Smiles From Glasgow

Today I’m thankful for Scottish synth-pop.

I am always hunting for new music.  My taste is eclectic and I’ll happily listen to most things once.  YouTube suggested a Chvrches video based on what I’d previously viewed.  I’ve tended to either highly enjoy or immediately need to skip their songs.  There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

They have a clean sound.  I prefer that to distortion, except in some punk and sludge metal.  Their production is crisp and the layering is precise.  I appreciate the intricate beats, and the fact that each song is a complete item.  They don’t meander to some strange musical future.  This particular track has helped get me through a long work week.  I was amused by the writer’s description of it as a “middle finger mic-drop.”  That probably says more about how I handle stress than I actually care to admit.  Listen and enjoy, I hope.

All rights belong to the artists.  I do not own this video.

Sing It, Sister!

Today I’m thankful for two “sister” groups from the ’30s and ’40s:  The Andrews Sisters and The Boswell Sisters.

I discovered the Boswell Sisters by reading, of all things, an interview with Donald Fagan of Steely Dan.  He mentioned that Connee Boswell was one of his formative influences as a vocalist.  I’m always up for hearing new music so I looked up some of their songs.  They were unique in that they’d switch parts in the middle of a verse, or whenever they felt like it.  They jumped around vocally, so that one sister was never stuck on just one part.  They stopped really performing as a group around 1938, but Connee did a lot for the USO during the Second World War.

If you’ve ever heard “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” you’ve heard the Andrews Sisters.  I don’t know as much about them off the stage as I do the Boswells, but their arrangements are usually just fun to listen to.  It’s difficult not to sing along.  Enjoy!

I claim no rights to these videos or songs.

Redeeming Her Miles Middle Ages Style

Today I’m thankful for the singular woman who was Margery Kempe.

Margery Kempe is known for producing the first autobiography in the English language.  She was also a fearless woman who birthed many kids, went on pilgrimages alone (in the 14th century no less), claimed to be a mystic AND was accused of heresy.  Accounts say she had the questionable gift of endless tears.  For someone who was basically a medieval housewife Meg got shit done.  I’m still trying to figure out my taxes.

Almighty Wikipedia is a good place to start.  I’m a fan of the summary by the ladies at Frock Flicks (all of their material is protected by copyright-I’m linking for informational purposes only).