Episode 56 
“Spirit on the Water.” 
Modern Times. 
Episode 3 of Sign on the Window Presents The Lazy River Funtime Slide into Summer
Recorded May 27, 2018. 

Context (3:20)

“Spirit on the Water” was recorded in February 2006 in Sony Recording Studios in New York City. It’s been played 547 times at the time of the recording and will surely be wrong when you are reading this sentence!

Song Itself (5:00)

Clinton Heylin notes “the whole shebang comes across like another consciously anachronistic parlor song that perversely owes more to the works of Sonny Boy Williamson than Stephen Foster.” That’s a great description. Like “Soon After Midnight,” there’s the dichotomy between the crooning and what we at the podcast call “Murder Bob.” This is a quintessential Murder Bob song. Daniel (10:30) and Kelly (17:00) take turns with their murder scenarios. Like so many songs post-89, the apocalyptic visions creep in and give the song a different heft, which is, for the most part, welcome. “Ain’t Talkin'” is a better version of this song.

The song is also littered with references, from the Bible and Ovid to “Black Gal Blues” and “Sugar Mama Blues” by Sonny Boy Williamson. 

Recommendations (31:00)

Kelly’s been watching Future Man (and some Happy Endings when there’s a moment).

Daniel has been listening to tons of new music, but the highlights are definitely Hop Along’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog and Wonder Years’ Sister Cities.


Daniel: We’re almost there. We’re almost at our destination!

Kelly: Summer!

Daniel: Summer.

We’ll close out our Funtime Slide into Summer with “Watching the River Flow.” 

Published by Daniel

Occasional writer, persistent nomad; restless, moving, changing. Currently in Portland, Oregon.

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