Listed: Marissa Nadler + Braden King
Marissa Nadler caught the ear of more than a few psych-folk fans with her adroit cover of Tom Rapp’s “Ballad to an Amber Lady” – the leadoff track of a 2003 Pearls Before Swine tribute album. Buoyed by its reception, the New England-based singer and visual artist released her debut, Ballads of Living and Dying, to much acclaim. On this record, the folk chanteuse glides through ten tracks of icily beautiful folk balladry in a voice that falls somewhere between Hope Sandoval velvet, Joni Mitchell indigo, and Leonard Cohen navy on the color wheel. Nadler expands her instrumental palette somewhat on The Saga of Mayflower May, an equally haunting song-cycle slated for release later this year.
My book of names - a list of all-time favorites that I keep coming back to, year in and year out, despite the current wheel’s turnings, a list of comfort songs and or artists from the old collection – not in any order...
1. Henry Darger
2. Adolf Woolfli
3. The Band - “Lonesome Suzie” (from Music from Big Pink)
4. Leonard Cohen - "Nancy” (from Songs from a Room)
5. Joni Mitchell - “Cactus Tree” (from Song to a Seagull, very early Joni Mitchell, a masterpiece of verse, off of the first of many amazing Joni Mitchell records. Anything off of Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, and Song to a Seagull. It is hard to decide on a favorite, she has had a huge influence, especially in the open voicing and lyrical structure. “Last time I saw Richard” – last song off of Blue - my favorite Joni Mitchell song..
6. Shirley Collins / Sandy Denny – Miscellaneous Rarities / Pentangle / etc..
7. Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
8. Josephine Foster - Little Life CDR
9. Alan Lomax - field recordings
10. The High Priestess of Soul - Nina Simone
12. Edith Piaff
13. Leadbelly - "Goodnight Irene"
14. The Gold Dust Woman - pre-1980 Stevie Nicks - A long obsession
15. Patti Smith - Especially the album Horses
16. Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series, also Bob Dylan live at Royal Albert Hall 1966, first Disc
17. Elizabeth Cotton / The Music Emporium / Christian Spiritual Hymns / Satie
Braden King put himself on the map in the late 90s with his remarkable working-class ambient film, Dutch Harbor. Not only was the film itself visually stunning, but its soundtrack was performed (at various screenings) by a revolving cast of some of Chicago's finest musicians. Such was the improvised nature of the music that no performance - and thus no viewing - of the film was ever the same. Following Dutch Harbor, King made videos by artists such as Will Oldham, Tortiose, The Dirty Tree, Low, and others, however 2005 should mark a breakthrough year for the young filmmaker. He assembled and edited Looking For A Thrill, the exhaustively diverse (and generally exhaustive) dvd compiling a stunning lineup of music-related interviews (sorta like a Listed movie!). It was recently released to commemorate Thrill Jockey's tenth anniversary and hundredth release. A dvd release of Dutch Harbor is set for September 20 (c/o Plexifilm), and dvd about epic masters Dirty Three will be released next spring. His next project is currently set to begin shooting in Armenia in the spring and summer of 2006. Braden King bent the rules a bit for this week's Listed feature.
The list is numbered only so that I could keep track; the 'order' is interchangeable. I think.
1. Sally Timms - In the World of Him (Quarterstick Records)
2. Tsai Ming-liang - Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Wellspring)
3. Rackstraw Downes - In Relation to the Whole (Edgewise Press)
4. Dijivan Gasparyan - Armenian Duduk (Arc Music)This reminded me that I should mention Radio Darvish (see below), though it's not Persian.
5. Tigran Xmalian - Pierlequin / Lighter than Air
6. Stuart Dybek - The Coast of Chicago (Picador)
7. Radio Darvish - http://www.radiodarvish.com
8. Artavazd Pelechian - Seasons
9. Don DeLillo - Mao II (Penguin Books)
10. The Jesus Lizard - Liar (Touch and Go Records)
By Dusted Magazine