calamity kat - spring's a hobo

from fairbanks, AK, by way of minneappolis, MN comes this sparse folky tune by calamity kat, an independant travelling theatre actress, singer and musician. this track was recorded live by harrisonburg, VA's own bryan whitten, whose excellent song 'we look away' was featured earlier this month by the modern folk music of america. the recording quality isn't great but trust me this sucker is worth your time...kat's voice is as beautiful as her banjo picking is disarming and sweet. this is a recording of an event: far flung travelers converge in a living room and play and record the modern folk music of america. and i lay it before you. spring's a hobo and he's pulling into town on that long, circular iron rail, bindle on his shoulder, dancing that old soft shoe, and he's gonna sit on your porch, ask you for a buck fifty so he can buy a quart of beer, and tell you a long, long story.

jen mccarthy - fannin street and chocolate jesus (tom waits covers)

this might be my first truly field recorded posting for MFOA. this lady was very nice to me when i played at this little wine shop the week before, and she told me she would be doing an evening of tom waits covers the following wednsday. i felt i should attend.


she only did late career material. she had a 3-ring binder sitting on the piano with all the songs in plastic sleeves and a post-it note inside reminding her to breath in and out. the modern folk music of america. it was a charming performance. i like these recordings, with the introductions and background conversations. this is an attending to a laying before, for what its worth.



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PS
i'm gonna do some self promotion here. check out tomsmen's new EP, available as a completely free high quality download.

mickey arefaine - noted rider

i wanted to post this somewhat made up version of a leadbelly song that mickey and i recorded in early 2009 today in honor of the third annual harrisonburg rock lotto, taking place at the blue nile in harrisonburg, va, on march 18th and 19th of this year (so, in a little less than two weeks...mark your calendar if you live in the valley). this recording came about because mickey and i were playing together in the 2009 rock lotto, which was the first occurence of a re-creation of an idea that had lived before at some point in the late 90's  (check this out for the full story). rock lotto is a process by which musicians form bands with strangers, are given two months to write songs and to practice, and then get the chance to play a show. all proceeds go towards local education. rock lotto is a classic way to produce the modern folk music of america. it couldn't be better. i had a really great time playing in it, i have to mention my other bandmates ben and bladen, it was a good combination (i have some recordings of that show...maybe i could post those here). cheers to everyone who plays in the rock lotto and everyone who works hard to put it on.

mickey and i recorded this song in a couple takes one day after we had had practice with our rock lotto band. i thought she did a really good job on the vocals. its another case of gender bending, lyrically. as far as i know this is one of few recordings she's ever done, and i hadn't had a way to get it out there before.

bryan whitten - we look away

this one comes second hand from country creature's sean namei...this is bryan's first home recording, but he sounds like an old pro. he sent it to sean, and sean sent it to me to post as a surprise for him...i hope he finds it as pleasant of a surprise as i found the song itself to be. an introspective, dynamic, songwriterly gem from another harrisonburg, va native. this one rewards repeated listenings, there is alot going on here both musically and lyrically. there are pleasing layerings of acoustic and electric guitars, and tight vocal harmonies throughout...can we ever get enough of a person alone singing with themselves, with the help of just a little bit of inexpensive technology? the modern folk music of america. bryan, i know i am posting this without your knowledge, let me know if you want me to take it down, but it should be out there. great work. there ain't nothing you're doing wrong here.

sister lovers lovers - first installment

this is my tribute to my favorite album of all time, big star's third/sister lovers. a shambling, mysterious, dark album, the sound of collapse. for awhile, and in some ways still, this record made me forget about most other records. i know i will be friends with someone if i meet them for the first time and they also love this album, but since i have really been into it, i'm not sure that that has happened. i have only recorded versions of seven of the album's 19 possible songs (thats part of the mystery...never properly released, what songs are even on this record? the version i have has 19...) but there might be more to come. like certain other great albums, captain beefhearts' trout mask replica comes to mind, sister lovers can be a tough nut to crack, but it is totally worth it. i have been known to listen to this album like 10 times a day.

this little experiment goes out to everyone else out there who has had their soul stirred by this work of art, and also to alex chilton, a man who suffered his whole career from a lack of appreciation. some people might see it as overambitious to try to cover the songs on this album, fair enough, if you feel that way, let me have it, but i love this album so goddamn much i literally had to do it.






i would also like to give a quick shout to nick barbery's ghost capital  music blog...look at it, you wont find this music anywhere else.

we do our goo-goo-koos

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