Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blog Names: She'll Grow Back

The Sads: She'll Grow Back


I found She'll Grow Back back in May when a serendipitous search for a post on Randy Newman covers unearthed a "Multiple Monday" feature on Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear, a coverlover's dream post which came sandwiched between a huge post on songs about insanity, a new Gnarls Barkley single, a nod to Nick Cave, and a few paragraphs about some band called Smog. Since then I've kept it in the feedreader; tonight, sifting through blog names and also-rans, I headed back over, and I suddenly remembered why I grabbed the address in the first place.

She'll Grow Back aims low. Its tagline is "Another music blog? Yes. But it's MY music blog". Surely pseudonymous author Mark H. Besotted claims no authority other than being "a longtime music fan and MP3 blog leech who's decided to give something back." The template is a blogger default. Though the blog is only a few months old, it has already begun suffering for sporadic posting. But for what it is, it's solid, and the archives here do include a few rarer pieces I've enjoyed hearing for the first time. The content is good - terse, verging on thin; the music is all over the map, though it clusters around a particular set of bands and vocalists most known for their graveled voices and authentic rock and folk sensibilities.

If that were all she wrote, She'll Grow Back would be a decent occasional, living on the feed, skimmed when you remember it for that rare post that made it all worthwhile. But what makes She'll Grown Back most noteworthy is Mark's attempt to eventually catalog every damn cover of seminal American folksong Stagger Lee by posting a different version of the song every week until he runs out, a task which Mark estimates will take several years. So far, his Stagger Lee Saturdays have ranged all over the map, from multiple oldtime countryfolk field recordings of the pre-war era to versions by Wilson Pickett, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Belmonts, Dave Van Ronk, Jeff Lang, Dylan and Dr. John; each post manages to place the version in full context in just a few perfect sentences, and the vast variation is wonderful.

The rest may be hit or miss for my tastes, but then, most people seem to like Nick Cave more than I do. And that theme song from Prague-based indie band The Sads is a pretty rockin' grunge/punk number, when it comes down to it; wish I could find a purchase link. Here's hoping She'll Grow Back comes back with a vengance; the world needs more fans who start mp3 blogs just to give something back.

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