Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This is not usually the music I listen to, but the folksy/stripped down sounds often contain a level of emotion I rarely find in other genres. Occasionally, I will come across songs that, either by harmony, melody, or lyrics, strike me in such a way as to become statuesque and listen to the song repeatedly to make sure I get the full experience. This is one of the reasons I write while listening to instrumental music; there is an inherent heart-string pulling aspect that lets the brain reach deep down and chew on memories for awhile...

Snailhouse - "Clean Water"

"The Grim Reaper sees the movie of his life
As it flashes before him
Right in the moment he dies." 

What to say about this one other than it snuck up on me. That they're playing in a bathroom only adds to the haunting nature of the song. The melody is absurdly beautiful throughout.

Jeff Buckley - "Lover, You Should've Come Over"

"My kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder...
All my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her...
All my blood for the sweetness of her laughter...
She's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever."

I picked up Buckley's debut album "Grace" in 1995. It has remained in my top ten favorite albums of all time. The songs are powerful without being overly sentimental or cliched. Buckley's voice has an effortless confidence across every register and no song gets skipped - this is 'play all the way through' album for me. Just phenomenal from front to back. Sadly, Buckley's accidental drowning a year or two later halted what could have been a ridiculously prolific career. Pick this album up immediately. 

"I found an excuse. And you found another way to tell the truth."

Watching this piece reminded me of all the musicians I knew back in Kansas City. I could see a lot of them doing something like this and it was a comforting thought. The song itself is wonderful; part Etta James, part 50's doo-wop, all excellence. I don't know how many people they crammed into that studio, but the lead singer was's a beautiful wall of sound that's perfectly fitting for the song.

Elliot Smith - "Miss Misery"

"Do you miss me, Miss Misery
Like you say you do?"

If you didn't bother watching "Good Will Hunting," go do that first. Then when you hear this song, I think you'll have a better appreciation for it. The movie didn't influence the song and I have no idea if the reverse is true, but this is easily Smith's most recognizable songs and for good reason.

Chris Cornell - "Seasons (Live @ the AT&T Ball Room Sessions)

"Now I wanna fly above the storm
But you can't grow feathers in the rain."

Like most of the rest of my generation at the time, I was full on into the grunge sound in the early 90's. Pearl Jam, Green River, Malfunksun, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Screaming get the idea. So when the soundtrack for the movie "Singles" came out, I was straight up giddy. Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, had a couple acoustic songs on the album and this was one of them. I fell in love with it immediately. It's dark and oppressively beautiful. Having learned how to play the bass by tablature of their heavy dirge-like album "badmotorfinger," this song was a pleasant surprise.

Andy McKee - "Drifting"

no lyrics 

No idea where this cat is from, but a friend sent this video to me and I was immediately impressed. Besides turning the guitar into a full on percussive instrument, the song is wonderful and the title is more than apt. A lot of his other stuff is of the same variety. I don't believe he does any singing, but really...I don't think I'd want him to. The music says enough all on its own.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I had never heard Jeff Buckley's music before this post (imagine that, and me being a musician and all). I instantly fell in love with this song. It reminds me of Nick Cave, whom I love, a little Leonard Chohen, whom I also love, but with a swagger! Very cool B.