A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tunesday 12: Indigo Girls, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug

The Indigo Girls, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug

This album has only been out for a couple of weeks, but already it has won a place in my heart. As a guitarist myself, I have always been a fan of folkies given that that is how I learned to play guitar: "El Condor Pasa," the Sound of Silence," and John Denver's Back Home Again-- the entire album. So I was pretty amazed when a young lady I met at the Eisenhower Presidential Library out slightly east of TheMiddleofNowhere, Kansas (and yeah, I know that just about describes everywhere in Kansas) told me about this wonderful duo back in the early years of their amazing twenty year career.

This two disc set contains 23 songs, including acoustic versions of several of the songs. Poseidon and the Bitter Bug marks the Girls' first foray into the indie scene, and I am so glad they did, since it is obvious that they relished not having to kowtow to some fatheaded music exec. To me, this album hangs right there with my favorites Rites of Passage and Strange Fire.

Amy channels Bob Dylan on "Second Time Around," the song from which the phrase "bitter bug" of the album title originates. Both versions of "Sugar Tongue" include the inventive chord structures and tight vocal harmonies that the Girls always deliver. But probably my favorite is "Fleet of Hope:"

The fisherman comes up
Puts his two poles in the sand
He stares out at the sea
Just exactly like me
But I've got a book in my hand
We will have caught on to something by the end of the day
But mostly we think about the one that got away.

I've seen like a bird
What pleasures the surface can bring
I've lost my best craft
Going foolishly back
To where to Sirens sing
I've stared up at the place where the water meets the sky
And though I stopped breathing I still believe I should try
Maybe a boat in search of lost treasures will pass by.

'Cause the fleet of hope is so pretty
When she's shining in the port
And the harbor clings to the jetty
For protection and support
Out in the choppy waters the sharks swim and play
You're all washed up when Poseidon has his day.

I've walked through the desert
Climbed over mountains so high
Through jungles and plains
I took buses and trains
And airplanes across the sky
But none as seductive as ocean before me alone
And now I know why
You layered your pockets with stones.

'Cause the fleet of hope is so pretty
When she's shining in the port
And the harbor clings to the jetty
For protection and support
Out in the choppy waters the sharks swim and play
You're all washed up when Poseidon has his day.

When I was a girl
All of my fancy took flight
And I had this dream
Could outshine anything
Even the darkest night
Now I wait like a widow for someone to come back from sea
I've always known
I was waiting for me

'Cause the fleet of hope is so pretty
When she's shining in the port
And the harbor clings to the jetty
For protection and support
Out in the choppy waters the sharks swim and play
You're all washed up when Poseidon has his day.


Sadly, there are no videos yet available that I can find of songs from this album. Therefore, let me treat you to a performance with Sarah McLachlan and Jewel that I originally heard on the Lilith Fair album. Nothing like a classic to make you appreciate an artist's ability to make the familiar new and and renewed.

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3 Comments:

At 4/14/09, 7:54 PM, Blogger Amerloc said...

Three weeks out of four, your Tunesday costs me plastic cash. I love your taste in music.

 
At 4/14/09, 9:50 PM, Blogger Cassy said...

Wow! Just this morning I posted about their song "Closer to Fine", which I recently rediscovered. Cool...

 
At 4/15/09, 4:51 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I am so glad you guys enjoy this. I love music, and I think people other than Justin Timberlake ought to be talked about and promoted.

I have problems with the money thing, too, obviously. When my hard drive died recently, my family found out just how much music I had bought from iTunes. I will never hear the end of it. Music and books-- my two vices....

 

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