Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Song by Field Report "Home (Leave the Lights On)"

My beloved bike from college at the St. Michaels harbor
Sometimes it takes hearing a song in the right setting to have it really resonate within. I had listened to the second album by Field Report, Marigolden (out October 7 via Partisan Records), in its entirety recently without finding a standout tune for my next new music playlist. Yet last week I found myself back in Maryland shortly after celebrating the life of my mother, with my father landing in the impressive University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Per usual, I found solace in music through local radio stations as I ferried myself back and forth over the Bay Bridge from the Eastern Shore, where my parents have lived for over twenty years in St. Michaels. Independent station WTMD 89.7 in Baltimore offered up favorite bands such as Dr. Dog, Okkervil River and Band of Horses just as I needed an infusion musical jams to keep me rolling, while WRNR 103.1 out of Annapolis presented a more standard lineup and advertising breaks that clued me into the local scene. WRNR also had the inside scoop about area boy Dave Grohl's visit for an episode of his HBO show Sonic Highways, airing an interview where Grohl admitted to flying some Chesapeake blue crabs out to the West Coast because he missed them so much! Plus when R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" came on WRNR as I drove my Dad home from his extended stay, my heart sank with every swelling refrain.

But that first night I drove to stay at my parents house alone, which in itself was unprecedented, was crazy dark and stormy. The Field Report song, "Home (Leave the Lights On)" came on WTMD, with a breezy beginning that belies the depth of meaning found in the lyrics. Voiced by laid back singer/songwriter Christopher Porterfield of Milwaukee, the tune haunted my soul as I realized there wasn't anyone to complete this simple task at my destination. Truths such as how we wake "up everyday just a little bit changed," and how "the body remembers what the mind forgets, archives every heartache" resonated deeply, as I faced another challenge in my family. Check out the band's video below, and I suggest listening carefully to every word.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Theme Song for HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - "Go" By Valley Lodge

John Oliver (Photo via HBO)
That catchy tune picked as the theme song for HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver got me wondering who was behind this simple blast of guitars acting as an energizing boost to the show ahead.  I've been a fan of John Oliver since his early days on The Daily Show, so I'm rooting for him as he establishes himself as a comedy curator with a more in depth analysis of the world's craziness. (Although I still can't get used to the uncensored copy, wincing at so many words that would have been bleeped out on other channels -- as my English teacher mother would remind us, there are plenty of other colorful words to choose from!) 

The theme song turns out to be "Go" by Valley Lodge, a power pop quintet based in New York.  It is off their third self-released album, Use Your Weapons (2013).  I can't say I'm a fan of the stylized vocals, but the straight-forward, basic band approach is refreshing in this day of too much overproduced mayhem.  Take a listen to the full song and check out the band in the video below.