Yeah, so, Milli Vanilli really happened. What can I say? I was young, and naive… sigh. To help clean your brain from that last post, it’s time, once again, to share a little bit of what I’ve been listening to over the past couple of weeks. It’s been another great period of exploration for me, and I’ve been working hard to share things with you each day. I’ve decided that the site works best on a Monday to Friday schedule, and I hope that you’ve found it satisfying. Also, I hope that you’ve had a chance to try the new music player. If not, it’s over on top of the sidebar. Let me know what you think, ok? (Couldn’t hurt…)
So, yeah, lots of wonderful folk and indie rock to share with you, as well as a couple of classic gems. So, why not follow me, and we’ll get started?
First up are The Deep Dark Woods from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As you might gather from the washboard above (or maybe it’s the fish?), their sound is sort of “alt-country.” Their arrangements of largely traditional instruments leave generous spaces for lush harmonies to occupy. The overall effect of their music is that of being caught in a snowstorm near dusk, and seeing lights coming on in the distance. There’s a sense of determination – even hope, at times – but it’s tempered by the knowledge that there are many miles to go before you sleep. The music isn’t so much warm, as it recalls the memory of warmth. And yet, despite this weight, there is something so remarkably soothing and gentle about their songs – even when they yield to bursts of noise. It’s perfect music for a rainy day, and I think you’ll love it.
[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/The-Deep-Dark-Woods-All-the-Money-I-Had-Is-Gone.mp3|titles=All the Money I Had Is Gone] The Deep Dark Woods – All the Money I had is Gone
[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/DeepDarkWoods-06-WinterHours.mp3|titles=The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours (live)] The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours (Live in Saskatoon)
Heather Browne’s blog I Am Fuel, You Are Friends is awesome. You probably already know that. While browsing through the site, the other day, I hit upon this wonderful Joseph Arthur/Michael Stipe duet. For me, the words “duet with Michael Stipe” are pretty much an automatic win. Exhibit A: The astoundingly beautiful “Kid Fears” by the Indigo Girls. Exhibit B: The awesome “Photograph” with Natalie Merchant. Needless to say, I was stoked to finally come across this nearly-four-year-old track from the In the Sun EP. Have a listen, and then go visit Heather’s excellent site (from which I have lifted the above photo and this track):
[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/In-The-Sun.mp3|titles=Joseph Arthur and Michael Stipe – In The Sun] Joseph Arthur and Michael Stipe – In the Sun
While doing some research for my Ólöf Arnalds post, I came across an excellent video from Hooves on the Turf. Much like Black Cab Sessions, Luxury Wafers, Big Ugly Yellow Couch, and others, Hooves on the Turf features an excellent, impromptu performance in an unconventional setting (this time: the park). Honestly, it’s things like this that are my absolute favorite byproduct of “new media,” and I absolutely love finding them. Have a look here, and then go check out the entry on Hooves:
In another stunning display of just how much my dissertation has robbed me of, I’ve had tracks from Moscow Olympics sitting in my “to listen to” folder for over a year and a half. And now, thanks to the fine folks at Obscure Sound and The Yellow Stereo, I’m getting my fix of some of the most exciting, dreamy pop I’ve heard in ages. This outfit from the Philippines really layers on the fuzz. There’s a great cascade of shoegaze-era distortion, and vocals that are languid and ethereal. In short, it’s everything you ever loved about the ’80s, with none of the fat and excess calories you don’t need. Have a listen to these tracks, and then go read the excellent sites above (especially the detailed review at Obscure Sound):
[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Moscow-Olympics-Cut-The-World.mp3|titles=Cut The World] Moscow Olympics – Cut the World
[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Moscow-Olympics-No-Winter-No-Autumn.mp3|titles=No Winter, No Autumn] Moscow Olympics – No Winter, No Autumn
And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to say congratulations to my good friend Chris (Geek Force Five, Generation Goat) on the birth of his second daughter: Melody Woodsum Clark. Even though the timing of her birth blew my bet by a good fifteen hours, I’m really very happy for Chris and his family. So, to wrap it up this week, this one goes out to Chris: