No two ways about it — I’m pretty proud of those Halloween carving adventure results. First time I ever tried one of those fancy kit things with tracing wheels and all (mine is on the right), and I still popped the eyeball out of the left eye and had to tape it back on (shhhh, don’t tell). Since we always used dull carving knives and grabbed the gooey innards with our bare hands when we were kids, I felt a little out of my element when handed mini saws and ridged plastic scrapers. But what I lack in inborn creativity, I make up for in being able to trace.
I also solidified my costume this weekend at the Buffalo Exchange secondhand shop in Capitol Hill (Denver) with my friend Laurie. When she screamed and then died laughing after I tried said element on, I knew it was a keeper. My mom took out a needle and thread yesterday to make some alterations to the dress (because she is the best mom ever) and I am set. Boo!
Music for this week:
If You Want Blood (AC/DC cover)
Gathering a wide variety of covers from his days with Red House Painters and also his solo career, Mark Kozelek is releasing The Finally LP on December 9th. Always staggering in the ways he reinvents originals, many of the tracks collected here were first featured on compilation albums that are no longer available. If you know me at all, you might know that I am a sucker for covers (and love his) so I will be picking this one up. AC/DC never sounded so pensive, so sensual, so sad. Listen to his previously unreleased cover of Husker Du’s “Celebrated Summer” here, and pre-order the record on his Caldo Verde imprint.
Fresh Feeling (live in 2005)
This song takes me back vividly to a perfectly encapsulated feeling of, well, freshness. Possibility. Old paint peeling and new horizons suddenly coming into sharp focus. I never tire of the the sweet melancholic strings combining with the crispness of the sharp clean beat. This live version of Fresh Feeling is from Manchester in 2005, and part of a free 4-song EP for download on the Eels website as part of a promotion for the new Blinking Lights deluxe version. Lately I’ve been quite impressed with Eels reissues and special collections – the packaging and liner notes alone are a journey. And since I’ve never caught E live, I can always use more free live Eels. You have until tomorrow to go and get it!
Born In The ’80s
The Boat People
While I watched Game 1 of the World Series, Bruce from Philly and I were electronically bantering, and he recommended I check out The Boat People from Brisbane and Melbourne. Their music is jaunty and bright and catchy – like Phantom Planet and the cousin Coconut Records. Even though the song talks about being born in the Eighties (and they likely were) don’t let it mislead you — the music isn’t bound to that decade. Their album Chandeliers is out now, with colors and lines on that wonderful cover art that echo the feel of the music inside.
Julio feels nauseous when he thinks about how effortlessly cool Danish duo The Raveonettes are, and listening to this new attitude-laden slowburner from their fresh Beauty Dies EP makes me jealous as well. All I know is that when they make a movie of my life I kinda want a scene where I get to walk down the street with this playing. I will probably wear sunglasses. In keeping with their vibe, this feels like such a stark, spacious song while vibrating with those warm surf-retro guitar tones. So sexy. Stream the full EP here, it came out last week on Vice Records.
Duet (with Ray LaMontagne)
So one more song featuring Ray’s warm voice before I head out the door to his show in a few minutes — and this is an incredible tune that has knocked me flat. The duet here is from Rachel Yamagata‘s new album Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart, and it is exceptional. One of my favorite Ray moments falls within the nakedness of early renditions of “Can I Stay,” and this feels like its musical twin, or its postscript. Yamagata’s voice has innate qualities that have always reminded me of a female Ray (or perhaps the sadness wound deeply into Lisa Hannigan’s songs). Now the twain shall meet in this flawless, delicate, intimate bedroom classic.