Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Things are not looking up; the dark gloom of depression is emanating from multiple sources, mostly from within. Like smog, it hovers slowly over you, blocking the sunlight and instills existential anxiety into the vacant place that used to house your heart. There is no future, merely the ever present, changing from one futile semblance of reality to another.

But look! A single ray of light is piercing the clouds, melting frost and arousing long lost memories of... hope? Is it an illusion sparked by the ongoing fatigue or is there more to it?

What is it that has such power to put a smile on your face, the kind that comes from within? Who dares exorcise the demons of depression and frustration?

A musical treasure trove of rare properties, covered in a New York Times article I was fortunate to read today, is that shining beacon. Live recordings of Ella Fitzgerlad taken over twelve nights in 1961, lost for so many years, present an amazing side of the singer, close and intimate and above all very much alive and joyous. The article has three streamable songs which transformed my death row-like day at work into something very different indeed. I hope it would have the same effect for you.

Check out the article and play the three songs ("But Not For Me", "St. Louis Blues", "On the Sunny Side of the Street") to brighten your day. More of the recordings are available on the "Twelve Nights in Hollywood" boxed set.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Empty Spaces, Moving On

I was immersed in a funny, almost tranquil feeling last night as I was pacing the company's grounds. The place seemed deserted, familiarly worn and torn; a place I spent most of my waking hours in, but now felt strangely foreign.

I'm trying to leave, the cords are all but completely severed. The only thing remaining is a destination.

But maybe the destination doesn't matter as much as the will to go and breath some life into this existence, to dig up my wanderlust and venture on. A beautiful new Leonard Cohen song, the first in 5 years, apparently, seems to support this. After all: "It's like they tore away my blindfold, and they said 'we're gonna let this man go free'."


Leonard Cohen - New Song {Video), from a live concert in Chicago, October 29th 2009 (thanks for the heads up Guy)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Stricken Peace

An odd sound marks Stricken City, a London, UK based indie pop band. Fast paced, makes-you-want-to-dance moves are mixed with some darker undertones and all somehow, for the lack of a better term, eschewed and different. In a good way.

It's not another britpop band. There's something behind their sound you can't really fathom, something that evades you. It could be the effect of Rebekah Raa's voice as it hovers and haunts the melodies, disturbing the peace. It could be some of the songs' themes and art covers. But it warrants a second listen.

Check out Stricken City on their website and MySpace. Their debut LP, Songs About People I Know, is being released this week (iTunes).

Stricken City - Small Things {MP3} from Songs About People I Know
Additional tracks are streamable on MySpace