Johnny Cash

I wondered what to title this post for the better part of this morning.  I thought of adding something like “My Long Obsession” to the title, or some other such pale attempt to capture grandeur, but in the end I opted with just posting his name.  Johnny Cash.  If you count yourself a lover of all things music then this is one name that needs no subtitle (even if you do love his moniker The Man in Black) or introduction.  Johnny Cash was an extremely prolific songwriter and performer and he deserves a listen on this hot July afternoon.

Recently I’ve been cleaning out a load of boxes that have long stored relics from my past.  In one such box I found a journal, rather a diary of sorts, that I was required to keep for a university course on renewable energy sources and the environmental issues interwoven throughout our modern society.  I read through some of my old work (got an A in the class if you must know) and found that throughout this old journal, written for a class about natural resources and the like, I often wrote about music.  How I got an A I’ll never know, but it was interesting to discover this old journal, this old blog of sorts, that existed long before the spark of TWF ignited within my brain.

So here’s some tracks I love by Mr. Cash and below is the short journal entry that I turned in, for a grade, years ago during my undergrad days.  (Note: I’m no longer referring to the track Hurt as a NIN Cover because in my mind Johnny now owns the track.  Yes it might have been written by Trent and originally recorded by him, but it now and forever shall be a Johnny Cash song.)

mp3 : Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around
mp3 : Johnny Cash – Hurt

The below text is taken from a class journal in 2003.

You wouldn’t know it from a quick survey of the type of music I own but I am a huge, and growing more so with every passing song, fan of the late Johnny Cash.  I’m listening to his sprawling post-mortem masterwork 5 CD compilation and it is amazing.  To label this man as a country musician, in my mind, is a mistake; he should simply be put on the shelf labeled “Legend,” but that’s another issue altogether.

Cash was recording these songs all the way up until the week he passed away.  He was passionate about what he did and it shows in the purity of his work.  I think it is this passion, this clarity, that we all long for.  No one wants to get into a career, a job, in which all they think about is getting to retirement.  We all want to be Johnny Cash in a sense.  To touch people, to change and inspire the world, to work so hard at something we do that when we pass on that passion, that love, lives on and is apparent even though we have gone.

+ Johnny Cash @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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Vetiver – Tight Knit

I’ve been listening all night to the latest album by Vetiver which is a breezy trip through slow down modern American indie folk.  I know that sounds like a mouthful of adjectives, but that is really what this album is.  Think of Vetiver as an even more chilled out version of Kings of Convenience that sometimes plays with Devendra Banhart.  So yes, to answer your question, they are the quintessential band to relax to late at night after watching movies and television with the boys (or ladies).

mp3 : Vetiver – Everyday

Everyday is possibly the most upbeat and catchy track of this album, Tight Knit (amazon) (itunes), which was released in February by Sub Pop.  The remainder of the album is filled with songs that make you want to curl up on a hammock somewhere and watch the wind blow through the grass.

+ Vetiver @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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Knatterjack covers MGMT

That’s right, no picture.  Why?  Because I honestly can’t find a single thing about this band/person/musician.  I don’t even know who or what Knatterjack is.  Deal with it.

What I do know is that I finally got my internet working, my laptop has been delivered in the mail, and this is the very first song that I’m choosing to post after my long and protracted summer hiatus.  Rejoice ye minions and immediately proceed to downloading the following bliss filled track.

Oh, and if anyone has any information as to what or whom Knatterjack is please kindly leave a comment.

mp3 : Knatterjack – Time to Pretend (MGMT Cover)

+ We Are Scientists @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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TWF is Boring, I Know, But Here’s Why

My posts will be hit or miss the next few weeks here on TWF.  This is partially because I’m busy, but more importantly my 8 year old laptop struggles mightily to run the programs that allow me to post.  Hopefully by the end of June or early July I will have a new laptop in hand that can handle all that i need to continue making TWF a place to discover new music.

And just for those who are interested I currently use a Sony Vaio laptop that was bought in 2001. Yes, that’s right, 2001.  Which means the laptop and the technology inside of it are almost a decade old.  As I type this reply i have to pause after every two or three words because it takes that long for each letter to appear on screen after I’ve hit a key. {Just launching Firefox on this laptop takes around 52 seconds on average… trust me, when it takes that long, you have nothing better to do than time it and find the average}.  It’s rocking a Pentium 700Mhz processor {which is roughly 1/5 as powerful as present day mobile phone processors} and I’ve maxed it out with a glorious 512MB of RAM.  Oh, I also have only about 1GB free of hard drive space to spare which makes it almost impossible to download new music, rip CDs to mp3, or do anything else that facilitates listening to new artists or new albums.

Basically my current computer setup {flavored slightly by the amount of free time i have} has made it not enjoyable to post about music here.  In fact it’s quite literally a pain.

For awhile I was using an extra computer at work to post {this accounted for the quick flurry of posts in April and May}, but this opportunity is now not available {yes, I am still employed, but now I’ve become busier than ever with work and I’ve taken over the website here and, well, life in general seems to be moving fast}.

Long story short I’ll post as much as I can when I can.  Thanks for being patient with me…

Biz Markie – Just a Friend

I’ve been listening to some internet radio lately and I’ve one again stumbled upon this gem of a track that was first released in the glorious 1989.  Yes, my friends, this track was released a full twenty years ago.  But it’s still great.  The story and advice still ring with truth and the chorus, well, the chorus is brilliant and requires everyone in the vicinity to sing along.  To sing along loud.

mp3 : Biz Markie – Just a Friend

The track hails from Biz’s second album, The Biz Never Sleeps (amazon).  It’s also the one song that Biz apparently is still in love with as he performed it every night while opening for Chris Rock in 2007 and 2008.

+ Biz Markie @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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We Are Scientists cover Sigur Ros

I havent’ had a chance to really fall in love with We Are Scientists but this cover they did just might work at changing my mind {and heart}.  According to my sources this track hails back a long ways, but seeing as how I just discovered it this week I thought the least I could do was throw it up for everyone to enjoy.  It’s not quite as, well, impressive as the original, but it just might be the best cover of a Sigur Ros song to date.  Actually, and this is a direct challenge, has anyone actually heard any other band cover Sigur Ros?  Ever?

mp3 : We Are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros Cover)

It’s a simple acoustic rendition of an amazing song.  And while it never quite reaches the heights of a true Sigur Ros masterpiece it’s nice to hear a band really give it a go.

+ We Are Scientists @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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The Mountain Goats – This Year

My relationship with The Mountain Goats is in direct parallel to the type of images I upload onto my blog here.  You see my procedure for processing these images which accompany every post seems to go in streaks.  For a month or so at a time I’ll run the same set of tweaking the levels, increasing contrast, and essentially over saturating the colors.  Then I’ll look at a new picture and realize I hate that process and instead I switch to desaturating and washing out all the colors for the following month or so before I completely reverse my position and go back to my old method.  And that’s how I feel about The Mountain Goats.  For awhile they’re great, then I hate them, then I love them again.

Recently I’ve been in love with one song of theirs in particular.  This Year is the perfect anthem for, well, this year which we are all currently toiling through.  With the repeated line “I am gonna make it / through this year / if it kills me” it just seems to fit this melancholic mood the world has settled into.

mp3 : The Mountain Goats – This Year
mp3 : The Mountain Goats – This Year (Live)

For those that care about the integrity of full albums, the intent of the artist to create a moving piece of art that drifts from track to track, or whatever other excuse you use when your friends urge you to only play the best singles on an album {a request I’m sure you vehemently deny} the original track appears on the album The Sunset Tree (amazon) (itunes).  We will make it through this year; even if it kills us.

+ The Mountain Goats @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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Cloud Cult remixed by Man is Doomed

If you’ve been a regular around here for the past two plus years you’ve no doubt that I have a deep love for the kids who make up Cloud Cult.  I also believe they’re one of the most under appreciated bands of all time.  I mean honestly, their last two albums were out of this world brilliant, they care about the environment, drive a bio-diesel bus, genuinely love their fans, and do some amazing paintings on stage during every live show.  So it’s great today when I opened my inbox to see that Man is Doomed decided to remix their track Take Your Medicine.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine (Man is Doomed Remix)

For those of you whom are curious the original track can be found on their 2007 album The Meaning of 8 (amazon) (itunes).

+ Cloud Cult @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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The Joy Formidable – A Balloon Called Moaning

I first wrote about The Joy Formidable about 14 full months ago and back then I had nothing but words of praise for their clever indie rock sound.  And although my words of praise haven’t change, at all, I would like to change the bands I think they sound like.  At fist I thought they were a bit like The Dodos mashed up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but now I must drop those parallels and say that their full length debut reminds me a lot of a now defunct band The Anniversary.  And that is a good thing.

mp3 : The Joy Formidable – While The Flies
mp3 : The Joy Formidable – Whirring

There’s not much else for me to say other than that the entire album is solid from start to finish.  I’ve been so addicted to it that I’ve probably listened to A Balloon Called Moaning at least fifteen times all the way through in the last week alone.  Give em a listen, and if you’re in the Kilburn area of London then make sure you hit up the nightclub that they operate called Club Joie De Vivre.

+ The Joy Formidable @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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Weezer covers MGMT and Lady Gaga

The other day my brother passed along a link to a youtube video in which Weezer plays a live cover song of both Kids by MGMT and Pokerface by Lady Gaga.  I’m not entirely sure how the two songs fit together {both ideologically and musically}, but in some way Weezer makes it work.  And through some clever use of the internet {thanks google} I ripped the video, extracted the audio, and now you’re presented with a delicious mp3 for your consumption.

mp3 : Weezer – Kids and Pokerface (MGMT and Lady Gaga Cover)

Enjoy the track and have a good week.

+ Weezer @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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