It’s the little things.
Bones is one of those albums I’ve been falling for from the inside out — one memorable moment at a time. (I promise I wrote the first part of that last sentence without the album’s title in mind. Spooooooky.)
The one exception would be the big, bombastic “Change Is Everyting,” which I loved wholly and instantly when I saw Son Lux open for tUnE-yArDs at the National back in March. The rest of Bones has grabbed me one little piece at a time. Here are a few spots I thought y’all might have fun listening out for:
A special CD Monday for the start of summer…
A Shamir post is overdue, and I wish I were writing about Ratchet under different circumstances. The whole album is excellent — wildly impressive for a debut full-length by someone so young — but one of his songs feels especially relevant after the events of the last few days.
I’m still floating back down to Earth after last Wednesday’s St. Vincent show, so if you’re allergic to hyperbole, you should proceed with caution. There are so many glowing things to say about her performance — a few adjectives that come to mind right away: otherworldly, innovative, exacting, singular — but the takeaway I can’t stop thinking about involves something that didn’t actually happen on stage. (And I’m not talking about sardine-like crowd experience, which was like some crazy test of how little personal space you can command before totally freaking out.)
During the show, this image kept popping into my head — Annie Clark standing on the same stage singing the same songs with the same vocal precision and just an acoustic guitar as accompaniment. It wasn’t because I wished she was performing that way, it was because I kept thinking about how removed her show was from that basic form of musical communication.
Quick digression: I’d always taken that form — voice and acoustic guitar — for granted, because so many of the artists/groups I enjoy go that well-worn route. It was a fairly recent comment from Father John Misty (I can’t remember if it was onstage or in an interview) about how he can imagine people rolling their eyes at another white dude with an acoustic guitar that made me take a step back and think about what deciding to perform that way means.
So what does the way Annie Clark decided to perform on Wednesday mean? In short, I think it means that she’s a visionary who cares deeply about the experience her fans have at her shows.
While we were on our way into the St. Vincent show last Wednesday, an excited but exhausted Mrs. YHT asked me if I’d ever sat in the National’s balcony seats. (Subtext: We’re finding it more and more tempting to sit down at shows. This makes us feel old.) I told her I’d sat up there once, when Ben Kweller played the National in 2008.
Ben Kweller has always represented youth to me.