October 9, 2008

Will Johnson soulful, acoustic: “I, The Kite”

Listening to my friend Dainon‘s quality eclectic radio show tonight on KRCL.org reminds me of this achingly potent video that he shared with me recently. Shot live in the KRCL Studios in Salt Lake City, it captures Will Johnson (of both Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel), the heartfelt grit in his voice, and the striking literary nature of this song. This live version is a little slower than the album version, and whole heck of a lot sadder.

UPDATE, 6:38AM: Since I woke up and this is the first song I played –on repeat five times before I was even all the way awake– I think it’s safe to call this today’s obsession. It’s all I want to listen to. I ripped the audio because this live version is so bittersweet and heartbreaking:

I, The Kite (live on KRCL) – Will Johnson

UPDATE, 11:07AM: A reader just pointed me in the direction of a bit more album-faithful but equally fantastic version from Daytrotter a few weeks ago. Will shares, “Written right before the separation with my ex-wife. I was definitely zeroed in on some of that unraveling that was going on with that relationship. I hate to say it, but it’s a souvenir of that.” Eh, well that punched me in the gut; I guess it’s no wonder that it resonates so heavily with me.

I, The Kite (live on Daytrotter) – Centro-Matic
[full session here]


In the morning we were scorned in some overcrowded dream
With new faces, black erasers, and a D-movie like scream
And you smiled in a way that gets you into casting calls for life
But your blouses of corruption ripped your dreams right out of sight

And we tried innocence and tried formaldehyde
In the end you were left with the string and I, the kite

So we’re older and the soldering iron at your side
Fixed the damage of the organ cutter before he could really start
And you smiled in a way that gets you on the guestlist, say, for life
That’s as useless as a screen door on an operating submarine

And we tried innocence and tried formaldehyde
In the end you were left with the string and I, the kite

[From the 2008 double album Dual Hawks]

RELATED: Check the audio from the South San Gabriel set at Denver’s Hi-Dive just a few days later.


  • Nice Post. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

    SEO Services — October 9, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  • This guy’s voice has been breaking my heart for years. Thanks for sharing.

    matt — October 10, 2008 @ 6:55 am

  • There is a great version of this song on Daytrotter from a couple of weeks ago.

    Bona Fide Darling — October 10, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  • thanks Heather….Dual Hawks is definitely one of my favorite albums this year. with more and more spins this music really gets under your skin. I thought Ft Recovery was their best, but this album might even be better.

    dwymer7003 — October 10, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  • Mmm… I love me some Will Johnson.

    John Wenzel — October 10, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

  • Warms the heart a little to see this here, I’m not gonna lie. Amazingly amateur filmwork, but it sounds so, so good, am I right?

    Dainon. — October 10, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  • Heather, thanks for this find…Love Will's voice and he is one of the most underrated songwriters.

    Speaking of heartbreaking songs, this is a song I have been obsessing on lately.


    Rip it if you can and post it if you can.

    Jeff V. — October 11, 2008 @ 6:27 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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