Saturday, February 10, 2018

2.3 - What I'm listening to...

Here’s what has caught my ear this week. These aren’t really reviews, but just things that I’ve listened to repeatedly this week.

“Be My Baby” - The Ronettes. For some reason, I really wanted to hear this song this week. I keep thinking about that Phil Spector sound. It’s not quite R&B. It’s more complex than a pop song. I keep hearing it described as a “haunting” sound. There’s something about the background horns and harmonies in the background of the song. It also not exactly a happy song. It’s feels like a girl begging to have her guy take her back. “So won't you, please, be my be my baby.” I wonder what the guy who she’s singing this to is thinking. What happened that she wants to get back with him so bad?

Drive By Truckers - “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark” It was the 10th anniversary of this album being released this week. That made me feel kind of old. It was one of the first albums I bought on iTunes. I got into this record because they were on the bill with the Hold Steady at First Ave, which I’m pretty sure was my first concert there. I’ve grown to love DBT because they provide a narrative about the south that cuts against what most of us in the north think. There’s depression, self-loathing, but also pride and partying. It’s got touches of magical realism, and deep sadness. I feel like I’m hanging out in Muscle Shoals, Alabama every time I listen to the record.

Ezra Furman - This has probably been my favorite musical discovery of the last few months. Furman has got a voice that’s got a scratchy foreboding. If the Turf Club in St. Paul had a voice, it’d sound like this. It’s dogged, but not a caricature of Tom Waits. I think the thing I like about him is that he identifies as gender fluid and he dresses however he wants. When I first heard him, I could picture some sort of Dylan disciple, but that’s not the case at all. Ever since the Beatles, bands have embraced a gimmick, a lot of the time for show biz purposes, but Furman does whatever he wants. I respect that.

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