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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:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w

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:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z77Jx7kcC_8

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ZH6QU0XvQ

And a heartbreakingly beautiful favorite, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

A new favorite tune is Blitzen Trapper in Fur.  Seriously, have you ever heard more brilliant storytelling? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqtlcHiSHTE

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:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7pvy37XaRw

The Shins New Slang:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwCmcB0XMw

Koop: Koop Island Blues:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEWW2zGGaKc

Portishead: Glory Box:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF-GvT8Clnk

Detroit Cobras: As Long as I Have You:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdFiyskVSkM

Adele: Cold Shoulder:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGwH-x4VoH8

Regina Spektor: Better:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zA4oG4FJFY

Missy Higgins: The Wrong Girl:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WzwcveXULQ

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

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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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