You really should listen to “In Rainbows” in July

Well, it happens every summer. It started in July 2008 when I found myself on some manic road in downtown Philadelphia, rounding a curve under an overpass, air conditioner blaring…

Thom Yorke & Co. settled into my speakers and spoke to me. It might seem a bit unorthodox at the height of summer to listen to such a mellow, minor-key performance. But every year since, in late June, I seek out “In Rainbows” with the same fervor I do when I have a sweet craving for Oreos. In the car, on my iPod, on Pandora…

I suggest you listen, especially this time of year. You might take them on a walk to the park in the sunshine or throw back your curtains to safeguard a summer depression from creeping in, though. I highly recommend “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” with its driving melodies and chiming guitar melodics. The dance of rhythm in this song spells urgency and inquisition. “Everybody leaves if they get the chance…and this is my chance. Picked over by the worms and weird fishes.” Want. Desire. Stagnation. These contrasting themes only complement the tempo changes. The song drives to the end with heavy bass undertones and tinkling guitar cries. Check out a snippet here:

An appropriate follow-up track is my next favorite, “All I Need.” The electronic bass keeps a steady rhythm with the drum tap and occasional comment from guitar. The lyrics, however, make it incredible:
“I am all the days that you choose to ignore…You are all I need…
I am in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds…I am a moth who just wants to share your light…
It’s all wrong
It’s all right…” (and he builds up to the amazing Thom Yorke wail here until the end)

If you find yourself waiting in the parking lot of some store in the hot July sun, air conditioning blasting, turn this one up. It just might make you feel like you’re in some kind of strange dream sequence. But wait, there’s more…the song grows into this achingly beautiful piece with Yorke’s incredible passionate vocals swimming amidst a symphony of electronic bells and guitar sounds. This montage is only strengthened by the still steady bass and drums it began with with the added bonus of piano.
Check out a snippet here:

Other highlights:
Jigsaw Falling into Place
House of Cards
Videotape (a great closer for this type of album)

So, go support your local record store: buy “In Rainbows”, lock your shotgun up and let your mind wander with the weird fishes.


Jack White

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook: “Jack White saved rock and roll.” I have to agree. I didn’t really listen to any of his work until a friend referred me to the DVD “It Might Get Loud.” If you like rock and roll at all do yourself a favor and watch this! Since then, I have created a Jack White radio station on my Pandora. This action has led me to many new and awesome music discoveries such as:

The Black Keys (though a guy I dated once raved about them.)
Cage the Elephant
The Raconteurs
The White Stripes (of course)

and some really awesome bluesy guitarists like:
Brooks Williams
Leo Kottke

I will admit that when the White Stripes debuted I didn’t really listen to them. They kept playing the same song over and over again and I couldn’t really appreciate them until I eased my way in from this Jack White radio station. I have to say that it took all of five minutes to win me over. He has such a varied and diverse style but you can always feel the passion and strength in his vocals and lyrics.

I highly recommend you check out the artists mentioned above if you haven’t already. Then, let me know what you think, here!

Be well and rock on,