Song: Carol Brown
Album: I Told You I Was Freaky
Performer: Flight of the Conchords
Writer: Jemaine Clement / Bret McKenzie
I really love Flight of the Conchords. It’s one of my favorite shows. Bret and Jemaine play naive aspiring folk singers transplanted from New Zealand to the inner city of NYC. The show tells stories and incorporates humorous songs from the duo.
Flight of the Conchords is a band on the Sub-Pop label. Sub-Pop has it’s hands in other comedic projects including Bob’s Burgers and H. Jon Benjamin’s glorious jazz piano album. They also support some really interesting rock and alternative bands like Sleater-Kinney and Soundgarden.
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Performer: Carole King
Writer: Carole King
I have been particularly inspired by the career trajectory and music of Carole King. She worked really hard from a young age writing and playing piano and ended up writing multiple iconic and important songs that will be known for a long time. I’ve been reading her memoir and what has been most inspiring to me is her talking about times that she wrote bad songs or made mistakes. It’s not at all me relishing in the fact that she has had failures in her life, it’s just incredibly reassuring to me anytime a creative and successful person I look up to can point back to times they failed and say “yeah, that happened, but I moved on and just kept going.”
Continue reading “Beautiful – Carole King”
Song: Bring on the Night
Album: We Are Alive
I came across this cover of Sting’s “Bring on the Night” and immediately fell in love. I think a lot of that had to do with the fat bass sound throughout. The bass really carries this cover. Meklit has a really interesting history. She was born in Ethiopia but raised here in the U.S. and has a degree from Yale… she is also an awesome singer and songwriter.
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Song: Who Holds Your Hand
Album: Angels Running
Performer: Patty Larkin
Writer: Patty Larkin
Patty Larkin is a great female guitarist and songwriter. This song was my introduction to her music. She was born in Iowa, raised in Wisconsin but her musical career started and is based in Boston. Her music could be described as “urban folk.” I’m very drawn to her lyrical style and I enjoy her writing and arrangements of songs.
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Song: Seek and Hide
Album: There’s a Last Time for Everything
Performer: Lucy Wainwright Roche (ft. Colin Meloy)
Writer: Lucy Wainwright Roche
I’ve been a fan of Rufus Wainwright for awhile now. My freshman year at Belmont in Nashville I went to see him in concert at the Ryman. It was then that I discovered that he comes from a very musical family. His sister, Martha Wainwright was an opener. I found this song by Lucy Wainwright Roche (Rufus Wainwright’s half sister) in December of 2015.
I specifically remember listening to this song on New Year’s Day that winter.
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Song: Save Me
Album: Magnolia [Original Soundtrack]
Performer: Aimee Mann
Writer: Aimee Mann
This is the first (and admittedly only) song of Aimee Mann’s I’ve really listened to. I hope to change that situation, but at least this is a really great song. It was a part of the soundtrack to the movie Magnolia and the song got Aimee Mann an Academy Award nomination in 1999.
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Album: Sugaring Season
Performer: Beth Orton
Writer: Beth Orton
I came across this song in the summer of 2013. That summer I discovered the wonderful website Brainpickings. They curate really interesting and thought provoking content, often focusing on various aspects of psychology and philosophy among other topics. I really enjoy the site’s “Literary Jukebox” which pairs songs with quotes from literature. That’s how I discovered this song.
Continue reading “Mystery – Beth Orton”
Song: All I Want
Performer: Joni Mitchell
Writer: Joni Mitchell
I am going to admit something right now. I am not a very good fan of Joni Mitchell. I pretty much just like a few songs off of the Blue album… so… kinda lame, I know. It’s probably kinda like just knowing Ants Marching or Crash Into Me for DMB fans… but I think the biggest contributing factor to my lack of knowledge of Joni Mitchell deep cuts is just that there’s so much to explore in her catalog and I’m all over the place when I listen to music. Also, to be fair, there’s a ton to unpack just in Blue.
But it’s definitely not the worst album to be the only one you have much knowledge of in her catalog, so I don’t feel too ashamed.
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Song: Heavenly Day
Album: Children Running Through
Performer: Patty Griffin
Writer: Patty Grifin
This song may have been one of the first more modern folk/Americana/singer-songwriter sounding women I had ever heard with the exception of Joan Baez. I think I first heard this song sometime in high school. Something that perplexes me is the fact that I never thought “oh, I should find more music by this person.” I think part of it was a bit of a lack of resources. I didn’t have much money of my own and the money I did have was largely saved. I would buy songs on iTunes but it was (and still sometimes is) a bit of an agonizing decision because I want to make sure I get music that I will enjoy. There’s also the thought of having rent and food to pay for. Also, my options for getting CDs back in middle/high school were Wal-Mart and an FYE about half an hour away. So, I guess it just wasn’t my first instinct to go buy music. Spotify really broadened my horizons. I realize that there are issues with musician compensation and I do try to buy music/attend concerts when I am able to. But it really has facilitated discovery of music for someone with limited monetary resources.
But anyway, I really loved this song when I heard it.
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Song: Closer to Fine
Album: Indigo Girls
Performer: Indigo Girls
Writer: Emily Sailers
I love Indigo Girls. As someone who spent a lot of time listening to Bob Dylan and his ilk as some of the first music I chose on my own, their songs feel very familiar to me. A lot of their songs are written in a rambling and speech-like cadence, Closer to Fine being no exception.
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