Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"everything your twisted smile conveys"

I've never listened to much Amos Lee, so credit for this one goes to my dear friend Julia Mecham, who put it (different version, though. I like this one better. I am better than Julia) on a mix for me when I was stuck in bed with mono.

I like this song for a lot of reasons. Basically, I'm a sucker for:
1. Anything played on a Wurlitzer 200a (want another example? What? Another?) Listen to this in your headphones and let that vibrato cradle you gently into the stratosphere.
2. Motown, or in this case Motown-influenced soul music. I love it even when it's riding that fine line between great and sap-tastic (which is the same fine line that the Wurlitzer 200a walks, now that I think about it). It has something to do with the fact that my first love was the electric bass. In high school, I wanted to be a James Jamerson. And by "in high school," I mean still, right now, every day. One finger, guys. He played all those lines with one finger. They called it "The Hook." He had all five, that's just the way he got things done. Moving forward,
3. Black people's voices, and
4. Bass!
5. Simple lyrics that are also good.
6. Sad lyrics that are also good.
7. Well placed gospel backup vocals that don't sound slapped on by record producers (you're the best thaaang!).
8. Songs that end with a good breakdown.

Maybe you don't share those affinities with me, but you might like the song anyway.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Some night in early 2009, a soft snow fell across diffused cones from yellow streetlights, and I put off writing an essay to go to an album release show. It had only been a few weeks since the more humble release of my own EP, and that was on my mind as I stepped heavily out of the white and into the old brick entryway of the Post Theater. A Logan musician I'd never heard of named E. Stohl Chipman was the man of the hour, but I was there because my good friend Julia Mecham was one of the opening acts. The other opener, Asher in the Rye, caught my attention not so much for the vocalist and songwriter, but for her one-man backup band, a skinny dude impressively playing percussion, bells, keyboard, banjo, and singing harmony, often simultaneously. He left the show early, but I found out a few things about him: he was learning the entire Amelie soundtrack (Composer: french genius Yann Teirsen) on the accordion, his name was Beaux, and he had become a new musical hero of mine.

As 2010 wears on - at the moment getting fitted for its own Salt Lake City winter - I'm playing in a band called Matteo with three wonderful musicians who I am proud to call my friends as well as my musical collaborators, including lead singer Eric Chipman. I myself am the skinny dude playing one-man backup band (albeit less impressively) for Julia Mecham, who is without a doubt my favorite musician in Utah. This past week, I became a member of a band called St. Boheme, playing french cafe music on accordions and banjos and vibraphones with Beaux Underwood. And in December, my new record will come out, and I will have a release show, and I hope you'll put off writing your essay to come see it. I can't promise it'll subtly present you with the genetic sequence that spells out your musical projects for the next two years. But it might be snowing, even softly, and I will give you a close hug.