Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: Home Is Where I'm Alone with You

Edward Shape and the Magnetic Zeros - Home

What do I know about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, or this song? Not much, save that once a friend had it stuck in his head, and sitting across the table on a hot summer’s day, in the safety of the shade but still the oven of the warm air, he performed a surprisingly accurate rendition of it, in the same cracked, country twang as the real singer of the band, drumming the beat with his fingers on the table. Later I heard it played at yoga, somewhere between the strained hold of a warrior pose and the smooth transition into downward dog, and felt this clap of recognition, of pure happiness at the opening whistled melody, and these comforting voices, now no longer a strange private performance but a full song. I still could not recall the name of the band, except that reminded me vaguely of the Magnetic Fields and was overly long.

Later I heard a friend play it while lounging in his cozy Harlem apartment, and when he sang along with the same chorus, the swell of the celebratory cheer, and then trickling came the charming dialogue of the bridge, the sweet strange little narratives accompanied by foot tapping guitars and whistles, I knew that the deed had been done: I had fallen slave to the melody, the infectious good nature of the song, and I would not relent unless I tracked it down and made it my own. And once I had--I fell more and more under its spell. A love song, a two character performance, girl-boy harmonies (but this isn’t the sentiment etched sweetness of Stars or the melt in your ears strawberries & marshmallows of twee bands), country accents and playful strings, and oh, those whistles! How simple, barefoot on a summer night--yes, it’s exactly that, running through expansive & scratchy grass fields, biting into over ripe apples, laughing with linked arms, and falling deeply, deeply in love with you. Just like that.

(PS: yes, I'm absolutely reviving this blog. And back to regularly scheduled postings soon! And expect songs every Monday as well as everything else!)

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