Cat Fight: Fiona Apple and Brandi Carlile

The sailors say, “Brandi, you’re a fine girl…”

Fiona! Don’t look away!

It seems like just the other night I was telling a friend, “I’m really not that BIG of a music guy.”  Yet here I am writing about music again because in my head Fiona Apple and Brandi Carlile are having a huge Seinfeldian cat fight.  MEOW.

Both ladies seem to have been conceived in the womb with music in their heads and are known for their startlingly unique vocal abilities, and both have new albums (their fourths) that dropped this June, but that’s about where the similarities end. 

Though she’s roughly my age, it seems like Fiona Apple has been around forever and still to this day is the epitome of big-city, sad-eyed, late 1990’s grrrrrl angst.  It’s as if when she was a naif she decided to respond to the Grunge movement of the early 1990’s by scatting and writing the most densely complex lyrics only to be sung as if Nabokov’s Lolita was crooning old standards.  She defies categorization, and she’s probably one of the only artists working today who can still be considered “alternative”….ah…remember alternative music?  Meanwhile it’s hard to believe Brandi Carlile (not much younger than Apple) is delivering her fourth studio album as well, as she still sounds like a breath of fresh air coming out of nowhere (the wilds of Alaska I’m told) and is the epitome of small-town, folksy-countrified-rock that brings to mind flannel shirts before they were grunge, wading in cool creeks, skipping rocks and the 1970’s.  Fiona Apple is a tempestuous storm raging atop the surface of the sea while Brandi Carlile is still waters running deep. Continue reading

Three for the Road

The dog days of summer bring endless balmy nights and I find my thoughts wandering down the road.

And no one rules the road like The Boss.

At my home in South Jersey I’m just a stone’s throw from the White Horse Pike and I find myself itching to hit the highway to chase storms and dreams along my own personal Thunder Road heading to Atlantic City. Continue reading

With a Head Full of Snow…

When the wind blows and the rain feels cold
With a head full of snow
With a head full of snow
In the window there’s a face you know
Don’t the nights pass slow
Don’t the nights pass slow

Even though The Rolling Stone’s “Moonlight Mile” is about a different kind of snow, the lyrics seem apt to describe the over-hyped winter storm that ushered in March of 2009.  Last night we all went to bed with heads full of snow and dreams of school closings and work stoppages and unplowed streets.

As the greater Philadelphia area continues to go through one of the coldest winters in memory, the entire Eastern Seaboard decided to tell Global Warming to “Get off our lawn!” as six to twelve inches of the white stuff was dumped from Atlanta to Boston Sunday night into Monday afternoon. Most snow connoisseurs will agree, this was some high quality blow, perfect for snowman and fort building and some of the best stuff we’ve experienced in years.

While driving into work, the flow of traffic prevented the madman-wannabe-photographer in me from capturing some of the more picturesque images. But part of the beauty of an open field blanketed in white or of snowdrifts collecting against farmhouses is that the perfection of the moment quickly fades, and even with a picture, you can’t take it with you. Only with the naked eye is the beauty true. Below are some of the fleeting images I did capture with my camera. Continue reading