Bon Iver is working on a side project. He has recorded indie rock covers of American Revolution songs and produced them on vinyl, and is sliding the records into hand-embossed leather covers made from the results of last summer’s bison-hide tanning project and placing them into boxes engraved with birds that live not in this world, but in a universe of his own imagining - birds like the Whisper Finch, whose feathers are acoustically perfect and have psychic properties: when they fly, they produce audible dreams and feelings.
He is making one box each for every person he has ever loved. He will deliver them on his motorbike during his sabbatical.
Today at the flea market, Bon Iver found a box of old hats. He bought them all. ‘I couldn’t decide which one felt most like home,’ he said.
Woman: “Please don’t do this to me, I have a baby with me!” Cop: “You in trouble lady, you tried to shank him.” Woman: “I didn’t shank nobody!”
Rosie Thomas & Sufjan Stevens - Where Were You?
For most, Vincent Van Gogh was a fine artist.
To some, he lacked technique.
Paint straight from the tube, very heavy-handed.
How Van Gogh cut off his ear is what is most intriguing to folks.
In each piece I’ve ever appraised, the story
is always more fascinating than the actual piece itself.
- Northfork 2003
Just designed a box to move my mod pedals from the front of the amp to an FX loop with the flick of a switch, and a different output cable. I’m excited to build it.
Bruce Springsteen- Promised Land
A little blurb I wrote 5 years ago:
Lately I haven’t been able to get enough of The Promised Land. I know Bruce Springsteen seems awfully corny to some, and sometimes oversimplifies complex human emotions. But sometimes he gets it just perfectly right in a way that many respected songwriters never do.
In this case, I’ve known this song my entire adult life, maybe since I was about 10 or so. Compared to other songs on Darkness on the Edge of Town, this one never stood out that much. Racing in The Streets, Badlands, the title track, Candy’s Room— those songs resonated with me. But this song came on randomly the other day on my iPod, and something about it really clicked with me.
At first I’d thought of it in the same context as Badlands, as an earnest and fervent song of individuali rebellion. But my little revelation yesterday was that it bore much more far-reaching implications than that.
The song functions as an apocalyptic call to arms. Rather than focusing strictly on the individual’s plight in a barren and indifferent land, it looks forward to promised salvation, particularly in the third verse. I’ll quote it here:
There’s a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I pack up my bags and I’m heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground.
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing
But lost and broken hearted
The imagery comes straight out of Apocalypse, doesn’t it? The chorus makes sense in this light too:
The dogs on Main Street howl, because they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man,
And I believe in a promised land.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t harbor any illusions that Springsteen is preaching or proselytizing. Even though the song—and the entire album, for that matter— is heavy with references to innocence, sin, and redemption, this isn’t an essay or a sermon. The song ends as an outcry to all who’ll listen— a storm is coming, and those times will cause us to throw away everything that is foolish and hurtful, and to cast off infantile or adolescent ideas in exchange for that in which we have a mature faith. He’s not a boy anymore, and the life of an adult includes a faith that not only includes a belief in a promised land, but lends him the strength and courage “to stand (his) ground.”
What’s more, he heads “straight into the storm.” That is, he embraces the coming changes, and sees them as an opportunity instead of simply a crisis or threat.
I guess I’m so taken with the song because Bruce is so rarely held up as a spiritual or metaphysical songwriter. Most of his work is brilliantly insightful, but only insofar as it examines the tangible realities of human existence. He does have songs that deal with the intangible elements of our lives, but they’re outnumbered greatly in his songbook.
This would be amazing:
The Three Amigos 
An email submission from David Cornelius.
The Black Keys- Lonely Boy (live on The Colbert Report)
So the Black Keys have another number one album, El Camino. What a great thing to happen for this new band, a couple of exciting young kids on the music scene.