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wonders never cease Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14th, 2010an unsinkable play list

[caption id="attachment_3775" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="click to listen"]titanic_3[1][/caption]April 14th is a rather gloomy day in history. In 1865, it was the day that President Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theater. Half a century or so later, shortly before midnight in 1912, it was the day the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, resulting in the loss of 1,517 lives. The Titanic was an engineering marvel, the world's largest passenger steamship. Firsthand accounts reporting acts of bravery and selflessness inspired many - and they inspired this week's play list.

1. The Titanic - Pink Anderson
A cover of the folk ballad by the South Carolina bluesman and snake oil sales assistant who reportedly was the inspiration for the "Pink" in Pink Floyd.

2. Sinkin' Soon - Norah Jones
The slow pace of the banjo, muted trumpet, pot and pan percussion and backing vocals from M Ward provide a sleepy bayou vibe that belies the subversive political subtext of this song's lyrics from Jones' third album, 2007's Not Too Late.

3. A Mighty Leviathan of Old - Vandaveer
DC's own Vandaveer compare navigating past the pitfalls and potholes in the search for love to sailing past the ship-sinking sea monster from bible stories. They somehow manage to set this beautiful, complex song to a surreal video with a post-apocalyptic clown car theme and it's a lot of fun.

4. Ship Out On the Sea - The Be Good Tanyas
In a swooning article written in 2006 about the alt-country trio, academic Ken Cox wrote "Perhaps they are neoclassicists; perhaps they are pacifistic postmodernists; perhaps they just love the old songs and love writing and singing new songs that just sound old. It is amazing that a group from Vancouver, British Columbia shows Americans what their own music sounds like."

5. Drinkalottawater - Mayor Mcca
Warning. Listening to this song is likely to embed it in your consciousness, where it will seep into your subconscious and you'll find yourself humming bits of it while you look for the nearest source of potable water. Hmmm, come to think of it, where did we put our own glass?

6. The Tide Is High - Blondie
Punk rock pioneer furthers her crossover into mainstream success, hitting the top of the charts in the US and the UK with this cover of Jamaican rocksteady artists The Paragons.

7. The Wreck of the Good Ship Lollipop - Alex Parvez covering John Bustine
Local musician pays tribute to DC's brilliant balladeer John Bustine, whose debut album, Waltzes and Pleas, has been one of our favorite albums of the last decade. As we await the next offering from this gifted songwriter, we recommend that you pop into our shop and pick up this work of art.

8. Deep Blue Sea - Grizzly Bear
Brooklyn based band plumbs the depths on the terrific Dark Was The Night, a 2009 fundraising release from the HIV/AIDS-awareness folks at the Red Hot Organization who managed to get contributions from a list of artists that reads like a who's who of indie darlings.

9. Hymn To the Sea - James Horner
A lovely hymn accompanies images of the massive ship prior to its fateful maiden voyage, telling a moving story of the tragic event. It's difficult to witness the opulent craftsmanship that went into creating the ship and not be struck by the fact that the company that owned the ship made the decision not to provide enough lifeboats on board despite having specifically designed the ship so that it could accommodate lifeboats for all the passengers.

10. Nearer My God to Thee - Mississippi John Hurt
One of the most moving stories to come from the disaster at sea was that of the heroic band, who continued to play a series of light and airy tunes to calm the panicked passengers as they boarded the lifeboats to escape the sinking ship. Some stories have this spiritual listed as the last song the band played, although it is more likely to be the next song.

11. Songe d'Automne - Archibald Joyce
A more credible report from one of the last men off of the ship declared this popular waltz to be the last song the gallant band played as the last lifeboat rowed away. The ship went down soon thereafter and none of the band survived.

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