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Video of the Week: Never Is a Promise

There happens to be one song in the world that served as a catalyst for me to pursue music as an on-going passion.  Several years ago, a friend of mine had told me of a new artist named Fiona Apple.  She mentioned that I might like her stuff and recommended that I check her out. Well, a few weeks later, I was in a record store and came across one of those listening booth/kiosks that had several different CD's that you could hear songs from.  Fiona Apple's debut album called "Tidal", with those gargantuan blue eyes staring out at  you, was one of them .  .  .

I remember picking up a copy and thinking "Oh, this is that girl that my friend told me about".  After looking throught the song titles in the back of it, one title stood out to me.  It was number 7--a song called "Never Is a Promise".  I thought it was such a simple but poetically provocative name for a song.

In the middle of this very busy record store, I put the headphones on, went to #7, and was hopeful that I would like what I would hear.  I can honestly say that this event changed the way I looked at music.  I heard this song with all of its power, hopeful defiance, angst, and beauty, and I was so inspired.  I could relate to every word and understand every nuance in the music.   The delicate inflections in her voice, the sense of mounting urgency in the piano, the mournful violins, and that tender moment at the end when she sings "You'll say I need appeasing when I start to cry"--I was never the same after this.  This song changed me in ways that I can't even begin to explain.

Every now and then, I actually play this song on the piano and sing it when I'm alone in my room.   I just love to play it so much.

Uncategorical Permissives

On Mapping Happenings

I made some music purchases in June and August and they arrived within the past two weeks; two CDs and two LPs. The LPs were pre-orders from June. The CDs were more recent purchases. Let me start with the CDs. Before I begin, please note that these are solely my opinions regarding similarities to various other artists - only to give an approximation of what they are like. We all have unique impressions of how one artist sounds like another artist. So I caution to sample for yourself before taking my word for what an artist sounds like and plunking down some bills for the album.

Baby Grandmothers

Baby Grandmothers was one of the early Swedish psychedelic experimental bands performing in 1967. They never recorded an LP but left behind a single and enough live recordings to provide a complete compilation of their recorded work on CD by Swedish label, Subliminal Sounds, in 2007. The band was a trio consisting of Kenny Hakansson on guitar, Bengt "Bella" Linnarsson on bass, and Pelle Ekman on drums. The band evolved out of the blues-psych band, T-Boones, and I figured they would be similar. Man, was I wrong! Baby Grandmothers were truly several steps beyond the typical blues band, similar to early Ashra Tempel, with a modal style based primarily on improvisation with hypnotic rhythms, although there are a few songs, or parts of songs, that have a more conventional pop sound. The 20 minute composition "Being Is More than Life (2)", an extended version of their single, has become one of my favorites on the disc. And keep in mind this was 1967. The only other European artists with this type of sound at that time, besides the German group Ashra Tempel mentioned above, would be Pink Floyd (with Syd Barrett) and Hapshash & The Coloured Coat in the UK and another Swedish band, Parson Sound. I really like this CD and it will take several more spins in my player, over time.

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