January 30, 2008

The Avett Brothers :: “If It’s The Beaches”

This stark, bittersweet song from North Carolina’s The Avett Brothers was originally on their 2006 EP The Gleam. It’s going to reach new sets of ears this Friday when it’s featured on the TV show Friday Night Lights. I don’t watch this show. But I am glad to hear these boys will be getting some primetime exposure; their most recent album Emotionalism (2007, Ramseur Records) has, as I wrote, “raw and joyful harmonies, if you can acclimate to the twang that smacks you in the face. But kinda in a good way.”

This song mutes the twang in favor of an echoey piano and strings, creating something that feels dusty and resigned. The last stanza of this song is arrestingly beautiful.

If It’s The Beaches – The Avett Brothers

Don’t say it’s over
Cause that’s the worst news I could hear I swear that I will
Do my best to be here just the way you like it
Even though its hard to hide
Push my feelings all aside
I will rearrange my plans and change for you

If I could go back
That’s the first thing I would do I swear that I would
Do my best to follow through
Come up with a master plan
A homerun hit, a winning stand
A guarantee and not a promise
That I’ll never let your love slip from my hands

If it’s the beaches
If it’s the beaches’ sands you want
Then you will have them
If it’s the mountains’ bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it’s the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when we forget why we left here

The Avett Brothers are on tour in the coming months.

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  • It’s a great song – and their last record was indeed fantastic – but more importantly…why in the hell aren’t you watching Friday Night Lights?

    I swear, you watch 2 episodes, you’ll be hooked big time. I have to push it on people, especially those that say “well, I don’t like football so it looks stupid”, and I’ve never had a SINGLE person tell me they disliked it after finally watching it. In fact, most of them tear their way through the first season after that (all episodes are legally available online for free at nbc.com).

    And if that’s not enough to motivate you to watch, they play good music on a consistent basis (some great use of Wilco, Explosions in the Sky, and now The Avett Brothers).

    Chad — January 30, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  • Thanks for the Avett update. And I have to agree with Chad, as I was reading your post Heather, I thought, I need to respond with a plea to watch Friday Night Lights!! It’s a great show, great stories, not just about football, but about community, family, friends, life. Plus, great use of music. Watch it!

    aims — January 30, 2008 @ 11:35 am

  • I really like the song and though I have “Emotionalism” and liked it enough, I don’t remember hearing a beautiful ballad along the lines of ” If It’s the Beaches.” I heard “Die, Die, Die” a lot on my radio station too.

    Also I totally agree that “Friday Night Lights” is a great show right up there with the best dramas on regular television. I’d rent the 1st season on DVD, Heather. It’s really that good.

    Rob — January 30, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  • Regarding Friday Night Lights, take it from someone (me) who has just discovered the show in the past week. I am now halfway thru Season 1. I don’t know how I missed such a high quality drama as this. You will be hooked immediately as Chad described. NBC.com has it. NetFlix also has it for instant viewing over the web. Season 1 that is. Also, UHD is showing Season 1 in HD quality currently. Terrific writing, terrific acting, terrific music. Check it out.

    Joe — January 30, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

  • Chiming in to agree that FNL is indeed something special, not to be missed.

    Gorgeous Avetts tune. Interesting that they use the line “I would rearrange my plans and change for you.” Don’t they say the exact (or almost exact) same thing in “I Would Be Sad”? I love both songs and love that line in particular.

    Emilie — January 30, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  • Not my genre at all but listened after reading the lyrics and must admit that I really love the honesty of the delivery. I had much the same feeling with Be Not So Fearful. Both are poetry set to music. Simple and powerful.
    I am not the writer or critic that you are, Heather, but I think you get my point!
    Oh, and after I read the other comments I guess I should watch FNL. I was one of those “I hate football so wouldn’t like” people :)

    Susan — January 30, 2008 @ 3:52 pm

  • This is definitely one of my favorite Avett Brothers tunes. The only thing more depressing than this song is the fact that they won’t be coming back to Colorado on their spring tour.

    mandy — January 30, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  • love to see the avett brothers getting some exposure.

    emotionalism is great and they are phenomenal live.

    for the friday night lights fans; check out this parody i caught on youtube.


    Anonymous — January 30, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  • I have to add my voice to the chorus pressuring you to watch Friday Night Lights. This season isn’t as good as the first one was, but it’s still the best show on tv. I posted more about the show last May. If you liked My So-Called Life, you’ll probably love FNL.

    muruch — January 31, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  • This is the first time I’ve heard one of the Avett Bros songs. It was great. I’m originally from the same area as they are. Can really relate to the imagery of the beaches and baseball (which is so prevalent in this area). Will have to tell my peeps about this band.

    sirensong — January 31, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  • I’ll have to join in the chorus of those telling you to watch Friday Night Lights. There are 2 kinds of people – those who love FNL, and those who haven’t seen it yet! I’ve raved about this show so much to anyone who will stand still – my son got me the 1st season DVDs for Christmas! Get it in gear Heather!

    I’m glad you pointed out the Avett Brothers song being used in the episode, I’ll keep an ear out. The music is so well done in this show that I rarely remember specific songs, it’s just a seamless part of the fabric of the program.

    Sybil — January 31, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  • hi! i love that song. could you please tell me how you put that on there? i don’t know how to get music on my blog.
    i may reference your blog so people can have a listen but would love if you could give me the ‘how to’

    Amy — April 9, 2008 @ 8:27 pm

  • Amy, if you email me I can give you a how-to, or leave me a way to reach you. I don’t want to post the full boring explanation here.


    heather — April 9, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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