Friday, August 28, 2009

the one you really want doesn't mind

Daniel Johnston - Is As Always Is (out Oct. 6) I think this is much better than are most of his collaborative records; ace session guy/producer Jason Falkner's production on it is sympathetic to the songs rather than trying to be transformative, opening up the sweet power-pop ditty or the psychedelic atom blast that lurks within. As it played, I kept thinking I wish this is what the Eels would sound like: unabashedly wistful, ready to immediately "go there" but reigned in sonically. Maybe they should work together; E definitely has an affinity for DJ's skewed viewpoint and a mutual understanding of the effects of limitation.

The best synopsis of Daniel Johnston I've ever heard came from my daughter who once asked "Can we listen to that old man that sings like a teenager?"

More info about this and Daniel Johnston at

Daniel Johnston - "Freedom"

The Reigning Sound - Love and Curses (listen) The gruff and wobbly rasp of the guy from the Reigning Sounds resembles that of Daniel Johnston a bit, probably more than he likes, but it works. If you are walking the unpaved trail of love that I think the Reigning Sound generally does, sounding confident and cool is a farce; the chicks can see right through it and the one you really want doesn't mind if your voice shakes a little in her presence. Even if you strut like Thin Lizzy while you talk to her.

The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come (out Oct. 6) This is turning out to be an excellent day for teenage love being viewed through the lenses of ecstatic idiosyncratic singers. And all the songs are named for Bible verses, which for whatever reason, strikes me as a stroke of genius.

The Mountain Goats - "Genesis 3:23"

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