Friday, April 18, 2014

I don’t want to die

However dark tomorrow may be

Fold me a perfect square of sky

You are worth your weight in gold

You are worth your weight in sorrow, baby

Though you will never know why

Elvis Perkins, Shampoo

The Traveling Wilburys- The End of the Line

You know how on rough days you want some comfort food?  Sometimes you want comfort music too.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark Kozelek- Heron Blue (drum version)

I spend more time than I realized listening to Mark Kozelek.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sharon Van Etten- People Ain’t No Good (Nick Cave cover)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Les Paul and Mary Ford- How High the Moon

I’m very enamored of the DIY aesthetic in indie music over the last decade or two. Several of my favorite acts have started out as multi-tracking savants, tucked away in their bedrooms and garages with borrowed instruments and laptops. It felt very new and fresh when it started, and it was, but then the act of genuine creativity is always that way, no matter what form it takes.

It’s encouraging to think about Les Paul and Mary Ford, recording this in their basement in Jackson Heights, when electric guitars and multi-tracked vocals were shocking and new.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A.A. Bondy- The Twist

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Damien Jurado & Rosie Thomas- Wages of Sin (Springsteen cover)

There was a tribute album to Springsteen’s Nebraska LP released about 10 years ago called Badlands…  which doesn’t make sense, really, because the song Badlands was on Darkness on the Edge of Town.  But whatever.  It’s a great compilation that everybody should check out, regardless.

There are some wonderful tracks on that disc, but this one always stood out to me.  It was included as a bonus track, naturally, since this was a later Springsteen B-side not included on the album either…

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trailer:  Take Me Somewhere!

A documentary of Scout Niblett’s 2013 European tour….

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tom Waits- Martha (live in Denver, 1974)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Regina Spektor- No Surprises (Radiohead cover live)

I’d heard her charity single release of this song before—which is very good and well worth the buck on iTunes—but this in-studio performance is much more substantial.  It doesn’t seem more substantial at first, of course, with the cute chime voice on the Nord, but Regina has made a career out of being much more sophisticated and powerful than she might appear at first glance.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Matthew Ryan- Everybody Always Leaves (Alt. mono version)

Sometimes I can’t remember nothing

Sometimes it shadows everything

Some Sundays it’s as loud as thunder

In the morning when the telephone rings.

Radiohead- The Headmaster Ritual (Smiths cover)

It always fascinates me when Radiohead covers a song, maybe because it doesn’t happen so much.  I forget that these guys can pretty much play anything they want.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Damien Jurado- The Killer (demo)

Secretly Canadian just released a tenth anniversary edition of their first Damien Jurado LP, with some incredible demos that they say came from reel-to-reel tapes stashed in Damien’s basement.  This is the point where I’d get on my horse and go around touting Jurado as one of the best songwriters of his generation, except I never really got off that horse to begin with.  He tells so many good stories, creates so many evocative characters.  And he tells it in a high, bittersweet warble that falls somewhere between Michael Hurley and Hank Williams. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Death Cab for Cutie- Marching Bands of Manhattan

It’s one of those nights when sad old middle-of-the-road me is in command of the soundtrack.  This is such a good-sounding record, though, and it’s comfort food for the aural sense.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cat Power live in Boston, 18 November 2013.  Photo credit: Tim Bugbee.  Click here for more.