"So you need to load up on chicken soup & cold meds from now til then. And NO drinking or concerts. Stay away from people. You are the only 37 yr old I know who gets molested by rogue french kissers on the street, influenza laden french kissers at that."
- prescription per my BFF Dr. Mani
Per the above statement, you can elicit that I have terrible flu-like symptoms, which I presumably picked up from a kissing bandit at about 2:30 a.m. last Sat night/Sun morning in downtown Toronto. Never mind the fact that I work in a hospital and am around sick people all day, or that I spent from roughly 4pm to 3am Sat/Sun drinking and standing on ice. Yeah, let's blame this dude. I have to be better by Friday so I can visit Dr. Mani in DC, where I will proceed to drink for another 11 straight hours, and probably catch more germs on the flight. Someday I'll learn.
Since I am out of commission for the next few days, I am actually happy to report that Murry Hammond and Rhett Miller of the Old 97's had to cancel their gig at the El Mocambo tomorrow night. They got a much better offer - a spot on Leno. It looks like it will be a great episode as that masturbation-is-a-sin freak Christine O'Donnell is also on the show.
Roughly two weeks ago the Old 97's released the Too Far to Care demos on their web site. Too Far to Care is one of my Top Five desert island albums, a total alt country classic. The demos are played acoustically by Hammond and Miller, who together, back in the day, played secret live shows as the Ranchero Brothers, mostly to try out new Old 97's material. These demos are quite a treat. There are a few recording glitches in a few of the songs, but otherwise it's a spectacular collection.
To Far to Demo (download them all here)
3. Holy Cross
4. Everybody But Me
5. Visiting Hours
6. Sound of Running
7. Catch Me
8. You Were Right
9. Curtain Calls
11. West TX Teardrops
14. Barrier Reef
15. The One
In other Old 97's news, they have a new album out called The Grand Theatre, Vol.1, from which they will be playing something on Leno tomorrow night. I'll do a proper review of this album someday, although I am so far behind on my reviews that this may get written-up in 2011.
I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm on My Way. Hammond, normally the bass player in the Old 97's, plays acoustic guitar, bass, harmonium, and banjo on this album of country, folk, and gospel standards and originals. It's a gorgeous record of slow, wistful, contemplative folk music, in the same vein as A.P. Carter (whom he covers), Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, or Iron & Wine. The production is simple, making this album sound decades older than it actually is. Even the album cover evokes a feeling of classic folk music. Download this album pronto. It appears that the CD is already out of print. There is not a weak track on this record.
I Never Will Marry
Next Time Take the Train
Buy (mp3 only): I Don't Know Where I'm Going but I'm On My Way (2008)