Melodic Virtue has been featured in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Los Angeles Times, Paste & Pitchfork for the work they’ve accomplished ever since Aaron Tanner began what was a Graphic design company that now also puts out very interesting “photographic history” of some of the best bands of the last 40 years. These coffee-table books have rare photos, behind the scenes looks at the bands, set lists and so much more. Melodic Virtue also has a wonderful web page with merchandise and check out which books are currently available and see the awesome bands such as Butthole Surfers, Pixies, and Ministry. Aaron also has a history of working with Ween throughout the years. Aaron is also a wonderful musician himself in bands such as Stationary Odyssey and Off-Ox (check out their music as well)
Marissa Nadler has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters since around 2005. As I became more influenced by great songwriters and poets in the early 2000’s when I became a huge Leonard Cohen fan, got into Townes Van Zandt, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Fairport Convention, Tori Amos and then learned more about Tom Watis, Mark Lanegan, Kristin Hersh, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks and more I found the music of Marissa Nadler. With a hauntingly sweet voice that sung every song into a story and imagine you into the story seeing what she is seeing, expressing what she is expressing, taking cover songs and putting them in her own spinning reality images. Here is a review of some of my favorite songs and video clips of the great Marissa Nadler. Creativity in every endeavor. Music, artwork, videos, performances.
A song preview from Marissa’s youtube page for “Bessie, Did You Make It?”
The first album of Marissa’s I listened to was “Ballads of Living and Dying” (2004-Eclipse Records)
A very important record during a lost, sad, deeply in love with someone who was far away and with another. 2004 (when I was 24) was such a rediscovering year, a year filled with finding my writing style, and reading aloud in poetry coffeehouses. Albums like this one helped encourage me to find my writing style. An often melancholy walk in sadness. Glimpses of hope, and ultimately alone and waiting (during this time) I often call songs from this album classics “Fifty Five Falls” “Undertaker” “Bird Song” “Annabelle Lee” are all just part of a great debut LP.
The Saga of Mayflower May (2005-Eclipse Records) is an underrated in my collection of Marissa’s albums I have. I think because I was still so entrenched in the first album by the time this one came out. Over the years I have listened more and more to this album and love it.
Songs III (Bird on the Water) 2007-Peacefrog Records is my favorite album of Marissa’s earlier work and possibly my most listened to.
“Diamond Heart” “Mexican Summer” “Thinking of You” “Silvia’ “Bird on Your Grave” such a wonderful cover of “Famous Blue Raincoat”
“Little Hells -2009 Kemado Records)
Some sad awesome songs on this one ” Heart Paper Lover” “Mary Come Alive” “Ghosts and Lovers” is just a great album.
Marissa’s self titled LP in 2011 (Box of Cedar) took a great effort to get released.
Songs that I enjoy quite a bit include “In Your Lair, Bear”, “The Sun Always Reminds Me of You” “Alabaster Queen” “Puppet Master”
“July -2014 Sacred Bones Records”
The first album under Sacred Bones brings indie folk & dream pop together wonderfully.
Favorites include “Drive” “Firecrackers” “Dead City Emily” “Was It a Dream”
“Strangers” in 2016 Sacred Bones Records has some songs that I constantly play in my Marissa Nadler folder on my phone. Including “Katie I Know” “Hungry is the Ghost” “Shadow Show Diane” “Strangers”
“For My Crimes” 2018 Sacred Bones Records. My favorite album of Marissa’s in the last half of the decade. Such an artistic vision with this.
“For My Crimes w/Angel Olsen” ” I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore w/Sharon Van Etten”, “Blue Vapor” “Said Goodbye to the Car” (the perfect song for Letting Past People Go)
“Droneflower” is an album Marissa did with former Cave-In member Stephen Brodsky (2019 Sacred Bones Records) a little heavier album at times.
Marissa also has several compilation albums, covers albums, EPs and more to check out. Some covers to check out and get a taste of what is on these comps and cover albums.
I really enjoy this Happy Rhodes cover. Always cool to see artists recognize Happy Rhodes.
I think I’ve written at least 2 poems based on this song.
Bio: Elizabeth M Castillo is a British-Mauritian poet, writer, indie-press promoter. She lives in Paris with her family and two cats, where she writes a variety of different things under a variety of pen names. In her writing Elizabeth explores themes of race & ethnicity, motherhood, womanhood, language, love, loss and grief, and a touch of magical realism. She has words in, or upcoming in Selcouth Station Press, Pollux Journal, Revista Purgante, Lanke Review, Streetcake Magazine, Fevers of the Mind Press (Fevers of the Mind 5: Overcome -info below), Melbourne Culture Corner, Epoch Press, among others. Her bilingual, debut collection “Cajoncito. Poems on Love, Loss, y Otras Lucaras” is out 2021. You can connect with her on Twitter and IG at @EMCWritesPoetry www.elizabethmcastillo.com
Attracta has contributed poetry to our first Leonard Cohen inspired “Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen” in 2019. Her poem “Book of Longing” is included in this anthology of art, poetry, essays, recollections & memories.