1. "This", Leslie Helpert (the Serpentfly-Complete )
2. "As if the world turns", Cuddle Magic (Cuddle Magic)
3. "Eloise", Des Ark (Battle Of The Beards)
4. "Papillion", Olenka (Warsaw Girl EP)
5. "What I am", Birds of Passage (Unreleased)
6. "Toen", Jae (The Forming of the Shaping)
7. "Hard Candy Moon", Baby Teeth Thieves (To a Green Thought...)
8. "Pondsnlakes", Anni Rossi (Scandia)
9. "The Doldrums", Paper Bird (Anything Nameless and Joymaking)
10. "Pollen Dance", Boolar (Glistening Music)
11. "Radiohead song?", Crooke and Color (Crooklyn)
12. "Blindfold", Indigo Street (Bedroom Community Presents...)
13. "Made", The Story Of Modern Farming (Some One New)
14. "Pickin' up Rocks" Sharon Van Etten (Unreleased)
15. "Universe", Libby Kirkpatrick (Songs from the Ether)
16. "The Weight of Dusk", Jessica Pavone (Quotidian)
17. "So Long you", Meander ("&")
released February 16, 2009
In Greek myth, the Sirens were supposed to have sung with voices so beautiful that passing seamen would shipwreck trying to reach the source of the song. In most stories the Sirens are depicted as malicious temptresses who, knowing how lovely their own voices are, beckon the men near, despite the rocky shores that lie between, hence causing the death of countless men at sea.
But consider that these stories always come from men, and how typical it is for men to blame the folly of their own attractions on some bewitching force of the woman rather than own up to the sometimes dangerous inclinations of their own desires? In light of this, it seems unjust to presume that the Sirens were malicious. It is just as likely that they sang for their own enjoyment and may have been indifferent to the plights of passing men. If sailors were so drawn to this singing that they did not heed the rocks before them, shouldn't we blame their desire before we blame the Siren or the song? And really, why blame anything at all?
In my tenure on the mighty sea that is the North American and European Highway, I occasionally encounter a singing beauty that makes me nearly wreck my ship. And I can't recall a mean temptress among them. Some of these ladies have requited my sentiments, while others have not. In some cases, I met an already beautiful girl whose charm was augmented by the exceptional music she made. In others, I don't know that I would have been attracted to the girl at all, if not for her music. I call by the name musical crushes those crushes in which the sexual attraction and musical attraction are blurred, creating a feeling of confused pleasures.
But unlike Homer, I won't blame my confusion on the one about whom I am confused. I would rather look inward and consider what that intermingling of pleasures tells me about my own desire.
In any case, I don't think I'm alone in this blurring of the lines between musical and erotic appreciation. Let the listener judge whether I am right in asserting that all of the music presented here is "objectively" crushworthy. Whether I am right or wrong about that, this is a document of my musical crushes (whether on the music or the makers) while out to sea.
One final note seems in order concerning the great gender bias still present in our society, even within musical circles. I recently read a blog by Mary Halvorson in which she writes of the many sexist comments she has experienced, a good deal of which are meant as compliments, but nonetheless are offensive because they single out her being a woman rather than the merit of her music. "You play great for a girl," and that sort of problematic praise. In response to this she writes:
"I am a guitar player, not a "female guitar player". Just like anyone else who plays this kind of music, I am working hard to create something original and thought provoking on guitar. This has nothing to do with me being female. I do not wish to put in a separate category because of my sex. If you enjoy the music, please enjoy it because of how it sounds.
"People wonder why there aren't more women playing this kind of music... If barriers continue to be created between male and female musicians through comments such as these, gaps only grow wider."
I cite this blog because I want to make very clear that the compilation I present to you, while it does feature mostly women, is not meant to suggest a category of "women's music". The primary function of the compilation is merely to spread the music of my friends that I think more folks should hear.
The second function is autobiographical. The theme of each compilation is selected with an eye towards my own personal connection to the musicians and the music, rather than from some objective "genre." The first compilation, "Guests and Hosts" featured musicians who had hosted me while on tour, or whom I had hosted while they were on tour. Part of the experiment for me is to see what sort of musical unity emerges when such a personal, idiosyncratic theme is used to bind the songs together. On this second volume, I have chosen people whose music was so enticing that a crush emerged, whether on the person or the music or both. It is autobiographical because each of the songs compiled here (and the musicians who made them) entered my life as an extraordinary and lovely experience. Even if just for a brief time, I have fallen in love with each of these musical experiences, and the songs are documents of that love. The songs are, of course, more than documents, since they are also what I love. Some of the women featured here are very good friends, my crush notwithstanding. Others I met and passed quickly on the road. And so I might better say that I love my limited experience of the person or song. But if we think about it, we'll find that all of our experiences with people and music are limited, and there is no objective quantity of time spent that can justify or repute love.
And so it is in love that I gather these songs together for you the listener, hoping your experience of them will be as lovely as mine, though unique and incomparable. Thank you for listening. --C.J. 2/16/09