I love to sit in the house on a rainy day listening to music. I guess when it rains mellow music is the only thing that works with my mood. And NO it's not cause I'm getting old! I still love my fast paced drums and guitar. It's just that when I hear the rain hitting the roof, and that wet smell from the grass and concrete comes through an open window, well I guess I get nostalgic. I love the sun, and sunny days hanging out at the beach. But some ofÂ my best days have been just sitting inside watching the rain and listening to music. Sometimes I'll clean the house, or read a book, or just kick back with some friends drinking beer. But there is always a constant, the rain, and music.
If you have read any of my earlier post's, you know I always need a soundtrack, for what ever weather, or mood. So here's my rainy day soundtrack. All of these albums are best if you listen to them all the way through. It will not work with Pandora Radio, even though I wish it did.
Billy Holiday's music was made for rainy days. Her voice reminds me of the rain. If you listen close you can almost hear the rain hitting the pavement in her voice. I don't have a favorite album for this one. All you need is a best of album, and your set up. I do have a suggestion though. If you really want to hear the warmth in this legends voice get a record player, and play one of her albums on vinyl. It's like being taken back to the 1930's in a time machine. If I did have to pick a song, It would be "god bless the child."
Her voice is Iconic, and instantly recognizable. Be careful though, this lady will pull you in to the torrential down pour, that is her voice.. Listen to a sample of Billy Holiday here
Sparta's Porcelain and Wiretap Scars are two rainy day albums to rock out to. Ya I know I said this was all about mellow music, but sometimes you have to break the mold. I always find myself opening up the windows, and cleaning the house when I listen to either one of these. Maybe its the intricate guitars, or Jim Wards old school slow punky voice, or maybe it's because the bands made up of members from,At the Drive in, and Mars Volta. I don't know. But this band gives me energy every time I listen to them.
Listen to "Cut your Ribbon" on Wiretap Scars, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Or if you want to slow it up a bit, listen to "from now to never" off of Porcelain. This is a perfect rainy day band. Check out a sample song here
Jolie Holland's album "Springtime can kill you," fits so perfectly with the rain, you will need an umbrella after your done listening to it. Jolie Holland has said she hates when people call her music folk. And I can see why. Her music doesn't fit into a nice little package. But it does fit well with a rainy spring day hanging inside. As the title track says Springtime can kill you.Â You have rock, blue grass, country, and yes folk influences through out her songs. If there is one artist to listen to now, I would say listen to Jolie Holland. She is doing new things with music, which seems to be in short supply these days. And she has a great throw back voice, that reminds you of singers of the past. She has lent here voice to many other artists albums, including one that I will show later on in the post. Can you think of who it is? I bet ya can't! Check out Jolie here
Jack Johnson was an easy pick for this post. He is probably the most mellow of song writers today. His album "On and On" is good for rain or shine. You can listen to this one snoozing in a hammock on the beach, or seeking shelter from the rain under a palm tree (preferably with someone you love).Â Jack just seems like a mellow guy, and it comes out in his music. I don't think he would care if he got caught in the rain, I bet he would just make the best of it. His music has always made me just want to sit at the window and watch the world go by. I hope he gives you the same feeling. Check out jack here
Elliot Smith's music is not for the faint of heart. But it is perfect for the rain. It is mood music, and can get a little depressing, please use it at your own risk. I love this guys music, and its a pity his life ended so soon.
From a basement on the hill is my album of choice, and it is sure to get the water moving. But I would say any of his albums fit with a rainy day. One of the most moving songs on "From a basement on a hill," is "Kings Crossing." Next time it rains give it a listen and you will understand what I mean. Smith has a way of painting a picture with his music. Sometimes it's not a pretty one, but it is always a very personal an introspective one. This guys music literally grabs you and shows you beauty in despair! You can feel this mans despair in his words.... Hey like I said, Its mood music. Alright! Enough emo talk. Check out Elliot Smith here
Pink Floyd's Dark side of the moon is obvious! This album has gone down in history as one of the best albums to ever be recorded. Its only rival would be The wall also by said mega group. Perfect RAINY DAY ALBUM! This album is good for any type of weather though, I just think it fits into this category quite well thank you.. This is definitely a multi purpose album. It's good for zoning out, reading, laying in the grass staring at the sky, and doing psychedelic drugs. None of us have ever done those right.... Wink, Wink Nudge, Nudge..
My favorite songs for the coming drops, would be "The great gig in the sky", or "Money." But any song on this album will do. This is a band that was truly ahead of the times. They have influenced so many great bands that have come after them. The first band that I can think of is Muse. There are many sounds and references in muse's music that point directly to Pink Floyd. Get enlightened by Pink Floydhere.
Next up is Ray Lamontagne. This guy is a new pick for me, I only found this guys music a couple of months back, and he's been around for a while. I know, sometimes I get out from under my rock long enough to discover some new music. A couple of months back I bought his album "Till the Sun Turns Black" on vinyl and I was hooked. This album has not left the turntable! I burnt out the motor on the record player with this album! His previous album "Trouble" is one for a wet day as well. I have not acquired this one yet but I have heard samples. And I will be getting it shortly!
There is a song on this album called "empty" that goes so well with the rain you can almost hear it hitting the asphalt on a sunny day. Here's a verse from "Empty." "Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves, to me it sounds like their applauding us, and the quiet love we made." See! The song even has rain in one of its verse's! Would I steer ya wrong? I think not. You cannot pass this guy up. If you haven't heard any of Ray's music, please have a listen here.
Mazzy Star was kinda a one hit wonder, they did however release 2 other albums, "She Hangs Brightly," and Among My Swan. The group is well-known for the song "Fade into You" from the album "So tonight they Might see" it's a rainy day song that gets under your skin. This song fits this post better than any other song on here. Its got a dreamy guitar riff threw out, and of course the low fi haunting vocals of Hope Sandoval.
My other pick off of this album is "five String Serenade." Not as good as "Fade into You" but still a great song to put on when the sky opens up. The album as a whole is good to keep on as back round music. My two picks however I have to say are the best on the album. If you like the sound of smoky bars, and rainy nights, you will love Mazzy Star. Find fade into you here.
Remember when I was talking about Jolie Holland, and I said you would never get who she sang back ups for? Well she sang back ups for none other than Greg Graffin. Ya you heard me right. The front man of my favorite band Bad Religion, put out a solo album a couple of years back called "Cold as the Clay" which Jolie sang backing vocals for. This album is folk and Bluegrass, awesomeness! Greg broke away from his Punk roots, and served up a heaping helping of old timey goodness! Yes I said Old timey!
The guitar and Banjo work on this album is a thing of beauty. And Greg's unique voice fits so well with. It was recorded in real-time in a live room. So you get a warm kinda sittin on the porch sound. The album has some covers, as well as some originals. It was put out by Anti records, an off shoot of Epitaph. It features members of the Weakerthans, and of course Jolie Holland.
My favorite rainy day tracks on this album are "Omie Wise" (a true account of a murder that took place years ago), "little Sadie" (this song makes you want to get up and dance), and "California Cotton Fields" (This song is a history lesson on the great migration of farmers who moved to California, seeking a better life.)
I want to stress though that this is an album you can put on and just hit play. It will mellow you out on a cold rainy day (like my rhyme there). Check out just how cold the clay is here.
Last on the list is a band and album that everyone knows. The Beatles "Let it Be" is a great rainy day album. Well I guess any Beatles album is great for a day inside. But "Let it Be" is my choice because of the songs. First off "Across the Universe" is one of the best songs ever written, "Here comes the sun" fits perfectly for the subject of rain. Not to mention, "let it Be," "Get Back," and I've got a feeling, just to name a few. This is another that I recommend on vinyl. Ya I know I am beating the old "Analog Drum," but just trust me on this one.
This was the Beatles last album. All through the recording, the members of the group were not getting along. McCartney wasn't speaking to Lennon, and Lennon was making music with Yoko, George Harrison actually quit the band in the middle of recording, but was persuaded to come back and finish. I have been in a recording studio with my former band, and it is nerve-racking. It's hard to make good music when you're getting along, and even harder when you're not. It is an example of just how good the Beatles were, because non of them were getting along, and they made this final Master piece.
Rain or shine its fits with both. Hear a sample of "Let it Be" here
All of these songs should be enjoyed at high volume, so you can hear it over the rain. Never play these albums if you're not going to fully emerse yourselfÂ in the subject matter. All of these songs deserve your full attention. So sit back and chill and let the music take you away to different worlds and realms of perception. Or just hang out, have a beverage and relax...
All of these great songs are attainable at www.jamulbooksandmusic.com