Aug. 1st, 2014

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The Brookline Parent: Let It Go, Let It Be (DVD Extras)

So, this week's The Brookline Parent column, "Let It Go, Let It Be," might require a little explanation. Or it might not. But I shall explain here anyway. Consider this the DVD extras, as it were.

As anyone with kids is probably aware, and even many of us without kids, one of the biggest songs to hit the preschool and elementary school set is "Let It Go" from the Disney movie Frozen. I know I've heard Muffin and Squeaker singing it a lot, along with their friends, even though they haven't seen the movie enough times to have memorized the lyrics. Apparently, they hear it from their friends a lot, who then hear it from them…it's a cycle.

Anyway, I've been sometimes singing along, or at least the title, and I kept getting it mixed up with the tune for "Let It Be." I'd sing "Let it go" over and over to the tune for "Let It Be." Well, one thing led to another, and...

I committed parody.

So. Go click on The Brookline Parent: Let It Go, Let It Be. Enjoy the ear worm.

Jan. 29th, 2008

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The Unintended Resonance of Song Lyrics

Recently, I've been listening over and over to Kimya Dawson's song "Tire Swing," which can be found on the Juno soundtrack. I've been enjoying all aspects of the song – the rhythm, the melody, the vocals, the texture – while I try to puzzle out the lyrics. The lyrics in the song are not as difficult to decipher as those in some of her other songs, but I suspect that one can find many shades of meaning hidden within.

For me, in particular, I find the following verse to resonate with something I am sure Dawson never intended:


Now I'm home for less than twenty-four hours
That's hardly time to take a shower
Hug my family and take your picture off the wall
Check my email write a song and make a few phone calls


Now, maybe my mind is only drifting in a certain direction because of the time of year. It was a year ago this past weekend that we held Mom's funeral, and I keep going over my memories from that period. But the lyrics of this verse remind me of a day a few months later, when I managed to squeeze out a tiny amount of time to visit the house where I grew up a final time. My younger brother Josh and I were doing another check of the house to clear out the possessions that we wanted to rescue before we sold the place. I'm very grateful to Josh that he found the time to return to the house a few more times and supervise the final pickup of our stuff, but that particular day was my own last day in the house I grew up in. And the lyrics of "Tire Swing" seem to echo that day for me.

Why? Because I remember being on the train to New York City, and realizing that I would literally have less than twenty-four hours to take care of everything. Because I find myself missing the shower in the bathroom. Because we rescued (I hope) all the family photos, and we took off the wall a picture that Mom had painted as a little girl, a picture that now hangs in my apartment. Because while at the house, I'm sure I made a few phone calls, even if I didn't have my computer with me to check email.

(Okay, so I didn't write a song. But you wouldn't have expected me to, now would you?)

So, for all those reasons, "Tire Swing" resonates. And I'm sure Dawson would find my resonance with her song orthogonal to her own.

Jan. 11th, 2008

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Juno Soundtrack: Kimya Dawson Coming to Boston

Yesterday I got the CD of music from the movie Juno. I've already praised the movie, and part of what made the movie the best one of 2007 was the soundtrack. The songs fit the mood of the movie's scenes perfectly, and apparently part of the reason was because Ellen Page, the film's star, decided that her character would most logically listen to the music of the Moldy Peaches, a band that includes singer Kimya Dawson, who performs many of the songs on the album.

I'd never heard of Dawson before, probably because I'm not too up on indie rock or the anti-folk movement. But I can understand why her songs are appealing to me. I'm probably not the best person to try to describe her music, but what the hey. Her lyrics are somewhat surreal, her style is acoustic, and her voice is real. There's an idiosyncratic feel to what she's doing, and as I listen to her songs I feel like I'm enjoying an orthogonal view of the world around me. I think it's because the music is filled with bouncing rhythms and catchy tunes, while the lyrics range from simple, sweet observations of life to the mocking of those very same observations.

Okay, that didn't make any sense. But the music is still cool. And if you're in Boston, there's a great opportunity coming up.

I looked up Dawson on the Internet and found, much to my surprise, that she'll be performing locally next Thursday night, January 17, at Newbury Comics. So if there's anyone else out there who was as enchanted by her music as I was, let me know. Maybe we can get a small group together.

(For my friends in NYC: she's in Brooklyn next Tuesday.)
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