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.


10 Years of YouTubing

November 27, 2006, I posted my first YouTube video, titled, We See Lights in the Sky <>, 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