Songs That Stick To Your Ribs: Vol. 1

Some songs come and go – sweet pleasures, but fleeting ones.

Others, they linger, wearing a groove in heart and brain that runs down the intersection of comforting and challenging.

These are some of those songs.

Off My Mind, Ryan Ross: It’s the plucked string at the beginning, I think. The insistent whang whang whang that reaches out to hook your attention just before the other guitars muscle in, rumbling and grumbling and trying to start a fight. And then about half-way through they settle down and start hammering out a quasi-hypnotic rhythm. I both do and do not want to know what the words are supposed to be; I’m curious, but also suspect context might ruin it.

If You’re in New York, The Grahams: I have more to say about Riverman’s Daughter, their most recent (and most amazing) record, but this is one of the songs I have been listening to obsessively. I have danced to this on subway platforms from Harlem to Brooklyn, and hummed along everywhere from the center of a swirl of autumn leaves on Central Park West to a rapidly thickening blanket of snow on 1st … Continue reading

Field Assembly: Narco


Narco is the second record from Field Assembly, aka L. Adam Fox (Ten Year Drought), with assistance from Dean Drouillard (Sarah Harmer, Royal Wood, Matt Barber) Colin Huebert (Siskiyou), Joshua Van Tassel (David Myles, Selena Martin), and Bryden Baird (Feist).

It is a fever dream of a record, written by and for the sleep deprived. It is delicate, lush and sweeping and also embodies the quasi-hallucinatory quasi-permanent state of what day is today and what am I doing? common to the overstimulated and overtired.

And it is glorious.

This is Receiver, the first song. Here are the lyrics – which arrive first over minimalist strumming and then repeat as the song swells and expands – that caused me to say, “okay, I’m in”: Throw your arms around the obscenity / slip your tongue into the lions mouth / pray he don’t taste your blood / pray he taste wine.

I thought it was pray he taste mine for quite some time, which might have made it twice as weird, I guess, but anyway, … Continue reading