FBF to Thursday

A day late and a dollar short keeps the doctor away, right? Or at least it keeps the women away…

Anyway, today’s day late song recommendation comes from Spotify spying on me, collecting my musical tastes, and presenting me with playists of things I’ll like. Sometimes. Other times they just copy playlists I already made. Like last night I was listening to a ‘Daily Mix’ they made me, but it was exactly my country playlist with like a handful of extra songs that I didn’t even like. It was rough. But today they did better. A song on one of these playlists is Captured by a group called Gov’t Mule.

Gov’t Mule started as a side project for some of the guys from the Allman Brothers (according to Spotify, I don’t fact check. Ain’t nobody got time for dat). It’s evolved some since, partially due to the unfortunate death of one of the founders. They kinda just pick up people and make music happen as far as I can tell (which isn’t very far)

This track features a few of my favorite things. Raindrops on kittens and warm something mittens. Dog bites and bee stings and something like that. Just kidding. It features a long and super solid guitar solo over top of super great rhythm. Maybe switch the adjectives. As a drummer this is honestly one of my favorite styles to play. Just sitting in the pocket and grooving along while people go nuts with solos. I love it. It’s not flashy, it’s not hard (from the drummers perspective), it’s just groovy. Anyway rant over. Check out this tune. It’s mint.

Feel the groove. Internalize the groove. Be the groove.

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Recommended Listening 3/7

Happy Taco Tuesday!! Tacos make the world go ’round as the old saying goes. I think the Beatles sang it best, “All you need is Tacos” /bap ba dadada/. Anyway.

Today’s recommendation has nothing to do with Tacos and everything to do with my favorite Psalm (at the moment). Sandra McCraken has this awesome album called Psalms, where she has arranged some Psalms into more modern songs. She modified some words some, but it was clearly done with the utmost care.

The track is Send out Your Light. It’s on Spotify, give it a listen. Not only does Ms. McCracken have a beautiful, down-to-earth voice, but the arrangement is great. It has its ups and down (as the Psalm does) and I think the melodies and instrumentation really capture well the effect of the song. Lamenting, but hopeful. The electric guitar honestly takes me slightly by surprise every time I listen to it. It’s tastefully done, not glaring, but a great little solo. As I’m sure we all know now, I have a soft spot for traditional harmonies. She does them really well. Hit this stuff up. It’s worth the 4 minutes and 53 seconds. Well worth it.

Psalm 43:
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God

Recommended Listening, 3/2

The Wild Reeds released a new song today!
It’s called Capable, go listen to it while you read this. Or maybe before. At least start listening to the song before you continue reading. Please.

——————I pause so you can listen————————————
At first I thought, “Who are these people and what did they do with my Wild Reeds?” Yes, my Wild Reeds. The Wild Reeds hit a sweet spot in the music I’ve been leaning toward of late. Great harmony, folk-y feeling, hard-hitting when the occasion calls for it, super-duper tight, and solid songwriting. I really love their acoustic only stuff and the simplicity of it. Even on the first two albums that are like fully instrumented and stuff their simplicity is brilliantly full. This song doesn’t have that. It has thick tones, it’s kinda busy (especially in the beginning), and is really present. While this song is excellent, I hope it isn’t indicative of where the Wild Reeds are going as a band. I’ll miss the beautiful simplicity of their early stuff.
But as you get into the song you hear the Wild Reeds we all know and love come out in the great harmonies and a feeling of unity in the band that I think sets them apart. Even live they are tight. I love it, and it lends a fluidity to their tunes that is great. I’m using a lot of vague quantifiers and I’m sorry about that, but I have trouble using better words.

Also, blog structure announcement: Everyday isn’t flying. I know what you’re saying, “But this blog is the only reason I make it through every day” and I’m sorry. Now you will have to look for the blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think having more time to think, and maybe write, will bring out higher quality writing. Or it wont, either way it’s less work for me. See you suckers next week.

2/27 SotD

So, I slipped up and didn’t post a song of the day yesterday. No one missed it because no one follows the blog yet. It’s great to have that lack of accountability if you get busy. Anyway, this is post is from the future. February 27th’s song of the day is a tune by Jadon Lavik. Jadon Lavik is a Christian artist, but like actually an artist not CCM garbage. No offense Chris Tomlin fans.

I feel like it’s probably a rule somewhere that all Christian artists need to do a recording of Amazing Grace. If you know me, you probably know that I’m a bit of a purist. I like things the way they were meant to be. Especially with songs. Most of the time. You all experienced a bit of this a few days ago when I talked about the Sound of Silence. It’s best the way it was originally done. Most reworkings and new arrangements of Amazing Grace don’t work. I don’t care how much I love the artist or how amazingly talented the arranger is you don’t mess with something like Amazing Grace.

Unless your Jadon Lavik apparently. You may disagree, but in my humble opinion his is the best reworking of Amazing Grace. Not the best recording of it ever, but the best non-traditional version. It’s great. I highly recommend it, which is why I’m typing this. It’s jazzy, but not too forward and has a great, groovy feel. I’m all about groove, and this song has it.

It’s off his album Roots Run Deep which is all covers of older tunes and hymns. He has another like it called Roots Run Deeper. I highly recommend them both. Music to my ear-holes.

Look it up. Listen. Enjoy. You’re Welcome.

 

2/24 SotD

Today, I break ground on a new tradition. Today and henceforth on this blog we shall celebrate Country Fridays. Plot Twist! I’m gonna feature some country music too. Fun fact, I like country unlike a large amount of the populace today. Let me clarify, I like good country music. 90% of new country is honestly not very good. That’s an understatement, but I’m not here to slander. Today I’m going to feature a classic. Joe Diffie. Specifically because I’m really picking up what he is putting down today.

The song is Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (if I die). And I feel that today. Mostly because I’m real tired and feel a bit dead. Joe Diffie has some quality Honky Tonk and I highly recommend it.

Happy Friday Friends, have a classy weekend.

2/23 SotD TBT

Hello, welcome, Ahlan-biek, wilkommen, and hola. Today is throw-back-Thursday, and I’m not going to throw very far. I’m trying to be realistic in my actual throwing abilities IRL. So we are gonna go back to high-school for me. Earlier for everyone else simply because I was late to the punch with this band. Five Iron Frenzy. One of the best parts of the 90 Christian Ska-Punk movement. I was introduced to them by my youth pastor, and I’m glad he brought Ska into my life. Ska is just super-fun. If you like Ska, most people will think you are weird. Have no fear, you’ll be having fun and they won’t.

The song is Pre-Ex Girlfriend. It’s pretty straightforward in meaning, that this girl is awesome and he isn’t and they probably won’t date.

“She said she hated Kenny G
That girl is way too good for me
We’ll break up before it starts
She’ll only tear my world apart
Da na na na na na na na na”

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2/22 SotD

The real reason I started this blog was simply to recommend songs and artists to my friends in a less obtrusive way, but slightly more accessible way then simply saying, “Hey, you! Listen to Bill Kirchen!!”Then I started typing blogs and started trying to like review the songs and that sort of thing and I’m not feeling it as much. I’m still going to give my opinions, but talking about the deeper meaning for songs isn’t my forte. I will happily talk about the artist, do some artist stalking and hear their story, or tell you about the album, or how great the song is, but I am by no means qualified to tell you what it means.

Today’s song comes from a group called the Fratellis. I know nothing about them as a group, except that their music is enjoyable. The song is a love song because even communists like love songs. Actually they don’t. Only communists don’t like love songs. The song happens to be Whistle for the Choir off the album Costello Music. Check that son of a gun out. It’s high quality.

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2/21 SotD TacoTuesday Style

It’s taco Tuesday. A hallowed and ancient tradition, a venerated day that gives us courage, fortitude, and frankly a reason to survive another week. On the topic of tacos, check out the Naked Chicken Chalupa at TacoBell. 9/10, would recommend.

Anywho, music. Because it’s TacoTuesday I’m planning to feature an exciting hunk of Tex-Mex by the name of Shakey Graves. His real name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia and he hails from Austin in the great republic of Tejas. The song I chose sticks out because it is in an exciting time signature. If you don’t know what a time signature is I recommend the highly educational video here. Depending on how fast you count its in 5/4 or 5/8 most of the time. There are some other times thrown in there and that’s exciting! And it takes some skill to do, which indicates that Shakey Graves is either an excellent songwriter with talent, or that he is really bad at counting. According to an interview I saw once maybe (they may or may not have been referring to this song, we’ve talked about my memory before: it’s bad)  the song Only Son (which I just realized I haven’t named yet. The song is called Only Son) is about a coming of age and starting to care about others, which is a sure sign of maturity.

I’m sorry for all my parenthetical side tracks and comments. It’s kind of how my mind works, and I apologize for subjecting you, hypothetical reader, to that. I shall work to improve the linear-ness of my writing. For now I’m going to italicize the side thoughts to help myself keep track of them and to let you know that they are of lesser importance. Slightly lesser. I’m not going to edit things down and make it nice and neat because I like my writing a little more like raw thought. Thanks friend. 2-21

Once again, neither Shakey Graves, Spotify, TacoBell, or the make of that delicious YouTube video payed me for any of this. If you represent any of them and want to pay me feel free to contact me.

Feb 20 SotD (feat. My opinion)

Hello and happy Monday to all 0 of you who currently read the blog, and whoever happens to stumble upon this in the future. I don’t know why, but I decided to write some, see how it goes, and build up some past content before I advertise the blog anywhere. Anyway, you came here for music and music you shall receive.

On this exciting Monday I have an unpopular opinion. The song of the day is Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence. It’s an awesome tune that musically does some fun things. I really like the harmonies, one almost like a drone and the other a really solid melody that implies melancholy and a little maybe happy. I don’t know. I’m bad at describing things, but I enjoy the way both vocal parts interact.

On to my unpopular opinion: I dislike the Disturbed cover of the song. Part of it is because of the reason I like the original. The harmonies are so excellent, and they give the song a different dimension and really make it what it is. The guy from Disturbed (edit: research shows his name is David Draiman), while he has a great voice for what I’ve heard of Disturbed typically does (I’ve heard less than a half dozen Disturbed songs I think), in my humble opinion his voice doesn’t lend itself to Simon and Garfunkel. I think the Disturbed cover was overhyped and it isn’t really that good.

Even if it wasn’t a cover I don’t think it would be that great of a song. The orchestration is pretty solid and I do like what the Timpani part adds, however I don’t like it. Feel free to hate me, feel free to agree with me, feel free to argue about it in the comments. Please don’t feel free to assassinate me with poison centipedes as I sleep.

PS: On another quick Simon and Garfunkel cover note, Mumford & Son’s cover of The Boxer, while excellent, is totally devoid of slap-stick huge hits and it disappoints me every single time.

Feb 17 Song of the Day

Without further ado, today we will be talking about a man whom I enjoy greatly. Frank Turner. If you’re a friend of mine, you’ve probably heard of him. According to legend he got his start in a metal band I think. And that fizzled out as metal bands often do, then he did something that makes my day. He started playing folk/acoustic/punk type stuff. That’s a decent way to explain it. You really do need experience it. I highly recommend the albums Last Minutes & Lost Evenings and Tape Deck Heart as great places to start. Today’s song comes from Tape Deck Heart (my favorite of his) and the track is The Fisher King Blues. I don’t pretend to know exactly what he means at any point in tome, but I enjoy this song because it speaks (in my little old mind) to songwriting, real life, and differentiating good music from crap. Not necessarily in that order. Life, without something to live for is pretty pointless, and he hits on that. He also hits on the fact that songs by perfect people about perfect things are kinda boring. They can be fun to listen to sometimes, or fun to dance to, but if a song (or any art really) doesn’t speak to reality it’s no good. It’s funny (or not really funny, I’m not sure) the next tune on the album is Anymore. Anymore is a song that resonates super deep in me because I experienced a similar breakup, not exactly the same, but the line “Not with a bang, but with a whimper/ it wasn’t hard, it was kinda simple” hits hard. He writes from the heart and with a simple straightforward honesty that I really enjoy. Metaphors are great and artistic and stuff, but sometimes its great to just hear someone sing plain English. I started off wanting to feature one song, but honestly hit up pretty much anything from Frank Turner. It’s all pretty good. Forewarning if you are faint of heart he swears a good bit and is pretty atheistic sometimes.  Following are some words from Time Machine.

“In truth the real reason that I built this here machine
Was just to travel back a couple of years
To when we first met before the fights and the tears
To the time when you and I first got together
Simple days and simple words like “forever”
Tripped off our tongues, come on you must remember

Let’s go back and let’s see the way things really used to be
Before life quietly dismembered
All the best things about you and I before the doubts
Drowned out all of the mirth and mercy
Come on baby please you must remember”

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