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“Western Director”

By The Strugglers

Words and Music by Brice Randall Bickford II; drums, engineering: Jim Bob Aiken; guitar, bass, singing: B. R. Bickford; cello and arrangement: Chris Eubank; violin and arrangement: Daniel Hart; Rhodes and arrangement: Alex Lazara. Copyright ©2006 Brice Randall Bickford II/BMI

The Strugglers is the project of Brice Randall Bickford II and a rotating cast of musicians hailing from Carrboro, NC. The band’s albums include This New Room, the EP The Fair Store, and You Win.

Esopus 6 (Spring 2006)

Esopus CD #6: Help Wanted

For our sixth CD, Esopus invited participants to scour job listings—from any source, whether a jobs-related website, the classified section of their local paper, or simply a xeroxed flyer in a neighborhood store—and then choose one that they felt would make good material for a song. For many, the request resonated in more ways than one: The independent musicians we approach have for the most part consciously avoided the commercial route, and a number of them must work day jobs to support their musical careers. As Nashville-based singer-songwriter Amy Rigby mentioned in an email to which she attached the waitress listing she found, “The ultimate irony would be if I ended up getting a job there.” Her song, “A Taste of the Keys,” addresses this irony with her trademark wit and emotional punch.

The other selections are equally inspired. Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear’s evocative, even cinematic “Pine Cone Cafe” also takes its inspiration from a restaurant server listing, which gave it an opportunity also to pay tribute to one of their grandmothers who had waitressed for years. English band Magnetophone teamed up with Mountain Goats’ founder John Darnielle on the lush, eerie “Systems Thinking Business Modelling Consultant,” and another Briton, Owen Tromans, went the scientific route with “Astronomer,” which invests the specifics of the job description—tracking asteroids that might collide with earth—with a poetic resonance.


Ambrosia Parsley & The Elegant Too
Girls: Must Be Single and Very Pretty
The Strugglers
Western Director
LD & The New Criticism
Sex Surrogate
Electric President
Laboratory Technician (We Will Walk Through Walls)
Owen Tromans
Amy Rigby
A Taste of the Keys
Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson
The Nurse
Marissa Nadler
Nude Not Required
Magnetophone & John Darnielle
Systems Thinking Building Model Consultant
Grizzly Bear
Pine Cone Café