Nobody's Fault but Mine/Down By the Riverside
||"Stared and Laughed"
||"Hear the Wind Blow, Love"
The Bottom of the Hill
Two new Ida-related items, the first is a double CD reissue of
two very hard to find solo records by main man Dan Littleton.
He took the opportunity to surprise no one at all on Nobody's
Fault but Mine with a collection of quiet, dreamy pop. I've
seen this guy rock out, and hard at that, but instead Littleton
simply steps up to the mic and delivers a set of haunting acoustic
folk, all quiet strummed guitars, measured piano footfalls, organ
drone, and thoughtful, restrained, yet raw vocals. Part Robert
Wyatt, part Nick Drake basement tapes, and all love. Disc 2's
Down by the Riverside is equally warm and hazy, but far
more abstract, featuring a suite of 12 instrumental tracks that
hover between drone and gently picked dreams.
The live album, recorded April 26, 2000 at the Bottom of the
Hill by a fan with a nice stereo mic and digital recorder, the
tape somehow fell into the hands of the right people and the band
chose to release this double-disc, in all its (unedited) glory.
You may eventually tire of the relaxed and silly stage banter,
and while the sound is high quality for a crowd bootleg, it is
far from studio perfect...but this set offers the fans something
more. Despite their whisper quiet sound, Ida has always been a
live band, mesmerizing crowds with their soft and subtle interplay,
and for me, their records have never quite captured the slow-burn
intensity that they can deliver in front of an audience. The album
finds Ida in peak form, playing all their best songs with their
unusual mix of laidback abandon. As a bonus, disc 2 closes with
a handful of studio recorded cover songs. [JM]