CD Monday

Another Toddler YHT pick. OK, so she was indiscriminately pulling CDs out of the rack, but once she’d assembled her options, she was resolute about this one.

I actually got to see some of these songs performed by an orchestra at Bonnaroo in 2004. I remember waiting around for what seemed like forever and wondering what the hell was happening onstage, and while it wasn’t perfect — I think the strings struggled with intonation because of the heat and humidity — it was a neat experience. Definitely a fish-out-of-water moment, both for Trey, who was taking a risk performing that style in that setting, and for those of us in the audience: I’m not sure how widely known this plan was, but I couldn’t have been the only one who showed up expecting to see a bunch of noodly guitar solos. That kind of friction doesn’t come about without a fair amount of bravery, and that bravery is a big part of why I look back on that performance (and this album) admiringly.

It’s a grab bag stylistically. Some great Copland-y passages, though, and “The Inlaw Josie Wales” is sweetly done. I’ll report back later in the week about “Guyute” — interested to see if this version is as epic as it seemed when Phish was in more regular rotation.

Trey Anastasio — “The Inlaw Josie Wales” [Spotify/iTunes]


Drive-By Truckers and Phish in one weekend? You’re all like, “No Way!” and I’m all, “WAY!” Yessir/ma’am, after seeing Drive-By Truckers for the first time on Friday, I headed up to Merriweather Post Pavilion (noooo, not the Animal Collective album, the concert venue … yes, that was a very good album … why yes, I do have tickets to see them there on July 9! We should carpool, you know, to save gas and stuff … wait … what were we talking about?) to see Phish on Sunday night. It was a very good show, and it reminded me of one of the things I love most about seeing live music. Like the Grateful Dead before them, Phish is known for phaithful phans (see what I did there?) who phollow the band on tour (ok, I’m stopping now) and know their music inside and out. I have seen Phish a number of times, but Sunday’s show featured more unfamiliar songs than any other time I’d seen them. Some were covers, some were tunes the band just doesn’t perform often, but all of them gave me the gift of musical homework. I love musical homework. I love finding a setlist when I get home, so I can learn about the songs I didn’t know – songs that may have never known had I not heard them live. My favorite from Sunday is the Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless,” not just because it’s a great song, but because it gives me an entry point to explore the rest of the Talking Heads catalog. One of Sunday’s cover songs that I did recognize was the Rolling Stones’ classic, “Loving Cup.” Check out the video above, and the original version below for some historical perspective.