15 December 2008

Just Like Riding a Bike - Upside Down.

I haven't done this in awhile but I'm more than prepared to come back and type my fingers off. Things have changed since September. Naturally, I'm more miserable than ever but thankfully the music is ever flowing. Time and time again music has proven to be the only reliable friend I have. Not to sound too depressing but I have a strong feeling a lot of people would agree with me. There's always a new, exciting, I-can't-believe-I-lived-without-this song that pops up out of nowhere and yet there's also those tried and true companions that are there for a good pick-me-up anytime you need them. I cannot for the life of me think of a single friend that is dependable in that context. It can't just be the voices either: my mom's voice is soothing but there are plenty of times I press ignore on my phone when I'm listening to Amos Lee or someone instead. Music talks back but it's always in a good way.

Not to second guess myself but I'm not entirely sure what I'm talking about. I just feel like writing and I always feel like talking about music. Let's see... oh! I am currently in love with Raphael Saddiq. I should just dedicate this entire entry to him right now. His album, The Way I See It, is so good I haven't been able to stop listening to it for the past week. It must be said that I stole this primarily from Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2008 article, where it landed at #48, but I had interest before that as well. Tracks like, "Sure Hope You Mean It" and "100 Yard Dash" are such throwbacks to '60's R&B that I would 100% believe these were exact duplicates of lesser known Marvin Gaye songs.
I'm also certain that these would've been tremendous hits if Saadiq was either more well known or simply in another era. I want to compare it to Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson but that's too easy. Saadiq is so delicious. So delicious. I'm in love. I remember texting my ex-boyfriend (when he was already my ex) when Winehouse's album came out because I couldn't contain my excitement and thought he would be the only one to understand. This time around I don't have anyone to voice my happiness to that would understand but I don't even need it. This album is totally something I can appreciate solo. If any random person is reading this: check it out! There is no chance you will be sorry.

I guess something else I've been wanting to discuss is the vinyl comeback going on. I was in a Virgin Megastore a couple weeks ago and almost bought at least three albums I didn't even know existed on vinyl. Suddenly there are these huge displays of top 20 albums in vinyl form right on the main floor. John Legend's latest album, Evolver, was on sale for $20 in this format along with a complete download of every song.
Needless to say I was really impressed. Although it's important for me to point out that this is not snobbery as my lover would like to think it is. I listened to the most vinyl in my life between the ages of 3 and 10. I'm not trying to fool anyone into thinking I listen to tons of music on my record player. I only wish I did. I listen to Eddy Arnold and live Tom Petty albums on record because that's the only format I have them in but I'm not a maniac like some wonderful, truly impressive people are. I lust after $400 record players all the time (at this price range I think they call them "turntables" - HAHA) but I never intend on getting one. Although I know the sound quality would be amazing on one of these (and most musicians agree that records allow the songs to be listened to in their true form), my all time favorite part about records is the packaging. You don't see Urban Outfitters selling CD frames. They sell record frames - even Target got in on this trend. Look in the background of Knocked Up when Katherine Heigl is on the phone with Seth Rogen for the first time: Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedoes all framed up! It's a beautiful sight to see. I am desperately in love with iTunes and all of its features that keep me up at night but there is nothing like a large cardboard cutout with the lyrics to every song on the album PLUS a two foot poster. What the hell could beat that? Records need to become even hipper than they already are so my kids (if they one day exist) will still be listening to them. I dream of walking into my kid's room and seeing them flat on the floor completely enthralled in the liner notes of some crazy new band, completely ignoring their algebra homework. That's the day I'll agree to put my name on their birth certificate. I'm just kidding. I've been seeing some really cute baby headphones around so they'll be cool long before they're able to read...

PS. Classic R&B music is the best around. I'm convinced it's the basis for all music in the universe.

and... I'm seeing The National at Carnegie Hall with Patti Smith and Vampire Weekend. Kind of exciting... no. Just EXCITING.


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