Yo, She & Him

When She & Him were on Conan O’Brien, they brought with them Yo La Tengo. Zooey Deschanel’s voice sounded rather thin, but since a recent show had to be canceled because she’d lost her voice, that’s understandable. My favorite part of the performance is the instrumental coda, and particularly the way that Ira Kaplan’s piano and M. Ward’s guitar go together.

Spring and Music in the Month

“White rabbits,” or something like that. I wonder if posting about Microsoft before rabbits will bring me bad luck for the new month? Anyway, here we are in March, and spring is in the month, if not in the air. Or, at least, the Spring Equinox falls in March (on the 20th this year).

A few days before the equinox, Volume One of She and Him’s collaboration will be released. She is Zooey Deschanel, he is M Ward, and they first got together to record a cover of a song from my favorite album.

She did most of the lead singing and writing for Volume One. Her voice, for me, somehow evokes spring. I think that I thought that even before reading her thoughts on songs, acorns, and winter that appear on the MySpace page. Anyway, here’s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

Here’s something else spring-like and musical. It’s the design for We Are the Music Makers, a t-shirt design at Go Ape.

I hope that March has started well for you.

When I Get to the Border, 33 Years Later

brightlights.jpgAn album used to be a black circle, a foot across, that gave up its secrets to the right kind of needle while rotating at the right speed: 33 revolutions a minute. My favorite 33, and still my favorite album, is Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight. It was released 33 years ago.

Its opening track, “When I Get to the Border” is perhaps my favorite example of folk-rock, due to the interplay of the (folky) mandolin and (rockin’) electric guitar. One of the delights of this year’s Richard Thompson album, Sweet Warrior, is the similar interplay on the opening track, “Needle and Thread.”

Another musical delight of 2007 is the cover version of “When I Get to the Border” by M Ward, with Zooey Deschanel. I’ve embedded it in this post. I’ve also created a Seeqpod playlist with the original as well as the cover.