Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sea Shanties and Celtic Sounds

I go through stages with music. For a period of time in high school I listened to a lot of country. In college it was folk. When I first met Jeff I listened to a lot of eighties. Currently I'm on an Irish/Celtic kick with some old fashioned sea shanties mixed in. It's kind of an odd choice for me but I'm loving it.

It started when I was listening to Jonathan Coulton on If you haven't listened to Jonathan you need to check him out. He doesn't do Irish music, Celtic music, or sea shanties but he does create some of the funniest and smartest music out there. If you combine the nerdiness of Weird Al with the humor of Barenaked Ladies, and throw in some fun tunes, you have Jonathan. He's hilarious and intelligent and fun. Great stuff.

So you're probably wondering how I got from the geeky stylings of Jonathan Coulton to sea shanties. I'm not really sure how either. That's the beauty of Pandora. It always seems to recommend the right thing. In this case, the program happened to play Great Big Sea, a band that plays sea shanties. Particularly it played The Mermaid, which is a downright hilarious song about the problems of trying to have sex with mermaids. It was catchy and fun and I remember writing down the band's name for future reference. I didn't have to wait long to hear more from them as Pandora decided to play Old Polina, off the same album, a couple hours later. Now I was interested. I created a station with Great Big Sea (did I mention I love Pandora?) and suddenly found myself immersed in sea shanties, old Irish songs, and Celtic sounds.

I've been listening to bands like The Chieftains (the classics), the Pogues, The Dubliners, Gaelic Storm, and Flogging Molly and am having a great time. So much of the music is bouncy and lively that I find myself tapping my feet and dancing in my chair. I've been buying tons of songs from iTunes and keep finding new ones to add. The moment the fiddle and the Bodhran starts up I'm happy. So far I've only found one or two bands I don't enjoy as much on the channel but all the rest are bands I'd happily own. In fact I've owned one of Gaelic Storms albums for years and it's been one of my favorite albums. But now I have a whole selection of new titles to add. We all need music and right now mine sounds better with a mandolin and a tin whistle.

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