Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Traveling Wilburys

Traveling Wilburys

I’d like to commend Parks and Recreation for an excellent choice of series-closing song — the Traveling Wilburys’ “End Of The Line.” I’d also like to say thanks for the difference the show has made in my life.

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Anousheh

Anousheh

I’ve been spending lots of time with Anousheh’s new Make Noise album lately. As it happens, it’s caught me at a fairly weighty moment. Both Mrs. YHT and I have had family members pass away recently, and we’ve taken turns giving each other colds that have lingered. Those two categories of hardship certainly pack unequal emotional punches, but their confluence has been one hell of a drag. Baby YHT has been a source of happiness throughout — she’s getting bigger every day and we’ve started feeding her real foods and relishing her hilarious reactions. Still not sure whether she loves or hates applesauce. That was a fun one.

It’s entirely random that Make Noise caught me at this particular moment, but I’m glad it did, because I’ve found it to be a great comfort.

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Father John Misty

Father John Misty

Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear album has taken over my life. Well, my record player’s life, anyway. The Decemberists vinyl Valentine’s Day present Mrs. YHT got me managed to break the stranglehold, but Honeybear is still spinning regularly at YHT headquarters. It’s an incredible album. I’d also call it vital.

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Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Looks like some serious (well… Southerner-serious) snow is on the way in RVA, so I’ve activated my Bon Iver snow day record bunker, which is comprised of the three 12-inch singles released in conjunction with his self-titled masterpiece and the Blood Bank EP that preceded it. I don’t normally splurge on singles, but these have dynamite B-sides — covers of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” John Prine’s “Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow)” and Peter Gabriel’s “Come Talk To Me.” And Blood Bank is my favorite kind of EP — one that documents a pivotal moment. In this case it’s Vernon’s transition from the cloistered simplicity of For Emma, Forever Ago to the vastness of Bon Iver.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope y’all are having a spiffy Valentine’s Day and have someone sweet to buy something sweet for. Here’s a sweet song to add into the mix — Warren Zevon’s “Mutineer” covered by the married duo of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. The performance above comes courtesy of WNRN in Charlottesville, but the pair just released a recorded version the other day (iTunes link below).

Much love from my corner of the interweb.

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires — “Mutineer” (Warren Zevon cover) [YouTube/iTunes]

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Pharoah Sanders

Pharoah Sanders

I spent most of Sunday morning and afternoon listening to records and doing chores (Can you still call them chores when you’re an adult? Because they still feel like chores…) and there was this moment during the first track from Pharoah Sanders’ Thembi album — “Astral Traveling” — when the bottle of green dish soap I was using to refill the in-sink soap pump thing started making the exact same chirping noise that the record was making. The world can be a pretty miraculous place if you’re willing to set the miracle bar super low.

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Pops Staples

Pops Staples

The Grammys were weird, right?

Don’t worry, I’m not here to whine about the Beck/Beyoncé thing. I’m pretty sure I’d achieve more asking my computer printer for a car loan than I would blog-complaining about who won the Album of the Year Grammy. It’s the ceremony in general I can’t stop thinking about today. Parts were OK — I liked the heartfelt tributes to victims of police violence, and I thought Sia’s Kristen Wiig assist was imaginative and fun  — but so much of the show felt like it was devised and executed by people who’d been orbiting the planet for the last year. Like organizers had been observing the music made on Earth from a distance. The awkward pairings. The myopic focus in the major categories (seemed worse than usual). The relentless and often stilted use of the word “friend” when celebrities were introducing each other. Just really, really strange.

You know what else is strange? Life. I’m not being facetious — it is.

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Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass

At some point last year, I stopped writing about the shows I was going to. I’ve still been taking notes on my phone — quick bullet point observations of songs and performers — but I haven’t been committing them to blog paper lately. Last night’s Natalie Prass show was one hell of a wake-up call, however, and I can’t resist sharing this time around. Here are my notes as they would have looked if I’d been able to pull a Zack Morris and pause the show to wax rhapsodic about what I was seeing. (As a side note, I once told my parents during an episode of Saved By the Bell that I wanted to change my name to Zack. They didn’t oblige, which seems like the right call in retrospect.)

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The Very Best

The Very Best

Mrs. YHT played host to her book club one night last week, and I made myself scarce by taking Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities memoir on a dinner date. As I was finishing my bowl of pho, I got to this paragraph, which comes just after Hancock describes making his Head Hunters album:

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