Thursday, April 23, 2009

Todd Newman - Too Sad For Words ep (1995, Bus Stop); Temporary Setback (1996, Barber's Itch)

Todd Newman was half of a short-lived, yet deeply affecting power-pop (with not so much emphasis on the "power" quotient) duo from Minneapolis dubbed The Leatherwoods. Alongside co-conspirator Tim O'Reagan (later of the Jayhawks, and more recently solo) the 'Woods crafted one of the finest albums of the past decade, Topeka Oratorio (go download this now!) in 1992, chockablock with brisk, slice-of-life reveries, not to mention some appreciated guest musicianship from Paul Westerberg, performing under the kooky assumed moniker of Pablo Louseorama.

Little has been heard from Newman in recent years, aside from some scant live dates (you can read a review of a 2006 gig here). On the heels of Topeka Oratorio, the man in question issued an ep, Too Sad For Words in '95, and an album a year later, Temporary Setback. Neither of these disks quite pack the heft of the Leatherwoods one-album-wonder, but the sentiments evoked on Topeka... carry over just fine here, particularly on Too Sad's... "The Twin Tone Years," and the ex-record store clerk lament "Exposed Wiring," on the ensuing Setback LP. Look for some Leatherwoods singles on here in a few weeks.
 
Too Sad For Words
01. That's Just Me
02. Somebody's Dad
03. You Left Us All Behind
04. My Little One
05. The Twin Tone Years
06. Like Matter
 
Temporary Setback
01. Wrong Side Up
02. Scariest Thing in the World
03. Kiss Your Ass Good-bye
04. Exposed Wiring
05. You're Gonna Lose
06. I'm Comin Back to Life
07. Off the Too of My Head
08. Lovin You Ain't Easy
09. Sincerely Yours, Good-bye
10. Twenty-seven Year Old Actress (Majoring in English)
 

8 comments:

Bobo said...

Great post - heartfelt stuff. There's a terrific live version of "off the top of my head" on some Lawrence KS compilation circa 1988, but 20+ years of drinkin' prevents me from recalling the album title.

reverber said...

I believe the compilation in question was called "Live From Lawrence" and was released on Fresh sounds records. Todd's live productions could be an incredible experience.
There is also a pre-"Oratorio" 45.

Matt said...

wrong side up is an AMAZING song. i believe he's a farmer these days.

great post!

spavid said...

Thanks for chiming in folks. I have that pre-Oratorio single you speak of reverber, and will be sharing it soon.

Jason said...

For a monster collection of early (& quite swell) Todd Newmania, check this link out:

http://fingerprint.typepad.com/lions_dogs/atom.xml

It ought to keep your ears busy for a while.

dick said...

thank you-thank you

spavid said...

Thanks for the link Jason. I had some of these songs, but not all of them.

Hector Savage said...

I would go so far as to say that "Too Sad For Words" and "Temporary Setback" are BETTER than The Leatherwoods stuff. Just amazing power pop but with foibles and vulnerability.