Monday, August 08, 2005

Musical Graffiti, 8/8-- Ron Sexsmith, Iron and Wine, Tom Waits!

Is there any better way to begin a Monday morning than with news blurbs concerning exciting new music releases? I think not!

1. Ron Sexsmith, one of my favorite pop songwriters (my review of Retriever), is teaming up with his drummer/cellist Don Kerr to release Destination Unknown in the US on September 6. (Soulshine reports that the album is already available in Canada.)

Sexsmith comments on the album at

Although this is the first official Sexsmith & Kerr album, Don and I have been making music together since the day we met back in '87 at the Sunwheel Courier Company. Anyone familiar with my career will know Don as my longtime drummer/cellist from countless tours and for his lovely harmonies on many of my records over the years. Most of the songs on Destination Unknown were written during the same period as the ones from my last record (Retriever), but I could tell early on that this batch was a bit different and, for the longest time, I didn't quite know what to do with them. Somewhere in the middle of all this it occured to me that the song "Only Me" had sort of an Everly Brothers vibe about it and I guess the light bulb came on over my head. Don and I had already been huge fans of the Louvin Brothers and had recorded a version of their song "You're Learning" years earlier. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that eleven of these songs could benefit from a little two-part harmony and so we went to work not knowing if anyone would be interested.

2. Speaking of collaborations, Iron and Wine (my review of Woman King) is teaming up with Calexico for the release of a seven-song EP, In the Reins, in September. Billboard has the story.

3. Finally, though this isn't actually a music release, it's worth noting that Marc Montandon has compiled a massive ammount of interviews with Tom Waits (my review of Real Gone) into one volume-- Innocent When You Dream: The Tom Waits Reader.

Publishers Weekly reviews it:

Covering 30 years in 40 chapters, Montandon's anthology of reviews and interviews stretches from a Waits-penned press release (1974) through an interview that the singer-cum-cult-figure did for Magnet in November 2004. In between, readers can follow Waits and Elvis Costello through some absurd leaps of logic in a conversation they recorded at a Chinese restaurant in 1989, hear Waits tell Terry Gross "I couldn't wait to be an old man," and peruse a 1987 Toronto Star review of a gritty, mood-shifting concert. "Waits was forever turning the show into something new," the critic says, "revealing another nook in his low-rent pantry." Despite the conspicuous gap between 1993 and 1999, the volume gives a vivid portrait of Waits as a person, with glimpses into the life of a composer and performer who has referred to his songs as "travelogues."


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