Klever’s Review: October

Hey everyone!

First of all, I wanted to thank Dr. Rosh for putting together this great website.  Really, it is a fantastic and an excellent learning tool.  None of my other former classmates who went into EM (26 of them) that I’ve talked to have something like this.  And, nobody, I repeat, nobody has a video of Dr. Siadat dancing like Adam does.

Anyway, enough digressing.  Since I listen to a ton of music (not quite as much as DJ Guyer) I approached Adam about writing an album of the month review as something fun for me to do and force me to keep up with my music.

Since I am not quite sure of the best way to do this given my wide taste in music (I listen to pretty much everything, but death metal and country).  Therefore, some of you will choose to label fractions of that as ‘poor’, something that I take offense to because I like enough music that we have to like at least one of the same artists.

Therefore, throughout the year, I am going to do a theme of the month ranging from a Christmas Album to Album of the ‘Band You Should See In Summer 2009’.

Most importantly, Adam graciously accepted my offer and now I present you with my first album review:

Since finishing medical school at Cincinnati, I have for the most part have been stumbling around and this includes choosing my first album to review. Therefore, I decided to pick an album from someone who had a little bit of stumbling of his own.

Justin Vernon, under the moniker Bon Iver, had been kickin’ it down South with his band mates of DeYarmond Edison, when he the realization that his career and life wasn’t headed in the direction he had envisioned set in.  Unfortunately, his girlfriend at the time agreed with him and dumped his ass.

So, he did what any red-blooded American boy would do… He locked himself in a cabin in Northern Wisconsin to live off the land and clear his head.

While enjoying the wonderful Wisconsin winter, he spent the better part of his days chopping firewood.  Luckily for us, there is only so much firewood to be chopped (after all, his moniker is Bon Iver, not Paul Bunyan) he broke out his guitar and started writing music about what happened to his life and why Wisconsin Cheddar is so much better than Minnesota’s Cheddar.

When asked about Cheddar and other quandaries of the winter, Mr. Iver stated, “There wasn’t any distraction.  There wasn’t anybody for me to run to and say, ‘Hey look what I’m doing!’ … As soon as you get excited about it and tell someone, your ego is involved.  Even the smallest fraction of that and you can kill some of the magic.”

Thankfully there is more cheese and less people in Wisconsin, because the album that came out of this, For Emma, Forever Ago is pretty magical.

It’s an acoustic album, driven by layered falsettos, punctuated by the outright singing of a man trying to find his way while locked-up in a cabin. Bon Iver begins the album of with the harrowing Flume and then weaves the unadulterated tale of his year. By the time the he finishes the last lines of the closing track, re: Stacks you feel as if you were a part of his journey.

The album, deservedly, has received a fair amount of critical praise as Emma is on many album of the year lists and the track Skinny Love was the iTunes ‘Song of the Week’ earlier this year in the UK.

I find it to be a simple album and enjoy having it on in the background while I am surfing the internet or studying.  It’s beautiful and easy to listen to day after day.  His solitude is palpable on each track of Emma and you can hear the bite of the winter in his voice.  For me, as I stumble through this next part of my life, when I listen to this album I feel ‘the  sound of the unlocking and the lift away.’

Album

01-flume

02-lump-sum

03-skinny-love

04-the-wolves-act-i-and-ii

05-blindsided

06-creature-fear

07-team

08-for-emma

Rob Klever, M.D. October 2008

For fans of: Jeff Buckley, Iron and Wine, Coffee-House Music.

If you like this check out: The Fleet Foxes.

If you hate this check out: Cut Copy (dance), WALE (Rap), TV on the Radio (experimental rock).

I hope to have the music available to listen from this website.

All comments, suggestions for future months, and praise can be heaped to: robklever@yahoo.com

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