So Beautiful or So What
The title of this week’s World Music Show blog refers to the title track to the latest CD by Paul Simon. Part of the lyrics are: “Life is what you make it, so beautiful or so what.” I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I need a reminder like that. Like many, I get bogged down in the day to day activities of life. Sure it’s summer, but with two young kids and two jobs, I often get caught in that web of stopping to notice the cool and absurd things about life.
Take today for instance. My wife and I were driving home from peach picking in Charlottesville with our two kids, Piper and Emmett. It seems poor Emmett, who is almost two, was getting kind of cranky. He let us know this by his 45-minute howl fest pretty much all the way home. Well, Piper, who is almost six and who is quite used to her brother’s cranky moods, was having a hard time with it on this ride back home. I fact, she began to cry too. And when he cried louder, so did she, saying “it’s just so annoying,” and “I don’t know if I can take this much longer.” Well, my wife Mariah and myself just started to laugh. I mean, what could we do? Sure, we tried to comfort them both. And we even tried to get Piper to put her fingers in her ears and sing a song--but it just wasn’t working. We knew we had to get home but there nothing to do but laugh at the absurdity of having both kids wailing for a greater part of the ride home. Which brings me back to that Paul Simon CD.
Much of the music in this weeks show (7/30) has that theme of beautifulness in it. You’ll hear tracks from Pizzicato Five and Issa Bagayogo that are both stunningly melodic and even fun and kitschy. Plus, you’ll hear some great slide guitar work from The Calcutta Chronicles as well as some sweet soul music from Beninise singer Angelique Kidjo.
In the second hour, the studio lights will dim and the show will be taken over by some global lounge and groove music. I’ll feature a cut from the Impala Lounge in Paris, which is a place that plays both live and lounge music. And, speaking of the french, you’ll hear some Jazz music from the French sisters who inhabit Les Nubians. Also, to add to that extra groove feel, I’ll feature some riveting music from the British band Morcheeba, who play some fantastic head-bopping rhythms.
All in all, once in a while, all of us need to sit back and soak it all in. Because life is what you make it, so beautiful or so what.
The World Music Show is heard Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. Follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.