The last gig I went to was The Beths in 2019. A top-ten event. This film was recorded when NZ was “doing really well” with the COVID pandemic. You can get the record of the show on Bandcamp.
18 months after it’s release, Plastic Bouquet by Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams is still a regular listen. I like it so much I bought it twice!
That’s How I Remember It is a podcast that examines the connection between memory and creativity. Each episode will feature a discussion between Craig Finn and one creator — a musician, author, filmmaker, etc. — about the role that memory plays in their art.
The episodes with Patterson Hood and Edward Kitsis were good and I’m really looking forward to listening to his conversation with John Darnielle.
The podcast has encouraged me to listen to the album a lot more and I’m really enjoying how Finn has leaned back into characters and storytelling in his lyrics.
Shotgun Willie was one of the first Outlaw Country albums and change in style for Willie Nelson. His previous label wouldn’t let Willie use his touring band in recording sessions, and he had to look and dress in the proper Nashville style. Willie likened this album to a “clearing of the throat”.
“I liked this new world. It fit me to a T. I never did like putting on stage costumes, never did like trim haircuts, never did like worrying about whether I was satisfying the requirements of a showman. It felt good to let my hair grow. Felt good to get on stage in the same jeans I’d been wearing all damn day.”Willie Nelson
Chris Deville at Stereogum has written a nice retrospective on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, which was released twenty years ago. I am listening to the CD I bought not long after as I type this.
Yoshimi is the one with Do You Realize??, lovely tune that became a staple at weddings I attended over the next couple of years.
Like DeVille, I think Fight Test is far away the best track, for all the reasons he cites:
Rather than any kind of silly robot situation, “Fight Test” is about real shit: specifically, realizing too late that you should have done something rather than let your lover slip away into someone else’s arms. There’s some loopy stuff about sunbeams on the chorus, but the wonderment works like a charm in the context of the verses, each one more devastating than the next, leading to the dagger: “Cause I’m a man, not a boy/ And there are things you can’t avoid/ You have to face them when you’re not prepared to face them/ If I could, I would/ But you’re with him now, it’d do no good/ I should have fought him, but instead I let him/ I let him take you.” I don’t know whether those lyrics are based on a true story, but within the song’s gorgeous sweep, they never fail to make me verklempt.Chris DeVille