18 November 2007

Some are sent to San Francisco, some go down to New Orleans, others are kept here in Camarillo, picking beans

These photos were taken in the Radford Room of the library at RU. I spent the last few days in there, conferencing with students and collecting/grading their papers. I brought my camera, so I thought I'd snap a few shots between papers.

I've been listening to Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "Ask Forgiveness" for the last couple days. It's his third covers record--a couple years ago he teamed up with Tortoise on "The Brave and the Bold" to cover Bruce Springsteen, The Minutemen, Melanie, Richard Thompson, and others; and a few years before that he covered John Phillips, PJ Harvey, Tim McGraw and a couple others on "More Revery." Both of those albums are great, especially "More Revery," but I think I prefer the stripped down sound of "Ask Forgiveness." Oldham again covers an eclectic bunch, including Bjork, the nearly forgotten (but great) Mickey Newbury, Phil Ochs, The Misfits, The Mekons, Frank Sinatra, and R Kelly. I think most musicians would have a hard time finding a common thread among this group; it's a testament to the talents of Oldham and his backing band (Greg Weeks and Meg Baird of Espers) that "Ask Forgiveness" is such a beautiful, seamless album.

I'm including a video of John Phillips' "Topanga Canyon," the second song on his solo album "The Wolfking of L.A." I've listened to the Mamas and Papas since I was a kid, but I wasn't aware of this album until listening to Oldham cover Phillips' "Someone's Sleeping" on More Revery. I hunted down the song, learned it was on the Wolfking album, and that the cd was out of print and routinely selling on ebay for upwards of $200. After months of bidding, I finally got a copy of the album for around $20. Obviously, my expectations for the complete album were high, but I wasn't disappointed.

"Topanga Canyon" is probably my favorite song on the album. I'm too mentally drained to attempt to explain why right now, so I'll just let you listen. The video/slideshow is pretty bad and doesn't really fit the song, but I'm posting for the music.


Karen said...

I have photos on my hard drive that resemble this lineup, which inclines me to think that they (yours, that is) aren't particular good photos. This set makes me smile every single time I look at it, though. I don't know if it's my bizarre love of the Radford Room and the history of the university or my horrible taste in artwork, but I think this is an awesome grouping of photos.

Tema said...

I love the red cardinal and those dripping icicles ... and I actually kind of like the video/slide show accompanying that fantastic song - the Kodachrome colors, the muddy brown river, the big boulder in the road.