Thursday iPodomancy (aka Random Rules):
1. The Mekons – “Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet” (Mekons Rock & Roll) . The message: U2 are self-important twits. This song is from 1989, mind you.
2. Richard Youngs – “Once It Was Autumn” (The Naive Shaman). Youngs, who I pursued after he backed Jandek on the latter’s English live dates, makes abstract bass-oriented electronica with vocal lines inspired by Brit-folk. Sometimes it demands a bit too much attention, but sometimes it’s right on.
3. Low – “Alone” (Long Division). Stark, beautiful mope rock.
4. Califone – “One” (Quicksand/Cradlesnakes). A short sound collage from the indiefolk-blues band.
5. The Carter Family – “Wildwood Flower (1935 version)” (Carter Family Vol 2: 1935-1941). More lovely than their earlier (1928?) version, but still haunted and bare.
6. Stuff Smith – “The Red Jumps” (Time and Again). Swing/blues violinist equal in inventiveness to the great Stephane Grapelli.
7. The Kinks – “Apeman” (Lola Versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round). This is the third time the iPod has played this song in as many days. Think it’s trying to tell me something?
8. The Dexateens – “Coal Mine Lung” (Red Dirt Rising). The best thing they’ve done so far, this song takes their Skynyrd-meets-Stooges aesthetic and adds electric piano and a pitch-perfect coda (the point at which the song goes from good to great) that would make grown men weep. It’s no wonder that Patterson Hood wanted to work with them after hearing this.
9. Mitty Collier – “I Had a Talk With My Man” (Chess Soul – A Decade of Chicago’s Finest). Killer stuff, so great I thought Dan Penn had written it.
10. Dolly Parton/Porter Wagoner – “If You Go, I’ll Follow You” (The Essential Porter and Dolly). Harmonies as pure as a mountain creek with sugary countrypolitan backing. Pushed by Dolly’s great delivery, Porter’s voice was at his most emotional. You can hear him just fucking go for it when she turns the lead over to him.