Monday, February 2, 2009

SONG: Sufjan's contribution to Dark Was The Night = mind-blowing

So, apparently we're gonna have six more weeks of winter. That doesn't worry me so much as long as I've got some good music to bundle up with in the interim.

Luckily, here's some samples from the highly anticipated Red Hot charity compilation, Dark Was The Night. Produced by The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, it's a double-disc (triple-LP) compilation to raise money and awareness for HIV and AIDS. I've included the full track-list below, and it's pretty insane, actually. Names you might be excited about include Feist, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Beirut, The New Pornographers, The National, and Andrew Bird (just to name a few). Yeah, like I said, insane.

Below are some streaming mp3's of what I think are a few of the stand-out tracks so far. The National and Bon Iver's offerings are both solid, as expected - but the Sufjan piece is something else altogether. A reinterpretation of 'You Are The Blood' by his label-mates Castanets, it's a sprawling 10 minute epic touching on just about every musical influence Mr. Stevens has entertained in the past - from electronica to symphonic pop, to Gershwin-esque piano solos. Take a listen below and see if it blows your mind like it did mine.

The album is out February 17th (in the US).


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


bird on the lawn said...

I've been looking forward to it thanks for the heads up on the official website & previews. i shall pass it happily along.

Jason said...

downloaded the album a couple of days ago and have been loving it. Sufjan's song is amazing...and then loved the Blood pt 2 remix. Great album and only $9.99 on Amazon!