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April 27, 2007

For Lack Of Vinyl

I make a lot of impulse buys on iTunes these days, but if there's an album that I've been anticipating, that I really want, I still make the trip out to the record store. I'll gladly pay a few extra dollars to be able to hold it in my hands, because I want the things that I really care about to be as tangible as possible. What I really need to do is get a record player and start buying vinyl.

But enough with media-conscious preamble. This week sees the release of three new records worth driving to pick up, and also one really great show.

  1. Joanna Newsom & The Ys Street Band is a three song EP, recorded at the end of Joanna's tour last winter. It includes one new song, Colleen, and new arrangements of Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie and Cosmia. Listening to the band's reinterpretation of Van Dyke Parks' string sections on that last track took me right back to that heart-stopping show last December, and made me wish the entirety of this version of Ys was available; I love the original record dearly, but homespun majesty of the live performance was nonpareil. I still get shivers just thinking about it.

  2. Bill Callahan's new record, Woke On A Whale Heart, ain't as stark and elemental as A River Ain't Too Much To Love, but Callahan's songwriting keeps getting stronger. We heard some songs from the record at his SXSW show; one of them, Sycamore, has been streaming on the Drag City site ever since, and it's the one that I haven't been able to get out of my head.

  3. The moral catalyst in Craig Zobel's film The Great World Of Sound is an acapella performance of Joanna Newsom's Clab, Clam, Cockle, Cowrie. The film's score was by David Wingo, and that's about as smooth a segue as I can manage from Drag City towards the new self-titled release from Wingo's band, Ola Podrida. I first heard these guys at SXSW, too, and they're beautiful; they've got a langorous, pedal steel sort of sound that was best characterized by Gorilla Vs. Bear, who aptly stated that they "do a great job of capturing the feelings that characterize the impossibly wide expanse that is our state." That state being Texas, even though Wingo and the rest of the band now live in Brooklyn.

That quote is actually in reference two bands: Ola Podrida and The Theater Fire, who together represent "Texas Music, in the best sense of the phrase." This leads me to my final bit of musical news. Curtis is shedding his bandmates and playing a solo show tomorrow night at the All Good Cafe, along with the incomparable Bosque Brown. The material he's been writing for himself is some of the best stuff he's ever composed, so if you're in the DFW area, come out and listen to it. And pick up Bosque Brown's new EP, too, which gives you the best of both worlds - CD and vinyl, together in one package. Some things just need to be analog.

Posted by David Lowery at April 27, 2007 12:38 PM


Hey, David. Sorry, off-topic, but I'm so glad you liked Pervert's Guide! It was hands-down the most fun I had at the movies last year...I can't wait to own the DVD.

Thought you might get a kick out of this: a transcript of the entire first part...

Posted by: girish at April 28, 2007 2:40 PM

That's so cool, Girish! Thanks for the link!

Scrolling down and seeing the image from Alien reminded me of a wonderful ancillary moment from the screening I attended. When Zizek presents the chestburster clip, a woman - who'd obviously never seen Scott's film - actually screamed aloud. It was beautiful1!

Posted by: Ghostboy at April 28, 2007 8:22 PM

Oh that's great....The weird coincidence is: the trailer for Alien was the very first Hollywood trailer I ever saw in India, as a teen. And the tag line, which I'll never forget, was: "In space, no one can hear you scream."

Posted by: girish at April 29, 2007 6:28 AM