Today I stumbled across a music video from a new EP by the band October Project. I have loved this band for many years now, especially THIS SONG , from when Mary Fahl was the lead singer, which is one of my all-time favorites! Here is the new song, a demo version called ‘Angels in the Garden‘. Marina Belica and Julie Flanders do a marvelous job on vocals for this piece (as usual).
But you can’t just listen to a couple songs by this group! Here are a few more:
You know, it’s difficult to have a “favorite” song by this diverse band. Their music is so powerful and beautiful and profound. Just check out all the videos!!
I was just sitting in the kitchen on this Saturday morning looking out at the new leaves and gentle Spring rain. And I’ve been listening to a great music CD I made a while back especially for this time of year. It got me thinking about a few songs that are just so damn wonderful (to me) that I want to share them. (I’m putting youtube links to all of these songs below) So here goes!
The song ‘Be Free’ by Loggins and Messina was on my CD, which I hadn’t listened to in a long time. Man, what a groovy tune! And it’s 7 minutes long; but back in the day (early 70s) they would play stuff like this all the time on over-the-air radio stations (like WCMF in Rochester, NY). I remember having a rather profound peak experience from really listening to this song! But then I remember having transcendent experiences listening to a lot of songs back then; and I still do whenever I listen to them. ‘Watching the River Run’ also gives me cosmic goosebumps, after listening to it one sunny day beside a creek when I was about twenty. Isn’t that the greatest thing about music in general? It’s a direct emotional connection to another time and person that you were. Another tune that is just eternally fun and cheery on a Spring day is ‘Chelsea Morning’ by the immortal Joni Mitchell. That’s about all I can say about that. Joni is a musical goddess in so many ways!
And speaking of powerful songs with a Spring connection; ‘Greenman’ by XTC is another song on my CD that blows me away every time. The lyrics are awesome, as is the mesmerizing complexity of the music. And the subject of the Greenman/Pan is especially near and dear to my spirit at this time of year. The power of this archetype is so strong and deep, I can see why it persisted through the architecture of medieval cathedrals and small country churches; as well as in stories, music and popular culture. Another of my favorites by XTC is ‘We’re All Light’. And I just thought of another XTC tune that is about this time of year (if you don’t mind the unsubtle sexual references – hey, it’s spring!), ‘The Wheel and the Maypole’. This band was incredible!
Next I must add something from two of my favorite (among many) British bands. First is Pentangle, in all of it’s incarnations. Everyone in this band has made numerous albums over the past forty years; and Jaqui McShee’s voice is amazing. Treat yourself and check out some of their other videos on youtube. And speaking of the music of my soul, Strawbs is one of the best! I’ve had the pleasure to meet Dave Cousins and many of the other band members on numerous occasions. They come to Rochester quite often! Go see them if you’re nearby!
And last up for today is perhaps my favorite singer/songwriter of all time, Cat Stevens; or as he is known today, Yusuf Islam. Whether making music under either name, this man’s musical career from the sixties right up to the present has been extraordinary! Yusuf’s new songs are as beautiful, intricate, insightful and heartfelt as anything he’s ever done. I don’t think he’s ever recorded a song I didn’t like, and almost all of them are perfection, in my opinion! In the early seventies Cat Stevens music was the soundtrack of my youthful, searching, romantic soul. I think his entire body of music speaks more directly to my heart and soul than any other performer. Now; the trouble is there are so many of Cat’s songs that are like the breath of Spring to me, I can’t pick which I love more. ‘Morning Has Broken’ is one of his most familiar tunes, and one which will always remind me of camping with my friends when I was 16; waking in my sleeping bag in the chill April air to see the red ball of the sun just coming up while this played on my little radio. But, I’m including a link here for a very old Cat Stevens song, that at a very young age says a lot about who he was to become. Go on youtube and listen to more!
I was reading an article on the NPR music blog yesterday about British Singer/Songwriter Laura Marling, comparing her to a young Joni Mitchell. I’ve heard of her and had even purchased a few of her songs from Amazon MP3 downloads, but I did a little digging and found the following wondrous videos. I think she’s incredibly talented…and so young!
These mesmerizing performances just blew me away! The first link kicks off a series of concert videos from the ‘Into The Great Wide Open’ festival from last September. The video and sound quality is excellent. The third link is to a duet she did with Johnny Flynn from his new single. Check it out:
And while perusing other related music links on Youtube I came across a couple of newer Mumford and Sons videos. I love these guys! So I include these for your listening pleasure:
WOW! it’s hot. 97 degrees right now at 1:20 in the afternoon. So the kids and I are hunkered down inside the relative comfort of our house (glad we have lots of shady trees around) watching some movies and reading.
But, I wanted to share some interesting (at least to me) links. The other day I found THIS ARTICLE on the NPR website about some environmentally conscious guys who make computer-animated music videos and commercials. Check out the story. I love the Hobbit-hut! If I was twenty years old again I might join them! But that led me to a music video they made for Björk which I find absolutely strange and cool. The song is called ‘Wanderlust’ and you can see the video HERE.
That somehow led me to a link to the Robot Chicken cable show and this charming video of an opera version of the film ‘Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn called Le Wrath di Khan. The Robot Chicken show may be a bit risque/offensive to some of you gentle readers, but I found this particular video amusing. Also some of their ‘Star Wars’ parodies are quite hilarious.
Moving on, here’s a link to the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which I love and makes me laugh a lot, and an interview he did with Neil Gaiman.
And while exploring Youtube music videos I found these interesting tidbits featuring a musical instrument called the Eigenharp Alpha: Eigenharp Alpha. the future of music. And Battlestar Galactica Cylon theme on Eigenharp Alpha by G. Bevin. There’s a lot of potential for this thing. And it’s similarity to instruments from the Star Wars cantina scene is pretty groovy!
And speaking of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ music, here is the composer himself playing music from the show: Bear McCreary – Prelude to War – Solo Piano.
One more entry; the British band Chameleon Circuit, starring Charlie McDonald and friends has a new CD of pretty good music with a ‘Doctor Who’ theme. Check Charlie’s Youtube page for info HERE. And you can listen to the entire album HERE. I’m going to purchase it! Arthur loves the band!
That is all for today. Keep cool, friends.
I’ve been too busy enjoying the gorgeous sunny Spring weather this past week to write anything. My wife Stephanie had the week off from work, which the kids and I have enjoyed immensely. And I even got to set up the easel in the back yard and make a painting. It was pure bliss!!
But I just had to post this, via National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered music blog. Today’s feel-good moment that brought a huge smile to my heart.