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Both Sides Now – The Spirit of Americana – VA (2002)

Both Sides Now: The Spirit of Americana – VA (2002)
Mp3 @ 160 kbps / 2 files – 89.5 MB & 86.0 MB / RS

Both Sides Now – Best Of Americana was a 2002 UK-exclusive release, compiled by Uncut magazine’s Nigel Williamson.

The collection aims to offer a comprehensive summary of Americana as it currently stands with 37 tracks from such an array of amazing artists like Bob Dylan, Flaming Lips, Lambchop, Mercury Rev, Jim O’Rourke, Thea Gilmore, Radar Brothers, Be Good Tanyas, Silver Jews, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions & many more.

Funny, I wouldn’t associate many of these with Americana! But so fucking what! It’s great music!

Yap – although they did cast their Americana net a little too widely, there are still plenty of gems on this compilation.

Those seeking a purer form of Americana could do worse than check out the Flyinshoes podcast which comes from Nottingham, in the middle of the UK, rather strangely! I always knew Britland was the 51st US State!!

Some of these rather good podcasts can be had here;

Both Sides Now collects two discs’ worth of contemporary artists who work loosely under the genre label Americana, although it is difficult to imagine some of the these acts actually falling into that drawer, like the Flaming Lips, for example, whose “Do You Realize” is included here.

That said, this is a pretty cool anthology with a lot of highlights, starting with the first track, Bob Dylan’s “High Water (For Charley Patton).” The woefully underappreciated Rodney Crowell contributes “Ballad of a Teenage Queen,” while Steve Earle brings his courageous (and controversial) “Ballad of John Walker,” and the two songs seem to sort of bookend the American experience. BR5-49 does a loving cover of Gram Parsons’ “Hickory Wind.” The Flaming Lips’ erstwhile cousin Mercury Rev, another band that works “in the spirit of Americana” rather than in Americana itself, is represented here by the pretty “Little Rhymes.” A fine introduction to some interesting artists who seem to never show up on MTV ( or on CMT, either, for that matter).

– Steve Leggett
Well, here’s a useful catch-all, catch-up compilation in time for slipping into your Americana Christmas stocking. Sub-sub-titled The Best of Americana 2002! It rather stretches a point to include the Flaming Lips’ pop-glorious Do You Realise? and Warren Zevon’s You’re A Whole Different Person, but otherwise this embraces all shades of the genre, from sparse mountain music to gutsy guitar rocking, from the Be Good Tanyas, Arlenes and Silver Jews to Jason Ringenberg, Jay Farrar and Grant Lee Phillips.

Rather than the review descending into an extended list, suffice to point you in the direction of Raul Malo & Shelby Lynn’s revamp of It Takes Two To Tango, Rodney Crowell’s Johnny Cash tribute album version of Ballad of a Teenage Queen, the inclusion of little known but worth discovering names Dan Bern, Wiskey Biscuit, Departure Lounge, and Cicero Buck, After All This Time from Darden’s Smith’s criminally underpublicised comeback album, and the fragile beauty of Hope Sandoval’s Suzanne.

But whether your taste leans more to Dylan (High Water) or Lambchop (I Can Hardly Spell My Name) with its balance of reliable old timers and emergent heirs to the throne (Mary Gauthier step right up), even with the notable omissions of Ryan Adams, The Guthries and Eileen Rose, this is ridiculously good value for money, even though it’ll probably cost you a fortune tracking down the albums by the artists you’ll just be discovering within. And I managed to get through the whole review without once drooling over the fact it also contains Thea Gilmore’s not-entirely-Americana-but-who-cares cover of I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine from her forthcoming new album. Oh darn!

– Mike Davies


CD 1 – 78:18

01 Bob Dylan – High Water (For Charley Patton) 04:05
02 Raul Malo & Shelby Lynne – It Takes Two to Tango 03:35
03 Lambchop – I Can Hardly Spell My Name 03:22
04 The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize 03:34
05 Jim O’Rourke – All Downhill From Here 05:00
06 Jeff Finlin – I Am the King 04:12
07 Warren Zevon – You’re a Whole Different Person When You’re Scared 05:14
08 Jay Farrar – Barstow 03:54
09 Radar Brothers – Rock of the Lake 04:59
10 Dan Bern – New American Language 05:13
11 Jason Ringenberg – Bible and a Gun 04:37
12 The Be Good Tanyas – Don’t You Fall 03:40
13 Silver Jews – Horseleg Swastikas 03:23
14 Caitlin Cary – Shallow Heart, Shallow Water 04:36
15 Hayden – I Should Have Been Watching You 01:43
16 The Vessels – Don’t Waste Your Time 03:07
17 Chris Mills – Silver Line 02:56
18 BR5-49 – Hickory Wind 04:18
19 Stewboss – I Hope I Miss You 03:39
20 Rodney Crowell – Ballad of a Teenage Queen 03:11

CD 2 – 75:19

01 Josh Rouse – Feeling No Pain 04:20
02 Steve Earle – Ballad of John Walker 03:41
03 Wiskey Biscuit – Santa Ana River Delta Blues 05:51
04 Mercury Rev – Little Rhymes 05:12
05 Thea Gilmore – I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine 04:35
06 Chuck Prophet – Summertime Thing 05:11
07 Grand Drive – Track 40’s Gone 04:45
08 Grant Lee Phillips – Like a Lover 04:32
09 Departure Lounge – King Kong Frown 02:58
10 St. Thomas – Oh I Have Left the Ground 03:28
11 Cicero Buck – Delicate Shade of Grey 03:35
12 Will Kimbrough – Hey Big Sister 05:11
13 Mary Gauthier – Our Lady of the Shooting Stars 03:30
14 Dolly Varden – Overwhelming 05:21
15 The Arlenes – Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone 05:27
16 Darden Smith – After All This Time 02:54
17 Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – Suzanne 04:48

Here they be y’all!

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August 19, 2008 Posted by | Jim O'Rourke, Josh Rouse, Mercury Rev, Music_AltCountry, Silver Jews, Steve Earle, Various Artists, _BOB DYLAN, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Jim O’ Rourke – Discography

Here’s a majestic collection of Jim O’ Rourke works, a whopping 27 Albums!

All thanks to iraklis and of course the original uploaders for this treasure trove!

We love Jimmy boy. And not just cos he’s got the most Irish name in the world. No. It’s possibly more cos of the wonderful innovative music he’s made and produced over the years. And cos at various times, been part of a slew of seminal groups including the supreme Sonic Youth and one of my personal faves, the mighty Gastr Del Sol.

I’m not sure playing live is his thing though. I saw him in a small club in Dublin years ago when touring solo for Eureka (him, not me!), and it really was a disappointment . Maybe it’s just that he’d drunk too much Guinness and seen too many ugly cailins at close quarters that day!!

Jimmy has long associated with the Chicago experimental and improv scene.

Known for his idiosyncratic tastes, and regarded as something of an expert on modern experimental music, he has released albums of jazz, noise and guitar rock music. O’Rourke has collaborated with the likes of Thurston Moore, Derek Bailey, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Nurse With Wound, Fennesz, Organum, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and most recently mixed Joanna Newsom’s album Ys.

He has produced albums by artists as varied as Wilco, Stereolab, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple.

He mixed Wilco’s very successful Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, which made many reviewers’ top ten lists for 2002, and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy for “Best Alternative Album”. During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O’Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche, a veteran of the Chicago scene and O’Rourke’s own solo albums, under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA.

O’Rourke has released a large number of albums and was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol and the Red Crayola. From 2000 he played bass guitar and guitar with Sonic Youth; he quit as a full member in 2005 to pursue his interest in filmmaking, but continues to play with them in some of their side projects.


Sorry. I’ve had to remove all links on foot of mail below from Drag City Records. Have a gander instead at

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing from Drag City Records in Chicago – Jim O’Rourke’s label

You must take down all of the O’Rourke Albums that are posted on your blog

Please write back to confirm that this has happened


Scott McGaughey

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Jim O'Rourke, Music_Alternative, _MUSIC | Leave a comment