Daylight savings time set our clocks back in time this week, and maybe that sunk into our bones because our music picks this week seem to defy time. Leon Bridges tune “Coming Home” has a sound that is timeless, Peter O’Toole’s 1972 track, “The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” sounds more timely than ever, and our guest this week, Knox Hamilton, chose “Nancy From Now On,” a track that we are sure will stand the test of time. So give them all a try this week, and see what song stick with you long into the future.
Leon Bridges- “Coming Home”
This is a song about simple love. Instrumentally it’s simple. A simple drumstick tapping on a high hat. Simple plucks of a guitar, with simple notes on an organ.
Lyrically it’s more of the same, a series of simple platitudes. “Baby baby baby, I need you. I want to be around girl. I want to hold you close.”
It offers an idea of a simple love in a complicated world. Of course, love is never simple. It’s a complicated combination of feelings and moments with each other. There are moments when you hate each other, sometimes it's terrible, but sometimes, it’s simple, and it's easy, and it makes you feel just like this song sounds.
- Listen if you like: Sam Cooke, Doo-wop, a timeless sound.
Frankie Cosmos- “Art School”
Frankie Cosmos’ songs sound like a teenager who has been inside her room all summer long, watching low-budget art films and now she has decided to make art herself. No need for any fancy equipment, anything laying around her childhood bedroom with do. Her songs are penciled ideas, crayon drawings, diary entries, and little scraps of innocent truth. The final result of her art project feels like art for art’s sake. It’s unpretentious and sweet. We might as well have found it under her bed, next to a stuffed animal and a paper doll.
- Frankie Cosmos' album, Zentropy, is available now.
- Listen if you like: the movie You Me and Everyone We Know, unpretentious music, normcore.
Knox Hamilton picks Father John Misty- “Nancy From Now On”
When I called Boots of the band Knox Hamilton he was at a Laundromat in Pittsburgh before driving across the east coast to a show in Cleveland that night. I asked him if there was a song that he had in heavy rotation, and understandably he picked “Nancy From Now On” by Father John Misty because it reminded him of his home in Arkansas. Listen to his beautiful southern accent in his intro to the song in the SoundCloud link below.
- Father John Misty's album, Fear Fun, was realeased by Sub Pop in 2012.
- Listen if you like: earthy sounds, Fleet Foxes, Knox Hamilton.
The Decemberists- “Make You Better”
We become apologists for some bands and we end up listening to their new album for comfort that it gives rather than its artistic merit. So, I’m not sure that this is the greatest Decemberists song, but I love it. Because every time I listen to the Decemberists I remember Colin Meloy leading the Pabst theater in a round of jumping jacks and calisthenics during their show that I went to with my new high school friends, and writing the lyrics to The Mariners Revenge Song on the wall of my friends room in an afternoon of boredom, and being pulled up onstage with the whole pit at the Pabst and belting Sons and Daughters with the band in a concert moment I’ll never forget. And that’s why I love this song.
- The Decemberists new album, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World will be released soon.
- Listen if you like: Harmonies, piano, Colin Meloy’s voice.
Peter O’ Toole- “The Impossible Dream (The Quest)”
I read an article recently about Van Morrison’s 1968 album, Astral Weeks. In the article, its author, Mike Powell said, ‘To say an album came out in 1968 is historical fact, but the reality is that records come out whenever people hear them first.” I completely agree with that, and it happened to me this week with Peter O’Toole’s “The Impossible Dream (The Quest) from the 1972 film, The Man of La Mancha, which is based on the book Don Quixote.
Don Quixote came to me in threes last week. First, in the season finale of my favorite show, Bored To Death, which I re-watched. Then at The Milwaukee Ballet’s performance of Don Quixote, and finally I wrapped it together by watching The Man of La Mancha, and finding myself welling up at this song.
I feel that this song chose me this week instead of the other way around.
This song is just incredible. It’s everything I ever wanted to be. It’s noble, it’s just, its passionate and loving, courageous and without fear. It's about doing what you do to the best of your ability, knowing that your goals are impossible, but going through it anyway, knowing that you will be better for it. Dreaming the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe. Going, knowing that the quest is impossible, that you will fail, but you had the guts to do it.
These are words to live by.
- The film Man of La Mancha was released in 1972.
- Listen if you like: Nobility, courage, strength, old movies.