I found an old mix tape I must have put together when I was 19 or 20. Kind of a weird walk through the echoing vasty halls of my memory. *cough* *echo* Ani DiFranco, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Lorena McKennitt, Arlo Guthrie, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, even Al Stewart, of all people...wow...that was obviously before my Belle & Sebastian phase and my Lyle Lovett phase.

The Neil Young tune is Running Dry (Requiem For the Rockets), and man, that's a tune I can get into. There's a haunting, metallic fiddle that won't stop when you want it to, it just sort of jams through, but later you're glad it did. Man, awesome tune. It's inspired me to put together a mix CD o' melancholy.

I even have a couple of Al Stewart songs on this old mix of mine, and I know that in many circles he's viewed as a lord of cheese, and I haven't really heard enough of him to dispute that, but I do know this: my dad owns Past, Present, Future, and that's a good album, great concept. For that album he just wrote songs inspired by pop history books he'd read, so he wrote tunes on the Night of the Long Knives, and on a 19th century British admiral whose long career began with fighting in the Crimea and China, but ended before the Great War, leaving him beached and without glory, and on John Wesley Harding. There are also a couple of great epics, one following a Russian partisan through World War 2 and into the gulags of Siberia, and the other about Nostradamus' "prophecies." Good stuff, baby.

The cover to his album is very, very seventies, as thou mayest see; it makes me very willing to believe the tales o' cheesiness.