Friday, January 19, 2007

A Fine Iron & Wine

IPods have a weird way of making you "discover" an unknown (at least to you) artist. You set the thing on shuffle, and occasionally a song you didn't even know you had in there pops on and blows you away. The song is so good that it makes you wanna go out and buy everything the artist has ever recorded. If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a sucker for a good cover song (read my previous posting on the subject here) especially when I already love the original version. So when an artist covers a Flaming Lips or a Postal Service song, and perhaps makes it even better, well, I take notice. For me, Iron & Wine did just that.

Iron & Wine is the stage and recording name for Florida singer-songwriter Sam Beam. His music has been compared, variously, to that of Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Elliott Smith, John Fahey and Ralph Stanley. His music is often characterized as alt-country, progressive folk, or indie folk. In other words, it's just plain goodness.

For your consideration, I offer you his cover of "Such Great Heights" originally recorded by The Postal Service and was featured in an advertisement for M&M's, in the 2004 film Garden State (and its soundtrack), and in 2006 in an advertisement. Undoubtedly you know that tune, but it's the other song you may not be as familiar with. The Flaming Lips recorded "Waitin' For Superman," which was already a wonderful song filled with meloncholic lyrics and sung with passion. Iron & Wine covered the song for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic and not only made the song his own, he added even more levels of emotion to it.

Here are the lyrics:

I asked you a question
But I didn't need you to reply
Is it getting heavy?
But then I realize

Is it getting heavy?
Well, I thought it was already as heavy as can be

Is it overwhelming
To use a crane to crush a fly?
It's a good time for Superman
To lift the sun into the sky

Cause it's getting heavy
Well, I thought it was already as heavy as can be

Tell everybody waiting for Superman
That they should try to hold on best they can
He hasn't dropped them, forgot them or anything
It's just too heavy for Superman to lift

Here are the songs.

For Your Consideration:
Iron & Wine - Such Great Heights Mp3
Iron & Wine - Waitin' For Superman Mp3

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