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Friday, November 28, 2014 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Warren Zevon
recording
The Wind
Artemis
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You are going to die.

Not just in the abstract sense, like the fat guy wearing the T-shirt that says, "Life sucks then you die." Not in some midlife crisis kind of way, like the Botox-brained bozo screaming at his mistress on the cellphone all the way to East Hampton, who has no clue that the T-shirt he is wearing ("The one who dies with the most toys wins") is God's little bit of whimsy at his expense.

On August 28, 2002, the singer/songwriter Warren Zevon got the word that he had a terminal lung cancer, and had maybe three months to live. Which reminds me of Henny Youngman's second oldest joke (right after "Take my wife...please.") It is, of course, about the man who goes to the doctor. Doctor tells him he's got six months to live. "Doctor," the man says, "I don't have enough money to pay the bill." So the doctor says, "All right, I'll give you another six months."

Warren Zevon died Monday, Sept. 8, a year and 10 days after getting the fatal diagnosis. Though privately he may have had a few "poor poor pitiful me" moments, Zevon's public face was brave beyond compare. He did what any great artist would do with the time: Gather kindred spirits, his musical peers, friends and admirers, and kick the music up a notch for a final fanfare. His final album, The Wind, was completed against the wind, reflective but not without the occasional smirk, a sturdy reminder of why Warren will be missed.

"Dirty Life and Times" strikes exactly the right tone of rueful defiance, Zevon sounding a little like Billy Joe Shaver, the Texas musician who knows more than a little about life's downs and ups. Don Henley on drums, Ry Cooder on guitar, and Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam on background vocals underscore the Southwest freight-hopping feel; Zevon's voice sounds parched by dusty roads.

The wonderfully raucous "Disorder in the House," written with gifted compadre Jorge Calderon, features more sterling support from Jim Keltner on drums and a feller named Springsteen on electric guitar and vocals. The hallucinatory lyrics contain vivid images of "zombies on the lawn staggering around," but also, perhaps, commingle the personal and the political: "The big guns have spoken/ And we've fallen for the ruse" could well be about what is turning out to be the bad gag in Baghdad.

The Wind also has some ballads that are even more poignantly affecting now than they were a few days ago, like the finale "Keep Me in Your Heart," in which the transition between life and death seems to be recorded in real time. ("Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath"). "Please Stay" would be maudlin in anyone else's hands: When Zevon sings, "Will you stay with me to the end," he touches on the raw fear of mortality that the rest of us get to keep repressed most of the time.

And you've got to love "Numb As a Statue," in which, perhaps fortified by morphine, he sings somewhat sardonically, "I'm pale as a ghost." Zevonesque humor as wry as it gets.

You might think "Knocking on Heaven's Door" an obvious choice. One of the guitarists from the large cast is Tommy Shaw. No doubt they were friends or acquaintances, but was Warren enjoying a little cosmic joke featuring on 12-string a guy from Styx on a song about heaven? Anyway, this is the most authentic-sounding version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" you'll ever hear, unless Neil Young performs it in good health.


by Wayne Robins




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