Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tried to Hide My Fear

Artist: Charlie Brown

Album: Up From Georgia

Song: "Ain't Gonna Stay"

Consider this galloping Charlie Brown rocker the soundtrack to a deleted scene from an early '70s Burt Reynolds movie. Something like White Lightning, where Gator McKlusky careens through dirt back roads in a souped-up sedan. Mason jars full of precious moonshine clink in wooden crates while plumes of dust burst in the air. The local fuzzdastards allfollow in hot pursuit, but ol' Gator can only look over his shoulder and grin, wiping the afternoon sweat from his tanned brow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's Come Over Me?

Artists: 1910 Fruitgum Co.

Album: 1, 2, 3 Red Light

Song: "Blue Eyes & Orange Skies"

Somebody put acid in the bubblegum.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Our Souls Must Grow Light

Artists: Akshooyooliak & Lou Gossett

Movie: The White Dawn

Song: "Untitled Chant"

Netflix has been great for exploring the dustier corners of the Warren Oates filmography. After watching the engaging Arctic drama The White Dawn, with its engrossing exploration of Inuit culture, I took to the Internet in search of the Henry Mancini-composed soundtrack. Some quick research revealed that a complete LP was never issued, and only a few scraps from the poignant score have found their way to various Mancini releases. Yet the most affecting musical moment was provided not by Mancini but one of the actors, an old medicine lady named Akshooyooliak. Her song simmers with a spectrum of emotions: sadness, hope, desperation, and resolve.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

She Holds Her Lantern High

Artists: Patchwork

Album: Patchwork

Song: "Mountain Lady"

I've been finding most of the songs for Corduroy Mountain tucked away as deep cuts on forgotten (or never-known) 99¢ albums. There has been a specific quality to these songs that I hadn't been able to define until I read the new Bill Simmons NBA book. The Sports Guy is a master of developing homemade classifications and concepts such as "foxhole guys" and "stocks." In a moment of inspiration, I found the word that describes an excellent song stuck amongst lesser tunes: "stopability."

So there's a backhanded complement here. But as a record listener, that is what makes the hunt so exciting. The chance to discover greatness, to hear a song that requires you to stop reading a magazine or eating a chocolate donut and pay attention to the music. To go from multitasking to just taskinglistening to a song in rapture or disbelief. (Maybe you even swivel your noggin as the LP spins in an attempt to read the song title rather than checking the sleeve. Or is that just me?)

Stopability is a great and rare presence. "Mountain Lady" by Patchwork? That song has supreme stopability.