Music- Who is Arthur Russell? (This Will Most Likely Change Your Life)

Arthur Russell seems to be part of the hot, new hipster music trend right now, and understandably so.

Not only was Russell a brilliant musician, but lived the life hipsters dream of: homosexual male living in East Village during the 70’s and 80’s and hanging out with Phillip Glass, Allen Ginsberg, David Byrne, and Laurie Anderson.
Or maybe that’s just my dream.
I did not know of Russell until I moved to Austin, TX. His music seems to be on par with the soul of this city. Though New York and Texas are worlds apart, I have no doubt Russell would have liked it here.
Listening to Russell’s music feels like tiny fingers closing in on your heart. With the beginning of each song, the same loss of breathe equivalent to falling in love escapes you. If you believe in soul mates, then his voice and cello met their match.
Who is Arthur Russell to me?
He was a Sunday afternoon.
Bed sheets blowing in the wind. Or twisted up on a bed.
A white wall.
A distant dream.
Driving around at 3AM.
Being five years old again.
The moment everything is ok.
I think you’ll feel the same way.
“A Little Lost”
“Get Around to It”

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  • Reply Christina In Wonderland April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I've never heard of Russell until you mentioned him in some of your posts and on 20sb, and, unfortunately, I'm in the computer lab on campus right now so I can't listen right now, but I will definitely have to at some point, because I trust your musical judgment.

  • Reply Sailor Legs April 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Love this. 🙂

  • Reply Hipstercrite April 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    @Christina- I am honored that you trust my judgement! Please come back and let me know what you think!

    @SailorLegs- Still looks like a lot of people don't love him. He'll be ours to keep.

  • Reply Catch-22 April 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    How did you get just those song bars on your page? I've been trying to figure that out for a while, with no success.

  • Reply Hipstercrite April 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    @Catch-22 YES! I was waiting for that question! I'm pretty proud of it myself….I'll email you.

  • Reply Hipstercrite April 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    @Catch-22- never mind, I see no email for you….ok…it's simple….they're Youtube videos. take the code and where it says "Height" (it will appear twice) change it to "25". does this make sense? email me with any questions. i can't take any credit for this, really. it's all thanks to my gentleman caller.

  • Reply Johana Hill April 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Never heard of him!

    Until now…

    To be honest, it's not my type of music but his voice is good. Who knows? I might like his songs! Because of you! ;p

  • Reply The Mad Hatter April 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Much better than your last post.

  • Reply Hipstercrite April 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    @Johana- I though the same thing. Then I listened to him more and more and it stuck with me. It's very good chill out music.

    @Maddy Hatter- har har har

  • Reply Catch-22 April 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    It worked. Trying to figure how to do the same on facebook. I recently saw a documentary on Jandek. Really interesting. Reminds me some of Russell.

  • Reply Benny Paul April 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    1) it's cool how un-"freaky 80s East Village" he sounds
    2) i like how his voice sounds similar to many others but he sounds totally un-affected
    3) have you heard anything he did with the flying hearts? i've only read about them on wikipedia. from the description they sound awesome but i dunno if their recordings still exist…

  • Reply birdykins April 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I've never heard of Arthur Russell but that first song you posted blew me away. I want more.

  • Reply rene April 2, 2010 at 5:28 am

    @Catch-22 Yes! Jandek is great. It's worth mentioning that Bill Callahan was heavily influenced by Jandek and his early stuff (as Smog) certainly shows that. And thanks to Hipstercrite for this post. I'm wanting to ask my token "I was in the village in the 70's" friend if he knows of him. This is great re-undiscovered music. Hipster Gold.

  • Reply Melissa's Espresso Shot April 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    He kind of reminds me of Nick Drake, or is that just me?

  • Reply Hipstercrite April 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    @Catch-22- I've never heard of Jandek. I will look into right now.

    @benny paul- no i haven't listened to the flying hearts. there is some stuff, but not a lot on russell online. i think i might have to do some more serious digging.

    @birdykins- that's how i felt! luckily, he has a bunch of albums so i still have some more listening/learning to do!

    @rene- awesome! when you ask your friend, lemme know what he says.

    @melissa- you're right! he also sounds like the royksopp guy and the kings of convenience guy. sometimes i'll hear a song and i'll be like, "it's russell!", but it's usually not.

  • Reply BIRTHQUAKE! April 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Check out Nat Baldwin.

  • Reply Benny April 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    @Melissa… I hadn't made that connection! I bet Kings of C listened to this guy non-stop…

  • Reply Christina In Wonderland April 3, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Did not fall in love with him- UNTIL I listened to the second one, "This Is How We Walk On The Moon." LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    Seriously. And I don't say that often.

    You have officially become my premier source for my music choices. 🙂

  • Reply Jonathon Moxon April 5, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say, it is quite enjoyable.

    I also wanted to ask how you were able to post songs to your blog. You must not actually be using blogger.

  • Reply Hipstercrite September 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    @Christina- Isn't that song AMAZING!?

    @Jonathon- Actually, I do use blogger. I forgot offhand how I did it, but if you google it, it will come up quite easily. The links are Youtube videos that you change the dimensions in the html.

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