Gangly? Courtney Barnett is (as, say, St. Vincent is not). The way she plays guitar. The way she sings. The way she meanders, lop-sided, on stage (as in her performance at the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival)
I picked up a Euro edition (with lyrics and lots of photos (and a tote bag!)) of her Tell Me How You Really Feel (released on Mt. St. Helens Day 2018). How could I resist an album whose opening song is Hopefulessness? How can I resist a guitarist who plays Fenders with no picks?
It took several years of hearing her work, mostly on KEXP, before I reached unmitigated fandom. Pundits tend to pick up on the grunge aspects of the shows with her band, but I hear more Liz Phair and Sleater-Kinney than Nirvana. I hear some traces of Tegan and Sara too (e.g., Need a Little Time).
She makes no effort to obscure her Australian enunciations while speaking or singing. She has no fear of the silence that goes with thinking things through. She’s a playful lyricist and an unpretentious musician, explaining away her riffs as self-taught and all sounding alike (which seems, respectively, irrelevant and untrue to me).
I am looking forward to seeing her at the Paramount in Seattle in October.
Books, movies, albums, concerts, and television series: Five Sets of Five (with links to further information for the curious).
At the Lucky Record Store, perusing their displays of pricey collector grade LPs, I saw three copies of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung (selling, left to right, for the equivalent of $100, $100, and $125). I snapped this photo to share with my Tull Skull pals.
It was the new album by The Beatles, released in the USA on the 2nd day of June in 1967. It was one of the fab four’s most loved and most hated works.
It was not rock music, really, not like its predecessors. Aside from critics, few fans noted how little it rocked.
2016 may be remembered more for its tragedies and losses, but lots of great art work appeared too. For example…
November 27, 2006, I posted my first YouTube video, titled, We See Lights in the Sky <https://goo.gl/mN1CBl>, which was developed to go with a musical composition called Lola’s Emerald Necklace #2. Its huge video pixels cannot be entirely blamed on the state of video in 2006. At that time, uploading a >2 gigabyte file via consumer internet services was not always reliable, nor would YouTube have accepted such a large file from me. Plus, I liked the big pixels. They reminded me of live television from the ISS, which seemed apropos for this watery, foggy, jittery project. Now there are more than 50 videos in my channel, mostly documenting performances I witnessed. Continue reading
In 1982, after the completion of Delayed Stress, I bought a Korg MS-10, a classic analog synthesizer they say, that gave me a new sound palette, leading to a second set of tracks that were assembled in 1983 as Sexual Harassment. Continue reading
In 1981, I bought one of the first-generation 4-track audio cassette recorders, the Teac 144 (which incidentally is the same thing Bruce Springsteen used to record his album, Nebraska).
I won’t say chocolate and Courvoisier had nothing to do with surviving recent work/life balance challenges, but my music has borne the brunt of it. Here’s the proof: A new album. Six tracks of noisy guitar music.
The new one, as well as previous albums, can now be found at onewe Bandcamp.
Throughout early January 2007, the Seattle papers carried ads and hype for a solo appearance by Hilary Hahn at Benaroya Hall. Meanwhile, I’d been seeing stories here and there about Tom Brosseau, a native of the Red River Valley of North Dakota. But, I wasn’t paying much more attention to Tom than I did to Hilary.