The ‘Gum Drop XXXVIII: Hear New Bell, Win A Willie Nelson Box Set And A Nano

Bell is Russian-born, Alaska-raised, New York-based BTW Olga Bell. She has a band, yes, but she writes the songs and is clearly the central focus with the central voice. We loved what she did with Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet,” but love it even more when she’s tearing into her own tracks. This week’s Drop featured the excellent “Brown Bear” from her self-titled, self-released, self-everything EP. As you’ll soon find out, the song isn’t about an actual bear. “It’s ‘bear-shaped water vapor,'” she explains. “As in ‘hey, that cloud that looks like a bear!’ Brown-shaped water vapor hovers over Los Angeles.” You can hear the song and read her responses to our questions about “brown” and “home” here. You can also find out more about Bell and her EP at MySpace. Here she is illustrating infinity.

This time around, we also offered the chance to win an iPod and Willie Nelson’s career spanning One Hell Of A Ride 4-CD, 100-song box set.

Willie Nelson turned 75 on April 30th. Happy belated b’day, Willie. To honor the occasion, Columbia/Legacy is releasing One Hell Of A Ride, a 4-CD, 100-song box set spanning 1954/5-2007. (It opens with the first single he recorded under his own name, “When I’ve Sang My Last Hillbilly Song” and closes with a version of the song re-recorded in 2007). Fittingly, it’s Nelson’s largest box set ever and includes hits along with live and recorded rarities from 60+ albums and a dozen labels … impressive. This is what the outside of it looks like, more or less:

The set comes with a 100-page full-color booklet with an essay by Mickey Raphael and an 8,000-word biographical essay by Joe Nick Patoski, author of the biography, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. As Patoski writes in the notes:

The 100 recordings inside this box tell the tale of a recording career beyond prolific, of a life that mirrors the evolution of audio recording technology, of a singer-songwriter who defines Texas and America, and of a man for whom it was always about the music.

You can get more info about One Hell Of A Ride at Legacy Recordings. To make it easier to haul this Nelson collection around, the winner also gets a 4 GB iPod Nano. Enter to win here. It should be noted, too, that there’s still time to win that Islands-inscribed Eastwood Airline 3P DLX electric guitar. Just click on this.

CONTEST ENDS 06/04/08 AT 12PM EST.