Lera Lynn

Jun. 22nd, 2015 09:01 pm
sienamystic: (Bourne)
I haven't seen the first season of True Detective (although I probably will at some point) and also will not be watching the second, but I support anything that gives Lera Lynn more visibility.
sienamystic: (iron man)
Am contemplating watching the Grammies for the first time in yoinks. Actually, what made me interested was to see how my current fave John Fullbright would fare in the Americana category. The fun thing was I was made aware of Bonnie Rait's current project - I loved her awhile back, but hadn't listened to anything new. I put the album, Slipstream, in while cleaning the bathroom today (housecleaning requires music) and had fun listening. I had already been poking at the Lumineers album that was also nominated, and while it hasn't quite clicked for me entirely, I'm still interested. There were also another couple of bands in the pool that looked interesting, so I have a lot of new stuff to try out.

Bonnie Rait won, which I suppose I'm ok with - she is, after all, pure concentrated awesome. I still wish From the Ground Up had got the nod, though. Hopefully the nomination will still get Fullbright some attention. He came onto my radar via NPR, so I suppose he's not exactly a hidden treasure.

SO ANYWAY. I have the E! red carpet coverage on (mostly muted because, god, annoying) and am vaguely watching celebrities parade past. But mostly I'll probably be spending it with the twitter feeds of Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) and Stephen Thompson (@idislikestephen) to make the whole thing bearable. And I reserve the right to bail at any point in time because I suspect the majority of the show will be taken up by music I don't care about.

I made a giant pot of spaghetti and the wind is howling outside. It's not a bad evening to spend planted on the sofa.
sienamystic: (commedia)
I do hate slogging through it, but snow is so pretty. We got a couple of fluffy inches of it blanketing everything and it softens the world and makes bare branches look stark and elegant.

Of course, getting it off your car is a royal pain.

I didn't end up quite finishing City of Diamond. it was weird, I was enjoying it and enjoying it and enjoying it and then just...stopped. I think that while I was more or less having fun with these people whose POVs I was sitting in, the pacing was so slow that all of a sudden I lost interest. I'll put it aside and maybe revisit it, because it did a lot of things really well, but I'm moving along to another book in the pile.

The music I've been listening to right now has all been centered on John Fullbright, an Oklahoma singer-songwriter whose stuff falls into what NPR notes is a blend of country, folk and rock. It falls pretty squarely into my HoneyHoney/Neko Case/Delta Rae/Damien Jurado brainspace. I'm also tentatively poking at The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men, although I haven't bought anything beyond "Little Talks." It's all very hip of me, I guess, although my general purposes Spotify playlist encompasses a whole lot of stuff both cool and current and violently uncool and dated as all get out.

Wrestling with a few things, but I don't feel like talking about them at this point. I could use some hot chocolate with marshmallows, though. None in the house and I'm not putting on pants to venture out into the cold. There, now you have a vivid mental picture of me, pantsless. You're welcome.
sienamystic: (Heyer - wealthy)
In honor of the release of a new album by one of my favorite bands, I thought I'd put up the music post that I've been pondering. Although music post sounds so formal - what I wanted to share were the albums that have been on heavy rotation on Sherman, my iPod Touch. Also, these are entire albums that just hold together perfectly - I don't listen to them as a random assortment of singles, but as one unit that I'm experiencing.

HoneyHoney is a band I've recommended to a bunch of people at this point. I got hooked on them thanks to the tv show Life, which used this song:



(Life got me hooked on so much good music, guys. It's too bad the DVDs had to use different music.)

Anyway, Honey Honey's newest album is out. It's called Billy Jack, and I've just downloaded it without even pre-listening (although I've heard "Ohio" as an early release to their mailing list) and I think I'm going to love it as much as their first album, "First Rodeo." They're alt-country, I suppose...in whatever corner of alt-country that people like Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, and the Watson Twins fall into. The female lead is soulful, expressive, and great fun, their lyrics are strong, and I just love their musicality - simple, straightforward, and frequently heartbreaking.

I've also been spending a lot of time with Guster's album Easy Wonderful. It's not brand-new (actually, it's just about exactly a year old) but I only picked it up about two months ago because I am terminally Out Of The Loop. Guster has evolved from a band where tight harmonies soared over really strong drumming - at the time, their drummer used a lot of hand percussion, bongos, etc. He's since switched over to a traditional drum kit, and Guster's sound has changed a bit over the years, but it's changed into something I like just as much (and in some cases, like more). They're one of those rare bands that seems to be growing, not just trying to replicate the sound of their first big single, but actually being thoughtful and playful and keeping their core while still trying new things. I'm a long-time fan (they're great in concert) and I really have been enjoying this particular album.

old Guster - Fa Fa )

more recent Guster - Satellite )

Architects and Engineers, off the most recent album )

And finally, an old friend that just keeps delivering. I've loved Paul Simon since my dad presented me with what was probably my very second CD, a copy of "Negotiations and Love Songs." His most recent album is called "So Beautiful or So What," and I just...it's so beautiful. It pokes at a lot of issues about spirituality and religion and life without being heavy-handed in the least. At times, it's delicate, at times it's rollicking and full of a rock and roll bounce.

Here's a live version of The Afterlife )

The title song, So Beautiful or So What> <iframe width= )
sienamystic: (jello horror)
My brain has decided that we're closing up shop. Here, have Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello singing Carpetbaggers.

sienamystic: (Venice)
Went to the NAMI family member's group again tonight. I'm glad I did, too. It was a larger group than last week and the conversation was interesting. The support of your peers can be really helpful when there's somebody with a similar problem, but in a weird way...well, probably not weird, because some of the literature I've read suggests that this can be a helpful effect and not some sort of evil schadenfreude...is that you can go, "My problems are bad, but dear Jesus, at least I'm not coping with that. In other words, I'm glad that Bemo isn't my 23-year-old kid with schizophrenia who is violent towards me, refuses to take meds or see a therapist, believes that the phones are bugged or the carpets are emitting poisonous vapors, and may fall into homelessness after I'm dead and can't support him anymore. Which is what some of the people in there are facing. Mostly, it helps just to be able to talk about things and have people nod in recognition, or understanding. It also makes me glad that I do have a network of people who provide support in so many ways.

So now I'm at home, baking a spaghetti squash (what shall I do with it tomorrow, I wonder?) and listening to King's X. Here, have two of my favorite songs by them under the cut )

I'm not sure if these particular songs make me melancholy in a happy way, or happy in a melancholy way.

Oh, and in other news, an old family drama has rekindled itself from the smoldering embers and is igniting itself all over Facebook. I'd love to talk about it, as it has glorious soap opera elements, but I kind of don't know where to even start describing things. Maybe I'll sort it out and write it down here as practice for when I chronicle it in a novel.
sienamystic: (Let them eat cake)
I know we're entering the age of the End of the Album, yadda yadda singles, yadda yadda Itunes. But I still love me a good album, something that holds together start to finish. It doesn't have to be a concept album, or a something completely overblown - frequently it's just an album that does a good job of covering a dynamic range with no songs that stand out as clunkers. Sometimes they're important for me because of the time-period I was listening, but they still have to be solid albums from start to finish to make the list. Here are a few of my favorite albums. Tell me about yours.

Paul Simon, Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. (My first Paul Simon album, Negotiations and Love Songs doesn't really count, being one of his several greatest hits albums. I'm a Paul Simon fan for lo these many years, but these are the two I return to over and over again.

King's X, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska. Power, harmony, great lyrics, lots of meaning. Again, I'm a fan of the band in general (and dear lord, are they a ton of fun live) but I don't know if they have another album as perfect from start to finish as this one. Please Come Home, Mr. Bulbous and Ogre Tones are other favorites, but I'm odd in that I got into the band at a late date, and don't love a couple of songs on the well-regarded albums Faith Hope Love and Out of the Silent Planet.

Saigon Kick, Water. My sister turned me on to this album, and I love it so very hard.

John Hiatt, Perfectly Good Guitar and Slow Turning. There probably would be more, but after getting Perfectly Good Guitar from a boyfriend I found Hiatt in bits and pieces. There are very few songs of his I don't enjoy, just ones that I listen to more or less frequently.

Marc Cohn, Marc Cohn. Another album from the same boyfriend mentioned above. I haven't listened to this in a while, but for a period of time I wore this cd down to a thin sliver.

Manhattan Transfer, Offbeat of Avenues for teenage nostalgia, Vocalese for sheer vocal bravado, Bop Do Wop as the first MT album I imprinted on and can pretty much sing completely from memory.

David Bowie, Labyrinth Movie Soundtrack. Yes, it's still awesome, even if I am not as fixated on Jareth the Goblin King and his tight pearl grey pants as I used to be. Ok, I am totally lying. I'm still mesmerized.
sienamystic: (Medici one hour)
Went to the King's X show last night and blew out all my sadness and worry by falling into some deep-groove, hard-rocking music. And got a hug from Dug to end the evening. Small crowd but very devoted, lots of my favorites were played, including "Lost in Germany," "Summerland," "Black Flag," and "Pray."

God, I love these guys.

sienamystic: (Guster quote Gabriel)
The Primus show was pretty damn awesome, even if the way overwrought dude next to me decided that his piercing whistles were a valuable component of the show. By the end of the show both me and Bemo wanted to pop him one, but we refrained. There was more pot smoke in the bathroom than I've ever encountered in my life (although, you know, I did lead a sheltered teenage existence) and the security guards were having fun rounding up more tokers who weren't exercising enough caution in the seats. But the band is just kick-ass live, and since they're very much a musician's band and Bemo is a musician, he was in clover.

Rasputina opened for them, and although I was a bit dubious at first, I was won over by their sense of humor and cover of Heart's Barracuda. Even Bemo, who is most dubious about gothy music, really liked their drummer. (I have to say, Bemo's musical tastes have been expanding in ways I didn't expect. After seeing My Chemical Romance play on Saturday Night Live, he's interested in getting The Black Parade. I never thought I'd see the day when he'd give a band that even vaguely smelled of emo the time of day, but I'm interested in the album as well, so we'll go ahead and pick it up at some point.)

I've obtained a new template from [livejournal.com profile] grrliz_icons. Isn't it lovely? She's got many more and posts new ones every once in a while, so go see if you have a yen for a new look.

Another day at the LoC, where I did some productive work and tracked down another few books that, alas, are at two other libraries. Thankfully, those libraries are ones I can get to, so it's all good. I'm trying hard to be a busy bee here, but I still feel like my brain hasn't quite popped out of neutral. But I did do real work today and I've just got to keep plugging away at it and not getting discouraged.

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