Sunday, October 14, 2007

Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter etc.

Excuse me if I'm all over the place on this post, but I get internet one day a week when I go over to my buddy Alan's place to watch football, so I've gotta make this one count. To better organize my thoughts, I'll go to bullet form (To close, switching to guns).

*Iron & Wine Little D, the concert sounds amazing. I'd really like to see the show, but last I checked, Austin-based Iron & Wine is not coming to Austin...awkward. Also, I applaud you for your diction (you know you got out your thesaurus for "cacophony"); you'll ace the GRE...not that you'll need to take it, seeing as how all you do is make major motion pictures. Which segues me back into Iron & Wine (Beam has an MFA from FSU). I also really enjoyed the new album. However, while the broader arrangements on this album is definitely a natural progression for Beam, there were times when I missed the vintage Iron & Wine sound. This is never more true than in the song "Wolves," which reminds me of one of those songs of Bob Schneider's where he tries to rap, with equally mediocre results. And I think Beam is aware of this too, which is why he follows it up on the album with "Resurrection Fern," the most classically Iron & Wine song on the album, featuring some pedal steel and Beam's voice coming to the forefront so we can hear the lyrics. Also, while I really like "Boy With a Coin," doesn't it kind of sound like Nelly Furtado could have collaborated on that song.

Anyway, if you're eager for some vintage Beam after hearing his new album, pick up his first album Creek Drank the Cradle. I realize that many of you may already own the disc, but I heard it for the first time the other day and thought it was fantastic. It's just Beam cooing his poetry over banjo and acoustic finger-picking. Recorded in his basement on a four-track, apparently singing so softly so as not to wake his daughters. A great ying to Shepherd's yang.

*Has anyone checked out Josh Ritter's back catalog? After Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, when Josh Ritter became my favorite artist of all time, I decided to do just that. Of course I already owned Animal Years, so I bought the album Hello, Starling, Ritter's second effort following The Golden Age of Radio (which somehow costs $15 dollars on itunes...if that's not arrogant...). It's really fun to see Ritter's progression from a collection of mostly sparsely arranged, pretty folk songs ('s fantastic by the way) to the classically Americana Animal Years, to the epic that Historical Conquests is.

4 random notes on Ritter: 1) Brian Howe from Paste magazine, gave Historical Conquests 4 1/2 stars (out of 5), and called Ritter "the most gifted interpreter of Americana, as an arranger and a lyricicst, working today." 2) Joan Baez covered the song "Wings" off of Starling. 3) Also according to Paste, Ritter created his own major at Oberlin College called: American History Through Narrative Folk Music...raise your hand if you would not have majored in that if it was offered. 4) How arrogant of Ritter is it to put two versions of the same song, "Wait For Love," on his album...and how much do you love him for it?

*Is there any doubt that Little D used drugs at the Flaming Lips show he went to?

*The Sunday version of my ACL post should be up by Christmas.

*I just complained that BC is rated 3rd behind South Florida...I think I'm getting spoiled.

*And speaking of BC, can we all speak sometime about where Craig Finn went to college...I think it's time.


c said...

craig finn went to BC?!?!

what year did he graduate?

(i'm not even an actual hold steady fan really, but still, i never knew that.)

Little Gun said...

He graduated in '93...we're all really excited about it

Jack the Rabbit said...

he's no matt hasselback

c said...

well ted leo went to ND. who would win battle of the bands?

cherry ghost said...


a couple of things:

prior to the 'key to the universe' i had never heard of mr josh ritter. he's been a daily presence in the last 6 weeks or so - i can't stop listening to the album. from the first line of 'to the dogs or whoever' i was hooked. thanks for the recommendation...i'm a big fan.

for some reason, i can't muster up the energy to purchase the new iron & wine album. i want to buy it, but there's something holding me back. i've read the reviews, i've listened to the 30 second clips on itunes - but i just can't pull the trigger.

and, for the love of god, i'm still waiting for someone to write about the Colbie Caillat album. i mean how could you not like "bubbly"? i heard The Weepies might be collaborating with colbie for her next album. just kidding...i secretly like the weepies.