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I’m The Only One

26 Apr

With a free evening, a jones to be creative, and about 8 different blog ideas floating in my head, I sat down tonight to write. Looking for music to scrawl by, I idly flipped through my iPod. I was suddenly shocked by how many artists are represented by just one song on the Pod, and in several cases, the only song I like – or even own – by the given artist. I’m not necessarily talking one hit wonders here, though I suppose there are a few of those. (Take a bow, “Under the Milky Way”, “Whoever You Are”, and “Flagpole Sitta”!) Download culture perhaps makes this more and more of a phenomenon for us all; why take a chance on a whole album when you can just go get the one song you dig? In my case, though, I tend to jump in feet first – see a band live, buy their CD practically unheard, etc. They may be represented by just one song, but I’ve surely heard many other songs of theirs. So, I’d like to take a brief moment to pay tribute to five of my favorites from the bands and singers who rocked my world…that one time…with that one song. All of the following songs still live on my iPod. Continue reading

Killing Me Softly With His Song

15 Apr

Will Knox, the current object of my musical affection.

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just met someone special, when you’re trying to be cool on the outside but on the inside, you’re doing cartwheels? That pervasive hope that, whatever this is, please oh please let it work out? I’ve realized over the past week that I get that way when I “discover” a new musician that I enjoy. They take over my ears, my brain, and the chunk of my heart reserved for such matters. Speaking with a new friend last night, I repeatedly used the word “obsessed” to describe my fandom over the years for four different artists. Yeah, that’s about right.

The musician-fan relationship can be very much like your typical romantic one. And I’m not even saying you have to have designs ON the musician to feel this way. (Though, Lord knows that’s happened; for example, I cultivated the hugest crush on Dave Gahan for roughly a month after seeing Depeche Mode live for the first time a few years back. The hubby probably was not a fan of our computer desktop’s wallpaper during that time.) This week’s obsession is a charming Brit-transplanted-to-NYC troubadour by the name of Will Knox. I saw Mr. Knox at Hotel Cafe last Saturday with a friend of mine from out of town, who’d seen and met him before and recommended him highly. Since then, that first flush of fandom has followed the beats of a rom-com. All that’s missing is Kate Hudson. Continue reading

Cheer Up, Sleepy Jean

1 Mar

Davy Jones, 1945-2012

Nope. I’m not going to do it. This is all hitting too close to home.

By this point, if you read this blog you have likely already heard that Davy Jones of the Monkees passed away, felled by a massive heart attack at the relatively young age of 66. Also, if you read this blog you likely know me, so you know how much I positively adore the Monkees. (The uninitiated can read about my quest to see them in concert last summer here.) Davy being the youngest of the Monkees, I never for a minute thought that he’d be the first one to go. I sat at the computer tonight with every intention of writing a tidy “In Memoriam” post…but it ain’t happening. Right now, there is simply too much love.

Continue reading

It Was Good Living With You

27 Feb

Past and present collide on a practically hourly basis at the Essential Noise home base. I may have an iPhone, a Twitter handle, and this here blog, but I also share space with LPs, DVDs, over 1,000 CDs and not one but two VCRs. This seems to be the case with my musical consumption as well; I’m just as likely to be listening to an artist I discovered last week as one that I discovered before I was old enough to vote. This was evident one recent Saturday, when I used live music streaming website StageIt – shameless plug: www.stageit.com – to watch a Better Than Ezra concert. Continue reading

It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

16 Feb

I find this post hard to write, and I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, what else could I possibly write about this week but the untimely passing of Whitney Houston? Perhaps it feels too much like everyone else has already had their turn. Surely, you’re tired of seeing her name in your Facebook feed. Perhaps it’s because I was never really a massive fan of hers, though I can certainly appreciate the sheer talent she possessed.

No. Really, I’m having a hard time reporting on the death of Witney Houston because of the way her death has been reported, and mutated, and exploited.

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I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

10 Feb

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, which depending on your current romantic station, is cause for either celebration or a stiff drink. Or perhaps both. I tend to abide by the hippie-esque plaudit that every day should be about love. That said, I still find myself sucked into the holiday mentality of showing my love via conspicuous consumption: weekend getaways, fancy dinners, fabulous gifts. (In 2010, I was given an engagement ring on Valentine’s Day, proving this holiday isn’t ALL bad.) We all find ourselves scrambling towards a romantic ideal. This day shall be perfect. Like a love song.

Although, when you stop to think about it, most love songs are fucked up.

Because love is such an immensely complicated emotion, ritual, protocol, that no two loves are the same. And no two love songs are the same. While one likely jumps to Etta James or Stevie Wonder when one first thinks “love song”, there’s a lot more to it out there. Continue reading

You’re No Good For Me, But Baby, I Want You

1 Feb

Yesterday saw the release of arguably the most argued-about album in eons: Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die. I can’t remember the last time music fans worked themselves into such a froth over an unproven artist. The official reviews are decidedly “meh”. Entertainment Weekly gives Born To Die a C+, while Spin gives the album an almost apologetic 6 out of 10. “This record is not godawful. Nor is it great. But it’s better than we deserve. We broke her; we bought her,” Spin critic Rob Harvilla declares. I wish somebody would bother to explain to me why there is so much vitriol directed towards Lana Del Rey. So, I’m going to try to figure it out myself. Continue reading