Song Spotlight: Made Again by Marillion

 

 

Yeah, there are two videos for this one. I couldn’t decide which one I liked better – in one Rothery is playing a classical nylon string guitar and in the other he’s playing a steel 12-string.  And one is fairly recent and one was from quite some time ago.

Made Again is, I think, my favorite single song from the Steve Hogarth fronted Marillion. Maybe from all of Marillion (though Fish wrote some killer songs).  It’s from the album Brave released all the way back in 1992.

Song Spotlight: Blossom by Noah Gundersen

I looked for a decent concert version of this song, but the only one I found was in the middle of a 26-minute video of a KEXP appearance. And while I like the KEXP appearance, I only wanted to play this song. This song being Blossom, from Noah Gundersen’s latest album, Carry the Ghost. Fans of the Vampire Diaries have probably already spent a lot of time obsessing over this song. I can see a very melodramatic love scene played out against this in the background, and I know it was used in the Vampire Diaries at some point.

Song Spotlight: Bright Lights and Cityscapes by Sara Barielles

 

If you like pop music and you don’t now Sara Bareilles yet, where have you been? over 5 albums (one self-released) and an EP, she has managed to generate some of the most consistently good song writing in the last decade.  Is she the best? I would say probably not. But she’s always good, her songs are alway listenable, and her concerts are some of the most fun you can have in any state of dress in the US.

Bright Lights and Cityscapes is probably my favorite of all her songs.

Song Spotlight: I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepson

 

Here. Have a dose of upbeat unadulterated pop goodness, with a touch of slightly cheese video.

Emotion was the album that nobody wanted to admit that they liked last year, but, deep down, they did, and they got up and danced when no one was looking. And this song was one of the reason. Because, yes, it makes us want to get up and dance. Though, we still prefer to do it when no one is looking.

Song Spotlight: Youth by Daughter

Daughter is an indie band that some classify folk, some as alt-rock, even some as dream pop. To me, it doesn’t matter what the genre is, I think they are a brilliant three-piece with wonderful lyrics and excellent composition. They have released 2 studio albums (If You Leave (2013) and Not To Disappear (2016)), and 4 EPs.

Fans of Skins might recognize this song. I love the way it starts out with a single guitar and a gentle lead into the cacophony in the middle of the song. This description of love from the point of view of the young is both plaintive and reassuring to those of us who remember it but have grown up enough that we can see that it isn’t that way for us anymore.

Song Spotlight: Cigarettes by Noah Gundersen

Noah Gundersen has 2 LPs and 4 EPs to his name. In 2008, he was part of the band Courage. Cigarettes is off the album Ledges.

This song has all the hallmarks of a spotlight song on a Place for My Stuff. It’s a folk-rock ballad sung with heart and fervor. This was probably my single favorite song released in 2014 and this is my favorite music video that wasn’t a concert video in probably the last decade.

Song Spotlight: The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton by The Mountain Goats (John Darnielle)

 

The Mountain Goats is a band centered around singer/songwriter John Darnielle. They are an indie folk rock band with a reputation for lo-fi, heartfelt music, which in this case means music that they actually feel something about, rather than the cultural appropriation of heartfelt meaning maudlin.

“The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton” is a wonderful story song about 2 guys who dream of stage lights and music and have their dreams crushed by the people around them and resent it, because they weren’t allowed to try and fail, they just weren’t allowed to try at all. And the anger of the protagonists in this song is what makes it wonderful to me. Because it’s an honest human reaction in a song from a day and age of songs about people who react out of expectations rather than out of what they genuinely feel.

Song Spotlight: Loud by Matt Nathanson & Ingrid Michaelson

Matt Nathanson has 11 studio albums. His songs have been featured on many a television show. His most well known album was Some Mad Hope, off of which four songs had chart success. “Come On Get Higher” peaked at #2 and was certified platinum.

It’s hard to remember that Borders used to host a lot of these singer in the store events. And some of my favorite performances can be found among these little videos.

I like interplay between Nathanson and Michaelson on this song, and the simple twelve string accompaniment.