Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hope and Change: Better Things

The Kinks: Better Things


I was 12 when I bought my first Kinks album (yes, album) - I remember hearing All Day and All of the Night on the radio two years before and *needing* to own the recording (an obsessive character trait that has stayed with me to this day) on which it was finally being released. Imagine also discovering Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Tired of Waiting and Well Respected Man - heaven...

I don't think I knew much of their later stuff (aside from Lola, Sunny Afternoon and Don't Forget to Dance) - there was so much music bombarding me from so many different directions, and I let go of Ray and company to latch onto others.

Dar Williams: Better Things


So... when Dar Williams released her End of the Summer CD, I had to be reminded that track 11 was a cover... and went scrambling for the original which, it turned out, I owned on CD (the 1986 version) - I think Dar presents a stunning interpretation of this song about looking ahead, acceptance and optimism. In her words:

My sister Meredith played this song for me when I was in high school. She said, "I love this song. It's so nice," which, growing up in a high pressure suburban town, was really significant. It was like Ray Davies was wishing us well, with no strings attached. This was pretty alien to us. I thought I should spread the word!

I'm very much looking forward to the next four years - "here's to what the future brings" indeed...

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