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Music For The New School Year/Reasonable Challenges

This is a two part blog. It contains today's thoughts and a blog I didn't finish from a week ago. Let's start with the present.

I've been discovering lots of music the past few days. After discussing the track All Summer Long with my brother Nate, I picked up the new Kid Rock. I'm still wary of his raps (a little coarse for my taste, now), but his rock & roll moments are super. Then there's Jimmy Needham's Not Without Love. Jimmy is a Christian artist who reminds me of Elliot Yamin and Orson, for those who can dig that. I'm still listening to Bruce's Magic in heavy rotation, along with the recent Blind Boys of Alabama release. In "catalog," I found Elton John's Honky Chateau, featuring Honky Cat and Rocket Man. It is a really solid set of songs.

As for the most amazing thing I've heard this week? I've discovered the joys of Fleet Foxes. Their self-titled debut is a pastoral, choral masterwork. It evokes memories and provokes feelings of times-gone-by that never really happened. That's not an easy task. The whole album reminds me of autumns at Georgetown, without the homework. It takes me to leaf-crunching walks along red brick sidewalks and panoramic vistas out of the windows of New South onto the Potomac and Northern Virginia's changing colors. To me this record is the sound of a new millennium Crosby, Stills & Nash recording the Beach Boys' Smile. The lyrics deal heavily with forests, fauna and the seasons; life and death. Even when the words are dire, the performances are ethereal and uplifting.

I'm challenging myself. I've come up with 10 song titles. I'm going to write 10 songs. My goal is to write a cohesive album of tunes. Starting with the titles, I'll go on to lyrics and then the melodies. I've even got an album title and thus a title track. God willing, if the usual suspects are available in 2009, I should have a new record out by this time of year.

As for A Talent For Loving, it continues to chug along. Several songs/performances/tracks were submitted for the first round in the process that produces Grammy winners. Keep in mind there are several cycles of voting, etc. and typically signed acts make up the vast majority of nominees you hear announced on TV. Let alone the winners. Again, if God wills it, perhaps some of my work will show up on the preliminary ballot. What categories could feature yours truly?

Best New Artist
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (Everything My Heart Desires)
Best R&B Male Solo Vocal Performance (Everything My Heart Desires)
Best R&B Song (Everything My Heart Desires)
Best R&B Album (A Talent For Loving)
Best Urban/Alternative Performance (A Talent For Loving)
Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (Everyone's Ingenue)

Hopefully, I don't disqualify myself by posting this info on my blog. Ha ha. At least the works were entered. That's further than any other of my efforts have gotten.

Today marks the 7th anniversary of 9/11.
God bless us and God bless America.


Unknown said…
You deserve serious consideration for these Grammy categories, Norm! My iPod has almost melted down the Artist->Norman Kelsey->A Talent for Loving part of the drive, and with good reason!

I look forward to checking out the Fleet Foxes... I know exactly what they sound like from your description. Numero Quatro, however, may be wondering if that means they sound like the Los Lonely Boys... Pass La Cerveza Mas Fina por favor. Welcome to America.

We kid, because we love!

-Numero Dos
Unknown said…
7 years. 61,380 hours ago, who'd-a thunk we'd be where we are today. God bless us, everyone... Norm, RHS, Nate, Patty, CP, everyone... regardless. I know where I stand. It's a great country. It's a wonderful world. I think the last line the Beatles put on record in 1970 got it right, don't you? No disrespect to Robbie Williams, but - Take that!

-Numero Dos
DAVE said…
Dos..did you mention beer? if so I'm in!! And, alas, are you just discovering it's a wonderful world because your esteemed "New Kids on the Block" have re-united?
As for Kid Rock's "All Summer Long"'s a mix sample of "Werewolves of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama" he rock, rap, or country...Pamela done kncoked the sense out of him (pun intended)..
Next on the list..Norm..if only the powers that be gave me a music ballot, your name would be at the top of all categories..
Well, as for 9-11..McCain can chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell all he wants..Obama will actually chase him down to the caves he's hiding in now.
Bless the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, and related emergency personnel.
-Quatro..why, because I can!!

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