Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Trillions

Trillions 1

I bought a fancy new camera not too long ago, and I’ve started, with no small amount of timidity, to take photos at the shows I’ve been going to. I haven’t managed to wean myself off the camera’s automatic settings (I was signed up to take a photography class but got sick when the date rolled around), nor have I gotten over the weirdness of moving through the crowd and putting myself directly in front of a performer, but I’m enjoying the learning process and I thought I’d share a few shots I took of the Trillions at last night’s RVA Playlist birthday party at the Camel. Hope you dig ’em.

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Happy Birthday, RVA Playlist!

RVA Playlist

Some things are hard to measure. Like peanut butter. Have you ever tried to measure out a half cup of peanut butter? It sticks to the spoon on the way in, it sticks to your finger when you try to level the top to see if you’ve got the right amount, it sticks to your measuring cup, and just for fun, it sticks to your finger again when you try to get it out. Sure you can heat your measuring cup with warm water before getting started, but c’mon. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Just as hard to measure — for slightly different reasons, I suppose — is the effect that Andrew Cothern has had on Richmond’s music scene.

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Todd Herrington

Todd Herrington

I owe a great deal to Todd Herrington.

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Darondo

Darondo

A little while back, I posted about J Clyde — the Norfolk-based producer who’s dropping a beat a day throughout 2014. If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed an especially nasty, Breaking Bad-themed track that came out on April 26. Take a listen below:

J Clyde — “Didn’t I (Breaking Bad)” [Soundcloud/Bandcamp]

Upon listening again the other day, with a little more distance from Breaking Bad’s final episode, I was surprised by how nostalgic I was getting about the show. I was so moved I sent him the following email:

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Spoiled Rotten

Veruca Salt

Wednesday was a good day. Ridiculously good. In rapid succession, I got to hear three amazing new albums, leaving me feel deliriously lucky and frankly a little spoiled. Like Veruca Salt, only without the tantrums and the dangerous drop down a chute designed for golden eggs.

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Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson

On a trip to the Outer Banks weekend before last, Mrs. YHT and I managed to HBO Go our way through the entire first season of True Detective. Have you seen it? Parts are hard to stomach, but overall it’s pretty damn fantastic, thanks in no small part to Matthew McConaughey’s character — a brilliant-but-damaged fish-out-of-water detective nicknamed “Rust” with a penchant for philosophical self-torture and a belief that “human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution.” He’s part deep South and part deep end, somehow managing to feel authentically in the dirt and in the clouds at the same time. I can’t remember a character like him, nor can I imagine a better spirit animal for the album I became enamored with a few days after Mrs. YHT and I got back from the beach.

This is the first I’ve heard of Sturgill Simpson, and I might not have taken notice had it not been for NPR’s First Listen and the album’s name (which I love): Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Ray Charles’ classic Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is one of the more frequently spun records at YHT headquarters, and Simpson’s twist was intriguing: Country music about country music. Now, I didn’t grow up listening to country, and the listening I’ve done in recent years hasn’t been comprehensive enough to chase away the feeling that there are allusions and in-jokes lurking in these 10 tracks that I’m not wise to — details that would lend additional credence to the “meta” piece of the title. The genre-bending aspects of the album — nuggets of psychedelia like fuzz, drug references, heavy reverb and panning sounds so they travel from your left headphone to your right and back again — feel plenty meta though, showing a desire to poke holes in the membrane that separates country from other styles. That said, there’s a meta moment that hits even closer to home for me, and while it comes and goes quickly, it shows how one tiny detail can open a whole other set of considerations, like a wormhole leading to another universe.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Sly and the Family Stone

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! Special shouts to my wife, who will be a mom in just a few short months, and my mom, who reads this blog and has always inspired me to be the best version of myself that I could be.

(Side note: Sound Opinions recently interviewed Family Stone members Oscar Songs and Lydia Loveless. Really interesting stuff. Listen here.)

Sly and the Family Stone —  “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” [Spotify/iTunes]

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