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The Friday Morning Listen: Fleet Foxes

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When a lot of stuff has been going on and I'm tired, really tired, I have to go to bed early. Usually, that's around 11:30, the normal shuteye time being closer to somewhere around 1:30 in the morning. What happens on these nights is that I have a ton of dreams. It's almost like somebody is holding down the fast-forward button on my dream remote. I almost never remember any of the dreams, though I perceive that they all lasted about 30 seconds. It's like my brain is trying to clear stuff out. In the morning, after the bewilderment fog clears, there's a great sense of refreshment and clarity.

Recently, I've been having those hyper-speed dreamscapes during the day. Thoughts flash through unabated. In the span of ten seconds, I can go through days, weeks, and years of remembrances and ideas (the ideas come not only from past reflections but from creative fragments that haven't matured). Buddhists have a term for this: Monkey Mind.

For a musical simulation of this, just imagine The Carpenters. I was never a huge fan but have to admit that Karen's voice was a pure gem. So think of all of those love songs and other singles. Now, think of them being played simultaneously. Not quite so soothing, eh?

When this isn't going on, life can be temporarily suspended if I run into a creative notion. I'll hear a piece of music or read a passage and become so enthralled that everything else drops away. It's a pretty exhilarating experience. I know it'll come back, but I sure do miss it.

As 2008 passed into '09, I read a pile of those best-of articles. Lots of them mentioned Fleet Foxes. I gave them a try (MySpace, etc.) and just couldn't see what the fuss was all about. It seemed like a rehash of late 1960s psychedelic folk. Album of the year? Wait, Pitchfork loves it…riiight.

So I'm up late one night, staring a hole through the TV (tuned to Current) and a show comes on called La Blogotheque. They have the Fleet Foxes singing in an abandoned gym. When they launched into "White Winter Hymnal" everything around me became suspended. Ah, what a glorious feeling, I really missed it.

About Mark Saleski

  • Jordan Richardson

    Incredible.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Yep, amazing. So refreshing to see a band that doesn’t need tons of studio processing to do really beautiful things with their voices – just some echo, I guess, if they aren’t doing it the natural way they are in these videos.

    A coworker that I turned onto the Fleet Foxes just pointed me to First Aid Kit, a couple of young women, doing an amazing cover of the FFs’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.” Are we actually going to start seeing really nice vocal-based music make a comeback because of stuff like this?

  • http://www.marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    Are we actually going to start seeing really nice vocal-based music make a comeback because of stuff like this?

    i hope so, because that was pretty cool.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I hope so too, I’ve never considered rap/hiphop more than bad poetry readings to stolen pieces of 70s\80s rock, and the videos nothing more than urbanspeak men bragging about how bad/tough/street they are, with jigglebound-breast enhanced female dancers with big asses who’ve only had two lessons on keeping the beat.

    Of course that’s only my opinion

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    they’re soothing to listen to.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    We’ve known all about the Foxes up here in grungeland for awhile now. And yeah, they do what they do largely without effects or treatments…like I saw them do on a flatbed stage in the middle of the street at the Capitol Hill Block Party last summer.

    They just have these really nice sounding voices. I hope this stuff is making a comeback too.

    -Glen

  • http://www.themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    I read this post on Friday and for whatever reason left it sitting open on my laptop. The wife came in later, read the article, saw the video and decided to give the CD a listen. She likes it. So I guess you could say that you made a new Fleet Foxes fan from this, Mark.