Monday, January 26, 2009

This field of tears won't yield me a penny...

I've been listening to the songs that will be on the Dark Was The Night compilation, which comes out in February and benefits the Red Hot Organization, and a song a day will be streaming from their MySpace page between now and then.* (Is there any reason to be on MySpace anymore besides streaming music and taking that first step towards not being able to live within 10 blocks of an elementary school?) I think I'm most looking forward to Sharon Jones' cover of "Inspiration Information." And while I'm looking forward to picking this up, I tend to associate their compilations with those of my youth, which all seemed to involve Madonna remixes and Cole Porter covers, which always depressed the hell out of me.

Today's entry: The Decemberists. How long is the song, you ask? Seven minutes! Oh my. The Decemberists long winded? Color me shocked. I'll go on record: I'm not a Decemberists fan. They are... well, pick one: twee, pretentious, overwrought, smug. I mean, you can only get away with singing so many songs about the sea (oh, the cruel sea and how it separates the sea-faring from those who love them on the shores of shipping towns!) and girls in tattered dresses singing cockles. And even stuff that doesn't involve that - e.g., "Valerie Plame" - is usually bogged down by a sound of someone very impressed with themselves. That being said, "16 Military Wives" is a gem.

This song, though, commits the worst sin of all and goes nowhere. Did I mention it was 7 minutes long? That's a long way to go for nothing. But: banjo!

*I'm sure some more of the tracks are floating around on the internet; while they only stream for a day, I'm sure some enterprising soul found a way around that. I'm not sure how it's done, but if I had to guess, it would involve holding a tape machine up to the computer speakers. I'm just stuck on how to get it from tape to computer, but I leave that to the nerds and scientists.


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