Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Music That Saved me--Letters I and J

I and J--there just aren't that many bands out there that begin with these letters. For me, my I choices are later choices. Bands I didn't hear until I was at LC.

Indigo Girls
Image result for indigo girls
They are a Grammy winning folk rock duo from Georgia (REM, Guadalcanal Diary and the B52s are all from surrounding places in Georgia--there must be something in the water) consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. They are both openly lesbian and active in political and environmental causes. Sometimes lovingly referred to as the Indigo Dykes. In 1994 they starred in a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar in Atlanta with Amy playing Jesus and Emily playing Mary Magdalene. Is there nothing this dynamic duo can't do?

 Spiderman and I discovered them together when we were at LC and went "halvsies" on buying them on cassette as by now it was clear we were going to be together for life and we were accumulating shared stuff. I loved the song Closer to Fine. When we lived in England my friend Clare and i used to sing it as a duet while she played guitar. Good times.
Watch it here:
My favourite line is:
  The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Because I can be a bit intense and angst-y. (sad, but unfortunate) FACT. 

The Insyderz
Going to a Baptist university meant that I was surrounded by Christian music. Some was good--decent pop songs with with a Jesus twist, Some were awful--hand on heart praise music that was supposed to make you sway hypnotically like a cobra in a trance. And hymns. Lots and lots of dreary hymns. But Spiderman and I discovered several Christian bands that were different that we really liked. I mentioned my love for ska music in the first post in this series about Amazulu. The Insyderz were a ska band who did praise songs and hymns in an upbeat, you can dance to it way with a heavy brass section. So my pick for them is He Has Made Me Glad off their album titled Skalleluia!
Listen to it here:
Joan Osborne
Image result for joan osborne

She had naturally curly hair that i wanted to boing and a nose ring. I was in love. 
This song came out in 2005 and I was captivated by the lyrics (which were written by Eric Bazilion of The Hooters) and her soulful delivery. This song was used as the theme to  one of my favourite TV shows Joan of Arcadia. Many of Joan Osborne's songs have a religious theme or imagery like St Theresa but I choose One of Us.
Watch it here: 
The opening bit where she sings through her nose always sounds like my Texas grandmother Sweetie singing.

John Denver
OK, he may not be a fashionable choice, but i grew up with John Denver. I can play Country Roads on the ukulele as well Leavin' On a Jet Plane. Plus he made the best Christmas album in the world with the Muppets. The Muppets! 

But I love his version of Tom Paxton's Whose Garden Was This which talks about the bleak future we face if we do not sort out caring for the environment. This was written for the first earth day in 1970, people! How have we not gotten our shit together by now? It is more important than ever to deal with this! The best thing you can do to save the planet is to stop eating meat. Methane from factory farming is the biggest creator of greenhouse gasses (bigger than all the world's transportation combined)--go to Netflix and watch Cowspiracy. You will thank me for this. Otherwise, this is the future that awaits us. 
Listen to it here:
Jay Foreman
This is a since we've lived in the UK discovery. Jay is a musical comedian who also did a really good series of specials called Politics Unboringed to try to get young people interested in voting. We met his at Distraction Club once and he is a lovely bloke. My first choice is Dinosaurs which is illustrated by the fantastic paper puppetry of the equally fantastic Bec Hill. They collaborate often as they have such good chemistry.  
Watch it here:

My second choice is called Stealing Food.
Watch it here:

He also does a very impressive song naming Every Tube Station. 

And saving my favourite for last--Jonny and the Baptists.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know how much I *love* Jonny and Paddy (the Baptists) I won't go on and on about them here as I have done so previously. There are at least four whole posts dedicated to them. Just put the name in the search box and refresh your memory. But here is a link to when we saw them last: 
What to choose by them???? I love EVERYTHING. 
Go here:  and listen to everything, then buy it all. 
My favourite video is probably Do It In The Library.
Watch it here: 

And in honour of Brexit--a love song to Angela Merkel. I wish we weren't leaving the EU. :(
Watch them sing it live here all sweaty and sexy:
 Also since Brexit was fuelled by political parties like UKIP who want to restrict immigration and make Britain white (oops! I meant great) again The UKIP song. 
You might need to know that Nigel Farage was the leader of the UKIP party. 

I could also mention INXS. I love the sultry sounds of Need You Tonight and Mystify and I could also shout out to Journey. I have very clear memories of listening to Don't Stop Believin' in the back of Len H's older brother's car. 
Do you like when bands combine comedy with music? 

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