I favor song titles that make you have to listen. “Moan All Night” for example. Either a sexy all night sex song, or a doom-ridden introspective flu nightmare. It’s somewhere in between, as it turns out. Tom Waits meets a renegade troupe of gypsies on the outskirts of reality, where they drink absinthe and slowly suck each others’ fingers. I’m pretty sure.
Darkness, darkness. Trumpets, muttering, and darkness. Oh, and banjos. Before the explosion and the rain and the flood and the falling, falling. I don’t know what this is all about, but I sense the mossy underbelly of a Civil War battlefield, quiet on the surface, raging with ghosts just under the surface, in an unsettled soil. What is wrong with me? Gr8, strange work from The Loom, from Brooklyn.
“For The Hooves That Gallop, And The Heels That March” (download mp3)
“For The Hooves That Gallop, And The Heels That March” (play)
When I think about David Stith the word “prodigy” comes to mind. DM’s father, mother, and grandfather were all talented musicians in their own right. This beautifully layered track starts off on a rather sad note, only to find redemption as the song builds and builds.
“Just Once“ (play/download mp3)
Here’s a song so distinctly American you’d never guess from hearing it, the band is from Australia. “Poor Boy Blues” is a single from The Black Sorrows’ critically acclaimed “Beat Club” album. It’s a haunting, soaring performance, beautifully recorded. A GR8 find, check it out.
The Black Sorrows
“Poor Boy Blues” (download mp3)
from “Beat Club”
“Poor Boy Blues” (play)
More On This Album
Trevor Childs has a “Deathwish” but it sounds like he’s enjoying it just fine. A comical and amusing jaunt through San Francisco, from this Berkeley troubadour, in which he ponders the exact method of his demise. A couple of approaches might earn him a Darwin Award! This is sort of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” only in reverse.
“Deathwish” (download mp3)
(Fortune Records/Citrus 2 Citrus)
Jim Sullivan disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Mexico in March of 1975. Whether he was abducted by aliens or not is still open to debate. What is indisputable is that he left behind one masterpiece of a debut album called U.F.O., which became something of a holy grail for record collectors. Phil Spector’s session cats Don Randi, Earl Palmer and Jimmy Bond AKA The Wrecking Crew are all over this lost treasure, recently re-released by Light In The Attic.
“Highways” (download mp3)
(Light In The Attic)
From husband and wife songmakin team Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion comes this delectably dark duet from the shadowy realms of el corazon. The ominously titled “Target on Your Heart” is off the Massachusetts duo’s brand new CD “Bright Examples” on Berkeley’s excellent Ninth Street Opus label. Very pretty folky rocky fare with effortless vocal harmonies and some really classy accompaniment. I dig it!
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
“Target on Your Heart” (download mp3)
from “Bright Examples”
(Ninth Street Opus)
“Target On Your Heart” (play)
More On This Album
Here’s another gr8 tune by Edinburgh, Scotland based visual artist Dan Willson, whose musical project is known as Withered Hand. A brilliant and original songwriter, Willson’s work is quickly gaining recognition among music-heads in the US and abroad. One sad detail, however – he may not make his scheduled gig at SXSW, as his visa has been delayed! Apparently, he has to prove that his talents are extraordinary, or they wont let him in. How silly. I signed this petition to ask that Mr. Willson’s visa be expedited, that he might bring his act to the US’s creme de la creme new music fest in Austin, TX. “No Cigarettes” is from the album “You’re Not Alone,” just released stateside this month.
“No Cigarettes” (download mp3)
from “You’re Not Alone”
Mississippi Fred McDowell‘s recording of “What’s The Matter Now?” is truly raw Delta Blues. Another piece of Alan Lomax’s massive contribution to recorded music history, this was recorded in 1959 at a gas station where McDowell worked at the time. No studio, no effects, no edits, no BS. A man, a microphone, and a moment, caught on tape, eventually transferred from vinyl to CD and then mp3. What a journey to our ears! For more on this influential artist, check out Kevin Swan’s tribute at Rubber City Review.
“What’s the Matter Now?” (download mp3)
from “I’ll Meet You On That Other Shore: Alan Lomaxs “Southern Journey,” 1959-1960″
“What’s The Matter Now” (play)