13 April 2009

Dark Was The Night

I'm a little late to the dance but then it's never too late to share some good tunes. When we were hosting the CondoFucks listening party a few weeks back, Beggars Banquet kindly hit me with a promo featuring a handful of tracks from the recently released Dark was the Night collection. The compilation is the most recent of the long running Red Hot and Blue series that dates back some twenty years (remember No Alternative way back in the early 90s?). This new batch of songs (31 strong) features new work and excellent covers by the likes of Feist and Ben Gibbard, Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch, Spoon, Yeasayer, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and so many more. It is well worth the price of admission. Personally, I can't get The National's excellent "So Far Around the Bend" out of my head (love the nod to Pavement here!). Of course, the Feist and Ben Gibbard cover of a Vashti Bunyan number is a timeless classic as is Sharon Jones fronting the Dap Kings for a cover of Shuggie Otis classic "Inspiration Information". This is truly a must have collection. It's 3 slabs of vinyl that are a joy to flip through time and time again. Radio City Music hall will host a special one-off concert featuring many of the artists on the comp performing their tracks for one set and then step into further collaborations for a second on May 3rd.


1 Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) – The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) – Feist + Ben Gibbard
4 Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope – Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless – The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood – Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright – Spoon
2 Lenin – Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan – Beirut
4 El Caporal – My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness – Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 Lua – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn – Kevin Drew

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