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04-05-13 Footnotes
Show 384: Emeli Sande, Review of Low, Greg's DIJ

1 Rock lost two behind-the-scenes heavyweights last week: America's first rock critic Paul Williams, and record producer Phil Ramone. Williams launched Crawdaddy! magazine while still in college, beating Rolling Stone to the rock-criticism game by a year. Never one to dwell on the rock's celebrity aspect, Williams found less commercial success than protégé Jann Wenner, but his intellectual criticism was an inspiration for rock critics to come (Jim and Greg included).

1b Phil Ramone's contributions to classic records like Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and The Band's self-titled album made him a sought-after producer for over half a century. But Greg says it's his work with Paul Simon that cements his reputation. Greg plays Simon's “Gone at Last” in remembrance of Ramone.

2 Emeli Sande went from this to this. And in between she penned songs for Leona Lewis and even Susan Boyle. She's also made it her personal mission to put the poetry back in pop music. It's a mission that has caught on in the U.K…Emeli received a Brit Critics Choice Award (previously won by Adele and Florence + the Machine) and was asked to open for Coldplay on a recent American tour. So Jim and Greg were eager to have this rising star perform in the studio. They describe her music as a mix of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill. But what do you think? Check out her live performance here.

3 There's a lot to be impressed by when it comes to Low. First, they've consistently made good records for two decades. Second, the two core members, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk, have managed to do all that while maintaining a marriage and family. On the most recent Sub Pop release The Invisible Way, the band has tweaked the formula a bit, and for the better, according to Greg. Bassist Steve Garrington is playing a lot more piano. And Mimi is singing more. Greg loves her voice, especially on anthems like “So Blue.” Professor DeRogatis has always given Low a B+, but he thinks The Invisible Way is an A+ masterpiece. The songwriting, and especially the religious imagery, is deeper and more ambiguous giving Low gets a double Buy It.

4 After a recent experience seeing Emmylou Harris, Greg was reminded of the songwriting talent of the great Townes Van Zandt. Many, including Ms. Harris, have performed his song “Pancho and Lefty,” but it's the Townes original that Greg wants to have with him on the island. The song tells the tale of two men living on the margins of society, and wonders who fares better: Pancho, who is betrayed and left to die, or Lefty, who is left alone “livin in cheap hotels.”

Songs Featured in Show #384
Goose Island Credit Music: Pure Sunray, "Caramel," Pure Sunray, 2013
Ono Plastic Band, “Give Peace a Chance,” Give Peace a Chance (Single), Apple, 1969
Paul Simon, “Gone at Last, “ Still Crazy After All These Years, Columbia, 1975
Emeli Sande, "Heaven," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012
Emeli Sande, "Next to Me," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012 Live on Sound Opinions
Emeli Sande, "Where I Sleep," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012
Emeli Sande, "Imagine," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012
Chipmunk, "Diamond Rings," I Am Chipmunk, Sony, 2009
Emeli Sande, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall," Unreleased, 2013 Live on Sound Opinions
Emeli Sande, "Read All About It," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012 Live on Sound Opinions
Emeli Sande, "Lifetime," Our Version of Events, EMI, 2012
Low, “Plastic Cup,” The Invisible Way, Sub Pop, 2013
Low, “So Blue,” The Invisible Way, Sub Pop, 2013
Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho & Lefty,” The Late Great Townes Van Zandt, Tomato, 1972
Jim Croce, “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels),” Photographs & Memories, Castle Music, 1974
The Beatles, “Dear Prudence,” The Beatles, Apple, 1968
R.E.M., “Fall on Me,” Life’s Rich Pageant, I.R.S., 1986
Prince, “Raspberry Beret,” Around the World in a Day, Paisley Park, 1985
James Murphy, “45:33,” 45:33, DFA, 2006
Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run,” Born to Run, Columbia, 1975
Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City,” Nebraska, Columbia, 1982

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