High Five! from Patrick Bower & The World Without Magic
With the winter release of the single "The World Without Magic," a new video directed by Eliza Hittman and Scott Cummings to accompany the song, and a European tour under their belt, it'd be an understatement to say that the Brooklyn-based indie outfit, Patrick Bower & The World Without Magic have been hard at work.
Here are a few things that continually inspire or facilitate the creative process for Patrick Bower:
1. Harry Nilsson's “She Needs Me”
I played this song before bed last night, which I often do. There’s something about the innocence of Shelley Duvall’s amateur vocals juxtaposed with Harry Nilsson’s melody and the extravagant arrangement by Van Dyke Parks that encapsulates some my favorite things about pop music. There’s an undercurrent of sadness and longing in Nilsson’s lyrics, which I think Van Dyke Parks exploits masterfully. Duvall seems unaware of what she’s singing; it’s more about being alone and desperate than falling in love, which creates even more subtle tension in the performance.
2. Paul Williams' “Rainbow Connection”
Watching this clip from The Muppet Movie as a six year old ranks among the more formative experiences of my life. Paul Williams is one of the great songwriters of the 70’s, and his best songs were sung by others, like The Carpenters, or in this case, Jim Henson. The chords are a little jazzy and complex, bringing a sense of effortless movement to the song, but the melody is something simple enough for even a six year old to latch onto. Plus, it’s Kermit! I’m still fascinated by puppetry and the clever ways it can shed a unique light on the human (or amphibian) condition.
I moved to Brooklyn, because I love to walk. It’s a meditative act for me, one of the only ways I can really let my mind rest and untangle. Brooklyn seems limitless, so I’ll never see it all, but that won’t stop me from trying.
Mexican food is almost always on my mind. To paraphrase Metallica, it is the fuel for my fire, that which I desire (Oh yeaaahhh!). The endless combinations of corn, beans, chilis and fresh spices and vegetables is mind boggling. I’ll take it any form, anytime...and perhaps more to the point, anyone who knows me also knows how much I love margaritas, the taco’s natural companion. Tequila is a real eye-opener on its own, but with fresh lime and sugar too? Yes, please!
Traveling to far-flung destinations and making connections with human beings is one of the things that inspires me to keep making music. I love being out of place; it helps reveal who we really are and what really matters to us. Plus, it’s one of the only things that awakens in us that sense of wonder and adventure we experienced every day as children. I feel lucky to have had the chance to play in so many amazing cities and towns around the world.
This week's High Five! is brought to you by: Patrick Bower with Lauren Mercury Roberts