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The Sound of Metalsmithing

I’m tasked with bringing you the sounds of my world.  Well OK, maybe that’s a bit grandiose.  But what do I listen to while I work?  Come with me down the carpeted stairs, through the family room littered with toys, past the guest room, through the crooked door and onto the cracked cement floor of the basement.  Down here with the cat box and the furnace is my haven.  A glorious, expansive workshop, with 65 square feet of bench top, a utility sink, and tools, tools, and more tools.  Shiny ones, dull ones….but I digress…we’ll save that for another post.   I’ll set up my laptop, plug in the speakers, turn it up, and turn it up some more, and sing my heart out.

Some people sing in the shower.  I sing in the basement.  Amidst the cacophony of the furnace blower, my jeans clanging around in the dryer, the tapping of my hammer, and the crackle of the baby monitor, I sound really good.   One of my favorite basement howling accompaniments of all time is Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.  I’ve got the falsetto dialed.   Really, you wouldn’t believe how great I sound:

Next up, Into the Open, by Heartless Bastards.  In my next life as a singer, this is how I am going to sound.  Her voice is so raw, pure passion, no frills, powerful and unusual.  OK, maybe it will be a couple dozen lives before I get there:

Then a voice I will surely never achieve no matter how many lives I get (but it sure is fun to sing along): Bitter Heart by Zee Avi:

And a heartbreakingly beautiful favorite, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole:

A new favorite tune is Blitzen Trapper in Fur.  Seriously, have you ever heard more brilliant storytelling?

When you next have a few moments with your coffee, sit back, close your eyes (most of the videos are terrible anyway) and give a listen to a few other tunes on my metalsmithing playlist.  And be glad that you don’t have to hear me singing them in my workshop, very loudly, very badly.

Yael Naim: New Soul:

The Shins New Slang:

Koop: Koop Island Blues:

Portishead: Glory Box:

Detroit Cobras: As Long as I Have You:

Adele: Cold Shoulder:

Regina Spektor: Better:

Missy Higgins: The Wrong Girl:

Check out what the other Aspiring Metalsmiths are listening to in their workshops:

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. What happened to True Blue by Madonna?

    March 22, 2011
  2. Wow! You just introduced me to a lot of really great music! Thank you!

    March 22, 2011
  3. Oh dear. I’ve never heard of these bands. I feel terribly square….

    June 5, 2011

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