New Music Monday

We had a wonderful time at the concert last night. The venue was tiny and we got to sit, literally, front-and-center, the opening act had a beautiful voice (though, as a lover of language, I was disappointed by the lack of complexity in her lyrics), and our waiter was good.

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I’m sometimes struck by my discovery of new artists (recognizing here that when I say “new,” I mean new to me; I understand that this woman’s been making music long enough to have three CDs already). I found Everything but the Girl from a ten second clip of the beginning of one of their songs on a Sam Goody ad on television. I learned about Rosie Thomas as one of her songs played, almost indistinguishably, behind some dialogue on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. What I’m saying is that, by and large, I don’t hear new music on the radio; I’ll catch the tiniest snippet on the PA of a restaurant or I’ll hear someone else playing a song in their car as they drive by. Thank GOD/DESS for Google lyric searches.

We have TiVo, which means that I tend to not watch commercials. The fast-forward button is a delight, really; we don’t have to subject ourselves to mindless truck ads or desperate pleas from mortgage companies for us to “refinance now!” The other day, though, Mr. Chili was watching ESPN without the benefit of having recorded the show first, which means he WAS being subjected to commercials. I was here at the computer, which is near enough to the living room to hear what’s going on in there, and when an advertisement for Bank of America came on, both our ears pricked up. My beloved took the TiVo clicker and backed up to hear the commercial again (it’s nothing to look at, really, just their logo superimposed over what looks like a Google Satellite image of a small city), and we were instantly hooked. The voice singing the song was beautiful – clear and present and striking. It reminded me of a mixture of Jonatha Brooke and early Shawn Colvin; deceptively simple lyrics, uncluttered guitar accompaniment, gorgeous voice.

We did some Googleage and found out not only who she is (her name is Antje Duvekot and here’s her official site – sorry, but I couldn’t figure out how to include links in a phoned-in blog post from last night) but that she was scheduled for a gig very near us this very weekend, so we got tickets and saw her live mere days after having discovered that she even existed. It was serendipitous.

Ms. Duvekot put on a good show. She doesn’t come off with the air of confident performer; she is tall and a little gawky and seems pretty shy and uncertain – until she starts to sing. Nearly all of her songs were wonderful, though many of them were profoundly sad. She performed Merry Go Round, the song we’d come to hear, in her second set, and ended with an hysterical song called – I’m not kidding – Dead Horse Trampoline, which I can’t find on any of her sites but which I found performed by a Justin Roth, who I suspect is the song’s original artist. Go and listen; it’s fun.

Here are the lyrics to Merry Go Round, and it holds up to our high expectations from the tiniest bit that can be heard on the BoA ad. It’s got a synergy to it that resonates with me, and I hope to turn you on to this artist, too. She’s got a bunch of stuff on iTunes, but the Bank of America version of Merry Go Round (which I, personally, think is a better take than her original) isn’t available there yet. Go to her MySpace page and listen to it there. Enjoy; I am!

Someone is tossing petals in a stream
Somewhere someone is standing at the foothills of their dreams
Someone got a paintbrush, is painting over doubts
Someone opened up his eyes and saw the sun coming out
Someone was captive and found the courage to get off
From a boulder in the well, somewhere the rain has stopped
Someone is finding the place where they belong

Everyday is summer somewhere in the world
And the summer boys are headed for the falls to kiss the girls
With their impatient hands groping honey breasts and curls
They are filled with desire
And high in the hills there’s a baby being born
As forgiveness and peace wash over bruises and sores
People bridging the distance over nettles and thorns

Everyone aboard on the merry-go-round
Some things will rise up so that others come down
If the devil don’t dance, heaven won’t shine
It’s a mighty thick haze and it’s a pretty thin line
If the facuet is tightened up the love won’t flow
If the love isn’t bright enough the corn won’t grow
If the night isn’t dark enough the moon won’t glow

A rich man counting money, a tired man counting sheep
While the safe man counts his blessings, the hungry man has beans
There’s a million people praying, raising up their eyes
To what turns out to be the same god, the same sky
We are slightly scared of death, a little bit afraid
So we celebrate everything we can think to celebrate
We shall sing out loud to keep the hounds away

Everyone aboard on the merry-go-round
Some things will rise up so that others come down
If the devil don’t dance, heaven won’t shine
It’s a mighty thick haze and it’s a pretty thin line
If the facuet is tightened up the love won’t flow
If the love isn’t bright enough the corn won’t grow
If the night isn’t dark enough the moon won’t glow

Prisons will crumble and governments will fall
It’s the order of freedom to be preceded by walls
Cause the truth would be worthless if no one ever lied
So we carry our shame in the interest of pride
And we have all these questions to make us go roam
And we’ve got all this distance to make us come home
As the sun burns, a child learns, the tide churns, the world turns

Everyone aboard on the merry-go-round
Some things will rise up so that others come down
If the devil don’t dance, heaven won’t shine
It’s a mighty thick haze and it’s a pretty thin line
If the facuet is tightened up the love won’t flow
If the love isn’t bright enough the corn won’t grow
If the night isn’t dark enough the moon won’t glow

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8 Comments

Filed under admiration, discoveries, music

8 responses to “New Music Monday

  1. Wow. What a line “The Truth would be worthless if no one lied.”

    This posting made up for the past two days, don’t cha think?

  2. Amen… How very, very appropriate for me in my spinning merry-go-round. Wanna get off, but I paid for this ride. Nothing like running in circles to bring us back to where we began. At least I scored seat on the horse with no head. Fuck me for dropping my ice cream.

  3. Thank you. I love discovering new artists who sound like old faves. She is refreshing and mood-altering.

  4. I know, Seester, huh? For me, it was “if the night isn’t dark enough, the moon won’t glow.”

    NM, I’m caught between being sorry for you and congratulating you for recognizing that you DID pay for this ride. At the risk of sounding trite (because all this sounds trite when you’re neck-deep in it), I really do believe that it’s true that there’s no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. What are you going to do with this really big gift?

    Cajunvegan, she DOES sound like an old favorite, doesn’t she? This is a sound of which I never grow tired….

  5. liv

    thanks for bringing in some new!!

  6. Bo

    So is anyone else singing this post’s title to the tune of “New Moon on Monday” by Duran Duran?

  7. twoblueday

    I looked her up on iTunes and sampled a number of her songs, I heard one or two I’ll probably purchase.

    Here in Central Florida we have so little opportunity to hear good acoustic acts. You have a tremendous advantage in the Boston area (which I luckily get to share to a degree in my Cape Cod summers).

    Did I ever talk about my personal response to music/lyrics? It goes something like this: when I hear a song for the first time, with few exceptions, it either resonates with me or doesn’t. The lyrics have little to do with it (at least at that stage), it’s just the whole piece. The gestalt, if you will. Once I take the song to my heart, the lyrics sometimes, but not always, increase the song’s appeal. Now (I’m gonna get bogged down here), the singer’s voice, expressed through the words, is a big part of that initial impression (as are the non-verbal vocalizations). I think that the words must get to me at a sort of subliminal level, because when I listen more closely later, I seldom am disappointed by the lyrics.

    Did that make any sense?

  8. Hi! Saw your post about Antje playing Dead Horse Trampoline. Yes, I did record that song as well and Antje is a friend of mine. She told me she learned it from my album, but it was written by my friend Christopher Smith (www.christophersmithmusic.com). It’s a fun song, albeit twisted. :-) You can hear my version at http://www.myspace.com/justinrothmusic.

    All the best,
    Justin

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