Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekly Whathaveyou - Friday, June 3

Various and Sundry Goings On About Music:

    • I was a tad late on this one, but I highly recommend Kurt Vile's new release, Smoke Ring For My Halo. My first foray into Vile's music, the album dropped in early March after plenty of buzz in the weeks leading up. It's easy to lose yourself in the album's slouching trip-folk, defined by verbed-out acoustic picking and hardly-sung lyrics in the style of Lou Reed. My personal favorite: "Runner Ups", which rolls out some hard-hitting downer lines: "When I'm walkin' my head is practically dragging/All I ever see if just a whole lotta dirt/My whole life's been one long running gag." Yikes...
    • I won't be doing a proper live review, but I saw Old Crow Medicine Show last week. Was the show great? Sure. Should I have skipped it? Probably. Unlike the last time I saw them, the band was crammed into the Music Farm, a venue that's a fraction a size fo the one the sold out only two years ago. The crowd was full of drunken frat stars and oddballs. The heat was unbearable. I appreciated the band's top-tier musicianship and Ketch Secor's charming pandering ("I rode the FREE TROLLEY today! [audience cheers] I ate okra and tomatoes and FLOUNDER for lunch!" [audience cheers]) but still I think a quiet night at home might have been the better option.
    • The new Bon Iver album is floating around, and boy is it good. I'm glad, too, because I wouldn't have been shocked if For Emma, Forever Ago was one of those albums whose backstory and context wouldn't allow the artist to step out of its shadow and release another relevant effort. Not the case!
    • So Bob Dylan made a cameo on Pawn Stars. While they make it seem like this tubby dude just stumbles across Bob and nabs a sig, rest assured that this wasn't a act of serendipity caught on camera. You're not going to walk up to Bob Dylan, camera crew in tow, get the guy stop and sign an album, and get a fist bump without a ton of planning. This is my general issue with reality television. While they might be "unscripted", heavy editing and situational set-ups are the oil that make these machines run. But I digress.
    Recent Listening:

    • Felice Brothers - Celebration, Florida
    • Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
    • TV On the Radio - Nine Types of Light
    • Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys
    • My Morning Jacket - Circuital
    Upcoming Releases of Import:
    • Bon Iver - Bon Iver (June 21)
    My Upcoming Concert Schedule:
    • (none currently)

    A Tube For You:

    In a few weeks I'm playing a gig with a new songwriting/playing buddy. We're trying to do mostly original material, but are slotting in a few covers here and there. One of these covers you'll find below: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' version of "Wichita". I've been listening to it again and again trying to get that solo down, so now I'm forcing it on you. But hey, at least it's an enjoyable song. Imagine if we were covering "Party In the USA" or something...

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