Run to Live, Live to Run

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A few chick singers, freaks & some geeks

Hey's it going? What a week...what a Super Bowl...the dramatics, the Stones, the commercials...ok, I actually didn't watch it but caught up on all the good commercials online in the past 2 days...never thought I would have the "Benny Hill" theme stuck in my head, ever...

But hey, onto more pressing issues, there is some cool stuff in the music world this week...

Beth Orton-Comfort of Strangers...the English singer-songwriter returns with her fourth album, a much more stripped down affair than her previous. I must say, I'm listening to it right now, and it is downright comforting...very earthy sound, will remind you of great country folk rock albums of the 70's and it is no accident. Beth says, "I wanted to make an album that sounded like the stuff I grew up listening to...a folk-gospel-soul record with a country tear dripping down it's cheek." She has truly succeeded with this ambitious and mature recording, and this should appeal not just to her longtime fans, but also to a wider audience. Check it out if you can...

Sarah Harmer-I'm a Mountain...this Canadian singer-songwriter has been making music for almost a decade now and her third album is, like Orton's, very stripped down and bare but powerful nonetheless. Go out and get one her first two if you want a good taste of her more "upbeat and rocking" side, but then definitely take the time to get into this. A little more country bluegrass flavor, but very warm, wonderful spare accompaniment and one of the most soothing voices out like me and when you have a good rainy day to just stay in & relax (like I did last Saturday hungover) sit down with a nice big cup of coffee, something to read and either one (or both) of these discs and just take it all in, you won't be sorry...and hey, you might just get as much of a crush on Sarah as I

I must also let you in about a somewhat new discovery that I became somewhat obsessed with the past few weeks...about 5-6 yrs ago, NBC did what most major TV networks do when they have a fresh new show that :
a) critics raved about
b) had a modest following (that has turned into cult status today)
c)a nice looking young up & coming cast
d) but an absolutely mortal sin of a timeslot (Friday 8pm if I remember correct)

They cancelled it after one season.
Freaks and Geeks, from the brilliant comedic minds of Judd Apatow (directed the 40-year-old Virgin), Paul Feig and Mike White (The Good Girl, Chuck and Buck) was a nearly perfect slice of life hour long comedy (yeah if you weren't Ally McBeal or on the WB, you didn't have a chance back then) centering on the title outsiders, following their day to day exploits in freshman and sophomore year of high school in suburbia circa 1980-81. Going chronologically through the year and centering on the kids "left of the dial", the show captured so much of the angst, emotion, embarassment, exhilaration and downright hilarity that went with trying to "fit in" and find your place in high school.
With future stars like James Franco (Spiderman, Annapolis), Linda Cardellini (Brokeback Mountain and as Velma in the Scooby Doo movies), Jason Segel (CBS's How I Met Your Mother) and Seth Rogen (The 40-year old Virgin), this show was ahead of it's time while reaching so far back in time. The soundtrack also is so perfectly dead on with music of the time that we love or would like to forget about (from the Joan Jett sung theme to Styx to XTC to Bob Seger to yes, "Funkytown") If the OC or One Tree Hill were as well-written and hilarious as this, I would maybe tune in...and if John Hughes was still making great teen movies instead of kid's crap, I think he would be envious of this show...hell, as painful as high school was for many of us, this may just make you want to make you want to go back through the yearbook and remember...find it on DVD if you can, or be like me and check it out from your local library (I'm not kidding)

Ok, my time is up here but next time I promise some more good sounds and sights (Belle & Sebastian, the Grammys) but maybe also some political commentary (I doubt it), or some deep thoughts and religious meditation (ok, I'm f***ing with you now)...but seriously, enjoy it and hope to talk again soon.

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