Listening Assignments 9.15.08

1. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream - My first bike with gears was a Huffy called "White Heat". It's mostly-white frame was flecked with neon glow-in-the-dark paint spatters and it had Mad Max-esque black and neon yellow gnarly guards (their words, not mine) to protect your knuckles in the case of a crash. Alongside my acid-washed jean jacket (which I hated) and the unfortunate rat-tail my parents inflicted on me, that bike was the most '80s thing I've ever been associated with. This song is like that. Except it's 2008. If this song was a bike, you'd totally be finding anything you could use as a ramp. [from Walking on a Dream (out 10.4)|amazing video|info]

2. Fredrik - Alina's Place -Alina's place exists behind closed eyelids. In this dream bottles will be tapped with spoons, spices will be shaken, and paper rubbed together. Guitars will be less played than caressed. You will speak through a tiny radio held in front of your mouth, converting your voice to AM, able to carry great distances over land and sea. [from Na Na Ni (out 10.28)|stream/pre-order]

3. Jolie Holland - Mexico City - Jolie's voice is so expressive, shaking like a leaf, brittle and brown. She's caught between dimensions, stranded betwixt '80s, '60s and '00s, and I'm not sure where she'll ultimately get off. This is a lovely place, however. [from Living & The Dead (out 10.7)|pre-order]

4. Joe Pug - Hymn #101 - I've come to have great love for folk songs such as this. Something about the feeling that writers like Joe (and Josh Ritter and hundreds before them) are tapping into this common song that's running through the heart of every living thing. Something about the verses and hypnotic circling pick patterns and the singular voice spewing poetry that feels like rain soaking a dry desert riverbed for the first time in years. "Before we met, I knew we'd meet." [from Nation of Heat|buy]


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