WUMB June Program Guide

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Today, I am sitting and thinking. Actually, spacing out in the heat and humidity is probably a better description of what I am doing.

Randi is playing “Eloise” from Penny and Sparrow. I love this song. The line about blushing the color of red licorice gets me every time. It vaguely reminds me of the simple but poweful first line of Robert Desnos’s “Le Dernier Poeme,” “J’ai reve tellement fort de toi…” (“I dreamt so strongly of you…”). When I read that poem as a 12-year-old, I was struck by how even just the fewest words can convey deep, complex emotions. From that point on, as much as I loved the sound of music, I became a lyrics person first and foremost.

Recently I was reading an interview with Dave Simonett, and he mentioned that he prefers listeners to interpret his lyrics relative to their own experiences. While we’ll probably never know the full origin of the songs on Red Tail, I appreciate the freedom to take whatever I’d like from his writing. On the other side, I also appreciate when artists like Bonny Light Horseman or the Wood Brothers are willing to break down their albums and tell you the story behind every song. Often, I learn something new when I hear artists describing their own work.

A lot of the new music I’ve been playing lately has been making me think in all kinds of directions. Some songs have just been wonderful distractions like “Summertime” from Orville Peck. Some have been sonically comforting like “Scared of Heights” from the very mellow Citizen Cope. Other songs, like “Capital Crimes” from Andrew Bird have inspired long discussions with friends about historical and current events. Andrew said recently that he had written this song last year for other reasons, but, lyrically, it has taken new meaning in 2020. When things pass and artists can get back into studios with their bands, I am wondering what kind of powerful poetry and music will be created because of the current times.

I hope you’re hanging in there and enjoying the new music and favorites we’ve been playing for you. And, THANK YOU SO MUCH to everybody who pledged during our most recent fundraiser. I am so grateful for your support of the station and the artists we play. We really can’t do this without you.

Stay well and I hope you get to enjoy the sun and warm weather.

~ Michelle

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