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Listed: Death Vessel + Malcolm Middleton

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Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Death Vessel and Malcolm Middleton.

Listed: Death Vessel + Malcolm Middleton

Death Vessel

As seen in our recent 'best records of 2005 feature,' an unfortunately small number of other places, Death Vessel (comprised largely of mega-soprano Joel Thibodeau) crafts perfectly charming and pleasantly simple songs that skid along the boundries of folk, bluegrass, country, and 'indie rock.' Their new, debut release, Stay Close, is now available on North East Indie records. An mp3 is availalable here, in case you missed it a few weeks back.

1. Buddy Thomas - Kitty Puss (Rounder Records)
A joyous instrumental record of Kentucky fiddling with guitar accompaniment. I really like "Georgia Row" and "The Blue Goose".

2. The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982
This has been a useful reference book over the years. It has a practical maintenance guide, some guitar and rock history, recording suggestions and much more. Plus, there's a real handy chord dictionary in the back. As a teen my brother fixed the strap button hole on his bass with toothpicks (see pg. 180).

3. The Carter Family - Their Complete Victor Recordings (Rounder Records)
This stack could be a pillow.

4. Palace - Days In The Wake (Drag City)
Years in the wake.

5. Country Music Hall Of Fame - Nashville, TN
A friend brought me in May (hint: two-for one admission for Nashville residents). I got to see funny letters from the Everly Brothers to home, Elvis Presley's gold plated television (inside his limousine) and footage of Jimi Hendrix as a backup guitarist.

6. Keith McClelland (1923-2002 )......... G.M. (Great Man)
Mr. McClelland was my elementary school music teacher who composed many of the songs we sang in class often based on local folklore. In addition to teaching us Stephen Foster tunes in their original lyrical forms, he wrote a musical for the 6th grade class each year. Participation was mandatory.

7. The Early Minstrel Show (New World Records)
A wonderful audio replica exhibiting astonishing four-part melodies and guttugging instrumentation if not ultimately horrifying.

8. Micah Blue Smaldone - Hither and Thither (unreleased)
This should be available in the fall. Handsome fingerstyle resonator guitar playing and vocals complete with torment...twelve-string plucking added for twice as much sadness of spirits.

9. The Magnetic Fields - The Charm Of The Highway Strip (Merge)
Great songs that I tend to listen to while on the road or not.

10. Tom Waits
Extremely reliable music where beauty is dirt under the nails of those clawing their way from the wicked past.

Malcolm Middleton

Wry Scott Malcolm Middleton is best know from his 90s smart-alec/profound outfit Arab Strap. Since their hiatus/finale, Middleton has remained prolific and recently released Into The Woods, a typically morose and typically excellent affair that further solidifies any comparisons made of Middleton to follow morose icons like Nick Cave, Shane MacGowan, and even Johnny Cash. Into The Woods will be available in a few weeks.

1. Patti Smith - "Frederick"
Never been a fan of the woman's insane beat antics. Saw her at a festival in Denmark in 2000 where she covered Pearl Jam's "Alive" and dedicated it to people who had died at the gig the previous year. Very bad taste. Heard "Frederick" on the radio a few months ago and have been listening to the album Wave ever since. Great album, briefly let down by a shite "beat poem" near the end, but she is excused.

2. 16 Years Of Alcohol
A film by Richard Jobson (ex - The Skids) about the trap of alcohol and growing up in Scotland in the 70's/80's.

3. Coldplay - X & Y
In the past I've found this band to be completely bland and offensive. Since buying this album on a whim I've listened to it non-stop. After struggling with this for days I've realised that it can only be one of three things:
(1) It's a really good record.
(2) I've lost all sense of taste.
Or (3) I match the exact profile that EMI's marketing campaign was designed to target. I'm not worrying anymore, just enjoying the music while I wait for the hypnosis to wear off.

4. Iron And Wine - Woman King
How can a woman be a King? This guy doesn't give a fuck about stuff like that, he's great.

5. Fulcanelli - Le Mystere Des Cathedrales
A nice relaxing book about churches. It also tells you how to turn lead into gold.

6. Ray Bolger + Eileen Herlie - "Once upon A Time"
A beautiful song. I played it to my girlfriend recently in the hope that it could become "our song" but instead she accused me of being gay. Looks like it's just "my song" for now then.

7. Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime
A classic metal album that I always find myself coming back to in times of trouble. The music is immaculate with some of the best riffs and guitar solos ever played by any band from Seattle. This is a completely over-the-top concept album. Even though the said concept is extremely vague and not very good, I did manage to plagiarize it and pass my English creative-writing exam with it when I was 17. Sorry Mrs. O'Hanlon....

8. Happy Flowers - Lasterday I Was Been Bad
Another childhood record that I've recently revisited. I think this band were Arab Strap's blue-print. They taught us everything we know about making music and writing songs and this album is still very close to our hearts.

9. Boss "RC-20XL Loop Station Pedal"
My favorite new gadget that lets you play lots of guitar parts at once. Soon every child guitarist will have one, the future of rock looks disturbing again!

10. San Miguel "Beer"
A meal in a bottle. Fantastic.

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