24 August 2006


“Two Birds” by Charalambides which clocks in at 12:40

For as much as I enjoy writing about music that I love and how it has impacted, or taken part in, my life, I don't generally like to use EAR FARM as a personal journal. That is, I don't mean to use this website as a forum by which I can vent and discuss my current life goings on, but rather I aim for EAR FARM to be 100% about music. Of course, a statement like that can only mean one thing - I'm about to go ahead and vent about life things. The ol' set 'em up and knock 'em down or something. No, that's not it. Whatever it is, I'm not really going to do that. No, not really. This is rather about me and a song, same as it always is.

August is the busiest time of the year for me at my job. There's this big client, big project, every year and it all hits the fan in August thus ruining the entire month. That's the fact Jack. Every year I know it's coming and each year there's this amnesia that has settled in and makes the realization of August hell (my term invented for the purpose of this entry) particularly rough. Every year. Same thing. I'm talking week after week of working 6-7 days a week, 15-20+ hours each day. Inhumane? Yes. But don't cry for me Internetina, the truth is I'm just trying to set the scene.

So there I was yesterday, working. Having worked from 9am-2am the day before I was a bit...exhausted. Beat up and drained. Still, there was much work to be done and I was to receive client feedback. Extra joy. When the feedback finally came in around 5pm I learned (shocker) that I was going to have a bunch of revisions to do, meaning more and more late nights. Again, this is rather normal during August hell. Not enjoyable, but normal. Still, for some reason the day...the month thus far...came close to breaking me yesterday. Simple fatigue and overload, for sure, but there I was leaving work in bad shape. I needed music (of course).

On the way home I went for a (one of my) standard frustration rock song(s): Metallica - "Battery". The song is like a shot of adrenaline, or instant steroids or something. In no time I was cruising through the streets rocking out with some bad ass heavy metal and ready to take on the world. It was just enough to get me home in one piece.

That's not to say I fell apart when I got home. No, I'm not here to tell you I came home and beat holes in my wall or cried myself to sleep because this isn't about me and my life (and those things aren't the truth, not really). It's about MUSIC and my life. It's about this song, “Two Birds” by Charalambides, that has really been there for me a ton ever since I first bought the EP A Vintage Burden back in May.

“Two Birds” is a God-send and the EP a quiet revelation. Revolution? No, songs like these have appeared elsewhere but still, thank heavens for Charalambides. This song is a Zen inducing lullaby meant just for you to listen to as you glide through the clouds at night. It reminds me of certain songs by The Durutti Column that feature Eley Rudge on vocals...reminds me of love and life...and death...and everything. And so much more. It is a quiet greatness that slowly evolves into a mellow existential jam like Neil Young would've envisioned in the early '70s if he had been a member of Neu!. You'll hear that same hopeful sadness, same gripping beauty that begs relaxation. That begs you to escape within yourself, within the song, if only for twelve minutes.
To relax and unwind when I got home last night, after dinner, I fixed myself a bourbon and prepared this song. Just me, my iPod, some nice headphones, and an amazing song...same as it always is.

Buy A Vintage Burden HERE on Amazon.

(picture from HERE)

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"
Big Brother & the Holding Company - "Ball And Chain"
The Stone Roses - "I Am The Resurrection"
DJ Shadow - "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain"
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - “Cowgirl in the Sand”
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Sir Psycho Sexy”
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”
Bob Marley & The Wailers - “Exodus” (1984 12" Mix)