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.
While a steady line of patrons marched into the Exhibition Hall to see The Thermals, a classroom-size crowd gathered in a classroom-size concrete holding area just to the side of the main path, the better to rush into the soon-to-be emptied hall where our heros from San Francisco would have one-hour to bewilder us.
The new Neko Case album is quite lovely. It also includes some of the best
spooky Garth Hudson licks I’ve heard in ages.
Under the “related downloads” on that page, you can get the video of “Maybe
Sparrow” which gives a nice sample (real player required) of Case and of
Hudson’s contribution. There is also a nice 13-minute documentary about the album, titled “Neko Case EPK.”
Also, the CD package is dazzlingly fine, and you can download the art from the ANTI site.
Also, although she moves around a lot, we in the Pacific NW regard her as a local gal.
This and Cat Power’s “The Greatest” have me thinking 2006 is (also) off to a particularly good start.
One of Seattle’s pubic radio stations (KEXP) carries a “public affairs” program that I’ve grown very fond of over the years, TUC Radio, hosted by Maria Gilardin. Long before there were “podcasts,” Gilardin started producing her weekly program from recordings she made on location and edited in her at-home studio, and literally giving it away to any radio station that wants it. TUC Radio pokes its nose into America’s psyche, and if you have a way to listen to it or support it, you should. It most often covers political and evironmental topics, but sometimes it delves into the world of poets and musicians.
Fans of 1970s progressive and experimental pop music might take some satisfaction from the current critical success of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois. (There’s even signs of commercial success: the album is at the top of the Seattle indie record store chart at the end of August 2005.)
July 15-17, I was at Jericho Beach for the annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival (snapshots). As usual, there were many new voices to absorb. Lots of hip hop pop influences this year, even one fellow (Ridley Bent) whose countrified rap has garnered the label “hick hop” — sounds awful, eh, but his song about California apple pickers, a vignette pulled from a Steinbeck novel, was chillingly good.
This trio personifies what may be one of mainstream America’s worst nightmares:
Raised by single fathers!
With electric guitars!
Yesterday, instead of doing what they should (taking me to shop for groceries), my feet took me to Sonic Boom Records in Fremont, where I immediately found the two new Bright Eyes CDs for $9.99 each. I couldn’t resist.
I love catching radio shows responding to stories via apropos “bumpers” (the music clips that serve as transitions between pieces). The business/economics show, Marketplace, is a great one for this kind of thing.