Sunday, July 19, 2009

KINK on a Sunday

I know, just sounds wrong. But KINK is in fact a radio station in Portland, my fm home. Every year they put out a cd of live performances done in their studios. And each year I do my best to find the new cd when I travel to Portland. I've found new artists through the KINK Live cd's: Brandi Carlile, Tyrone Wells, K T Tunstall, Jason Mraz, Rocco Delucca and others. I've come to appreciate older artists that I was only somwhat familiar with: Suzanne Vega, Jesse Colin Young, Alanis Morisette, David Gray. And I've discovered songs that are unusual that are some of my favorites: You Know You Wrong, Come to Jesus, Soulshine.

But the best thing to me about the KINK cd's is the live and spare nature of the recordings. You get voice and you get acoustic guitars. Take for instance, Matchbox 20's, Disease. Slowed down. Rob Thomas' bluesy voice. Acoustic accompaniment. Great stuff. I love Jesse Colin Young's cover of the classic, Get Together. "Come on you people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another..." The guitar is sooooo good. And his vocal interpretation is unique, but not so much that you can't sing along. Sia's, Day Too Soon, is one long, longing run. Her voice so full of pathos, raw but smooth. Beautiful. The guitars on Alanis Morisette's, Everything. Brandi Carlile's vocals on What Can I Say. There are just so many great performances.

There is nothing like live music. There's so little between the performer and listener, no production, no gloss. Just connection. On the KINK cd's they have to go for it in one take, and they're reaching for it in a way that maybe they won't when they're getting it perfect in the studio. And so many of the KINK performaces are that immediate. KINK on a Sunday is a life giving thing.

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