A regular Thursday feature of this channel.

Peter Baird


Welcome to singer/songwriter week. Kicking things off is the new Loudon Wainwright III song Lifetime Achievement. This isn't an especially remarkable recording, but it's a great song. "Who needs cash and prizes? What I achieved is you." His voice has reached a really special state of decay after 75 years, two divorces, and four children. No dead skunks here, just a nice love song.

SugarMan is a disturbing yet compelling song. "I edit my thoughts/I edit my words/I eat and drink/'Til nothing hurts." Regina Spektor's voice is almost embarrassingly intimate here--you feel like she's sharing things about the dynamic between abusive men and the women they manipulate that are overheard accidentally. Great recording, especially the use of sub-bass and vocal repeats.

"Well the deepest love's giving each other the benefit of the doubt/It's been a wonderful evening out." Bendigo Fletcher has a real talent for spinning a lyric, and Pterodactyl has a lot of them. Not really a fan of the tanky-sounding chamber verb, but I can let it slide for a good song.

I'm developing a real affection for Welsh crazies Mush. There's so much to like in Dense Traffic--top-notch recording, great hook in the chorus, and a manically joyful excess of tritones everywhere. They're like tritone missionaries spreading the Word with zeal and smiles. Added bonus is an evocative haunted-house-soundtrack coda that will have anyone with a musical soul playing air guitar.