Monthly Archives: January 2016

Seen/Eaten/Heard

Adele

Saw this while waiting in line at Plan 9. Cracked me up. I’ve been looking for an excuse to post “Hello” without having to write a thousand-word hot take about it. I just… like it.

Side note for all you mashup fans: It pairs very nicely with Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.”

Adele — “Hello” [Spotify/iTunes]

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Cian Nugent

Cian Nugent

The truth is most powerful when stated plainly. Directly. Boiled down. Sometimes you hear a phrase or song lyric that gets so close to the essence of an idea that it sounds like it’s stating the obvious. Someone who can’t identify with that specific feeling might say “Yeah. Duh. Everyone knows that.” But to the people who are feeling that same feeling, it can be like a door bursts open and sunlight and fresh air start rushing in for the first time in who knows how long.

“Don’t you ever get tired of being so in between where you’re headed and where you’ve been?” It’s a line in “Lost Your Way,” the first song on Cian Nugent’s new Night Fiction album.

In the most literal sense, we’re all stuck in the present. Wherever we are, time-wise, there we are. But if you’ve ever had a dream that’s just out of your reach, or fallen into a rut you can’t to climb out of, the present is like a prison. It’s what you see when you look into the future, and depending on how long you’ve been stuck, it might even be what you see when you look into the past.

I think it’s the “so” that got me — the idea that you’re not just between where you’re headed and where you’ve been, but that both are somehow really far away. That maybe they’re growing more remote as time goes on. How scary is that?

The fact that this hit me so hard tells me that I’m not totally where I need to be. Knowing what changes to make is a whole other matter, of course, but man — listening to “Lost Your Way” for the first time was one hell of a wake-up call.

The rest of Night Fiction is just as excellent, I should say. The mixing especially — his guitar is always nice and high in the mix, which really suits his style and these songs. Feels distinctive. Shouts to Bill at BK Music for helping me get my hands on this soon — can’t wait to play it at YHT HQ.

Cian Nugent — “Lost Your Way” [Spotify/iTunes]

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Avers

Avers

Every year, in the hours and days after I publish my Top 10 lists and say to myself “Well that’s done, thank god,” I start planning a mea culpa post that lists all the mistakes I made. This year, for example, I can’t remember what I was doing but “I hit the weekend just like a freight” ran through my head and the realization hit me just as hard: “Shit. I totally left off Nashville Obsolete.” Definitely should have been in my Top 25. Maybe even Top 10. It wasn’t released on vinyl, so I didn’t have a physical reminder around the house, but still… wish I hadn’t blanked on that one.

I never actually write or post these mea culpas — I figure it’s a “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party” situation — but there’s one regret from 2015 list-making I can’t abide silently, and that’s not listening to Avers’ Wasted Tracks EP sooner.

I’ve been playing it repeatedly since New Year’s, and I really, really like these songs. It’s an interesting collection, because square-peg-round-hole EPs usually come out after the full length album they were trimmed from, but I read that these songs were cut from the band’s upcoming 2016 album. That they weren’t representative of the direction the band is going in. It’s exciting — trying to anticipate what that direction might be, having fantastic songs like “Calling Out To You” and “Come To Me Now” as points of predictive contrast. And “Beautiful Day To Die” is easily one of my favorite songs they’ve done so far.

Here’s to looking forward and backward and the same time.

Avers — “Calling Out To You” [Spotify/iTunes]

Avers — “Come To Me Now” [Spotify/iTunes]

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CD Monday

Apparat Organ Quartet

Baby YHT would like to direct your attention to this week’s CD, the self-titled 2002 album by Iceland’s Apparat Organ Quartet.

Confession time: I picked this because I had wintry weather on the brain, and I thought it’d be fun to listen to an Icelandic band while riding around and watching this foot of snow melt. Then I checked Wikipedia and saw that Iceland’s climate is unusually temperate for its latitude. Technically, the highlands qualify as tundra, but the Quartet is from Reykjavík, which is subpolar oceanic, which… I dunno what that is.

This is an awesome album. I do know that. Shouts to friends of the blog Travis and Lyndsey for grabbing it while traveling in Iceland!

Apparat Organ Quartet — “Romantika” [Spotify/iTunes]

Apparat Organ Quartet — “Cruise Control” [Spotify/iTunes]

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Covered: Snow

Another new feature for 2016! (I’m just gonna keep saying that, and hopefully one of these will stick.) Let’s pick a bunch of albums to play based on how situationally appropriate the cover art is. The current situation? Snow. A shit-ton of it. Here’s what I’ll be playing to chase away the cabin fever:

The Band — The Band

The Band

Dudes in coats. Levon looks the chilliest. Garth looks the chillest. Danko is challenging Richard Manuel’s signature claim to creepiest, while Robbie is clearly trying to have sex with you. Or maybe just making it known that he’s open to having sex with you. One or the other.

Good point just now from Mrs. YHT: “Levon is the chilliest because he’s the only one from the South.”

The Band — “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” [Spotify/iTunes]

The Beatles — Help!

The Beatles

More dudes in coats. And the cover shot is from the movie’s skiing scene, which was filmed in the Austrian Alps. Those crazy moptops…

The Beatles — “Help!” [Spotify/iTunes]

Bon Iver — Blood Bank EP

Bon Iver

From which Kayne got the sample for “Lost In The World.” Great EP.

Bon Iver — “Woods” [Spotify/iTunes]

The Dave Brubeck Quartet — Brandenburg Gate: Revisited

Dave Brubeck

Achtung! It’s cold out there!

The Dave Brubeck Quartet — “In Your Own Sweet Way” [Spotify/iTunes]

Jerry Butler — The Ice Man Cometh

Jerry Butler

What’s cooler than being cool?

Jerry Butler — “Only The Strong Survive” [Discogs]

Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars — Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars

Levon Helm

Levon. Paul Butterfield. Steve Cropper. Booker T. Jones. Dr. John. Duck Dunn. Robbie. Garth. Madonna.

OK, so Madonna’s not really on there. But all those other people are!

Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars — “Washer Woman” [Discogs]

Joni Mitchell — Hejira

Joni Mitchell

Anyone else invent an alternate universe in which “Coyote” is about Robbie Robertson?

Joni Mitchell — “Coyote” [Spotify/iTunes]

Paul Simon — Paul Simon

Paul Simon

Winner: Dude in a Coat category.

Side note — this may be the record that gets played most often in our house.

Paul Simon — “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard” [Spotify/iTunes]

Bruce Springsteen — Nebraska

Bruce Springsteen

Saving this one for when cabin fever is really getting to me and things are looking peak-bleak.

Bruce Springsteen — “Atlantic City” [Spotify/iTunes]

Stephen Stills — Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills

This one qualifies twice — there’s snow on the cover, and the first song is “Love The One You’re With,” which is basically the theme song for cabin fever! Love the one you’re with… because leaving the house really isn’t an option right now.

Stephen Stills — “Love The One You’re With” [Spotify/iTunes]

Sufjan Stevens — Michigan

Sufjan Stevens

Some impressive average annual snowfall numbers for Michigan cities. Houghton gets 207.7 inches a year. If you know anyone living in Houghton, Michigan, definitely send them this blog post.

Sufjan Stevens — “Holland” [Spotify/iTunes]

They Might Be Giants — “Don’t Let’s Start” maxi single

They Might Be Giants

Let’s all hope this storm doesn’t get to the point where snowmen gain sentience, kill us all, and start burning our money. Kinda feels like it might tho. Stay warm out there, y’all.

They Might Be Giants — “When It Rains It Snows” [Spotify/iTunes]

 

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Matthew E. White

Matthew E. White

Guys. Guys guys guys.

Matthew E. White. Natalie Prass. DJ Harrison.

It’s like I’m watching Game of Thrones and two of the baddest-ass families — House Spacebomb and House Jellowstone — just joined forces. What’s a good analog… Tyrion advising Dany, maybe? I dunno, I understand about 5% of what happens on Game of Thrones. But I love watching it, and I love “Cool Out.” The beat… the interplay of Prass’ and White’s vocals… the cover art… love it all.

Westeros is never going to be the same.

Matthew E. White — “Cool Out” (feat. Natalie Prass) [Spotify/iTunes]

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CD Monday

WillieNelson

When I posted the Preservation Hall Jazz Band doing “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It,” it was more or less arbitrary. I couldn’t remember which songs I heard when we were there (aside from “Christmastime Is Here”), and I’m not even sure if the musicians we saw were part of the Band proper, so I picked something from Soundcloud at random. Then again, I love the song’s title, so maybe it wasn’t entirely random.

That title jumped out at me again this morning when I was looking through the tracks on this Two Men with the Blues album my mom got me a while back. Happy to have an excuse to put this in the car. It’s a feel-good album, Willie showing his knack for jazz and Wynton adding easygoing gravitas.

Speaking of titles, I’m glad they didn’t call it WWIII.

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis — “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” [Spotify/iTunes]

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