I bought Beirut’s debut CD, Gulag Orkestar, over the weekend. From the liner notes it looks to be more or less the one-man band of a 19-year-old named Zach Condon, plus I’ve just learned that the CD is a major blog sensation. Yet try as I might to be disaffected, I have to admit it’s affected me. Condon sure digs Neutral Milk Hotel, but don’t we all. Lots of Eastern European-sounding horns, devil-may-care legato crooning, and martial percussion. But I’ll cut the kid some slack for copping influences–he was only ten when In the Aeroplane over the Sea came out.

Then again, maybe he should lose half a star for making me feel old as dirt.

The very pretty “Scenic World” is in this folder. Right-click to download.

Oh, and in honor of July 4, that folder also features one of my favorite songs ever, “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” by another whippersnapper, the then-24-year-old Bruce.