Tag Archives: Fiona Apple

Black Friday Buying Guide

I’m away from Richmond this Black Friday, so instead of doing the Record Store Day thing, I’m taking this opportunity to scoop up a few items I’ve had my eye on online for a while. Doesn’t hurt that most labels are sending out discount codes via email. I’ve compiled a bunch of those below, along with a handful of albums I’m set on snagging.

Fiona Apple — The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

I’ve been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for someone to repress this thing, given the $100+ price point of the existing copies available on Discogs. Vinyl Me, Please to the rescue. “Every Single Night” remains one of my favorite songs from the last decade or so, and I was lucky enough to see Mountain Man do a cover of “Hot Knife” when they recently came through Richmond. Won’t soon forget it. Not for nothing, VMP is doing a site-wide 30% off sale today…

Saw Black & The Toys — Christmas in the Background

Saw Black. War Hen Records. Christmas. Count me in. Just 100 copies were pressed, so don’t sleep on this one.

The Congress — The Loft Tapes

I had my eye on a Loft Tapes ebay listing ever since I interviewed Scott Lane of the Congress and American Paradox Records. While the resulting piece zoomed in on his role as founder of AP, I learned a ton about the Congress’ early days, including how The Loft Tapes served as an on-the-job education when it came to producing albums. It’s a killer collection. Out of print, but there’s one for sale on Discogs, and it’s available for listening via streaming services.

DJ Harrison — Vault Series #9: Thanksgiving Dinnerz

According to Bandcamp, this nine-song set is available for only a limited time. Listened to it on the way out of town yesterday morning, after “Alice’s Restaurant” and before my car’s Bluetooth connection stopped working. Fun times!

Spacebomb House Band — VI: Connected by Birth and Employment

I learned a while back that Mrs. YHT keeps one of those little packets of two saltines in her glove box, just in case some sort of apocalyptic traffic situation unfolds. My first thought was “That seems a little alarmist,” but I realized I do the same thing by keeping a walkman, an aux cord, and the latest volume in the Spacebomb House Band’s cassette series in the car at all times. And guess what? That’s what we listened to when my car’s Bluetooth crapped out on Friday! I’m late in snagging Volume VI, so I plan to remedy that over the next few days.

As promised, here are a few limited-time discount situations I’ve seen marketed. Hope they help you start the holiday season off right.

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Carl Broemel

Happy 4th of July? I’ll probably say that handful of times today, but this one doesn’t feel so happy. It’s hard to dial the patriotism up to 11 when your country is doing this, and your president is celebrating like this.

I put Carl Broemel’s beautiful and largely subdued 4th of July album on the turntable this morning, thinking that spinning it meant marking the occasion with an appropriate level of exuberance. The cover art certainly hits the mark, with damp coloring and a Statue Of Liberty that registers as distant and off-balance. Still, I didn’t expect to find lyrics that spoke so directly to the current political moment:

So many people are awake in the city
I see ’em walking up and down the road
Think eventually they will be sleeping
Try to find a quiet place to go
But there’s a limited number of spaces
With comfy mattresses and soft pillows
Whether your bed is just a spot on the pavement
Or an apartment on the eighty-fifth floor

You’re gonna end everyday of your life
Lying there in the dark

I’ve always thought “In the Dark” was a very pretty song about insomnia and/or death and/or the way solipsism actually unites us in a weird way. Now it feels like a meditation on conscience — the idea that at the end of the day, and at the end of our lives, we all have to reckon with what we’ve done to that point. Maybe that’s a good way to “celebrate” this year’s Independence Day.

(Might I also suggest streaming Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” a few times, or directly supporting the organization to which Apple has pledged two years of “Criminal” royalties?)

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CD Monday

Fiona Apple

This is where I hopped on the Fiona Apple wagon. Been a happy, devoted passenger ever since. I still get that displaced, uncanny feeling during certain Extraordinary Machine songs, like the leaked version of the album I first heard was the real one and these tracks are remixes, but it’s been a really long time since I heard the leaked stuff — not even sure I still have it — so that feeling is more faded than ever. Like a ghost that just kinda shrugged its shoulders and started walking away.

Speaking of giving things up, I gave this to Baby YHT to hold while we were walking out to the car this morning and she refused to give it back. I buckled her into her car seat and calmly said “If you want to listen to this music, you have to let go.” And she did. What a kid. Either she:

A. Is getting easier to bargain with
B. Really likes Fiona Apple
C. Really hates Morning Edition
D. Knows that it’s her mom’s copy and desperately wanted to cling to anything mommy-related because mommy being in a different room or somewhere else these days is ABSOLUTELY A REASON TO PANIC WHY AREN’T YOU PANICKING TOO DADDY WE’VE GOT A REAL SITUATION ON OUR HANDS HERE

Fiona Apple — “Not About Love” [Spotify/iTunes]

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Blake Mills

Blake Mills

Big week, y’all. I’m writing this on Thursday night, immediately after confirming that my silver 64 GB iPhone 6 is still scheduled to be delivered sometime on Friday. Given that my current phone qualifies for not one but two recalls — one concerning a sleep/wake button that no longer works and the other concerning a battery that just kind of says “fuck it” and shuts the phone down randomly — you’ll understand why I’ve been looking forward to this Friday for some time.

And yet…

…I might be even more excited about Tuesday’s Heigh Ho release.

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Tournament Album Coverage

cat couch

If you’re a YHT regular, you might have spent some small portion of the last few weeks asking yourself “Hey, why hasn’t he said anything about March Madness? He loves the tournament…” You’d be right! Last year I did a twopart “Tournament Album Coverage” post, and the year before that I celebrated a VCU win by creating a crude mashup of six “Black And Yellow” remixes playing simultaneously. (It still makes me cringe, then laugh, then cringe some more. There’s treble, there’s too much treble, and then there’s my “Black And Yellow” mashup.)

It’s not that I haven’t been watching. On the contrary — I got to binge-watch on the first Friday of the tournament — aka Basketball Christmas — and like last year I listened to records the whole time, but it wasn’t quite as upbeat this time around. My billion-dollar bracket was knocked out of contention by the very first game on Thursday, then Duke was upset by 14-seed Mercer in the very first game on Friday afternoon, killing my personal rooting interest and taking my bracket out of contention in my family’s pool (I had Duke losing in the final game). Just like that, my hopes were dashed, and the weekend hadn’t even started yet. I wondered whether I’d feel like watching at all on Friday evening.

Then I came up with a plan.

Instead of letting my disappointments ruin Basketball Christmas, I decided to put my vinyl collection to good use by throwing myself the most comically depressing pity party I could muster while rooting for every favored seed — no matter how far my bracket had them going — to lose. It was way more fun than it should have been.

Here are the covers to prove it:

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Happy Halloween!

Exactly one year ago, Vampire Weekend donned some pretty sinister face paint and performed “Unbelievers” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s Halloween show. If memory serves, these were the first notes I heard of what would become Modern Vampires of the City. It’s crazy looking back on that now. For me, MVOTC is one of those special cases where you listen to an album so many times you damn-near internalize it, and then it becomes surreal to think about how, at one point not so long ago, it didn’t exist at all.

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Blake Mills

Blake Mills

The end of last week was… eventful. Fateful, even. On consecutive nights, I got to see Father John Misty at the National and Fiona Apple and Blake Mills’ “Anything We Want” tour at the Lincoln Theater on U St. in Washington, D.C. Both shows were incredible, and I’m still trying to sort through all the ways in which the two experiences were related. I’m not going to dive in right now, since I’d like to write something longer when I have a better map of those relationships (and when I manage to put a leash on my impulse to use superlative language like “best concert I’ve ever seen” and “so beautiful I was moved to tears”), but I did want to take a quick moment and share a song Blake Mills performed on Friday night in D.C.

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