I was gutted to hear that Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – aka Owen Ashworth was breaking up – or whatever solo acts do when they stop. I have headed out to see Owen twice, but each time I was lured to another show. Bugger. He is a lofi legend. It’s festival time week here in Auckland, and apparently Paul Kelly is going through his enormous repertoire alphabetically. I like his style. There was also a death I heard about this week, Charlie Louvin, the great country and gospel voice has gone upstairs. These random events lead me to think about the songs where it’s a guy / gal and their guitar and hence the troubadours mix. Paul Kelly missed out in the end. Great songs, but they are just so familiar I don’t want to hear them again.
1) I Was The One She Came For (Jonathan Richman) It’s been a long time since I heard any tunes by JR. I downloaded 2 of his recent albums after reading some reviews. He is still singing odd songs, but perhaps more grounded. The interweb gossip is that he is still playing regularly and recently married the manager of a bar he sings at. Makes sense. 2) Random Rules (Silver Jews) Love this guy. He stopped making music to do something more serious. Something about getting back at his Dad. Our loss. 3) Evelyn McHale (Parenthetical Girls) 4) This Is The Early Game (Castanets) Haunting tune by Mr Raymond Raposa of Portland Oregan. A friendly freak folker. 5) 1983 Pelle & Sebastian) (Pelle Carlberg) Swedish but eerily familiar to me. He could be singing about growing up in Invercargill. Small town Sweden circa 1983 and Invercargill? 6) The fairest of the seasons (Nico) 7) A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (Phosphorescent) AKA Matthew Houck. Folkie surfer dude. 8) kanske ar jag kar i dig (Jens Lekman) Yep – another Swede. My favourite part is the brass at the end. The world needs more brass (and gamalans) 9) Waiting Around to Die (Townes Van Zandt) Since picking up his collected works I have been listening to the late great Mr Van Zandt. He redefines the word sad, but in an uplifting way 10) New Year’s Kiss (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) 11) Glory B (Castanets) 12) I Don’t Want to Get Over You (Magnetic Fields) Love the voice. 13) Catch 21 (Poitier) No guitars to speak of, but its got the vibe. 14) Traveling Salesman’s Young Wife Home Alone On Christmas (Casiotone For the Painfully Alone) 15) never trust a man with a guitar (Wingnut Dishwashers Union) 16) I’m getting back into getting back into you (Silver Jews) 17) Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel (Townes Van Zandt) What the fuck is he singing about – and do we care? 18) Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild (Jonathan Richman) 19) Systematic Death (Jeffrey Lewis) Antifolk – whatever that means. Did his English thesis on Watchmen. 20) Fault Lines (The Mountain Goats) More lofi goodness, and another artist that made the effort to come to Auckland and I didn’t go see. 21) Long Vermont Roads (The Magnetic Fields) 22) Fri/End (Thurston Moore) Sonic Youth lite. 23) At The Bottom Of Everything (Bright Eyes) Life affirming moments on a plane from Connor Oberst et al. 24) Just Rehearsing (Charlie Louvin,) Goodbye Charlie.