Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Grace On My Desert Island

One week ago, Tuesday was the 10th anniversary of the death of Jeff Buckley. I think it odd sometimes, that we commemorate the days when luminaries die. These are "deathdays", but for luminaries such as Jeff Buckley, they may well mark the day when a glimmering star is transformed into a bright shining one. There is nothing quite so intriguing as star quality dimmed by death...a la Janis Joplin, Elliott Smith, Jimi Hendrix... then re-ignited by popular opinion. But for his part, I think Jeff Buckley's brilliance is brilliance regardless of his tragic fate (as it is with those others mentioned). It has been said that Grace is one of the greatest albums of the the last 25 years. I would heartily agree. After all, we did name our dog after Mr. Buckley (Jeff...not William F. just to clear up any confusion). Grace has changed my life - that statement is multi-layered by intention. The album by that title would most certainly be on my "desert island" list.

If your "Oceanic flight 815" were to crash on an island, what would you bring?

I find "favorites" lists to be difficult to concoct. After all, particularly in the realm of music, different situations call for different tunes. Perhaps the following metaphors will help you to focus in on your musical "must-haves". Back to my desert island, methinks that in addition to Grace I'd hope for a few cheerier albums to soothe my ears on those hot, sandy, palm tree days of entrapment...think the Bob Marley Legend compilation or Jack Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales - those are island records.

Had that same plane crashed and stranded me in London's Covent Garden, I would want David Gray's White Ladder. Trapped forever to walk the streets of Paris, I'd want Thievery Corporation's Mirror Conspiracy. If by some stretch I were locked in an old Ford truck to traverse the country back and forth I'd want Lyle Lovett's Road To Ensenada, or anything by Sonvolt...and smalltown AM radio. Locked up for good in an emotionless, gray-walled office or cubicle...I'd opt for Poses by Rufus Wainwright. He makes all things sad and beautiful. If the gods of exercise chained me to a treadmill for eternity I may actually be able to go forever listening to DJ Sasha's Involver.

If my plane crashed into a place where it was always rainy, I would wish Starflyer 59's Fashion Focus to be my soundtrack. And trapped just about anywhere I could listen to Beck's Sea Change or the Indigo Girls Swamp Ophelia over and over again.

I could go on....
But when, by Grace, I am gloriously hemmed in behind the gates of heaven forever, I do believe God will be playing Sigur Ros.

Europe 99

I went to Europe in the fall semester of 1999. I studied and played, had my first pint, my first mead, first true Belgian Waffle and lots of other memories. It was an amazing experience. I'm starting the process of scanning photos from the trip. In an attempt to bring back the magic of 05, so here are a few shots from 99.

From Top: Paris Skyline; Omaha Beach at peace, Normandy, France; giant beers at Hofbrauhaus, Munich: Aran Islands, Ireland; White cliffs of Etraitat, France; and a pose in front of the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.