>So it’s fall and the weather’s nearly transcendent and your football team won and your fantasy football team played like champs and you just finished a song you’ve been writing (off and on) for seemingly nine years, and you’re highly caffeinated and, in the tree outside your window, there’s exactly one orange leaf, and you need something, anything, everything to hear and cement these days as early fall at its finest, and you’re perusing your blogroll on the off-chance that your boy Milam might give you some tune-recs and now you’re jumping–nay, cartwheeling–because here I am with everything in my stereo as I type this, sharing like a well-taught kindergardner.
And writing like one, too…
IN MY STEREO…
My Morning Jacket’s cover of “It Makes No Difference” (originally by The Band)
The Band’s original is a slow-footed and somber paean to lost love. In the hands of MMJ, it becomes something else entirely: vibrant, occasionally reckless, and urgent. This is a truly great. What was once a sad song of a failed relationship is now a cry out for recovery. This is a great, great cover.
The V-Roys “What She’s Found”
For those unfamiliar, V-Roys : Scott Miller :: Whiskeytown : Ryan Adams. If you like Miller’s melodic, blustery rock tunes, this is early Scott Miller at his best.
Josh Ritter “To the Dogs or Whoever”
The first track off Josh Ritter’s latest album. If the entire CD was as fearless, vibrant, and well-written as this, he’d be in the running for album of the year. An admittedly excellent lyric, from someone who’d rather not admit it.
Buddy Holly “Not Fade Away”
Maybe it’s all the Dashboard on the radio these days, but something about a 50 year-old song that opens, “I’m gonna tell you how it’s gonna be/you’re gonna give your love to me” sounds like a breath of fresh air. This song is a classic reminder of why Buddy Holly’s my favorite songwriter of that first class of rock n’ rollers.
Black Crowes “My Heart’s Killing Me”
I actually first heard this song on the Brothers of a Feather live disc and Rich’s high harmony floored me. I can’t decide if I’d highly recommend this song to someone dealing with heartache or absolutely never recommend this song to someone dealing with heartache. Either way, it’s just gorgeous.
White Stripes “I’m Slowly Turning Into You”
Maybe my sleeper-favorite off their latest record, Icky Thump. This song shows–for the six thousandth time–that the best Stripes songs are rhythmically driven and uncompromising.
Teenage Fanclub “Dumb Dumb Dumb”
I love this song for the harmonies it includes and for all the harmonies it omits. Quirky but simple songwriting, pretty melodies, and production that sounds like sunlight. I’m really, really liking this band lately.
Band of Horses “Great Salt Lake”
I’m admittedly late to the Band of Horses party, but I truthfully can’t even say I’m attending. I like about a third of what I hear, and their next album (out in October) will go a long way to determining my fan-dom, but for now this is their best song. The vocals (confident yet imprecise) recall Jane’s Addiction, the lead guitar work isn’t unlike The Decemberists, and the sonic scope of the song (not to mention its duet with reverb) sounds like (you guessed it) My Morning Jacket. This is ALWAYS a compliment.
What do you think? What are you listening to? Lemme know, folks…I’m an ear.