Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Music that Calms the Savage Rant

Bonnie Raitt - Angel from Montgomery

I'm not even positive hers is the original version of the song, but it's the first one I heard, and Bonnie Raitt has quite a voice. Much better than Dave Matthews, whose cover of this song isn't very inspiring. I don't find any Dave Matthews song very inspiring because he shits on people. At least, his tour bus does.

But Bonnie Raitt . . . soulful, plaintive and full voice, more personality than Blondie and Stevie Nicks combined. She's right up there with Joni Mitchell, perhaps better. Raitt is the kind of singer that modern folk-country singers like Sheryl Crow are but a shadow of. I find Raitt much better than someone like Emmylou Harris because there's something in Raitt's music that reveals a brutal honesty in relationships and everyday life, but something in her voice that makes you realize that there's a tomorrow that might not be banal, a sunrise in front of you as you drive away from the city.

That's the image I get from some of her songs, but it's one that I first got, rather obviously, from Tom Waits' Ol' 55. Ol' 55 is one of the greatest songs ever written, and it stands up there alongside anything Simon and Garfunkel ever wrote, anything Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan or Gordon Lightfoot ever wrote. Waits has an amazing voice that's as forceful as Louis Armstrong, a smoky bass that invokes late nights in seedy bars and truckers on 17 hours of straight driving. When he sings Romeo is Bleeding, or The Piano has been Drinking (Not Me), you can feel your heart rumble to his throaty burr. Ol' 55 has been covered by so many people, Sarah McLachlan and The Eagles being the versions I enjoy, but no one pulls the same image out of the music like he does. The only reason he's not as popular as Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and other solo male artists is because some of his stuff is just so difficult to listen to. Not because it's bad, but because most of it's not that happy. And a lot of it is fairly cynical. And yet he writes songs like Ol' 55 and other ones that can make you feel the wind in your hair during a midnight ride.

Closet Myself in Sleep . . .


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