Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2 x 2

Color Green - Sibylle Baier

Tonight - Sibylle Baier
Softly - Sibylle Baier

Originally recorded between 1970 and 1973, Sibylle Baier's Colour Green (US, UK) is one of my favorite albums of 2006 so far. The German singer-songwriter put aside music to raise a family and the album's long-lost collection of songs sound like they were recorded in those stolen moments between children's naps and household chores. They memorialize, much like a Dutch genre painting, mundane domestic details--knitting, loafs of bread, cats on the knee--offering the objects of everyday life as a snapshot of a specific home and a microcosm of a larger world. The reel-to-reel tape recording is primitive, but also the perfect instrument to capture Baier's candid voice, one that communicates, as she herself names it, a "February mood."

You Tore Me Down - Yo La Tengo
You Tore Me Down - Flamin' Groovies

I don't much like Yo La Tengo. They're all head. And I'm a heart n' guts n' balls kind of music lover. (Let the hate mail writing commence!) Except, except ... for Fakebook (US, UK), a dotty, off-the-cuff collection of covers and b-sides that manages to find the humor the band usually buries under layers of earnest self-importance. Highlights include YLT's versions of Daniel Johnston's "Speeding Motorcycle," (which always makes me think of Stuart Little on his miniature bike), Cat Steven's "Here Comes My Baby" and the Flamin' Groovies "You Tore Me Down." YLT doesn't outrock the San Francisco garage giants and wisely, they don't try. Instead they perform Down like a slowly unravelling relationship, a ragged male/female duet that nudges the regret and bittersweetness to the fore.

Also, I want to call your attention to a fundraiser the blog Donewaiting is doing in support of Pet Promise, an animal rescue group. I've done a lot of volunteer work in support of rescue groups and no-kill shelters and can't stress enough how vital these kinds of organizations are to reducing the suffering and unnecessary destruction of companion animals. So consider making a donation to the Donewaiting team. And if you're thinking about adopting a pet, please check your local shelters and rescue groups before buying a pet from a pet store or breeder!


Anonymous Peecat said...

No argument here. Yo La Tengo leaves me cold.

4:56 AM  

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