"Our music should contain multitudes as well," writes Leesa Cross Smith in an essay about Sturgill Simpson in the Oxford American's 2017 music issue. The annual issue returns to its state-by-state look at some notable music (last year's focus was a departure from that usual format with Visions of the Blues). For 2017, here are the notes on the songs from the 19th Southern Music Issue CD featuring Kentucky. [more inside]
"To coincide with his new book, “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy,” Will Oldham is again releasing a new batch of his own oldies — a six-song EP called “Now Here’s My Plan,” made up of fresh versions of songs from the Prince Billy catalog. Among the recordings is an impossibly upbeat rendition of “I See a Darkness,” the beautifully bleak song off his 1999 album of the same name that was later covered by Johnny Cash." The video for the new version, shot in Glasgow Scotland, is now posted on the New York Times website. [more inside]
Telerama Concerts Privé, recorded live in Paris: Wilco - Bonnie Prince Billy - The Shins - Jonathan Wilson
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
eMusic has a collection of more than 50 artists reflecting on love songs, from Andreya Triana (Coldplay's "Yellow" reminds of her first love and heartbreak), to Yuki Chikudate (from Asobi Seksu) (Debbie Gibson's "Lost in Your Eyes" brings back the innocent early-elementary school crushes), and Dan Deacon (who heard Yo La Tengo's "Shadows" after a sucky breakup). All songs mentioned are linked below the break. [more inside]
DayTrotter is a music site I'd never heard of before today. I haven't explored all of their free mp3 offerings yet, but this 4-song set of Bonnie "Prince" Billy tracks is lovely. Three of the tracks are from the Strange Form of Life EP and the fourth, to my knowledge, is previously unreleased. If you want the missing track, emusic (my via) sells it.
"I am your favorite horse." No More Workhorse Blues dir. Harmony Korine