Posts Tagged ‘regina spektor’

Regina, My Love

So, I just realized my last post before my most recent one was October of last year. In that post, I mention that I’m really only familiar with one or two of Regina Spektor’s songs. Two very important things have happened in the past eight months: (1) I moved across the country and more importantly (2) I have fallen in love with Regina Spektor.

The woman is absolutely brilliant. Granted, I already have a thing for female vocalists/pianists (Amanda Palmer, Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Nash, to name a few), but Regina is without parallel. My favorite album is definitely “Far,” there’s not a song on it I don’t love, though “Two Birds” and “Eet” are top of the list if I had to choose. But then there’s “Folding Chair” and “Blue Lips”– which sounds different to me every single time I hear it. That’s just one album, though.

Regarding “Eet,” I have to ask: If “Eet” is your favorite song and you forget the words to it, do you get extra points for irony?

Regina was born and raised in Moscow until age nine, when she moved to the Bronx. Like me (on my Dad’s side) she’s a Russian Jew and apparently she studied at SUNY Purchase, which gives me a great deal more respect for SUNY Purchase than I previously had. Naturally, she’s a veteran of the New York “anti-folk” scene, which I didn’t realize I was familiar with as I’d never heard the term before. I’m just going to quote wikipedia for this one:

Anti-folk (sometimes antifolk or unfolk) is a music genre that takes the earnestness of politically charged 1960s folk music and punk and subverts it. The defining characteristics of this anti-folk are difficult to identify, as they vary from one artist to the next. Nonetheless, the music tends to sound raw or experimental; it also generally mocks seriousness and pretension in the established mainstream music scene

Regina’s earlier albums (such as “11:11”) are certainly more experimental than “Far,” but I love the cohesiveness and accessibility of “Far.” Not that her earlier work should be over looked, especially if you like blues or jazz.

There’s too much to say about Regina in one post, or any of the amazing musicians I mentioned; my adoration will have to be peppered over time. I just needed it to be known that I had found love in Regina. I leave you with one of my many favorites of hers, “Us,” and encourage you to go watch all her videos over on YouTube you haven’t already!

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It breaks my heart

Either Pandora doesn’t realize that Regina Spektor has written more than one song, or it doesn’t think I’d like any of her other songs. The one song it keeps giving me of hers (mostly from my indie rock stations– Metric, Stars, the Ting Tings… are the TTs “indie” anymore?) is FIDELITY.

Now, anyone who knows anything about Ms. Spektor can tell me that Fidelity is her most overplayed song by far, and likely not her best. I cannot help but continually apply my palm to my forehead over the fact that of all the songs Pandora could beat me senseless with, it could “Fidelity.” It breaks my heart.

Other things that bemuse me include bands that used to be mainstream and have since gone Christian. Not that I have a problem with Christian rock, I can actually name several Christian rock artists I like to listen to (though, I admit I would’ve never been introduced to them without my mother’s side of the family. My Dad’s side? We just do the Hora. And then listen to Hendrix). Said Christian rock artists include Nichole Nordeman, Natalie Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.

Granted, Chapman can get kind of preachy, but Nordeman is one of the most talented song writer’s I’ve had the pleasure of coming across. Many of her songs do not actually refer to God or Jesus specifically and that leaves them open for interpretation to those who aren’t otherwise aware it’s all God-talk. Of course, most of Nichole Nordeman songs are about people, not religion. Songs I suggest checking out by her include, “Gratitude” (though this one obviously addresses God, I think it has an excellent message and this song has been known to make me cry on occassion) and “Wide Eyed” (which does refer to Jesus, though not by name– what is with my examples?– but is about the hypocrisy of dismissing outcasts even though Jesus himself was one).

Considering that many Christian Rock songs don’t refer to God directly, it’s easy to see how a Pop Rock group could make a seamless transition– it’s just that now all the “he”s in the song are about God and not that cute boy with the locker next to yours.

Who remembers the movie “She’s All That”? Folks in my age range (d.o.b. 1985) probably will, despite the fact that there were a thousand other teen movies out at the same with roughly the same premises. Cool guy takes a bet that he can make awkward girl the prom queen and they eventually fall in love. Now, if you know what movie I’m talking about, I’m sure the song “Kiss Me” pops to mind. What band did that song again? That’s right, Sixpence None the Richer.

Since there hay-day of “Kiss Me” and “There She Goes,” Sixpence broke up, got back together and put out the album “Divine Discontent,” that includes more than a few Godly references. Not that I’m criticizing the band decision to go Christian, just wondering why? I know Jewel originally wanted to do Christian Rock, and I hear tell that Avril Lavigne wanted to be a country star before she became the punk princess, but why change genres mid-career? Especially to move from a broader genre to a much more exclusive one?

Well, after all this I think I need a change from indie rock for a while. I’m feeling… Pink Floyd.