I devour music and books like organic salad. Okay, Toblerone bars. I’m guessing if I don’t have something particularly pertinent to share in a blog, a lot of my blogs will be about bands I adore.
If you haven’t already found the group Hey Marseilles through Hydraulic Level 5’s previous incarnation, at Seattle’s Bumbershoot, or at your local music venue, I’d like to introduce them to you. A rising star from the Seattle burbs, Hey Marseilles has this unique, eclectic sound that takes bits and pieces from all sorts of musical genres—folk, rock, orchestral. They are so stinking fun in concert, with their array of percussion and accordions, strings and brass. What really drew me in, though, is they connected to my little writer’s heart. A couple of years ago, I had the chance to chat briefly with lead vocalist Matt Bishop at Seattle’s Sausage Fest (how awesome a festival is that?), who commented that he failed his college poetry class. To that professor with their head up their tush , I say “boooo.” Their lyrics are pure poetry, vivid imagery, thoughtful, an eloquent use of rhythm and sound:
I am leaving harbor if you cannot remember
Take me where you’re going in the light shade of December
The plains I see are floating, the grains I see are growing
Take me to the only place I see you’re going
[excerpt from “Café Lights”, Lines We Trace]
And they know how to tell a story—through lyrics, and also by creating both nostalgia and suspense in the music itself with swells of strings, unresolved chords, and building percussion. Then, at the end, they bring sweet catharsis by resolving that tension. It’s just one big musical climax, so awesome. Case in point, from their first album, To Travels and Trunks, is “Calabasas” (which is on the Hydraulic Level 5 playlist):
So, I’m having a baby Monday (by the time this blog goes up, baby will probably already be here!) Imagine my delight then instant sorrow when I saw that Hey Marseilles was finally coming to D-town (that’s Des Moines, not Detroit)…three days before baby’s arrival. But, like the dedicated music aficionado I fancy myself to be, I’m heading out to Vaudeville Mews with the lovely Linzk78 and our husbands, 40-week watermelon tummy in tow. Call it a last hurrah before I hole up for a while with my precious but exhausting little one. Thanks, Hey Marseilles, for the send-off.