This album is currently streaming on NPR. It is a sweet acoustic pop album with elements of retro electric guitar sounds. It has lots of elements that I recognize (name any folkie power pop band and you can hear them in here). But the biggest element here is The Beatles–later period Beatles–especially on the instrumental break of this song.
It opens with jangly guitars and a falsetto vocal (with lots of ah ha has at the end of the verses). There’s a soft keyboard and some wooooah yeashs. So far so good.
At the two-minute mark the song gets much bigger–the “whoa yeahs” get louder and there’s a guitar break which lasts for a few measures and which seems like the song will be ending (it is a power pop song after all). But the chord changes and the song stops and the pizzicato piano comes in. And it’s followed by that fuzzed out classic rock guitar solo sound. All of which is brief enough to keep the listener guessing while the song swings back into some Whoa Yeahs until it ends.
It’s a simple pop song, but it has enough going on to not be completely obvious.
[READ: April 21, 2013] “The Judge’s Will”
I read this awhile back and never posted on it. So here it is.
This is the story of a judge and the women in his life. He has survived a second heart attack but knows he is not long for the world. The judge is married, but he has been keeping a woman on the side for twenty-five years. And she is concerned for her future–he has always taken care of her but she has no legal rights. He has ensured that she will be okay in his will, but he is afraid that his wife and son will cause trouble when the time came.
His wife Binny did not react at all when he told her of his multi-decade infidelity–she acted like it was idle gossip. But she did share the news with her son Yasi. They knew the judge wouldn’t leave everything to the other woman. The judge is rather surprised by this reaction and indeed, it proves to be false.
When the judge went back to the hospital, he called on Yasi and asked him to bring things to the other woman. Which he did–although he says he left as soon as he could. When the judge returns home, he asks Yasi to bring the other woman, Phul, to their house. Binny was upset, but accepted the news.
We learn a bit about Phul’s history (the judge found her when she was fifteen and she has stayed in the house that he bought for her). He fears she is like a tamed wild animal and needs to be protected. We also learn about Binny and how she suffers no fools and has removed all of her friends from her circle because all they dis was complain. And now it is more or less just her, the judge, Yasi and their driver. But now Phul is spending nearly every day at their house–in her husband’s bedroom (it appears that Binny has long given up that room anyhow).
Despite Binny’s seeming calm, she grows more and more agitated by the circumstances. She is even more jealous that the judge keeps asking Yasi to do things for Phul. And that he does them–they used to be so close and now they fight all the time. Ultimately she declares that she and Yasi are moving and that they want nothing to do with his money. This leads to a confrontation, where Binny gets to meet Phul and to see how she treats her husband (she is massaging his feet when Binny walks in). Things settle down but not entirely.
And then there is word that Phul is sick. That is when things changed for Binny. The judge asked Yasi to go but Yasi has a weak immune systems and catches everything. So Binny finds herself choosing to help the poor sick woman, bringing her food and medicine. The final scene is between the judge and Binny. They speak of the future and of the past and a moment is shared between them.
This was a surprisingly tender story for one about infidelity and family fortunes.