Sunday, October 15, 2006


Podcast: Cover Me Up

Enoch takes on other people's songs:

Heartbeats (written by The Knife)
Some Things Last a Long Time (written by Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair)
Catch (written by Robert Smith)
Two Doors Down (written by Dwight Yoakam)

Friday, September 29, 2006


Books: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I'll be a son of a gun. Cormac snuck one in on me. I had no idea this was coming out. After last years No Country for Old Men, I figured it would be years before another one. But, I do recall reading an interview last year where he said that he had 3-4 books that were in the latter stages of being finished. So, here we have one. It came out Tuesday

Postapocolyptic? Sounds cool to me. I picked up a copy today at lunch. Can't wait to start it tonight.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Music Recommendation: Jose Gonzalez

Hey, I have to share with y'all the amazing concert experience we had this weekend. Last Friday, I didn't know Jose Gonzalez from Adam. Amy scored tix to a show and a demo CD through her work. Lucky for us, this shit has blown me away.

Ok, this dude's parents are Argentinian, but he is born and raised and still lives in Sweden. I would swear that he is the reincarnation of Nick Drake, except that he has a bit of Latin flair in his guitar playing, which is nylon stringed, mostly fingerpicking. I'm totally in love with the guy.

I found these two sets available online. One from the wonderful rbally, which I've been pimping; the other from, which has a wonderful archive of live, in-studio performances. You should browse this archive while you're at it. Anyhoo, check this dude out. I listen to a lot of people who are basically just "rock musicians", "folk singers", etc and that's ok. But, this guy is an "artist".

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Movie Recommendation

I see a lot of movies but I don't think I've really recommended any specific ones on the blog before (unless, of course, you count my top 200 as recommendations). But, A and I saw a movie on DVD this past weekend that I wanted to throw out there becuase I'm afraid that no one will see it except for word of mouth. So here's my word of mouth.

Please rent Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. It's written by and stars Albert Brooks. It was HILARIOUS and really smart. Anyhoo, I thought it was a great, poignant, endearing comedy that didn't get a whole lot of ink and may not have even played in your neck of the woods (I'm looking at you Kingsport). Pick it up, let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Music Blog

Everybody needs to check this site out. It's incredible.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Marr and Mouse

Wow, this is interesting. Johnny Marr is now a member of Modest Mouse.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006



Paste Magazine put out a Top 100 list of living songwriters in their latest issue. You can see the list online here:

So, naturally, it inspired me to make my own list. Assumptions: (a) I left mine open to those living or long gone on (b) I knew I didn't want to include too many bands. I think great songwriting means that one person could get up in front of a room full of people with an acoustic guitar, no accompaniment, and still have the crowd completely mesmerized for an hour or two (c) that said, I included two bands, REM and U2. First, I think they are arguably the two greatest bands of my generation. Second, I think they have incredible songwriting chemistry within the group, as though they were one songwriter in 3 or 4 bodies. Third, I think good songwriting can be taken out of context and still work. For example, I love the bands Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse, but I don't consider them great songwriters because if their songs were taken out of context then they wouldn't still be great songs at heart. (d) I started by ranking these but decided to leave numbers off because I just couldn't stand the quibbling. So, you have a list, roughly in order from best to not as good, but no numbers. (e) I'm embarassingly poorly versed in a bunch of people that probably belong on here like Springsteen, Costello, Bowie, Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, Haggard, to name a few. Sorry. Here goes...

-Townes Van Zandt - Okay, this one was easy. He's hands down my favorite songwriter ever. He's got a huge catalog and very, very little of it sucks. In fact, I can't think of one song that he has written that I just can't listen to. Okay, one just came to mind called 'Talkin Karate Blues'. He's not that great at the talkin blues numbers. But otherwise, everything else is phenomenal. His "hits" were 'Pancho and Lefty' recorded by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and 'If I Needed You' recorded by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams. But this just barely scrapes the surface. He believed that a song had to start as a poem on the page first, and it shows in his lyrics. Check out the lyrics to 'To Live Is To Fly'.
-Will Oldham - Aka Palace, Palace Music, Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. I got hooked after hearing two songs - 'Ohio River Boat Song' and 'You Will Miss Me When I Burn'. Another VERY prolific songwriter who rarely does anything that isn't fantastic. I really don't understand why everyone who has ever written about the alt-country genre mentions Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown but you never hear about Will Oldham who's been around just as long and is SERIOUSLY alt country. This is the guy who, for me personally, opened me up to the more country, folksy songwriting world. And I'm sure he's done the same for countless others out there who love him.
-Ryan Adams - Again, very prolific. Although, he's got some stinkers out there. Still, I really respect his eclecticism. He can morph into so many genres and still write impeccably crafted tunes. Try 'La Cienega Just Smiled' or 'Come Pick Me Up'. Going to see him tonight at the Bijou Theatre. YAYY!!!
-A.P. Carter - So many classic songs are attributed to AP Carter of the famous Carter Family. He traveled far and wide to find the old melodies and songs and ballads that were passed down orally and were still being sung in the southern Appalachians. Thank God for AP Carter and his work.
-Gillian Welch - Try 'Everything is Free' or 'One More Dollar'
-Bob Dylan
-Morrissey (The Smiths) - Most of The Smiths songs are attributed to Morrissey/Marr but since Morrissey has gone on to do good solo work and Johnny Marr (as much as I love his guitar work) has dropped off the map, I'm gonna give most of the credit to Moz.
-Neil Young
-Woody Guthrie - Everyone today wants to be Bob Dylan. Well, Bob Dylan wanted to be Woody Guthrie.
-Hank Williams - My personal favorite is 'So Lonesome I Could Cry'
-Johnny Cash
-Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers)
-Lucinda Williams - Possibly the sexiest voice ever
-Steve Earle
-Jay Farrar - Jeff Tweedy secretly wishes he could write songs as well as Jay
-Elliot Smith - I have a theory that if you're the type that would stab yourself to death and you know how to play guitar, that most likely some good songs will come out of you at some point. I'm not advocating stabbing yourself in order to become a great songwriter, I'm just saying that the sentiment probably correlates with creating great art.
-Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) - This guy gets the benefit of the doubt based solely on one album, From the Aeroplane Over the Sea. It's that good of an album.
-Robert Earl Keen - Do yourself a favor and go see one of this guy's shows. Good times are had by all. Try 'The Road Goes on Forever' or 'Gringo Honeymoon'
-The main dude from Belle and Sebastian
-John Hartford - 'Gentle On My Mind' and 'Work in Tall Buildings'
-Kurt Cobain - Not a big Nirvana fan, but this guy could write a song.
-Lou Reed
-Gram Parsons - This guy has so many good songs, especially when you consider that he OD'ed (I think) at the age of 26 (I think). Try 'Hickory Wind' and 'A Song For You'
-The main dude from Yo La Tengo
-Scott Miller - Knoxville's own. But, believe me, this songwriter can hang with the big boys on this list. I'm not just being a homer on this one.
-Dwight Yoakam - Try 'Two Doors Down'
-Jeff Tweedy
-Black Francis - Aka Charles Thompson, Frank Black, the Pixies frontman
-The main dude from the Decemberists - The lyrics on the Picaresque album are unbelievable. If this guy is not on MFA I'll kiss your ass.
-John Prine - Try 'Speed of the Sound of Loneliness' or 'Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore'
-Willie Nelson
-Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) - A little melodramatic for my taste, but he's got an uncanny ability to turn complex lyrics into rich and interesting vocal melodies.
-Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
-Guy Clark - Try 'L.A. Freeway' or 'Dublin Blues', which has one of my favorite lines ever: "I have seen the David, seen the Mona Lisa too, and I have heard Doc Watson play Colombus Stockade Blues"
-Nick Drake - Try 'Pink Moon', aka 'The Song in that Volkswagon Commercial'
-Kathleen Edwards
-Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers, Archers of Loaf)
-Lou Barlow
-Stephen Malkmus (Pavement) - I haven't heard any of his solo work that has really impressed me, but others like it.
-Loretta Lynn
-J Mascis - Ok, I'm sort of stretching here. J is one of my guitar heroes and he writes a pretty decent song, but...
-Damien Jurado - I've heard just barely enough of this guy to know I like his style and he's got some songwriting chops. He's lo-fi, sort of like The Mountain Goats, but I like him a lot better.
-Slaid Cleaves - If you make a name for yourself as a songwriter in Austin then you are doing something right.
-Paul Simon
-Aimee Mann
-Chan Marshall (Cat Power)

I'd like to include two people based solely on one song each:
-Kris Kristofferson - 'Sunday Morning Coming Down'
-Jackson Browne - 'Late for the Sky'

I'd also like to include two local (Johnson City) songwriting hereos of mine:
Martha Scanlon - Reeltime Travelers, now solo. Try 'Hallelujah' or 'Little Bird of Heaven'. She's won the Merlefest songwriting competition for 'Hallelujah'
Sam Quinn/Jill Andrews - The Everybodyfields. Sam also won the Merlefest songwriting competition for 'Damn the TVA'. Also, try 'Good to Be Home'

Okay, that's what I could come up with off the top of my head. Who am I missing?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?