Saturday, June 28, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

(Podcast show notes are in the post before this one)

Jeremy Enigk, "Oh John" (Zshare link--originally from Paste Online, and also found on the audio page of his website)

This song has a placid hush to it, a quiet lushness to it that reminds me of some of Elliot Smith's most fragile songs. There's a passion underneath it that breaks through on occasion, breaking the song's gentle stroll, urging the subject of the song to "remember how [they] used to feel inside". Then just as quickly the urgency is gone, and the singer's voice is like a lullabye again, gliding us along along a still path.

Label Site (The label site doesn't include the album that this is from, 2007's The Missing Link, in the discography)

The guy actually in front of the camera is Jeremy Enigk

Eskimoses," John Wayne's Toilet Paper"

Okay, so when I first saw the title "John Wayne's Toilet Paper" I expected some sort of gutter punk thrash noise that escaped from a no-name club on $1 beer night. Instead I got a downright pleasant alt-country song. I am not sure what John Wayne or his hygiene products have to do with it; instead this is a kickin' song about going on the open road, leaving emotional ties behind (because "everything's temporary"), finding trouble in a "brand new state and a brand new town". Moving on is a common theme in country-western songs. Don't wait for the cowboy to come home because he knows no home (except the field and the road). Remember Willie Nelson? He couldn't wait to get back on the road again.

Label Site

Eskimoses, from their Myspace

Carter Tanton, "Mass" (live on Kexp)

There's a moodiness to this song, a smokiness reminiscent of Mazzy Star or P.J. Harvey. A dark, somewhat dour (but also sensual) dirge that seems to exist somewhere behind the veil, leaking out to our plane through some really good acoustics. Rolling Stone calls his voice "indie-seraphim", and you know, I couldn't have described it better or more concisely (which is why I quoted them rather than trying to think of something to match it.)

Label Site

Photo of Tulsa/Carter Tanton by John Allen

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