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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“Artists Are Just Children who Refuse to Put Down Their Crayons.”

I have to admit, I am a bit of a sucker for tribute albums. For some they represent an opportunistic attempt to resurrect careers of much loved artists and usually feature rote remakes of better known hits and crowd pleasers. Imagination free, artistically safe, and ultimately destined for the cut-out bin- Those I generally try to avoid. Conversely, other compilations pay homage to the greatness of a particular musician’s craft and allow artists to reinterpret a particular canon on their own terms and styles. Ratcheting it up a notch, said compilation will also feature new and current artists tackling influential musicians that many people have barely heard of. Then you can definitely count me in! It’s all about the discovery folks.

Sooo, next up for rediscovery is Judee Sill. Judee was a California singer-songwriter who released two amazing records chock full of religious overtones, alcoholic reveries, and Graham Nash collaborations before dying of a drug overdose in 1979. In 2005, Asylum Records lovingly reissued both of her albums. And on September 22nd, the American Dust label will release Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill. Final Fantasy, Marissa Nadler, and Grizzly Bear/ Department of Eagles mainman Daniel Rossen all contribute Sill covers. (I am a little disappointed Andy Partridge of XTC fame did not participate. It was his interview a few years back that pointed me in the direction of Ms. Sills’ most wonderful art. ed)

Curiously, the album also features versions of two unheard Sill songs. Sill wrote the music for both tracks, but no recordings of either one have yet been discovered. Beth Orton takes on one song, "Reach for the Sky", and Bill Callahan ((the (SMOG) genius)) handles the other, "Like a Rainbow".


Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill:

01 Ron Sexsmith: "Crayon Angel"
02 Beth Orton: "Reach for the Sky"
03 Daniel Rossen: "Waterfall"
04 Frida Hyvönen: "Jesus Was a Cross Maker"
05 Shalants: "Lopin' Along Thru the Cosmos"
06 Final Fantasy: "The Donor"
07 Nicolai Dunger: "Soldier of the Heart"
08 Trembling Blue Stars: "Lady-O"
09 Colossal Yes: "The Phoenix"
10 Marissa Nadler & Black Hole Infinity: "The Kiss"
11 Princeton: "Down Where the Valleys Are Low"
12 The Bye Bye Blackbirds: "There's a Rugged Road"
13 Meg Baird: "When the Bridegroom Comes"
14 Bill Callahan: "For a Rainbow"
15 P.G. Six: "Til Dreams Come True"


Barbara Bruederlin said...

The Crayon Angel album does sound promising. I have to admit I know nothing about Judee Still herself, but that is one of the beautiful side effects of having such a strong contingent of musicians paying tribute. The lineup itself draws people to the album.

Love the new layout by the way. Very fresh!

Allison said...

I love the title to this post!

And the new layout is stellar, especially like the header. :) I need to revamp mine...someday.

Sean Wraight said...


I really think you will like the music of Judee Sill. Such a talented and intelligent lyricist. Seek out her original releases as well. It's important stuff. You will definitely hear her large influence in so much of the music we love today.

Thank you for the compliment on the new look. I get a little restless periodically when I look at my layouts and felt I needed a change.



Thank you too for the compliments. Change is a good thing. It allows for new direction and such. Kind of like moving to a new city! :)


Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.