Last year, Reigning Sound — Greg Cartwright’s rotating band from Asheville, NC by way of Memphis, TN — released an exquisitely recorded album of country soul, Shattered. The sound, only possible through the assembly of a full band of capable musicians seems clearly inspired by the Stax-era sounds out of Memphis.
I sometimes wonder if – of the two or three people that listen to these mixes – if they appreciate the variety of the mixes as much as I do or if it just comes off as a self-congratulatory exercise in showing my taste. I don’t think anyone else in the world would couple Pete & The Pirates with Slum Village in a mix, but I really like the coupling here. Pete & The Pirates are the other face of (Hearsay 2006 favorites) Tap Tap. The voice is the same, but I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of the Pirate variation of the group until the WOXY session that they at SxSW. They played a bunch of new songs in that set that I’m looking forward to, but I’m absolutely in love with “Moving.” I’m pretty sure that I found this Catcall song after watching a Pitchfork.tv video of it last year. It almost made the videos of the year list on the strength of the song alone. I still know very little about them, except that they (she) are from Australia. There you go.
In light of this year’s presidential campaign, I wanted to make a point about what has been labeled “the least original buzzword in campaign history.” Before the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries, I had a interesting conversation with a friend, who derided Barack Obama’s use of “Change” as a campaign slogan, noting that, “you can’t own change.” It seemed like after the Iowa caucuses, “change” became the Zeitgeist, repeated time and time again by the media, as well as within each candidate’s speeches, even those running to continue along the country’s current track. Some have duly noted that one cannot expect to get real change through any of the candidates; that none of the campaigns, operating within the status quo of political parties and political financing can truly offer anything significantly different. But parsing Obama’s phrasing of, “Our time for change has come,” I believe the reference to Sam Cooke‘s Civil Rights-era classic is what actually does give him ownership of the slogan.
Written shorty after the dissolution of Dylan‘s first marriage, Blood On The Tracks is a rollercoaster of emotions, honest and exposed. Its hard to say, but it would probably be my favorite Dylan album (Freewheelin’ is a close second), because of the way that it manages to be simultaneously focused and all over the place. The album teeters between regret (“You’re A Big Girl Now”), pain (“If You See Her, Say Hello”), frustration (“Idiot Wind”), and making due (“Simple Twist of Fate”). Something in the candid, yet coded lyrics gives the album a sense of Dylan’s intent to vent his feelings while keeping some element of himself secluded and protected. “People tell me it’s a sin / To know and feel too much within / I still believe she was my twin / But I lost the ring / She was born in spring / But I was born too late / Blame it on a simple twist of fate.”