Bonnie Prince Billy’s Daytrotter Sessions

Kudos to Daytrotter on their exclusive audio session with Will Oldham.

1. Bonnie Prince Billy – “The Seedling”
? original version appears on ?The Letting Go?
?Thomas Campbell made two great surf movies, THE SEEDLING and THE SPROUT. This put the term ?seedling? into my mindbrain, and one day I started making a song. It?s a disgusting song in its way, about the idea of songs-as-children and how isolationism can breed perversion, except maybe when it comes to abstract creations (fingers crossed) and then it gets into the singer?s childbrain by the end, and starts clawing at the edges of said territory with bloody nails.?

2. Bonnie Prince Billy – “Goodbye Dear Old Stepstone”
? unreleased standard
?Bascomb Lamar Lunsford learned this song in 1904 from Miss Lela Ammons of Robinsville, North Carolina. I learned it from Lunsford?s recording.?

3. Bonnie Prince Billy – “The Sun Highlights the Lack in Each”
? original version appears on the 1996 release ?Arise Therefore? by Palace
?This song appears on ARISE THEREFORE. That recording features my brother doing a guitar trick I learned from Neil Hagerty, which is to simultaneously run the guitar through a wah-wah and a volume pedal, and play with a slide. The progression, I am starting to think, was lifted from ?It?s Expected I?m Gone? by the Minutemen. The opening line is a paraphrasing of the title of a book by the poet Frank Stamford of Arkansas.?

4. Bonnie Prince Billy – “New Partner”
? original version appears on ?Viva Last Blues?
?One of the most requested songs that I get to play, it wasn?t until this trip that I started to understand, from inside, why this is. To me, this was an exercise in writing. It takes parts of Nirvana?s ?Heart-Shaped Box,? the Rolling Stones? ?Get Off of My Cloud,? both Willie?s and Elvis?s versions of ?You Were Always On My Mind,? and the song ?Tony? by D.C. Powers, as performed by Johnny Cash. On this trip, I understood it to be, somewhat disturbingly, about not not loving someone who you are not with.?

Go here for more exclusive Daytrotter tunes from Cold War Kids, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Catfish Haven, Two Gallants, Jennifer O’Connor, and more.

Next week: The High Strung.
After that: Foreign Born, William Elliott Whitmore, Casper and the Cookies, Shearwater “and possibly Rogue Wave.”