A few weeks back, Stillwater asked me if I was familiar with the Airborne Toxic Event’s new album.

I’ve tried to listen to it multiple times and I keep getting hung up. It’s not because I don’t like sad songs (for the most part, I like sad songs a lot) but I think I prefer sad songs that are happy about being sad to songs that are sad about being sad, if you know what I mean. There’s kind of a rawness with these guys that make me wish I were listening to the Jayhawks or Leonard Cohen. They also did a trick that, for some reason, really bugs me.

Here. Compare. This is the version that gets played on the radio here:

*THIS* is the video that was only available until recently:

Compare the lyrics of the two songs. The first one is a sad song (with, granted, a jarringly optimistic video) and the second one is a somewhat hopeful song (with a video that, for some reason, always has Anna Bulbrook’s eyes either in shadow, out of focus, or closed… which strikes me as something that must have been a directorial decision because it seems such an odd thing to do…).

It feels like cheating, for some reason, to have two versions of the same song, one happy and one sad. Dunno why that bugs me, but it does.

All that to say, Stillwater: I’ve tried to listen to them but they leave me feeling raw.

So… what are you listening to?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. You’re right about change in the lyrics – good catch. My wife heard it and said ‘he’s softened up since he first wrote it’. Maybe so. Still, I’ve got to say it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. And I’ve never viewed them as singing sad songs sadly. Hmmm.

    Here’s two videos from the first album – the best I could find on short notice.

    The first is an acoustic reworking of a pretty studio recording: Gasoline

    This is one everyone knows from the Kimmel show: Sometime Around Midnight

    Lately I’ve been getting pretty deep into the new Springsteen album. My wife got it for me and at first I thought it’d be a trip down nostalgia lane. But it sounds really fresh – he’s got hip-hop, bluegrass, Irish folk, and Springsteen standard all mixed together. Not bad for a 62 year old white Dood.

    Oh, and lots of Explosions in the Sky.

  2. It’s only cheating when it is “Daddy don’t come home for Christmas” … sung to a happy beat. (okay, maybe that’s just a really poor choice of mood) 😉

  3. Well, here’s another music purchase I’ll be making! I like the second version of “All I Ever Wanted,” so now I have to see if I can find it somewhere…

  4. Just to say:
    I always thought that “Cooler Heads” was the best name for a band– ever.
    I have no idea why I was never able to get two other guys to agree with me.
    I don’t even want to tell you about the band names we went through.
    But when I see something like “Airborne Toxic Event,” I don’t feel so bad.

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