These videos are really striking to me for a few reasons. First of all, it reminds me that I should really mention some of the amazing concerts coming up in the next month in New York from some composers who I have mentioned on the blog and am absolutely loving discovering their music right now. Some of the old favorites are doing shows (Joe Iconis is having his Halloween Special on 10/31 at the Laurie Beechman and a performance of his musical ReWrite will be at Joe's Pub on 11/6; The Civilians are doing their Let Us Ascertain You at Joe's Pub on 11/4), but I'm especially excited to see some live performances for the first time from some other writers. The three shows in particular I'm hoping to get out to are: Astronauts, Bedbugs & Other Killers, the music of Paul Leschen and Fred Sauter at the Laurie Beechman on 10/27, Peter Lerman's New York debut concert at the Laurie Beechman on 11/1, and Tommy Newman and Gaby Alter's 29 at Joe's Pub on 11/8. I highly recommend any of these and will definitely be trying to get out to as many as I can.
The other reason these Michael R. Jackson videos are also keeping me up is that I'm just so captivated by his style and the intricacies of his work. Not only does he create a uniquely personal snapshot in every song, but I also find it amazing that the more detailed and complicated the characters in his songs get, the more universal their experiences seem. He's not afraid to shock or pit characters against each other, themselves, or the music, which occasionally gets messy but always pulses of something true.
Anyway, please enjoy two of my favorites and keep up with new songs through his youtube channel found here.
"Memory Song" sung by James Jackson:
"Secretly Hoping" sung by Molly Hager (when this song transcends words, it takes things to another level):