Can I get a minute of not being nervous

This song is great. This album is great. The National, The Boxer! I'll write more later.
The National "Slow Show"


Same thing as the other time

The New Pornographers just let us in on a song from their forthcoming record, Challengers. I can't get enough of this band. Their grasp of melody is so good - I can't wait for this record. Enjoy this one!
The New Pornographers "My Rights Versus Yours"

The New Pornogrphers on iTunes ($)


I have an obsession with R. Kelly. It's a sad / comical / silly thing. His new record came out yesterday and i've listened to a few ridiculous tracks. Most notable song i found is one that's not on the new album - "Blow it Up." Click here for a listen through the hypemachine.

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A terrible place to live

This amazing song is at once beautiful and tragic and lovely. You'll like it. I just realized that i've not posted anything all week. A busy week at work and life. I'll try and make another contribution this weekend so checking this blog on monday will seem like opening a birthday present.
Marmalade "Reflections of My Life"

iTunes ($)



The Arcade Fire brings it!

I was lucky enough to score a ticket to The Arcade Fire last night, and what a show. From the opening song to the final encore, it was a energetic and HUGE. Live, my favorite performances were from songs off of Funeral, with the exception of "My Body is a Cage" which was enormous and swelling and dramatic. What fun. It's rare to see a live band with SO MUCH energy. I'd post a song but you know what these guys sound like, right? I found a set list online (photo on the left).



We don't know how. We don't know when.

Secretly Canadian just came out with a compilation where SC artists cover other SC artists' material. The track i'd like to put forward is a great reinterpretation of Scout Niblett's "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death" by Jens Lekman. Mr. Lekman takes the raw, unpolishedness of Niblett's song and replaces it with a folksy stomp complete with a chorus of voices and whistling. Somehow, he takes the main sentiment of the song (We're all gonna die) and makes it optimistic, even jubilant.

Jens Lekman "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death"
Scout Niblett "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death"

Also of note on the SC100 record: Dave Fischoff's version of Damien Jurado's "Abiline" -- click here for a great interview with Dave and a link to the song in question.

SC100 at emusic ($)

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Wear silk stockings with golden seams

I feel like i need to make something clear: I love the new Feist record, The Reminder. My last post about Feist came before i heard the entire record, which is fun and beautiful and sexy and warm and springlike. My favorite songs so far? "Brandy Alexander" - "I Feel it all" - "Sea Lion Woman." So... I just had to say, go get that record and let it color your spring the way it's colored mine. Today's nuggets? Nina Simone's "See Line Woman,"

Nina Simone "See Line Woman" - the original to Feist's remake

Elsewhere, Sean at saidthegramophone.com agrees with me about Amy Winehouse's "Me & Mr. Jones" - but he's also posted a great acoustic version of her "Love is a Losing Game"

Feist iTunes ($)



Songs for Dave to listen to

I'm posting a bunch of songs that i made over the last 10 years or so for dave to sample. They represent a variety of flavors, phases, and styles that i've transitioned through, but each of these songs has held up for me over multiple listens and plays. These are also the songs others tend to respond to. Dave, hopefully this isn't too much. It was hard to get it down to this short list.

Silent Chicago - 2004

Perfect Set - 2004 (m4a: right-click to download)

Always Dancing - 2002
I've never put the effort into making a recording of this song that i like, but the song itself works pretty well when i play it live.

Any Song That Wasn't Sad (Collaboration) - 2000
Any Song That Wasn't Sad (Unarranged)
The first link was part of a mail collaboration with my friend Greg. I recorded acoustic guitar and vocals and sent him the 4track tape. He put in the rest. Later, i recorded a different version with just me and the guitar. I'm posting both for reference.

10.13.97 - 1998
Part of a tape release i put out in 1998 called "One Month to Matrimony." I realize that it's quite a departure from the rest on this list, but i wondered if the open spaces and the 2-part vocal thing in the last half might create some neat opportunities.

Airplane Ride - 1997
Part of a tape release i put out in 1997 called "They May Have Liked Mystery For Its Own Sake." Very lo-fi DIY recording (i was super into sentridoh at this time). Try and ignore the outdated stylings.

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I was shivering inside

I was reading this morning about the new Elliot Smith release, New Moon. Turns out the songs are mostly from the time when he released his self-titled LP and Either/Or. This got me rooting around for songs which led me to a treasure trove of live recordings, where i found a 1998 live performance that included his take on "Jealous Guy" which is pretty much the same as John Lennon's. For a couple of years i've really been into Donny Hathaway's version of it, which is really unique and soul-ish (and my favorite of the 3). I've posted them all for you!

John Lennon "Jealous Guy"

Elliot Smith "Jealous Guy (live, 1998)"

Donny Hathaway "Jealous Guy"

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Reasons and excuses

Thought i should write about this. A few weeks ago my iPod melted down, and it took my iTunes library with it. I won't get into details, but basically i lost all of my ratings data and playlists in iTunes. These were the heart of my planning and frontloading the content for this blog, so it's been a bit of a struggle *finding* the songs i wanted to post again.

Look for a revitalization on this blog in the next week or so. I'm working on it!



Beat into a pulp they will not recognize you

Damien Jurado is a long-time favorite of mine. He puts on a great show. I didn't have time to look, but i think that i posted this very song in 2004 but i don't care, cause i like it! From a vinyl only release called Four Songs. I can still picture him playing this at Schubas.
Damien Jurado "Spitting Teeth"

Damien at iTunes ($)



Let's launch them like careening jet planes

This post was first published in CIGIT on 7/14/04. I've been listening to this song quite often lately and i thought it was worth re-posting.

I had thought of posting "Built Then Burnt" a few months back, but it ends abrubtly on its way to the following track on the album. However, today i was making a playlist and the crossfader created a beautiful transition between these two songs so I pieced them together for myself in a permanent fashion. I'm really excited about the Max Richter album, Blue Notebooks, which is superb the whole way through. As for A Silver Mt. Zion, i'm partial to the album entitled He Has Left Us Alone, But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms. Good Day!
A Silver Mt. Zion "Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! Hurrah!)" / Max Richter "On The Nature Of Daylight"

Richter on iTunes ($)


There are names for me that are better known

I had forgotton about Jim O'Rourke for awhile, but talking over dinner with Loren a couple of weeks ago reminded me about how great this record is. I first fell in love with Jim's 4-song Fahey-esque instrumental, Bad Timing, but I had love (if not equal love) for his contribution to Gastr Del Soul and the solo albums that followed. This is the opening track from 2001's Insignificance - it's a guitar-driven rocker, and i know you'll like it.
Jim O'Rourke "All Downhill From Here"

Amazon ($$)