Sunday Morning Coming Down

Morning all.

A quadruple header for you this morning.

A year or so ago, I went to see Evan Dando, he of Lemonheads fame, play at Union Chapel in Islington, probably one of my favourite venues, and which I mentioned in my recent post about Supergrass and Billy Bragg.

Dando’s set comprised of the usual mix of Lemonheads classics, stuff from his solo album, and a whole load of covers of Country songs, which I decided to track down.

This was one of them:

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John Prine – Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness

I came away from the gig with a strange feeling relating to that song. I didn’t think I’d heard it before, and didn’t think I knew anything else by Prine, yet there was something familiar about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

A little internet research told me that Nanci Griffith had done quite a famous cover of it:

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Nanci Griffith – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Nope, that wasn’t it.

A sweep of YouTube revealed an awful lot of people had recorded cover versions of varying quality. Pick of the bunch is this, not because it’s a particularly good version (it really isn’t), but because of the performer’s decision to apparently perform it minus clothes:

He’s really feeling it by the end of that, isn’t he? The song, I mean.

Just be grateful he doesn’t take a bow at the end.

Once the general sense of nausea had passed, a little more digging found this cover version, by a band most famous for providing the theme tune to The Sopranos, and a band my brother is always banging on about how great they are. Warning, they’ve authenticated their Brixton roots by adding a bit of effing and jeffing:

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Alabama 3 – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Nope, not that either. Although, that would seem to be an example of Country trip hop, not a genre I even knew existed. Maybe I should pay attention to my brother a bit more often.

Anyway, eventually I gave up trying to work out what was bugging me about the song. I concluded I’d definitely not heard it before, and was pretty sure I didn’t know anything else by John Prine. I figured it was just one of those songs that seems familiar the first time you hear it, even though you’ve never heard it before.

And then, a few months later, I had a Eureka! moment, when this came on my iPod:

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Kris Kristofferson – Jesus Was a Capricorn (Owed to John Prine)

And there it was: KK had been subtly trying to nudge me in the direction of Prine for years, and I hadn’t picked up on it.

By the way, when I say KK, I mean Kris Kristofferson, of course, and not former footballing journeyman and BBC pundit Kevin Kilbane.

More soon.

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Late Night Stargazing

Sometimes, it takes a gentle nudge to get me to listen to something for the first time. Or some serendipitous event, like a free CD being given away with a newspaper (remember when that used to happen? One that wasn’t by Prince, I mean).

Such was the case with me and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

See, I remembered Nick Cave from my brother’s record collection, from his days with the Birthday Party and the early days with The Bad Seeds, when I’d given them a listen and just not got them. And since then, I’d steered clear.

Then one day, and to be specific one Saturday (and I know that because it was the only day I ever bought it), I picked up a copy of The Guardian, to find a free CD by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds included in the cellophane bag that housed the colour supplement.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I thought and I popped it into my trusty stereo.

And I couldn’t quite believe what came out of my speakers.

This:

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms

I’m not sure there’s a better opening to a song than:

“I don’t believe in an interventionist God,

But I know darlin’ that you do,

But if I did I would kneel down and ask him

Not to intervene when it came to you.”

I also don’t think there’s a finer song to listen to whilst staring at the night sky and just…thinking. Which makes “Into My Arms” just perfect for this thread.

Enjoy.

More soon.