A Chance Encounter
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.


Sorry everyone. Technical difficulties.


Bill Ricchini - "Like An X-Ray"

I just got my learner's permit. So I started driving a bit, and I'm really good. I don't use the turn signal yet, but I turn often and so well that other drivers honk in celebration.

Since I didn't have my driver's license in high school, I was very lucky to have liberal parents who lent their car to my friends to drive me around in. Once, the comedian Joel Taylor (sometime StG commenter) drove me to the bus station in my parents' two-tone brown Oldsmobile. On the way, he turned the wrong way down a one-way street (one of the busier streets in Ottawa) and the steady flow of oncoming traffic forked around us. I remember the sound of a thousand horns. We somehow emerged unscathed and pulled into a parking lot at the side of the road. I was in complete shock and Joel looked like, well, Abraham Lincoln, actually. I looked out the window and saw about ten squeegee punks laughing hysterically. Joel waved. They washed our windshield.

Anyway, when I first heard "Like an X-Ray," I immediately thought of being driven in that car, listening to AM radio (the only option), singing along to Oldies 1310. The song's jangling guitars and sunny melody are very AM. And the trumpet calls to mind the end of weekends and the final days of summer: times I spent and contemplated in that car. At 0:55 snare hits begin at two, two-and, and four, providing just the right emphases and swing for a nostalgia inducing AM classic. [Info]


Iron and Wine and Calexico - "Dead Man's Will"

Iron and Wine is fine, but boring (I think). I thought that maybe Calexico would be just the medicine for Mr. Beam, but alas, it's not quite the case. There still remain faint remnants of undynamic dullness on their collaboration, the ep In the Reins. Still, Calexico does add something - namely, their unusual and unexpected instrumentation and arrangements. Here it's a marimba, a piano and backing vocals that reveal the ghostliness of the material, and bring out the title's second meaning: this is not just a will and last testament written by a living man to be read after his death, but a dead man's exercising of his ghost-mental faculty for choice and action, to speak his regrets and desires from beyond. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at October 12, 2005 4:37 PM

Well, this time, I'm not agree with you, I think Iron and wine is more than fine, well at least, his last solo album. But, I must accept that his record with calexico it's huge...

Posted by Al at October 12, 2005 7:29 PM

Boring?? Heresy!! Just joking, but the Calexico experiment is a success from my point of view.

Posted by Satisfied '75 at October 12, 2005 8:50 PM

When I first listened to this song I wrote it off as classic Iron and Wine. Yeah, a little boring, and since it was at the end of the cd I was feeling a little antsy and wanted to just go do something else, so I did. I listened to the song while I was in the car on a long drive recently and I loved it.

I can't say that every Iron and Wine song is great, and listening to a whole CD can be tough, but sometimes when you're in focus for that one song and hear the lyrics and the music and take it all in it really works well. I think In the Reins makes a big improvement on some of the blandness of Iron and Wine, but it doesn't totally escape it. Regardless, this song works for me every time I hear it now, and I'm a big fan of that.

Posted by YD at October 12, 2005 9:52 PM

404 on the first one.

I like Iron and Wine and Calexico both. And this one is like peanut butter and chocolate.

Posted by Tuwa at October 12, 2005 11:05 PM

wouldn't it be iron and wine ARE fine? i guess it's just one guy though huh.

Posted by guilty at October 14, 2005 1:19 AM

No one commented on the anecdote about us, so I will. It's a true story, now immortalized.

Posted by Joel Taylor at October 17, 2005 2:58 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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Back to the World
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Weird Canada
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