Cardinals unreleased recordings 2006–2007


Yeah, I am also sick to death of his reverb/Smiths sound.

To strike a positive note, I think that all the recordings we are talking about are from 2014–2018. Chris and R&J is basically made up from sessions from that period, with some new acoustic material recorded at home (plus “In the Meadow”, of course). I guess that he used this old studio material since he no loger seems to have the PaxAm studio or resources for full band sessions in places like Electric Lady. So hopefully that 80s sound was just one of his phases.

It is a bit ironic that he half-heartedly tried to re-unite the Cardinals for the 2018 sessions, so we could at least theoretically have had Brad on drums instead on Wednesdays, Big Colors and R&J, plus Neal and John (I think he asked Catherine too). I completely understand why they turned the opportunity down, but the thought of how that could have sounded still makes me sad. I think we would have looked at the songs on those records in a completely different light. Imagine what “When You Cross Over”, “Birmingham”, “Red & Orange Special” and “In the Blue of the Night” could have sounded if the Cardinals had cut them instead.


There are almost no die hard regulars on the Reddit it’s mostly 22 year old men getting into him for the first time. Check out this train wreck:


Yeah, reddit and other forums has certainly made me feel like an old-timer (okay, whiny old man). A while ago I tried to explain to some random dude why Ryan’s concert at Red Rocks in 2018 (or was it in 2015, I do not care) was not the pinnacle among his live performances.


The Smiths reverb comparison is not apt as Marr’s guitar work has a buoyancy that Adams’ lacks. Lots of people use reverb, Marr used it but also built worlds behind it.


Could not agree more. Also think that Morrissey’s lyrics have a sensibility that is quite (dare I say) British and European. There are the artistic legacies of European modernism as well as Marxist conceptions of class somewhere in the background. And Keats and Yates – and Wilde, of course – are on Morrissey’s side. I imagine that there are very few American song-writers that can come up with a line like “Manchester, so much to answer for”. Many books and dissertations could be written about the meanings of that line alone.



Well this sent me down a rabbit hole but I just gotta say thanks again for reminding me what a monumental talent Jason Molina was.


My old supervisor used to liken self-indulgent academic theorizing to masturbation: “Much more pleasant to do than having to watch”. Never failed to raise the temperature in the seminar room when spoken about the work of another professor present.


Also loved Molina to pieces. Sorry, I realize that I come off as having a shitty snobbish attitude, but that was not my intention at all. I just regarded Morrissey as a lyricist in a league of his own for a long time (before he came out as a right-wing loon and wrote his second novel) and still do, to some extent, I guess.

One of the things that I love so much about the line is that it is so brutal in summarizing generations of oppression, poverty and hopelessness in Northern England and British class society and at the same is so sardonically funny. Everyone who grew up in a shitty town can quote it and laugh but not without also tying the fist. It is everything all at once.

While I still think that Morrissey’s pen is inherently product of a certain (in lack of better words) British sensibility and mode of irony, writing this, I realize that Springsteen threads a somewhat similar ground in the lyrics for “Car Wash” (love that one too). Also very funny in an acidic way and at the same time brimful of working class hopelessness and despair.

But to make Mutineer detest me even more, I could say that Springsteen has Twain and Steinbeck more on his side. :grinning:


Exactly. I’m a recovering academic myself. My least favorite part of any presentation is Q&A, because academics like to masturbate in front of everyone.


i love a good wank session


One of the greatest academic takedowns during a presentation round i have ever had the pleasure of watching was performed by a now retired female professor in media studies. I was part if an committee (I was a junior phd representative) that visited her department to evaluate the programme that she was co-heading. The members of the committee and her colleagues (all men) took ages to present themselves, their titles and all their remarkable feats, one more stuck up than the others. When it was her turn, she just smiled and said “My name is Margareta and I am a soccer girl” (she was currently writing a book on sports television). Then she just sat there, smiling like a giddy school girl. It was like this great F U - I do not care one iota about your titles, just get on with it - but in a very likable and mischievous way.


Sheesh. That cover of House is not for sale that popped up for me stunk as well


Yeah but The Smiths and Ryan both sound pretty shit a lot of the time.


Excellent use of Peep Show.


Morrissey is a massive cunt, and definitely not the genius too many seem to think he is (was)


Interesting – I suppose I didn’t know about RA trying to reform the Cardinals in 2018 for such recordings. Now that I think about it, I remember RA talking about the concept of doing something with Neal again (and/or the Cardinals) in a nice little article he wrote for Neal’s last photography book, Tomorrow’s Sky (perhaps most recent, who knows if they’ll release more). Which, by the way, is really, really good. I like sitting down some days and putting on Neal’s albums and flipping through.

(I miss Neal – as much as you can miss someone you’ve never met. Kind of like Tom Petty.)


The greatest academic takedown I ever witnessed was by a philosopher who got up at the end of someone’s talk and said, “But honestly, isn’t everything you just said either trivial or false?”


Just before the session at Electric Lady (could it have been a week or so?) Ryan posted on Twitter about reaching out to the Cardinals. I remember getting a “Cardinals, mount up!” vibe, but also thinking “this could not possibly work”. A couple of days later he wrote something about conflicting schedules but that the whole thing resulted in some nice phone conversations. I have no clue about his specific plans, beyond the fact that some of the songs that ended up on Big Colors date back to the Hope/Dear Impossible demos.

Interesting what Ryan says in Neal’s photo book. I have not picked that one up yet but I have to get that one. Also miss Neal’s music and playing immensely. Every now and then I try to blast “From Detroit to Buffalo” loud.


i also recall brad and jon both saying in basic terms something like fuck off, ryan adams