Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 Awesome Things You Should Know About of Musical Nature

Do you ever love something so much that you’re like “EVERYONE I KNOW SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS!”  And then you spend more time with that thing--it might be Danish blue cheese or Where the Wild Things Are (the book or the movie, either one) or a really comfortable dress (with pockets, of course!)--and you’re like “EVERYONE I KNOW MUST KNOW ABOUT THIS!”
Well, I do that frequently.  And the next step for me is naturally “I SHOULD BLOG ABOUT THIS!”  And then I start to question whether I should blog about it because I think “Does anyone really care about this?  Does anyone really want to read this?”
But then sometimes, I get to a point where I’m like “I’ve passed the point of needing to blog about this because SURELY everyone I know already knows about this.  I mean, how could everyone NOT know about this?  Its level of awesomeness dictates that OBVIOUSLY everyone already knows about this.”
But then I think “No.  On the off chance that even one of my friends missed this awesome thing, I must blog about this.  It could be the friend who has been out of the country for a month, or the one going through a bad break-up who is staying in bed all day, or the one covered in baby food and dirty diapers--maybe just maybe that friend somehow missed out on this awesome thing.”
So, that said.  Here are some thoughts about 3 awesome things of the musical nature you should know about if in fact you are one of those friends.

My friends from Seattle, Sarah and Kris, told me about this band a few months ago, and then in one of those fateful twists, they played in Charleston one night when my dad was visiting.  So, with a free babysitter and burstingattheseamstogotoaliveshow excitement, I rushed down to the Music Farm to hear them live.  They did NOT disappoint.  They weren’t even the opening band, and I still almost cried from the goodness.  Their entire (self-titled) album is the kind you can put on repeat whether you’re in the bathtub or in the car.  Don’t try to write with it on in the background, though, or you might find yourself throwing off the covers and jumping on the bed or doing one of those flailingdruggedouthippie dances through the house instead of pouring your heart out on the page.  Just a warning from personal experience.
Meet the band.
Meet Charity.
Meet Josiah.
Meet Jon.
And there were these pictures, too:

If you google the band name, you will find all sorts of buzz, but here are a couple of my favorite things I've found:

Here's the "Lost in My Mind" official video:

And here's a recording from SXSW this year:

I don’t even know how I originally heard about The Civil Wars, but it took them so long to put out an album that I almost died from anticipation.  Their song “Poison and Wine” put them on the map months before they released Barton Hollow, and it’s so good that if they had pulled some kind of musical Harper Lee, and it was the first and last song they ever released, I’d still be happy.  There’s something about this music that is so gut-wrenchingly melancholy that you’d have to be a complete robot to not feel something when listening to it.  Even in the more happy hopeful tracks like “I’ve Got This Friend” and “To Whom It May Concern” which both revolve around longing for love, the hope is weighed down by sadness.  I can’t explain it really.  I mean, that’s my job as a writer, right?  To put it into words.  But I can’t.  Just listen, and tell me you don’t turn into some mushy emo version of yourself.

And here's what made them famous:

Okay, so I got a text from Derrick a month or so ago that said, “You should check out Company of Thieves.  I think you would dig them.”  Or something like that.  I can’t remember his exact words, but I can assure you that the text was short and grammatically correct.  I jumped on Itunes and bought the album, telling him he owed me $8 if it sucked.  I haven’t always been a fan of bands with female leads--I know, I know--how anti-feminist of me to have dreams of being a rock star while harboring secret feelings of ick! when listening to female singers.  HOWEVER, I can say confidently that I feel like I should now pay Derrick $8 for turning me on to them.  I am hopinghopinghoping I can figure out a way to get up to Tulsa on May 1st for their show (and possibly a jam sesh with D so as to kickstart our rockstardom).  

Genevieve Schatz delivers much more powerful vocals than her little body would lead you to believe possible.  And Derrick was right about another thing--they won me over with their videos.  Totally.

Enjoy a little "Oscar Wilde":

And then there's this (my personal favorite off the album, Ordinary Riches), which is just really, really, really fantastic:

Here's to super duper aural entertainment for all of us!


  1. I'm embarrassed to write this now, but I've never heard of any of these groups. Good thing you blogged about them. :) I have some listening homework to do.

    -Emily, the most musically unaware person to read your blog

  2. Oh good, Emily! Now I don't feel like this post has a purpose! I wrote it JUST for you!!!

  3. Add me to that list! Thanks for sharing some new music (new to me at least)!

  4. Debby, thanks for always reading! I am glad to know I'm serving humankind in such a significant way. :)

  5. I've watched every Civil Wars' video possible. I added them to my Pandora list. They are Other-worldly worthy.

  6. In heaven, Barton Hollow plays on repeat, and the lead singer feeds you cheesecake.

  7. Thanks! I always need music help. I'm musically challenged (raised fundamental Baptist).