Sunday, January 25, 2009

Music for the Soul

I've felt a lot of anger lately, and music has been my outlet. The other day I found myself asking a friend to send me some new songs because I "needed my fix," so you see it's kind of a drug for me. Anyway, here's some stuff I like to listen to. Almost all of it has been recommended by friends, so to those of you out there who have introduced me to these artists, thank you. Really. It has meant everything to me. I hope I can return the favor.

Andrew Bird. I've heard him describe his own music as a "sonic jacuzzi." I can breathe easier when I'm listening to him. He's a phenomenal singer/songwriter/guitarist/violinist AND champion whistler (I hear he wins competitions). He's managed to experiment with technology and new sounds without losing the sweet and simple organic nature of his music. He writes about a lot of the chaos and destruction happening in the world (as in "Sythian Empires"), but a friend put it nicely when saying (I'm paraphrasing) "even when the world is crumbling down, what can you do but whistle?" You can check out Bird's blog about his music-writing and creating process in the "Measure for Measure" section of the New York Times here.

"Sythian Empires"

Colby Stead. We met Colby when we were living in Provo. Colby is a poet. His lyrics are pointed and his music is simple and understated. He writes about the love, loss, pain and beauty of life. He is a beautiful human being.

"Tugging the Truth"
(warning - contains nudity)

Joanna Newsom. Her voice can be an acquired taste for some. Her music is whimsical and sprightly (she even LOOKS sprightly). She's a story teller, and I am immediately and inescapably swept away into her fantastical yet painfully realistic worlds. Her latest album "Ys" is 55 minutes long, but only 4 songs. Stories take time to tell!

"Sawdust and Diamonds"

Regina Spektor. So many things to love about her. She's fun, quirky, honest, and a great musician. She creatively pushes the envelope of her genre with flare and style, calling her music "anti-folk." :)

"20 Years of Snow"

Animal Collective. They've been put in the same "freak folk" category as Joanna Newsom. They are technical, innovative and FUN. This music makes me want to skip and dance and kiss people I don't know, because life just feels that good.


Sufjan Stevens. Really talented (10 instruments) and ambitious. You can read about his 50 state albums project here. I haven't heard a ton of his stuff, but this song makes me happy.

"Come on! Feel the Illinoise!

Cat Power. Great for those days.

"Sea of Love"


Katie said...

Are you a Neko Case fan? Or, rather: Have you realized that you're a Neko Case fan yet?

We're going to see Andrew Bird perform here in late February. Hurray!

Samantha said...

Wow, we listen to a lot of the same music!!

You should blog about your anger. We could all have an anger fest.

Suzie said...

You know, I thought about doing that when all the anger was hitting me (is still hitting me) pretty hard, but then I thought "no one wants to hear me whine and moan about my problems. I'll share music instead." I might still write the anger blog, but I have to be careful not to hurt feelings, you know? I have to be really vague. It's so hard!

Rick said...

Uh, Good choices - Not really up with the Animal Fest dude - but other than that - thanks for finding the Colby Video - I love him so much - what a stud - I'm so glad YOU told me about him and that I got to meet him - Stud.

And that's about all I have to say about music - we've spent hours talking about it already. Happy Birthday, Suz!

Aileena said...

Great music chocies. I think Joanna Newsom sounds like Bjork a little. SHe has great harp skills! I love Regina, and she does take her creativity to limits, which is what I love about her. I miss Colby so much! I miss experiencing his music. I hope he does a show in Phoenix again next year, because I totally love his stuff. Maybe I will look into putting a show together for him.