Every morning while I’m going through my emails and other correspondence, I listen to music via YouTube, which provides me with a variety that can only be called astonishing. This morning music both grounds and energizes me. It helps prepare me for my fiction writing, an arduous but satisfying wrestle with words and story. (Silence is always required for my fiction writing.)
Lately, I have become especially taken with National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concerts—“Intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen.” The Tiny Desk Concerts feature music for all kinds of tastes. What a gift!
Here are a few of the many video performances I listen to on a regular basis.
First, there is this joyful, luminous performance by Coldplay and the absolutely amazing For Love Choir. I listen to and watch this almost every day. Much needed during these grim times. I can’t be the only who “wants to party like it’s 1999.”
For a walk on the weirder yet strangely compelling side, you can’t beat Sylvan Esso, a cross between the German band Kraftwerk and the American band Blondie. You might notice this video has been labeled a “tiny desk Home concert.” During this time of the pandemic, it’s part of a new series recorded in musicians’ homes. I’m impressed by the quality of the sound. Very impressed.
Time for a change of pace with Death Cab For Cutie. My daughter Dee introduced me to this soulful, melancholy group led by Ben Gibbard.
I’ve saved the best for last, not a tiny desk concert. Instead, a CD—Keepsake—from my blogging friend Lavinia Ross of Salmon Brook Farms.
Here is how Lavinia describes Keepsake: “[I]t is quiet peaceful folk music. Four songs are mine, four are Kate Wolf covers, one Bob Dylan cover and one James Taylor cover….Guitar playing is mine except for the fretless bass (Jim Lamontagne), and the last song, a Bob Dylan one called ‘Tomorrow is a Long Time.’ ”
Lavinia does most of the singing—her husband Rick does sing one song. Holy cats, what a voice she has! Last night Clif and I were listening to Keepsake, and he said, “Lavinia’s singing reminds me of Aimee Mann.” Yes.
In a lovely case of serendipity, Lavinia features a couple of “tiny farm concert” videos on her website. Here is one featuring the song “Weary Stranger.”
I could have shared so many wonderful music videos.
What are you listening to?