Tough times in life again. More curveballs. And, as ever, my outlet is music, is this website.

Just over a year ago, I posted about counterpoints, using Ryan Adams, and I talked about the need to let someone or something go, despite the pain, and you need to trust things to work out… But what happens when you don’t let go, but realise that something needs to change?

I posted about Cary Brothers almost three years ago – an artist whose first EP, “All The Rage” I loved, but who’s first album, “Who You Are”, while nice, in my eyes failed to keep that momentum.

I got my hands on his second full-length, “Under Control”, released last year, but to be honest, never really took the time to listen to it. I skipped through it, and kept it for completeness sake. As ever, when I do that, I missed out.

carybrothers

From that album, I give you the utterly beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking “Belong”; initially sparse, piano-driven , but a song that builds and builds, introducing guitars and drums and more vocals over its 4 minutes, moving from something so utterly sad to a statement of honesty and the… strength?… that comes from that.

Let the catharsis from from 1:36 onwards utterly sweep over you…

This is one lover’s statement to another: I don’t belong to you; my dreams are my own and not yours; but I love you, I will be there for you, always. But I can’t lie to myself, or to you, about this.

Wake up lonely with you by my side
One more night it doesn’t feel
There are movies playing in your eyes
You dream of our fortunes

But you’re wrong
I don’t belong to you

The moon is the only friend I have outside
One more drink and I’ll be healed
I told you the words and then knew it was a lie
I wish I could offer an appeal

You’re wrong
I don’t belong
You’re wrong
I don’t belong to you

What I’d give for that first night when you were mine, you were mine
Tried with all that I have to keep you alive, alive

I wasn’t taught this way
With a thousand things to say
I was born with a broken heart
What I’d give for that first night when you were mine
Thought you were mine

So I’ll put this cigarette to bed
Pull some sheets from off your side
I put my arm around you safe in the night
Still dreaming of fortune
But you’re wrong
I don’t belong
You’re wrong
I don’t belong
I don’t belong

Cary Brothers – Belong

www: Cary’s official website, Facebook Page, and MySpace.

In 2001 I first started watching Scrubs, and fell in love. I lasted a few series before the shine waned, and the latest series really makes me think that about four years ago, they should have taken the series round the back of the studio and shot it. However, those first couple of years were not only great comedy, but were also the first time I truly paid attention to music in series.

From there, I’ve followed a number of series which I might not even watch, but whom I know have great music – Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, and pretty much any hour-long drama series from the U.S. with a cast of pretty 20/30/40-somethings. While it is a bit depressing at times that these series are now seen by musicians as the ultimate springboard to success, you can’t argue with some of the music’s quality.

And in 2001 Scrubs introduced me to Josh Joplin / Josh Joplin Group.

joshjoplin

Wikipedia can, as ever, explain this man more than I. Here’s a whistle-stop tour. And what the Hell is a whistle-stop anyway?

His interest in guitar and music, especially folk music, outgrew his initial need for a passing grade. Though he made it through to the eighth grade, Joplin dropped out altogether after the ninth grade and began his career as a folk singer.

He spent the next couple of years traveling around the country, busking on the streets, taking odd jobs, and working in restaurants. It was while he was living in Denver for a short stint that he was given his first opportunity to perform in front of an attentive audience, opening for singer-songwriter Bill Staines at the Swallow Hill Folk Music Center.

Still heavily influenced by his heroes Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, and Woody Guthrie, Josh landed a regular gig at Sylivia’s Atomic Café.

In 1996, wanting to play with other people, Joplin was introduced to Geoff Melkonian, who played bass and viola, and Jason Beucker, who played drums. After playing a few shows together as Josh’s backing band, the three decided to continue to play together simply under the name Josh Joplin Band.

Camera One went on to become the first No. 1 hit on adult album alternative radio by an independent record label ever.

Josh Joplin Group disbanded in December 2003.

In 2008, Joplin started a new group with Nashville-based singer/songwriter Garrison Starr called Among The Oak & Ash.

Among The Oak & Ash is an ever-changing collection of musicians led by American songwriter Josh Joplin. The songs are born out of the musical tradition of the Appalachian Mountains and are either adapted from their folk conventions or are entirely original and are written to sound like old time songs.

Now, I haven’t listened to Among The… as of yet, but from Josh Joplin/Josh Joplin Group’s 2001 album “Useful Music”, I give you two utterly amazing tracks – the aforementioned “Camera One”, and “Gravity”.

Both tracks are two of the more rock-oriented tracks from the album, but both are truly the definition of melancholy – whether it’s “Gravity”, a guitar-led, drum-driven number about the disappointments of life, and the ways we deal with these, whether through alcohol or mistaken belief, and the eventual realisation that everybody does indeed fall; or “Camera One”, a, uhm guitar-led, drum-driven number about, uhm, the disappointments of life, and the ways we deal with these, whether through suicide, sad contemplation or simply the conscious decision not to care, and to realise you’re the only one who can star in your own life, and how much you star is up to you…

A decade on, both the album and especially “Camera One” have played a huge part in my life – and I know that in 10, 20 and 30 years time, they will still do so.

Maybe they might just do the same for you…

I will not be here forever
So I will not waste any time
Just pick my head up from off the bar dear
Buy the next round I’ll be fine
Spoken like a poet
Who’s just too drunk to know that

Everybody falls in small degrees
Everybody falls in small degrees
It’s gravity
It’s gravity

Here within lies the king of Graceland
Which makes the point all too clear
We stand in long lines praying our peace
And we go home with a souvenir
And only fools rush in
To save a desperate man

Everybody falls in small degrees
Everybody falls in small degrees
It’s gravity
It’s gravity

Pull me down, don’t pull me down
Pull me down, don’t pull me down
When I was little I used to dream that
I had a cape and I could fly
I rescued my friends from burning buildings
And no one would ever die
But costumes fade fast
And super powers pass

Everybody falls in small degrees
Everybody falls in small degrees
It’s gravity
It’s gravity

The sandy haired son of Hollywood
Lost his faith in all that’s good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he never got undressed
And no, he never made a mess

It’s funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins

You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow

The trophy wife from Palisades
Whose yearbook beauty never fades
Sits and watches the sea fold in
And wonders what might have been
If she could ever have the chance
Would she do it all again?

It’s funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins

You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow

On the corner
By his streets
He sits in his lawnchair
In the heat
Sightseers see
What they want
They’re selling star-maps
To the sun

The sunny-haired son of hollywood
Lost his faith in all that’s good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he didn’t get undressed
And no, he didn’t seem depressed

It’s funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins

You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow
Take a bow
Take a bow

Josh Joplin Group – Gravity

Josh Joplin Group – Camera One

www: Josh Joplin’s MySpace, and Among The Oak & Ash’s Facebook Page and MySpace.