Like most Tuesday posts to the Scrapbook, my objective was to pair a picture with a song. Today I choose Randy Newman’s, ‘I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,’ because its been raining non-stop. Usually, I try not to be so literal with my, but it’s such a great song that I couldn’t help it.
Finding the right photo to match with this song, though, turned out to be trickier than I imagined.
I love the way Newman balances a somber tone and imagery with an underlying and elusive optimism. Whenever I pair a song and a photo I know that I’m re-contextualizing both, but in this instance I wanted to be extra careful that my image didn’t tip the balance into one camp, happy or sad.
When looking for an image I hit the Creative Commons Flickr database pretty hard and I came up with lots of excellent photos. The challenge was that most of these images accentuated the sadder elements of the song which in turn diminished the hopeful tinge.
I finally settled on the image of the clothespin and rain drops because the colors were brighter, the rain drops weren’t alone and ultimately it was more playful… and while it isn’t apparent in this tune, Newman is (in my mind) known for being playful. I also was really drawn to how tactile the image was; just looking at it I knew exactly what it would feel like to open and close the pin.
Anyway, below you can some of the other photos that I considered:
A note on the song itself: I love this song, for reasons stated above. That said, I am totally bummed by the mediocre quality of the recordings available. All of the version from this record that I’ve come across feature a very prominent hiss — a hiss that in this instance became more prominent online. Figuring that most people listen to web based songs on headphones and much against my principals I ran a light noise cancellation on the song that is posted to the scrapbook so that the noise didn’t overwhelm the performance. If you’re a freak about these things, you can listen to the original file here.