Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gravity: Switchfoot

Switchfoot: Oh! Gravity

I spent quite a few hours defying gravity in flying metal birds these past two weeks: 2 3-hour flights and 2 10-hour flights. As a result, I am only able to post a short item, and that at the last minute before we move on to our next theme.

There are more songs titled Gravity than I had imagined. There's a John Mayer tune. And one from Sara Bareilles. And then there's Coldplay as well. In general, they agree that gravity brings you down. On your knees.

Digging a little deeper, I came across yet another Gravity tune by a band I had never heard. Switchfoot comes from San Diego, California: the band's name is apparently a surfing term. They've been around for the better part of 15 years. Whereas the above linked songs are more subdued, romantic (grave?), this Gravity song punches and kicks.


C'mon, quick, quick, very little time left this theme, courtesy the inclement we have been receiving this side of the ocean, seemingly blowing away bits of the inter web. Already delayed by my sinuses being struck by the gravity* of a distant planet, sucking my brain down between my shoulder blades and mulching my synapses, great gaps in blogger dashboard (tech speak!) appeared, denying my ability to put the words and pictures together. And may still. So before it is the tomorrow that is already today in UK, grab your anti-gravity broom and we're off…….

*Gravity (SWIDT), time/space continuum, weather, all the same stuff, really, so quite apt for the given. I know the idea is to studiously avoid the too recent, but seeing as we have largely jettisoned pressing the DL button, I hope I can get away with this fairly recent.

Who's heard of Kasey Anderson? Yeah, me too, but I have heard of Counting Crows, and a year or so back they put out the now near inevitable covers LP, some might say as a way of filling some hiatus in creativity. Actually, that's probably unfair, as they are a band who have always celebrated the songs of others live, and can do it rather well, extracting even more pained pathos than many a songwriter may have realised was possible. Consummate instrumentalists, of a generally organic and Band like feel, with hammond, mandolins and accordions topping up standard guitar, bass, drums, yet topped with the exquisite angsty yelps of Adam Duritz, rendering even Michael Stipes more melodramatic moments to monotone. Yes, I'm a fan.

Kasey Anderson sounds to have had his share of, um, issues, with a stability of mental health and well-being failing to be granted him. I had never heard of him ahead of the Crows. (The Countings?) But, with the wonder of wiki, the earnestness of AMG and the yikes of youtube, I was able to build a picture. He seems to have started as a plaid shirt troubadour, in that Steve Earle/John Mellencamp meeting place, as they each traversed their opposite routes between rock and country, garnishing some good reviews, before beginning to, critically at least, unravel. What Teenage Gravity is, and hence what it is like, remains resolutely unclear from the song, in either version, so I am neither the wiser, nor, at my distance from my teens, able to begin to guess. But it sounds good as a conceptual vagary. The 2 versions are considerably different, and I am uncertain which I prefer. However, what I have to note is the impeccable intro on the cover version, lulling me into a reverie akin to early Fairport and Richard Thompson, just a roll on the drum and all that. Wonderful.

For me, that is all the gravity needed.

Kasey Anderson purchase link