NP: “If I Could Only Fly (studio)” – Blaze Foley. As almost always, it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. So long that I can’t even necessarily remember why I picked some of the songs. There’s always a list in a .txt file; a directory with a pile of .mp3s. And perhaps some “notes.” But then it’s also a strange kind of lovely surprise. I open up the directory and sometimes think “I remember that” or, more interestingly, “I don’t remember that AT ALL.” This song is neither of those extremes, but I do remember when I became a bit obsessed with it a couple of months ago. For fans of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, etc. Also, anybody that wants to hear a sad heartbreaking story of bad business deals, horrible luck, and shitty mistakes (think Badfinger, Townes Van Zandt) would do themselves a favor by doing some research on Blaze Foley.
NP: “Special” – Violent Femmes. I woke up one morning with “special, special, what do you get? another day older and deeper in debt” stuck in my head. Now that I’ve listened to the song about 17 more times in the last 48 hours, I suspect that’s going to happen again sometime soon.
NP: “It’s All In My Head” – Teenage Fanclub. Sublimely beautiful Teenage Fanclub song.
NP: “Wasted” – Metz. Perhaps the hottest show I’ve been to in the last 5 years was a Parquet Courts show in a garage in Omaha last summer. But the second hottest show was Metz at Shea Stadium.
NP: “Concrete” – New Bad Things. New Bad Things recently did a one-off reunion show in Portland, and, while I knew I wouldn’t do it, I did give it at least a fairytale daydream thought of trying to go. Miss this band terribly. Everything that was good about American Indie Rock in the early 90′s.
NP: “Rovin’ Gambler” – Hank Thompson. The Central PA thrift stores haven’t been offering up many used LP gems for the last year or so, but I did find a couple of very nice old Kitty Wells and Hank Thompson LPs a couple of months ago. Happy to have ‘em.
NP: “That’ll Be the Day” – The Bunch. This is one of my favorite Sandy Denny recordings. I’m not going to say this was “casually tossed off”, nor was it necessarily a hootenanny, but this record by The Bunch is lots of Fairport Convention folks and related folkies having a bit of fun. I really like this arrangement a lot, and Sandy Denny shows that she would have been a hell of a rock n roll singer if she had wanted to be.
NP: “Dance To The Music” – Keef Hartley. Keef Hartley is one of those mysterious things for an LP record collector dork: I don’t even necessarily like the guy or know that much about him, and then one day I realize I have four original import Deram LPs of his. Strange. Inessential. But here it is.
NP: “Ebony Godfather” – Joe Thomas. This, however, is one of those times I love being an LP record collector dork. Found a perfectly playable copy of this for $8 recently, when it normally sells for $25-$30. Simple pleasures. And it’s pretty damn good, too.
NP: “On Giving Up” – High Places. Picked up a copy of this LP marked down somewhere for cheap. I hadn’t actually heard it, and it’s better than I thought it would be. This is my favorite song from it.
NP: “If I Could Only Fly (live)” – Blaze Foley. Remember when I said I became a bit obsessed with this song? Well, yeah… I did. The first version above is a studio recording for an album. This here is a live version.
NP: “Santa Cruz Mountains” – Eddie Callahan. Recently re-issued, this breezy California LP would be a classic if only more people have heard it.
NP: “Tears” – Teenage Fanclub. A piano based Teenage Fanclub track. Also lovely. Was listening to a lot of Teenage Fanclub as I finally found a few of the LPs I had been missing. Now if only I could find a copy of “Songs From Northern Britain” for under $50, I’d have the whole set.
NP: “Around The Corner” – The Evens. I missed every show of Amy and Ian last year, including one in Harrisburg, PA that I really should have made my way back to. A mistake.
NP: “I’m Through With Love” – Lorez Alexandria. I found absolutely mint copies of two of the Lorez Impulse LPs a couple of months ago, and just couldn’t put them back. There’s something about those original mono Impulses… when the corners are crisp and liners are clean, they’re just about the most beautiful records you’ll ever hold. It’s hard to put them down.
NP: “If I Could Only Fly (demo)” – Blaze Foley. And here’s a demo version of this song. Really lets you grasp the splendor and the depth of a song when you listen to it in all of its arrangements (there’s also a wonderful cover by Merle Haggard a couple of years ago which you should track down). A great song is a great song, in almost every format/arrangement/version. I think I’m back to being obsessed.
NP: ITUNES_STREAM – ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: WINAMP_STREAM – WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: SOUNDCLOUD – SOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud.
NP: PODCAST – PODCAST of all of the above songs. [68.7 MB, 60:05 minutes]
NP: RAR_FILE – .RAR file of all of the above songs. [108.0 MB]
NR: Jay Kirk’s excellent piece “Bartók’s Monster” (about Béla Bartók and his recording trips through Transylvania) in the October issue of Harper’s that I just finally got around to reading. Unfortunately, the article is only available to subscribers, but I’ve downloaded the pdf. I’m not going to upload it, but if you’d like a copy, just email me and I’ll send it to you. Highly recommended… It’s actually worth the hassle.
NW: True Detective, Winter Olympics (not enough Biathalon!), “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”, “Her”, “The Invisible Woman”, “Inside Llewyn Davis”, “Nebraska”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “American Hustle”, etc. Attempting to get caught up.
NE: Sushi in LA, pizza in NYC. The way it should be.
ND: Narragansett tallboys and 12-year Elijah Craig manhattans.