Friday, June 19, 2009

Jay Farrar Friday

When I first started this blog nearly a year ago, I had grand visions of having a "Jay Farrar Friday" every few weeks. To date, I have had two "Jay Farrar Fridays." I get easily distracted and forgetful. Two things reignited my desire to post about Jay Farrar this week. One, on Wednesday night I had a dream I was a guitar tech for Farrar and that he was playing a small acoustic show in Toronto. This was clearly a dream as I know nothing about playing, much less tuning, a guitar. And, I have actually never seen Farrar or Son Volt in concert. Blasphemy, I know. I suck.

The second thing that got me excited about all things Farrar is that the blogger at A Truer Sound (a lyric from "Windfall") posted some sweet Uncle Tupelo bootlegs. The first, Not Forever, Just For Now, is the original demo tape from 1989 that presumably got Uncle Tupelo their first record deal (read the CD cover art and see how Uncle Tupelo rates the beers). The second is a 1988 demo tape called Live & Otherwise, consisting of live recordings and studio demos. Finally, we have Colorblind & Rhymeless, their very first demo from 1987. I could go on and on about how awesome all three of these are, but just do yourself and favor and download all three.

This track is from the Not Forever, Just For Now demo, and it clearly shows the power of mixing country music with rock, something that Uncle Tupelo excelled at. This track would eventually be the lead track on Uncle Tupelo's debut album, No Depression.

Uncle Tupelo - Graveyard Shift.mp3
From: Not Forever, Just For Now (1989 Demo)

Next, here's a track that was originally off of Son Volt's opus, Trace. This track was a minor hit in 1995, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. I distinctly remember hearing it on the radio when I lived in St. Louis (current home of Jay Farrar and friends). This version is off of a bootleg called Acoustic Radio Sessions '95-'96, which you can find on various torrents.

Son Volt - Drown.mp3
From: Acoustic Radio Sessions '95-'96

This final track is from a promotional EP that Son Volt put out in 1997, before the release of Straightaways. This track did not make the final album cut.

Son Volt - Tulsa County.mp3
From: Switchback EP (1997, out of print)

Son Volt has a new album coming out on July 6 called American Central Dust, and it is currently streaming on the Son Volt website. It sounds fantastic!


The Warden said...

Just stopped by to say thanx for the Tupelo related stuff. Huge Son Volt fan. Their 1996 Irving Plaza show here in NYC is among my handful of alltime concerts. Hope to see more Farrar Fridays.

The Curbman said...

I have a friend that I get into arguments with about who's better, Jay Farrar or Jeff Tweedy.

I can't say that I've seen Jay in concert either, though. But I am seeing Wilco next weekend! And, as a bonus Okkervil River is opening for them.

Rockstar Aimz said...

I don't like the Jay vs. Jeff arguement becuase it is really like comparing apples and starfish. That being said, I don't really dig Wilco's latest alt rock releases. I would rather stick with Son Volt's alt country vibe.

I've seen Wilco two or three times, most recently opening for Neil Young, and old Neil blew Wilco into next week. They do put on a decent show though. But Okkervil River puts on a GREAT show. They and The Hold Steady are my favorite live indie rock bands by far. I was just thinking this morning how I need to see Okkervil River again soon. Damn, now I'm jealous!

simon2307 said...

Always being a Jay-man myself.
Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of the Wilco stuff, but the give me Trace over YHF any day. Really looking forward to the new Son Volt, got my pre-order in, hope the international post don't let me down.

some crazy youtube chick said...

I think Jeff and Jay should just hug it out.