Musical Notes and Accents

21 Mar

Every so often, rather than write a full review of a new CD, I plan to share a few of the tunes that have been floating around in my head recently — on long bicycle rides through the rapidly greening, rolling hills of the San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay. I’ve written about the first two of these albums, but sometimes a standout song or two deserves a second mention.


On James Wallace and the Naked Light’s More Strange News from Another Star, Wallace’s lyrics on “The Wire (Reprise)/Kicked Down the Road” provide insight into the challenges and emotions that many of us invest in maintaining meaningful, lasting relationships.

If I ever hit you child
If I ever made you sit outside
I can always be denied
I have been walking on the wire

If I ever stole and lied
If I ever broke you when you tried
I can always be denied
I have been walking on the wire

And when your walls come down
And the people with their frowns
Lift you up into the clouds
You’ll just smile

If you chase me I’ll run
I’ll run into the darkness or the fire
I won’t run forever, but I’ll run a long time

Force me into a fight
I’ll come at you like the sunlight hits the water
I won’t fight forever, but I’ll fight with my life


Andrew Bird’s “Lazy Projector,” taken from his Break It Yourself CD, ponders whether our lives are essentially movies flickering uncertainly on some lazy projector.

If memory serves us, then who owns the master?
How do we know who’s projecting this reel?
And is it like gruel or like quick drying plaster?
Tell me how long ‘til the paint starts to peel?

Is it like Pyramus or Apollo or an archer we don’t know?
Though history repeats itself, and time’s a crooked bow?
Come on tell us something we don’t know.


Coming next week, I’ll take a more in-depth look at St. Vincent’s (Annie Clark’s) new self-titled CD. But before I do, here are some lyrics from one of that album’s first singles, “Digital Witness,” which pokes at our digital existence in a world of Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Facebook.

People turn the TV on it looks just like a window, yeah
People turn the TV on it looks just like a window, yeah

Digital witnesses
What’s the point of even sleeping
If I can’t show it…if you can’t see me
What’s the point of doing anything?

I like songs where the tune not only keeps repeating in my brain, but the lyrics also really give me something to think about. I hope you do too!


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