Ear hors d’oeuvres.

“Taxi, taxi, hotel, hotel, I got the whiskey baby, I got the cigarettes… ” Morphine, corrigible two-string slide bass, maculate sax, Mark Sandman’s voice like someone threw a lit match at a rag dipped in kerosene and honey, welcome back to my playlist. Twinemen just wasn’t the same.

I have liked Elbow for some time, and “The Seldom Seen Kid” is a triumph of streetwise lyricism and sweeping arrangements, choruses rising like fragile towers behind the sawdust of Guy Garvey’s voice: “…and I’m five years ago, and three thousand miles away.”

I’ve also been listening to Fleet Foxes. I can’t classify what they sound like, only that they sound amazing. Rocky mountain gospel indie evil fairytale cornpone? “I was following the pack/all swallowed in their coats/with scarves of red tied ’round their throats/to keep their little heads from falling in the snow…”

Hercules and Love Affair is an easy listen, a dance album with brains. If you like Chicago house, you’ll like this. Antony of Antony and the Johnsons does vocals on several tracks, most notably “Blind.” I don’t like thinking while I’m dancing. So when I listen to Hercules and Love Affair, I do one or the other.

Joel and I are beginning a project, and this is the seed. From In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry, here’s a bit of Dylan Thomas reading “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” and a bit of the Beastie Boys ripping into  “Crawl Space.”

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Crawl Space