Ok, so I got Ciao My Shining Star in the mail today and can't stop listening to it. I figure I'd share some thoughts for you guys. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, read my previous post. It's an album of Mark Mulcahy covers - but it's also a tribute to his wife. I suggest you snag this album, because it's totally worth it, and it's for a really good cause.
After opening the case it becomes clear that this isn't a normal compilation. The booklet is full of photos, and opens with a really touching story written by Mulcahy. It's the call of a man in deep heartfelt sadness, and that call is gentle and tender. Listening to the songs, I can safely say that all the tracks are excellent. I was worried seeing some big names like Josh Rouse and Ben Kweller, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's weird to hear all these bands playing his music, but it's kind of cool as well.
Everyone's talking about Thom Yorke singing "All For The Best," and with good reason - it's freaking sweet. It begins with some electronic backbeat and progresses through some interesting changes. He really took the song and made it his own. The video is intense:
Dinosaur Jr.'s cover of "The Backyard" is just awesome. I always loved that song, and hearing that crusty vocal part and J. Mascis' signature guitar bends rip this song up is phenomenal. They absolutely rocked the hell out of it. And of course Vic Chesnutt doing "Little Man" is great - that guy can do no wrong. I even like Ben Kweller singing "Wake Up Whispering," especially the slide - and I never liked Ben Kweller.
I do have to say that my favorite cover is Elvis Perkins playing "She Watches Over Me." There's just something about it that really works and it seems like he really gets the song. All the melancholy, sadness and shimmering beauty of the original is captured. The original is a very short ballad from Mulcahy's grossly unappreciated and extremely hard to find album Love's the Only Thing That Shuts Me Up.
There's so many great artists and so much going on throughout this disc, it's something that you can't let pass you by. It's a beautiful tribute album to an amazing musician and his wife. All I can really say right now is get your hands on this CD as soon as you can. There's also a digital version with 2 extra discs worth of covers, including stuff by A.C. Newman, Winterpills and The Late B.P. Helium. I haven't heard any of them yet, but I'm excited to give them a spin too.