Thursday, April 05, 2007

Again with the winter bands

Ice meadow
Image: Marc Quinn

End of the War
- Winter Flowers

Winter Flowers are from Los Angeles, where it's no miracle for flowers to bloom in winter. Rain comes hard and gray the first months of the calendar year, days upon days upon weeks of it, undermining the soft hills until they're rivers of mud, until sometimes they slide into the ocean, taking arrogant constructions of wood and stone and brick with them. But flowers bloom throughout and the sun, when it returns, is glorious, and people tend to forget the rain and other things (including the occasional rumble of earth-nudge beneath their feet).

Like Ray Bradbury's story "All Summer In a Day," this song is
apres le deluge, perched in anticipation -- at a point where the imagined meets the actual -- in the white morning by the quiet door. And when the door draws open, framing a garden suddenly sun-lit like a bright penny or a fire in the stove, words fail. For this brief time (an instrumental just over a minute, right in the middle of the song) it's a carnival of color, a jubilance of banjo, acoustic guitar and piano, bounding, tumbling, cartwheeling one over, under and through another. The piano especially is delirious, off its head, dancing so abandoned it abandons keyboard and plays thick gold air.

Winter Flowers' self-titled debut (Amazon, iTunes) was released last fall and probably didn't receive the full attention it deserves. The band's Myspace.


Charlie of Nerd Litter posted a lovely piece on one insomniac Monday and Leonard Cohen's New Skin for the Old Ceremony.

Stephen King has a right-on rant, "How to Bury a Book," in the April 6 Entertainment Weekly about the disservice many publishers do to literary novels: Critics, with their stubborn insistence that there's a difference between "literature" and "popular fiction," are part of the problem, but the publishers themselves, who have bought into this elitist twaddle, are also to blame.


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