Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Five Songs, Chapter Four

"Trains to Brazil" by Guillemots

I wrote about this song a while back, and now it's available on iTunes as part of an eight-song record by the band. Some of the other tracks are pretty good, too, but buy this one. If you're not dancing around to it almost immediately, I'll give you your money back. (Offer good for the first two people who want their money back.)

"Drain" by Jay Farrar

A friend recently said she'd been listening to this song, and I was glad she inspired me to go back to it. It's from Sebastopol, a very good album that I haven't listened to much at all over the past few years. It was released right around 9/11, and at first I wasn't crazy about it, partly because the standards set by Farrar's band, Son Volt, were very high. Pretty quickly, though, its moody songs became the constant soundtrack to my strange routines around that time -- I most vividly remember listening to it while standing on a bus going downtown after work, trying to avoid the subway as much as I could. It's sentimental, I suppose, to say that the music attached itself to the moment (meaning those few weeks), and that the moment was not one I wanted to recall much over the ensuing years. But I'm slowly getting back into the record, and this song in particular is really beautiful.

"Orange Sky" by Alexi Murdoch

This was the soundtrack for a movie preview that I saw with my sister a few years ago, and a while later she tracked it down and gave it to me. I'll be damned if it isn't mostly a shameless Nick Drake rip-off, but I'll be equally damned if I don't like it more than almost anything by Drake.

"Car Song" by Madder Rose

When you want it to feel like 1994 all over again.

"Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major" by Bach (performed by Yo-Yo Ma)

When you want it to feel like 1719 all over again.



Blogger Dezmond said...

Those solo records Farrar released (it looks like Son Volt is back together again) in those "lost" years have some good stuff on them. SEBASTOPOL is great in spots. Also worth searching out is the EP THIRDSHIFTGROTTOSLACK, the title is longer than the album. A 5 disc EP comprised of tunes cut from the SEBASTOPOL sessions, but that are better than some of the tunes that made it. STONE, STEEL & BRIGHT LIGHTS is a great live Farrar album, also highly recommended. TERROIR BLUES, on the other hand, is one of the dullest records ever made, so his solo years were a mixed bag.

As far as your comment on music that will make me feel like it's 1994 again, that is not very encouraging (from a musical perspective).

Watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony tonight on VH1. Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Miles Davis are this year's class.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

I meant THIRDSHIFTGROTTOSLACK was 5 tracks, not 5 discs. That would be a long EP.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you have such strong memories associated with the song Drain, as it's tied to such a specific moment, it might be worthwhile to consider the lyrics, which are lovely, strange and instructive, and perhaps peculiarly suited to New York at that aftermath moment:

Stay away from injury
Stay away from bad reactions
Find some people
And hang around after dark

Better off living
Put the effort on building
And deal with the devil
When it seems the time is right

Drain your eyes
Slow down
But don't drop behind

Better off creating
Than facilitating
Some downward action
Feel the pulse that's radiating

Hope to you and all the best
Save room for an open mind
Take it as it unravels
No need for an alibi

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI -- Trains to Brazil by the Guillemots is FREE right now on iTunes. And good.

-- Comish

2:31 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

dezmond, some of us don't want to be trapped in the amber of 1972, and were discovering some pretty great music in 1994.

3:15 PM  

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