Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"If life is really as short as they say, then why is the night so long?"


Last month I joined a club called Mixaholics that is centered on an intriguing premise: Every month I get mix CDs from two club members, and every month I share a homemade mix with two other club members. It's a cool way to discover new music.

One song that jumped out at me on the first CD I recieved was "Requiem," a joyously angry eulogy for a fallen soldier by singer/songwriter M. Ward. I recently picked up Ward's latest album, "Post-War," which includes "Requiem" and about a dozen other songs of forward-thinking retro folk songs.

I realize that description doesn't make much since, but it's the only way I can sum up Ward's music. Like late period Dylan, Ward is infatuated with "post-war" blues and folk music from the 1940s and '50s. But he's not a revivalist. Rather he uses the old music as a haunting, timeless cloak for his gently wistful songs, which mourn the past and celebrate the future in equal doses.

The above YouTube clip is of Ward's performance last week on Letterman. He performs "Chinese Translation," an outstanding track off "Post-War." Ward will be at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Sept. 7, my birthday, and I'll likely be there because I just won free tickets. This clip has me excited, and not just because I have a thing for female drummers.

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