Hide Your Own
by Dan
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.


Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - "Graceland"

Sean posted a cover yesterday, and now I'm posting one today. Where Viking Moses was trying to do it better than the other artists (and in ways, succeeded) here Casiotone sings more in tribute to the original artist than in competition. This song holds a lot of nostalgia for me, so I might be a little biased here, but stick with me: I feel like this song is apt for a new chapter, in your life, or in your field of vision. I have strong memories, strong like your uncle's handshake, of riding in the back seat of a car, this song coming up on the tape for the 30th time, and the tops of trees whipping silently past cutting and scraping the sky. And now it's come up again, and my hands are bigger, I don't often ride in cars, and dinner is far less important. But Casiotone's climbing and squeezing major chords are like that white blue sky, those scraping trees, and it feels like lessons kept and grown. My nostalgia buttons are big and easy like a senior's telephone, but I feel it's real underneath, 'cause Casiotone knows what I'm talking about. [buy]

Sam Skarstad - "Sharks"

The opening track of Sam Skarstad of Snakes Say Hisss' Serkus. It starts by walking across shaky bridges, weak and saggy, then squishes its foot through a plank and falls, caught by the big bowl of great warm water below. The construction paper sharks, swollen to felt at this point, just move under your clothes, grazing and tickling, playing your shoulders like one-stringed guitars. [buy old stuff]

Posted by Dan at January 12, 2007 9:41 AM

I wonder how many people in the world have intensely car-associated memories of listening to the "Graceland" album -- I know it was one of the few tapes we listened to repeatedly in my family's station wagon, and I have a friend whose family listened exclusively to "Graceland" in the car during the two years his parents were in the Peace Corps in Yemen. He still remembers every single lyric and every transition, and I myself have a relationship with the album that I can't at all separate from memories of childhood car trips. Someone should do a study.

Oh, and this version's pretty great.

Posted by Liz at January 12, 2007 2:51 PM

I saw Casiotone just two days ago and, per someone's request, he played this song (and its b-side), introducing it as "a song [he had] no business playing." It was great, and I've been meaning to track down a digital copy. Luckily, I checked saidthegramophone.

Timed very well, Dan, thanks.

Posted by Maciej at January 12, 2007 6:26 PM

Wow. Good tunes, thanks for sharing.

Posted by Dustin Senos at January 13, 2007 1:49 PM

liz, graceland was THE cassette to play when in the minivan for almost a decade.

Posted by dan edmunds at January 14, 2007 1:20 PM

Ohh I most definitely do, Liz, and suspect that we're not alone. It was the first album I can remember really loving, and I used to make my dad play the tape in his car over and over and over and over. Almost twenty years later, I can rip the meanest karaoke version of "You Can Call Me Al" that you will ever see.

Posted by Andy at January 14, 2007 4:09 PM

goodness, these car comments are so eerie to me, I guess I never even thought about it, but it's SO TRUE. Car pools, station wagons, and specifically in my memory VOLVO station wagons with those hard head rests.

ps. I prefer the grizzly bear cover.

Posted by mylordy at January 15, 2007 9:40 AM

casiotone is amazing! Good choice! Great blog.

Posted by Phil at January 16, 2007 7:37 PM

I have very similar memories associated with Graceland. I'm glad you were able to bring them back to the surface of my mind.

Posted by James at January 17, 2007 11:12 PM

My underprivileged(at least musically) childhood haunts me again. I never heard Graceland nor all the hoopla(well deserved) about it until I was introduced to it by an ex who like the rest of you listened to it as a young lass. If i remember right she wore it out the tape three times.

Thanks for this though. This is a great song and it makes me remember my ex both for the song and the covering artist.

Posted by Peck at January 22, 2007 2:05 AM

Ahhh, yes the Graceland album was a big road trip favorite for my family as well. Another biggy for my dad that I suspect wasn't quite as popular was Bob Seger's Nine Tonight Live album. I can still feel the rush of air over my hand out the window when I hear songs off either of those albums. The Casiotone version is fun. Obviously lacking in the intense energy and polyrhythms of the original, but yet it does have a certain honesty that I like.

Posted by Jeff Straw at January 23, 2007 2:33 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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