Thursday, July 8, 2010

Give a Listen: Landfill

27115_388015218999_5961498999_3743405_7920463_n My musical horizons can use a little expanding. If you find yourself, as I did, shopping and singing along to the piped in 70’s bubblegum and realizing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head? Really? Get a life, Renee!” Where to go for help? Kids of course. Actually in this case not only did I get a bona fide musical treat from my kids’ library, but made a new friend in the process. Maryanna Cannon Sokol used to live in Houston and used to go to church with my oldest and his wife. Our paths kept crossing until our whole family – those launched and those still at home – found ourselves attending shows, watching the progress of her first CD, and saying goodbye as she left for New York City. In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that we M’s acknowledged in her liner notes. How cool is that? I always read the notes to see if I know anyone and if you peruse “Landfill”, well there we are!
Thanks to the magic that is the internet, I don’t have to describe each song. You can go here and have a listen. Some general impressions?
“Two” is ripply and skippy….reminds me of sprinklers and popsicles. Many of the songs just have this happy vibe. I can understand them, hum with them, stay happy in Houston traffic with them.
“Pentameter” -  I teach English. How can I not love a song with lyrics like this? “In my head I play around with words and try to rhyme them in some clever phrase. If I spoke in iambic pentameter would you begin to hear me then?”
Maryanna wrote all the words and music. In “real life” she’s a music therapist, musically trained, and the daughter of musical parents. Is this a case of art imitating life? You decide. Her lyrics speak to regret, loss, love, and friendship.
Of course she’s in a class by her musical self, but if you enjoy Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owen Youngs, & Regina Spektor, you’ll feel right at home. These are folksy ballads, not whiny protests but thoughtful observations. She knows how to turn a phrase but don’t let the delicate vocals lull you into complacency. Her moons-and-junes-and-ferris wheels come with a double shot of caffeinated commentary.   Listen to how the simple guitar beginning on “Home” gives way to soaring strings and the reminder that change might be hard, but home can be found in the midst of it. 
While Maryanna’s sweet clear soprano doesn’t get tripped up over the high pretty notes, she can also be a little scary-edgy. Life’s not all sprinklers and popsicles you know.


Anonymous said...

Renee, I'm a hippy, folk-ballad girl at heart and loved listening to a few of her songs. She's incorporated a little head-bangin' sound into her music which my daughters would like. Thanks for the heads up on her.

Living on Love and Cents said...

Hey there! I love your blog! I found you on the Texas Blogging Gals blog list. I am now following you. It is great to find you! I hope you will visit me at Have a wonderful weekend! Heather

Anonymous said...

Thanks, daughter. I enjoyed listening to Maryann, especially after hearing about her through your family.

Love, Mom

PS the guacamole recipe sounds great

Texas Playwright Chick said...

My dad is a folk artist... from the sixties - so I'm a folkie at heart. Gonna give a listen to your gal! Cheers!

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Anonymous said...

Checking in. You haven't posted in a couple of months and I hope everything is going well in your world. Hugs, Marla