Signal boost: this one’s for the folk lovers

You know those people you meet and instantly you know they’re a kindred spirit? That’s how it was with my friend Jill. Although we only got two years or so of in-person friendship time before I moved away, we’ve kept in touch through the intervening years and all the changes they have brought.

Jill is a gifted singer-songwriter, currently based in Arnprior, Ontario. Recently she guest hosted an episode of Canadian Spaces on CKCU, highlighting a number of Ottawa-area folk singers, interviewing and being interviewed, and playing two of her original songs. The whole program is worthwhile, but of course I want to particularly highlight Jill’s interview and singing, which start at around the 42-minute mark. Listen here!

Apparently Les Mis is like Sugar Crisp

For those who also can never get enough:

(We saw the new film on Saturday — and I rooted this out today since seeing it only once in three days would be just too sad — and here is all 2:49:55 for your enjoyment. Now you too can wash the dishes while bawling like a baby as Eponine sings her last duet.)

Update: Apparently NBC has pulled this video for copyright violations. Which is understandable. But also: boo.

Update to Update: But here’s the 10th anniversary concert! Hooray!

Music to live by

I have a tendency these days to get stuck on an album or two, and play them on constant repeat. Sometimes a particular mood or theme or what-have-you of a song or an album just fits my life so well that I become a little obsessed.

I’m okay with this. (Stan has yet to comment.)

Here are three albums I’m living by lately:

1. The Longing, by All Sons & Daughters. This was a birthday present from my maid of honour, which came with chocolate and tea and sympathy at a time when I desperately needed all of them. If you click through on the album link you can hear all of the tracks; there are only six, so it’s only about twenty-some minutes long, but all of those minutes are pretty near perfect. Called Me Higher may be the best of the six.

2. In the Town of David, by Ordinary Time. This is the album that has me breaking my strict “no Christmas music before Advent” rule. A facebook post from a former priest of mine led me to their website, which sat neglected in an unopened tab for a week or two. But I finally had a listen (as above, you can hear the whole album off their website) and I was hooked. Their vocal harmonies are beautiful, and I love their renditions of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis, tracks 3 and 11, respectively. I’ve asked for this and their two other albums for Christmas.

3. Ghosts Upon the Earth, by Gungor. This was sort-of a present from two people: one put me on to Gungor in the first place, and the other (my roommate at the time) took a hint from my incessant grooveshark repetition and got me the physical album (as well as Beautiful Things) as a wedding gift. The blub on their website says this: For their third major release, Gungor has composed a concept album that celebrates the beauty of life even in the midst of darkness and pain. Starting with a startling musical imagining of the creation of the universe and traversing subjects like the “fall of man” and the imperfection of our religious systems, this album leads the listener through a roller coaster of emotion that eventually leads us back to wonder and thankfulness to this beautiful gift of life. I’m not totally sure what “concept album” means, but I can tell you that this is one to listen to all the way through with the lights off.