I’ve been hit with the dreaded cold. Not enough to keep me away from work, radio, gigs or hard liquor but enough to keep my pockets stuffed with tissues and enough to keep me sneezing through the night. It’s true I’m probably in need of some rest, rejuvenation and top-quality pharmaceuticals. But in the absence of all three possibilities at this second in time, I’ll happily dose up on meds of the musical variety. How convenient then that ‘Codeine’ is the new single from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit!
If you were listening to In The Pines tonight you will have heard me give ‘Codeine’ a big wrap. And I won’t hesitate to write it down and thereby put it on the record, it’s my pick for the best song of 2011 thus far. Not only because I love the quality of Isbell’s voice (the half-rasp, the mix of hurt and tenderness, the subtle way the word ‘hate’ is sung sad rather than angry) but also because the lyrics are damn fine.
‘If there’s one thing I can’t stand / It’s this bar and this cover band/ Trying to fake their way through ‘Castles Made of Sand’/ Well that’s one I can’t stand’
‘If there’s two things that I hate/ It’s having to cook and trying to date/ And busting ass all day to play hurry up and wait/ That’s a few things that I hate’
The single is from the upcoming album Here We Rest and is currently available as a free download from Lightning Rod Records. Or you can have a listen here:
Other highlights from tonight’s program included a live performance from Sydney songwriter Bryan Estepa, who is launching his third record at the Annandale Hotel on Thursday night.
Bryan played ‘First Impressions’ from the album and also gave us a tear-jerking cover of the Danny Whitten classic ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’.
And I also played new music from Baltimore’s Wye Oak, The Low Anthem and gave y’all a taste of the J. Mascis’ solo debut, Several Shades Of Why.
Good times, not so classic hits.