Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I love music.

Here is one of my new favorite things:

I arrive at school about 7:30 a.m., so that I have a full two hours plus a little before my first class to get everything sorted: class plan solidified, poems responded to, etc. My office is a good office, but it's got no windows. So often I go over to the student center with my books and papers, and plug into some music. You know, like the kids do, creating my own sonic atmosphere that shuts out most of the bustle and the music playing on the soundsystem. It's like being in a little world of my own, one that's part of everyone else's world, but with better music, and lots of light.

This week I have been listening again to Sufjan Stevens' The Age of Adz.  It is brilliant. I was a late listener to Illinoise, which I also find to be brilliant. This is, as everyone probably now knows, a complete change of direction for Stevens, sonically and lyrically and in pretty much every way you can't think of. I can't quite get over how good it is, and how much better it gets once you accept it on its own terms.

"I Walked" is a song from one partner in a failed romance to another:

Lover, will you look at me now?
I'm already dead to you 
But I'm inclined to explain 
To you what I could not before

The song has an utterly gorgeous melodic line. I happen to know that, in a big busy room, when you're wearing headphones and so is practically everyone else, you can sing along softly and no one will call you on it.

"I Want to Be Well" is both plaintive and fierce:

Illness likes to prey upon the lonely, prey upon the lonely
Wave goodbye, oh, I would rather be, but I would rather be fine

I want to be well, I want to be well
I want to be well, I want to be well

Just one more song I found myself singing along with--"Get Real Get Right":

I know I've caused you trouble 
I know I've caused you pain 
But I must do the right thing
I must do myself a favor and get real
Get right with the Lord

This story gives a pretty good window into the recording.

If you haven't already given this album a listen, you can hear it all the usual places...but make sure you give it more than one chance. It will grow on you.

(p.s. blogged every day in January, in case you're keeping track.)

1 comment:

  1. First, congratulations on blogging like a pure 100% champ. High five, you!

    Second, LOVE the header--everything about it--the photo and the "more light" caption. It makes me feel hopeful.

    Third, thanks for the music. As always, HTMS enriches.



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