You know the feeling you get when putting on a coat you wore the week before and reach into the pocket and discover a small memento of a night out with a loved one, close friends...or even someone really special...that has yet to discover you find them *that* kind of special? It’s in those quiet moments and private times that with a deft and delicate hand, those mementos, a receipt, a napkin of a bar from a first date, a concert ticket, a matchbox from a restaurant … finds their way into a box under a bed or in a closet and are taken out months or years later to be closely examined, taking you back that particular time and place.
What about when it's not a tattered playbill, a shell from a far off beach or a stone from the other side of the planet? What about when it’s not something material you can carry with you? What about something you carry within you? Music is what we can all carry with us. My own inner playlist is as varied as you who read this. Tonight’s blog is four pieces of music that have touched me at unique points (if not recent points) of my life. A bit of the when’s, how’s and where’s are included.
Las Vegas, NV
Bon Iver - Holocene
Late one night, I sat at my computer looking up a few facts and figures on a (then) upcoming project and found myself pleasantly distracted. The ethereal, moving, meditative calm that makes the sonic fingerprint of Bon Iver’s self titled 2011 celebrated album and the leading single plays out more art piece than a typical “the-lyrics-mean-this” delivery. To start your day with ‘Holocene’ or to close your night out with it, you can’t go wrong. My own emotional stamp of it, is that this is one of the rare songs that preps you for the day ahead to make the right choices, or to review your day late at night through the luxury of hindsight and wonder if your “would-have-could-have’s” have merit. I love the drums in ‘Holocene.’ Its not that they are memorable (i.e. Phil Collins In The Air Tonight), but they serve more as a texture than time-keeping capacity. The subtle panning on the guitar is really nice too. There are a few stellar covers around, one of my favorites is voice, marimba and alto sax….in a parking lot….live.
We Are All Astronauts - Ether
I’m convinced that Skynet is real. I am also convinced that Skynet isn’t robots intent on wiping out mankind….but in fact turning them on to new music. I am also convinced that Skynet is really just the ‘Music You May Like’ algorithm on Youtube. I swear: that algorrithm knows me better than friends I’ve known all my life. Your listening to Tribe? Check this B side out from a one-and-done rapper that is absolute fire. Oh...Tupac this morning? You may love this interview he did talking about this song. Missing somebody in your life? You may like this soul crushing anthem. Excited to take on the world today? Here is a playlist that you can play when charging into battle.
That said: the algorithm delivered sonic gold in the form of We Are All Astronauts track Ether. I’m sure as of this writing I’ve listened to this track over a hundred times. More than a few times has this been the soundtrack to driving late at night under clear skies in the deserts surrounding Las Vegas. The peaks and valleys of this piece are incredible. The listener is brought to the highest zenith where you can see for miles and miles...then softly sat down in the closing section of the piece, and be a better person for it. The comments on the Youtube page reflect the best attribute of the song. The song isn’t happy…..it isn’t sad...it’s what you think it is. One listener simply wrote, “This song gives me power not to give up on life.”
Lord Huron - The Night We Met
Shimmery 6/8 guitar? Check. Slap delay? Check. Lyrics missing someone special? Check. Lord Huron’s The Night We Met is the song you hear on a roadhouse jukebox on outskirts of town that reminds you why your inside a roadhouse on the outskirts of town at midnight on a Wednesday night, alone, drinking down the damper between you and another sleepless night. This song doesn’t provide you the answers to why she left. It only agrees with you on a solitary point: she’s gone and it hurts. The lyrics …”I had all of you and then most of you and now none of you.”
Boy Harsher - Pain
Its interesting when you dig deep enough in music and find artists or songs that give creative nods to their own inspirations. I recently discovered the dark journey of Boy Harsher’s Pain. Equal parts goth, synthwave and new wave. A relentless synth and dark and atmospheric vocals give this 2014 track a dark sexual energy that made it a welcome dance floor anthem at a recent late night event I was at. Not all music has to be about falling in love, or falling out. Sometimes it can be about the dark crevices of the human condition. Favorite lyric: I am needing this from you tonight
Your side, your dark side.
Just Alliance's Blog
Thoughts, ideas and musical musings from this Silver State Loop Artist.