Wednesday, August 5, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things: Musical Edition

As a Mom of a toddler, I don't really get to hear what's new in the world of music these days. The only place I really get to listen to music is in the car and even then I'm either bopping along to some Raffi, or trying to drown out Elise's I-want-out-of-this carseat-now screams with talk radio. I've also never found a station here that suits my rather eclectic taste in music.

I do have an I Pod, and I listen to it in the car whenever I remember to bring it with me - which is never. But if you were to browse through all the artists I have on there, you would easily be able to tell that my favourite band is, by far, the Hothouse Flowers.

It's okay if you haven't heard of them, or their name only rings a very faint bell. One of the things I love about them is the fact they fly under the musical radar. They've been together forever (or 1985 to be more precise), and started out busking on the streets on Dublin. Some of the faces have changed over the years, but Liam (lead singer) and Fiachna (guitar), who have known each other since childhood, have remain the constants in the band. You can read more about the band here.

A friend once asked me what it is about these guys that I love so much, and I had a hard time answering that question. Mostly because the list is long. Part of it is they are amazing musicians and put on an incredible show. Their love for what they do is so obvious up on stage. Liam plays a collection of instruments including bodhran (Irish drum), and the didgeridoo. Both Liam and Fiachna speak and sing in Gaelic.

They are also wonderful people. I've had the chance to get to know them a bit, and even hang out with them, and the way they treat their fans makes me love them even more. The last time I got to see them was on my birthday in 2006. Fred and I were in NYC, and the Flowers were doing a boat cruise that night. I had seem them about a month prior and had mentioned that Fred and I were going to come to New York to see them for my birthday.

Well, they had retained to bit of knowledge and about 15 minutes into their first set, they announced to the crowd that it was my birthday and had the entire boat sing Happy Birthday. Best. Birthday. Ever.

But most of all, it's their music. Their style cannot be put into a box. You could classify them as rock/pop, but they are so much more. Their sound is infused with soul, gospel and traditional Irish music. Whatever it is; it makes me happy. It soothes me. It nourishes my soul, and the lyrics sometimes feel like they were written just for me.

Why, you ask, am I blabbering on like an idiot about my favourite band? Only because Fred, Elise and I are going to see them in Kansas City at the KC Irish Festival! I can't wait to introduce Elise to them. Her middle name, Rian, is the name of Liam's first solo album.

Anyway, if you're looking for me on September 5th or 6th, I'll be grooving to some amazing music with my husband and little girl. Come join me if you're in the area!