As a producer, Jim O’Rourke is responsible for fundamentally re-shaping Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (and the band itself); as a composer, his songs could accompany both sweet dreams and nightmares; as a lyricist, his turns of phrase are pretty much enviable.
Yet perhaps because of his boundary-testing nature, the Chicago experimentalist doesn’t like to outstay his welcome. Even his album art, though always amazing, is tough to digest sometimes.
The better part of a decade has passed since O’Rourke released anything solo. Granted, he did record those two Loose Fur albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Glenn Kotche, and he recorded and toured with Sonic Youth, but that’s a whole different thing. This year, Drag City also re-issued some of O’Rourke’s early work—including a three-hour two-disc epic described by the label as a “double-disc drone-gasm”—but it’s just not the same. Continue reading
The last time Ontario, Canada’s The Rest played at the Casbah, we missed it. But we won’t make that mistake again. After all, according to their MySpace page, The Rest like all the things that we like: doing push-ups, shooting each other with water guns, howling at the moon, and delicious Thai food. (More details below.) We have other reasons, too. For one, their new album, Everything All At Once, is amazing. For another, they graciously agreed to write the latest installment of Poetic Memory. Also, they use the word “rascal” in their lyrics.
We’ve featured The Rest on our podcast a few times, but in case you missed it, here are a couple of MP3s. The wondrously haunting “Drinking Again” is definitely one of our favorite songs of 2009. Also, be sure to check out “Everything All At Once“, the epic titular track from their new album.
Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email. Continue reading