Riff Raff

The Song of the Moment was supposed to be Mark Kozelek’s version of “Riff Raff” from What’s Next to the Moon, his album of Bon Scott-era AC/DC covers. Something in that combination of Kozelek’s voice and his tasteful acoustic guitar arrangements unearths the roots in AC/DC’s rock. That album is borderline bluegrass–not the arrangements or […]

Feb 21, 2005
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Strange Waters

I asked Bruce about “Strange Waters” yesterday, and his answer was a tense, beautiful sermon.

Dec 10, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

God Rest His Soul

iTunes just landed on “God Rest His Soul” by The 31st of February, which was a happy coincidence given the content of yesterday’s post. Recorded in 1968, it’s a beautiful prayer for Martin Luther King, Jr., sung by Greg Allman of all people.

Nov 6, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Right Back Atya

Karen Hughes will, I assume, deny that this is the real President Bush.

Nov 6, 2004
Category: Debris, Politics

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Yeah, I know. There’s nothing less hip than Elton John, but while walking through Toronto last month, my iPod randomly landed on “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” and it was, at that moment, the single greatest song I had ever heard.

Oct 29, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

La Villa Strangiato

“Listen to this song,” he told us. “It’s the coolest.” Robbie was something of an authority on such things, and so I listened. Intently. Sitting stone upright on Dave’s bed. And Robbie was right. It was most definitely the coolest. This wicked keyboard sound introduced a simple, shuffling drumline.

Sep 10, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

The Shadowlands

I would like to play piano/keyboards in a rock band, and I would like that band to sound as much as possible like Ryan Adams’ “The Shadowlands.” I would also be perfectly content if it sounded like “Political Scientist” or “English Girls Approximately” or almost any other track from Love is Hell.

Aug 10, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment


Since watching Caveh Zahedi’s In the Bathtub of the World on Sunday, I have probably listened to The Innocence Mission’s “Snow” thirty times. Hopefully I’ll find time to write about Bathtub in the next day or two. It’s been a long time since I was so moved by a film.

Jul 15, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment


If you’re too hip to like Tori, do me a favor and tell me what you think of this song. It’s a nice change of pace for her. No acoustic piano. A bit of distortion. Borderline lo-fi.

Jun 8, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Bartok’s Fifth String Quarter

Several years ago, in a seminar on modern and postmodern lit, I wrote a fun paper on Ezra Pound’s music criticism. In particular, I was interested in Pound’s admiration for Bartok’s String Quartet #5.

May 9, 2004
Category: Music, Poetry, Song of the Moment, Words