Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dar Williams is Coming to Town

I am absolutely loving Dar Williams' new album, "Promised Land," especially the song "Buzzer." Of course I do. It's about Stanley Milgram's experiments, particularly what he wrote about in the classic psychology text, "Obedience to Authority."
And he begged me to stop, but they told me to go
I press the buzzer, I press the buzzer
So get out of my head, just give me my line
I press the buzzer, I press the buzzer
- Dar Williams, "Buzzer"

For background, I studied social psychology in college. There's a shiny paper somewhere to prove it.

I'm especially excited as I listen because I finally get to see her in concert on the 17th. My friend turned me onto her music way back with "Mortal City" and I've been dutifully buying her albums since then. One of her cassettes got me through a summer working on Fire Island, and for that I will always be grateful. So many of her songs I consider favorites... "Are You Out There?" "As Cool As I Am" "Empire" "Your Fire Your Soul" "When I Was a Boy" "Better Things"

I can find a small apartment
Where a struggling artist died
And pretend because I pay the rent
I know that pain inside
- Dar Williams, "Spring Street"

Her songs unfailingly make me smile. Even the sad ones, sad smile though. If you're looking for an album to start with I recommend Out There Live. It's a great assortment and you get some bonus spoken introductions.

There's a part of the country could drop off tomorrow in an earthquake,
Yeah it's out there on the cutting edge, the people move, the sidewalks shake.
And there's another part of the country with a land that gently creaks and thuds,
Where the heavy snows make the faucets leak in bathrooms with free-standing tubs.
They're in houses that are haunted, with the kids who lie awake and think about
All the generations past who used to use that dripping sink.
- Dar Williams, "Southern California Wants To Be Western New York"

You should totally buy her stuff. I'm just saying.

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