4 a.m. stolen moments
("The Cat Burglar" by Will Bullas)
While I'm still waiting to get my cable/internet hooked up in my new apartment, I just managed to sneak onto someone's signal this morning. I've only managed to piggyback onto this strange signal one other time in my week here, so I'm going to abuse it before it's gone in the morning like all the women in my life.
That's not true at all. I just wanted to sound like Mickey Spillane, okay? There aren't even women in my life.
Since I'm at the mercy of a complete stranger's wireless signal, I'm going to make this a speedy entry. Here are a few quiet disasters, classic rockers and other ephemera for you to enjoy on your own late, sleepless nights.
"Nothing Up My Sleeve" by WILCO: This track, a demo from the YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT sessions, is like the morose, beat-down twin of the Beatles' "Two of Us." It has almost the same tempo and that galloping pitter-patter "beat" (played on the Wilco track by slapping the body of a guitar). "Your phone won't ever ring in the middle of the night. And if it ever does, I can assure you it won't be me." A great kiss-off song.
"Follow if You Can" by WE THE PEOPLE: I don't know a damned thing about this band. I originally got the track from one of my favorite blogs, Soul Sides (this link takes you to to the November 2004 post, archived at about the middle of the page), who says the band is from Peru. Why did the same band show up on the Nuggets II box set, though? I thought that set was all UK acts. I'm sure O-Dub over at Soul Sides knows more about We All Together than I do, so take his word over mine fo' sho'. (Upon further review, Soul Sides includes a link to this bio of the band. So, I'll shut up now.)
"Options R (Star)" by WIRE: From the absolutely essential debut album PINK FLAG comes this groovy less-than-2-minute chunk of punk that makes you want to dance like Molly Ringwald in "The Breakfast Club." This wasn't originally included on the record, but you can find it pretty commonly now as a bonus track.
"Ride Into the Sun" by THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: A song I don't feel needs any description whatsoever. If you don't own any VU at this point, I can't help you. May God have mercy on your soul.
"New Jersey" by RED HOUSE PAINTERS: I wrote about Mark Kozelek once on my short-lived first attempt at a music blog. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who can pen a sadder song than that guy. (Even his cover songs will break your heart. Clock what the brother does with John Denver on his cover of "I'm Sorry"!) His greatest songwriting achievement, for me, may be this track, which appeared in this version on the "Bridge" self-titled RHP album, and appeared in this alternate version on the "Rollercoaster" album that was released simultaneously. The lyrics here are absolutely killer. "You're an American girl / red-headed, eyes blank / living in a freckle on the face of the world. / Another dying kid that learned too much too soon / You're not as good as your mom / but you're as good as dead." I personally prefer the full band version, but I had to provide you with both so you could decide for yourself.
FOR MORE ON TONIGHT'S ARTISTS:
The official Wilco homepage
Links to Wire MP3 samples and videos
An unofficial Velvet Underground site
Mark Kozelek's new band, Sun Kil Moon
John Denver's discography