Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Battle of the song titles, v. 4.0

It's long past due: the Duel Toooooo Theeeee DEATH!

•The Lettermen: Shangri-La (via RapidShare)
•The Kinks: Shangri-La (via RapidShare)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Emily Haines: Expecting to Fly

Despite my protestations to the contrary, I guess I do have a predilection for covers. At least, ones that add something to the original.

Here's a really nice one: Emily Haines of Metric doing a version of Neil Young's most overblown, overproduced psychedelic number, solo with only a piano for accompaniment.

•Emily Haines: Expecting to Fly (live on the Current) (via RapidShare)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Come all ye...

Best known as one of Bob Dylan's early mentors in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s, Dave Van Ronk should more properly be known as one of the finest interpreters of songs from the folk tradition.

I recently bought Inside Dave Van Ronk on vinyl. Had some friends over for dinner and put it on when we were all half-cut and in food-coma repose. When "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" came on, everyone was struck thoughtfully mute as we let the music wash over us. Simultaneously fragile and masterful, this is a truly haunting rendition. Dig it, chilluns.

•Dave Van Ronk: Fair and Tender Ladies (via RapidShare)

Inside Dave Van Ronk available through eMusic's 25 free MP3s offer

Monday, March 19, 2007

A St. Patrick's Day miracle!

rbally is back. Shore & begorrah, sodom & gomorrah. Drink up and drown, my little bootlegweasels.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Beauty Way

This studio version of "The Beauty Way" doesn't do justice to the way she's been doing it live lately: full of fire and fury and desperation and toughmindedness. When she played it at the Ironwood a while back, the whole room went stone-silent and the hairs on the back of my neck tried to escape.

But until she comes back through town it's the best you'll get.

•Eliza Gilkyson: The Beauty Way (via RapidShare)

Eliza Gilkyson home myspace

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The really invisible republic

Can I point you to a great article about the "Ramblers Step" missing from Greil Marcus's Invisible Republic?

Dylan did not learn Harry Smith's lessons directly from the Smith Anthology. He got them mostly second-hand — that is, he learned them, but mostly in translation. I'm now convinced that the single most important vehicle delivering Harry Smith's peculiar message to Dylan in those early days — the widest pipeline between Harry and Bob — was The New Lost City Ramblers.

The whole article can be found here.

Invisible Republic

•The New Lost City Ramblers

•Harry Smith

•More from the Monochord: Beyond the Anthology

Monday, March 05, 2007

A smoky snatch ...

... of whiskey-soaked late-night corner-bar Americana (get your mind out of the gutter), Melissa McClelland's "Passenger 24" is one of those rare songs that grabs you by the goolies from first listen. Available free from eMusic (email me for details).

•MM: Passenger 24 (via RapidShare)

Watch the video at her much-too-spiffy website. On second thought, don't.

Melissa McClelland myspace