Most Excellent Music - Must Have More
April 8, 2009 2:43 PM   Subscribe

MoreMusicFilter: Can you help me feel this way again?

I am a nerd. Well, I wish I was smart enough to be a true nerd, but I behave in nerdy ways. One example is my iTunes smart playlist collection. I rate my songs on the following scale: 5 for awesome and want to hear a lot, 4 for awesome and hear less, 3 for mainstream good, 2 for don't care if I never hear again but don't want to delete, and 1 for delete immediately. Unrated songs I haven't made up my mind yet.

Yesterday I heard a song that makes me wish I had 6 stars to work with, maybe 7.

It's a track by The Gabe Dixon Band called Further the Sky, and it makes me weep with joy every time I listen to it. (Warning - jukebox link to the entire album, starts playing immediately. Further the Sky is track #3)

I'm not exaggerating; if you're on the Interstate passing through Nashville and happen to see a small silver Japanese coupe driven by a man banging on the steering wheel and laughing and sobbing at the same time, that's probably me, at least until I get over / used to it.

Recognizing that we all have differing musical tastes, I still hope that you wonderful people can relate to this powerful cathartic sort of experience and share with me the songs that have made you feel this way. If I find any more (THANK YOU PANDORA) I'll certainly return to share.
posted by ZakDaddy to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I'm absolutely certain that this won't make you feel the same way, and I'm not even normally into this type of music, but I ran across this song that actually made me weep.

Mind you, I have two daughters and at the time hadn't seen them in a week.

posted by allthewhile at 2:53 PM on April 8, 2009

Johnny Cash's cover of I See a Darkness always moves me, my girlfriend sent it to me when we were apart and all I wanted to do was GO. TO. HER.
posted by Max Power at 3:00 PM on April 8, 2009

Hoo boy, well as you said tastes and experiences differ.

Assuming your tastes run towards a similar genre (and do not, for example, include opera), I'll offer these random selections that have emotional impact for me:

The Ship Song - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

So Much Song - Tanya Donnelly, 'Beautysleep'.

Leave Me Here - HEM, 'Rabbit Songs'.

Song For The Sky - Bevis Frond, 'Bevis Through The Looking Glass'.

Kentucky Ave - Tom Waits, 'Blue Valentine'.

There are more obviously. And just in case you DO like opera or classical, Gorecki's Symphony #3. No such thing as a dry eye listening to that peice.
posted by elendil71 at 3:30 PM on April 8, 2009

Following on Max Power, there are several Will Oldham albums along these lines (I See A Darkness and Ease Down The Road). Also Brightblack Morning Light. More on the dreamy-folky aspect rather than the bluesy vocals, but you may not be so tied to that part of the song.
posted by rhizome at 3:47 PM on April 8, 2009

A lot of my can't-keep-eyes-dry songs are by bands associated with David Bridie-- both Not Drowning, Waving and My Friend the Chocolate Cake.

Here's a link to a live recording of Not Drowning, Waving's song "Teteko Aoteroa." I kind of like the album version better than this one, but that may be because I've been driving and crying to it for almost my entire adult life.

Actually, come to think of it, I tear up for Weddings, Parties, Anything songs on a regular basis, too. Here they are doing Wide Open Road. Lots of sodden drunks singing along (bless 'em), but you'll get the idea.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:05 PM on April 8, 2009

What a great band! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Regarding this song, I have noticed that anything in 3/4 time is automatically more likely to be moving or comforting for me. I swear there's a neuron loop somewhere in my brain that does nothing but count to three and fire off little jolts of reward. You might have the same structure.
posted by eritain at 5:21 PM on April 8, 2009

On a second listen, the intro and the chords in the verse remind me, respectively, of The Long Day Is Over (Norah Jones, Come Away with Me) and Kiss from a Rose (Seal).

Looking through my 3/4 playlist, some songs that stick out are:
  • Dear Someone (orig. Gillian Welch, my recording by Sara Gazarek, Return to You)—similar wistfulness and some delicious chord changes.
  • Time is a Healer (Eva Cassidy, Songbird)—incredibly emotion-packed vocals.
  • Riding Alone (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken vol. 2)—lonesomeness, care, and delicately voiced piano chords.
  • If It Be Your Will (Leonard Cohen, Various Positions)—philosophical and just incredible, originally recommended to me on the blue.
Hope I'm kind of close to the mark.
posted by eritain at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2009

i have too many of these. a few you may appreciate:

elbow - station approach
sixteen horsepower - scrawled in sap (poor quality link does not do the song justice, it's the first song in the clip and ends at the 3:00 mark)
sufjan stevens - john wayne gacy, jr.
ani difranco - untouchable face
posted by ashabanapal at 6:49 PM on April 8, 2009

umm, yeah that was not my cup 'o tea. But I've got several songs that wreck me, might be worth checking out:

Morning Glory, Tim Buckley (that incredible voice of his, a swelling choir in the background - I get goosebumps, I swear)

Calling All Angels, Jane Siberry w/ k.d. Lang (from the very fine soundtrack to 'Until the End of The World')

...and of course, Chicago, by Sufjan Stevens, always gets me a little verklempft. A bit perkier, tho.

(The song you linked kinda reminded me of Rufus Wainwright, you might plug that into Pandora, too)
posted by Bron at 7:03 PM on April 8, 2009

Hmm, this would be easier if we knew a) what sort of music you like generally and b) what you like about this song in particular.

But, well, this man's voice reminds me a lot of the singer from The Alternate Routes. Try Hollywood.

It also kind of reminds me, but less, of the voice of Jason Isbell of the Drive-By Truckers. Goddamn Lonely Love stopped me dead the first time I heard it. (On that page, the album version is any of the ones that's 4:5x minutes long.)

Good luck!
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 7:30 PM on April 8, 2009

clem snide's cover of "i'll be your mirror" (ignore velvet underground montage). this is definitely one of the best covers i've ever heard. ever.

nick cave - "into my arms" - really, just a beautiful song.
posted by kerning at 8:38 PM on April 8, 2009

oh, another song that completely destroys me is jeff buckley's "lover, you should've come over".
posted by kerning at 8:42 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: Hooray! Thanks, everyone, I'll look forward to going through all of these.

eritain: Regarding 3/4 time, that was hilarious and well-written. Thanks.

two or three cars: Good point. Thanks for diving in anyway. To follow-on answerers, examples of 5-star-rated artists in my library include Alison Krauss, Annie Lennox (mostly from Diva), Audioslave, Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds, Billy Joel, Bobby McFerrin, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Foreigner, Imogen Heap, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, John Mayer, kd lang, Keane, Mark Knopfler, Martin Sexton, Michael Hedges, Moxy Fruvous, Nine Inch Nails, and so on.
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:56 PM on April 8, 2009

What I've heard so far reminds me a (just a bit) of that band New Republic and their song "Apologize" which I understand is pretty representative of their schtick.

The lyrically, the song reminds me of that Damien Rice song, "Cannonball" which is pretty representative of his.

Both of these pretty popular so you've probably heard them already. Maybe you like them already, maybe you don't. Maybe they deserve a another listen.

I have a hunch that you'd dig that Elvis Perkins song "Ash Wednesday".

I think you should definitely check out Madeline Peyroux's "Don't Wait to Long" as a kind of thematic reply to the sentiment in "The Further the Sky."

But for some reason I'm not sure of yet, what I really want you to hear is Jonatha Brooke's "Inconsolable". The rest of her stuff is good too.

Good luck. I know, for me, all the songs that I love like that are flukes and totally different from each other, and I'm lucky I even heard them to begin with.
posted by wobh at 9:05 PM on April 8, 2009

Try Ray Lamontagne's 'Jolene'....
posted by stumpyolegmcnoleg at 10:09 PM on April 8, 2009

Did someone mention 3/4 time?

(That's Richard Thompson, playing the hell out of "Waltzing's for Dreamers.")
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:14 PM on April 8, 2009

I'm easily wrecked so my list would be painfully long, but Neko Case's Deep Red Bells.

A few summers ago I was shopping at Black Ink in Cambridge, looking around at the Little Prince books, cute Totoro dolls, and pretty tea accessories when that song came on. I listened to the first few seconds and then instructed myself to calmly exit the store. I'd never heard the song in public before and it felt like someone was staring into my head and asking, "What's that scar? What's that one? That one? What's that? Can I poke you there? Does it hurt? Does it does it does it does it?" YES, it hurts.
posted by birdie birdington at 10:33 PM on April 8, 2009

Clem Snide - I Love the Unknown
Clem Snide - No One's More Happy Than You
Black Mountain - Night Walks
Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter
PJ Harvey - Beautiful Feeling

And for pure gut-wrenching pain, Sleater-Kinney's "The Size of Our Love".
posted by transporter accident amy at 12:24 AM on April 9, 2009

Lovely song! You might try Amos Lee.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 11:35 AM on April 9, 2009

Susan Tedeschi's version of Angel from Montogmery
Elbow's Grace Under Pressure
Prince's Seven (I can't find the link)
I love the song you posted, and actually go out of my way to find music that I find beautiful.
I've got more, I just can't think of them right now.
posted by msali at 4:25 PM on April 13, 2009

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