You've Got the Perfect Disguise and You're Looking Okay

As far as a lot of people are concerned, The Moon and Antarctica is the ultimate in Modest Mouse. I'm not entirely sure I agree (I'm a Lonesome Crowded West man myself), but there's no denying that it's a great record. It's mighty hard to argue with a song like "The Stars are Projectors." But that's not what that post is about, mostly because I can't find a version of it I feel comfortable posting.

However, I do have a pretty clean version of one of the record's other great songs, the opener, "3rd Planet". This was done for KVRX, the student station at UT-Austin. One time I went scavenging in their archives and found all sorts of great stuff; this MM set was one of the highlights. Can't quite figure the date, but I would guess 2000-ish. It's not quite on par with the album version but it's a) legal and b) still pretty good. You should buy the album anyway. Enjoy.

Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet (live on KVRX)


And Now That I'm in Your Shadow

I have heard good things about Damien Jurado for a long time, but for some reason, I never really made much of an effort to check out his music until recently. I had no idea what I was missing. Simply put, Jurado is a great songwriter with a unique voice and a range of stylistic abilities. Probably my favorite record of his of the ones I've heard to date is 2006's And Now That I'm in Your Shadow, available on Secretly Canadian.

The record is mostly acoustic, with singer-songwriter, folk, and traces of country influences. Here is the title track, a slow, brooding number of the sort that regular readers of this blog will know I tend to favor.

Damien Jurado - And Now That I'm in Your Shadow

Jurado was just on tour in Europe, and has no further dates scheduled for the time being. I'm hoping for some east coast dates at some point, as I'd like to check out his live show myself.


YouTube Roundup II

This was supposed to be a regular feature, but then I got lazy.

First up, King Crimson circa 1982 on The Old Grey Whistle Test:

Next, the ever-awesome Ted Leo rocking an acoustic "Me and Mia", which is a fantastic song even stripped to its barest elements:

And, much like last time, a video shot live at the Current, which is even better than the one I posted last time around. Low, performing "Murderer". The live version is much better than the studio version (and I like the studio version).


I Know There's Pain Inside that Truth

From about 13-17 years old, Our Lady Peace were one of my favorite bands. Those of you only familiar with their output over the last five plus years might wonder why I wouldn't keep that to myself. However, prior to guitarist Mike Turner's departure during the recording of Bob Rock-produced pop atrocity Gravity, they were one of the most innovative bands in mainstream rock.

Consider "Clumsy", their first single to receive significant US radio play, (at least as best as I can remember). Stylistically, it's not that far removed from a lot of post-grunge pop-rock. However, it certainly has some weird touches. The spooky piano intro and somewhat violent lyrics, for instance. And it's a great, great song.

Or consider "Happiness is Not a Fish that You Can Catch", their followup, when they really came into their own. The nearly atonal guitar solo on "One Many Army", the pop breakout hit "Is Anybody Home?" (strangely enough), drumming by late jazz legend Elvin Jones on "Stealing Babies." Great songs, all.

In fact, they were good up through Gravity. Even that had some good songs, despite the lame Bob "Black Album" Rock (over)production. But that was certainly the beginning of the end.

Anyway, here is a drastically different alternate live take on "Julia", from their first record, Naveed. I've had this for years, and I don't think it's super well circulated, but it's definitely worth a listen.

Our Lady Peace - Naveed (alternate live version)