Review Summary: Reliant Astrodome, also known as the Houston Astrodome or simply the Astrodome, is the world's first domed sports stadium, located in Houston, Texas, USA. The stadium is part of the Reliant Park complex. It opened in 1965 as Harris County Domed Stadium an
For more than thirteen years now Damien Jurado has been pretty good about averaging one release every year. For the most part they’ve all been at least decent, some more remarkable than others, but the guy is just scarily consistent. You know what you’re going to get with a Jurado CD (the exception being Postcards and Audio Letters
): Simple and well written folk rock clearly indebted to Neil Young, Nick Drake, and Bruce Springsteen. Sometimes a whole band accompanies Jurado, but most of the time it’s just a voice, guitar, and sparse arrangements. Maybe that’s why Damien Jurado is always forgotten among the talks of modern folk; he won’t ever let you down, but neither will he surprise you.
Just in Time For Something
released in 2004 contains 5 songs clocking in just over 10 minutes. The songs were all recorded in Damien’s room over a weekend on a four track recorder. It’s real kvlt is what I’m getting at. Kicking this lil’ EP off is “Smith, 1972” (my father Jerry Smith was born in 1962, the same year the building of the Astrodome was started. Coincidence" Maybe but not likely). The song is a template for every other song on the EP. Damien tells us the date, July 7th, and begins strumming his trusty guitar. Those who loved the production of For Emma, Forever Ago
will die for Just in Time For Something
. I mean we are literally right there in the same room with Mr. Jurado.
The real draw of Jurado though is his lyrics he wastes no words painting pictures of normal people in normal places with normal problems.
“Fear it will not leave you
Ghosts intend to keep you
And I have no more candy for the kids”
The music is simple, Damien’s voice is perfect for the music he creates but certainly not more notable than any other folk singer, it’s his words though that are magic. For instance in “Night Out For the Downer” the pleasant acoustic plucking and the high Jurado tries but can’t quite hit in the chorus are all just niceties to propel the lyrics: “…and I'm not sure what you want from me/I can't be all you wish for/I'm a sinking ship tied to my lover's waist.”
After the slow, mournful three songs that begin Just in Time For Something
, Damien Jurado speeds things up and adds a little bounce to his guitar and records two of the best songs in the illustrious songwriter’s career. “Prices” closes the night off with some drunken murmuring about how much you love your girl. Then after a couple hours of sleep, “Engine Fire” sees you hit the road (kinda) to the bright morning sun: “busted taillights, no water, sunburns, and an engine fire.”
What makes Damien Jurado so forgettable sometimes is also what makes him so worthy of remembering. He just writes good songs. Nothing flashy at all, just good songs.