Saturday, June 12, 2010
Seventeen Cold Showers
There are days when a specific song can become a metaphor for your entire existence; when a verse or a line speaks to you so profoundly that you wish it had been you who had penned the words. When I listen to St. Vincent, I am most often met with this sensation, and recently this song in particular has been supremely fitting. [What I admire about St. Vincent is her Adams-family-esque nature combined with a delicate femininity you can't help but adore. She is Audrey Hepburn meets PJ Harvey.]
What St. Vincent's music conveys most clearly, I would argue, is the shared human experience of wide-eyed mistake-making. When you are in the midst of something; that is when you most need music. After a fundamental life experience, it can be easily argued that music serves as an opiate of reassurance and reflection, but within the experience itself only the truest music steps forward; it is the true musicians who can make music which lives inside the primal human experience and exists only in and of itself.
Another master of this technique is, of course, Bob Dylan.When I lived in Chicago and walked through the city every morning to get to my 9:00 Voice Class [comic relief if you have ever heard me sing], I would listen to this song and feel perfectly adapted to the wind in my hair, the bums on the street, the getting-lost and the not-knowing and the small-fish-in-a-big-pond syndrome that soon became a part of my daily existence. When you feel your life in the middle of a change; big or small, there is nothing better than something to hum along to.
Lastly, how could this set be complete without the queen of present-moment-music-making-magic; Erykah Badu. Not only does this song come equipped with what has to be the most fabulously color-coordinated music videos ever created, but its message is one of the simplest and most difficult to grasp. I guess nobody ever told you/All you must hold onto/Is you.