This week we’re hoping the storms have passed so that we can stop and smell the flowers.
Standard Daniel here, and I actually love working when it’s raining outside. Something about the rain is very comforting to me. I may be alone in that view, and if so, that’s fine.
A wise man once said, “April showers bring May flowers;” an even wiser man once said, “all I can say is that my life is pretty plain, I like watching the puddles gather rain.” (Blind Melon) Maybe the wisest of these three sayings was spoken by a woman (Kasey Musgraves);
Well, the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella
Well, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya,
That there’s always been a rainbow
Hangin’ over your head
Now, of course I’m being a little facetious here. The proverb is actually “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers,” and it was first recorded in 1886, way before the band Blind Melon (1992). An even shorter phrase (“Sweet April Showers/Do spring May Flowers”) was recorded in 1610, and I’m sure someone else said that even before that. As far as rhyming goes, showers-flowers isn’t that ground-breaking. Rain storms though do paint a powerful image in our collective minds, and that makes good fodder for song. Some of the greatest artists have written about rain/storms/flowers. Prince wrote the song “Purple Rain” which was on the album Purple Rain which was the soundtrack for the 1984 movie Purple Rain. His subsequent tour was called the Purple Rain Tour. He was creative, but he wasn’t that creative. “November Rain” was released in 1991 by Guns N’ Roses. Although the color of the rain in the song is not specified, the song isn’t nearly as good. To GNR’s credit, the music video for the song was very expensive. There are songs by Bob Dylan (who is a genius), Lady Gaga (also a genius), Adele (genius), and Kanye West (genius). By my count, there’s possibly 8 genius on this playlist.
Now some songs that you may not know that I want to highlight are “I Wish It Would Rain” by Mayer Hawthorne. Mayer is Detroit to the bone, and oozes out that Motown sound. “Storms” was one of the first songs by Person L, who is essentially Kenny Vasoli, who was the lead singer/bass player for the amazing pop-punk emo band The Starting Line (a band I love) and is now the main force behind chill-wave band Vacationer. These bands are drastically different, and I think that’s very cool. Last song I’ll highlight is “Let It Storm” by Manchester Orchestra. Manchester Orchestra is from Georgia, and put out Mean Everything to Nothing in 2009, and it’s one of my top 5 albums of all time. I’ve felt massive heartache and intense euphoria listening to this record, and totally cried one time when I saw them live. I’ve also cried listening to Kasey Musgraves. I’ve probably cried listening to Bob Dylan, but I’m not sure. Does that mean I’m very much in touch with my emotions? No, it just speaks to how good these artists are.
Listen to it all. Turn up your stereo and play “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and then let it jump right into “Raining Blood” by Slayer. You would think those two songs wouldn’t work back-t0-back, but you’d be wrong.
If you want to watch anything related to this playlist, watch this video of Prince playing “Purple Rain” in an actual storm during the Super Bowl Half time show. It was insane.
Note how he asks “Can I play this guitar?” and “Do you want to sing tonight?”. Those are called manners. You don’t become Prince without ’em.