Occasionally you open the old CD cabinet (which heart-breakingly gathers dust due to the prominence of your iPod with its sleek digital casing and nyah-nyah ability to hold thousands of CDs) and find an old cracked case containing a gem of a disc.
You can probably find the Sweet Relief benefit CD at any number of used record store bargain bins (or on Amazon for a blessed PENNY) – for reasons unknown to me because this is a GREAT album.
Released in 1993, this was a fundraiser for musician Victoria Williams, stricken with degenerative neurological disorder multiple sclerosis. All of the songs on this album are Victoria’s songs. In most cases (may God strike me dead), I prefer the covers to the original because Victoria has a voice that can best be described as unusual (although quite haunting as background atmosphere in “Crazy Mary” with Pearl Jam). But she is a phenomenal songwriter, and this album shows the beauty she is capable of.
There is a lovely alt-country vibe to this disc, featuring Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Lou Reed, Pearl Jam, Buffalo Tom, among others – and these two favorites:
Frying Pan – Evan Dando
I love this song dearly, and found myself singing it the other day on a late golden afternoon (which inspired this post). Evan Dando was meant from Day One to sing this song. I love the simple imagery of the opening:
“One laugh in the middle of a struggle
A diamond at the bottom of a puddle
Did you ever stare at the moon ’til you saw double?”
This Moment – Matthew Sweet
Fabulous to have in your pocket for all those goodbyes, all those *moments* that you want to capture, appreciate, and pin down in your memory before they vanish.
By the way, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is still doing good works for the ill & struggling.