Saturday, January 07, 2012

Condensed Music (part 3)

My time has become more valuable over the years and I'm afraid that it's time to shrink my year-end lists down to a more condensed and manageable process. One of the unique experiences that I have with music is that it has turned into a wonderful inspiration for my storytelling flair to spread its wings. Perhaps this has always been the case as the parts of brain that process each element in its own way could easily be linked by some creative force that cradles the ridges and valleys of my cerebellum with electrical current that encourage me to sing sing sing in the most beautiful voice that I know. What that means is that I dig down within my subconscious and find a story to tell the world and it all comes from an impulse or feeling that registers when the songs fill my head. So here's a few stories that I wish to tell. Though they are condensed versions, I suggest you simply add water, click on the songs and cultivate the earth. In time, the full version may come to blossom there, where you sit and listen.

10. Anais Mitchell - Hadestown

When she first started singing with the company, she didn't know what to expect. She simply knew that she was hungry for an experience that would provide some nourishment in her life. It wasn't that she didn't love her husband. She still adored him the same as that day two years before when she promised to share her life with his. No, this was about something missing in her soul. So it was a complete surprise when the flirting began and she couldn't understand the flutter that she felt inside when the director raised his eyebrow at her. She had no idea how far that it would go and found herself reaching out to her husband as if he was a beacon in the night. Then there were the late night sessions after rehearsal to help a few of them get up to speed on the production and those eventually dwindled until it was just the two of them, alone on the stage. He was a strict man when he was directing the company but when he was only around her, he became a gentle lion. She knew that every move was a mistake but something drove her forward and it wouldn't take long until everything was ruined. In the end, it was her husband who saved her. He felt that something was amiss and he came after her, saw that she was falling through the floor when she simply wanted to lift her voice to the heavens. He went to the wife of the director and told her everything, poured out his heart. She knew how her husband could embrace his devious side and it wasn't long before the late night sessions ended. Everyone fell back into their assigned roles and the musical became a rousing success. Yet, in a couple of years their marriage was over and she would forever blame it one her descent into the underworld.

9. High Places - Original Colors

8. Souljazz Orchestra - Rising Sun

7. Baths - Cerulean

He finally understood what it meant to be a teenager. All those strange and confusing emotions that coursed through his body four years ago on the day that he turned thirteen were nothing but faint memories, just like the back-slapping from uncles with mischievous grins on their faces and the shiny-eyed smiles from forty-something women. He smirked at that child who he knew so little about the grand schemes of the world of adults. From the urgent need to discover fulfillment in the glossy sheen of playmate dreams to the drunken ambition to wander the dark streets of oblivion. From the street corner posturing of ritualized growth to the gradual development of an apathetic shield to ward away the demons of societal pressure. From the first schoolyard kiss to behind the AP building to the shadowy back seat of his parents where the residue remained on his lips long after she came and went. From the vicious hallway antics that brought down the middle school frown to the popular ascension on the path to the top of the hierarchical chart. All leading to a sudden awareness of this adulthood that was a mystery no more.

6. Destroyer - Kaputt

5. Glasser - Ring

4. MEN - Talk About Body

It had been just like a John Hughes film, one of those quirky high school threesome love stories between two girls and a guy but the boy wasn't in the middle. Now we were almost thirty and he was gone. I knew that she would be at his wake, even though they had split up five years ago. The only reason that I know all of this was because I couldn't help but keep tabs on her, with a couple of mutual friends keeping the vital fluid of information flowing in my direction. She meant more to me than anything that came before and definitely any of the relationships that I had since. She was the gift that confirmed my conflicted emotions. She was the dream that gave birth to my fulfillment. She was my first love and I was lost when she left me for him. I fell into torturous flings with girls that only caused more pain, for me and everyone else. Then, about the time that I heard about the break-up, I gave it all up. All the ache that had fueled my existence shed from my life and I settled into a healthier place. I allowed myself to be alone so that I could understand my life once more, then I hoped that I could find a moment to wrap my arms around love again. As soon as I entered the room, I knew where to find her, alone at a table in the corner reflecting on loss. I go to her with open arms.

3. Cotton Jones - Paranoid Cocoon

2. Washed Out - Within and Without

1. Hindi Zahra - Handmade

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