Monthly Archives: November 2013

Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals – “Irene, Goodnight”

I’m not sure what exactly possessed Rob Anderson of Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals to meld a lightly mocking self-portrait of nostalgic hipster culture with an old folk song first recorded by Lead Belly, but it was an inspired move. … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Virgin of the Birds – “Formalist Girls”

At this point Virgin of the Birds might have racked up the most appearances on Ball of Wax of anyone apart from myself – and, for that matter, VotB mastermind Jon Rooney has likely written the most blog posts on … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Yucca Mountain – “Garden”

Yucca Mountain is the current musical manifestation of Ball of Wax mainstay Jeremy Burk. Burk has a towering rasp of a voice – a legitimate, powerful instrument capable of stopping a room in its tracks. Burk puts that voice to … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Colin J Nelson – “Dedication”

I don’t do this often, but I specifically requested a song from Colin for Ball of Wax 34, and then had to practically lock him in his studio and force him to record it. I don’t know why, but it … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Unai Azkune – “Bálsamo de Tigre”

Unai Azkune is, as far as I know, Ball of Wax‘s first Spanish contributor. “Bálsamo de Tigre” is a simple, moving song featuring only voice (sung in English) and some deft fingerstyle nylon-string acoustic guitar. There’s something really great and effective … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: whole halves – “Snowflakes”

whole halves‘ “Snowflakes” waltzes at a restrained, patient pace and features little more than a couple of voices and a couple of acoustic guitars. While not as glacial in its pacing,  “Snowflakes” is reminiscent of Low’s more immediate and engaging … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: St. Kilda – “Bastille Day”

Our old friend Joshua Morrison has a new band! I first fell in love with Joshua’s understated, breathy approach via some home-recorded songs on a Myspace page in 2005, and was delighted to include one of those songs on Volume … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Caroline Keys – “Les Grillons (Labor with Enthusiasm)”

Caroline Keys’s “Les Grillons (Labor with Enthusiasm)” is an original and uniquely satisfying contribution to Ball of Wax 34. It opens with some sort of found sound layer (a church sermon? a political rally?) then quickly introduces a mandolin playing … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: amattacat – “Army of Cats”

Matt Taylor’s solo project amattacat – new to the Ball of Wax fold under this name, although Matt appeared on Volume 30 with his band Proud Wonderful Me – brings us another entry into the just-guitar-and-voice category. This recording is … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 34 Songs: Sam Russell with the Harborrats – “The Lexington Waltz”

Beloved Ball of Wax veteran Sam Russell and his Harborrats contribute a real beauty of a country waltz to volume 34 with “The Lexington Waltz.” Everything is in its right place – from the warm, upfront vocals to the sad … Continue reading

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