Listening Assignments 1.14.08

1. Miracle Fortress - Next Train - I'm going to pretend that this Monday, you're down. Maybe you're starting your first day back at a prestigious university after a lengthy break you wish could have continued for just another day or two. Maybe you have a proposal due at work and you stayed up all last night finishing it. Your girlfriend/boyfriend is growing distant by the second, you're broke, and it just started to rain outside. I'm going to pretend that this Monday, you're just in need of a spark, something to give you hope, something to give you peace, if only for 4 or 5 minutes. Here it is. "I'm on the next train to Carson, to you."[from Five Roses|buy]

2. Helvetia - Old New Bicycle - This song is amazing, but the first :46 seconds really set the tone. It sounds like a recording from 1960s, with audible vinyl hiss and reverb-wracked vocals, but mostly because of the frequent stabs of beautiful vintage guitar licks. They just keep coming, every 15 seconds or so, increasingly hip, all draped over this fantastic roll-snare-kick combo. [from The Acrobats (out 3.1)|buy]

3. AA Bondy - Rapture (Sweet Rapture) - This dark little number smacks of Ryan Adams, though I'm sure he tires of that comparison. He first popped up here in early October, and he's back. He wants a rapture. He wants it to be sweet. And he wants it to have hands. [from American Hearts|buy]

4. Andrew Bird - Heretics (Early Version) - "Thank God it's fatal, thank God it's fatal." It's easy to write about Mr. Bird, a master songwriter/violin player/loop pedal manipulator/whistler who is finally getting his due in the public consciousness. "Heretics" is one of the best tracks from '07s Armchair Apocrypha, and this early version strips away everything but the melody and acoustic guitar. Awesome. [from Soldier On (European Tour Only EP)]


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