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Best of 2010, Pt. 6: If I never ask for more

February 28th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

basia-bulat-heart-coverI have a sneaking suspicion that Basia Bulat saved my life.

Well, probably not. But I’d be lying if I said she didn’t help me get my head straight, even if she didn’t realize it.

The year didn’t get off to a great start for me, if you recall. Mentally. I latched on to music in a big way in order to begin my turn-around into brighter days and Basia Bulat’s Heart of My Own played a huge part. Having been absolutely devestated by the Take-Away Show video for “The Shore” and it’s quiet, devastating beauty I couldn’t wait for more. If I’m being honest, I actually watched that video so much that I got a little crazy about it. I was mooning over a singer of songs.

By the time her February concert in Saskatoon came around I think a small part of my brain had convinced the rest of me that I was going to go to that concert and hear her play that song and I would charm her thoroughly and she would smile at me and I would die from happiness.

Like I said: mentally.

The show was transcendent, despite a torrent of sound problems thanks to whatever untrained bum was working the board that night. But Basia was an engaging, accessible, funny, gorgeous performer. I stopped by her merch table, which she was working herself, just to say hello. I was nervous, like a teenager, fumbling for something, anything to say. She had the last copies of her 7″ single, the Sam Cooke cover, “Touch The Hem Of His Garment,” a record I ordered the literal moment I found out it existed. We chatted briefly about how terrific Sam Cooke was. I was too chicken to ask her to take a picture with my tiny stuffed lion, Carlos, who is Twitter-famous (I took a picture of him in front of the stage while she was performing but it didn’t turn out; you can see him here having a bit too much to drink at Amigo’s Cantina before the show).

I’m sure that’s happened to a million other people before, but it was exactly what I needed. I felt an inexplicable adoration and while it may not have made much sense it felt good at the time just to be able to feel that.

basia-live

If you perused the link above to check out what I thought of the album when it was new, you know I liked it. Frankly, I feel like it’s definitely in the top 5 best albums of the year. But it’s also a beacon of hope for me.

Listening to it now awakens that part of the brain that never lets go of the worst feeling of melancholy you’ve ever experienced, but only ever-so-slightly. It gives me the smallest little pang of what it was like to be alone every night after not having been for so long. It reminds me why I need to be grateful for the music (Basia’s and others) that got me through that period of time: because music is one of the world’s oldest emotional triggers and you never know what the songs that will help you get through your lowest points will be.

Moreover, it reminds me to be thankful for what I have now. I’m not sure Basia Bulat and I would have had anything in common if we ever had a conversation that extended beyond a mutual love of Sam Cooke songs, but I would imagine the odds are probably against it. What I do know now is that I’ve since found the right person for me, the person I was waiting for during that dark period. Listening to Heart of My Own makes me smile about the changes that were just around the corner without me knowing it, the way my life would be changed forever.

That I would find happiness again.

Basia’s had a big year so far too. She began working on new songs before travelling to Europe and has some Ontario shows planned. Buy some tunes to help her out here.