….some are the melody and some are the beat…”
There are these songs you think you know well, because you have heard them so many, many times. But then some day you realize you obviously never have really listened to it. Well, honestly right now I’m talking just about one song, with which this happened to me recently. „Forever Young” by Alphaville. It’s a classic song from the 80s, lots of synthesizer, lots of drum machine and a video which is typical 80s and therefore pretty bad :-) But it was one of the many songs that were played at parties and clubs and discos in the early 90s, when I started going out and dancing. I was partying and singing along to this song’s chorus more often than I can remember.
My most favourite singer/songwriter at the moment – Brandi Carlile – has done a cover version of this song. She obviously is doing it on stage a lot and it’s the hidden track on the Live Album (with a symphony orchestra) she released just a few weeks ago. On youtube I found a clip from another concert and Brandi puts it perfectly in her introduction: „I realized it is not a bad 80s song, it’s a wonderful song with heartbreaking lyrics and I think we can all relate to it so I wanted to a version of it without the digitized drum machine.”
And Brandi’s version completely blew me away. Because for the first time ever I actually listened to the lyrics of the whole song and the lyrics are indeed heartbreaking. Add Brandi’s incredible voice, piano and cello and you’ve got a song that is tugging on my heart strings every time I’m listening to it. And believe me I am listening to it a lot.
Someone put up the song on youtube (just the audio, obviously) so you can check it out yourself, if you like.
Brandi Carlile – Forever Young (Live at Benaroya Hall, 2010)
It must have been the year of 1996 or 1997 when I discovered the wonderful music of singer / songwriter Nanci Griffith, because videos of some of her songs were shown on Onyx TV. (Does anyone in Germany remembers that music televison channel *g*). I’m not sure if it was her version of “From a Distance” or “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” which I’ve seen first. I know it was one of those songs, which completely mesmerized me. (I tried to find those exact clips on youtube, but… no luck)
I just loved her clear voice, her way of storytelling and of course her music. Simple, but wonderful. Piano, acoustic guitar and traditional folk music. Handmade without (a lot of) synthesizers, electronic programming, computers or anything. I bought quite a few or her albums of the 80s and 90s and really loved a lot of the songs. I have to admit that I didn’t buy many of her albums from the late 90s or even the 21st century. I just didn’t feel that connection to her newer stuff.
I didn’t listen to Nanci Griffith music a lot during the last few years. There were other female singer/songwriters I get to know and grew to love. Quite a few of them I discovered via Grey’s Anatomy. Like Ingrid Michaelson and Brandi Carlile, who I both think are amazing. I can’t wait to see Ingrid in concert again in about 4 weeks and I’m a bit sad that it I won’t have the chance to see Brandi Carlile on stage anytime soon. At least it looks like she isn’t touring Germany or Europe in the near future.
Last week I got the new Brandi Carlile album and I just love it. And this afternoon while I listened to the song “I Will” I suddenly was reminded of Nanci Griffith. I’m not saying that Brandi sounded like Nanci or tried to copy her style or anything like that. But I just heard the line “You can’t break a heart that wasn’t even yours to break” and I suddenly felt like that song could have been a wonderful Nanci Griffith song as well. I really can’t explain where that feeling came from :-). But it made me get out all my old Nanci albums and marvel at the brilliance of some of the songs. Quite a few actually. She just released a new album a few weeks ago and maybe I really should order it and give her newer stuff another try…
I’ve spent most of my work life so far in offices with internet access. Always accessable internet access. Until now neither a boss nor IT administrator told me, that access to any site is not permitted. Well, except for some “dangerous” sites, which I never wanted to access in the first place. But I never had a problem strolling around the internet, visiting here and there and especially the places I usually hang out. It’s not that I spent my work day doodling on the internet. I work on my assignments and doing all the stuff I have to. But there are coffee breaks and moments when you wait for the printing job to finish and so on :-)
So imagine my shock (yes, I have to admit it shocked me) when after my week away I came back to work this morning and had to find out that some (quite a few!) of my bookmarks are blocked, because they are of the “chat/social network” type. Allright I can exist without being able to check if there’s an update on my favourite fanfic. But of course this security filter also blocked…. yes, livejournal, twitter and I don’t know what else. I didn’t even try, because I felt caught doing something illegal…
I know, I shouldn’t complain because a lot of employees don’t have any sort of (private) internet access at work at all. But… Damn, I got so used to it. And I’m really really going to miss it. Of course I can twitter via my cell phone but that’s just not the same and rather complicated if you only want to send out a short tweet.
More miscellaneous reasons for me to be cranky today: a trial magazine subscribtion I didn’t even ask for, lousy weather, public transport problems and still suffering from side- and after-effects of the steroids. I couldn’t really get much work done at the office this morning, because my head felt like it was going to explode any minute. It didin’t hurt, it literally felt like it would explode. Some fresh air help though and now I’m finally home after a town council committee meeting and getting some groceries to finally stock my fridge. I’m skipping the green party meeting tonight and will try to relax at home with a simple dinner (nothing fancy but at least warm food prepared by myself) and in a few moments I’m watching the legal drama “Die Anwälte”. Thanks to DVR with time-shift :-)
And here are some random music and literature recommendation: Brandi Carlile (Grey’s 5.05 made me put her music on again and I still and again love it) and Zadie Smith. I finally started reading “White Teeth” this morning during my commute and just like I was with her novel “On Beauty” I’m once again totally blown away. Such a wonderful writer…