There isn’t much sunshine in titles of Mt. Egypt’s plaintive ballads, and there isn’t much sunshine in New York City today, so the pairing is one that fits quite nicely. According to his bio, Travis Graves is “homeless in California,” which begs one of those chicken-or-the-egg questions of whether heâ€™s homeless because he’s an artist or he’s an artist because he’s homeless. The longing in Graves’ vocals is in the great recent tradition of such wounded souls at Will Oldham, Mark Kozelek and Eef Barzelay, and his fragile guitar paints a wistful picture, especially on the lower-fi offerings here. But lest you spin off to something more cheerful to get your weekend going, Graves isn’t all melancholy. His is the sound of transition — that moment when despair gives way to renewal. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the changing of the leaves, because autumn is finally here, even if you’re homeless in California.
Yeah, yeah, I know, they’re all over the place nowadays: The OC, Conan, Letterman (tonight, in fact). And we’ve already had a discussion about this topic (see Jetscreamer). But it’s still the Christmas season, ain’t it? How could we pass up these Yuletide gems from The Walkmen? The first two are from their unreleased Christmas single, the third is from last Christmas, and the fourth, well, it’s just a great song from their early days. If you missed The Walkmen’s appearance on The OC and were wondering if Summer fell for Seth’s attempt to trick her into coming to the Walkmen show with him, you can hear MP3s from the show on the Walkmen’s website.