Fancy a few Friday news and notes thingies?
- Today’s an awesome release day (hello there, Hiss Golden Messenger), but I left two crucial releases off last week’s list: White Laces (wrote about No Floor yesterday) and Moses Sumney. Lordy, is Lamentations good. I pretty sure I remember “Worth It” from when he opened for Sufjan Stevens at the Altria Theater — it went straight on my “That’s My Jam” playlist after I heard this version. “Lonely World” is also outstanding, with an assist from Thundercat. Well worth a listen, if you’re not already a Sumney fan. Or if you are. And since everyone on Earth falls into one of those two categories, there’s no excuse for not listening.
- Some really great Spacebomb news — their newest roster addition, Georgie, just released a song called “Company Of Thieves” and a corresponding video that looks like it was really fun to make. This is some seriously punchy stuff, both in terms of the strength of her voice and the oomph the horns provide. More plz thx.
- Next long run I go on I’m listening to the Bruce Fresh Air interview. Can’t wait. Also looking forward to reading his book. There need to be more hours in the day so I can do that like… now.
- Goodwill scores this week include Wynton Marsalis’ debut album, the soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back, and two spoken word Star Trek albums, which include three or four narrated episodes each. I’m not all that into Star Trek, but they looked too campy to walk away from.
- Too much good music this weekend. Lucy Dacus (with My Darling Fury and Spooky Cool) at The National tonight and the Richmond Folk Festival all weekend. Here’s hoping the weather doesn’t act up too much — Stephen Lecky and the whole Folk Fest machine put in so much work each year, and it’s such a gift to the city. Stop by early and often, and be sure to throw a few bucks into an orange donation bucket. You’ll probably get a sticker, and you can wear it like a badge of honor.
I whined a little about the weather earlier, but if you’re in Florida/Georgia/South Carolina and you’re reading this, be safe. Here’s hoping the storm heads east and doesn’t circle back around.
How is it September? September is supposed to be, like, in the future. Not the present.
As tempting as it is to lament the end of summer, one early-September event has me looking forward to the month ahead, and there are a few other links I wanted to share:
- Today kicks off the SoundView Project, a public art/music event in which Troy Gatrell of Clair Morgan and Way, Shape or Form will write, record, and mix five songs over the course of a month in full view of Broad Street passersby. (Yes, I was excited to pluralize “passerby,” just as I would have been to type “attorneys general,” which I guess I just did.) They’re having a kickoff party tonight during First Fridays to celebrate. Definitely going to stop by at some point to check things out — what a great idea, and it’s being done to raise awareness of the importance of music education.
- Do you like shiitake mushrooms but lament the lack of songs about them? Your prayers have been answered. (Thank you for the heads up, Travis!)
- A friend gave me a copy of The Band’s Anthology, which I hadn’t even heard of, for my birthday. A Canadian pressing at that. I have Moondog Matinee, but I clearly don’t listen to it enough, because their cover of “The Great Pretender” snuck up on me. It’s awesome.
- I reconnected yesterday with Big L’s “Ebonics,” which is exceptional. Steady Sounds posted a pic a while back showing they had a copy of The Big Picture in, and I really should have bolted over there.
- Speaking of exceptional… Beyoncé’s VMAs medley. Lordy. For whatever this commentary is worth, I just want to throw out there that I think what she did that night and what she’s doing with this album are incredibly important. I didn’t connect with the idea of a visual album before now — I’ve enjoyed her self-titled album greatly without spending much time with the videos — but Lemonade feels different. She’s staking her claim to broader emotional and cultural territory while putting her image front-and-center, as if to say “You know that two-dimensional pop star you’ve been taking for granted? That smiling face you’ve seen a thousand times? You’re going to see what it looks like when I’m pissed, because everything is not OK right now.” Or, put more succinctly, “Who the fuck do you think I is?” I have a huge amount of respect for that.
- Just two quick show recommendations for Saturday — a Stranger Things-inspired 80’s party at the Broadberry, and a great Camel show that will include My Darling Fury and Vexine.
Hope y’all have a great long weekend. Stay dry, East Coasters.
Whoa. Just had my socks knocked right off by this new My Darling Fury song. Take a listen below…
How about that sax?!? So punchy and powerful. Timed perfectly, too — the sax kicks in just as the vocals are switching from ethereal and questioning to personal and declarative. Like, “OK, that’s what some people think, but here’s what I think.” I love it. And the breakdown just after the 2:00 mark takes all those atmospheric elements to a whole other level.
The fact that the lyrics take on the subject of being satisfied from the perspective of someone who is is similarly impressive. There’s a reason the satisfaction-related song most people would think of first is written from the perspective of someone who is not. It’s so much easier to write about wanting than having, and writing about having is a small needle to thread without sounding smug. “Satisfied” hits the sweet spot, I think. With its repeated lyrics and unwavering focus, it feels like a mediation. In that sense, it reminds me a little of “My Girls,” a song I hold near and dear.
I have a feeling I’ll grow close to this one too.
My Darling Fury — “Satisfied” [Spotfiy/iTunes]
Some things are hard to measure. Like peanut butter. Have you ever tried to measure out a half cup of peanut butter? It sticks to the spoon on the way in, it sticks to your finger when you try to level the top to see if you’ve got the right amount, it sticks to your measuring cup, and just for fun, it sticks to your finger again when you try to get it out. Sure you can heat your measuring cup with warm water before getting started, but c’mon. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Just as hard to measure — for slightly different reasons, I suppose — is the effect that Andrew Cothern has had on Richmond’s music scene.