Listening in Tongues

P.S. A blessing and a thanks to Townes Van Zandt, who lived fast and died old in the first week of this new year. Earthier than Gram Parsons, flightier than Guy Clark, the skinny Texan made incandescent albums (especially Nashville Sessions) in the early '70s, balancing vision against dread, movement against defeat, folk with country and rock. But all that firebreathing strafed his throat, and heroin dulled his vision. He returned two years ago with No Deeper Blue as a mad loner, the former moody rock & roll rebel "grown-up" to itinerant homelessness and an outsider's rough wisdom. Neither burned out nor rusting, he already seemed to have left time behind.

Favorite Albums:

1. Sleater-Kinney Call the Doctor (Chainsaw)

2. Tricky, etc.Nearly God (Island)

3. FugeesThe Score (Ruffhouse/Columbia)

4. StereolabEmperor Tomato Ketchup (Elektra)

5. Cibo Matto Viva! La Woman (Warner Brothers)

6. Spring Heel Jack68 Million Shades . . . (Island import)

7. Everything But the Girl Walking Wounded (Atlantic)

8. DJ SpookySongs of a Dead Dreamer (Asphodel)

9. TrickyPre-Millenium Tension (Island)

10. Lois Infinity Plus (K)

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