Musical Interlude

I wanted to write about the debate last night and how poorly President Obama did (what a disappointment), but the new job is sucking the energy and creative juices out of me.  (My job involves designing and defining new systems, and it involves considerable writing and herding of cats.)

In the meantime, enjoy this musical interlude involving two favorite pieces of two favorite artists.

First up, David Gray, a fairly recent discovery for me (about the time his Draw the Line album came out). This piece, Let the Truth Sting, comes from  his first album, A Century Ends. (Interestingly, his first two albums are entirely acoustic, yet—to my ear—they don’t sound entirely acoustic. Impressive!)

Pay attention to the lyrics; they’re awesome and one reason this is a favorite!

What I say, what I think
what I put down in ink
I’m only trying to find a way to understand
and I mean no harm
I’m just searching for calm
in the storm of mankind

Do you find it there
in the sea of faces
that drowns you everyday
or in the silence and rubble and empty spaces
where children and rottweilers play
is it buried in the praise
given so cheap
with a meaningless movement of the jaws
in the looking glass
that flatters you
or in the rattle of hollow applause

Blind circle, moon and sun body willing, mind undone
one pain ending while another begins
lies, ruin disease
into wounds like these
let the truth sting

Next up, an old friend by one of my favorite jazz artists, Bob James. This piece, Valley of the Shadows, is from his album, One.  When I was a film student in college, I wanted to do a film to this piece. It’s so incredibly evocative and almost visual. You can easily imagine the scary journey through the dark valley that ends with a difficult climb into the light.

The way the piece ends with a riff on A Mighty Fortress at the end, and on such a harmonic, melodic tone after the dissonance of the “valley” gives me chills every time I hear it.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

I’ll be back when I have enough energy to think straight and type without constant corrections!  (You can tell I’m exhausted: no pictures, no links!)


Stay thirsty, my friends!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

14 responses to “Musical Interlude

  • reocochran

    Just nice to read and not try to worry.

  • It's only P!

    See how understanding your women friends are? I was going to say the same. No time? Always wonderful to ‘just’ share music! I love David Gray. Discovered him on Canadian satellite music stations.

    Am not so mad about this track though. Babylon’s my favourite. Bob James. Isn’t it great to be contemporaries? I’d forgotten about Bob, but did like him a lot! Bob James & David Sanborn, the Double Vision album from 1986, I knew it well. Am listening on the tube now to Maputo… Thanks for bringing him back to life!

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I went basically bananas on Gray when I first got into him. Was listening to him so much I had to force myself to stop so I wouldn’t get sick of him (I kind of did that with Little Feat and have never really returned).

      What I really like about that track I posted is the first and last parts of the section of lyrics I quoted. The bit about “What I put down in ink… mean no harm…” really hits me where I live (I like the bit about “storm of mankind”). And the idea of the truth as a medicine that stings in the wound is cool to me, too. (But, of course, taste is personal!)

      I’ve got that Double Vision album. He’s done a few collaborative works; he did two with Earl Klugh that I like a lot. Very “cool” jazz (in fact, one of the albums they did is called Cool! 🙂

  • It's only P!

    And now for something completely different…

    Watch watch?v=E58_5-FC3k4 on the tube.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I don’t use YouTube very often, and I can’t seem to figure out how to turn “watch?v=E58_5-FC3k4” into something I can watch… HELP!!

      • It's only P!

        I try not to stick a link in replies, so it was a discreet way of displaying it.
        followed by watch?v=E58_5-FC3k4
        should give you Buika’s ‘Jodida pero contenta!” There are a few versions but this is the one.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Oh, I get it now! I wasn’t using the “/watch” path. And after all that, the link doesn’t work in the USA! 😀

        I searched Tube for [Buika – Jodida pero contenta] and got some hits that work:

        Stumbled on this one, too. I like the guitar:

        A new door opens! Thanks!! 🙂

      • It's only P!

        That one is quite good! I think it’s a sound track from a movie with Javier Bardem, Biutiful? I haven’t seen it yet. I discovered Buika in Canada, also on satellite music. Mi niña Lola blew me away. 🙂

        Now I understand why my friend in Canada always sends me youtube links with .be!!!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, the whole DVD and YouTube country authorization thing… [sigh] It always comes down to money.

        The first hit I got in YouTube for [Jodida pero contenta] was a very poorly recorded live performance with one off-to-the-side camera angle and, I think, only piano, percussion and Concha Buika singing. It was similar to a parent’s video of their kid’s high school choral performance. Very hard to listen to. I’m really glad I tried a few other links!!

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