Bon Iver & Bowerbirds Cover Sarah Siskind

Scott and I were just about to run out and get our Grant Park on here in Chicago, but hey here’s a thing. You might have heard when Mr. Lapatine made my buffoonery a national joke, I spent a good 14 hours in JFK yesterday waiting for our flight because I haven’t yet learned my Ante and Post Meridians (don’t worry, I made it to the gate on time; plane was delayed). Plus my laptop was broken, so that made for good time for some cover-to-cover New York Times reading. I learned so much. Apparently there’s a presidential election this year? Even more important: Bon Iver’s Bowery Ballroom show on Tuesday night got a rave review in the Arts Section. This is not surprising, even the NYT music review department have ears and hearts and feel emotions. As at Fork Fest, Justin’s backing band included Mark Paulson from Bowerbirds (who opened at Bowery), adding another multi-instrumental/harmony ready member to his For Emma live recreations. So nothing new there, although I did perk up at the Times’s mention of a combined Bon Iver/Bowerbirds encore on a cover of “Lovin’s For Fools” by Nashville’s Sarah Siskind, noted as “elegant and devastating.” YouTube’s on the case, and I think you’ll agree.

It starts as a Bon Iver-y slow strummer, with Justin and lead ‘bird Phil Moore trading verses, but it’s at 2:30 where your bumps will get goosed. What’s most notable to me about these labelmates is how they share an otherwise distinct, unique harmonic sensibility; the tone choices and brand of “ache” are immediately identifiable, and always have quite an effect.

Pretty, which is just how the Bower-Iver conglomerate do. (The kinship runs deep: e.g. remember when Justin did some Bowerbirds teasing for La Blog.) If you don’t know much about Sarah Siskind as I didn’t, you can hear her lovely original at MySpace. (It’s marked as “new” in the player, which is fun.)

And while we’re no longer on the subject of air travel and yet I’ll bring it up anyway: Before taking off, the JetBlue crew lured a little old lady into replacing another, even more unqualified person in the exit row by promising her a free beer. JetBlue is the safest.