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i’ve always tried to share the music i like in posts but i never felt like i could accurately explain why i liked a certain song. i always sound like a failed literary journalism major. but reading allen’s recent post on music, i was inspired to give it another go.  this is a playlist of “tender” songs that i recommend. the songs are linked to videos so you can listen to them first hand.

love will tear us apart – susanna and the magical orchestra
the song is a cover of a joy division song. in contrast to the original’s faster colder approach, susanna and the magical orchestra give a much slower haunting affair. the instrumentation and vocals sound fragile, but never weepy. the song sounds like how a bluesman looks; under the weary smile, you know that there is a tried and hardened soul. this song has a certain cleansing quality.

through the roof ‘n’ underground – gogol bordello
gogol bordello are often tagged as gypsy punk. a gypsy is a troubadour in the truest sense; carrying with him the bass drum and accordion under one arm and the slander and pride that comes with being a gypsy in the other. the song is uplifting. eugene hutz’s warbling voice is courageous and familiar like that of an old friend. ” And as we’re crossing border after border/We realize that difference is none.”

glow worms – vashti bunyan
listening to the gentle guitar, the lyrics are exactly the sort of words you would expect to accompany the melody. fragile and fleeting, all the while surely returning to the beginning. “dawntime mist begins reflecting light/waking sun will soon forget our night/love me through the day and i’ll with you go/into summer and the next year’s snow.” through the impermanence of our lives, bunyan offers a faithful heart. the idea is simple and grand.

the night they drove old dixie down – the band
there is something about civil war america that i have always been attracted to. it was unsettling to empathize so strongly with the confederate south when our text book history lessons told us not to.  it is the pain and sadness of defeat. the redemption that the south wanted so strongly to believe in, this is what i find so moving. it is this tenderness of a wounded heart and the faith of a people that i am so strongly attracted to.

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