September Paste Magazine/CD
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint's musical collaboration is one of the cover stories this month. Their album, The River In Reverse, came out in June, and it would seem a bit late for Paste to take notice of it but for their other main cover story, a one-year-after-Katrina report titled "Can New Orleans Music Survive?"
Paste's sampler CD contains music by several Louisiana artists, as well as several songs with at least a bit of twang (some with much more).
Some artists with tracks on the CD (and some others) are featured in interviews in the mag, enabling you to learn nuggets of info such as:
M. Ward thinks, "The idea of making records is a weird thing because you're haunted by the idea that it's only going to last for three months. The goal for me is to create something that's going to last longer than myself."
Bruce Cockburn finds it "a tricky thing to balance orchestral sounds against the balance of a pop song or a folk song. Either the strings take over, or they sound like sweetener. For it to make sense, you have to nail it." On his decision to use strings on "This Is Baghdad" on his latest album Life Short Call Now: "I'm sure there will be people out there who will think, 'God, why did he put those strings in there,' but I think we did nail it."
Edie Brickell attributes the artistic problems with her band's second album to her being "suddenly very aware people were listening", which she says led to "self-conscious" writing.
Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, asked to name the "best and worst things" about having a large band ("up to seventeen band members and collaborators" at the time Damaged was recorded), names one more "con" than "pro". (Either that or Paste just wanted a list of 5, and the 5th "pro" was too racy/boring/slanderous/short/confusing/filled with spellcheck-confounding words like "funeriffic")
Also interviewed in this issue: P.F. Sloan, The Roots, Headlights, My Brightest Diamond, Birdmonster, The Detholz!, Los Lobos, Mars Volta, and Ray LaMontagne. (The last three interviews are each at least a page long; the others are pretty brief)
Along with reviews of music, books, games, and films, there are articles aplenty. A few of the topics: Cirque du Soleil's latest show, Love (it's Beatles-themed), the making of a documentary about the Mardi Gras Indians, a bar in Granada, Nicaragua, and filmmaker Jean Rouch and how we've arguably learned to make visual mediums like film and video powerful in many ways "but we're still figuring out how to use them to build bridges".
Also, Brazillian Girls' Sabina Sciubba supplies a list of "current favorite songs... with only non-English lyrics" in response to a Paste "task". On her list: Suzy Delair's "Danse Avec Moi", from the movie Quai des Orfêvres. She calls "the nost luscious invitation to a dance ever sung."Juana Molina gets the top spot, though, with "Desordenado". "It's homemade, unique and talks about disorder and chaos - our everyday reality."
Paste September CD Track Listing:
1. The Rewinds - Ghostriders
2. Irma Thomas - Another Man Done Gone
3. The Weepies - Gotta Have You (available on Say I Am You) Twang-pop - cute or cutesy? You be the judge.
4. Frog Holler - One Last Time (available on Haywire) Alt-country? Rock? There's at least a bit of twang in here, and it's definitely not jazz. Whatever you dub it, it's a bit angsty, has some fun guitar riffs, and it's catchy.
5. Old Crow Medicine Show - My Good Gal
6. Amy Millan - Baby I (the Stars singer has followed in Jenny Lewis' footsteps and made a country album. I wish neither one had done so)
7. Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - Tears, Tears, & More Tears (available on The River In Reverse) Rollicking, nifty, Lee Dorsey cover
8. Buckwheat Zydeco - I'm Gonna Love You Anyway
9. My Brightest Diamond - Golden Star
10. Detholz! - IMA Believer
11. Linda Ronstadt & Ann Savoy - Adieu False Heart (available on Adieu False Heart). Bluegrass, Cajun-style, featuring strong singing that still sounds delicate and sad.
12. Ollabelle - Fall Back
13. M. Ward - Chinese Translation
14. Barenaked Ladies - Home (available on Barenaked Ladies Are Me) Truly horrible album title, but it's a pretty good song. This is the Barenaked Ladies in serious-not-silly mode.
15. Dr. John - I Ain't No Johnny Mercer
16. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Light Up Ya Lighter
17. Brindley Brothers - Rise Above (available on Filled With Fire) Hook-laden alt-country tune, heavy on the country... hey, are those hand claps? Excellent.
18. Beth Orton - Shopping Trolley
19. Vienna Teng - Whatever You Want
20. Greg Graffin - Talk About Suffering (Featuring Jolie Holland)