3/2: There Ain’t No Grave That Can Hold My Body Down

This week’s show is split into two very different halves. The first is all about rock ‘n’ roll energy and some newer pop stuff, the second is low key and moody and maybe a bit less accessible. But the big hits according to the audience all came later in the show: lots of phone calls and messages came into the studio when I played Brendan Perry, Kyle Bobby Dunn, and especially Judee Sill (pictured left).

Brendan Perry is the (in)famous lead singer and founding member of Dead Can Dance. He’s probably best known for his amazing voice and the work he did with that band, but 1999’s Eye of the Hunter has some good stuff on it, including “Archangel,” which I played today. One caller remarked that Perry performed a lot of country-sounding music the last time he saw Dead Can Dance live, but the only qualities Eye of the Hunter and country share are the acoustic guitars that Perry strums and maybe the odd harmony or two. Perry is going on tour this year for his new album, Ark, but all the dates currently listed on his site are in Europe and Russia. Ark is due out sometime “early in 2010,” but copies of the album will be sold during his tour, which begins March 14th in Lisbon, Portugal. A really awkward and pompous preview of the album is available at Perry’s pseudo-blog site, but the video isn’t easy to sit through. The music sounds just fine (a lot like Dead Can Dance, actually), but listening to him go on about himself and his art… After you’ve gotten that taste out of your mouth, you might want to listen to “Archangel” again, so here it is:

I’ll be posting my review of Kyle Bobby Dunn’s latest record to the site here soon, but you can jump over to Brainwashed and read it now. For comparison’s sake, you can also read my hastily written review of his 2008 record, Fragments & Compositions of…, which didn’t catch my fancy nearly so much.

Judee Sill is still a little bit of a mystery to me. I’d heard some of her songs a year or so ago when a friend of mine picked up the Jim O’Rourke-mixed compilation, Dreams Come True, which is composed of songs meant for her third and uncompleted album. She popped up again afterwards when I saw her mentioned alongside names like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, due primarily to her mystical lyrics and Christian imagery. Today, I sort of randomly came across her second record, Heart Food, and thought I should give it more of my time, so on the air it went. “The Kiss” isn’t exactly indicative of everything she wrote for that album, but the mood is the same throughout, as are the themes of desire, redemption, and purification. Musicians are rarely as honest as Sill was. In fact, her honesty can be a little disconcerting and uncomfortable, but if yo let it seep into your brain it quickly becomes enchanting. Sometime after the release of Heart Food in 1973, Sill disappeared and fell into a drug addiction. She died of an overdose late in November of 1979. I’ve been looking for a video of “The Donor” for you to check out (it’s my favorite song of hers, at least so far), but I can’t find one anywhere. Instead, I have a video of Sill performing “The Kiss” on the BBC for you to watch:

Kind of hard to top that, so I’ll cut things off here. I just want to tell everyone that I will be on the air again tomorrow, subbing for Claudia’s show from 1 until 3 PM EST. I’ll probably use that time to play more strange music for you, especially since I’ve been broadcasting more rock-oriented shows for the last couple of months. I hope you’ll tune in.

Thanks for listening!

DOWNLOAD: HOUR 1 IS THE ROCK HOUR

DOWNLOAD: HOUR 2 IS THE STRANGER HOUR

01. Sun Kil Moon “Salvador Sanchez” from Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003) on Jet Set Records

02. Songs: Ohia “Almost Was Good Enough” from Magnolia Electric Co. (2003) on Secretly Canadian

03. Retribution Gospel Choir “Electric Guitar” from 2 (2010) on Sub Pop

04. Death “Keep On Knocking” from …For the Whole World To See (2009) on Drag City

05. Graveyard “Thin Line” from Graveyard (2008) on Tee Pee

06. TV Buddhas “Buddha Rock” from The Golden Period (2009) on Trost

07. Surfer Blood “Swim” from Astro Coast (2009) on Kanine

08. Malachai “Fading World” from Ugly Side of Love (2010) on Domino

09. Monster Movie “Everyone Is a Ghost” from Everyone Is a Ghost (2010) on Graveface

10. A Place to Bury Strangers “It Is Nothing” from Exploding Head (2009) on Mute

11. Deerhunter “Lake Somerset” from Cryptograms (2007) on Kranky

12. The Fall “Gut of the Quantifier” from This Nation’s Saving Grace (1985) on Beggars Banquet

13. Boduf Songs “Oh Celebrate Your Vague Words and Coquettish Soveriengty” from Boduf Songs (2005) on Kranky

14. Talk Talk “Taphead” from Laughing Stock (1991) on Polydor

15. Stars of The Lid “Taphead” from The Ballasted Orchestra (1997) on Kranky

16. Brendan Perry “Archangel” from Eye of the Hunter (1999) on 4AD

17. Judee Sill “The Kiss” from Heart Food (1973) on 4 Men with Beards

18. Kyle Bobby Dunn “The Nightjar” from A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn (2010) on Low Point

19. Popul Vuh “Kyrie” from Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte (2006) on SPV — originally released in 1976 by United Artist Records

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