Hey, There’s a Bird in This Mirror!

Diversion Enthusiast Society, est. 2007

Posts Tagged ‘Jason Isbell

Music Marathon 2009 Part 7 (Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – A.C. Newman)

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Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – s/t
And here’s the final Drive-By Truckers entry this year (and that’s not even counting the decent-sounding Booker T. collaboration they released, that I listened to and never got around to picking up, and Live from Austin, TX, which I haven’t heard yet).  One of my chief complaints about ex-DBT singer-songwriter Jason Isbell’s first solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, is that the backing sounded a little tentative and under-rehearsed in the same way that the backing sounds tentative and under-rehearsed on Patterson Hood’s solo album this year.  The good news:  Isbell now has a road-tested band of able musicians backing him up.  The bad:  the songs still aren’t anywhere near as good as his DBT contributions. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

January 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Music Marathon 2007, Part 9 (Iron and Wine – Kings of Leon)

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Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog

The Shepherd’s Dog presents an interesting argument in terms of immediacy – how long should it take for an album to register? On first listen, I dismissed this album for whatever reason and didn’t take give it a second chance until months later, at which time, the melodies started to stick and it started to make sense. Now, many listens later, I’m still not quite sure what to make of it, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that it’s very good on some level. Iron and Wine clicks with me the most on their Calexico collaborations, both on In the Reigns and on the excellent cover of “Dark Eyes” on the I’m Not There soundtrack. The Shepherd’s Dog is an obvious offshoot of that partnership, with Calexico’s Joey Burns contributing and the music departing from Iron and Wine’s spare “a guy, his beard, and his guitar” early releases. Yet, it’s denser still than anything Calexico’s ever released with sitar-like guitar effects and a swirling, atmospheric sound. This density is precisely what keeps it from being as immediate as The Creek Drank the Cradle or even the Calexico collaborations and the more band-centric Woman King EP. The layers of sound betray the tunefulness (and there are some seriously great melodies here, like on “White Tooth Man,” “Boy with a Coin,” and the oddly “Rock On”-like “Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog),” but it’s worth the multiple listens to make sense of it. I think. I feel like I’m only about halfway there on most of the songs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 17, 2007 at 6:18 pm