Tuesday, August 14, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

Today is the 4 year anniversary of me starting this blog. I could not have told you on August 14, 2008 where I'd be today and all the ups and downs I've encountered since then.

The most important thing is that rock 'n roll music continues to live and I'm more confident than ever that it always will.

Thank you to everyone who has ever read a post on this blog, commented, liked it on Facebook, read anything I've posted on Twitter. Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend Andrew who has made it his mission to read & comment on everything I've ever written.

And here's to another four years...

Real Rock Never Dies.

And they try to tell us that we don't belong
But that's alright, we're millions strong
You are my people, you are my crowd, this is our music, we love it loud

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shovels & Rope - "Birmingham": Top Songs of 2012

Last week, iTunes outdid themselves with the free song of the week by featuring "Birmingham" by Shovels & Rope. The first moments of the preview shed light on a song that needed to be heard in its entirety to grasp each complexity, each nuance of the lyric, and the filtered pain in the two voices which blend together so perfectly.

I haven't heard a song this achingly beautiful in years. It's a velvet lined throwback to an era when you could stumble blindly into a bar and have your world changed by two people on stage with a harmonica and a guitar. Songs that tell the story of an entire existence in less than 4 minutes, with all the sweat, blood, and agony of each day wrapped up into the most succinct of lines. 

Rock of Ages, cleave for me
Let me hide myself in Thee
Buried in the sand
Five hundred miles from Birmingham

It's a song for everyone that yearned to bury all of their soul in rock 'n roll music, when it was hard to believe and you fought anyway to stick to your guns. Eyes that saw more in a minute than most in a lifetime and cried for the lack of the epic in the familiar. Willing to do anything to experience transcendence in a drum beat and a six string. Days on a bus and nights on the stage, looking for that one starry-eyed girl in the audience who surrendered willfully and brutally to the music.

Spent five years going from town to town
Waiting on that little girl to come around
Caught in the arms of New York City
To lose that gal seemed terrible pity

The sad harmonica evokes Bruce Springsteen and "The River". There's echoes of Americana, Neil Young, "American Pie", "Wanted Dead Or Alive", and disillusionment filtered through the lens of blind optimism. It's the kind of song that asks to be played on vinyl or in the dark with a cigarette in hand, exhaling into the night.

Pulled her covered wagon off the BQE
Said this'll be the last you'll ever see of me
Well the cowboy laughed said I know it's not true
Cause there's nothing I could do to get loose from you

It's a love song to rock 'n roll and the way musicians are willing to die a little to live through their music.

Check out this band at http://www.shovelsandrope.com/ or on iTunes. Although the song isn't free anymore, it's more than worth your $1.29.