Saturday, October 19, 2013

Other Music You Should Be Listening To: Tim Barry Edition *with a cover*

Other Music You Should Be Listening To is an ongoing series wherein I identify bands and musicians whose work I enjoy. Many of you already know about this music and will either revel in our shared opinions or post comments about just how wrong I am. Either way, it should be fun.  If you don't already know about this music rest assured it is worth your time to check it out.
I lived in Richmond, Va for over 5 years. I was heavily involved in the local music scene. I never met or saw Tim Barry. I am officially stupid because of this. Tim is amazing. He writes incredible songs, and he never sings an insincere word. I should have realized this before I left and camped out at his shed, but I didn't. Many folks think of Tim first as the singer of Avail, a hugely influential punk band, and it's understandable because Avail's work stands the test of time and holds up. For me, however, it's Tim's solo work that grabs me and forces me to take a listen and contemplate what I'm hearing. Like many other artists I have and/or will profile, Tim is not a particularly great instrumentalist, but he writes great songs, and he very often collaborates with other musicians, namely his sister, a violinist, and Josh Small, who most often plays slide guitar along with Tim's acoustic. The combinations, recorded or live, end up becoming flat-out great pieces of art.  Even playing solo, though, the sheer commitment and feeling that Tim sings and plays with takes control of the moment.

Tim is also a big believer is living with less, taking care of oneself whenever possible, and sharing love and freedom. You can watch videos on YouTube of him talking in interviews, between songs, and sometimes even during songs about his values and beliefs. Everything about the guy is sincere, and it shows.Sometimes I can't listen to his stuff, in fact, because it's just a bit too real and overwhelming if you aren't in a place to take it in.

Tim has become a father now, but he continues to tour quite a bit, and I would encourage all of you to listen to his records, learn the lyrics, and go sing along with him for the maximum live effect. Just understand that you are going to be exposed to complete honesty from the man, and it might just cause you to look at yourself and your life with a new set of questions.

This is my cover version of my favorite Tim Barry song. You should check out some videos of him talking about the meaning(s) behind the song. Meaning(s) because they have changed over the years. As someone who struggles a lot with existential depression, this song speaks volumes to me. As a father, this song speaks volumes to me. I wish I could have written this one because it never fails to move me on some way. Thanks Tim.  Everyone go check out his site and buy some shit from him because he does it all himself and he deserves the support.

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