I am actually still alive, despite my two week absence from the blog. I'll cover some of the reasons for the delay in my next feature post, which I am working on, but in the interim, I wanted to drop a cover on here and mention that my "Stream Recordings" list just hit 500 albums linked (halfway for all you non-math types).
Counting Crows (my favorite band) released a new album of covers this week. Part of me was disappointed that it was a covers album because they hadn't released a studio album since 2008, but I still couldn't help but be excited. Lead singer Adam Duritz and his band sure know how to do a great cover. Based on their tracklist and the songs they have been playing live forever, the band loves to listen to music. In fact, in the liner notes, Duritz says "As much as I love our band, and I DO love our band, we were just one of a thousand bands, in one city among a thousand cities, and a lot of those bands were great or amazing in one way or another... I've never stopped being a fan." Really, one of their best skills is song selection, and they picked one of the 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die on the tracklist for this one.
"Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons is one I discovered through Moon's book, and I can't claim that it really left much of an impression. I am way more into Parsons' work with the Byrds than his solo stuff. The Crows version was much more memorable to me, as they pick up the pace and get pretty rowdy on this one. The great lyrics are highlighted by the immediacy of the arrangement, the live energy of the band, and a couple kickass solos (one mandolin and one guitar).
Listen to the song here, then buy the whole album here.
Buy Gram Parson's GP/Grievous Angel here.