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The Friday Morning Listen: Regina Spektor – Far

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I'm a big fan of Found Magazine. It's quite amazing to see the wide variety of, well…stuff out there. It opens the mind up to an endless list of possibilities. Think about it. Somebody finds a note that warns people to bolt the door on the port-o-potty because otherwise the sheep will get in there and eat the toilet paper. I'm just tickled that there's a person out there who has to be worried about this kind of thing. That's what makes the magazine so great.

One of the volumes on my recent reading night stand is an anthology of Found-related essays called Requiem For A Paper Bag. Some of the entries are just plain hilarious — Evan Goldberg finding a porno mag as a kid, keeping it hidden in a tree. Some are disturbing: let this be the first and last time I ever type these words together — bloody jockstrap. Not surprisingly, not a few of the stories are touching. One that stuck in my mind was by Kori Gardner (from Mates of State), who recounted the night a homeless woman gave her her prized possession, a purple crystal, after hearing the music outside of a club in San Franciso.

I've seen some descriptions of the Found phenomenon as 'voyeuristic.' I dunno, that seems a little harsh. The stories that radiate from these objects have a sort of mini-memoir quality to them. Like any great story telling, they have the power to transport. Your reaction can be, "Woah, I didn't know that this was possible!"

This is how I've always felt about Regina Spektor. Back in 2004, Soviet Kitsch dropped out of the sky. I lived with that record for weeks. I loved the way she played with the rhythm of language. I loved the way she would combine a sweet voice with brutal lyrics. I loved that she would accompany her piano by whacking a chair with a stick.

Dropped out of the sky. Yeah, that seems overly dramatic, but sometimes things show up at just the right time. Yesterday I had some extra stuff to take care of at work and didn't leave the office until well after 10pm. A twelve-hour day isn't that big of a deal except when followed by a 75-minute drive home through a driving rainstorm. Bleah. So I pull into the driveway, get out of the car, and walk up to the door. As I'm fishing for my key something tickles my forehead. I look up and see that it's a note from Fedex attached to the glass of the door. The damp weather (it feels like it's been raining here since some time in March) has made the paper curl up so the note's bottom edge was at perfect forehead-tickling height.

I get inside and see that TheWife™ has already brought in the box. Ah, a box of CD's. I don't normally get excited about review material at 11:30 at night, but this box had a copy of the new Regina Spektor in it. After getting myself ensconced on the couch, I gave a few of the tunes from Far a listen. Again, I'm brought back to the land of "I didn't know this was possible." Nice.

This morning I woke with that "Did that really happen?" feeling. Wow, I must have been really tired or something. A quick look at the laptop confirms this, as I can see the first few sentences of this post already typed in. I only have a vague memory of working on them. Hmmm, I guess it's time to live with Far for a while.

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About Mark Saleski