Wednesday, September 26, 2012
i first met gregory alan isakov sometime around the fall of 2001. we worked at a neighborhood cafe in boulder, colorado. i was a fresh faced nineteen year old with her first job outside the comforts of my hometown. i was intimidated by all the new people i was meeting. but not him. greg had such a calm cool about him. i remember his quietness as he hand-rolled his cigarettes out on the brick walkway. he was kind, genuine, and humble. nearly eleven years later and not a single one of those attributes has changed.
one afternoon a baker at the cafe was playing a cassette tape (yes, a cassette tape) in the back of the kitchen. i remember being drawn in by the sound. finding out it was gregory's voice made it all the more sweet. i 'borrowed' the tape for the next year. my roommate and i would listen to it all day long, flipping it over and over until the tape wore out. four albums later and his music is still on replay. his music is full of heart. his melody intoxicating.
gregory is a very talented musician. it is clear from the first listen. but for me, it is the added beauty of his lyrics that sets him apart from other singer/songwriters. he is thoughtful + careful with his words. he is a poet. some lines mid song just sting, cling, and stay there a while. one of my favorites has always been "that stable song" from his 2007 album "that sea, the gambler":
come to me clear and cold on some sea
watch the world spinning waves..like some machine
now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.
that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know
and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing
ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal.
this afternoon i stumbled upon this video. i love the aesthetic of it. it's that simplistic and intimate vibe of sitting in your living room and listening to gregory perform. just letting the sound wash over you. i think you will see just what it is that makes this man so special. enjoy.
to read more and see more about gregory alan isakov
click >>>> HERE <<<<
video credit: "big black car" by gregory alan isakov. performed by isakov, jeb bows, phil parker. film by todd roeth
see more of the incredible work by todd roeth >>> HERE <<<
photo credit: one || folk radio uk; three ||via night fox isakov pictured with nathaniel rateliff; four || shaun photography; five ||via papa bean sprout.
Monday, September 24, 2012
the pacific northwest. it is known for it's gray skies + misting rain. known for the pride it takes in coffee + for the particular role it has played in the music scene over the years. and now it is more specifically known to me as 'home'.
i have been fully marinating in the adventure of starting over. there have been many moments of wide-eyed excitement and a few moments of frustration, loneliness, and tears. it is all part of the greater experience. life has really opened up to me lately and i can't help but feel that this is where i am supposed to be.
i am constantly surrounded by inspiration in this city. the sea over one shoulder and the gritty city streets over the other. green everywhere i look. dahlias the size of the orange half moon. but it really is the music that keeps sparking the fire. every minute that the radio is turned up i find myself thinking, "who is this!?". some artists were new + some were undiscovered tracks from my very favorites.
the collection of the songs that have filled me up since being here is what inspired this playlist. i hope at least one track gives you a momentary spark.
<<< THE STEP AND THE WALK || THE DUKE SPIRT >>>
<<< YET AGAIN || GRIZZLY BEAR >>>
<<< DAMAGED GOODS || YEASAYER >>>
<<< HALL OF MIRRORS || THE HELIO SEQUENCE >>>
<<< SUNSET || THE xx >>>
<<< SKELETONS || YEAH YEAH YEAHS >>>
<<< RUIN || CAT POWER >>>
<<< ON AND ON || THE SEA AND CAKE >>>
<<< SOLITAIRE || THE NOTWIST >>>
<<< SPECIAL CASES || MASSIVE ATTACK >>>
<<< JIMMY || M.I.A. >>>
<<< MIRRORED SEA || PASSION PIT >>>
<<< WOR || DJANGO DJANGO >>>
<<< RUNAWAY || SPORTS >>>
<<< CAVALIER || SHOVELS & ROPES >>>
<<< END COME TOO SOON || WILD BEASTS >>>
<<< PROVE TO ME || SEAPONY >>>
<<< BELIEVER (FUNKHAUS SESSIONS) || JAZZANOVA >>>
>>> photo credit: one || felt soul media; three || manley audio; four || tacomas outsider guide; six || joseph eckert photograhy; seven || fr. ted bobosh; eight || terror bird; nine || peathead; ten || surfer <<<
as many have noticed i haven't posted on 'the cedra sessions' in a while. i have been on a hiatus since the end of august, moving my life halfway across the country. nothing like completely uprooting yourself to really shake life up. leaving small town life behind, i find myself in the hustle bustle of the city. i am full of love for life.
this morning i sat at the coffee shop sipping a perfect latte adorned with a floral rosette and listening to the new 'grizzly bear' album. wrapped in a geometric scarf on a foggy morning...i suppose i'm a true seattle cliche. i started scouring the web, looking for photography that was inspired by city life in the pacific northwest. and what i stumbled upon was this: michael lavine.
teaming up with the words of sonic youth's front man, thurston moore, in the book "grunge",lavine's photos provide a vivid visual record of this important music and lifestyle milestone. i love the realness. the grit. the honesty. lavine is a denver born, new york city based photographer known best for his portrait work. he has photographed many influential artists over the years, but i find this selection of his portfolio especially fascinating.
see more of michael lavine's work >>> HERE <<<