In the Distance, Oblivious Playlist
Eleven Musical Distractions

 

 


December 2021
Sunset Moon

 

 

 

 

Notes (Quotes from song lyrics):

  1. "So Mama, won't you come down? Hey Mama, won't you come down? To the river, to wait, to be"

    We've brought you Amelia Meath before as one third of Mountain Man, but here's she's back as the singer and lyricist of Sylvan Esso. Come Down in the Bandvan.

  2. "Every time I hear how you never want to live a lie, how it's gone too far, and you don't have to tell me why"

    Joan As Police Woman is the solo effort of veteran musician Joan Wasser. Here she covers the well-known Leiber/Stoller classic. Here's a nice interview about her life and music.

  3. "I will wait until it all goes 'round with you in sight, the lost are found"

    We've always tried to feature really good covers on this playlist. We've brought you covers that were not just a unique take (like the above), but maybe sometimes even a better version than the original. Sometimes even the definitive version of a particular song.

    I've always loved The Band, and Richard Manuel's voice in particular has always haunted me. "Whispering Pines" is a beautiful and thoughtful song, but among The Band's impressive catalog, their version is maybe not my favorite song of theirs. But this cover... it's not just the definitive version of this song... this might be the best cover song I've ever heard. Boz and Lucinda take a good song and take it somewhere far deeper and more magical than I'd even imagined, even for this wonderful song. Go read this great article (where both Williams and Scaggs appear to be equally obsessed with Manuel?), in which Boz talks a bit about definitiveness. Jeez, I love this song!

  4. "I feel absolutely nothin', the words are out of ink"

    Somebody is having a bad day.

  5. "You know the cost of providence is hard currency, but there's someplace I'm supposed to be"

    Bry Webb is a singer/songwriter from Canada. He was also the lead vocalist for the indie rock band Constantines, who are also very much worth checking out, if for no other reason than they sometimes played Neil Young cover sets under the name Horsey Craze.

  6. "Indelicate angels who whisper their secrets, loud as a gun, and beautiful strangers who live in their jewelry, dying for love, I wish you could meet them in all of their glory, I know then you'd see"

    Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus make up the duo Department of Eagles. Though "You're Crossing a River" was recorded first by Nicolaus' solo project Golden Suits, I like Rossen's version a lot more.

  7. "I know that the world is mean, I know it don't care, I been around, I seen it, it's like a pretty girl who don't even know, I guess everybody here is traveling alone"

    Tift Merritt is a gem. You should listen to her more. She also gives me an excuse to link to Andrew Bird's Live From The Great Room series.

  8. "I want to live where the traffic controllers are ballet dancers, and billboards painted over with colors; Where unkindness is fined in numbers of roses"

    Apparently not regular party size.

  9. "Many's the time when love seemed so fine, and many's the hour it was so sweet, how did it get so sour?"

    We're so happy to bring Ted Lucas to you. Ted studied with Ravi Shankar, was Motown's "Indian instrument" session man, recorded his only album in his attic, and died of unspecified causes almost 30 years ago. His music deserves wider praise.

  10. "Said, I run to the rock, Hey, Lord, time draws nigh"

    Sam Amidon sounds like Dave Van Ronk on this track. Here's a sweet live version of this song, and a 2010 PopMatters article about Sam.

  11. "There is a town in north Ontario, dream comfort memory to spare, and in my mind I still need a place to go, all my changes were there"

    Angie McMahon is the best thing I've found since we started this playlist, and she's back this month with her fourth appearance. This CSNY classic is one the first songs I heard her do. Her originals are amazing, her covers every bit as much. The live version of this is great partly just to hear Angie and her band, partly for her sweet and goofy stage presence, and partly to see how Australian audiences shut the fuck up when the musicians start singing.

 

 


For your listening pleasure, there's also a giant list with all the songs from all 18 months. Check out the ItD,O All Time Playlist.


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