Seattle mc Ben Haggerty, who goes by the moniker Macklemore, has got a special something, a sonorous centrifugal force that pulls you in to its beautiful, incisive orbit. This draw results from a combination of refreshingly honest lyrics, a frank willingness to reveal personal and intimate nooks and crannies, relatable storytelling, and unexpected turns in his tracks. If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to his show this Wednesday, April 13 at the Brighton Music Hall in Boston, consider it your Willy Wonka golden ticket of spring 2011.
To explain the title of this post, New Year's Day is how I feel when I hear Irishman Macklemore's lyrics: It's time to make resolutions to be better, and to just be in a pure and beautifully present sense. It's like we're watching a crysallis break open and out comes Macklemore. And his songs make us feel like we can do it too -- that we can be the best version of ourselves. These realizations have not spontaneously generated in moments of cartoon-lightbulb-switched-on-over-the-head: Some have been hard-earned through tough bouts of substance abuse, an issue he chronicles in Otherside, meaningfully employing RHCP's same-titled track in the song.
Macklemore tackles tough themes like this with an uncharacteristic and unapologetic attitude. Produced by Ryan Lewis, "Wings" is a verbal tapestry woven with anti-consumerist threads through a cool and hypnotically riveting childhood story. The chorus of children singing in the song lend an eerie and poignant element that takes the song to a whole new level.
Irish Celebration, a track that's sure to be a winner with our ubiquitous McDonoughs and McVarishes in Boston next Wednesday, implores listeners to carpe diem the hell out of life and “Live tonight cause you can’t take it with ya.” It's a celebration of heritage, life, struggles overcome, and of course, a little beer and whiskey. We can dig that in Boston -- consider Brighton Music Hall your open-armed Ellis Island next Wednesday, Macklemore.
A few more tracks/video not to miss:
Download a few tunes from KEXP courtesy of NPR: