Monday, July 23, 2007

Between the covers:: The Shins vs. Sarah Harmer

Gone for Good. This song ties in to my general disappointment about the David Beckham explosion hitting the US right now. I think the whole situation is sad. I mean, he's a once great player whose skills have faded and his public exposure has increased. Now he's the faceplate for a league struggling to gain credibility. Instead, the league is now catering to b-list celebs like Tara Reid and the other people you read about in the gossip rags. It's chic to care about the soccer, or at least Posh and Becks. It's cool to care about those two right now, but how long will that last? I understand the business sense of the move, but I'd rather see the cash spent on luring in talent that can still do more than hit a set-piece.

We have enough celebrity athletes that are filmed constantly, and distract from the sport itself. We see athletes in commercials and billboards, and I'm one of those people that thinks no athlete is bigger than the game. The Beckham-cam and the hype over the "will he / won't he" was tiresome. No one cared about the game, as one of the biggest cheers was when he stood up to warm up.

I'm not a once-every-four years type fan. I enjoy watching soccer and follow a few leagues (mostly the German and the Premiership). I get so frustrated when sports columnists like Bill Simmons talk up the game for a minute during the World Cup (and say they love it), and then the minute the golden ball is lifted, they forget about it. That being said, the stadium was full and lots of people watched so the move paid off I guess. It just makes me never want to watch the Galaxy ever again.

Anyway, the songs::
MP3:: Gone For Good - The Shins
For the Shins, Chutes Too Narrow was the record that gained them a ton of fans, but also introduced the beginning of the "man... the Shins used to be so good" movement. I still think they are a fantastic band, and I really like this song, especially the country tinges (of the subtle slide guitar) that flow throughout the acoustic number.

Here's a nice radio version of James performing the song solo as well.
MP3:: Gone For Good (Mercer solo)

MP3:: Gone For Good - Sarah Harmer
Sarah Harmer is a Canadian super darling. Her voice is amazing, but the thing you really should take from her records is the attention to detail she puts into her lyrics. She writes songs that draw you into the smallest of detail like a talented author, but never sacrifices the melody.

This live version of the song is from the amazing Weakerthans / Sarah Harmer concert where they also traded covers of each other's songs. It still has the country swagger and the dual vocals, but the recorder-ish sounds and the female harmonies help this song float along. Her falsetto is so nice, you can't help yourself from enjoying the song.

Overall - still have to give it to the Shins.

Posted at 10:59 AM by ack :: 4 comments

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At 1:03 PM, Blogger pnaedoo did sayeth:

I love it when you review music that I like and know. Sarah Harmer is awesome. I have yet to see her live in concert, but not for lack of trying. Her shows sold out quickly in Toronto and she came to Halifax last year, but B was only 6 weeks old at the time.
Perhaps you should check out Sarah Slean to....


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Hero did sayeth:

5 years of blogging, and I finally got one you like. :)

I think Sarah Slean is opening up for Rufus Wainright when I see him next month.. Our worlds are colliding P :)


At 8:44 AM, Blogger pnaedoo did sayeth:

Have you ever heard of Jann Arden?


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Charles did sayeth:

I'm a month late in reading this, but I have to disagree with your characterization of the Beckham situation. His skills have "faded" to some extent (perfectly natural for a footballer in his 30s), but he is still the same player he's always been - marvelous on a set piece, a great crosser especially if given a little bit of space, nothing special otherwise, but fiercely competitive and dogged.

He won't fix MLS alone, but he's a good advertisement for the beautiful game. And I have faith that if people start paying attention it will do a lot of important things. They'll see the sport in action and a few will stick around as long-time fans. It will give folks who love the sport but never paid any attention to MLS a reason to focus on the local version of the sport. And it will increase the revenues which will make it easier to attract other talent and build a league good enough to keep talented North American players here.

The fact is the MLS as it stands is simply not good enough to consistently attract world-class players in their prime. So as long as bringing in the Beckhams and Zidanes and Ronaldos of the world doesn't become its exclusive focus, I see no harm in trying to pull in some guys who are too old to compete in one of the top leagues, but still young enough to raise the standard of play here.

To be sure, the Beckham hype of the last month or two was clearly overboard and I'll be happier once it settles down a little, but you have to admit that what he was able to do in his first real game back demonstrates that at least some of the hype was justified.


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