Saturday Song Obsession & Summation of Sounds: 4/14/12

One of the loveliest things about music is how it speaks differently to each of us. Some people relate to it on a visceral level and get “lost” in the music. Others are innately in tune with lyrics, meaning. and the poetry of the work. And still another group may focus fully on instrument play and the tones and textures of that aspect. You can debate feelings on music til the end of time, but the truth is we all have our own relationship with it. A song that means nothing to me may hold deep meaning for you – comfort you in the rough spots and vice versa. And I happen to think that’s pretty damn swell.

A fellow blogger put into words her relationship with her favorite band and how the music helped her in a dark time, here on Of Shows and Burritos. I give her big ups for putting forth those emotions and giving thanks for music that obviously means so much to her. She calls Transfer her musical soul mate and I think that’s a sentiment worth sharing. (PS check out the blog for lots of fantastical music offerings, interviews, and more.)

The reason I’m rambling on this is that my song obsession this week has become one for deeply personal reasons. Certain songs just touch the right heart string at that right moment and they will forever be important to you. Someone turned me onto The Steelwells a few months back but I lost track of the playlist in my massive collection on Spotify and didn’t find it again for a bit. It seems like sometimes the right music finds you at the right time.

“El Capitan” by The Steelwells (and the rest of their EP- available for download here): I’m the kind of person that reflects. Maybe it’s self-involved, maybe it’s a side effect of living a long time ignoring my own feelings, maybe it just is. Listening to these songs for me, conjures up the memories of a low time in my life. Lots of music is about heartache, heartbreak, and break ups but these songs speak to me in a unique way. I already loved the sound of the band and was picking up on the raw emotion behind the lyrics when I found an article about the band in RollingStone. It seems singer-songwriter Joey Winter wrote a lot of the material during his marriage and its demise. Well that’s completely fucking relateable… for some of us. These days I honestly can say I’m happy with my life. By some mysterious combination of blind determination and stupid luck I stumbled into a life that amazes me every single day. I have managed to surround myself with supportive, talented, smart, funny people who hold me up when I need it and ask me for the same when it needs reciprocation. I don’t have the perfect job or car or home but I have enough in each of those areas to keep me satisfied. A few years ago I made the most money I had in my life, and I dreaded going home every night to live my life. I had a marriage, a house, and a life that looked pretty damn perfect from the outside, but as things like that go, it was anything but. Fast forward to now and I scrape by to make ends meet a lot of the time. I sacrifice expenditures so I can afford a $5 show ticket at The Casbah on a Monday night, because that makes me happy. But those compromises hardly cause me to blink when I think about how much happier I am to go home to my modest apartment where I live alone or get in a car that looks like someone’s spinster aunt should be driving it to church on Sundays. I cry more for joy than sorrow these days and that is worth more than a hefty paycheck when you have to carry a burden on your soul. So I can’t help but relate when I listen to the words in “El Capitan” and “Our Fabled Little Rabbits” I can hear a desperation in the lines and remember living those feelings and be thankful that it’s not my life anymore. And thankful that I’m not the only one who has experienced some shitty stuff in life and lived to tell (or sing) the tale.

Favorite Lyric:

“As we go down,

There’s something I need to say.

My life may have been wasted,

But don’t waste away with me.”

As I was developing this post I started seeing the following video around the interwebs. It feeds right into the importance of music subject and the true power of it. (Try to ignore the fact that it comes off as an iPod commercial…)

Summation of Sounds

I have slacked off on my duties here on Saturday posts… so here’s some highlights of what I’ve been up to:

The Beat In My Heart: Little Hurricane and The Howls at the Museum of Contemporary Art – in which I trip out on art, get loaded on Stone, and get dance-y with two fantastic San Diego bands.

Echoes In The Night: The Mother Hips, Dead Feather Moon, and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers at the House of Blues – in which I fall in love with Nicki Bluhm’s voice, fall further in love with DFM, and fall out of love with my choice in slamming back too many tall boys.

On the Microphone: Homegrown at The Go Lounge featuring Ezekiel Jay – in which I’m impressed by the venue, my friend’s musical prowess, and the enchanting Cathryn Beeks.

Should Have Known: The Heavy Guilt, Hills Like Elephants, The Black Sands, and Sundrop Electric at Soda Bar – in which I dance to music I know, music I’m learning and music I’m excited to discover.

Be Honest: Modern Heist and Kellen & Me at Tin Can Alehouse – in which I get invited to check out a band and thank goodness they are good!

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook, get tweety with me on Twitter or shoot me a good ol’ fashioned email (cleavage pix optional).


About Jen Van Tieghem

There aren’t many things I love more than music. While life spins away at a rapid beat I’ve realized it’s important to spend it doing what I love – enjoying music in San Diego. I have a handful of favorite venues, a heart full of favorite bands, and decided to write about it.

9 comments on “Saturday Song Obsession & Summation of Sounds: 4/14/12

  1. Awesome


  2. El Capitan is a fantastic track. I love the video and the story it, and the lyrics, tell. Something for everyone in that song.


  3. Hey man, someone sent me the link to this. I just want to say thank you for the kind words and add that I agree with your sentiment. I especially appreciate that you took the time to think about and internalize the words. Hopefully you’ll like what’s next.


  4. […] cozy little corner and I want to share that with anyone who will listen. I gushed about the band in a previous post after devouring their EP, Shallow On The Draft. Since then I’ve been impatiently waiting for […]


  5. […] on the Draft I fell for its somber songs and melancholy melodies – what I like to call heartbreak delicious. And now on their new live EP, Cool Kids, the guys have found another side to their sound with a […]


  6. […] Joey Winter’s emotionally charged lyrics. Keys and strings echoed a sense of yearning and the tunes were filled frailty. On their newest EP, Cool Kids, each member’s talents seemed to have been put through a […]


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