Before I write another word, I have a declaration to make. Until further notification, I have a definitive song to be played at my funeral. That song, which appears on the newly released collaboration between IRON AND WINE and CALEXICO, is "Dead Man's Will".

Don't even try taking it from me. I've got dibs.

It's a fucking stunner of a song... gorgeous vocals, beautiful instrumentation (like those delicately played vibes) and Sam Beam's heartbreaking lyrics:

"Give this stone to my brother
Because we found it playing in the barnyard
many years ago
Give this bone to my father
He'll remember hunting in the hills
when I was ten years old

May my love reach you all
I locked it in myself and buried it too long
Now that I've come to fall
Please say it's not too late now that I'm dead and gone

Give this string to my mother
It pulled the baby teeth she keeps
inside the drawer
Give this ring to my lover
I was scared and stupid not to ask
For her hand long before"

As my roommate handed the lyric booklet back to me tonight while we listened to this song, he said, "Jesus, that weighs a TON." I told him about the first time I saw Calexico - before I'd even really heard them on record - and how they were so perfect that I was literally teary-eyed as I watched them play. It was pure music. I can't really explain it any better than that.

It is an absolute travesty that the American public has bought over 60,000 copies of that Crazy Frog album (the one where an animated, cellphone ringtone peddling frog "sings" wacky songs) and these two bands, deserving of much more success, will never hope to see the chart position that little bastard got. What the hell is wrong with us?

The EP that "Dead Man's Will" comes from, "IN THE REIGNS," is perfect. The production is uncluttered with most of today's bells and whistles, and pretty much sounds like what instruments are supposed to sound like. Best of all is the fact that you can really see how these two artists feed off of each other on this record. I don't think either one of these bands could have come up with a song like "A History of Lovers" on their own. It's definitely the bounciest thing Beam has ever written, and the unexpected horn section that blasts out in the song's halfway point puts a twist on Calexico's usually Southwestern, desert-bare sound.

"IN THE REIGNS" is what collaboration is all about: putting your best elements together to create something not only new, but also stylistically progressive for everyone involved. If you like the songs posted here tonight, you simply must own this EP. Whether you catch it on iTunes or at your local indie, you'll be doing your part to help fight the Crazy Frogs of this world.


Iron & Wine: "Lion's Mane" (live)
Calexico: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division cover)

- I have to thank my friend John Holt for introducing me to the music of Calexico. This is their website. They have a bunch of mp3's available here, but I can't figure out how to download them just yet.
- Get a bunch of Calexico shows at archive.org.
- Another buttload of Calexico mp3's over at City Slang.
- The official homepage of Iron and Wine
- Iron and Wine over at Sub Pop. They have 5 downloadable songs there, so check 'em out.



ogmb said...

Can we die together, D?

Btw, that studio version of LWTUA blows chunks. You can practically hear them say at the end of the recording, this one sucks, let's give it to Starbux. Lemme send you a live version that rips the faux fur from the Starbux version.

Dylan Gaughan said...

Thank O. I think you may have already sent me that live version (from Emos?). I love it, but I'm sad to say I love the studio version as well. Maybe not the first time I heard it, but it got under my skin and I honestly like it.

What can I say, I have shit taste.

Anonymous said...

Trouble is Lou Reed was right: as consumers not only do we eat shit, we think it tastes good. I was listening to Sweet's "Piece of the Action" in the car a moment ago. That is some good tasting shit!
Also - at the mall a group of stroke survivors were selling hot dogs to raise money. That is some ironic shit!

- Mr. Beer N. Hockey

Anonymous said...

To download the files on Calexico's website just right click on the icons that look like folders, and then save like you would with any other download.

Maxim de Winter said...

I love Dead Man's Will very much indeed. Thanks for posting it. I'm off to buy the CD as soon as I can find it.

Anonymous said...

Is this a live recording cause it sucks and why does there need to be all kinds of other shit in it is that a kalieiscope I hear in the background and why are there fifteen people singing that aren't quite in tune at least the frogs were probably well orchistrated

Dylan Gaughan said...

Obviously, my blog attracts nothing but smart people.

Steve Westphal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i am totally in love with this song, too.

where can i find 'love will tear us apart' by calexico?????

rachel, an anonymous commenter in austin, tx

Dylan Gaughan said...

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" was on a Starbucks compilation of love songs. I think most of the material on the CD was previously unreleased, including the Calexico song.

Stick around and I'll try to repost the song in a day or two, when I post about another artist who recently covered the song.


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Anonymous said...

I have serious love for both Calexico and Iron and Wine. A collaborative album between them was a stroke of genius - I've heard rumors there will be more collaborations in the future. My goodness, am I on that.

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Gordy said...

Just heard the song "History Of Lovers" on the radio here in Austin, then drove stright home to buy it on ITunes, and research the two bands. That song just makes me happy! Maybe the best collaboration sing Billy Bragg and Wilco. As for that Lou Reed comment, I think Dennis Miller put it better (back when he was funny and had a heart): "The reason people watch shitty television is the same reason Eskimos eat blubber--it's the only thing made available on the arctic buffet!"

I just wish I could get my hands on the lyrics to History Of Lovers...one thing Itunes doesn't offer, and no websites have it listed yet.

My Name Here said...

A History Of Lovers

Louise only got from me innocent poetry
Although she played to not listen
But still I can hear myself speak as if no one else
Ever could offer the same

Some say she knowingly tasts like a recipe
Although so foolish and willing
I said Babe I can picture you bend as if wanting to
Bow as the curtain went down

Coddle some men, they’ll remember you bitterly
Fuck ‘em, they’ll come back for more
I asked my Louise would she leave and so cripple me
Then came a knock at the door

“I came for my woman,” he came with a razor blade
Bound like us all for the ocean
I hope that she’s happy I’m blamed for the death of
The man who would take her from me

Some they saw in me innocent poetry
Some, some they’ll never be certain
But still it’s been written, a history of lovers
Given and taken in ink

Coddle some men, they’ll remember you fittingly
Cut ‘em, they’ll come back for more
I asked my Louise would she leave and so cripple me
Then came the knock at the door

Louise came to rescue me; listen, the irony:
Blood made her heart change its beating
I hope that she’s happy I’m blamed for the death of
The man she found better than me