Tag Archives: Bon Iver

Unpacking the Pines: May 24, 2011

Soon, soon, very soon FBi Radio will have the ability to stream content ‘on demand’. For listeners, it’s an exciting development because it means that if you miss an episode of In The Pines you will be able to stream it at your leisure whenever you get the yearning for some americana/alt-country/folk/sadcore goodness. For broadcasters, it’s exciting too because it means that what once used to disappear into the airwaves gets to live on. That makes it a little bit terrifying too. Mistakes on demand! Flirtations with guests on demand! Accidental swearing on demand! The joys of live radio. What the hell, I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime however, if you missed the show all I can offer up is the playlist and a re-cap of some of the highlights. So without further ado….

A LITTLE BIT OF BOB

Bob Dylan’s milestone 70th birthday was all over print, online and radio this week and Pines was no different. I started the show with ‘I Threw It All Away’, later played ‘One Of Us Must Know’ (Sooner Or Later) and also shared Micah P. Hinson’s version of ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ from his excellent covers album All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers. Cat Power’s bittersweet hymn to her hero, ‘Song To Bobby’ rounded out the birthday celebrations. After the show, I managed to muster a few thoughts on Dylan for the blog, so if you’re interested you can check it out here.

A LITTLE BIT OF BON IVER

For those who have exhausted all possible plays of 2008’s beautiful For Emma, Forever Ago and it’s all too brief follow-up Blood Bank , there is much joy to be had in the knowledge that a new release from Justin Vernon is just around the corner. Due for release on June 20, early reports suggest the sophomore effort Bon Iver, Bon Iver is an extension of the first album but with sporadic bursts of electronic experimentation. I played the first single ‘Calgary’ on the show this week and also directed listeners towards this recent appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in the US.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Justin Vernon’s voice… But his marriage of early 90’s Bonnie Raitt with Leon Russell’s ‘A Song For You’ doesn’t leave me aching for more and I kind of wish he’d performed one of his own songs. Why does it disappoint me so? In unabridged versions of the Russell classic, there’s a line Listen to the melody/ ‘Cause my love is in their hiding . I must have marvelled over its simple beauty a thousand times. To my ears, Vernon hides nothing. Check out this Willie Nelson video here if you’re interested something more subtle.

And if you want to hear Bon Iver doing what Bon Iver do best, you can download ‘Calgary’ here.

A LITTLE MORE MARISSA, A LITTLE LESS BILL

I’m a big believer that almost every song could be improved with a little more twang. As such, I’m pleased to say that the ethereal voiced Boston-based folk singer Marissa Nadler has taken that route with her latest single ‘The Sun Always Reminds Me Of You’. The demo version of the song has been doing the rounds for about six months but with her self-titled album due for release next month, we now have the legit version, complete with loads of pedal steel.

And to round things up, a promise I’m bound to regret…

I would be the first to admit that become a bit of a broken record with my on-air adoration of Bill Callahan in recent months, so on Tuesday I committed to taking a break from playing tunes from his latest release Apocalypse for at least a little while. If you haven’t gone out bought the album yet, I will no longer urge you to do so. I will save my adjectives and adorations for other artists and other LPs. But as I’m heaping praise on other tunes, I’m sure if you listen closely, in the silent seconds you will hear something like “It’s good but it’s not ‘Riding For The Feeling’.”

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Starting February with style: Fleet Foxes, Wanda Jackson, Double Denim

NEW MUSIC: Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, Lia Ices

After a few reasonably quiet weeks on the new release front (we always ease into the new year) I had a couple o’ gems to share on tonight’s show. First up, bearded baroque pop dreamboats Fleet Foxes have kindly posted the first single from their upcoming sophomore record online. It’s called ‘Helplessness Blues’ and features trademark heartbreaker harmonies. The song also hints that there may be a little more gusto on the new album. How so? Well, let’s put it this way: I heard CSNY overload in their debut, but there are definitely elements of Simon & Garfunkel on this track. Time will tell. You can download ‘Helplessness Blues’ here.

The new Bright Eyes record – The People’s Key – was leaked online this week in addition to being streamed by the good people at NPR. If the track I scrambled to download for tonight’s show ‘Ladder Song’ is anything to go by, Conor Oberst needs to change the name of the band to Bleak Eyes. Talk about sadcore. Very nice though if really depressing music is your thing. I love it.

And finally, though this album isn’t strictly new to In The Pines since I featured a song from it on last week’s show, it’s worth a mention all the same: Lia Ice’s Grown Unknown. Lia writes abstract folk pop songs in the style of Joanna Newsom and Marissa Nadler. Tonight we heard ‘Lilac’ and last week we heard ‘Daphne’ which features guest vocalist extraordinaire Justin Vernon (Bon Iver).

FASHIONS ON THE FIELD: Jonny Corndawg

This week New York magazine took the liberty of featuring one of my favourite looks in the fashion pages: double denim. One of the ‘models’ was country singer Jonny Corndawg. He makes stuff out of leather, writes comedy country and you guessed it, rocks double denim. Tonight I played his song ‘Oversteppin’, a soon-to-be classic that covers that age-old teenage/country theme: coveting a friend’s mother.

Jonny Corndawg – Oversteppin’

YODEL YOUR WAY INTO MY ACHIN’ HEART: Wanda Jackson

Not content with introducing young rock and roll audiences to Loretta Lynn by producing her excellent 2004 release Van Lear Rose, Jack White has stepped into the studio with another almost forgotten legend once more. This time around he’s recorded with the First Lady Of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson. The aptly titled album The Party Ain’t Over features re-workings of some of Wanda’s classics including ‘Shakin’ All Over’ and ‘Nervous Breakdown’, as well as a fabulous version of Jimmie Roger’s ‘Blue Yodel #6’ which I played on Pines tonight.

Here she is strutting her stuff on Conan:

And here she is strutting her stuff in 1958:

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