Music

Friday Night Clam Bake – #33: Unexpected Epiphanies and the Joy of Finding Such


Hey, folks.

I’m intending for this to be a rather short Clam Bake this eve, but we all know that I tend to ramble and things, often very quickly, get startlingly out of hand and suddenly we have a 17-page analysis of how the simple intention of purchasing a kumquat at the local supermarket turned into an odyssey of madness. We shall see.

First, a bit of background. In 2018, the movie “Love, Simon” was released. Since the plot involved a gay high-school student navigating the pothole-filled journey of coming out to his family and friends, Partner and I were immediately invested. We’ve been there, albeit a century or so before this modern take. We know the pain, we know the fear, and we’ve got the souvenir t-shirt, faded and torn.

The movie is rather charming and enjoyable, even though it’s a bit sugar-coated, with Simon’s confessional travelogue enhanced by the happenstance of having progressive parents and friends who barely blink an eye, for the most part. This was not the case with so many of us in the past and, sadly, some of the youth in the current day who still run up against the unflinching rejection of hypocritical folks who claim to love but toss that love out the window when they claim we are making a “lifestyle choice”, as if we can change who we inherently are. Ergo, my only quibble with the movie is that it took the easy road.

Apparently, some producer-folks got the message, and in 2020 we were presented with “Love, Victor”, a mini-series that took the harder road, wherein the protagonist is dealing with a family that cannot, initially, fathom the variance in someone they thought they knew. It’s a more turbulent but more honest capture of the coming-out process, at least for the majority of us who don’t live in progressive areas where the entire high school changes their minds overnight and instantly celebrates the variance. (By the way, if you choose to watch this first season, Episode 8 is my favorite. There are several walloping moments of acceptance and redemption. And yes, I cried, each time, because, well, we all need that.)

The second season premiered earlier this month, and Partner and I binged it (a lovely option that we couldn’t do in that last century) in one weekend, seeking more of that acceptance and redemption. Said season fleshes out a budding, somewhat troubled relationship that Victor has, as well as the hit-and-miss trajectory of his parents coming to terms with the new normal, especially his mother. Her personal growth is highlighted by one specific, powerful scene wherein she finally makes a decision and utters perhaps the best line in the entire season.

Now, having babbled more than I intended to do but fully expected that I would, let’s finally get to the main point of this post. The soundtracks in both seasons of “Love, Victor” are terrific. (I was constantly using my phone to trigger “Shazam” so I could see who was singing what, another perk that was not available when I came out during the Age of the Dinosaurs.) I don’t recall the name of the person who selected the music (I was often crying and blurry-eyed during the credits) but whoever that was/is should win an award of some kind, somewhere.

One of the most powerful ballads, expertly used in a great scene, is “Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings. I had never heard of this artist before, which says more about my disconnect with modern music than it does about Freya’s relevance. (When I pulled up the video on YouTube, said video had 30 million views. Yep, disconnected. I’m still entrenched in the singer-songwriters of the 1970s, not ashamed to admit, but the entrenchment does tend to sully my performance in trivia contests concerning music that happened after the dinosaurs perished.)

All suspect rambling aside, though I do hope you enjoyed the Point A to Point Z aspect, here’s a video of Freya’s song. If you don’t mind a little guidance, I’d say you should first listen to just the song (with headphones, if possible and feasible) and ignore the happenings in the video, as the goings-on can be a little distracting. Freya’s husky, aching vocals are sublime, perfect for the lyrics. Then play the video again for the visuals, as I rather like the way her onscreen persona doesn’t mouth certain words, which actually gives them more impact.

Enjoy.

And cheers.



Note: The opening photo is a snap of a wall at a wedding venue we visited last year. It may seem a rather odd choice, but I like how the various colors represent the many-hued walls we all encounter, every day, even though we shouldn’t have to, if life were more just and certain people didn’t insist on building those walls…


28 replies »

  1. Sometimes we find an exceptional voice, somewhere that you never would have expected to – serendipity. You can enjoy a series or movie, but when it’s infused with the perfect song it widens that internal brain smile and gives one hope and faith in the future. There IS talent out there, amongst all the pity- I’ll rephrase that- oh so pretty pretty Styles and Swifts.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m normally not a fan of producers who flood a soundtrack with memorable tunes of the past, hoping to evoke a sense of nostalgia that will allow a viewer to overlook the fact that the movie or TV show in question is really not all that great. But when the screenplay is solid, then the wise choosing of musical accompaniment elevates things ever further. And you’re right, there IS talent out there, but many of the gems are overshadowed by the constant stream of manufactured drab that dominates the airwaves these days. Which makes me even more appreciative of the musical directors who know what the hell they are doing…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I also still have an iPod, an old-school version that weighs about five pounds, but it allows me to store thousands of songs with plenty of space to spare. There are many, many nights when I pop in my little earbuds and drift into slumber listening to some great music. And now Freya is in the mix, happily so….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the song is gorgeous and haunting. (I’m sure I’ll be listening to it another time before I stumble off to bed, as I’m rather enamored at the moment.) Both seasons of the series are good, albeit with some personal quibbles, but the music alone makes it worth the effort…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No shame in being stuck in an era. Music is perhaps (IMO) the most highly personal thing out there (leaving aside actual highly personal stuff). I was on a road trip with my nieces and nephews (all in their 20s or close to) and I’d never heard most of the songs they played. I’m not ashamed to cherry pick those artists that speak to me, whatever their generational connection. Thanks for sharing a lovely thought with us all! We all need those too sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know it makes us seem like “old fogies” when we disdain much of the current trends in modern music, but I think it’s undeniable that music is not what it used to be. The passion and poetry is missing, a situation that, sadly, reflects our society as a whole. It’s no longer about creativity; it’s all about marketability for an increasingly dumbed-down audience. When a terrific song manages to break through, it’s an anomaly, not an expectation…

      Like

  3. I love your wall picture and metaphor! It need a window or better yet, a swing door.

    I haven’t seen a movie or TV show in forever. Daughter is constantly streaming something, but… 🤷🏼‍♀️yeah.

    I wish there was no such thing as “coming out”. People don’t “come out” as cis or hetero.

    We had many young men, and a few young women who loved being at our house because it was “safe” and accepting. Even ten years ago, high school was rough for the rainbow folk. Partners were accepted, and light PDA was okay.

    Anywho… your thought journey sent me on one of my own. Thank you🤗🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am completely on the same page with you. At this point, coming out should simply be just another mild checkmark on our journeys through life. But there are so many people still filled with so much hate and inhumanity that we still have a long road to travel…

      And yes, there should be a door in that wall. Or at least a window. Something that speaks of hope and eventual acceptance, And we could be there, if we could only manage to drag some folks out of their Neanderthal caves and teach the world to sing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • She deserves a wider audience, much more so than the pop pap that sells by the truckload. It’s interesting to see what can happen when you strip out the image stuff: Taylor Swift has released two albums since the pandemic began – Folklore and Evermore – which are full of stripped down songs that are allowed to speak for themselves without the usual hype. Her best stuff in ages.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been meaning to get those two Taylor albums, but I haven’t quite gotten around to it. She’s one of the few current “mega-stars” that I admire. Nothing against her singing voice, which is just fine, but I think she’s an even better songwriter than a singer…

          Liked by 1 person

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