Website of Laura Holder
friday septemeber 7 2007

Hearing is believing

song: To Be Young
Ryan Adams can sound like Townes Van Zant. That in itself is some kind of thing. In his songs I also hear Roxy Music's Brian Ferry, Uncle Tupelo (Tweedy/Farrar each, no doubt) ... hell, even Al Jarreau is there in one of his songs on Heartbreaker or Gold, I forget which.

Even if it sounds like a backhanded compliment to say such things, his chameleonic talents are quite impressive, in that all these songs he can write and sing in the spirit of other musicians, well, they're great musicians to emulate. I don't mean he's merely copying them, but he sure does seem to be able to flip a switch and nearly become them. Neil Young included. He's written a lot of songs, and I think one of them is damn near brilliant. No doubt, he's channeling Mick Jaggar and Bob Dylan in To Be Young, but he can claim the awesomeness as his own. The song has all these different parts which swing between melodic ballad and twangy honkeytonk (even if he jumps from first- to third- to I-dont-know-which-person is saying what in the lyrics). Listen to "To Be Young" and buy some of his stuff.
See also Free Sells on this site.

"Years ago I became enamored with the writings of Norwood Russell Hanson, a philosopher and ex-fighter pilot who died at the age of 43 while flying his own plane to a lecture engagement at Cornell. Hanson, among others, pioneered the idea that
observations in science are not independent of theory
but are, on the contrary, quite dependent on it
In his book, "Patterns of Discovery," (1958), he coined the term "theory-laden" and wrote:
"there is more to seeing than meets the eye."
I would like to make an even stronger claim:
Believing is seeing."

Errol Morris on Photography in his new blog: Zoom (NYT Blogs)