night teacher

My dear friend , Lilly, from way back when, wrote and recorded the most beautiful album, Night Teacher.  I’m just now getting the time to sit still and process it and write about it.  It’s a somewhat surreal experience to listen to the music of someone you’ve known for so long, to hear a friend put her life’s experience into words and music.  It makes you stop and shake your head.  It makes you take a deep breath and really listen.  You might furrow your brow, you’ll probably tilt your head or shed a tear.  (I definitely shed a tear.)  It makes you think about the olden days, playing mini Taylor guitars and bouncing lyrics and poetry off each other in gardens and on rooftops, doodling on and/or writing scripts, night swimming and writing long, handwritten letters to each other from various states about literature, music, boys, politics, and college and the weather.  And the way the branches meet the sky.  It makes you realize how many different ways there are to tell stories, how many places there are to stand around the campfire and listen to one being told.  We all gather our individual life lessons, draw our different moments, our separate apothoses from that one giant same single Great Story being told. We all connect our dots in different ways, and often at different times.  

Lilly’s raw and heartfelt perspective on Night Teacher is not only extraordinary and genuine in its approach, it gathers all the right notes, sounds and echoes, blending them together in a haunting humdinger of record.  I’m blown away, ecstatic and truly just proud of what she’s put into this album, and not just because I’ve known her for two plus decades.  It’s available on Spotify and iTunes and if you’re a true blue friend or supporter of the arts, you can order a vinyl copy here.

Possibly one of my favorite tunes is Lilly’s reaction to, and summation of, the hideous and indefinable “rally” that took place in our town  on August 11th and 12th, 2017.  Some of the lyrics are below:

will peace ever come /’cause it feels a long way away/  from what I saw, in my town today /  i saw a man on the ground / beaten like a slave / i saw a man in the crowd / take his foot off the break / i saw guns and shields / i saw a woman on the street on her last day /  are you staying strong / and how is your faith/ ‘cause mine can’t stand alone /  i can’t stay awake /  i saw a war that’s not over, it’s just changed clothes 

The track Endangered Dreams is a  haunting, swaying melody with sound and lyrics that waltz just right together.  It’s something reminiscent of a walkabout, Basia Bulat and Billie Holiday  mixed together with a kick ass beat.  Watch the music video below.

untamed secrets she keeps / fossilized teeth / things you want her to say / try and catch her to show her off / a feather a tusk a shell / the song that remains / all you have to date / of the way that it felt  /  no stranger /  to endangered dreams / love without a reason / wakes us in our sleep / just under your doubt / she is the amount that was never ceased

The introductory song, entitled Rebecca’s Song, is a pure ode to friendship and sisterhood, and for the sake of time and lots of stories and reasons I won’t go into, is probably my favorite track on the album.

tell me that i’m getting better/ and that i’ve regained my gait / tell me i’m safe and i’m sound now /  last night i tried to escape/  and i miss you like crazy / but it was crazy to stay  / so now i’m crazy without you  / and that’s how i loved you / in the first place / and that’s how i loved you

All in all, Lil speaks about her own album in her own words far better than I ever could:

“The songs themselves grapple with the tensions between wildness and domesticity, independence and inter-dependence, racial and social injustice, the desire to be perfect versus the desire to be seen, and the courage it takes to break out of the stories we have been given; to let a new melody emerge from our skin. 

In that spirit, this project has taught me the importance of letting myself be heard. Thinking of my songs as little gifts to other people, both other musicians as well as listeners, continues to flip my thinking in the right direction. As Yo-Yo ma says, ‘your audience are your guests. Treat them hospitably.’ With that, I am honored to share this record with you.”

We hear you, Lilly, loud and clear.  Thank you for these gifts.  Here’s to the long song, Bird.

xoxo km““

PS. LB, please note I did not share one embarrassing photo in this entire post  ;-)

PPS.  I miss you like crazy. :-D To the moon and all the way back, sister.

**most of these photographs are by Kristen Finn, I believe

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