Don't forget to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) today from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Little Radio. As I mentioned last week, they've generously allowed me to select one track a week. The idea is for me to then write about why I picked that track. I'm way behind. On 8/2/07 I selected Emitt Rhodes "Live Til You Die."
Emitt Rhodes is a singer-songwriter from Hawthorne, CA (also home of the Beach Boys, Black Flag and Dios). Being relatively young, I think I first became aware of him through the Merry-Go-Round song "Live" which is included on the Nuggets box set. Even on a compilation of stand out tracks, that track still stood out for me. Cut to years later, and my friend Tita did a vinyl transfer of his self-titled solo album onto a CD-R for me. I was immediately smitten. The record's so full of humanity. It's mostly all sensitive man lyrics about love and hope and disappointment and falling down and getting back up again. The guy writes amazing melodies and has a great voice. While the solo Paul McCartney comparisons often dominate reviews of this album, I think younger fans who love Elliott Smith will find a lot to like too.
Unfortunately digital and CD copies of his records are hard to find. However, if you have a turntable this first album isn't that rare. You can usually find it in the $5-10 range (I've scored a couple of copies at Freakbeat in the Valley). In keeping with the spirit of turning people on to music the old fashioned way, I recently passed along a vinyl copy of this to my friend Ryan for his birthday. He's since told me that he's bought copies online for family members and sought out Rhodes' other records. I recently picked up a Russian vinyl reissue of The American Dream at Love Garden in Lawrence, KS. If you don't have a turntable, go ahead and pick up the Rev-Ola compilation, Listen Listen: the Definitive Merry-Go-Round Collection. While not as good as the Rhodes solo debut, there are a lot of gems ("Time Will Show the Wiser" to name one).
Today, Emitt's still living in Hawthorne. The Prix recorded some of their early stuff with him. If you want to get in touch with him, Cashew from the Prix might be able to help you.
Read the original Rolling Stone review for Emitt's self titled album HERE.
Read the All Music Guide review HERE.
Stream some songs from the fan run Emitt Rhodes Myspace page
photo collage from the fan run Emitt Rhodes website