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Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Two Of Those Too

Hot on the heels of my Jason Lowenstein contest (good show last night? Everyone enjoy themselves? Good), here’s another – I’ve got five pairs of passes to see Maria Taylor, touring in support of her first solo album, 11:11, and Statistics at the El Mocambo this Friday night, July 22. As always, first five emails get on the guest list – BUT, this time, there’s a skill-testing question. To win, you have to name the band Ms Taylor was in before striking out solo that’s NOT Orenda Fink, but couldn’t really get into the super-hushed style they pursued with Azure Ray. It was all quite lovely – their voices are gorgeous both separate and together – but it was just a little too insubstantial to really get my attention. From the sounds of it, 11:11 is an natural evolution from Azure Ray – light electronic flourishes and languidly pretty, but not quite so whispery. The mp3s I’ve linked below actually sound quite good. Orenda Fink’s own solo debut, Invisible Ones, will be out on August 23 and it will be interesting to see if she mixes things up a bit or if you could shuffle play her record with Maria’s and essentially get the third Azure Ray album.

MP3: Maria Taylor – “Song Beneath The Song”

MP3: Maria Taylor – “Speak Easy”

Pitchfork has the straight-from-the-assaultee’s mouth story of Broken Social Scene producer Dave Newfeld’s run in with the New York City Police Department last weekend. He didn’t do anything, he swears.

The Fall concert season continues to fill up. Dirty old men Louis XIV are at the Mod Club on September 2 and Portastatic tours in support of their new album Bright Ideas, out August 23, with a stop at Lee’s Palace on September 12. Labelmates Tenement Halls support. Finally, Son Volt v2.0 rolls into the Opera House on October 17.

And speaking of Mr Farrar, he gives Amazon.com a list of recommended listening. Via LHB. I haven’t heard Okemah & The Melody Of Riot yet. Does it have riotous melody or is that just false advertising? Reviews have been kind of lukewarm, but when you’re talking about Jay, you have to take it with a grain of salt. He’s never going to change or surprise you – he’s just going to keep doing what he’s doing and if you like it, you like it. After all, as the New York Times eloquently puts it, “the band’s underlying, stubborn seriousness, and nearly Amish unwillingness to change, creates its appeal”. Amen.

Season two of Arrested Development is out on DVD October 11 and season three debuts September 14! A Wednesday? I think I will be in Stockholm that night. Don’t think I’ll be catching it.

And finally, big congratulations to Vic and Liz on the birth of their first child, Rosie. Vic is the guy who introduced me to the world of blogging, and for that he will have my eternal thanks/scorn.

That PayPal class action lawsuit has just netted me a cool $8 USD for doing nothing. This litigation thing is a gold mine!

This daylight savings time extension thing is nuts. What are you guys south of the border smoking?

np – Drive-By Truckers / Decoration Day

By : Frank Yang at 8:17 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Torr says:

    Where do I get a piece of the Paypal action? I’ve been using it for years and never heard of that lawsuit.

  2. Frank says:

    honestly? I don’t remember. There was something about them violating their terms and conditions for people who signed up during a certain time frame, hence the lawsuit. I got an email, filled out a form, faxed it in and waited… cha-ching! Took ages, though.

    http://…/

  3. tom says:

    I disagree witht the meme out there that Farrar’s sound doesn’t change. I guess it’s the case of a myth that perpetuates itself. I am a fan of his, and I recently sat down and listened to his body of work from Uncle Tupelo through Okemah, and every album sounds completely distinct from the previous. I understand he hasn’t gone so far as to attempt opera, prog rock or rap, but if you’re looking for distinct pieces of art I think each of his albums has a true and definite identity, and each has a degree of experimentation on it. Ipecac off of Okemah and the Melody of Riot sounds nothing like anything Jay’s done before. Also, World Waits for You off the new one finds Jay writing a piano ballad for the first time. I read that review in the New York Times, where the author compares Jay to an amish person. Sounds to me like the reviewer listened to the album in the background while doing the dishes and taking out the trash.

  4. Frank says:

    I wasn’t implying that Jay makes the same album over and over again, but I do maintain that if you like what he does, chances are you’ll like everything he does and the contrary is also true. I remember when Sebastapol came out, the advance PR was all about how he had incorporated Hawaiian lap steel guitar into his sound, as if that had opened up whole new creative worlds. No, it sounded like Jay Farrar with some Hawaiian lap steel over top. I actually liked Terroir Blues, I thought it expanded his sound a fair bit, but that’s a relative statement. Jay does what he does and I like that reliability.

  5. Thierry says:

    I don’t know – I love everything Uncle Tupelo recorded, Trace has got to be one of my 10 favourite records of the nineties, but I never warmed up to Wide Swing Tremolo, and Straightaways seems to find its way in my "To sell" pile every couple of months or so. I have nothing against consistency of sound – I wouldn’t be as crazy as I am about Aimee Mann, or even Dwight Yoakam, if I did – but somehow I feel like with Son Volt’s output it felt more like the band got stuck in a rut and less like they were refining their sound. I’ll give the new one a listen at some point though…

  6. Pickles Franklin says:

    Let’s face it, Jay Farrar is a snooze-fest, any way you slice it.

  7. David says:

    He is most certainly not a snooze-fest when does Neil’s SeaOfCortez or George’s LoveToYou. He can wield the axe! Maybe his sonic vocabulary isn’t as expansive as (I believe) you’re implying, but that’s not cause for demerit. SV (2.0)’s latest is a complete rock record, generously seasoned with lyrics that bemoan man’s inexorable moral descent. I’ve no remorse for acquiring this record.

  8. billy says:

    Sea of Cortez?

  9. Spin South says:

    Love those Maria Taylor songs. But I sure hate those low res mp3s. What’s Saddle Creek afraid of? Mono 32kbs files? Give me a break!