I’m having a really hard time breaking out of my Brexit WTF stupor, but here is a picture of my daughter wearing a hat that’s way too big for her, and here are a few news and notes items, for what they’re worth:
- CD Monday update: Loved Mudcrutch’s second album. It’s tighter — doesn’t have that loose, spontaneous feel the first one had — but it’s a testament to the enduring efficacy of well-written rock songs. They just work. Remember when people would say things like “Rock and roll is here to stay” when the genre was first getting started? This is what they were talking about.
- Congrats to Sleepwalkers on wrapping up their tour with the Lumineers. Joey Wharton’s photos continue to roll in, and they’re stunning. Funny story — I just missed them in Chicago. The last stop on that stretch of the tour (you might have seen the marquee in Wednesday’s record store report) was at the Chicago Theater the day after Mrs. YHT’s brother’s wedding. I think we were even in town at the same time. Not sure what hotel they stayed in, but I think ours was next to the ping pong bar in this Instagram post…
- Sara Watkins’ new album is well worth the First Listen. I was trying to remember if she played any of those songs when I saw her share the Modlin Center stage with Patty Griffin and Anaïs Mitchell… Not sure, but Young in All the Wrong Ways is definitely worth checking out.
- Jason Isbell put on a pretty much perfect rock show at the Altria on Tuesday. This may sound hyberbolic, but I really believe it: He’s entering the Beyoncé zone, where you look at someone and say “You just can’t do that specific thing any better.” I hope y’all get to see him on this tour. Playing songs from two A+ albums, singing loud and clear, even during the quiet sections of songs, multiple standing ovations… It’s a demonstration of how firm the ground below your feet becomes when you speak and write and play from a place of self-knowledge and truth.
- One more quick thing about that show: Frank Turner was great. I didn’t know a ton about him, but he was so engaging and fun, and his songs have this great spirit. Defiant. Resilient. It totally clicked why he would have called his last album Positive Songs for Negative People. I didn’t get a copy there, but it went on my Discogs wantlist.
- Friday Cheers comes to a close tonight with Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and Norfolk’s Major and the Monbacks. I’ll be gigging tonight at Triple Crossing, so I’ll have to miss it, but I’ve heard excellent things about Holcomb. And Fear of Music at the Broadberry would make a nice after party…
Happy tournament y’all! Crazy first day of games. Early exits for Baylor, Arizona, and Purdue… should be a fun weekend. Until then, a few news and notes:
- ICYMI here’s the post I did at the start of last year’s tournament, suggesting John Fullbright’s “Moving” is the perfect tournament song. I’m just gonna assume Duke read my post. [Pats self on back]
- New Sturgill. Need I say more?
- I saw that Iris DeMent is playing in Richmond in June, and while I was exploring the idea of buying tickets, I learned two things: 1. She’s also done a version of “Mom & Dad’s Waltz,” which I first heard recently on Patty Griffin’s American Kid album, and 2. It’s her singing with John Prine on “In Spite Of Ourselves,” which, now that I’m thinking about it, is definitely one of my favorite love songs of all time.
- My Natalie Prass EP supposedly shipped last Thursday! Hoping it’ll be waiting on the porch when I get home from tonight’s gig.
- Haven’t been keeping track of shows for this weekend, since I’ll be in the tournament bunker all weekend, but I see that Lake Street Dive will be at the National on Saturday. I’m sure that’ll be fun.
Whether you’re out and about or glued to the TV like I’ll be, I hope your weekend is a [dribbles up to the basket and unleashes a 360-degree windmill jam] slam drunk. [Winks]
What a batshit crazy week. I need a nap. Some good/fun/tuneful stuff did happen, however:
- There’s a new Kendrick album! What?!? I haven’t listened, but that’s going to be my reward after I get through today’s workday and tonight’s gig.
- I went on a Bandcamp binge on Tuesday. It started when Steady Sounds posted about Les Filles de Illighadad, a Sahelsounds album (great label — check out Music from Saharan Cellphones if you haven’t yet) of Tuareg music recorded in rural Niger. Listening to this — the first side especially — was probably the most peaceful thing about this entire week.
- The binge continued when Spencer Tweedy posted something about chris cohen (always styled that way, it seems, like e e cummings) releasing a new album. I went to check out his last one and am now bonkers for its first track, “Monad.” The bass is really interesting, I think. Makes it a totally different song.
- I’d really like to find time to write about the Patty Griffin/Sara Watkins/Anaïs Mitchell and Son Little shows — both were excellent — but in case I never do: Both were excellent.
- Clair Morgan sent out a note saying his Monday Meetup at Don’t Look Back is switching from weekly to monthly. I haven’t made it to a single one of these, which I feel like a jerk about, but I am going to rededicate myself, because I think it’s a really great idea, and he’s a really great person in a really great band. Also… tacos.
- Every week, Rough Trade pushes back the vinyl release of Natalie Prass’ Side by Side EP, which makes me feel like this. Maybe next Friday will be the week. Fingers crossed.
- Were I not playing a gig tonight, you know damn well where I’d be — at the Broadberry, helping Lucy Dacus celebrate the release of her triumphant debut album. I’m jealous of all you lucky people who get to go, but I hope y’all have a fun night.
And I hope all y’all have a great weekend!
Another new feature for 2016! I always end up with posts I didn’t manage to finish throughout the week, so I’m going to make a list each Friday of stuff worth hearing/seeing/looking out for. Really hoping I can keep up with this one. We’ll see.
- Landlady posted to their Facebook account about Adia Victoria, who has a debut album coming out later this spring. The first song to hit the interweb is “Dead Eyes,” and I’m digging it. Especially this morning, thanks to Baby YHT’s pre-dawn wake-up. Because why not loudly list the names of all your daycare friends at 5 a.m.? Really, it’s the best time for that.
- I found a really neat Jimmie Rodgers album this week — The Unheard Jimmie Rodgers Vol. II. A bunch of unused cuts from country’s first superstar. Remember the scene from O Brother, Where Art Thou? where the Soggy Bottom Boys sing “In The Jailhouse Now”? A version of that is on there, along with a bunch of songs about how he’s the saddest person on planet Earth. Sample lyric: “I’m lonely and blue/I’m downhearted too.” Yeesh. Great stuff though!
- Doug Nunnally of Sound Gaze alerted me to a fantastic version of Miguel’s “waves” that turns the song into a duet with Kacey Musgraves. It’s perfectly assembled, and fits in a really interesting place between a remix and a cover. Well worth a listen. Shouts to Mrs. YHT for finding the best comment on the video: “Kacey is LOVE, Kacey is LIFE. #country”
- A big YHT high five to Lucy Dacus for her Pitchfork review today. So excited. Here are my thoughts about the album, in case you missed Wednesday’s post.
- Some great shows going on this weekend. Clair Morgan’s Good Day RVA video release at Hardywood and Wood Brothers at the Broadberry tonight, Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, and Anaïs Mitchell at the Modlin Center tomorrow night, and Son Little at Strange Matter on Sunday. That Patty Griffin one is sold out, so I guess I’m just bragging at this point. Really psyched about it.
- There’s also the Chris King DJ set happening at Steady Sounds on Sunday. They’re celebrating the release of Why The Mountains Are Black: Primeval Greek Village Music (1907-1960), and King will be spinning original copies of tracks he included on the album. A genuinely unique opportunity. Shouldn’t be missed.
That’s all for now — happy Friday, y’all!