Listed: Devendra Banhart + M. Ward
21 year-old Devendra Banhart is by his own account an itinerant squatter, settled in New York following various sojourns in Texas, Venezuela, California, and France. His debut album, Oh Me Oh My... is easily one of the most unique and remarkable recordings of the year: a four-track recorded guitar and falsetto romp through an imaginative universe inhabited by ticks, olives, boats, pumpkin seeds, and teeth... lots of teeth. Oh Me Oh My... is released on Michael Gira's Young God label and has drawn rave reviews. You can also be on the lookout for Banhart on the forthcoming Angels of Light record, where he offers background vocals and kindly serves as the Angels' "gnomish mascot".
There's more but here's my top ten. Enjoy:
1. Ella Jenkins - You Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song (Folkways) - It's the shit -- amazing -- Ella Jenkins taught kids folk songs. It's her on guitar and the kids singing with her: "This train, is bound for glory, children sing along!"
2. The Angels of Light - Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home (Young God) - This is Michaels Gira's newest beast (ha!) It's amazing, like underwater baby epics, or not underwater but womb-fluid (or pockets of womb fluid from various but still psychically connected wombs) put to music. Beautiful!
3. Vetiver - demo - This is a demo from a band that's just starting out from San Francisco called Vetiver. I bought the cd after playing with them in SF. It's guitar and singing and cello and the songwriting is so goddamn true it's gonna make everyone's souls cum golden cum. The core behind this amazing music is Andy Cabic (ex Raymond Brake, Simple Machines) singing, playing guitar, and writing the music, and Alissa Anderson (Mitten Maker) on the cello. You can listen to it on vetiverse.com.
4. Entrance - untitled (Tiger Style, release date march 4) - Entrance is a one man gospelarian gospelization lightning field. Tigerstyle is releasing this amazing record of folk blues. He does Skip James, and Bobby Dylan in the most righteous and respectfull way ive ever heard. He's got a 7" coming out soon with Papa M. (blowingmymind!!!!!!!!!!!!)
5. Diane Cluck - Macy's Day Bird (self released) - This record is by my favorite singer-songwriter in all of New York City. I'm so happy to be alive at the same time she is cause i get to see her perform. It's her and guitar or her and piano or her and harmonium. Her lyrics are so good, when i play this for people they stop doing everything and are quiet for hours after.
6. Corner Tour - The Come On Over (Out of Round) - The last show this band played was to a synchronized swimming ballet by mentally disabled teenagers. They are the sound of utter precious worn in beauty, accordion, guitar, banjo, trumpet. I really don't know how to describe how amazing this record is. Hard to find, goddamn shame! it was put out by Out of Round records.
7. Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day (Spinney) - All I can say about this is that it's one of the greatest records of all time. ISWEARTOALLDIVINEBABYJESUS!!!!! Out on Spinney (Ryko aff) made in the late sixties. String arrangements by Roger Kirby (Nick Drake). In two years people will realize she's still here and shit their souls with golden joy. THISISWEAR!
8. Judy Henske - High Flying Bird or Greatest Hits (Elektra) - I'm not sure what the title is, but one of the two. "Buckeye Jim" is the song. Her voice is the strongest instrument of all times. This was recently reissued and THANKGOD!YES! Thats all. Simply, this is sooo bone-rattling in a very true way. I know bone rattling is a funny thing to say, but really, that's where thisfuckingthing hits. Really, i swear.
9. Patty Waters - I don\'t have the record on me and I'm at a friend's computer, but all she put out is the shit. She is the psychedelic Nina Simone.!!!!!!!!.
M. Ward spent much of the 1990s in the band Rodriguez. At a Giant Sand show in 1999 he slipped G.S. main grain Howe Gelb a copy of the demo for his solo album. Gelb liked the demo, eventually named Duet For Guitars #2, so much that he released it on his own Ow Om records. The album disappeared quickly, and M. Ward's new album, End of Amnesia was released by Future Farmer Records. It features much of the same eerie-dreary folk that made Duet so hauntingly effective. A new M. Ward album is due in January of 2003.
Here's what I'm hearing right now:
1. Louis Armstrong - Butter & Eggman (Rhino)
2. Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom / San Quentin (Columbia) - Two prisons on one CD!!!!
3. Christopher Parkening - Transcriptions for guitar
4. Vincent Gallo - So Sad (Warp)
5. Samuel Barber - "Adagio"
6. Grandaddy - Windfall Varietal (self-released) - This cd takes me back to when i was about 24. I remember sitting in cold parking lots in San Luis Obispo, California and not wanting to leave the car until this tape was over. I thought i lost his old tapes and then when i got this cd, it brought back all the goodness. I love the song about the bats.
7. Ry Cooder - Paris, Texas (Warner)
8. Django Reinhardt - Accords Parfaits
9. Victoria Williams - Sings Some Ol' Songs (Dualtone)
10. John Fahey - Dance of Death (Takoma)
By Dusted Magazine