Friday's Grab Bag

This week's music selections are dedicated to Rafe Palmeiro. This music makes you want to dance... around questions about steroid use.

Iron & Wine/Calexico – Lays in the Reins
Sam Beam is working at a hectic rate. In the last two years he has released an album, a single, an EP, contributed to soundtracks and now has teamed with multi-instrumental jam band favorites, Calexico, to produce a new 7 song EP.

Lays in the Reins, (street date - Sept.13 2005) combines the best parts of Sam’s (masterful lyrics) and Calexico’s talents (diverse sounds, including accordion and pedal steel to name just a few). Of the seven songs, two are classic Iron & Wine songs, and the other five are new songs. The highlights for me are new songs, “he lay in the reins”, “red dust” and “16, maybe less”. HLItR features Spanish vocals by Salvador Duran, and WaveLab’s Nick Luca on reverse delayed Wurlitzer. Seriously, even if you don’t like Iron and Wine or Calexico, you have to love someone using reverse delayed Wurlitzer.

The Album Leaf – Red Tour EP
Previously only available at shows, Sub Pop finally released the Red Tour EP for Album Leaf fans who just couldn’t wait for a new album. Album Leaf made a big splash in the last year, releasing a new album (In a Safe Place), and a great remix on the Verve 3 album. Looking for ambient instrumentals with subtle programmed drums featuring cameos by members of Sigur Ros, Mum and other fantastic bands? Look no farther than Jimmy LaValle’s work. The Red Tour EP contains five new songs, all of which are rock solid.

Puff the Magic Dragon – Bonnie Prince Billy
The latest 7-inch in a series called ‘Music for the Young at Heart’. Will Oldham sings the children’s classic, Puff the Magic Dragon. Sounds good, but the b-side is the keeper. Theme for the young at heart is an absolutely beautiful track. It could be possible Will Oldham could write a song about anything, in any genre and I’d like it. Whenever I hear this song, I can’t help but think Link just saved the princess.

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