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learning love songs

est. 2008

Month

February 2012

2/28/12

A new favorite takes on an old one. I was always sort of regretful for not being more familiar with the rest of Bonnie Raitt’s catalog, save for Nick of Time, Something to Talk About, and maybe a few others if I heard them…but I know she is a guitar master with a gorgeous set of blues pipes.

But this song. This song. It was the soundtrack to many a dance rehearsal, a last track on several mix CDs burned pre-high school graduation.

You can’t listen to this and not identify. Not if you’ve had a heart, or a failed relationship, or a failed attempt at one. Not if you’ve been alone. Not if your head betrays your better interests by bombarding you with thoughts, memories, fantasies, of the person you love and can no longer show them.

In Bon Iver’s gifted falsetto, and a new solo arrangement, I can love it all over again. That voice! Certainly it’s not for all listeners’ tastes but I think it’s quite beautiful, and I’m thrilled to see him pay homage to a musician who is often not given enough credit – at least, colloquially – for creating some really masterful contributions to the modern pop song, and it’s ability to rise from blues.

“lay down with me,
tell me no lies,
just hold me close,
don’t patronize

cause i can’t make you love me
if you don’t
you can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
here in the dark
in these final hours
i will lay down my heart
and i’ll feel the power but you won’t
no, you won’t”

~I Can’t Make You Love Me, as covered by Bon Iver

Also, YouTube, how did you know I would love this? Prediction technology is starting to weird me out a little, but, I’ll get used to it.

2/22/11

O hey, blog, sorry I’ve been crazy-busy lately. This was in my YouTube recs today and though I was uncertain at first, it won me over in the first chorus.

I mean, you take my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song and throw in a couple of my new harmonic idols, and yeah, I’ll listen to this seven times today. As I learn more “sacreligious” covers myself, I realize the importance of making it your own, especially when you’re stripping something down the acoustic. The Civil Wars do that wonderfully, layering their trademark sound over the basic melody of what is a chilling, chilling song.

I didn’t even miss the gong. Well, maybe a little.

2/10/12

(brilliant)

March 6. Hell yeah. I think I am going to listen to it forever.

2/9/12

In love with this song, this video, this band. I remember listening to them last winter, and loving it, this song makes me want to run today.

I know people who knock bands like for being hipster and trendy, but I don’t see how you can fault beautiful music for being popular with a certain sect of people. Quit hatin’ on their old-fashioned shoes and cuffed jeans and whimsical ways. Everyone likes to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t get it, it’s just them and their type of crowd who know what’s *really* going on, but we all have more in common than you think. What type of music doesn’t write about this feeling, the lure of the open road, the defeat of pattern? I am ranting and unfocused, so I could probably do better on this post, but I have to get back to word. I will also put this song on repeat.

“I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Like ridin’ around on railcars and workin’ long days

Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

Call it one drink too many
Call it pride of a man
But it don’t make no difference if you sit or you stand

‘Cause they both end in trouble and start with a grin
Yeah they both end in trouble and start with a grin

We do it over and over and over again
We do it over and over and over again

I know there’s California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain’t ever been to but
Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin’
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

One more for the stars and the eyes of the walls
I saw your face, I heard you callin’ out

I saw your face in the crowd and you came out
Just like the sun and the moon and the stars at night

There was a sign on the door and it reads to me
Just like the sun and the moon and the stars at night

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain’t ever been to but
Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin’
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

So I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways”

~Down in the Valley,
The Head and the Heart

2/4/12

“When you hardly have a heart. But you need it just to break. When I haven’t let my guard down. Just give me time to think.”

This is one of my favorite tracks off of “War Paint” from The Dangerous Summer. What is it about songwriters that makes wandering such an enticing subject matter? It’s something we all must feel at one time or another, the want to get away. The Dangerous Summer are masters of capturing this, encapsulating the feeling of sinking so far into your own head that it takes cold, unfeeling realities to snap you out.

Lyrically, I think it’s beautiful. We must not overlook the allusion to their first album title in the chorus, a hidden thread and reminder that what they play is what they feel.

Speaking performance-wise, I think this song goes above and beyond what you’d expect to hear from a band like this. The pace is measured, it rises and falls. The lead-in to the first chorus, and well-timed “yeah” is a reveal, same with the extended line before the second chorus. The lead guitar does beautiful, beautiful things throughout. The drum hit before the last two choruses is one of the more well-executed rock ballad moments that, again, you might expect to hear from a band like this. I could listen to this song over and over again and just get lost in it. I’m pretty sure I just did.

“I’ve seen my words carved
In the arms of a stranger as they let me know
They watched their love die
But picked it up later when they found that rope
Some say you need to bleed to believe in hurt
Some say you have to scar to belong to her

I’ll live alone and find my peace
I will slip into a coma
Found somewhere north of Florida
But just south of Tennessee
‘Cause the sun I finally reached it
Give me reason to move on now
But there’s something in this heart I lost
Somehow

I’ll set it down for you
I wouldn’t lie to you, now would I
I built that road from the beginning with my hands
When you decided to take it
What did you take from it?
Was it worth the heart involved
The obstacles, the chemicals
I need to know what you’re trying to see

I’ll live alone and find my peace
I will slip into a coma
Found somewhere north of Florida
But just south of Tennessee
‘Cause the sun I finally reached it
Give me reason to move on now
But there’s something in this heart I lost
Somehow

Are they slipping through
All those messages I sent
I will cart across to every single city and their states
When you hardly have a heart
But you need it just to break
When I haven’t let my guard down
Just give my time to think
Well does it start to murmur?
It just needs some time to breathe
And in the light of murder
What if it carried me
Just to find that water

(I found the patterns release in me)
Just to find that water
(I found the patterns release in me)
Can I find that water?
(I found the patterns release in me)
Can I find that water?
(I found the patterns release in me)

I’ll live alone and find my peace
I will slip into a coma
Found somewhere north of Florida
But just south of Tennessee
‘Cause the sun I finally reached it
Give me reason to move on now
But there’s something in this heart I lost
Somehow”

~Everyone Left
The Dangerous Summer, War Point

2/2/12

There’s no shortage of incredible singer-songwriters in this world, and every time I discover a new one it’s like the world telling me I haven’t heard all there is that is beautiful yet.

“Tell my stories to the ones I love,
And hide my fears from those I don’t,
I’ve been trying to change my ways for days,
You keep saying that I won’t.

Old songs, on a late night,
There’s just too much, my mind
My love, is a true love,
But my hearts as cold as ice,

You like what you see when your lookin at me,
Cause you think that I do what I do for you,
Don’t you wonder why,
The word that I breathe is word that I need,
And the songs that i sing dont mean anything,
Don’t you wonder why its always been this way,

All our innocence is gone,
and if you like I’ll take the blame,
for all the things that you have done

My songs, on a cold night
I can’t get you out my mind,
Your love is a true love,
But your never on my side,

You like what you see when you looking at me,
Cause you think that I do what I do for you,
Don’t you wonder why,
The word that I breathe is the word that I need,
And the songs that I sing dont mean anything,
Don’t you wonder why, why,

Old songs on a late night,
There’s just too much, my mind,
My love is a young love,
But I know we’ll get this right.”

~Jack Savoretti, Wonder

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