You gotta roll under

The past couple days, I've been listening Kathryn Calder's new album, Are You My Mother?, on repeat quite a bit. Seems to me that the album is tinged with an underlying sadness, even in the more musically upbeat songs. I looked at a couple reviews and learned that she wrote and recorded (most of?) the album while she was helping to take care of her mother, who passed last year.

Not having gone through an experience like that, this song, Low, captures what I think it would feel like to watch a loved one drifting, fading away. Her vocal is haunting and plainly beautiful, the way she sings "you gotta roll under, I gotta roll under, too", in reference to the rising tide. Take a deep breath and plunge underneath the wave. It's not a solemn dirge and she doesn't seem to be crying bitter tears about the unfairness of it all. It's very poignant, that realization that it was a good run despite the fact that the end is looming up ahead. Check the backup vocals and the organ, they have a hymnal quality to them, lending an almost church-like, celebration of life feel to the song.

Unfortunately, the reality and shadows are still there, and this song might be something you would whisper under your breath, almost like a mantra, while sitting in a hospital at 4am, holding someone's hand, waiting. You gotta roll under.

 Kathryn Calder > Low


I see you driving 'round town

Another great song of summer. When it released, it was everywhere, basically all over my RSS feed. I resisted a bit, initially, because of the title and the hype. Then I thought I'd check it out and now I can't get Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You outta my head. It's ridiculously catchy and a whole lotta fun. The video is pretty entertaining, as well. It's too bad the rest of the album doesn't hit until early December, I'm anxious to hear the other tracks. But, we have this for now, so turn that shit up!

Cee-Lo Green > Fuck You


I have faith in all you do

On the heels of Sun Kil Moon's latest album, Admiral Fell Promises, comes a 4-track EP called I'll Be There. The Jackson Five's I'll Be There is already a great song, and this is just a guy and a guitar, but Mark Kozelek is able to channel the essence of the song in a way that not many others can. Also, check out the Stereolab and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone covers on the EP, they're equally excellent. I picked this one because I'm hoping Madcat Joe writes about the Stereolab one.

Sun Kil Moon > I'll Be There


Wear your inside out

Fever Ray have covered Mercy Street, which is one of my all-time favorite Peter Gabriel songs. Apparently, Fever Ray have been playing it live from time to time, but I sadly did not get to witness it when I saw them in San Francisco last year. In any case, we have the tune now. I love it and it's going to drop on 7" before the end of the year.

Fever Ray > Mercy Street


Just One Wish

I've been meaning to post this but I've been deathly ill due to excessive drinking and carousing. You know how it goes.

In any case, this band is Still Corners and this song, Wish, will drop in about a week. All I can say is, wow. This song is so perfect, short and sweet. It's like a hazy memory of a summer you dreamt about in the future. And if you want more like I do, you can listen here.


I slipped behind your footsteps

So, I went to see Blondie last week. Even though it was 3/5 of the original band, I felt compelled to go and see them before they went away for good. One of my favorite quotes is from Debbie Harry, in a Rolling Stone interview from the late 80s, I believe. The writer asked her the inevitable question about Heart of Glass and the whole "selling out" thing, and she responded (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Yeah, we sold out. But at least we were the first ones to do it."

Blondie > Accidents Never Happen