Gray Days and Gold, October 2020
Hello, friends. Autumnal music is my favorite—I’ve previously made some recommendations here—and if I’ve hit the mark then this episode is the pop music equivalent of a pile of burning leaves in the back yard, glowing warmly and beckoning you to get cozy. There’s also a little bit of explicit language, so please exercise caution as needed. (If you’re just discovering Gray Days and Gold, here’s an introduction that explains the show’s raison d’être.)
You can listen via the embedded player just below in this post—if you don’t see it, try turning off your ad-blocker then reloading the page—or on the Mixcloud website, via the Mixcloud mobile app, on your Sonos system, etc.
For those who prefer Spotify, there’s also a more bare-bones iteration of this episode’s playlist here (minus my commentary, as well as any songs that are missing from Spotify’s library).
Gray Days and Gold, October 2020
- This Is the Kit, “This Is What You Did” (2020) • BUY
- Bob Dorough, “Tis Autumn” (1966) • BUY
- Burt Bacharach & Daniel Tashian, “Bells of St. Augustine” (2020) • BUY
- Tunng, “A Million Colours” (2020) • BUY
- The Apartments, “Where You Used to Be” (2020) • BUY
- Colorama, “Crosville” (2020) • BUY
- Fleet Foxes, “Maestranza” (2020) • BUY
- Odessey & Oracle, “Je Suis L’Endormie” (2020) • BUY
- Matt Berninger, “My Eyes Are T-Shirts” (2020) • BUY
- My Hawaii, “You Don’t Even Know Why You Love Me” (2016) • BUY
- Woods of Birnam, “Du Bist Alles” (2020) • BUY
- Charlie Dore, “Collateral” (2020) • BUY
- The Weather Station, “Robber” (2020) • BUY
- Sufjan Stevens, “Landslide” (2020) • BUY
- Zola Mennenöh, “I Will Always Be Yours, Forever” (2020) • BUY
Podcast recommendation: Tunng Presents...DEAD CLUB
As mentioned in this episode, UK group Tunng has created a podcast series of interviews to accompany/elucidate their forthcoming album Dead Club. Here’s their discussion with philosopher and writer Alain de Botton, who’s a favorite in our household due to his plain-spoken and incisive analyses of—and suggestions for combatting—the neuroses that tend to plague modern Western secular cultures.
As an aside, one of De Botton’s more unique projects was called Living Architecture, a series of custom-built vacation rentals in the UK intended to allow average people a chance to stay in what’s essentially a work of art—a space designed to be in complete harmony with its surroundings, and to demonstrate the profound effects that thoughtful architecture could have on one’s sense of being. (I suppose the elevator pitch might be along the lines of “What if you could rent Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water?”)
In 2016, to mark Jane’s birthday, we spent a week in one of these homes: Life House, near the village of Llanbister in rural central Wales. Designed by architect James Pawson, the space was created with a monastic simplicity to encourage a certain amount of interiority and reflection.
Each of the three bedrooms was devoted to a theme: one contained a library of books selected by de Botton; one contained a bathtub (yes, in the bedroom) against a window wall, affording both complete privacy and a full view of the rolling landscape; and one contained a very high end stereo system and a music collection assembled by John’s brother, Caius Pawson, founder of the Young Turks record label. Naturally I cast my vote for sleeping in the music room.
Given that this show is a manifestation of my desire to use music to reflect the feelings of the passing seasons, I appreciated that it was deemed important to enlist a music fanatic to provide what he thought would be the right music for this exact space (while also providing enough stylistic variety for there to be something for everyone).
Of course, in the end, the draw of the surrounding landscape—and the UK’s generous ‘right to roam’ policies—meant that I spent more time hiking than in the music room enjoying that stereo.
As always, thanks for listening. If you’d like to receive these posts via email, you can sign up for my newsletter here. I’ll see you again soon. And if you’re in the US, please vote like every life depends on it.
So Daniel Tashian had his version of The Bees even after ours!?! Crazy.
An NPR article from 2006 says, “They added (U.S.) to the end of their name to settle a dispute with a band from the UK with the same name,” but it still doesn’t justify my having agitated for the name change. I will forever consider that a stain on my record.