How ironic is it that this morning I am bouncing off the walls because we have JUST secured tickets to see the one and only GARTH BROOKS!?!?
Why ironic you ask?
I guess because being British and growing up in a British musical family, country music is not something I was ever “suppose” to like. Kinda like British people don’t drink Ice Tea or own cowboy boots. It’s just not done! (I totally drink and own both of these things)
I can remember when we moved to Texas that country music was a definite culture shock to the ears. I had grown up listening to British rock(my dad’s doing) and Classic Motown(my mother’s doing) and to hear a song like “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson was just…well, there were no words. My parents would cringe and call it “utter crap” or laugh at the silly twang of their speech.
And then, out of nowhere, my mother fell in love with Garth Brooks. He was the beginning of what I like to now call “Pop Country”. It wasn’t your typical Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard country. It was different and it was popular!
My mom played Garth in the car, in the house, it was all Garth all the time. I am pretty sure that “The Dance” played on repeat for a month straight and out of necessity for sanity I too began to fall for Garth. I remember him on SNL one night and how glued my mom’s eyes were to the screen and how funny Garth was, even jumping in on a few skits with the cast. My mom tried to see him in Houston once and she got all the way to the stadium with her friends and there was a bomb threat so they had to evacuate the building and the show was cancelled. Garth never took the stage.
I think it was in high school when I finally gave in to the peer pressure and added the local country radio station to my radio preset. I feel in love with the “country pop” sounds of Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, George Strait, but still, I was not nor would I have ever considered myself a Country Music Fan.
Then low and behold, I ended up in the Mecca of Texas Country Music on I-35 when I decided to go to Baylor University in Waco, Texas for college. My dorm halls were quickly filled with the likes of Randy Rogers Band, Roger Creager, Pat Green, Eli Young, Reckless Kelly and Willie Nelson. I bought my first pair of cowboy boots, my sorority threw a concert featuring Aaron Watson as the headliner, and my favorite weekends often consisted of cold beer, good friends and a little Texas Country playing in the background.
My sister, Sarah, and I with the Randy Rogers Band-2011
And now we have come full circle. I have acquired tickets to see the guy that turned me on to it all and made me a little bit country. Garth Brooks, baby!
Finally checking this one off my concert bucket list!
Last weekend I was at my parent’s house for the Easter break and found myself watching Saturday Night Live, a show I have not really paid much attention in the past couple years, unless Justin Timberlake is hosting.
The show was weak as usual, even though I am totally in love with the host, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family. I think she is hysterical on that show. Anyway, Sofia came on and introduced the night’s musical guest, a British/Irish boy band by the name of One Direction. Now I know I am a little late to the party on listening to these guys, but in my defense I don’t really listen to the radio or watch the Disney Channel anymore.
The boy band, consisting of 5 adorable hipster boys with stylish, yet “I look like I just got out of bed” hair, sang a song called, One Thing. Apparently this is a huge hit right now, but as I said I have been under a rock when it comes to the latest teen heart throbs.
The song immediately took to my ear and when I woke up with it in my head the next morning I knew why it was such a hit.
Today I have probably listened to it 5 times, and I think I have figured out why its so great:
First, it’s catchy, it has a great beat and it’s just downright happy. I was listening to it at work today and I was totally walking with a spring in my step as I trotted from meeting to meeting. Yes I said trotted because it made me kinda do this dance walk that I can’t really explain…but I promise it looks totally cool.
Next, it’s just stinkin cute. From the charming, baby-faced teen bops that sing it to the sweet simplistic lyrics, it’s just so flippin cute. “Get out, get out of my head and fall into my arms instead”, while not profound in any way shape or form, still adorable.
Lastly, it is about one of my favorite things…puppy love. Remember puppy love? It was easy, it was exciting, it was uncomplicated. As I get older, I find love exciting still and something that I definitely want in my life, but good gravy is it hard to find and when you do find it, it’s usually a clustercfuck or he’s gay.
So cheers to you One Direction for making me dance walk at work today and giving me the the butterflies I once had as a young girl in love with Nick Carter. Awwww…
So I caved. I bought myself a monthly premium account on Spotify and I am already in love. In keeping with the 5 changes I have set for myself this year, this one falls under number 5 “Choose Happiness”. Remember I said I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish that, but music is definitely something that makes me happy.
Specifically discovering hidden gems. Now this song I am about to speak of is really not a “hidden gem”, per say, but the artist who wrote it certainly is.
Bon Iver, an indie folk band from Wisconsin is well know for its beautiful song “Skinny Love” recorded for the For Emma, Forever Ago album back in 2007. In doing some research on the band, I learned of it’s very talented front-man, Justin Vernon who composed and wrote all the songs on the For Emma, Forever Ago album. I found out that he actually locked himself in a cabin in the woods for four months and recorded the whole thing from there while recovering from a bad case of mononucleosis. Crazy right? The only things that were added to the album after he returned from his 4 month unabomber-esque lifestyle were a couple of background vocals, but even most of the beautiful harmonies you hear are Vernon harmonizing with himself.
I have loved this specific song,”Skinny Love” , since I first heard it back in 2009, but it was not until I started hearing other recordings of it that I began to fully appreciate the beauty and talent that went into its creation. Vernon’s vocal range is very impressive as he soars throughout in his beautiful falsetto voice, but yet ends the song with a gruff almost yell of frustration.
English musician, Birdy released a cover of “Skinny Love” in January 2011 and it’s popularity immediately took-off in the UK. I don’t feel it’s as beautiful as Vernon’s original(though impressive as she is only 15), but while cruising through my Spotify I did find another acoustic rendition by Gavin Mikhail that gave me chills(the good kind).
There is a lot of online discussion about the lyrics of this song and what they mean. And like most music, I have found it means different things to different people. That’s the great thing about music. Most take a very literal translation and believe it to be about a girl suffering from anorexia and the downfall of her relationship due to her disease, but when asked about it’s meaning in an interview with Pitchfork Magazine Vernon said this “…it’s about that time in a relationship that [one goes] through; you’re in a relationship because you need help, but that’s not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that’s skinny. It doesn’t have weight. Skinny love doesn’t have a chance because it’s not nourished.”.
And now I love it even more.
Below I have posted the videos of the three versions of “Skinny Love” that I mentioned in my article. Would love to know which one you like best.
I cried at a Google Doodle. I am not sure what happened, but I lost it. Yup right at my desk, at work, with everyone around me. It was not the big BOOOHOOO cry, but the kind where your nose turns red like Rudolph and your are trying to fight back the tears but one squeaks through and then you are done for. The waterworks start coming. You know the cry…we have all done it.
It had been a rough week. Lots of stuff going on in both my personal and professional life and this little Google Doodle was just the last straw.
A beautiful song with a beautiful message from a very talented life that was taken too soon…