…the world exploded and all I can feel is self-pity for a broken heart, bad dreams and a couple of lost jobs, but this is a pretty self indulgent. ..I feel like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” but I am filling the page with “things fall apart, the center does not hold. things fall apart…” and I want to carve those words into my soul or my arm but I sit here listening to Neko Case, I sit on my bed with a hundred or so totems spread out on my floor so that I can jog my memory but I don’t want my memory jogging, I want it to curl up into a ball and take a nap but the best I can do is a some Dewars and maybe that bottle of Rush my roomate left behind. I want to stop singing “Love Has No Pride” and “I
Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” in the shower. Sometimes “Long Black Veil,” but that’s okay. “These Days” by Jackson Browne. Gwenyth getting off the bus, never looking more beautiful, while Nico sings it off key and perfectly “…don’t confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them…” and the people behind me laughed. Whatever.
1. “Essence”- Lucinda Williams. Lying on the floor not caring if the snakes crawling around her bite. And the second most beautiful back I have ever seen.
2. “Fan Dance”- Sam Phillips. Short, bitter-sweet, not a note out of place. The final piano chord -at th6 end of “Edge of the World” seems to last an eternity, ‘or as’ long as it takes to hit bottom.
3. “Canadian Amp”- Neko Case. Tribute to her home country, recorded in her kitchen. Country death ballads, an over-looked Neil Young song, “Dreaming Man,” and a couple of haunting originals among the covers.
4. “Other Animals”- Erase Errata. Lilliput Rough Trade Gang of Four X-Ray Spex by way of San Francisco, but replaces nostalgia with blood.
5. “Time(The Revelator)”- Gillian Welch. Back to her roots. Her collegiate roots. Historical Imagery, flights of fancy and Steve Miller.
6. “Because It Feels Good”- Kelly Hogan. It was love at first sight. The Jody Grind In 1990, at some club in Baltimore, opening for Robyn Hibchcock. She was like some country Catholic schoolgirl, dancing barefoot. We’re all older now, and she has evolved into a southern gothie crooner, with a some welcome Dusty Springfield detours.
7. “Lohio”- Ass Ponys. The little band that keeps trying. Chuck Cleaver’s songs are still like short stories, the hooks are still there and he still sounds like some holy cross between Stipe and David Thomas. What’s new is the vulnerability behind the brains. “Kung Fu Reference” seems to gloat in it’s slacker t.v. and movie tidbits, but ends with “I don”t know anything, cause if I did I’d be the one whose living with you now.” Amen.
8. “Vespertine”- Bjork. I’ve stopped thinking of Bjork in terms of songs. Sometimes the hook is in the choral arrange ments, the strings, the music boxes, Zeena Parkins harp. And of course, her voice. I used to find her annoying, but then one day, there it was. Either you do or…
9.“A Man Under The Influence” – AlejandroEscovedo. Probably because it’s playing right now and the scotch is working. Sturdy, sad, poppy, Whiskeytown is all over the thing, mostly the great Caitlin Gary. Forlorn resignation, loss is a fact of life and love is a matter of luck, most of it bad. “First you said you loved me, then you changed your mind,” as matter of fact as a sigh.
10. “Isolation Drills” – Guided By Voices. The miserable, drunken sod turns bad habits into big fucking shiny hooks. The songs don’t drop off after a minute thirty, the sell out is no sell out, you can’t play it loud enough. And big fucking shiny hooks.
11.“Rain On Lens” – Smog.
12. “Band Of Gypsies” – Taraf De Haidouks.
13. “Songs In A Northern Key” – Varnaline.
14. “Een Rondje Holland” – Ex Orkest.
15. “It’s A Wonderful Life” – Sparklehorse.
16. “Cabin In the Woods” – Refesin.
17. “Couples In Trouble” – Robbie Fulks.
18. “Ended Up A Stranger” – The Walkabouts.
19. “S/T” – Buddy and Julie Miller
20. “Sunny Border Blue” – Kristin Hersh.
“Poses” – Rufus Wainwright
“Last Man On Earth” Rufus´ dad
“Vinot A Trente Mille Jours” – Francoiz Breut
“Because We Hate You / Let The War Against Music Begin” – Young Fresh Fellows’ Minus 5
“Surf’s Up” – David Thomas and Two Pale Boys
“Tubby Turdner’s Celebrity Avalanche” – Tful282
“Low Kick-And Hard Bop” – Solex
“Tremendous Efforts” – The Sadies
“Twilight” – The Handsome Family
“No Knowledge Of Music Required” – Stampfel/Lucas.
“TheCosmosamatics” — Sonny Simmons
“Ghost Of Fashion” – Clem Snide
“Danse Manatee” – Aveytare Panda Bear.
“The World Won’t End” – Pernice Bros
“Are You Are Missing Winner” – The Fall.
“TheConvincer” – Nick Lowe.
“Old Ramon” – Red House Painters
“Gunpowder, Treason and Plot” – Red Monkey
“Roots” – Merle Haggard
“Sattelite Rides” – Old 97’s
“All Is Dream” – Mercury Rev
“Tropical Brainstorm” – Kirsty MacColl
“You Should Know By Now” – Barbara Manning
“Rainbow Connection” – Willie Nelson
“Self Assembly” – Noonday Underground
“Witness” – Dave Douglas
“New Problem” – k
Holly Golightly – “Liliput/ Kleenex”
Reissues, from the vaults, comps. etc: –
“Peel Sessions” – Birthday Party. Ramones.
“Forever Changes” – Love.
EmmyLou, Gram Parsons Rhino Comps.
“Greatest Stiffs” – Wreckless Eric. Beach Boys.
“Underwater Moonlight” – Soft Boys.
“Jackson In Your House” – Art Ensemble Of Chicago.
“Studio Roots” – V.A.
“Days Of Wine And Roses” – Dream Syndicate.
“Night Beat” – Sam Cooke.
“Darker Than Blue” – V.A.
Live K.O’s: Barbara Manning at Tonic. Ass Ponys, Handsome Family, Neko Case at Maxwells. Blood Oranges, Schramms at Mercury
Let Downs: Ryan Adams laughable “Gold” Strokes, not bad, but the single is all you need. Or play “Foggy Notion”
Best single lyric: “I hate tomatoes” from the Moldy Peaches.
Smart movies with smart musical choices: “Ghost World”, “Royal Tenenbaums” and “Things Behind the Sun”
Whoops, outa scotch, outa space, outa here.