Friday, August 27, 2010

Wrapped Up in Books

My apologies for my silence as of late. My nose and I have been buried in a stack of books! I have been addicted to finding new books and putting them on hold at the library, especially this past month. Total count read so far: 44! And I still have a stack in my room waiting to be read.{If anyone is interested, I am currently reading The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley and a volume of William Carlos Williams poetry.}
So, I am posting the song 'Wrapped Up in Books' by Belle and Sebastian cause that is exactly what I am right now. {Regrettably, this song is not about a 17 year old girl who compulsively checks out books at the Library Ah, well... :P}

I am not posting this song merely because of the title, I also happen to love it. ;)
Belle and Sebastian are an essential to any indie pop library. In fact, I think they are the first indie pop band I heard of and subsequently listened too. They opened many new musical doors for me!
'Wrapped Up in Books' is off of Belle and Sebastian's 2003 album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress. The carefree, yet wistful, sound of this song seems appropriate to my mood, as I enjoy these last few days of summer freedom before school starts Monday. {*dun dun DUN*}


Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm off to lose myself in some distant, literary land. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Society's Child

I remember the first time I heard the song 'Society's Child' by Janis Ian. It was about a year ago; I had been looking for new music to listen to and, for some reason, that day I was not having much luck. I was beginning to despair of ever hearing anything good again (ha!) when I went into itunes (this was before I switched to the superior emusic) and clicked on one of their "Itunes Essential" playlists. I believe it was their essential "Folk-Rock" playlist.
'Society's Child' was on the list and I started listening to it. The thirty-second preview was all I needed to fall in love with this haunting song.

Janis Ian is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter. She is also known for writing songs about taboo subjects. This song had a very controversial subject matter when it was written around 1965. {Janis Ian wrote it when she was about 13 or 14!}
The lyrics tell the sad, but not uncommon, story of a girl with an African American boyfriend. He is shunned by her mother and they are mocked by their classmates and teachers. In the end, she decides to end the relationship, pressured by everyone who says they can't be together. Janis Ian said: "You know, I don't think I made a conscious decision to have the girl cop out in the end, it just seemed like that would be the logical thing at my age, because how can you buck school and society and your parents? You'd make yourself an outcast forever." {Found here.}

To be sure, this song is not as socially relevant or as taboo as it was in the 60's, but, in my opinion, that does not diminish the anguishing beauty of it.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Help Me! Help Me!

For the past 24 hours I have been helping my sister babysit a family {three children, all under 5} while their parents went away for a night. Well, I got there at 4:30 and I thought the parents were coming home at 12 P.M. the next day. Turns out, I had misunderstood and they were coming back at 2 or 3. "Ok," I told myself, "I can do this. No big deal." That was before the parents got stuck in traffic. We were there until 5: 15....
Now, I don't mind babysitting every once in a blue moon, but it's not really my thing. I was beginning to think I would never get to leave! Even my sister, who is a super-babysitter, was going stir crazy.
But it was fun. Really.
No, really it was. The kids were sweet and well-behaved. :)

I've also been trying to write a post for about a week now. But I've been vacillating between various song, reaching no resolute conclusion. Then, today, the appropriate song to post hit me: 'Help Me! Help Me!' by Lucy Schwartz. {Haha. Can't imagine why I picked that...}
To be more specific, I am actually posting the music video for 'Help Me! Help Me!' since I think it's quite cute, though not as cute as Lucy Schwartz herself. :)
Lucy Schwartz is a talented, young singer-songwriter who makes pop/folk/jazz music which doesn't sound overproduced. If life were fair, we would be hearing people like her on the radio instead of... well, those artists-of-which-I-do-not-speak.

{You can watch here, if you so desire. Since it gets cut off on blogspot...}

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Azure Ray

I have returned from vacation! Actually, I returned a couple of days ago but things have been surprisingly busy. I had a wonderful vacation, though. :)

August snuck up on me. I can barely keep track of what day of the week it is, let alone what month it is. So, I was unprepared when the first of the month hit. I had no idea who to make the artist of the month. It's not like I don't have scores of candidates, because I definitely do. It's the choosing that always gets me. I politely debated with myself for awhile, trying to decide between various artists - some new, some who I have posted about before... Et finalement, I chose Azure Ray.

I recently bought their EP, November, after hearing the opening and title track, 'November'.
I have a thing for sad songs, which my family often teases me about, and this song was so marvelously melancholic; I fell in love with it, so to speak.
Apparently, Azure Ray is known for their dreamily slow, soft, and mostly sad songs. Though 'November' remains my favourite, I'd say the rest of the EP lives up to that lovely standard as well. :)
And, I just found out, that Azure Ray {Which is Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor - both excellent artists in their own right} is releasing a new album this September! Which is very exciting because they disbanded in 2004. {Needless to say, they are back together, if only temporarily.}

Listen to 'November':