Here’s a thoughtful review and mini retrospective by a fan/blogger/music enthusiast. This one means a lot on a few levels, but mostly because I know where he’s coming from… That is, I know what it means to be a fan of an album and how heavy that relationship with a piece of music can be. Thanks, Greg. And good work.
me and anders parker go way back, or at least it seems. im not talking about me and anders, personally, but me and his music. like most of my most beloved purchases, i happened up varnaline’s sweet life purely by accident aka i was buzzed, walked into quaker goes deaf and blindly bought it. i was a regular, they new my tastes, and recommended it. went home that night, put it on the hi-fi and after the opener “gulf of mexico” new i had to put the whole thing on repeat. call it a gut feeling, but i probably listened to it 6/7 times that night. i had just started dating my then girlfriend/now wife, and when she came home at midnight, she joined me in the listening party, the beer flowed, the music grew more and more personal. it truly was one of those musical moments when you connect with something, and know it will always stay with you. over the next 1.5 years, that was our record, listening to it constantly. fast forward to august 26, 2000, we danced to the last track on the record “sweet life” at our wedding. fast forward 2 days after said wedding, and we brought our little boombox to the beach of gulf shores, alabama, and played “gulf of mexico” as we laid on the beach as the water rolled over us. it was magical…
in 2001, he/varnaline released songs in a northern key which if legend holds true, he locked himself in a cabin somewhere near the catskills and recorded mostly all of it by his lonesome. granted, i may be off on some of this, as there are other players on the record, but me thinks most of was recorded all by his lonesome. one thing that makes it ultra magical, is that one of the best producers on the planet, john agnello, produced/mixed/engineered this record. as i type this, my wife is sitting on the back porch, drawing and listening to songs in a northern key. the day my son mac was born, we did two things: 1. tossed around naming him anders and 2. played “still dream” in our delivery room. once we got a good look at him, he just looked like more a “mac” than an “anders.”
anders parker writes songs that stick to the bone, to the soul, to whatever you hold dear. i am merely scraping the surface of his work by talking about those two varnaline records – there are two varnaline ep’s too, if memory serves me correctly. i dont do research, i just write in a furry. much like hansel, i celebrate his entire catalogue with the passion of
he’s got a new one out entitled there’s a blue bird in my heart, and straight off the bat, like sweet life, i knew this one was something really fucking special. about 1.30 minutes into the opener “the road” is when i knew it, felt it. “well we all walk the fire and we stood in the rain but the sun will shine brighter when weve weathered everything… youre changing, and im changing too, youre changing and im changing just like you….” this sounds like my life the past few years, for better or worse, but mostly better. everything about there’s a blue bird in my heart is like taking a trip through memory lane. its not some fake nostalgia for something that was never really there, but for some reason romanticize as if it actually meant something. it brings up true feelings, real life memories, the good, the bad, the fucking ugly, and the beautiful. this may not make much sense, like most everything, i say, but if i were you, i would listen to sweet life and then there’s a blue bird on my shoulder and maybe it will? there’s a blue bird in my heart will no doubt be in my top 5 records of the year… there really is no reason it shouldnt be in yours too.