Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fearful symmetry

Image: Amy Rice

The Kiss [Live] - Judee Sill

Before it was freighted with hard, bad luck, with the truths and myths about its maker "The Kiss" was just a song. A song I wrote seven days, eight days ago, Judee Sill confides to this 1972 BBC studio audience. Her voice has a shiver of stagefright jitter. Or maybe she's just so thrilled to offer this shy gift (like a first kiss) because she knows it's something special, but also fears it's not. It is. And it feels incredible to be in its newborn presence -- its soft pink skin, its reaching limbs, its unfocused eyes, its tremble, its wonder. Its promise.

From Live in London: The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Amazon, eMusic)

Timeless Melody [Live] - The La's

By the time The La's recorded "Timeless Melody" during the band's fourth BBC session in 1990, it was an old song
(I have five earlier live and studio versions on my hard drive) and the band was on the brink of bitter, exhausted collapse. And yet perhaps
because it's born of experience, born of a drear and grey despair, it's probably the song's best iteration. Oh, its harmonies are still glorious and Lee Mavers still yearns like all he's ever wanted was to write the perfect pop song. But its rhythm is a nervous jagged jog and voices bump one another with some intent to bruise. If you're unfamiliar with The La's you may not realize that this is broken glass compared with the pellucid textures of the band's self-titled debut.

From BBC in Session (Amazon)


Daytrotter has a session with Horse Feathers, including a gorgeous new song "Father of Failure." Words are Dead was one of my favorite albums of last year, and if you haven't already picked it up I strongly encourage you to do so.

This is what I got for communing with nature last weekend.


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