Friday, August 19, 2011

Amos Lee:

Disclaimer: I typed this shit up long before my little Tupac post below, even though it sounds a bit similar.

I just wanted to pay some homage to another one of my favorite musicians.
Hopefully, I'll be able to do these a more often, just to give the world a heads up on the best shit out there.
I've had this story sort of stewing around in my head for the last...7 years or so.
For those who do not know, Amos Lee is an incredible folky/blues singer-songwriter based out of Philly who's been one of my favorite artists since the very first time I heard his voice.

When I was 14 in 2005, my mom took me down to NYC to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show (...fuck you, those Rockettes are bad bitches).
While I was there, I of course had to hit up the Virgin Megastore for as much shit as my mom could possibly afford me.
If you ever had the chance to go to the Virgin Megastore in Times Square (that's now supposedly a Forever 21...lame), you know that it was 3 stories of pure entertainment.
CDs, DVDs, vinyl, t-Shirts, books, & magazines from every country imaginable.
Anything & everything a 14 girl could ever want was in that damn store.
However, once I started looking around, I guess I got a little overwhelmed & I started picking up the most random shit like a mad woman.
No shit, my arms were FULL of stuff that I didn't even really want.
I remember holding a jacket that said 'Brasil' on it even though I knew nothing about Brasil, a CD of traditional Italian music (I was on a weird Italian kick, back then), & a Bob Marley box set even though I'd never thought to listen to Bob Marley.
I don't know what I was thinking.
I remember being really sweaty, walking very briskly & being extremely flustered trying to grab every little thing I saw.
Once I'd murdered the first two levels of the store, I made my way up to the 3rd floor, arms still completely full of Brazilian, Italian, & Jamacian nonsense.
I somehow managed to free one of my arms long enough to start going through the CD racks.
In the middle of Mission: Put My Mom in Debt Forver, a song came on.
Obviously music had been playing the whole time I'd been in the store, but I didn't pay attention to any of it.
I was on a mission, remember?
Well, I paid attention to this song.
I literally stopped dead in my tracks, & froze like a deer in headlights.
It was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard & I couldn't imagine whose voice it could possibly be coming out of those speakers.

You ever see those strange shots they do in music videos where the singer will be moving at normal pace but the entire city around them is flying by at 1000 miles an hour?
That's what it felt like.
I was in Times Square, paralyzed by a song that I felt like only I could hear.

I asked my mom to ask a store worker what the name of the song was & who it was by & when she came back holding Amos Lee's Supply & Demand album, I literally laid everything I'd been holding in my death grip on the floor & walked away from it with ease.
Mission Aborted.
The only thing I bought in the store that day was Amos Lee's album.

Later on, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe & I bought a little blue teddy bear & named him Amos (shouts to my bear!).
It was freezing on the ride home & I remember putting Amos's CD in my little Walkman & refusing to listen to that one song I'd heard in Virgin.
The reason for this was simple: I didn't want to lose the feeling it gave me...ever.
So I listened to the entire album over & over & fell in love with every song.
At one point, I decided to give in & allow myself to only listen to the FIRST line of the song, then I had to change it & save it for when I got home, where I could fully enjoy it in the quiet confines of my bedroom.
He sung the first line, I got chills, broke into an uncontrollable smile & felt my whole life getting better & better.

I feel like I could go on all day about Amos Lee...because I could.
I wasn't an avid blues or folk listener before listening to Amos, in fact, I was a complete raging metalhead, but when someone puts their heart & soul into their music, there's no mistaking it & there is no escaping it.
You will feel it whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

I finally got to see Amos live last November & it was one of the best shows I've ever seen.
Between songs he had this crazy self-effacing attitude (he even apologized to the owners of the theatre for not filling every single seat), then he would sing & the entire mood of the room would change.
Like every bad vibe had just been thrown out.

I often feel like I seem a little dramatic when I talk about musicians, like Amos Lee, like they're some sort of saviors or something.
It's not like that.
It's the fact I can still listen to that same song I heard in a now non-exsistent music store almost 7 years ago, & I'll still get that little pain in my chest when I hear the first line.
That's what it all comes down to & that's why I always speak so passionately of my favorite artists.

I was in Woodstock, NY not too long ago & Amos' new song "Flower" came on while I was eating in an outdoor restaurant.
I, of course, got all excited & wondered if anyone else had picked up on the song for the first time, right then & there like I did in NYC.

I truly believe one song, one artist or one album can change your life.
The name of the song is "Careless", by the way.
Amos Lee's music will always have a special place in my heart.