R.I.P. Jeff Hanson

8 06 2009

This morning, I feel a bit betrayed that the universe had never presented Jeff Hanson to me before today.  I’m sitting in class on this drizzly day, enjoying my black coffee (which is all very fitting if you ask me.  The weather and my choice of beverage)…. I checked PFM this morning and saw a headline from the weekend that said “R.I.P Jeff Hanson.”  His name looked familiar, but after reading the brief write-up, I found that I didn’t know this particular singer/songwriter during his life time.  It’s possible I’d read it when checking the concert calendar for the Triple Rock, 7th St. Entry and Turf Club.

As stated in the Star Tribune article, Jeff was found dead in his apartment by his parents.  It appeared as if Jeff had died as a result of an accidental fall.

After reading about him on PFM, I checked him out at the Kill Rock Stars site where they have 4 MP3’s to download.  The music sounds nearly identical to Elliott Smith’s Either/Or and XO albums.  I’m getting that excited feeling I got when I first started getting into Elliott.  While Elliott was alive, I only owned XO and the Good Will Hunting soundtrack and didn’t really get into with a hardcore passion until after he died.

I think the same thing will happen with Jeff Hanson’s catalog for me now too.  The songs will grab hold and I’ll feel tremendous sorrow over the fact that this talent has been taken from us and we’ll never get to hear anything new from him…and I’ll regret that I never took the chance to see him live in concert.

As I’m sitting here in class, I’m listening to a small 8 song playlist on repeat, which consists of 4 Jeff Hanson songs from the KRS site…and 4 Nick Drake covers done by a young Elton John which I picked up this morning from Aquarium Drunkard.  I’m just sitting here….waiting for 12pm to roll around, so I can head to Cheapo and pick up my first Jeff Hanson album.  Based on the tracks I’ve been listening to, I think this may be a defining moment in my record collecting life.

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Journal For Plague Lovers

3 06 2009

 

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” — George Bernard Shaw

I love getting packages in the mail.  Who doesn’t?  The new Manic Street Preachers album, Journal For Plague Lovers was released in the UK on May 18th and does not currently have a domestic release date.  So, I ordered my copy on May 19th and it arrived in my hands today just in time for me to leave for class…where I enjoyed listening to the album during the second half of class.  I’ve been listening to the Manics a lot lately and have been looking forward to this ever since they announced they were recording their new album in the same style as The Holy Bible album…the last album featuring their missing guitarist, Richey Edwards.

Journal For Plague Lovers truly is a return to Holy Bible-era Manics.  The album is comrpised entirely of lyrics that Richey gave to bassist Nicky Wire on the day he, Richey, disappeared.

Like The Holy Bible, this album features several tracks of containing samples from movies.  Here is a list of the songs with samples and the movies the samples came from.

  • Peeled Apples: The Machinist
  • Me and Stephen Hawking: The Sun (English translation of dialogue: “turn the radio up”)
  • Marlon J.D.: Reflections In a Golden Eye (Marlon Brando film)
  • Doors Closing Slowly: The Virgin Suicides
  • Virginia State Epileptic Colony: there’s a sample in there. Can’t make it out, nor find info on it
  • I told a friend recently that the single “Peeled Apples” is filling a rock void for me right now.  I’ve grown a little tired of the hipster blips & bloops of certain “indie” bands lately and have started to gravitate back towards the rock & grunge that I cut my teeth on and Journal For Plague Lovers is definitely fitting right in.  I can already tell that this album will be one of my 3 most listened to albums of the year and will likely sit comfortably right near the top.

    Also, that album cover (!) which has been censored by record stores in the UK for some reason, is definitely one of my favorite album covers of the year.