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Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 

Jolie Holland - "Springtime Can Kill You"

1. I’m not a man who has ever been killed by a season. To be honest, I always felt that seasons lacked the agency for murder. Alas, as per yuj, I was wrong. A season killed Jolie Holland.

Winter was questioned first, it being the usual suspect in terms of seasons. Now, seasons don’t look like humans - that is probably the first thing one comes to understand in life. But still, Winter, with a cigarette dangling from its lips and another one tucked behind its left ear, calmly explained to the coppers that it had no motive: “Jolie’s from Texas, see? So, I never even knew her. Why would I want her dead?”

2. From beyond the grave, Holland warns that springtime could kill us too. Her advice to us is, essentially, carpe diem. She tells us to go outside, leave our houses, not be too shy. She attempts to lure us into an appreciation of the outdoors, of spring moonlight, of lilacs and honeysuckle. But this advice is given as if springtime were holding a gun to her back, feeding her lines. She says it knowing full well that it was exactly this kind of rhetoric that led her out into the streets where she met her own sinister fate. She is warning us through clenched teeth (i.e. the tense tapping of the ride, and the tight, nervous whisper of the guitar).

3. Imagine the instrumental bridge at 0:47 and then again at 1:56 as a play, Springtime. In it, the whistling plays the role of a little boy running, in his clumsy way, down a narrow residential street, dragging his wooden bat across the concrete. The baritone horn, travelling in the opposite direction up the same street, plays the role of a small funeral procession: black suits and white shirts, a hearse, dour faces. Springtime (the sour voice of Jolie Holland) is faced with a difficult choice: should it rain or should it shine? The rim-shots play the rain, falling in slow heavy drops. The boy turns around, runs home. The bereaved are comforted. Springtime laughs, throws down some lightning, kills somebody, eats some ribs, exeunt. [Buy]

***

Kaizers Orchestra - "Mister Kaiser, Hans Costanze og Meg"

This is probably the best Norwegian military waltz I’ve heard all day.

For Claire, who was asked to dance by the the job she most desired, then asked to wait until the end of the night, then erased from the dance card entirely. She should know that when she arrives in Montreal, she will find at least two dance cards dedicated pretty much exclusively to her. [Info (kind of)]

Posted by Jordan at April 21, 2006 4:33 PM
Comments

Fucking excellent post sir.

Posted by Phil at April 21, 2006 5:13 PM

A nice surprise to find a post with Norwegians Kaizers Orchestra.

One place to order their abums is this Norwegian shop:
http://zailor.no/

Posted by Erik Espe at April 21, 2006 6:44 PM

The band is actually called "kaizers orchestra" and you can buy some of their albums online here: www.kaizers.no. Their first album "ompa til du doer" is the one with the song you put out on your site, and, in my humble opinion, their best.

Posted by guest at April 21, 2006 6:46 PM

Thanks. Updated.

Posted by Jordan at April 21, 2006 10:24 PM

What's with all the female singers sounding the same? Jolie has the same voice as Feist and Camille and Hanne Hukkelberg and any number of others. It's nice and all, but it's getting repetitive.

Posted by Adam at April 22, 2006 11:23 AM

I love this post!

I partially agree with Adam, but it'll still be a while before I get tired of sweet female vocals. :)

Posted by cyn at April 22, 2006 12:51 PM

Jordan, I Love You.

Posted by c. at April 23, 2006 12:17 PM

I don't think those female singers have repetitive voices. Just look at all the Jeff Mangum or David Byrne sing-alikes.

Posted by Christine at April 23, 2006 1:32 PM

Jolie has just announced a load of tour dates on her website if anyone is interested and believe it or not she will be coming to the UK.

Posted by Tim Young at April 23, 2006 2:58 PM

Christine, I think the fact that lots of men sound seriously similar doesn't make it less true that many women artists sound quite similar.

But I agree with cyn that it'll be a while before I get tired of it. Same with the men, honestly.

Posted by Dave at April 23, 2006 9:34 PM

As always an impeccable turn of the phrase. Your blog shines. For some reason I think one or two of you may like this: over at badmanrecordingco.com
look for a song called Find me Ruben Olivares by Mark Kozelek(Red House Painters,Sun Kil Moon)
It is only a short sample, but a kind of Celtic
moon shines through it.

Posted by radiopilot at April 23, 2006 11:02 PM

Great review Jordan....i really love the lyrics on "springtime can kill you." beautiful singing as well.

Posted by bebek at April 24, 2006 12:29 PM

Dave – I see your point. My comment was not clearly written. What I meant to say is that while those singers do have similar singing voices, I don’t think that their voices are repetitive, and certainly no more repetitive than many male singers who have a similar sound. So, why bring it up in that way? Why group them together as “female singers”? Is what defines their sound really that they are women? I’m not saying that being a man or woman has nothing to do with your voice/sound, for example, I would perhaps use the term “womanly” to describe Aretha Franklin, or “girlish” when discussing Joanna Newsome’s singing style, or alternately, “manly” might apply to Barry White and “boyish” to Bryan Adams (debatable, maybe). But, for a number of reasons, mainly because there are lots of more interesting/informative ways to talk about music, I don’t think I would ever complain that “all those male singers sound the same.”
Anyways, personally, I could listen to Feist all day long (and I’m doing it right now).

Posted by Christine at April 24, 2006 6:25 PM

Strange that the 'similar sounding voices' debate should come up in the context of Jolie H- I can't think of one voice that I'd ever mistake for hers. It really is a case apart (though I haven't yet heard the new record or this tune from it- I'm waiting to buy the cd and give it it's due attention).

She's playing dates in the UK, Scandinavia and mainland Europe, but frustratingly she is again bypassing Ireland. Last time she flew over without stopping she promised she'd stop by the next time... and I've been evangelising for more than two years now. Oh well, London or Amsterdam here I come. (sigh)

Posted by Robert P, Dublin at April 25, 2006 1:08 PM

"...its due attention..."

(Yes, these things matter to me, and there's no 'edit' facility on this comments box.)

Posted by Robert P at April 25, 2006 1:24 PM

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