The Rob Gordon Shuffle, 12.03.06

Akron/Family, live at the Cooperage, UCLA (Photo by David Greenwald)

This will be a Rob Gordon Shuffle in which I post great songs from somewhat disappointing 2006 albums.

Akron/Family – “No Space In This Realm”: mp3
There’s no denying Akron/Family’s Meek Warrior — good as it is — is a disappointment after the glorious idiosyncracies of their self-titled debut. Aside from the two lumbering rock songs, “No Space in this Realm” is probably the best track on the album, a bleary-eyed shambler that sounds like an acoustic Broken Social Scene outtake. A-Fam did sessions with BSS for this record; I don’t have the liner notes, but maybe this is one of those. The horns certainly couldn’t be from anywhere else.

The Walkmen – “Another One Goes By”: mp3
Ironic that the best song on 100 Miles Off was written by another band. But the Walkmen’s alcohol-soaked rendition wrings miles of meaning absent from Mazarin’s original, ounces of ache that flow freely from Hamilton Leithauser’s self-destructing voice.

Guillemots – “Made Up Love Song #43”: mp3
I want this band to be great. The Guillemots are full of fire and drive and inspiration, all the qualities that similar neo-Britpoppers like Coldplay lost long ago. If they can find the balance between that and a necessary editing/craft-honing process, they’ll be unstoppable. Until then, we have this, the year’s most bouyant love song.


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.