Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bon Iver and Iron and Wine last night were a much-needed break from the horrible work week I had. It was nice and exciting in a "now that's why I moved to London" kind of sense, but coming at the time that it did (and it's still ongoing for the next few weeks) didn't do much for my already-low CFA confidence levels.

In short, I think I really am dooooooooooooooooooooomed this time around.

Still, the concert last night - after spending twice the hours a typical French worker would in an office (or as a French colleague said, "you really think French work as long as 35 hours? You are joking, no?") - was a welcome respite.

A review of the concert will be posted later (if at all) but after soaking in all the wonderful acoustic folk rock goodness (Sam Beam has a really good singing voice), I simply had to hear the song which first introduced me to him - Such Great Heights, which featured on the soundtrack of Garden State.

His take on The Postal Service's track is incredibly different. He stripped out all of the electronic accompaniments to the tune and rendered it into a spare, bare-bones, slow tune of tender yearning and muted joy. And although I heard the original first, my preference tended to be for Iron and Wine's cover because it is a beautifully simple and simply beautiful tune.

And as I haven't listened to The Postal Service's original (available for download from the band's site) for some time, I put that on too.

To my astonishment, I found tears in my eyes, just listening to it.

Some people have criticised it for seeming too upbeat - it's faster, and there're definitely more beeps and bloops because of the synths - but to me, it was perfect.

Moreover, it brought back memories of T., who introduced the tune to me, dancing to it at Poptart.

They weren't tears of yearning or even tears of regret. They were, quite simply, tears of happiness, from listening to such an incredibly joyous tune, and having equally happy memories associated with it. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it just made me feel really lucky and blessed.

Moments like these really do help relieve the other times when I feel as if, to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel, I'm the only living girl in London.

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