Justin Vernon’s band may be on hiatus, but he has been keeping busy! Aside from doing backing vocals for The National’s High Violet, he has evidently been doing a handful of covers. (Check out Bon Iver’s Peter Gabriel here).
Justin Vernon has more recently contributed to a John Prine tribute album. Vernon and several other fabulous acts (who WATS happens to a d o r e), have taken some John Prine songs and recreated them to however they see/hear/feel fit. Oh cover songs, what a great concept. We love cover songs!
The album comes out June 22, 2010 and you can preorder it here!
01. Justin Vernon: “Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)”
02. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band: “Wedding Day in Funeralville”
03. My Morning Jacket: “All the Best”
04. Josh Ritter: “Mexican Home”
05. Lambchop: “Six O’Clock News”
06. Justin Townes Earle: “Far From Me”
07. The Avett Brothers: “Spanish Pipedream”
08. Old Crow Medicine Show: “Angel From Montgomery”
09. Sara Watkins: “The Late John Garfield Blues”
10. Drive-By Truckers: “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin”
11. Deer Tick: “Unwed Fathers” [ft. Liz Isenberg]
12. Those Darlins “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian”
Today, February 4, 2010 is Pick Apart The Past: Wolves Among The Sheep’s one month birthday! It may seem like a month is not monumental enough to be celebrating but for us, it is a pretty big deal. We entered this vast and intimidating world of blogging with, I can truly say, no expectations what-so-ever.
We are beyond grateful for the minds that have been curious enough to pay us a visit, the eyes that have been interested enough to read our words, the ears that have trusted our opinions enough to listen, the fingers that have been generous enough to share us with others that are way out of our reach and to the blogs that have been nice enough to befriend us in our fetus-like days. We thank you from the bottom of our wild and slightly animalistic hearts and we appreciate you all immensely and please always feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions – they matter to us!
To all of the bands that have created music that is too beautiful to not be hunted, chewed, digested and praised – we thank you as well because none of this would have been inspired without your music. Especially to those musicians who have been wonderful enough to contact us, let us know that they have stopped by and offered words of encouragement – it means more to us than you will ever know! Thank you.
I would also like to thank my blogging half; it has been a long, slightly bitter but entirely enjoyable experience, which without you and your do-er and push-er ways, I would never have had the pleasure of becoming a part of. You are so annoying the best!
In exactly a month, we have had the privilege of featuring music from 21 bands which include:
and the days only look brighter from this point forward! We have a few new ideas in store for the future along with tons of music to discuss and we can not wait to let it all unfold – we only hope that you continue to stick around! Yes, you! You! You! You gorgeous creatures!
Forever blogging and feeling,
The Wolf & The Sheep
As many of you are probably aware, Peter Gabriel (Genesis) is putting out an album entitled Scratch My Back which consists of him covering various songs. The songs he has chosen to cover are by a handful of artists from our generation, including Radiohead, Regina Spektor, The Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields and….. BON IVER! Obviously, there is a reason behind why each song was picked, and according to this article, he chose songs that “are major reinterpretations of some famous stuff” today.
So, what do we think of this collaboration of classical rock/modern day rock? I think it is fantastic that artists such as Peter Gabriel, a legend, if you will, can appreciate the stuff new artists are putting out. Who said that its all been done and said? This simply confirms our belief that music we are getting today is, i repeat, IT IS, beautiful and worth our time and tears and dedication.
I have been able to form an opinion of Peter Gabriel; he is a true musician. He never stops listening, just as a true professor never stops learning, or a true mother never stops caring. Apparently, his daughter told him about Bon Iver; he is open to hear the progression of music from when he first started out to today. And this is the result;
Before Justin Vernon was in Bon Iver he was quite the busy man; he had a solo project going on, and he was also in a band called DeYarmond Edison (but thats for another day). His pre-Bon music certainly has a different sound to it; the infamous howl (that we seriously love way too much… where the hell does it COME from?!), for example, did not seem to develop until the Bon Iver/alone-in-a-cabin-in-the-wood days.
There are two albums that Justin Vernon put out under his name; Self-Titled and Hazeltons. In the dark and gloomy days of winter, this under-produced music will make you feel warm and happy (Okay, maybe happy is a little far fetched…). Don’t start getting turned off yet, as I am using the words under-produced to describe a sound which is extremely raw and hallow (the best kind of music, in our opinion), making it perfect for winter listening. It does not want you to take it too seriously, it just wants you to listen.
The Self-Titled album includes seventeen tracks, including a haunting 12-minutes of no words; just trumpets and guitars and all that great stuff (We Will Never Die).
this is tougher than I thought
holding you, the grace I’ve caught
cause you’re made of everything I want
and I am ringing you out
like a morning bell, I am ringing you out
like the kitchen rags of God, I am ringing out out
like my voice across the hill, I am ringing you out
like water on your feet,
and you are everything to me
Don’t we all just wish Justin Vernon wrote that about us? Who wouldn’t want to be the grace he’s caught? Hey… maybe in another life..
If you can not get enough of Bon Iver and must hear more, then go on a hunt for some of Vernon’s solo work (you might have to use your claws to dig deep for this one)!
What do the singers of Bon Iver and The Antlers have in common?
That low, scratchy growl of a voice, of course!
One day, while the wolf and the sheep were hard at work discussing the best albums of 2009, the obvious choice for #1 was Brand New’s Daisy. Brand New is our ULTIMATE band. We could probably share some crazy stories about things we’ve done for this band, but maybe another day. It’s pretty much Brand New over everything else in life for us. At least, that is how it is on most days. Not on this day though, because the wolf said to the sheep, “I hate to break it to you, but my favourite album of the year was by The Antlers.” Jaws dropped and so did the (chat)room temperature. The sheep was enraged. The wolf was scared with its claws ready to defend as the sheep wanted to pounce.
Clearly, 2009 tested our musical tastes and dedication to our favourite band. Even thought my love for Brand New will float on and on, I find that I am less.. well, obsessive, about them due to the new sphere of music that I have opened myself up to. Upon hearing His Old Branches a 2009 EP released by what can be considered our breath of fresh air band – The Republic of Wolves (You’ve got to hear this band!), the sheep exclaim— I mean, bah-ed loudly, : “I AM SO OVER BRAND NEW RIGHT NOW”. The point is, there comes a time for every music lover when you begin to explore the world of music beyond your safety point (ie Brand New, which held me over for years). You begin to explore new music and sounds and the feelings these new artists invoke. 2009 marked this for me. I’m not sure if it is because I moved away to university and became more independent in life overall (a milestone, really) and therefore was more brave to try new things, or simply because the same old tunes weren’t cutting it for me. Either way, my life has been blessed with new sounds to enjoy, and I will be grateful for this beyond the day when my children pick up the same CDs I bought this year and fall in love with them the same way I did.
Among these CDs, there will be a copy of Hospice. This was an album that I had to get used to with every listen. Thankfully, each listen did not feel like a chore (such as trying to like the new Taking Back Sunday albums back in the day…..). I was trying something new, now forcing myself to like something I was already dedicated to. I was intrigued by the new art. The thing that interested me the most about Hospice is that it is a concept album and tells a story chronologically with each song. I was introduced to the song Two in a mixtape I received from a certain big-toothed individual who runs this blog. There were 17 songs on that mixtape and this was the only one I listened to for days (sorry wolf). I hate to say this, but it was beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! So much beauty in 6 minutes that it could make you cry. I had a hard time getting into the rest of the album because the bar was set so high due to my repetitive listens of Two (iTunes play count: 62)
As for me, I am beyond excited to see The Antlers this February as they make a stop in Toronto with The Editors (The Editors on Myspace). As for the Wolf, she has been lucky enough to see them already, and could only describe it as the most beautiful show she’d ever been to. Now, please note that, even though we use the world “beautiful” a LOT on this blog, does not mean that we use it lightly. We use it because it is the perfect word, and we mean it every time.
I can wrap up all this personal junk with saying that The Antlers have been a big deal for me because they are a new sound for me. They have been a band that allowed me to expand and test my boundaries of what i allow my ears to hear. In my life, that is a pretty big deal.
Pitchfork: So what are some of your favorite quotes?
JV: Oh man, I don’t know. I’d have to think about it, but I was listening to this Johnny Cash song today that Tom Waits wrote for him– I think that’s the story. For some reason it’s a thing that sticks in my brain. He’s describing this scene where he sees all these almost biblical images happening kind of in this burrow where this biblical train runs through this yard. The song goes, “I saw Judas Iscariot carrying John Wilkes Booth down there by the train” and for some reason when Johnny Cash is singing that…
I have that written out. I thought that was an image I had to put in my pocket and keep with me. I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not that I need to remember it, because I won’t forget those kind of things, but I just want to write them down and look at them. It’s almost like when things like music come out and you’re listening to a song and you have experiences with art or phenomena that supersede your simple relationship with them as just a piece of art. They’re more than that. That’s just what those quotes are for me. They’re big, they’re important.
– Justin Vernon of Bon Iver
The interview done by Pitchfork can be found over here.
Um. Hello. Hey. Hi. Zdra-wait, how does one actually greet in a blog post? I wish I knew. It is only the second day of 2010 and it is already shaping up to be another sleepless year – some things last a long time, you know. Before I actually do what the receptors in my brain have sent me here to do, I would first like to send out an SOS to anyone reading this fabulous blog of ours because that is way more important. Ahem. On behalf of the toothless wolf and the wooly sheep, we wish you – from the bottom of the beating organs that keep our blood moving – a happy, healthy, magical and glorious 2010 full of people, places, things, music, words and feelings (new and old) that have the power elevate you towards that beautiful level of infinity. May you never have to run on empty and may more drinks always be on the way!
Happy New Year!
Stumbling upon Erik G. Neave, former member a band called Amalgam and the mastermind behind the music of Cedarwell, was an accident. Oh, how we love accidents sometimes. Cedarwell hails from the great land of Wisconsin, home of really cool cheese-head hats and the four walls that produced For Emma, Forever Ago. A couple of reviewers seem to think that Neave and Justin Vernon have more than Wisconsin in common but I, for one, do not hear it. While Vernon will forever own his signature howling, sound exits Neave’s mouth like a beating drum, pushing words forward and consciously placing each syllable where it belongs in order to lie perfectly with the music. Cedarwell’s Gamboge has been on repeat for the last couple of days, while I patiently wait for the latest release Smoky Mountain Bear to fall out of the sky and into my mout-I mean, hands.
Look through your day planner and pencil in 46:08 under the name Gamboge and take it out – get some coffee and go for a nice walk (the cold air will do you good) – then, let us know if you feel the butterflies.
Cedarwell is generous too, which is nice. There are a crap load of “free songs” on the official website (which may depend on your definition of free – take it for what it is). Just make sure you don’t sit around waiting for something to fall out of the sky, that only happens in my dreams. PayPal delivers quicker anyway, so let your steps fall soft and $how $ome $upport!
I opened up my skin
Under Wisconsin skies
I opened it again
When all the blood went dry
I wanted just one glimpse
If I still had a heart
That moment I got through, I didn’t
It’s better that way, I think
It’s better that way, I think
We care for one thing here - to share sounds and words and melodies and ideas that are so beautiful, they'll make you want to fall apart and sleep forever.
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