Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music for Tourists

When I love something -- really, really, to my core LOVE it -- I tend to want everyone I know to love it too. And then I tend to get really angry if/when they don't. It doesn't happen with the things I find diverting and like (currently, MTV's now defunct The Paper, Young Adult literature, the cult film The Room and baking pumpkin bread).

It's with the things that I love so much it feels as if they're encoded into my DNA. I want everyone I know to love The West Wing and devour Nancy Lemann's Lives of the Saints and to be fascinated by David Foster Wallace (I'm just naming three. There are scores more. My friend Gemma once told me I have a favorite everything, which is accurate.) and when they don't, I feel like it's a rejection of me. Personally.

But the issuez, they are another blog post for another time.

And so it is with reluctance that I share Chris Garneau, the latest in a series of (potentially short-lived) musical obsessions. I came across his album, Music for Tourists, on this blog that apparently exists for the sole purpose of distributing pirated albums released in 2007 (http://lewisandclarkleague.blogspot.com/ [I do not know the trick for being fancy about links yet]). His are sad little songs: tragic lyrics, clever arrangements, lots of ennui, lots of strings.

I think the issue some may take with Garneau is that his songs all sound the same. I do not for the LIFE of me understand why this is a criticism people throw around about music. I can see it's impressive when an artist can come up with an entire album of songs, each with its own sound, that are all great and worth repeating and loveable (Abbey Road, to name the most perfect example -- every song is different, and I love every single one). BUT I feel like if you're criticizing an album because "all the songs sound the same" -- doesn't that just mean that you don't like the way the artist sounds to begin with?

Then again, I am a girl who can listen to the same song, to the exclusion of all other songs, for literally days. Or the same thirty seconds in the same song. My neighbors have come over to discuss this. But that's another story.

Chris Garneau singing "Baby's Romance" at a red-keyed piano while he wears a sparkly sweater is below. Please to listen and enjoy.

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