February 28, 2007

Mason Jennings: Use Your Van

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Mason Jennings tour DVD Use Your Van recently, when it finally popped to the top of my Netflix queue. It’s a very interesting look at an independent travelling musician, the life on the road, with Mason in the studio and on the stage. I appreciated the tension he illuminated between major label and independent, time spent on the road vs writing music, financial means to record in the studio vs. freedom to do what you want creatively. Plus, the man is dang funny — the film made me laugh out loud on more than one occassion. Pay close attention to the fake setlist he is shown devising backstage towards the end, with song names like “Diamond-Studded Bracelet, The Ribbed Or The Right, and Twice Is Fun, Three Times Is An Illegitimate Child.”

The songs throughout the film pull from all his albums — plus there are some unreleased gems, like this one.

In Your City (unreleased) – Mason Jennings

Recorded 2/13/2004 at the Use Your Voice CD release concert in MN, it’s an old-timey feeling piano waltz that makes me think of music boxes and cabaret, but tethered with Mason’s grounded, poetic lyrics. It made me smile widely. This particular mp3 is ripped from DVD, but check out a fan recording of the full show here; esp the Elliott Smith and Johnny Cash covers.

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  • I saw Mason last year in Minnesota at 1st avenue. It was an acoustic show and home town madness was prevalent.
    He started the show with a cover of springsteens Nebraska. We had driven from lincoln, NE to see mason and when he said from the town of lincoln, NE i went nuts… you can here me on the live recording thats on http://www.useyourwebsite.com

    Also i’m a little late… I saw Pete the night after you here in Lincoln and snagged a setlist and a pick. I kinda wish he woulda played turn of the century(my #1) and lose you but he was pretty rockin.
    Makes me wonder what he’ll do next since he hinted that this may be his last solo record.

    Nathan — February 28, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

  • Heather,
    Did you get permission from the recorder/taper to host that song as a MP3 on your site?
    this was posted in the notes:
    “Please do not convert to lossy formats such as mp3.”

    Anonymous — February 28, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

  • Sorry Heather, I miss-read your post!

    Anonymous — February 28, 2007 @ 9:37 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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