Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Track of the Week: Wishes and Stars by Harper Simon

I don't have a television anymore. Now, I'm not one of those high and mighty television haters or anything. When I moved from El Paso to Portland I could only take what fit in my car. I had to decide between my cat or t.v. and, well, the t.v. refused to cuddle with me. So I took the cat. (And he is awesome)

Then I moved to Korea and I again do not have a t.v. So I ask people what shows I can download and watch here. I end up having huge marathons of these shows. One day, my girlfriend recommended I watch Girls, the Lena Dunham-penned, HBO drama/comedy ("dramedy?") focusing on the lives of a small group of girls in their mid-late 20s. I actually loved watching it, but what first got me hooked was the music. And from the first season soundtrack is where this week's Track of the Week comes from.

Harper Simon's "Wishes and Stars" really caught my ear and stood out amongst the already incredible soundtrack. And, yes, he is the son of Paul Simon, THAT Paul Simon, from Simon and Garfunkel. While there are a lot of similarities in his voice and musical style, if you had no idea he was Paul Simon's son, you would just think he was an indie rock musician who really liked 60s folk-rock. There are tons of those guys and they are great. Knowing who he is does not distract from the music in any way. It certainly is not gimmicky. Harper Simon is actually talented.

"Wishes and Stars" floats easily through the air. It is one of those unique songs that sound familiar, as if you have heard it a million times on car trips with your parents as a child, then realize you have actually never heard it before. A lot of this owes itself to the instrumentation and harmonies. It is all very 60s folk-rock. There is a, yes, Simon and Garfunkel vibe to the whole thing. On top of being featured on the pilot episode of Girls and Girls Soundtrack, it is also included on his 2009 album, Harper Simon.

And while the lyrics can sound depressing, there are more people wishing for things than there are stars in the sky to grant those wishes, it ends a bit hopeful. Plus, you get to hear a country-ish guitar picking solo and a violin solo!



Everyone seems so certain
Everyone knows who they are
Everyone's got a mother and a father
They all seem so sure they're going far

They all got more friends than they can use
Except me cause I'm a fool
I'm as simple as a bee
As a melody in C
But it don't matter
There are more wishes than stars

Every guest's so pleased with themselves
They're brimming with success
Their whole life's been blessed
But it doesn't matter

Everyone's been on a holiday in the sun
Or they just got back from one
All they do is just have fun

They all got more friends than they can use
Except me cause I'm a fool
I'm as simple as a bee
As a melody in C
But it don't matter
There are more wishes than stars

I'm not too certain about many things
I'm not too sure who I am
I ain't got no mother and I ain't got no father
I ain't got no girlfriend to hold my hand

 I'm slow like the trees when they grow
I'm sluggish like the ocean when it moves
I'm plain like water or like rain
But I shouldn't complain cause it don't matter

There are more wishes than stars
More wishes than stars


"Wishes and Stars" by Harper Simon

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