Imagine this: a sweet and simple guitar melody floating lazily atop the slow and steady beat of a drum machine -- over and over and over again. It goes nowhere. It stays the same. Go to the bathroom, eat a sandwich, come back and it'll still be the same. You'll wait for it to change, develop, do something, anything. But it doesn't. How beautiful! It reminds me of that Poe story with the heart beating under the floorboards.
Rufus Wainwright once told David Dye that because of the Wainwright family's extensive musical background, his niece originally thought that everyone in the world had his or her own album. Sadly or luckily, his niece was wrong. And although it would be a sham to deny Loudon Wainwright III's musical accomplishments, Rufus is proof of improvement through evolution. Want One is Broadway for the unpretentious, a detailed glimpse into Rufus's world of desire and regret. The song "14th Street" makes me feel sorry for other music.
Like a true rock star, Gram Parsons lived fast, died young and left his mark. He spent a semester at Harvard, played in a few influential bands and at the age of 27 died from overdosing on morphine and tequila -- but not without pretty much inventing the alt-country genre. You may not be a fan of the genre, but this is a whole other ballgame. Listen to "She" and tell me you're not in love with Gram Parsons. Brilliance. Not to mention all the people the he influenced, and the fact that his dead body was stolen and cremated by his manager. Crazy.