Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Port O'Brien

There were approximately 2.2 records produced in 2008 that really, truly earned my love.  I'm counting The Decemberists - Always The Bridesmaid Vol. 3 as two-tenths of a record.  The other two full albums are House with No Home by Horse Feathers, and All We Could Do Was Sing by Port O'Brien.

I talked a little bit about Port O'Brien in my Best Music of 2008 list, but I think they deserve a little bit more attention.  Two of the four members share songwriting duties.  One of them spends his summers on his father's commercial fishing boat.  The other is landlocked and works in a bakery.  When the fishing boat would finally come ashore, the two would get together and finish up their songs.  All We Could Do Was Sing was written "because when you're working all day in the freezing cold, what the hell else are you going to do?"  

The songs on this album are firmly rooted in one theme: struggling to control your own destiny versus succumbing to your fate.  The anguish of feeling trapped on a boat gives way to imagining good times on shore, only to have the daydream abruptly ended by a chill from the wind, and the realization of being trapped on a boat...and the cycle begins all over again.  The song Fisherman's Son is my favorite one from this record, maybe because the struggle is laid out so bare in the lyrics.

This album is available at CD Baby, and if you have never bought anything from them before, you HAVE to do it.  They will draw you anything you want on your package, for realsies.  I wish I still had the square robot they drew for me.  It was marvelous.

Port O'Brien Links! websitemyspaceblorg |

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