I Know Your Troubles Been Long
get me wrong, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mike and
A.J. Mogis and their Presto! Studios, where the dynamic duo has
recorded some of the best music to come out of Nebraska. Period.
That said, this is the
third recent "home tape" project by a Saddle Creek-related
artist that has surpassed what they've done in a more formal studio
environment. The first example is the Bright Eyes / Britt Daniel
4-song split EP, Home, recorded in Conor Oberst's basement.
I prefer those tracks over both artists' last, fancy full-length
endeavors. Next is the new Criteria CD En garde lean and
lovingly recorded with lap-top equipment in frontman Stephen Pedersen's
Now along comes this
Mayday CD recorded (according to the one-sheet) on analog 8-track
in various living rooms around Omaha. Yes, it sounds hissier and
less prof than the band's Saddle Creek debut, Old Blood.
But it also sports more soulful, earthier songwriting and performances.
Ted Stevens, whose voice
is a reedy, rustic reincarnation of David Byrne's, has never sounded
so relaxed and natural, as if he's relieved that no one was peeking
over his shoulder during the recording sessions. It's that free-wheeling
style that makes this one so damn satisfying. Along with the most
tuneful melodies I've heard from Stevens since Polecat.
Also available on vinyl
from Greyday Productions.
Posted July 14, 2003.
Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.