cole--"Double Happiness" (mp3) From Lloyd's latest, Broken Record. It kind of rocks a little more than the other songs on there, has a little more of slightly-out-of-control lead guitar and is kind of catchy even though it's a minor-key happiness both in melody and content.

Sheryl Crow--"Mother Nature's Son" (mp3) One of McCartney's prettiest melodies, and she does a solid version.


Anonymous said...

HI !

Chin up during the down times.... Just a note to say your blog sure makes me happy! Here is a song that makes me smile , beautiful voice and a beautiful lady.... Nice cover she does.
Scarlett Johansson Bullet


Eric ( a Canadian )

Billy said...

Your post must have made lots of people happy, because by 8 p.m. last night, you'd worn out your allotted time on Ripway.

Thom Anon said...

Thanks for the tunes, Bob.

Speaking of music to be happy by, somebody just slipped me a boot of Dylan's "Positively West 52nd St" (Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC - 10/20/94). I'll shoot you over a copy.