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Iron & Wine Keep the Volume Low But Spirits High

August 3, 2008 11:25 PM ET

Iron & Wine's calm folk-rock demanded peace and quiet, and for the most part, got it from a very polite crowd. Backed by a band that, akin to its leader's razor-repellent facial hair, seems to grow with each passing month, frontman Sam Beam looked freshly aroused from a long nap. The group never detoured from the sleepy pace, relying on wood-block percussion and pedal-steel guitars to patiently trek through the sonic equivalent of the Amazon forest. At first glance, Iron & Wine's lullabies seemed a tailor-made match for playing to parents and children over on the nearby Kidz Stage. But seedy matter lurked underneath the otherwise tranquil exteriors of "House by the Sea" and "The Devil Never Sleeps." And their soothing moods and hammock-sway slowness encouraged a few adult pursuits — joint smoking, beer sipping, tripping — still off limits to the stroller set. Yet the muted aura occasionally dragged, a risk taken by any band traveling in the direction of a more strung-out version of the Grateful Dead.

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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