December 19, 2010

someone watches you / you won’t leave the rails


I fell for this Bill Fay song the first time I heard it in the Wilco movie I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. But where Jeff Tweedy’s version is a humble benediction that casts out fear (and which I’ve used on a dozen mixtapes), this version from Damien Jurado and Richard Swift rises up all spectral and echoey, like a lost gospel choir in some knockaround vacant Southern church. Affecting and fabulous.

Be Not So Fearful – Damien Jurado and Richard Swift

Be Not So Fearful (live at the Vic, 1/6/03) – Jeff Tweedy

This is the first track on the collaboration album Other People’s Songs that Secretly Canadian labelmates Jurado and Swift recorded late this summer and released for free. Yup, free.

Go get it here, and read more about the song selection and recording process over here. Swift produced Jurado’s Saint Bartlett album this year, and I once saw Swift open for Wilco — a neat perfect circle of music.


  • I’ve scoured the whole owl&bear archive for a definitive version of Tweedy’s “Be Not So Fearful” and I came up with…the exact same one you did. He introduced the song once as “one of my favorite songs in the whole wide world”, I love the idea of an artist I rever being in the same position, a joint admiration for an older musician closes the gap of distance a little ways between appreciator and modern performer. Only yesterday I used this in a mix as the second to last track, the perfect place for it. If this doesn’t render you silent, what will? I still don’t really “get” this new Jurado take on it though, maybe it’s better listened to in the dead of night, right in between Buckley’s Corpus Christi Carol and Bright Eyes’ No One Would Riot For Less.

    Christof — December 19, 2010 @ 9:16 am

  • It is beautiful.

    Merry Christmas, Heather.

    spookycat — December 25, 2010 @ 8:27 am

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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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