2009 was a rough year. I think I went to more funerals in that one year than in the past ten combined. One thing that really hit me was how hard it is to find something to say to people who are mourning the person they just lost.
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Have you ever had a song that you found - that wasn't recommended by a friend or a DJ or some hipster playlist curator - but that you yourself sourced from some weird and unlikely place, and it's brilliant. It's the track that you love to introduce people to because it's that good - yeah - this is that track for me.
I've gotta get more miserable! The tracks in the last few weeks have been way too uplifting - oh sure - the subject matter's pretty down but these songwriters somehow seem to make you feel better. Torch songs coming soon!
This is one of those tracks that just oozes hope. It creeps up on you - slowly but surely, inexorably even, and before you know it, your hands are covered and there's a small spark in your breast that might be, that just might be, the light at the end of the tunnel.
At the end of the day, songs are stories - messages wrapped in sound that are designed to make you feel. In some songs the story is simple, the lyric sparse and straightforward - often accompanied by an elaborate musical wrapper that gives the words weight - but in other songs - in a song like this - it's the other way around. I like songs like this...
"The things we hold on to
Can cloud your point of view"
Ain't that the truth!
Hard As Stone was written about a realization that it didn't matter where you were in life as long as you were comfortable with the people around you. The story behind the song was about getting lost in the mountains when mist came down but not really caring as I'd become content with who I was with.
My cousin died last night - I'm kinda shocked - he was 52 - it doesn't feel real. And yet here I am, adding tracks to the Music to Grieve to playlist and feeling - well - not better - but - I've no fucking idea what I would do if music didn't exist.
I've been living here for a while - it's super comforting to me - big, open, full of space and yet, warm and comfortable - almost like going back to the womb.
I'm a huge Hans Zimmer fan - oh sure, his music is just nuts - beautifully put together and always matching the film perfectly - and aside from the fact that we both use the same DAW - what I love is that I made it into one of his scores!
While blood will always be thicker than water, sometimes it's only your friends who are able to save you. At times like these - this is the track you should reach for.
So now I have to go to someone with Latin heritage in Los Angeles to introduce me to Celtic / Scandinavian music - what the hell!?
Provided by the rather talented Jeff Mallow, in his own words:
Recommended by Charlotte from Project Light Agency, here's what she had to say:
I'm not totally convinced that music can be depressing - if music is making you feel something then that's the opposite of depression. Having said that - this track makes you feel pretty deeply...
That's the thing about solo piano - just 2 notes in and you're done - captured by an emotion that you can't quite identify until - aaah, yes - there it is, ...sadness...
The awkwardness and silence of miscarriage - especially in that first trimester. Women are told not to tell anyone they are pregnant, and when the pregnancy fails they silently grieve their loss.
Sad music doesn't have to bring you down - sometimes a sad song punches you in the gut and leaves you staggering but strangely energized. When you have a lyricist like Craig Finn and a guitar player like Tad Kubler, you get pummeled on many different levels.