It's Friday (almost). I need music.
If you could have any musician play a couple of stripped-down sets in your living room, who would you choose? That's the topic of this week's Friday Music post. I've been thinking about this all day, and I've narrowed the list down to five people, in no particular order.
My oh my, do I love Cat Power. Not only is she on my list of five people to play in my living room, but she's actually #1 on my list of bands/musicians I've never seen but really want to. She's got a beautiful, haunting voice, she writes great songs, and I love the ridiculous little dances she does on stage. But it's the way she affects her voice with the crazy things she does with her mouth/face that really throws me over the edge. This woman's got juice, folks, and I love her so. Welcome to my living room, Chan.
Radiohead is the best band in the world, and a lot of it has to do with Thom Yorke. I love most Radiohead songs, from Pablo Honey to In Rainbows, but I'm still partial to The Bends and OK Computer. I just loved the way Thom would disarm you with this sweet, soft, controlled voice, and just when you'd let your defenses down, he cream you with spastic explosions of sonic mayhem. My god.
I've loved her from the moment I heard her voice. I loved her from her incredible sophomore album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, through her SNL incident, through her sexual ambiguity, through her ordination into the schismatic Independent Catholic group. Thing is, I just never cared about any of that other stuff. Could not care less, in fact! It's the voice--delicate and supremely strong at the same time--I care about. Sing for me, Sinead. I love this song.
I've practically seen him in a setting as intimate as a living room. Inexplicably, he came to Morgantown to a small venue a couple of years ago to a crowd of maybe 70. Unreal. I like him when he plays with the Lonely Astronauts too, but to me, he's at his best when he's by himself, with his looping equipment and his paints, showing the range and soul of a voice and mind that could never be confused with another. He can sing from the gutter all the way up to heaven. The great thing about this dude is, if he's playing near you and you're not in NYC or another major city, there's a pretty good chance you'll be able to get close to the stage. Don't miss that chance.
Her album When the Pawn.... is a masterpiece. I get the sense she's a little bit crazy, and there is nothing like a crazy girl with a voice and a piano. I love watching her hunch over the keys, convulse over them, command them as she flails. Remember that XTC song "Dear God," where they ask, "Did you make mankind, or did we make you?" With Fiona, I wonder if she's making the music, or if it's making her. I don't know, maybe that doesn't make any sense. But I'll get a baby grand if she'll come play it. With that, I present her cover of "Across the Universe," my plane-crash song. The lazy beauty of her voice in this absolutely destroys me, especially with the backdrop of silent chaos this video provides. It's worth watching until the very last second.
That's my top five. If any of them ever agree to a gig in my living room, you're all invited. But if you all show up, I'm calling in the heavy hitter and we'll have a real party. Hit it, Bobby:
So who would you choose? That's what I want to listen to this week. As always, links are very much appreciated. I'll respond to every suggestion by Sunday.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
It's Friday (almost). I need music.