Monday, November 28, 2011

Wintersongs, Pt. I

Being an über music dork/snob can have its down sides. For one, there is always a song playing in my head. Always. Mostly good, sometimes annoying, and in rare cases, downright wretched. I also find myself to be a “completest” as well, having to own every piece of recorded music by a given musical artist. But there are good things as well, and I love how different songs and albums play such an important part to my life over different eras of my own life.

With the changing of the seasons, my musical tastes shift. For instance, I can think of no spring since the late-80s that the eternally vernal Skylarking by XTC wasn’t played at least a dozen times. The soundtracks to summer have been incredibly varied, and so many fine pieces of music emanated from different car tape decks, CD players and iPods during road trips while exploring America – usually with a bicycle or boat or two strapped to the car’s roof racks. Autumn often sees warm Americana in heavy rotation – R.E.M., The Decemberists, Uncle Tupelo, etc. Which leads into winter.

Winter generally means Christmas music to most. And growing up I loved it and always looked forward to digging out the LPs and playing them on my parent’s bulky console stereo. But for the past ten years or so, not so much. It’s even more difficult to even get into winter at all living in a place like San Diego County. However, I still try to remember what season it is. And there are a more than a few songs that are winter-appropriate without being tied in the least to the holidays that I greatly enjoy. Allow me to bore you with the list that I’m pecking out in a germ tube 34,000 feet above the icy north Pacific ocean.

Wintersongs, Part I

Galaxie 500’s signature distant, dreamy and ethereal sound reminds me of walking on fresh, crunchy snow on a crisp, bitterly-cold and cloudless night. Their astonishing cover of Yoko Ono’s Listen, The Snow Is Falling is the highlight from their excellent 1990 swan song This Is Our Music. Starting with Dean Wareham’s gentle, echoed guitar strumming and building to a full band arrangement, with bassist Naomi Yang handling vocal duties, it’s nearly eight minutes of sonic bliss.

Galaxie 500 – Listen, The Snow Is Falling
Listen, the snow is falling o’er town,
Listen the snow is falling ev’rywhere.
Between empire state building
And between Trafalgar Square.
Listen, the snow is falling o’er town.

Listen, the snow is falling o’er town,
Listen the snow is falling ev’rywhere.
Between your bed and mine,
Between your head and my mind.
Listen, the snow is falling o’er town.

Between Tokyo and Paris,
Between London and Dallas,
Between your love and mine.
Listen, the snow is falling ev’rywhere.

Snowing, snowfall, snowfall,
Listen, listen,
Listen, baby,

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