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Thursday, July 10, 2008

UPDATE: The Lightning Bug Situation Podcast

As some readers will recall my favourite cd release of 2007 came from San Francisco’s The Lightning Bug Situation. That disc, A Leaf; A Stream still resonates deeply with me due in large part to its huge emotional effect and relative familial themes, not to mention some pretty terrific musicianship. If you haven’t sought this one out yet I would urge you to do so. In the meantime, San Francisco based website, The Bay Bridged features a terrific interview with Brian Miller, the creative force behind this project. A podcast and a special new song tacked at the end can be downloaded for your convenience from that site.

From the Bay

This week’s featured band is The Lightning Bug Situation, the solo project of San Francisco’s Brian Miller, who you might also know as one-half of local rock duo The Speakers. Miller’s latest Lightning Bug Situation album, A Leaf; A Stream, rightly found a place on many critics’ best-of-2007 lists, with a hushed, skillfully-layered mix of folk-rock, melodic indie pop and compositional instrumental music. Like many great albums, it’s a mesmerizing long-player, as songs frequently bleed into instrumentals and back again. It’s also an album of intense lyrical themes both macro and micro, with Brian confronting the war in Iraq and becoming a new father, as filtered through the lens of family relationships. In dissecting the meaning of family, Brian conducted interviews with his family members about their thoughts and memories on a variety of personal subjects. Inspired by long drives spent listening to episodes of This American Life, the artist layered portions of these interviews on top of music for a powerful, emotional effect. There’s a startling honesty to these interviews, so it seemed natural that Miller spoke with a sincere honesty when we sat down with him a few weeks ago in our studio. From our conversation, it’s clear that his skills as lyricist and interviewer are both inspired by and the result of a thoughtful process of self-examination. It’s also a process that’s clearly still ongoing, as Brian offered new reflections on the album’s lyrics and themes about a year after its release. In addition to portions of that interview, we’ve also included three songs from A Leaf; A Stream in this episode. We’re also pleased to debut an exclusive unreleased song written by a unique lyricist; you’ll have to listen to the episode for the details.

- The Lightning Bug Situation’s (and The Speakers’)
web site and MySpace page
- View a Take-Away Show featuring The Lightning Bug Situation at
La Blogotheque
- Purchase A Leaf; A Stream from
CDBaby and on iTunes
What a terrific thing to see This American Life influencing artistic direction yet again. Very worthy of your perusal, I am eagerly awaiting Brian’s next musical venture. Please do seek this cd out, it is truly a beautiful masterpiece that deserves to be heard and appreciated.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

The snippets that I listened to were very evocative of an earlier time, yet strangely contemporary as well. This is certainly a band to look into.

Sean Wraight said...

I think you would absolutely love this disc Barb. It truly is remarkable. One that continues to leave me gobsmacked even after listening to it what must be hundreds of times now. You know how those special "rare" ones come along from time to time. This is one of THOSE.

Highly recommended. Search their videos on Youtube as well. Very clever stuff. I'll post one here to get you started.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wonderful song, Sean. And intriguing video, that.

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steve bell said...

This is amazing stuff. Thanks for putting it up.