Tag Archives: The National

Nickel Creek

Nickel Creek

Doesn’t matter how many times I do it, I never get sick of flipping through my dad’s records when I’m in Norfolk. He left behind one hell of a collection, as I’m sure I’ve told you before, and whenever I’m home seeing my mom, I thumb through the shelves of classical, jazz and folk titles waiting to be dusted off and put in active rotation in Richmond.

You’d think that after (more than) a few times through, I’d have picked out the stuff I wanted, leaving behind the stuff I didn’t want, but it doesn’t really work that way. Each time I take a spin through my dad’s collection, I’m a different person. I’ve almost always fallen for a classical piece that I flipped past the last time, I may have learned more about a jazz musician my dad liked or maybe I decided that the Kingston Trio is worth a shot after all. Because I’m different each time, the collection is different each time. Physically, it sits there gathering dust, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s constantly in flux.

I’ve got this kind of relative change on the brain because Nickel Creek’s new, hiatus-breaking album A Dotted Line just went up for a First Listen over at NPR.

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Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers

My iPhone’s been a real asshole lately. The battery life has tanked. It’s started shutting off unexpectedly in cold weather (“Oh, you’re trying to use Google Maps to navigate an unfamiliar city on foot in a snowstorm? Nap time, bitches!”). Speaking of naps, the sleep/wake button now requires an absurd amount of pressure, like a small and entirely un-fun version of that carnival game where you swing a sledgehammer to see how strong you are. Lately, its favorite trick has been refusing to send text messages or tweets for days at a time. Saturday — the day the Drive-By Truckers played at the National here in Richmond — happened to be one of those days. As a result, all my enthused mid-show exclamations went un-exclaimed.

In truth, it’s probably for the best. Looking back at the notes I took in my jerk phone’s Notes application, as well as the contents of my Twitter client’s drafts folder, I’m not sure my IPA-addled missives would have made much sense. All the same, I’d like to give a few of them a second chance and, since we’ve moved this party to the blogosphere, a little elaboration. We’ll call this Tweets That Never Were: Drive-By Truckers Edition.

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The xx

Coexist

One of synth player Christopher DeNitto’s remarks from the Dead Fame interview I posted on Tuesday was bouncing around my brain later that night during The xx’s concert at The National. When talking about his group’s writing process, DeNitto evoked the saying that “A song is never finished.” Tuesday’s show demonstrated that The xx are a group that understands how true that adage really is.

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Big Gigantic

The National

When I’m at a show, as I was on Saturday night, and I’m inspired to write about the experience, as I also was on Saturday night, I’ll often jot down ideas and observations using the skeuomorphically-styled iPhone Notes application. (I flirted with the Evernote mobile app a few months ago, but it never felt right. Something about fake legal paper mixed with that atrocious default font keeps me coming back.) These missives are usually short and few in number, mainly because I hate being the guy at the concert with his phone out while a song is going on. But Saturday’s show proved to be quite the noteworthy exception.

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Yellow Ostrich

Ghost

Regrets. I has them.

My latest: Somehow I fell asleep at the switch and missed out on ordering the super limited edition version of Yellow Ostrich’s new Ghost EP. 100 copies — no more, no less (you’ll see why in a sec) — of the new release come packaged in an actual segment of the painting pictured above, which was done on a grid of blank record sleeves by New York-based artist Graham Parks. How cool is that? Very, right? How pissed am I at myself for not jumping on this opportunity and getting my order in before they sold out? Again — very!

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Mountain Goats

Moon Colony Bloodbath

So The Mountain Goats visited The National on Wednesday evening. Sadly, I couldn’t make it out, though I did see some fantastic photos on PJ Sykes’ blog, and it looks to have been a great time. But before the show on Wednesday, as excited, anticipation-fueled tweets started showing up in my Twitter feed, I was having less than a great time. Actually, I was miserable. But not because I couldn’t go.

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The Devil Whale

Teeth

I had a weird realization while having drinks with a friend a few nights ago. I don’t have a single active concert ticket right now. Not a one. No PDF printouts waiting to be scanned, no tickets sitting at will call… nuthin’.

How did this come to pass? Summer concert burnout is partly to blame, not that I have anything to complain about. The stack of yet-to-be-used tickets that usually lives on my wife’s desk at home got plenty thick during the past few months, and seeing Radiohead, tUnE-yArDs and Neko Case, each for the first time, The Alabama Shakes for the second time, Justin Townes Earle for the fourth, Old Crow Medicine Show twice and The Lumineers three times is pretty damn good way to spend the summer, if you ask me.

But looking forward with a clean slate is exhilarating, and it didn’t take long to find a show that has me excited to start chalking it up all over again.

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