Archive for the ‘Grant Lee Phillips’ Category

[ATTENDED: February 8, 2020] The Exile Follies

There are some musicians who I’ve often thought I’d like to see but who I wouldn’t really want to travel too far too see.  This trio of artists are each musicians that I loved back in the 90s but whom I’ve lost touch with since then.

I used to love Throwing Muses and I have her first two solo albums.  I often thought about going to her live, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it if I didn’t know her new stuff.

Same with Grant Lee Phillips.  His song “Mockingbird” is one of my favorite songs of all time, but I don’t love all of his material, so I wouldn’t want to have gone for a whole show, I didn’t think.

And John Doe.  X is one of favorite bands from back in the day and seeing them live was amazing.  But I was never sure if I’d want to see just him because I don’t know much of his solo work.

So this tour with all three of them (and in a nearby venue) was perfect.

Kristin came out first.  She sat on a stool center stage and played her acoustic guitar. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: GRANT LEE PHILLIPS-Live on KEXP, January 21, 2010 (2010).

I really liked Grant Lee Buffalo back in the day.  I think Grant Lee Philip’s voice is amazing–soulful, expressive, beautiful.  He was also a troubadour on Gilmore Girls!

Since Buffalo broke up, Phillips has released a few solo albums.  I have found that I don’t enjoy his solo music as much as I did the band music.  His voice is still amazing, but the solo stuff is a little too slow and meandering for me.

This set comprises four songs from his album Little Moon.  “Strangest Thing” is my favorite song from the set, it’s upbeat and beautiful.  And “Little Moon” is correctly described by the DJ as moody an intoxicating.  It’s not my favorite of his songs but the description is totally correct.

This is an enjoyable mellow set.  The DJ and Grant Lee are relaxed and comfortable and the between song chats are informative and interesting.  You can listen here.

[READ: October 30, 2012] Rapunzel’s Revenge

This story is a wonderful extrapolation of the Rapunzel story which has been moved to the Wild West.  Yup, that’s right.  Rapunzel is a cowgirl.

Well, in the beginning, the story is pretty faithful to the original.  Many elements of the fairy tale are present–Rapunzel was kidnapped from her parents (or traded for some lettuce) and raised by the enchanted witch.  This story fleshes out the politics of the witch somewhat–she has cursed the surrounding lands and made them barren–all of the fertile ground is within her walls and the peasants must pay tribute to her from their meager earnings.  And Rapunzel is a rather rebellious and outgoing girl who wants to leave her stepmother’s walled fortress and explore the world beyond.

When Rapunzel tries to climb the wall just to see what’s out there (the wall is like 70 feet tall), she is grabbed by the witch’s guard, Brute, an over-sized man who is very grouchy.  But when she learns that her real mother is still alive (and is a suffering peasant) she tries to escape for good.  Brute catches her again, and the witch locks her up (the re imagined prison is a very cool twist).  I loved that she escapes with no help from anyone (just her hair).  And that as she’s running off she meets a prince who was coming to rescue her meets her; she sends him on a wild goose chase.  This Rapunzel needs no prince. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: AVI BUFFALO-“What’s In It For” (2010).

I received an email from Amazon telling me that their top 50 CDs of the year (so far) were online.  The second disc was by Avi Buffalo.  I’d never heard of Avi Buffalo, but they were on Sub Pop, so that’s a good sign.

I was going to listen to a sample, but saw that they had a video for “What’s In It For” on the Avi Buffalo page.

Avi himself looks about 12, which is disconcerting.  But his voice is really angelic (he sounds like one of those high voiced singer like from The Shins or Band of Horses or, indeed like Grant Lee Phillips) In fact, this song could be a B0H outtake.   And as such, that’s a good thing.

I’m not sure just how original the band is, and I’m also not sure if they are tagging onto this high-voiced folkie bandwagon (he doesn’t have a beard at least, so that’s a relief; of course, he may not be old enough to grow one).

A sampling of the rest of the songs shows more diversity than the “single?” indicates.  And, indeed, this looks like a great, quirky summer release.

[READ: July 20, 2010] “The Last Stand of Free Town”

Even though I read all the articles in The Believer, I don’t often talk about them, mostly because they are non-fiction, and I don’t tend to talk about non-fiction articles for whatever reason.

But anyhow, I’m mentioning this because it ties pretty directly to the Insurgent Summer story Letters of Insurgents that I and others are reading.

This article is about the pacifist commune that has existed in Christianshavn (part of Copenhagen, Denmark) since 1971:

That year, a group of squatters overtook an abandoned army base east of Prinsessegade, barricaded the roads, outlawed cars and guns, and created a self-ruling micro-nation in the heart of Copenhagen. They called the eighty-five-acre district Christiania Free Town, drew up a constitution, printed their own currency, banished property ownership, legalized marijuana, and essentially seceded from Denmark. The traditionally liberal Danish government allowed the settlement at first, dubbing Christiania a “social experiment.” Then it spent the next three decades trying to reclaim the area. Thirty-nine years and a dozen eviction notices later, the nine hundred residents of Free Town represent one of the longest-lasting social experiments in modern history.

Note that Christiania was founded in 1971 and Letters is from 1976, so something must have been in the air. (more…)

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