peter and the wolf

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Harmony

When I was listening to last week’s podcast of “This American Life,” I was privileged to hear to a beautiful talk by Anne Lamott; she spoke of her love for Jesus Christ, and the people around her, and music. She told a story of a man in her church who was dying of AIDS. He came to the meeting but he was so weak he could not stand to sing when everyone else was standing. A woman in the same congregation who had always been sort of standoffish to him was watching him sing and she got up and went over to him and lifted him so he could sing as well. Here is what Lamott said:

… and they sang, and it pierced me. I can’t imagine anything else but music that could have brought about this alchemy. How is it that you have a chord here, and then another chord there, and then your heart breaks open? I don’t know the answer. Maybe it’s that music is about as physical as it gets. Your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound a breath. We’re walking temples of noise. And when you add the human heart to this mix, it somehow lets us meet on a bridge we couldn’t get to any other way.

In these times of chaos and this year of dissonance, I am comforted by simple musical harmony. The following are not religious songs, just songs in harmony. And if you choose to listen — friend, I’ll meet you on the bridge.

01. Mady Mesplé & Danielle Millet — The Flower Duet (from the opera “Lakmé,” written by Léo Delibes in 1881)
02. October Project — Bury My Lovely (acoustic)
03. The Cox Family — I Am Weary (Let Me Rest)
04. Peter & the Wolf — Silent Movies
05. The Mountain Goats & Kaki King — Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is In Another Castle
06. Ben Kweller — Wait (Beatles Cover)
07. Vienna Teng — Between
08. Paul Simon — Under African Skies
09. Tom McRae — Ghost Of A Shark
10. Alice In Chains — Heaven Beside You

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Before I start, check out Blender Mag’s list of the best music cameos on the Simpsons. Maybe you agree and maybe not — but heck, it’s a ton of awesome clips (Barry White on Whacking Day, anyone?). YouTube proves its usefulness once again.

And now! Music. I was cleaning out some of my old folders and found some good stuff. Download it all … every single one is worth at least 30 seconds of your listening time.

[ed note – tracks removed. contact me or drop a comment for a copy.]

01. Fujiya & Miyagi – Collarbone
02. Yo La Tengo – Tears Are In Your Eyes
03. Okkervil River – He Passes Number Thirty-Three
04. The Real Tuesday Weld – I Love the Rain
05. Veruca Salt – Forsythia
06. Peter and the Wolf – Silent Movies
07. Pop Levi – Dollar Bill Rock
08. The Bees (aka A Band of Bees) – Love In the Harbour
09. Cafe Tacuba – Ojalá Que Llueva Cafe (Juan Luis Guerra)
10. Gillian Welch – Elvis Presley Blues

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