Tuesday, September 25, 2007 ... 2:18 PM

Gillian Welch "Throw Me a Rope" MP3 Offer

November 16, 2007 update: Sorry folks, this offer is over for now, though it may come back in the future. Details at this post.

That's why you're here, if you're one of about 60% of my Google referrals: you're looking for an MP3 of Gillian Welch's song "Throw Me a Rope," or "The Way It Would Be," or "The Way It Will Be," or that hair-raising down-tempo tune you heard at your first Gillian show, the tune with that lyric, which has haunted you for hours days weeks: I can't say your name without a crow flying by.

I want to share with you an MP3 of that song. A good quality MP3. I've got dozens of live audience recordings of that song, most of them dank damp dirty, hissy and rustly, and I don't listen to them because they pollute the memory of the live experience. But this MP3 sounds good. It's a professional soundboard recording from an antique concert theater. I taped this recording from an FM broadcast a couple of years ago. Yeah, it's got a little tape hiss, a touch of attenuation in the high-end. The conversion is not lossless. But it's the best recording of this tune I've heard.

For a long time I've toyed with the idea of posting it here for bottomless freeloading by the many hopeful, voiceless IP's that file by weekly -- that turn over my rock, take a peek, and then hike on. But I decided not to do that.

Instead, here's how to get your iPaws on this roundly coveted string of moody minor-key digits: You gotta write something original about Gillian Welch and/or David Rawlings, and e-mail your something original to me for posting on this blog.

Like what? Well, like a short appreciation of your favorite tune, or a small remembrance of your first Gillian show. Maybe an academic paper exploring the relevance of American folk archetype as suggested in the translucent overlapping imagery and musical motifs of Time (The Revelator). Or an anecdote about that night you had a once-in-a-lifetime moment to speak privately with Gillian, and you made an ass of yourself. Something brief and journalistic, or sprawling and lyrical. Something dry. Or maybe ecstatic. Write a haiku about a Dave Rawlings guitar solo -- or, better, a sestina. Ooh yeah -- or a derivative limerick. Whatever you like. Totally up to you.

Once I receive your original piece of writing, I'll e-mail you that MP3 of Gillian Welch's "Throw Me a Rope."

So here's the rules and fine print and so forth:

Please, seriously -- don't plagiarize nothin. Whatever you send me, only have written it yourself. That's the single, lonesome rule. Well, that and that you make it read like you put some fucking effort into it. I don't need evidence of heavy bleeding or government bribes, just a little effort. Just don't send me an e-mail that says, "'Gillian rocks.' There, fork over the file." Your submission doesn't have to be anything revelatory, transcendent, scholarly, or good. This is for fun, for the glorification of Gillian. And yeah, for a grope at the edification of this wheezy blog.

You may or may not use your real name. I don't care. Just give me something to put in the byline.

Once you e-mail me your submission, I may post it immediately, in its own post. Or I may hold it to post simultaneously with other submissions. I reserve the right to excerpt or edit your entry (though I probably won't). I reserve the right not to post your entry at all without explanation (though I probably will. If I get any). Whether and however I post your entry, I'll send you the MP3 as soon as I've had the chance to look at your submission.

I don't mind if you've published your entry before. As long as you wrote it, and you own the rights to give me to print it, let's have it.

All rights to your writing will still belong to you, except first electronic rights. So like if you turn out a very moving and innovative poem about or inspired by Gillian Welch, and you start thinking you might want to publish it on some prestigious literary webzine -- then for Chrissake send your writing there first. Send it to me later.

This offer ends when Gillian Welch officially releases this tune, or her lawyers ask me to cut it out. Or when I get fed up with the whole deal.

And oh yeah -- make sure the e-mail account you write me from will accept the MP3 attachment -- around 8.1 MB of singular, breathtaking aural beauty.

I guess it's possible, or probable, that I overestimate folks' motivation to get hold of this MP3 -- that all my Google referrals are looking for instant grat, a quick click, just another needle dropped in their iTunes haystack. Well, here's hoping that's not the case.

Oh by the way: Gillian turns 40 on Tuesday.




Dammit. This blog commenting thing is confoozling me. I came home from a bluegrass night out and thought of you a couple days ago. Hope you're well, and thanks for the nod.

By Blogger Rusty, at 9/27/2007 11:38 PM  

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Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas
(Novello Festival Press, April 2008)
includes my essay, "Link Wray"


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