Monday, April 28, 2014

LINDSAY DRAGAN - Be Good To Yourself

Funny story.  The first blog post for "Music and Philosophy" was meant to be for Hot Corners by Lindsay Dragan.  I started writing it, and I just couldn't seem to find my voice as a writer back then.  What I wrote was boring.  I could not let Lindsay's wonderful music be described with such uninspiring words.  Actually, I just pulled up the unfinished file and found one part that wasn't so bad:

"Looking To Fall" opens up with some grungy power chords that lay the ground for some nasty vocals (in a good way).  They sound like Courtney Love, but with a personality that does not make people run in terror.  
Be Good To Yourself

That was the best I could muster.  Now, Dragan is releasing Be Good To Yourself - a full length album!!  "I says:  Hey Lindsay, let me write some letters for you.  I can do hundreds."  She was impressed.  I received an advanced listen based on this skill.  

One of my favorite experiences as a music-listener is hearing how an individual has progressed over the years.  My first LD experience was when I saw the Meridians perform in Pittsburgh a few times circa 2008.  Lindsay was on lead vocals and guitar.  I remember being mesmerized at how cool she was on stage.  She had a god-like presence as a true-born rocker.  I had closed-minded music taste at the time, so I was indifferent towards their songs, but I became a Lindsay fan for life.  She startled me during some Korg Electribe knob-tweaking in the University of Pittsburgh’s Music Building  one day, and we stayed in touch.  I followed her solo Hot Corners release and was anxious to see how her sound would develop. 

Be Good To Yourself is a testament to the timelessness of artistic influence.  Dragan, like me, is primarily derived from pre-contemporal (not a word) musicians.  I hear the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s in her music, but with a modern human intellect arbitrating the interactions of sound.  This is not your brother’s scene kid.  This is a real musician.  I believe that authenticity cannot be faked in a vocal recording.  The details of Dragan’s voice tell the honest story of her life.  Listen closely.  

Los Angeles is one of the grooviest tracks on the record.  It has an undeniably cool and catchy melody that sounds like a synthesizer, but also could be an extra crazy guitar effect (sounds a bit like some of the synth-guitar pedals available).  The world may never know.  At any rate, there are definitely some synthesizers on this album, such as in Distance and the Rain - a heavily emotional piece.  My favorite song has to be Leave A Way Out.  The guitar work is phenomenal.  This song tastes like whiskey, particularly when pronounced by Andy Samberg.    

Also, I love how additional listens can completely change how you experience music.  Upon my first listen of BGTY, I was like "hmmm not sure what to make of this."  I was immersed in feelings of love on my second listen.  I have always noticed that the second listen of a musical work tends to be the best.  The 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. tend to be really good and then it will start to taper off.  Although, sometimes a random listen hits you hard.  The Things You Said by Depeche mode can still give me amazing chills on random listens when I have already heard it over 100 times.  I will leave with these parting words:  Listen to New Music!  If you do not enjoy it, listen again!  If you hate it, listen 20 times!!!  You just may find that it is the best album ever made alike to the infamous story of Matt Groening and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica.  Music is good.  Really good.  Thank you, Lindsay.


Dragan on Facebook:
Dragan’s Official Website:

No comments:

Post a Comment