Monday, November 30, 2009

if i can find you, you'll be the very best thing i've found

While I was running around preparing to enter into the non-cartoon equivalent of the Cave of Wonders...also known as the Portland airport...I finally stumbled upon an album that would have been of great use to me while wandering the gray and drizzly streets of Oregon. And I found it approximately five minutes before I heaved my suitcase into my aunt's car and dove carry-on first into the doomed pit of despair headed by the TSA. Luckily my iPod was able to cram it in before I had to unplug quite unceremoniously.

When I made it past security, I got out my approved electronic device, turned to Doveman's October released album, The Conformist, and kept walking...up and down concourse C...back down to concourse A...back around the free standing magazine jungles, past the mini-Starbucks whose baristas have to deal with the crankiest of all people, and around and around. I actually set an alarm on my phone to make sure I wouldn't miss my flight. I couldn't stop moving. I felt that if I stopped moving, the music thrumming in my chest and head would make me melt into the oddly mesmerizing turquoise carpet and claim me as its own.

So I kept walking...and kept breathing very slowly...trying intently not to let it show on my face that I had found the exact music that I wanted.

Thomas Barlett's voice never raises above a misty whisper. Matt Berninger's comforting and familiar vocals appear on some choice tracks, along with some other The National players, who owe him after he played keyboards for them so nicely. Norah Jones' contributions took me by surprise, but then again...apparently there was definitely a notable cast of characters on this album. Nico Muhly (who has been a wonderful contributor for both Philip Glass and, on a different note, Grizzly Bear), Sam Amidon, almost all of The National, Glen Hansard, and Martha Wainwright contributed in one way or another.

I love this collage of ringing and quietly capturing music. I love it so much I'm sitting during a layover in Sacramento playing it over and over...feeling like a butterfly with blue skies overhead. I'd recommend listening to the whole darn thing, but to whet your ears...(whet willy?), here are the first two tracks of the album that propelled my legs all over PDX this morning. As Anne Lamott wrote, "How come you can hear one chord, and then another chord, and then your heart breaks open?"

Breathing Out- Doveman

The Best Thing-Doveman

Another stand out track for when you get the WHOLE THING, is Hurricane.

P.S: Doveman recently opened for The Swell Season. Who Josh Ritter is opening for very soon. Maybe I should just start relying on that terribly clever duo for musical recommendations.


  1. Okay, okay, I'll go and buy the darn album! Actually, I was just thinking yesterday that I was ready to move on from my current music relationships and start seeking some more inspiring ones... and there you were! xoxo

  2. I'm glad I could help you to greener pastures :)