In Which The Man Known As Bon Iver Is A Lunar Eclipse


For Bon Iver, Quite Recently

by Alex Carnevale

The best thing about hype for new music is that it lives up to expectations a lot more easily than movies do. People pretend to like movies, and why not? It’s easy to feign like something you don’t have to see again. (See everyone who enjoyed Juno, or as Molly calls it, There Will Be Blood.) With music, if you don’t enjoy it, you’re not gonna play it again. In this case, you will want to play again and again.

“The Wolves (Act I & II)” – Bon Iver (mp3)

“Creature Fear” – Bon Iver (mp3)

Victim of the hype machine (no relation) is Bon Iver’s new/old album To Emma, Forever Ago. To help promote the album’s rerelease, Justin Vernon showed up on Pitchfork‘s Guest List. I did the hyperlinked version. You can read the full article here. Enjoy.

Take it, Justin…

Pitchfork Guest List by Justin Vernon

Favorite New Songs of the Past Year

My friends the Bowerbirds, the last song on their record, “Olive Hearts”, I’ve probably listened to more than anything this year.

bowerbirds website

I didn’t listen to a lot of new music this year at all, but I loved the Bowerbirds record and I did love “Ponytail” on the Panda Bear record. I listened to that quite a bit, too. And I did like the track off of Feist’s album, “Limit to Your Love.” I listened to that quite a bit, but that’s kind of all I listened to as far as new stuff this year.

“Olive Hearts” – Bowerbirds (mp3)

“In Our Talons” – Bowerbirds (mp3)

“Ponytail” – Panda Bear (mp3)

Favorite Older Songs at the Moment

I’ve been listening to Dylan‘s New Morning album for about two years straight, and it’s one of those phases that has just not grown old at all. I listen to it every week. Probably my favorite song on it right now is “Sign on the Window.” He just sings about wanting to be his father and it’s just one of his least pretentious– not that I think his shit’s pretentious, but it’s unmistakably un-pretentious. It’s really great.

I don’t really like his whole catalog, but I’ve been listening to his song called “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway. It’s super creepy, weird…it’s kind of like a soul song, but it’s just really, really good; his voice is just unbelievable. He’s just one of those soul singers that made a career out of doing other people’s songs, but I think this one of the few songs he wrote or was written for him, and it’s really heartbreaking, it’s really good.

“A Song for You” – Donny Hathaway (mp3)

Favorite New Band

I don’t know how new they are; they’re not new in the universe but they’re kind of new to me in the last year and a half or so, the band called Collections of Colonies of Bees. They used to operate as Pele when they were on Polyvinvl, but they also were like…they’re just amazing.

Their Customer record that came out on Polyvinyl is…it’s just noise manipulation, acoustic manipulation, but it’s not tired like everything else you hear in that genre, in my opinion. It’s just really beautiful. And then their new record that came out on Table of the Elements last week is just rock. It’s super smart and textural and manipulated but it’s got this soul in it. It’s really, really brilliant.

“Flocks III” – Collection of Colonies of Bees (mp3)

Favorite Song Ever

It’s been kind of unfettered, unchanging for about 10 years now, it’s “Fugitive” by the Indigo Girls.

“Fugitive” – Indigo Girls (mp3)

It’s absolutely without question my favorite song of all time. When I first heard it I was in seventh grade of sixth grade and my mom and my sister brought me to an Indigo Girls concert and I was like “Ah, whatever, I’ll go see the show” and it honestly…it just changed my life. I’ve realized over the years what kind of rep the Indigo Girls get, and I guess I’m not going to get in the business of trying to change that for people.

But this specific record is super brilliant and the guitar solo is unreal and the drumming– the studio drumming that’s on the record– and it’s some of my most favorite lyrics. I’ve actually got some of the lyrics tattooed on my body, that’s how important the song is to me. I’ve got so much nostalgia attached to it, but when I throw it in and listen to it, it’s still got so much shit it in.

Best Recent Concert

That Collections of Colonies of Bees band that I was telling you about; I was in Milwaukee playing a show just last week actually– I know it’s kind of recent– but they played right before me, and speaking of this Indigo Girls concert I just told you about in sixth or seventh grade– it seems kind of weird that it’s so soon that I’m talking to you about it– but nothing has ever affected me quite like it did. But their show in Milwaukee was just life changing. I literally told the promoter I had to wait 15 minutes before I played because…I just didn’t want to play. It was just too good. Their live show for their new record is unreal. It’s fucking amazing.

Last Great Film I Saw

A music video guy that flew in to do a video with us here brought this movie called Days of Heaven. He said “Days of Heaven” and I’m thinking in my head Kingdom of Heaven, that movie that came out a while ago, but this is an old movie, Richard Gere’s very, very young in it– it’s a Criterion movie, it was really well done.

I don’t even know what year. Maybe 1978 or something. It was shot in Alberta. It was really, really excellent, I hadn’t seen a movie like for in a long time.

Last Great Book I Read

I just re-read a book, actually, by an author from around the area. His name’s Michael Perry and the book he wrote is called Population 485. It’s about a small Wisconsin town; he writes for a lot of big magazines and he’s getting his career going, and he decides to move back to this tiny town in Wisconsin and be a volunteer firefighter.

I mean, I’m completely biased, I like all things about Wisconsin or the Midwest, but the book to me is like an archive of American literature, it’s so good. It’s the only book I’ve ever read twice. I’d have to say that’s probably the best book I’ve read in a while.


Favorite Record Shop

Well, when I was living in the Carolinas I would have to say Schoolkids Records down in Chapel Hill and in Raleigh. My buddy managed it for a while and it’s a great store, I think they might have one in Georgia somewhere. But around here we don’t have one anymore in my hometown, it’s kind of gone the way of the corporate store, unfortunately, but whenever I’m up in Minneapolis I always go to Cheapo and Electric Fetus, I love those stores.

silver apples wiki

The last record shop I went to was in Chicago, I bought a Silver Apples album. I’ve never heard them; my buddy told me I’d like it. And Mark Hollis, the singer from Talk Talk, put out a solo album that I listen to that I got down at Reckless in Chicago.

“Seagreen Serenades” – Silver Apples (mp3)

“Fantasies” – Silver Apples (mp3)

“The Daily Planet” – Mark Hollis (mp3)

Best Purchase of the Past Year

Without question it’d have to be my house. I bought a house here in Eau Claire for super cheap. I bought it the day after Christmas. No better place to buy a house in the country right now. I can’t even explain to you how cheap it is.

Favorite Music Venue

Well, I’ve seen the most shows at First Avenue in Minneapolis. It’s hard to eclipse that sort of nostalgia for me, but I did think the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco was extremely extremely beautiful and I loved the way that they did the show out there. It’s between First Avenue and Great American, I guess. And I love Block E too, but First Avenue would probably have to take the cake.

great american

Favorite TV Show at the Moment

I’ve been re-watching Lost; my brother got Season 3 on Blu-ray– he bought my mom and dad a Blu-ray player– he’s kind of the Blu-ray champion, and when everyone went exclusive he went, “fuck yeah!” He made a big announcement at my family Christmas like, “Don’t buy HD-DVD!” It was this big thing.

more lost here

So I’ve been watching Lost, but I’d still have to say, I just watched the entire series of Northern Exposure last year, and that’s beyond a TV show, that’s my favorite shit ever. It’s brilliant, I got so into the show. I was laid up really sick when I watched it; for three months I was really, really ill, and so I think maybe I was kind of screwed up on some drugs a little bit, but I entered the entire village of that show, it was so good.

“For Emma” – Bon Iver (mp3)

Favorite Radio Station

Definitely The Current, 89.3 up in Minneapolis/St Paul. They’re wicked, I just love what they do. We haven’t had something that good around here– public radio around here has always been good, but as far as music, it’s just been great the last few years since they’ve gotten it going.

Again, you can find the full interview with Bon Iver here.


Bon Iver and the lunar eclipse.

Liking “Skinny Love” the best, check out the video.

So Much Silence on BI live in D.C.

Name is french for Good Winter.

Justin giving away awesome posters:

The Yellow Stereo has a Bon track for you. Amazin’ blog.

Instrumental Analysis with Bon and more new releases.

Bon gets a UK release.

UNC review.

They call it “neo-soul.”

Another top blog, The Rich Girls Are Weeping (note: they are) on Bon.

Long but great interview with the man behind the record.



Babylon 5 and climate change.

If it weren’t for remixes we’d still be sitting around in caves, writes Danish.

We discuss the FX show The Riches.

i want to be that star

5 thoughts on “In Which The Man Known As Bon Iver Is A Lunar Eclipse

  1. Alex, you do in fact contain all future posts in your head. There’s a reason you’re in charge of it all. “Fugitive” is, in fact, the definitive high school song of people our age (in possession of a right and proper disposition). However, “The Wood Song” is nearly as good, and then there’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which, despite being a cover, is their (or Amy’s) signature song. (Normally when I admit this much, my wife tells me I would’ve made a desirable lesbian. I take that as a compliment, appearances notwithstanding.)

  2. If you liked Days of Heaven, you might want to check out Badlands, MY favorite movie of all time. Both were made by Terrance Malick, who was seen — in the 70’s — as potentially being one of the great filmmakers. But he has barely made any films (four). Nevertheless, his films are AMAZING and Badlands (1973) stars a very young Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.

  3. I’m commenting to make you understand what a superb encounter my friend’s daughter gained studying your webblog. She figured out too many issues, not to mention how it is like to have a wonderful giving mindset to have the rest really easily comprehend several extremely tough things. You truly surpassed our desires. Many thanks for churning out these precious, safe, educational as well as unique guidance on the topic to Mary.

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