making owls cool since 1986

We moved to Arizona to see burrow owls. Where the hell are all the burrow owls?

Friday, October 13, 2006

alone with the owls howling pain, pain, pain


I try not to talk about music too much on the "Owls" blog, but I can't stop myself anymore. Erin and I have been finding lots of amazing new music lately and I have to write about it.

First, I just bought both the new Magnolia Electric Co. CD, Fading Trails and the new solo LP from Magnolia's frontman, Jason Molina, entitled Let me go, Let me go, Let me go.


While the Magnolia Electric Co. is good, it's Molina's new album that I'm really pumped about. Since he stopped doing Songs:Ohia, which was a solo project with occasional players assisting, and started the Magnolia Electric Co., a full band, Molina's music has been increasingly heading toward something...well...good, but safe. The first Magnolia Electric Co. CD was amazing and one of my favorite albums of all times (check out Farewell Trasmission, the first song on the first Magnolia Electric Co CD here), but with each following Magnolia Electric Co. release the music has become a little less remarkable.

Until now. Let me go, Let me go, Let me go follows in the tradition of Songs:Ohia and Molina's earlier solo albums, Protection Spells and Pyramid Electric Co. While I love both those albums, Let me go, Let me go, Let me go is even more accessible. Molina's voice, while often compared to Neil Young, is incredibly haunting and more complex than his classic-rock forerunner and on the new CD it goes right through me. I love this CD. While Alone with the Owls is my favorite song on the CD (the title of this post is a line from that song) Get out Get out Get out is the only free MP3 Secretly Canadian (the label) put online.

Erin's persistance spurred our next big recent musical discovery. Erin listens to the Worcester station on the radio and she kept hearing this song she liked a lot, but they never gave the name. She remembered a line and we searched the Internet until we found it and I am really glad we did.

The song was called Let the Sun Shine Down on Me by Jean Ritchie. Ritchie has been throughout her life instrumental in folk music, performing in the early 60's with Doc Watson and making a name for herself as one of the premier dulcimer players in the country. We were eventually able to get our hands on the CD with that song on it. It was a limited edition release that was discontinued. The entire disc is amazing.

Like Jason Molina, Jean Ritchie has a voice that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Unlike Molina, it doesn't take any getting used to - it's beautiful. Her songs are traditional American folksongs. Ritchie was born and grew up in Kentucky Cumberland region and the songs reflect this somewhat, but they are much more American and universal than esoteric.

Oddly enough, right after we discovered Jean Ritchie, we saw a documentary on Alan Lomax who did field recordings of folk songs for the Smithsonian Institute and she was featured in it.


Closer to home, Erin and I went to Shelburne Falls in western Mass to see Sarah & Dig's brother John's art opening and listen to him play his songs at Mocha Maya's. John is a killer artist and very nice photographer, which we knew, but I was also really impressed by his songs and what a great voice he has. The two things that stood out the most to me about John's set was, A) he's a terrific storyteller and that really adds a lot to the music and B) he included booklets with the set list and lyrics so you could follow along. That was an awesome idea. John is working on a CD and when it is available we will post how to get it.


In other news, we're still really excited about getting married. What adds to the excitement is that Veau and Emily and Katie are coming! Yaya! Also, Kev and Jen will be home in December, just in time for my birthday! Yay!

I'll leave you with some picture I took in around around the Blackstone Canal park and Stanley Woolen Mill in Uxbridge. I guess place almost collapsed or something the day after I was there.

So long.

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2 Comments:

Blogger BillyPru said...

nice review...it's funny, i was just looking at the magnolia electric company website last night.

1:09 PM  
Blogger richardsons said...

hey guys!!
I love seeing the pictures you are taking!! It makes me miss home because you all look bundled up for fall and although its nice that its warm here, fall is my favorite season, and i miss it. I love the picture of the craving in the tree, i can see the fall leaves in the background.
-jen

4:40 PM  

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