You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Literary folk

Since I'm reading Rick Moody as we speak (Garden State, his first) I was interested when I learned that if I want, I can listen to him, too, being that The Wingdale Community Singers, his Brooklyn-based singer-songwriters collective, just released their second album, Spirit Duplicator, on Secret Shame. Moody and the rest of the foursome share the songwriting duty equally. This includes Hannah Marcus (who's played with American Music Club, Red House Painters and Godspeed You Black Emporer), David Grubbs (of Red Krayola, Squirrel Bait, and Bastro) and Nina Katchadourian. Moody also recently served as guest editor for an issue of Magnet Magazine.The album manages to sound remarkably old-timey without being cloying, exemplified by "Give it a Kiss," with its instantly memorable hook.

Since I spent the better part of semester researching the NYC folk scene for a grad school class, I've taken personal interest in the survival of folk music in New York, After the '60s revival waned, it seems most folkies have moved far away from this admittedly hyper-ironic scene. The Wingdales (like Sharon van Etten) are an incredible treasure located right here, and I'm glad they're carrying the folk torch for New York.

Actually, after, a while I realized that the Wingdales' music, springlike and rustic , full of old-fashioned harmonic singing, doesn't exactly match up to Moody's book, with its gloomy industrial spaces and early-twentysomething ennui set to the backdrop of northern New Jersey in the '80s. But hey, I prefer The Carter Family anyway, their beautiful, spare cover of which is below:

Mp3 - Wingdale Community Singers - Death is Only a Dream

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