April 18, 2005

"If you wait another day, then I will wait a day." - Palace Songs.

We took in a thoroughly satisfying performance by Bonnie "Prince" Billy (a.k.a. Will Oldham, who is something of a cousin of our homie TMH) and Matt Sweeney (the dood from Chavez, right?) at the MFA, which is two shows into its current and obviously named Indie Rock at the MFA music series. Anyway, Oldham and Sweeney have collaborated for a new record called Superwolf, on which apparently Sweeney wrote music to go with Oldham's lyrics. Based on what we saw and heard last night, we estimate the record must be pretty damn good, and we look forward to acquiring it. The songs cover Oldham's typical lyrical territory of relationships, religion, nature and even some seafaring. But we were particularly pleased that the songs really rocked, not necessarily guitar-heavy but definitely a more aggressive rock sound than we have heard from Oldham since the stellar Viva Last Blues. Sweeney handled the lion's share of the guitar duties and his textural playing was a very pleasing new element for Oldham's work.

Some observations on Oldham live. We hadn't seen him play for about eight years, and we shudder slightly to recall the last performance during which he was rocking some serious Daisy Dukes (think Tobias from Arrested Development) and had started to show the lack of hair he still enjoys today. But anyway, Oldham is the rare performer that seems seriously afflicted by his music. This is different from the more commonplace performer who seems just afflicted by indulgence, you know, like that guy from the Libertines or any other addict-type. Last night Oldham contorted, half-jigged, pelvic thrusted, dug his hands into the back of his trousers, tossed his head back and often was too in the zone to even play the exquisite guitar slung around his neck (a gorgeous instrument with f-holes and a scrolled headstock, very similar in appearance to McCartney's trademark bass). Anyway, we haven't seen a performer manifesting so much in the way of outward madness for quite a long time. Jesus Lizard's David Yow comes to mind. And that show was probably 11 years ago.

We haven't really kept up with Oldham releases since 1997 or so. Seems we have a lot of catching up to do. Here is a site with very thorough discographical information. The site also has pictures from the current tour, check it out.


Elsewhere: MP3 blog Blank Generation is no longer, long live its successor GetLevitation.

Bradley's Almanac
points us to a Swirlies site we never knew about, which apparently rotates rare Swirlies MP3s. Right now there are live cuts from 1995 for Zip file download. Sounds like there is a whole lot of dead air included in the set, as it is from a WBCN broadcast. Perhaps we can edit that out. Though it is very fitting, since we saw the Swirlies three times back in the day and have yet to see them ever actually get through a set smoothly. Anyway, there are good versions of "Bell" and "Sunn."

Today's mail brought CD versions of Pest 5000's Interabang! and Supreme Dicks' Emotional Plague, thus enabling us to ditch two more cassettes. Thanks Bster!

That is all.

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