The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

31 October 2008

Music for the Weekend -- a-Hem

Ever hear of the band, Hem? No? Well their lyrics are genius, and frequently verge on poetry. Consider this sample:

The sidewalk bends where your house ends
Like the neighborhood is on its knees
You're surrounded by a chain-link fence
That keeps me out but lets me see

Well I come by most every night
The shutters pounding in the breeze
A clothesline strung like paper kites
That blow my words right back at me
(from Stupid Mouth Shut -- Hem)

The band has an alternative country feel to it, but they are far removed from traditional country music. In that way, they share a similar aesthetic to Brandi Carlile and Patty Griffin, two other astoundingly excellent musicians I have shared with you. The story behind the band's indefatigable quest to find their lead singer is enchanting. And then they found Sally Ellyson, whose vocal talent is truly amazing; she makes the music haunting, which is the best type of music (for me).

Many of you will recognize the band's song, Half Acre, which was used by Liberty Mutual Insurance for a commercial...

Half Acre
I am holding half an acre
torn from the map of Michigan
and folded in this scrap of paper
is a land I grew in

Think of every town you've lived in
every room you lay your head
and what is it that you remember?

Do you carry every sadness with you
every hour your heart was broken
every night the fear and darkness
lay down with you

A man is walking on the highway
A woman stares out at the sea
and light is only now just breaking

So we carry every sadness with us
every hour our hearts were broken
every night the fear and darkness
lay down with us

But I am holding half an acre
torn from the map of Michigan
I am carrying this scrap of paper
that can crack the darkest sky wide open
every burden taken from me
every night my heart unfolding
my home

Hem's most recent CD, Funnel Cloud, is widely considered their best to date, which is no wonder because the arrangements are lush(er), and Sally's voice soars with power. Listen to Not California or I'll Dream of You Tonight for two stunning examples.

Purchase @ Amazon

Lucky us, though; Hem will release a new CD early next year (2009). They can consider me, at least, to be a ready audience. I only hope their tour in support of the new CD brings the band somewhere close to me, so that I can enjoy them up close and personal.

Really, can contemporary music possibly get any better than this...?
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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