Archive for the ‘Twain’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #68 (August 20, 2020).

Courtney Marie Andrews annoys me because she is not Courtney Barnett.  So whenever a DJ says Courtney, I hope it’s Barnett.  Sometimes it is and sometimes it’s this country singer.

Courtney Marie Andrews seems like a nice enough person but her music is on the wrong side of country for me.

She opens this set with “Burlap String.”  Paul Defiglia plays upright bass and Mat Davidson (aka Twain) adds pedal steel.  In this song

Andrews sings about the fear of love. “I’ve grown cautious, I’ve grown up / I’m a skeptic of love / Don’t wanna lose what I might find.” Yet, “Burlap String” is also a song about how love’s memory lingers, and how the mind rekindles its beauty.

Defiglia leaves after the song.

The blurb says that Andrews is only 29 and she’s been playing for ten years.  She has a new album and WXPN has been playing “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault” a bunch.  It’s a bouncy song that seems to be full of sadness.

For “If I Told,” which she calls a modern day love song, Davidson switches to the Wurlizer.  Andrews sings a bit of yodel in the chorus.  It’s a catchy moment.

The set ends with Courtney alone at the Wurlitzer, singing “Ships in the Night” the final song on her seventh album, Old Flowers.  It is about lost love and hoping for closure with fondness.

Courtney Marie’s voice is powerful but it’s not my thing.

[READ: August 1, 2020] Kill the Farm Boy

I saw a review for the second book in this series (which has just come out) and it sounded pretty great.  So I looked up the first one only to find out that Dawson and Hearne are both authors with other series to their names.  Dawson has written The Shadow Series (as Lila Bowen), The Hit Series and The Blud Series.  Meanwhile, Hearne has written The Iron Druid Series and Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries.  They’ve also written single volumes of things too.  So they are well known in the fantasy realm.

The acknowledgments say that they met up in the Dallas Fort Worth airport at the barbecue joint (I have eaten there and it was tremendous).  They waited for their flight and discussed killing the farm boy, or in other words, making fun of white male power fantasies that usually involve a kid in a rural area rising to power in the empire after he loses his parents.  They found that skewering topics was fun and decided to write the book together.

So in the land of Pell we meet a farm boy named Worstley.  He cleaned up the goats.  And one goat, Gus, was especially ornery.  One night while Worstley was mucking out the area, a fairy entered the room.  She was haggard and dressed crazily with one sock on and her pants falling off. But the fairly quickly corrected any thoughts about her being a proper fairy by saying she was a pixie and her name was Staph.  She was there to anoint the chosen One.

To prove her magic she pointed at Gus and magicked him into talking.  The first thing Gus said was that his name was Gustave and he called Worstley “Pooboy.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: March 31, 2018] Twain

Twain has become something of a punchline for my friends and I, because we all really disliked his set opening for Kishi Bashi.

What was bizarre was how much Kishi Bashi raved about him that night.  Then recently, Twain played SXSW and the NPR review of SXSW raved about him as well.

They said this:

 Twain’s vast, searching music conjures the cosmic folk of Tim Buckley: A welcoming, wandering rumination on life, the afterlife, loneliness and “the beauties of this earthly world,” “Solar Pilgrim” feels at once human and otherworldly. The latest project to feature singer Mt. Davidson — he’s worked with The Low Anthem, Spirit Family Reunion and others — Twain makes the kind of music that, had it been made 50 years ago, would be a cherished cult item today.

The recording they included was kind of interesting and I imagine that if he had a full band he might be more enjoyable–Darlingside said that he had had a full band on earlier shows.  They also raved about him quite a bit, even joking that it was fun to say his name–Twain–as a nonsense syllable when you had nothing else to say. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: March 14, 2018] Liberty / Tashi Dorji Duo

I had never heard of Liberty / Tashi Dorji Duo when I saw they were opening for Godspeed You Black Emperor.   I also didn’t know if Liberty was a part of the duo or even if Liberty was a second opening act.

Well, it turns out that Tashi Dorji is a guitarist who often plays by himself.  But for this show he was with “the elusive Danish saxophonist LIBERTY (Mette Rasmussen).”

So what did this mean for the show?  Well, a brief search on Dorji revealed:

Tashi Dorji was born and raised in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Residing in Asheville since 2000 and soaking up a vast array of music. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. All references break loose during his playing, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

and that

Liberty is a saxophone player whose music is defining a unique balance of uproar and beauty. Her ability to move between the often strict confines of genres and explore the elements makes her presence highly powerful. She has encapsulated her own personal vision of acoustic music, by amplification expanding her range in dynamics and rocketing a more prosaic stem.

So. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 26, 2016] Shannon Wright

2016-10-25-20-43-31My friend Andrew got us tickets to see Shellac. When I looked to see who was opening, the site listed “Shannon Wright.”  I had never heard of her.  I had t laugh that the blurb on Shellac was literally two sentences.  While Wright’s was 8 large paragraphs.

It made me excited to see her, but I had no idea what to expect.  And then she came out with just her guitar (and flashbacks to Kishi Bashi’s opener Twain came hurtling at me).

But Wright was no Twain.  She started with a looped guitar melody–rather pretty.  And then she turned it off–that appears to be her “tuning music” because once she started playing–it sounded nothing like that loop.

Wrights play a very aggressive guitar–she doesn’t strum of pick so much as pluck those string so that they slap back against the guitar.  Her low notes are percussive and her high notes are painful.  She uses no pick, so it really emphasizes this abrasive style.  Her songs have a very steady rhythm on the low notes–very easy to bob your head (or in some cases seriously headbang) along to, while the melody gets hammered out on the high strings. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 4, 2016] Twain

2016-10-04-20-30-56 Kishi Bashi has been an opening act for two great bands that I’ve seen.  So I was really curious to see who his opening act would be.  I’d looked up Twain online but all I got from the brief glimpse was that it was a duo from Brooklyn.

When we got to the venue, there were some big drums and keyboards around the stage and I thought maybe they belonged to Twain.

Well, indeed, they did not, for in this show Twain was just one guy and his guitar (actually two guitars).

And his first song was very disconcerting.   Lyrically, Twain seems to come from the state-everything-I-see school of lyrics.  He mixes this with a hippy world view and a pretty big obsession with death.  And his delivery is stark and sharp and, yes, pretty unpleasant. (more…)

Read Full Post »