Not Where You Expect It, But Somewhere Else
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.


Paul Duncan - "In A Way"

Here is the sequence of events that led me to write this:

I was sitting in my chair, at my desk, petting my cat (Bruno the Berber "purr-purr" kitty) contemplating what kind of song I felt like writing about. I picked up a guitar and played a simple part that reminded me of Tortoise: a hammer-on on the low E string, a big, meaty slide on the A string, a strange time signature. Then I opened my email and found this song.

I knew that I would post it as soon as I heard the wide-open drum overture yield to the guitars. I liked the way they paced back and forth. I thought that I shouldn't deny the cosmic significance of the fact that "In a Way" sounds like the Chicago post-rock Tortoise pioneered. When I discovered that it was in 10/8 time I burned the only extant copy of my novel. It was a masterpiece. I realize the inapproriateness of my reaction, but such is my insouciance in the face of 10/8 time.

At 0:53 there is a short build to a small crescendo - the kind that Tortoise was (is?) fond of and that brought me so much joy as a teenager. Impeccably arranged; a violin, a rhodes and a guitar playing at being a mandolin bring the song to a conclusion. [Buy/Info]


Fred Neil with Gram Parsons - "You Don't Miss Your Water"

Fred Neil and Gram Parsons sing about not knowing what you got til it's gone. Despite the abrasive blues-style, big bend acoustic guitar playing in the left channel, and the low mix of Parsons's voice, this still emerges as a simple, felt and trenchant song of regret. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at September 21, 2005 12:10 PM

yay!!! paul duncan is GREAT! i played a show with him once and he's a good friend. he deserves WAY more attention.

Posted by ed at September 21, 2005 3:10 PM

At the point of this recording, GP was the sideman on the piano, and secondarily (?) a vocal harmony contributor, hence the low mix. Guitars at this session I think were Bruce Langhorn and Steven Stills. I dunno, what do you think--was Neil even playing twelve string on this?

Posted by J at September 21, 2005 4:27 PM

Thanks for the Paul Duncan track; it reminds me more of Rex or Pullman than Tortoise, but same difference, I suppose...

Posted by Craig D. at September 21, 2005 7:29 PM

If you like old blues, visit my blog. Blues history in croatian, but some mp3 too.
Bye, blueser!

Posted by blueser at September 21, 2005 8:22 PM

Wow. "In A Way" is a really interesting song - and not only is it interesting, it is (most importantly) really pleasing to listen to.

Took me a little while to count the beat properly, but it was quite satisfying once I got it. Do I sense an upcoming theme of songs with strange time signatures? (Broken Social Scene's "7/4")

"In A Way" is one of the best songs that you guys have posted, I think. Thanks.

Posted by Sam at September 22, 2005 2:18 AM

This Fred Neil/Graham Parsons song is great. Parsons is a big hole in my musical knowledge (but, hell, if you were to map my musical knowledge it would look like a slice of Swiss cheese).

Posted by Tuwa at September 23, 2005 1:58 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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about the authors
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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