Photo by David Greenwald
Happy Mother’s Day, folks. Go call your mom and then listen to these tracks.
Blair – “Mona Lisa”: mp3
Singing with a lovelorn, Judy Collins-esque voice, Blair compares herself to the Mona Lisa — smiling or frowning, portrait or “abstract art?” The lyrical wit contrasts sharply with the sadness of her singing and the resigned guitar strums. It’s a beautiful song and an auspicious start for a songwriter who has nowhere to go but up. (Download Blair’s entire new EP on MySpace)
No. 2 – “Who’s Behind the Door” (with Elliott Smith): mp3
After Heatmiser’s break-up, main songwriters Neil Gust and Elliott Smith went their seperate ways. Gust founded the little-known No. 2 and, after a pair of albums, vanished into obscurity. This track stems from an aborted session with Smith during one of the darker periods at the end of his life — that’s him on the guitar freak-out. If only it was a forerunner of things to come rather than a whisper of potential forever lost.
Britt Daniel (Spoon) – “Everything Hits at Once” (live): mp3
Girls Can Tell is my favorite Spoon record. “Everything Hits at Once” might be its best song. This version comes from a recent Daniel solo performance and reaffirms why he’s one of the best frontmen in indie rock, every bit as snarling and ragged as it sounded back in 2001. (Download the whole performance from Lullabyes)
The Rob Gordon Shuffle is a weekly Sunday rundown of fascinating songs without particular regard to genre or timeliness. It is absolutely not a top five. To read further installments, click below.