Audiophilia, Thoughts

Finding the Same Wavelength

I’ve listened to Matthew Good since high school & this spring, I’m hoping I can live out a dream I’ve had since that time then to see him perform.  He’s been posting more frequently on his Instagram lately, especially in the last few weeks where he admitted he had had a near-brush with death again in September of this year.  Since I’m dealing with my own mental health issues at the moment, I’ve been inspired by his self-awareness & determination.  The following post that I’m reblogging below stood out to me.  I’ve reread it a few times, reminding myself again & again that my creativity is my redemption, not my shame.

Knowing who you are is difficult. There are many that spend their whole lives looking. In such cases they tend to be more running from what they’ve never wanted to confront, meaning they’ll spend their lives using whatever is at their disposal to deflect from that reality. There is a marked difference in life between honestly growing and learning and employing the act of it as subterfuge to ensure you don’t have to go into certain rooms in your own proverbial house. In truth, one can run from it for only as long as they can maintain the perception that they’re not running. In my life I’ve grown and faced numerous truths. The growing has been difficult, facing truths has been difficult. It is for everyone. I possess both bad and good traits, like everyone else, but seeing them, acknowledging them, is the key. In that, I have been enormously fortunate because since the age of 11 or 12 I have always turned to the arts to express, and therefore deal, with things. I wrote my grandmother’s eulogy at 14, something I had to do given we were so close and her passing devastated me. I channeled everything into literature, painting, and finally music. Over the last 30 years I have lived with one absolute gift that I’ve been fortunate enough to become my profession. That through art I must succumb to growth – be it ugly, beautiful, or otherwise. Through it my entire life is mirrored, through it my thoughts, my anxieties, my joys, and my many faults have been captured for all time. It’s a unique, nerve racking, yet fulfilling thing, because you simply cannot run from that which is eternally captured and digested by others – out there forever unalterable. In my life I have lived with those who have been one thing at one time and, six months later, something else. It’s not something I can imagine the horror of enduring because I have never had to. But like anything, one must be empathetic to those who cannot go into certain proverbial rooms. I cannot imagine running, because I’ve never had to. Through mistakes and triumphs I have always had the same ground beneath my feet. In that, I know I am overwhelmingly fortunate. I can be alone only because it is always with me. A gift.

A post shared by Matthew Good (@matthewgoodgram) on

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Audiophilia

Have You Heard. . .

the new album Make Noise by Anousheh?  Because I have–not just because I just bought the album, but also because she did an amazing job performing it last night at The Broadberry in Richmond.

If you need a new rainy day CD with powerful female vocals & atmospheric sounds, why don’t you check it out on iTunes?  Or discover her on her various social medias here.  Because yes, she is that awesome.

Audiophilia, Thoughts

I Can’t Quit You: Eliza Carthy

In my last post, I mentioned a compilation of Pete Seeger songs that introduced me to new musicians.  The song “My Father’s Mansions” was not only my first exposure to Billy Bragg, but Eliza Carthy as well.  Carthy plays a dark little fiddle tune underneath Billy Bragg’s somber singing–a memorable cover.  So when I found her CD Angels & Cigarettes at one of my favorite used CD shops, I didn’t hesitate picking it up.  With the opening track “Whispers of Summer,” I was excited by the upbeat, folksy vibe that encouraged me to dance.

Continue reading “I Can’t Quit You: Eliza Carthy”

Audiophilia, Thoughts

Teaser

I’m working on my next “I Can’t Quit You” post, but haven’t had time to sit & finish it off right for the blog.  So, a quick teaser post for it.  (Also, I can’t seem to find a way to fit this thought into the rest of the write-up.)

When I was a teenager & music was much more of a refuge for me than it is now, I would sometimes include video game music in my mental soundtrack.  This is not so strange now, where video games (& their sound design) are much more prominent in our popular culture.  With the availability of most anything on the Internet, the idea of loading up on theme songs or game level tracks into a player isn’t that special as, say, owning a Myst soundtrack or playing the songs from The 7th Guest in your CD player & hoping the data CD wouldn’t glitch once was.

So, with that said, there’s some personal context for why the opening track of Eliza Carthy’s Angels & Cigarettes teases my musical taste buds.  The song “Whispers of Summer” fits with a certain mental playlist that starts with the “Suburban Museum” track from the game NiGHTS Into Dreams and continues on to include Vanessa Mae’s “Bach Street Prelude.”

All three are upbeat tunes played with a fiddle (or a sound that supposed to pass as a fiddle) that are meant evoke a bustling environment or joyous busy movement.  All three sound like something I’d listen to as I traveled somewhere, just enjoying the trip & seeing daily life unfolding around me.  All three fit the kind of image that is on the cover of Angels & Cigarettes–a secret little whimsical place buried in a city shining in the fading afternoon sunlight.  Sadly, the charm of the opening track was not enough to make me stay and explore. . .

Cover of Angels & Cigarettes from Spotify

Stay tuned for the full post!

Audiophilia, Thoughts

I Can’t Quit You: Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning came into my collection at a time my musical tastes were changing.  My husband had gotten me hooked on John Gorka & Emmylou Harris & I was ready to start exploring my folksier music side.  One compilation of Pete Seeger cover songs introduced me to so many bands that I still love.  So, in 2004, when Wide Awake came out, I was still reading Alternative Press & I was intrigued by the reviewer’s promises of alt-country/indie gems from the earnest Conor Oberst.

Continue reading “I Can’t Quit You: Bright Eyes”