Throwing in the Towel

February 10, 2010

OK, look… This has got to stop. The covers project was, I still feel, a great idea. I truly wish that I had the time to continue such an endeavor, but I simply don’t. The idea was that I would spend some time doing this project and some time working on new music of my own. However, lately I’ve found that all of my time has been spent on the covers. Any free time that I have (which isn’t all that much) has been spent on this and that has left no time at all to work on my own music. I’m posting the rest of the list so that I can be done with it. I hope that everyone understands this; I absolutely have to get back to work on my own music, and any free time that I have should be spent on that.

So here’s the rest of the list. Thanks again to everyone for the support:

25. Car – Built to Spill
24. Portland Maine and the Pouring Rain – The City on Film
23. This Will Never Happen – Herman Dune
22. The Brute Choir – Palace Music
21. Beautiful – Belle & Sebastian
20. I Am Always the One Who Calls – Pedro the Lion
19. I’m Not Going Anywhere Tonight – Owen
18. She Belongs to Me – Bob Dylan
17. Cat Heaven – Jets to Brazil
16. Photobooth – Death Cab For Cutie
15. Guitar and Video Games – Sunny Day Real Estate
14. Waltz #2 (XO) – Elliott Smith
13. Mess – Ben Folds
12. Holland, 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel
11. Six Different Ways – The Cure
10. The Legionnair’s Lament – The Decemberists
9. Palmcorder Yanja – The Mountain Goats
8. Pamphleteer – The Weakerthans
7. Driftwood – Cursive
6. Young Fiction Writer – Kind of Like Spitting
5. Where We Belong – Hot Water Music
4. I’ve Just Seen a Face – The Beatles
3. Trance Manual – John Vanderslice
2. Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying – Belle & Sebastian
1. Frame & Canvas – Braid

Oddly I am leaving everyone with a new cover, one that likely should have been on the list from the beginning, but wasn’t. It’s a song by Trembling Blue Stars that I really love. John Darnielle did a fantastic cover of this on The Mountain Goats Babylon Springs tour EP too, that’s one that everyone should check out. Good day.

Unnumbered – Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise by Trembling Blue Stars (from Broken by Whispers, Sub Pop 2000)

mp3 – Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise


NYC Wrap-Up (à la Ryan Kelley)…

Day 1: Book delivery (success), lunch in Williamsburg, off to meet Bevan at her place in Prospect Park, back to Williamsburg to meet Tom and Kristy for drinks at Mugs Ale House, then to Shervin’s book release at Public Assembly with Bryan + Danny + Andrew + Eric, bed.

Day 2: Hashbrowns + Coffee, MOMA for the Tim Burton and Bauhaus exhibitions (both awesome), taxidermy tent, Halloween shop, Strand (oh how I loved this place), dinner at a nondescript Irish bar… they won because they were the first place we found that had a veggie burger, off to Williamsburg again for bowling (didn’t happen, The Gutter was rad though), more drinks with Bevan at Enid’s, off to Eastern Bloc in the East Village, back to Brooklyn for bed.

Day 3: Coffee in Prospect Park, Brunch at Bliss, Brooklyn Brewery tour, across the street to Beacon’s Closet, Lomography Shop,


This Will Be a Better Year

January 18, 2010

I am a writer… or I’m supposed to be.  It is what I am supposed to have gone to school for.  I am “trained” apparently.  So why have I found myself showing such a resistance to writing?  I started this blog to try to correct that, though the posts over the past few months have been very few and far between.  I suspect that the aversion comes simply from having to write so much during school, but I have been out of school for 7 months now so that excuse is wearing thin.  I know you might be thinking that I am inching dangerously close to New Year’s Resolution territory.  And you’re right. 

So, I need to start writing more.  And I need to finish the covers project.  And I need to spend less time dicking around, watching TV and generally wasting away being unproductive.  I know that I may be being a little hard on myself… I am exceedingly busy these days.  Two jobs leave little time to work on other things.  Though I am not allowing myself that excuse anymore; I will simply have to make time.

So there.

Top Ten Records of 2009

December 28, 2009

The Wait is Over:

1. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names

2. Owen – New Leaves

3. Julie Doiron – I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day

4. Cats on Fire – Our Temperance Movement

5. MonoHymn to the Immortal Wind

6. Magnolia Electric Co.Josephine

7. God Help the GirlGod Help the Girl

8. David BazanCurse Your Branches

9. BowerbirdsUpper Air

10. Ben Barnett Songs About Zombies and Trust Issues (tour CD-R)

The Almost Made-Its:

1. So Cow – So Cow

2. John Vanderslice & The Mountain Goats – Moon Colony Bloodbath

3. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Beware

4. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

5. Cursive – Mama I’m Swollen

6. Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect

7.  Real Estate – Real Estate

This one is for Matthew Young… who had some strong words for me about this song not being in the top 25. Here you go:

#55 – The Chandelier Swing by Braid (from Age of Octeen, Mud Records 1996)

mp3 – The Chandelier Swing

Two in one day… Oh My!

All the votes are in. I’ve heard from a few people and I have decided to address the requests before I delve into the rest of the top 25. I’m going to (as well as my memory will allow) do these in the order that the requests came in. Up first is one of Edward Drapeau’s two requests:

#42 – What Do You Want Me To Say by The Dismemberment Plan (from Emergency & I, DeSoto 1999)

mp3 – What Do You Want Me To Say

I’m going to try really hard to get the rest of the requests up here really soon. Thanks, as always, for your patience.

So I decided to put together a mix for today… that Tofurky isn’t going to cook itself and I thought it would be good to have a mix for while we’re cooking (OK… admittedly I’m going to be mostly drinking and getting in Chandi’s way while she cooks). After I put the mix together I decided that I was pretty happy with it so I thought that I would put it up here in the spirit of sharing.

It’s really more a sampling of a some things, old and new, that I have been listening to lately and less a Thanksgiving mix. However, I tried to keep it mostly upbeat, so hopefully it will be a good mix for cooking/hanging out/enjoying a day off. Hope you enjoy it.

1. Pop / Ben Barnett (from Songs About Zombies and Trust Issues)
2. Give Me Back My Heart Attack / Land of Talk (from Some Are Lakes)
3. Happens To Us All Otherwise / Bound Stems (from The Family Afloat)
4. Anna / Hello Saferide (from More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide)
5. Through My Gloves / Forest Fire (from Survival)
6. Fake Blues / Real Estate (from Fake Blues/Green River 7″)
7. Try To Think About Me (Don’t Worry A Bit) / Herman Dune (from Next Year in Zion)
8. Changes Are No Good / The Stills (from Logic Will Break Your Heart)
9. Drop It Doe Eyes / Los Campesinos! (from Hold on Now, Youngster…)
10. Barnacle Goose / Born Ruffians (from Red, Yellow and Blue)
11. Four Long Days / Voxtrot (from Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives)
12. A Trenchant Critique / Owen (from New Leaves)
13. Into The Stream / The Tallest Man on Earth (from Shallow Graves)
14. Sex Bodies / Matthew Hemerlein (from EP 2)
15. Stopped Signs / A Wonderful (from Uncorked Understandings)
16. Friends They Are Jewels / Iron and Wine (from Around the Well)

Again, I really hope you like it. And please, if there is anything above that you haven’t heard and really like go buy their lp/disc from your favorite independent record store… or better yet go see the band live and buy it from them.

100 Covers: #25 – Car

November 19, 2009

#25 – Car by Built to Spill (from There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, Up Records 1994)

mp3 – Car

So, here we go with the top 25…

“I want to see movies of my dreams”… that kind of sums it all up.

Opening the Request Lines

November 19, 2009

So, per the last post here is the remainder of the list up to #25. I am going to record the top #25 as quickly as is possible at the moment and get them up here. The remainder of the list is on a ‘by request’ basis… meaning, of course, that if you feel slighted in some way that I didn’t record a song that you wanted to hear now is the time to speak up. If anyone wants me to record one of the songs that are in the #26-#88 range I will sincerely be happy to oblige. (For a more thorough explanation of why I am jumping ahead, read this)

It has taken a lot of strength on my part not do indulge the contents of this list to anyone over the past few months… it really feels like I’m getting something off my chest here. If you wish to take me to task on any of the inclusions (despite my initial request to keep it to yourself) I would be up for a friendly debate or two.

Here you are:

100. Blacking Out The Friction by Death Cab for Cutie
99. I See A Darkness by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
98. Embassy Row by Pavement
97. The Good Life by Weezer
96. Nightmares by the Sea by Jeff Buckley
95. It’s Worse When You’re Young by Neva Dinova
94. No Key, No Plan by Okkervil River
93. Mess With the Bulls by Piebald
92. Things Just Getting Good by The Promise Ring
91. Oh, You Are The Roots That Sleep Beneath My Feet And Hold The Earth In Place by Bright Eyes
90. Moment #72 by The Appleseed Cast
89. Lifetime Piling Up by Talking Heads
88. In Our Talons by Bowerbirds
87. The Marionette’s Cottage by Unwed Sailor
86. Postcards From Italy by Beirut
85. Houses Of The Holy by Led Zeppelin
84. Second Place by The Get Up Kids
83. I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
82. Sleeping In by The Postal Service
81. I Was Born (A Unicorn) by The Unicorns
80. The Model by Belle & Sebastian
79. Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks
78. The Agony Of Laffitte by Spoon
77. Where Is My Tarp? by Mount Eerie
76. The Air Near My Fingers by The White Stripes
75. For Me This Is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World
74. Here, There And Everywhere by The Beatles
73. Cattle & The Creeping Things by The Hold Steady
72. On A Bedsheet In The Breeze On The Roof by Joan of Arc
71. Spritz!!! Spritz!!! by Minus The Bear
70. Lazy Flies by Beck
69. White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
68. Attention All Pickpockets by The Mountain Goats
67. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues
66. Que Shiraz by Hey Mercedes
65. You Left the Water Running by Otis Redding
64. Sluttering by Jawbreaker
63. Your Birthday Present by The Good Life
62. Rain Of Crystal Spires by Felt
61. James by Maritime
60. Borrowed Minivans by Julie Doiron
59. Please Let That Be You by The Rentals
58. Non Photo-Blue by Pinback
57. Late by Ben Folds
56. Zebra by Man Man
55. Chandelier Swing by Braid
54. Paranoid Android by Radiohead
53. Maybe I’ll Catch Fire by Alkaline Trio
52. Gouge Away by Pixies
51. Abegail Anne by Jeremy Enigk
50. June July by John Vanderslice
49. New Martini by Karate
48. Oh Messy Life by Cap’n Jazz
47. You Never Give Me Your Money by The Beatles
46. Napoleon Solo by At the Drive-In
45. Punks in the Beerlight by Silver Jews
44. Aeris’s Theme by Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)
43. Mary Jo by Belle & Sebastian
42. What Do You Want Me To Say by Dismemberment Plan
41. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh! by Sufjan Stevens
40. Cemetry Gates by The Smiths
39. Where She Lies by Jump, Little Children
38. The Setting Sun And Its Satellites by The Firebird Band
37. I’ve Been Riding With The Ghost by Songs: Ohia
36. Don’t Haunt This Place by The Rural Alberta Advantage
35. Honestly? by American Football
34. Dodge Dart by Kind Of Like Spitting
33. Muddy Hymnal by Iron & Wine
32. Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine by Modest Mouse
31. Absolutely Cuckoo by The Magnetic Fields
30. Mimi by The Long Winters
29. Breakfast of Champions by Rainer Maria
28. Queen Bitch by David Bowie
27. E. Texas Ave. by The Promise Ring
26. You’ll Be In The Air by The Microphones

White Flag

November 19, 2009

So I am slowly realizing that this covers project could take well over a year to complete. I know that people have noticed that there hasn’t been a new song up in a few weeks, and at this pace… jeez. With as busy as I’ve been lately it has been nearly impossible to get any recording done. Each cover takes several hours to complete and I can never get that much time to work at once (stopping and starting doesn’t seem to be a good method of working for me either).

So I have been playing with an idea that I think is pretty good, I would really like some input from people though. I am thinking that I am going to post the rest of the list up to #25. I will then set about recording the top 25. The compromise that I hope exists in this is that if there are any songs on the list between 26-88 (“the unrecorded” as we’ll call them) that anyone really wants me to do I’ll do it. I know that some people were hoping to hear certain songs so you will still have a chance to… and I won’t feel as though I’ve completely bailed on the project.

Another reason that I’m feeling like I need to scale back on this thing is that as little time as I’ve had to record I’ve had even less time to work on my own music. With Project Dispatch up and running (plus the fact that I am really eager to get some new music out) it is really becoming imperative that I start getting together a new collection of songs.

So… what do you think?