On Friday night, I was spinning Aqualung on my turntable. On Saturday morning, I was speaking over the phone with Martin Barre, Jethro Tull’s legendary guitarist. (He’s performing at The Tin Pan on Saturday night.) It was a great, truly candid conversation, and I compiled the best bits for a Richmond Navigator interview that went online yesterday. I hope you’ll take a took and grab a ticket for Saturday, if you haven’t already.
If you’re curious about his solo work, here’s a track that provides a nice bridge between his past and present — a rearrangement of the Jethro Tull song “Slow Marching Band” that Barre included on his 2016 Back to Steel album.
Martin Barre — “Slow Marching Band” [Spotify/iTunes]
A few quick pre-weekend notes:
- Congrats to Bob Dylan on his Nobel Prize in Literature. It couldn’t have been a more fitting selection — choosing him transcended the honor’s boundaries just as Dylan gave songwriting a transcendent push in the twentieth century. It’s been fun watching tributes roll in, from favorite lyrics to pictures of tattoos of favorite lyrics to evidence of Dylan binge-listening. Inspiring all around.
- And congrats to the organizers of the Richmond Folk Festival, for putting on another excellent event — this year in the face of shitty weather. I was only able to stop by on Sunday, but I will never forget what I saw: Rahzel doing “If Your Mother Only Knew.” I saw that. In person. It’s still sinking in. I have a crappy video I may upload at some point for the audio’s sake if folks are interested.
- Last Friday’s Lucy Dacus show was outstanding. This review did a great job of explaining why.
- New Phil Cook out today! Gorgeous, contemplative stuff.
- My mom’s been sending me some delightfully out-there music recommendations lately. Here’s one — a movement from Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices. It’s a wild ride. I won’t say another word, because going in cold, without context or expectations, is really, really fun.
- Another mom recommendation: Sacred Harp singing.
- Were you lucky enough to get tickets for tonight’s Big Freedia show at Strange Matter before they sold out? I am envious. Post pics and videos plz.
Have a great weekend, y’all. Hope these links make it a little weirder.
Fancy a few Friday news and notes thingies?
- Today’s an awesome release day (hello there, Hiss Golden Messenger), but I left two crucial releases off last week’s list: White Laces (wrote about No Floor yesterday) and Moses Sumney. Lordy, is Lamentations good. I pretty sure I remember “Worth It” from when he opened for Sufjan Stevens at the Altria Theater — it went straight on my “That’s My Jam” playlist after I heard this version. “Lonely World” is also outstanding, with an assist from Thundercat. Well worth a listen, if you’re not already a Sumney fan. Or if you are. And since everyone on Earth falls into one of those two categories, there’s no excuse for not listening.
- Some really great Spacebomb news — their newest roster addition, Georgie, just released a song called “Company Of Thieves” and a corresponding video that looks like it was really fun to make. This is some seriously punchy stuff, both in terms of the strength of her voice and the oomph the horns provide. More plz thx.
- Next long run I go on I’m listening to the Bruce Fresh Air interview. Can’t wait. Also looking forward to reading his book. There need to be more hours in the day so I can do that like… now.
- Goodwill scores this week include Wynton Marsalis’ debut album, the soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back, and two spoken word Star Trek albums, which include three or four narrated episodes each. I’m not all that into Star Trek, but they looked too campy to walk away from.
- Too much good music this weekend. Lucy Dacus (with My Darling Fury and Spooky Cool) at The National tonight and the Richmond Folk Festival all weekend. Here’s hoping the weather doesn’t act up too much — Stephen Lecky and the whole Folk Fest machine put in so much work each year, and it’s such a gift to the city. Stop by early and often, and be sure to throw a few bucks into an orange donation bucket. You’ll probably get a sticker, and you can wear it like a badge of honor.
I whined a little about the weather earlier, but if you’re in Florida/Georgia/South Carolina and you’re reading this, be safe. Here’s hoping the storm heads east and doesn’t circle back around.
A few news and notes to complement your Friday…
I hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead. The band is recording all day tomorrow at Audio Verite with Pedro Aida. Trying to get three songs done. Fingers crossed…
Just a few things to wrap up the week…
- The Mountain Goats show was everything I could have hoped it would be — new songs, old songs, constant enthusiasm from John, enthusiasm from the crowd, a cover of “Dark as a Dungeon,” a “This Year” finale — and holy hell, was the merch table a dream. Practically his entire back catalog on vinyl. I got a copy of Beat the Champ (listening as I type this) but The Sunset Tree is absolutely on my wantlist now.
- Oh Pep! opened and did an amazing job. Their song “Tea, Milk & Honey” has stuck to my brain like… well, honey is a perfectly sufficient simile. They even had homemade egg cups for sale at the show. I’m telling you — this was the most insanely good merch table I’ve ever seen.
- Speaking of sticking to your brain, cheers to the White Laces on their new song “Cheese.” So catchy — such a bright and fascinating continuation of their ongoing evolution. Can’t wait to hear more.
- Wow. I was excited for the Ian Chang solo stuff to come, but the video for “Spiritual Leader” totally blew my mind. Just wow. Want to see what drums can do? Watch this.
- I’ve been meaning to post the “Animal Quietlies” video from Manatree. So glad to see this excellent, frenetic song making its way around the interweb.
Heading to Denver this weekend. Hope your weekend is great wherever you’re spending it.