Song of the Day #1,569: ‘I Don’t Know How You’re Livin” – Lucinda Williams

The rise of iTunes and the MP3 as the cheapest and easiest way to purchase music led to an increase in bonus material paired with physical CDs.

It might be expanded liner notes, including artwork or photos not otherwise available. A DVD of live performances of the album’s songs. A dorm room-ready wall poster. That sort of thing.

Lucinda Williams’ 2011 album Breach came with a second CD titled The Kitchen Tapes, which contains the same 12 songs recorded as demos by Williams at her kitchen table.

Even on her studio productions, Williams is a very raw performer. Sitting in her kitchen with an acoustic guitar, she takes that rawness to a new level. I wouldn’t listen to these versions over the finished product (in part because Blessed features some amazing production and full-band instrumentation) but they are fascinating to hear at least once.

That said, in general my verdict on the “bonus material” accompanying many CD purchases is that it’s a total waste of time. I can’t tell you how many exclusive live DVDs I have in my CD collection that have never once made it to my TV or computer screen. I have postcards and posters that will never be displayed, bonus discs of songs that I’ll always skip.

I Cared for you
Dared to do
What I was never prepared to do

I’ve talked you down
Driven you around
All but followed you underground

I’ve defended you
Commended you
I’ve seen it through to the end with you

I’ve supported you
Encouraged you
Comforted and consoled you

I don’t know how your livin’
I don’t know where you are
And you may not be willing
To open up the door

If you should ever wonder
You shouldn’t have to ask
Cos I hope you know brother
I’ve always got your back

I’ve paid for you
I’ve borrowed for you
I’ve planned all my tomorrows for you
I’ve believed in you
Grieved with you
I’ve rolled my sleeves for you

I’ve fed you
I’ve clothed you
I’ve loved you and stood up for you

I’ve sided with you
I cried for you
I put my knees aside for you

But I don’t know how your livin’
And I don’t know where you are
And you may not be willing
To open up the door

And If you should ever wonder
Well you shouldn’t have to ask
Cos I hope you know brother
I’ve always got your back
I’ve always got your back

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,569: ‘I Don’t Know How You’re Livin” – Lucinda Williams

  1. Dana says:

    Wonder how many boltles of whiskey were on that kitchen table😄

    I mostly agree with you about the bonus tracks. One recent notable exception is the new Taylor Swift album Red. I find the more acoustic versions contained on the bonus cd to be better than the more produced album versions and at least one of the tracks, “Girl at Home” is better than most of the cuts that made it onto the album.

  2. Clay says:

    I’d be curious to hear those Taylor Swift bonus tracks. I think the new album has its moments but it’s definitely a step down from the last one. I’d cut about seven tracks off of it.

    • Dana says:

      Yeah. On first listen I agree it’s not as strong as the last album, but it would have been far better if te 5 bonus tracks had been substituted in for the album counterparts and weakest tracks (like that boing snow patrol collaberation for example)

  3. Shawn says:

    Seriously, Taylor Swift? Wow, ok. This is great from Lucinda though.

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