A few Friday notes for you — another person who has made it through another week in this weird world in which we find ourselves.
- Very excited for the Chris Thile/Brad Mehldau album that was just announced. Quick story — when Bob Dylan’s Tempest album was announced and I saw “Scarlet Town” on the track list, I desperately hoped it would be a cover of the Gillian Welch song from The Harrow & The Harvest. It wasn’t. So when I saw that a “Scarlet Town” was on this Thile/Mehldau album, I braced for disappointment… but I needn’t have. Check out their excellent take on the Welch/Rawlings tune above.
- In other album announcement news, Matthew E. White has a collaborative cover album (with Flo Morrissey) coming out in January called Gentlewoman, Ruby Man. Psyched for that. You can hear their cover of Little Wings’ “Look At That The Light Did Now” here.
- I haven’t listened to the first Gillian Welch bootlegs album yet, but I’m gonna.
- I have been working my way through Ennio Morricone’s new collection, Morricone 60, where he revisits some of his classic works. Read this article to learn more about the album and to see what it looks like when zero fucks are given during an interview.
- File this Amanda Petrusich article about M. C. Taylor under “Two of My Favorite People in One Place.” It’s actually the second time she’s written about Hiss Golden Messenger — I wrote about the first time she wrote about him a little while back. And if you were to write about the time I wrote about the first time Amanda Petrusich wrote about M. C. Taylor, the universe would fold in on itself and 2016 would be over early, which would be delightful.
- I hadn’t heard of Washington Phillips before Pitchfork wrote about a compilation of his that was recently released, but he sings exactly the kind of gospel that warms my heart, even (or especially) during difficult times. You know, like times when you’re joking about how the destruction of the universe would be delightful.
Just two quick things:
- As I write this bullet, it’s Thursday night, Mrs. YHT is sleeping next to me on the couch, and I’m listening to Songs of Love and Hate via headphones. It’s the first time something’s been spinning on the turntable since before the election. RIP Leonard Cohen. I know he said he was ready to die, but emotionally speaking, this is rain falling on saturated soil.
- Very much looking forward to seeing the Truckers tonight. I admire American Band so profoundly. It’s more than an indictment. It’s that too, but it also points toward some greater level of understanding of this twisted situation we’re in. The Truckers have always treated the people in their songs like people — one reason Isbell’s writing fit so harmoniously in their repertoire — and regardless of how righteous the anger I’ve felt over the past few days may be, I’m going to need that kind of empathy to move forward from this week. We all will. Maybe tonight’s show will provide a head start.
That’s all I got, ya’ll. Have a great weekend. Be nice to people and hug the ones you love extra tight.
Just got back from having a family breakfast at Sugar & Twine in Carytown. Mrs. YHT and I decided to do something special this morning to try to distract ourselves from what just happened, though the song that was playing when we got there — Thom Yorke’s “Black Swan” — could not have been more timely.
This is fucked up… fucked up…
I don’t know what’s going to happen, both in the bigger sense and in terms of what’s going to happen with this blog. More posts, less posts, I’m not sure. There’s a chance posts will be more consistently political. I hope that they’ll still be optimistic and positive. We’re going to need optimism in the years ahead, but I’m planning to look inward and evaluate the ways I’m spending my time. Am I doing everything I can for my family? For my community? Can this blog help in any meaningful way?
Lots of thinking to do.
Thom Yorke — “Black Swan” [YouTube/Discogs]