East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

We interrupt our whining about vague Asian movies to comment on our friend's taste in vague alt-country

We have listened to all but two of the songs on Dick's playlist (the exceptions being two of the Blue Rodeo songs; we assume, given the other two Blue Rodeo songs, that band must sound better to Canadian ears) and endorse the following selections:

Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" and "Feed of Man"
Neko Case, "Deep Red Bells"
Krauss/Welch, "I'll Fly Away"
Wilco, "Say You Miss Me"
And we suppose "Runaway Train" even though we never need to hear that song again.

What we really want to endorse is Bragg & Wilco's Mermaid Avenue albums, the first of which is our third favourite album of 1998*, which is even more impressive when you realise how much we love 1998 (we mean in retrospect; we hated it at the time). The results of their collaboration sound like contemporary versions of age old songs, which in a sense they are, except instead of seeming to come from the era of Woody Guthrie, many of the best songs seem much more archaic. "Walt Whitman's Niece", about a guy's refusal to disclose exactly what he did last night, or was it the night before that, sounds Whitmanian. "Way Over Yonder" sounds centuries older than that, of the people, by the people, for the people.

*Behind Lucinda Williams's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and, controversially, Liz Phair's Whitechocolatespaceegg.


  • At 6:21 PM, Blogger Dickolas Wang said…

    I suppose I should be honoured that six of my picks got your recommendation.


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