March 9, 2009
Just a quick one:
Before Old Ramon was recorded, songs like “River”, “Michigan”, “Kavita”, “Cruiser”, and “Void” were played at probably many of their shows. If not all, at least a few songs would be played. It was definitely around this time when all the songs they played on stage became more flexible, riding out certain parts of songs, taking their time for Mark to come in. There was definitely more of a jam element, and this can easily be seen on extended live versions of “Evil” or “Make Like Paper”. Despite the fact that I find half of Old Ramon seriously boring (which I have mentioned on numerous occasions on this blog and in real life), the songs that stick out to me really stick out. Their recording of “River” to me comes so close to capturing their live persona. Not only because of some of the drawn out parts, but because to me this really shows what Kozelek is capable of with his voice. Especially with the earlier albums theres a certain drone that almost never comes past the surface (an exception that comes quick to mind is “Strawberry Hill”) The only chance you’d get to hear him soar is in concert. Even on his solo effort (Songs For a Blue Guitar, sure its a red house album but none of them are listed in the liner notes) the voice stayed low except little instances (sometimes in Big Sur, he’d ease up [in a sense]). It wouldn’t be until maybe his “Rock n Roll Singer” EP or “Ghosts of the Great Highway” by Sun Kil Moon where you’d get to hear him stretch his range (mainly because he was obviously going for something more in the style of neil young. Listen to Salvador Sanchez and say otherwise). The advantage to not showing your true talent on record is that you will leave a real impression if the fans come to see you in concert. With the release of “April” we definitely hear how Marks voice has sagged though it still sounds incredible. And I’ve heard him play old RHP songs on solo sets from recent years, and the effort isn’t there. I’ve also heard at Sun Kil Moon shows they have been playing “River”, and I’d almost be nervous to hear it in case Mark can no longer do it justice, but I guess you have to have faith. I have a live cut of River that is almost 20 minutes from 1996 and at the end you can hear someone say to their friend “That was a great song, woo. I feel drained from that”. Anyways, I want to upload a prime example of Marks capabilities so I’m going to upload this demo version of Brockwell Park (Pts 1 and 2) and a demo cut of Brown Eyes (Superior to the studio version, easily) mainly for Jason, because I know Colin will download it but any other readers don’t really care, but I mean, this is written primarily for Jasunn O))).
Speaking of that, we saw each other, and he gave me a Sun Kil Moon record and I gave him a LFD/Acrid 12″ and I gave him some dvds to borrow and a book that was a gift for being a great friend, well more than that, my best friend. Him and Kyle also got to meet Kait and were probably baffled as to why someone that great would give me the time of day. I don’t question it, I just go with it.
Jump on this, you won’t regret it.