muSic Saturday – The Lost Level

Draft created in August. Now available for your perusal!


Apologies to readers who followed my Music Monday posts with zeal when I was naming my holy trinity of dark-haired lyricists, but never completed the trio.

After naming Vanessa Carlton and Kate Nash as the first two inductees, a combination of occupationitis and proper timing prevented me from finishing the awards.

Proper timing happened last week.

Opening for the Goo Goo Dolls at a concert at the Raleigh Amphitheatre was some band named Parachute…but sandwiched between that band and the Goo was a starlet who I haven’t been able to listen to without thinking about Emerald Isle and Dairy Queen since 2004.

That was the summer I burned Michelle Branch’s CD for Stacy and we listened to it to and from the beach what seemed like every weekend…along with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, but Blink 182 doesn’t qualify as a dark-haired lyricist.

Those songs transcend time for me…and apparently she just dropped a new album “Loud Music,” so when I walked into the amphitheatre and Michelle was singing from Hotel Paper it almost outshone Iris.

For the other members of the trio? See Kate Nash and Vanessa Carlton.


Music Monday – Vanessa Carlton

The honor of being the first inductee into the Ty Johnson holy trinity of dark-haired lyricists belongs to Vanessa Carlton.

You likely know her as the “Thousand Miles” singer, but as I mentioned before, piano-infused pop music is a weakness of mine.

This means that in a CD-driven world (early 2000s) I bought her album “Be Not Nobody” and proceeded to memorize every song on it, including Ordinary Day.

I just stumbled through Wikipedia and learned that Ordinary Day actually charted in the U.S., but that wasn’t on any radio stations I was listening to.

I just really like her strains and the simplicity of the song. It’s just a piano and a voice. Plus it’s kind of an uplifting tune that’s fun to belt really loudly in the car.

TJHTODHL honorable mention #2: Regina Spektor

Sonja suggested Spektor to me when she learned of how much I loved Kate Nash. The two have very similar musical styles, but I wasn’t buying it…until I became the editor of Technician.

My managing editor, Ana, was the DJ of our shared office, so I was submitted to her music often and one of the songs I fell in love with was Fidelity, mostly due again to the simplicity of the song.

It became an audio sanctuary for me during rough nights. Sometimes I needed only to call out “Ana, play me a song” and Fidelity would fill the room in seconds. It soothed my head and allowed me to collect my thoughts…I don’t think I ever accomplished anything while that song was playing, but I also never murdered a writer/editor/designer during that song either, so that’s a plus.