From The Desk Of Rick Moody: The Low Anthem’s “Charlie Darwin”

RickMoodyThe name Rick Moody will be familiar to anyone who keeps current with American writing. He’s the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir, and his lauded 1994 novel The Ice Storm was filmed by director Ang Lee. Moody is hanging around the MAGNET shop this week mostly because of his side job as one-quarter of the Wingdale Community Singers, a remarkable collection of writers, musicians and artists of varying stripes. Once pegged as an “urban folk” group that wrote old-timey songs about modern topics such as cross-dressers and funky Brooklyn culture, the Wingdales just released their second album, Spirit Duplicator, on the Scarlet Shame label. In addition to his writing and recording projects, Moody is guest editing this week. Read our Q&A with him.


Moody: A novelist friend of mine, Adam Braver, who teaches in Rhode Island, sent me Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. I believe the members of the Low Anthem are graduates of the very same university that spawned me. I was skeptical, on this basis, just as I was skeptical of another band of similar renown, Deer Tick, but I loved and admired this first track on the Low Anthem album. It’s got it all, I think, great harmonies, a great and unusual lyric, and an unsuspected reverence. It is hushed and beautiful. I wish I could report that I liked the entire album as well, but I almost never like whole albums these days. This song is magical, remarkably mature, and it augurs great things for these performers. Video after the jump.